Special Note! There’s a giveaway on now of Growing Naturals Protein Powder–the very powder I use in this recipe! Once you’ve seen the recipe, head over here to enter the giveaway!
What’s the most dreaded question ever asked of a vegan? Go ahead and guess. Here are some to get you started:
- “Wow, I guess you must really love veggies, eh?”
- “So, are you friends with Ellen DeGeneres?”
- “Is it pronounced VEE-gun or VAY-gun?”
- “Wanna come back to my place and split a tofu pizza?”
Okay, so I was being a bit crafty here, since none of those is the question I’m thinking about. (But the answers to those ones are, respectively: I really do. Only in my mind. But I would dearly love to serve up some treats from my new cookbook on her show. VEE-gun, though some of us oldies still use the antiquated VAY-gun. Well. . . . okay. [That last one was an actual question posed to me many years ago on a date with Rocker Guy. The pizza was great, but too bad the relationship sucked.].
The single question, then, that is most dreaded by VEE-guns far and wide is this:
So. . . . where do you get your protein?
[Protein-packed Mocha Sunbutter Spread on Zema’s Madhouse Gluten-Free Cocoa Teff Pancakes]
I remember being fascinated, entranced, delighted and enthralled when, in nutrition school, I first learned about all the myriad sources of protein while studying macronutrients. (Come to think of it, I was fascinated, entranced, delighted and enthralled by everything I learned in nutrition school–loved every minute of that year!).
Virtually all foods contain SOME proteins, but they are, of course, highly concentrated in animal products. What most people don’t realize, however, is that protein is also abundant in plant foods. Just take a look at this post by my friend Gena to see how easy it is to acquire all the necessary protein on a plant-based diet (she adds up the grams of protein in a typical day’s menu for herself in Part V of the post–you may be very surprised at what she comes up with).
In the past couple of years, I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat more bean-based protein, partly because of my osteopenia scare a while back, and partly because I love beans but just don’t think of them often enough. Pair that with my ongoing quest to find quick, easy and delectable recipes to prepare and, well, this nut butter was a natural.
Right now, I’m teaching the second week of You’re Not the Boss of Me: Control Your Blood Sugar Before It Controls You with Andrea Nakayama. One of the questions we’ve encountered several times on the message boards is a plea for quick recipes or ones that can be prepared in advance. I know that making everything from scratch, as I usually do, can be time consuming; those of us who follow a whole-foods diet tend to find our own little tips and tricks over time. (Side note: is this a topic DDD readers would be interested in? If so, let me know in the comments, and I will write up a post for how to eat well without spending your entire day in the kitchen).
Although I used to be the Queen of Fast Food (McDonald’s and I were practically engaged at one point), these days, my “fast” food is typically something homemade. So I was particularly delighted when I encountered not one, but two products that can help me in that area.
A few months ago, I received a huge parcel from the folks at Growing Naturals, who were kind enough to send me samples of their raw, sprouted powders along with a bag of their rice milk powder (to whip up instant rice milk!). Their products are all organic, gluten-free, vegan, whole grain and contain a full amino acid profile. I’ve really enjoyed every one that I’ve tried, and I think the pea proteins are actually my favorites, though I’ve got a stellar recipe in the works using the rice milk powder, too!. (And pssst–come back tomorrow for a fantastic Growing Naturals Giveaway!)
More recently, I was gifted a bag of Zema’s Madhouse Cocoa-Teff Pancake Mix. This mix actually contains pretty much the same ingredients I would use at home to make pancakes: teff flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, organic flax seed meal, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, aluminum-free baking powder, organic cinnamon, hemp seeds, xanthan gum, sea salt, chia seeds. They were light and tasty, and would be a great go-to when I don’t have time to make my own from-scratch. Well, I couldn’t resist trying out BOTH of these products–and at the same time! (see pancake photo, above).
My kitchen playtime resulted in a smooth, spreadable nut-free sunflower-mocha butter that is so good I will sometimes use it as a mid-afternoon snack just on its own (but it’s also divine on pancakes, grain-free biscuits, rice cakes, waffles, muffins–you name it). And you can whip it up, from scratch, in less than 10 minutes.
One of the mantras in our BOSS course is to avoid carbs on their own, and this butter works beautifully that way (and it’s A-OK for the anti-candida diet, too!). You’ll be sure to amp up the protein in your own diet this heavenly mocha spread. . . . yep, just one of the tasty ways vegans can get their protein.
Last Year at this Time: I Feel So Nourished!
High Protein Sunbutter Mocha Spread (nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free)
I’ve enjoyed this spread on everything from pancakes to rice cakes to celery to. . . . a spoon. It firms up considerably in the fridge, then softens to perfect spreading consistency at room temperature.
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened sunflower seed butter (note that Sunbutter contains sugar–see note below)
3 Tbsp (45 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic
2 Tbsp (30 ml) raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp (30 ml) vanilla or chocolate pea protein powder (I used Growing Naturals)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) instant coffee substitute (I used Dandy Blend)
1/4 tsp (1 ml) pure stevia powder, or to taste
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
generous pinch fine sea salt
In a food processor, process the sunflower seed butter and coconut oil until very smooth (to make your own sunbutter, see note below). Add remaining ingredients and process until blended. It should be thick but spreadable. If it’s too thick, add a bit more coconut oil and process again. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary (be careful not to add too much stevia, as it can react with the cacao if too much is used and actually enhance the bitterness of the cacao). Makes about 1-1/3 cups (320 ml). Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
NOTE: I make my own sunbutter, which adds only about 5 minutes to this process: Take toasted, cooled sunflower seeds and process in the food processor until they become crumbly; then keep going, scraping sides down occasionally, for 3-5 more minutes, until the mixture eventually forms a ball that rolls around the processor bowl and, shortly after, begins to smooth out to a spreadable consistency. If it is truly too dry and won’t spread out after the full 5 minutes, add up to 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil and process again. Store, covered, in jars in the refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, nut free, vegan, low glycemic.
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© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.
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