Posts tagged ‘banana’

February 16, 2010

Raw protein + Tropical Power smoothie

“Where do you get your protein?”

As any vegetarian/vegan/raw foodie will attest, this is the number one question people ask about the various types of plant-based diets. I get the protein question on a weekly basis, and each time I patiently and politely explain that veg diets can and do provide all the protein any person could ever need, an that it’s a myth that plant foods somehow don’t contain enough protein. In her book Becoming Vegan, dietician Brenda Davis (a vegan herself) says, “For vegans on predominantly whole foods diets, a figure of 0.9 g protein per kg body weight is suggested.” To put this another way, people should get around 10% of their calories from protein.

It’s unspeakably easy to consume this amount of protein on a daily basis, and virtually all of us do. Nearly all plant foods contain this much protein, so¬† as long as you get enough calories, and not eating total crap, you’re safe. For anyone curious about the protein content of some common foods, check out this table by the Vegetarian Resource Group.

Most of the time, I don’t give a second thought to how much protein I consume and where it’s coming from. But during periods where I’m working out hard at the gym adding extra protein to my diet helps me put on muscle mass. Before becoming mostly raw, I used to eat soy foods and cooked legumes for extra protein. I mostly avoid these now, so I rely on other raw sources. Here are a few of my favourites:

  • Greens. Kale is my first choice, with 6.6 g protein per 100 calories. Spinach and romaine lettuce are also packed with protein.
  • Sprouts. I usually eat sprouted lentils, with 7 g protein/82 calories per cup. Sprouting is easy as pie, and saves me lots of money!
  • Hemp seed. I add it to smoothies and salads, and I always make hemp milk as opposed to nut milk — it’s tastier. 5 g protein/82 calories per tablespoon.
  • Sun Warrior Protein Powder. This raw vegan protein powder is made from brown rice, and has 16 g protein/70 calories per serving.
  • Ruth’s Hemp Protein Power. Another protein powder that’s great in smoothies. 15 g protein/120 calories
  • Raw Organic Food Bar. These are fabulous when I’m on the go, and have 10 g protein/200 calorie bar. I swear they’re just like eating a candy bar.
  • Vega Vibrancy Bar. I could never stomach the other variety of Vega bars, but these new Vibrancy Bars are delish, and packed with sprouts and other healthy ingredients. Especially the Green Synergy one, with an extra boost of green goodness! Contains 9 g protein/200 calorie bar.

Today, I had my butt kicked by Jillian Michaels, via her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism DVD. This is the first time I’ve tried a workout DVD, because I usually need to be at the gym before I can motivate myself. But it really was like having a trainer in my living room! After, I whipped out my Sun Warrior Protein Powder and made an amazing recovery smoothie. Here’s the recipe.

Tropical Power Smoothie

Ingredients

1 banana

1 cup chopped pineapple

2 kiwis, flesh scooped from skin

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup ice cubes

1 scoop Vanilla Sun Warrior Protein Powder

Directions

Toss all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Some other raw bloggers have touched on this topic too, recently — check out this Pure2Raw post (from today, coincidentally!), Kristen’s post on raw vegan protein grenades, and a Choosing Raw post on vegan protein powders.

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January 26, 2010

Banana ice cream with almond butter cup candy

Since the name of this blog does contain the word “Candy”, I figure it’s appropriate to write my first real post on a dessert-type meal. Or two dessert-type meals, actually.

I was craving raw ice cream after dinner on Saturday, so I thumbed through the dessert sections of a few of my favourite raw cookbooks. (As an aside, I’ve never felt completely comfortable calling them “cookbooks”. Is “recipe books” more accurate? Or some other term?) Using some tasty-looking ice cream recipes for inspiration, I came up with banana vanilla ice cream with cacao nibs, and chocolate almond butter cup candy.

Banana vanilla ice cream with chocolate almond butter cup candy

Banana Vanilla Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked 2 hours

1 large banana

2 cups water

1/4 cup agave syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Let the mixture chill in the fridge or freezer for a couple of hours, then pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

I topped the finished ice cream with a handful of raw cacao nibs, and lots of chocolate almond butter cup pieces. This recipe can be found in Matthew Kenney’s Everyday Raw, and it involves a layer of almond butter mixture sandwiched between layers of chocolate, chopped into little pieces. The photos below documents the process.

Spreading the top chocolate layer

Spreading the top chocolate layer

Chopping up the chocolate almond butter cup candy

Last night, I felt like something decadent after a long day at the library where I didn’t make much of a dent in my to do list. I had lots of almond butter cup left, but no more ice cream, so I decided to whip up some easy banana soft serve, first made famous on the awesome blog Choosing Raw. It couldn’t be simpler — frozen bananas thrown in the food processor for a few minutes — and I think I actually prefer the banana ice cream to the more decadent cashew-based one. Straight-up frozen bananas are closer to nature, and healthier for you, too. Both versions were incredible, and left my sweet tooth satiated.