Warning: the photos are terrible once again!
I don’t blog often, those who follow me might know. But sometimes I get so inspired that I can’t stop posting. I don’t think this is the case today though, but I want to share a recipe that I have made for my post-workout meal today (inspired by something I could have seen somewhere else – who knows where and when!).
It started with a protein powder that I bought last week and received this Monday. MyProtein Vegan Blend. It is a five-star user-rated protein blend, made of brown rice, pea and hemp proteins. On Tuesday, after my workout I was so excited to try it out in a chocolate smoothie that I love, but when I made the smoothie with the protein, I got disappointed. The texture was completely different – gritty, nowhere near smooth, it’s like I could taste the powder that didn’t mix in at all. The taste was different too, even the raw cacao powder couldn’t mask it, along with cherries, bananas and dates. I finished the smoothie nonetheless, but was reluctant to make it again on Thursday. And of course I was not going to use this powder simply in the form of protein shakes. I don’t like protein shakes, they are too plain and sometimes even disgusting (especially whey protein shakes! Ugh). So for Thursday I decided to make protein bars. My favourite snack this time of the year is dried figs. I can eat a bag of them if I don’t pay attention. And I am an absolute fan of the raw cacao, so these two ingredients were out of question. What else could I add? Nuts? Yes, please.
For this recipe a high-speed powerful blender would be nice, which I don’t have. I have quite a few blenders, but they are all cheap. One, Tesco’s own Jug Blender I have since the college years. I needed it for something and bought the cheapest one available (I think it cost less than 20 euro). Then I have a Babycook blender, which I have previously used for making raw cakes as it is fast and the blades are sharp. But the capacity is quite low and it doesn’t have any speeds except pulse, which you have to press continuously in order to get it working. Then I have my beloved Russel Hobbs Mix and Go blender for smoothies, and a Breville hand blender with chopper. I used the chopper for this recipe. It did the job fairly well, but the hand blender was so hot by the end, I thought it would start melting! So if you have a nice high-speed blender you’re lucky.
You will also need a measuring cup, a rubber spatula or scraper and a tablespoon, along with a protein scoop, which manufacturers like to bury at the very bottom of the pack; plus a smallish dish to put the mixture in.
- 1/4 cup Nuts of your choice (I used 1/3 walnuts and 2/3 pistachios)
- 3/4 to 1 cup Water (depends on the protein powder’s absorption ability)
- 1 cup Figs
- 1 Tbsp. Cacao powder
- 2 scoops Protein powder
- 1 Tbsp. melted Coconut oil
- Coconut flakes, sea salt or crushed nuts for garnish
- Put the nuts and water in the blender and blend until smooth. (by the end of this step you practically get a nut milk :))
- Add the figs, cacao and protein powders and the coconut oil. Blend, stir, blend and so on, until the mixture is well blended.
- Spread the mix onto a dish (you may want to line it with a baking paper first, although I didn’t and it turned out fine anyway.
- Garnish with the topping of your choice and refrigerate or freeze before consuming.
- 1/2 of the cake makes 1 serving of protein, so ideally 1/2 is your post-workout meal serving. It is quite high in calories (around 450 kcal for 1/2!), but all due to natural stuff. And after a heavy workout you need those calories anyway to restore your energy.
As you see, I always try to make one thing and get another in the end. I wanted to make protein bars, but the texture of this mixture is more of a moussey cake. It is light and soft, not dry. I have previously tried Maximuscle whey protein bars (that made me soo bloated) and they were much more chewy than this one. Both are tasty though, but completely different. And, actually, unlike protein shakes this feels like a dessert and not something you use for building muscle.
So there you have it. Try it yourself. Hopefully, you’ll like it as much as I do.