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Test Kitchen: Powder Power I

So I’ve been thinking about buying protein powder again for breakfast shakes.  I’ve tried some in the past that tasted freakin’ fantastic.  Almost like drinking a milkshake.  While others were just hell-no-I’m-never-trying-that-again.  My search for the next best thing led me to the wonderful world of Amazon.  After venturing into the world of Prime for less than a minute, filtering through endless list of options, I couldn’t find the strength to pick my bottom lip up from off the floor.  Maybe I’ve been out of the protein powder loop for a while, but is it me or have these manufacturers lost their minds?  They want 60 bucks for a jar of powder?

Hillary Clinton shock

I quickly opened up another tab and began to search for DIY protein powders and after reading through several recipes, I wanted to kick myself.  Why didn’t I think to do this before?  These recipes include all natural ingredients that are simple and inexpensive.  I’m pretty resourceful.  I have plenty of protein options in my kitchen already: hemp seeds, garbanzo beans, lentils, almonds, walnuts….and the list goes on.  Now I know my makeshift powder won’t taste anything like the fingerlickin’ goodness I’ve tried in the past…

Or will it?

Testing

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1/3 cup oats

1/8 cup lentils

Want to know how it turned out?  Stay tuned to find out…

Photo Courtesy of:

http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2010/10/jaw-dropping-statement-of-day.html

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Heeeere, Chickpeas, Chickpeas, Chickpeas!!!

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I strongly believe that the more we learn about food, the healthier we become.  Learning about the history, benefits, and how to prepare different foods helps us to make healthier choices and to step outside of our comfort zone.  Maybe the next time you’re cruising around the grocery store, you’ll pick up that pint of blackberries or bunch of cilantro you’ve been eyeing for a while.  Many people are curious about certain foods, but have no idea how to cook them.  Each week I will show you how to cook one basic healthy ingredient such as oatmeal, fennel, almond butter, or chicken.  You can find videos on how to prepare the mystery ingredient on my Youtube channel (links provided below).  I will also add videos that show you five different ways to incorporate them into any meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even dessert.  Chicken for dessert?  Hmmmm, maybe not!  This series is called ‘(food name) All Day, 5 Ways.’

This week’s mystery ingredients are the awesome garbanzo beans also known by many as Chickpeas.  Now I understand some people have never ventured over to the world of chickpeas or have no idea what these things are.  Maybe you’ve dipped a few baby carrots or celery sticks in a pool of hummus, but never knew the primary ingredient, but if your only understanding of hummus comes from a certain movie…well then I hope I can help you out a little bit.  No, I will not teach you how to make a hummus hose!

hummus

Here’s some cool stuff about garbanzo beans.  Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are from the legume family meaning they are the fruit or seed of a plant.  Many sources trace their origins back to India, but you can also find variations in areas of the Mediterranean, north Africa, and Mexico.  I won’t bore you with extensive fun facts about these beauties, but there are many reasons why you should consider including them in your diet.

Healthy Benefits

  1. Just two cups of these babies will provide you with your entire daily value of fiber.  This in turn could help better regulate blood fat, lower LDL (the bad stuff) cholesterol levels, and lower triglycerides.
  2. Studies have shown that in a short period of time, consuming garbanzo beans could possibly control blood sugar and insulin secretion.
  3. Can reduce the risk of heart disease due to their unique supply of antioxidants.
  4. Also aids in weight loss.
  5. It’s also a great meatless options for vegetarians and vegans.  Heck, if you just want to take a short break from consuming meat, this is the way to go.

Sources:

Photos Courtesy of:

http://www.empirecityblog.com/2011/08/you-dont-mess-with-zohans-head.html

http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/playful-sculptures-feature-chickpeas-for-heads

The World’s Healthiest Foods: Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=58

Health Magazine

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20475957_25,00.html

Youtube Videos

How to Make Chickpeas

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For the Love of Oatmeal

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“You’re kidding me, right?  How do you NOT know how to cook oatmeal?” I said.

That was part of a conversation I had with my boyfriend during the early stages of our courtship.  I guess I couldn’t fathom that someone would avoid eating oatmeal, not because they hated the taste or the texture, but simply because they didn’t know how to cook it without an awful boil-over.  Now, in all fairness, I’m going to blame it on the fact that like some men, the idea of slow cooking is just a waste of time.  Patience is not a virtue in the kitchen.  Why not turn the burner on high and cook the be-jesus out of those oats?  I am now convinced that he is not the only one out there dreading the awful ring of burnt oatmeal around the stove top left there by boiling, molten oats.  No worries, Folks, I’m here to save your breakfast with these simple tips and a sweet little video demo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1oiW3AX5Q

Step away from the stove and take a few notes.

Step 1: You’re going to need a ratio of one parts oats to two parts liquid.  In this case we’re just going to start with:

1 cup of oats

2 cups of water

Step 2: Add liquid (water) to a medium-sized pot and let it boil on medium heat.  You can cover the pot with a lid to speed up the process.

Step 3: When the water comes to a boil, you can add a dash of salt for flavor or skip it.

Step 4: Add your oats and reduce heat to medium-low heat.  Stir every few minutes.  This step should take about 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your oatmeal.  If you’re using Scottish oats that are finer in texture, you should use a whisk to keep it from clumping instead of a spoon.

BOOM.  It’s done!

I like to keep my oatmeal slightly wet because this keeps it from getting too clumpy after it cools.  Once it’s done I like to add a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and some of the following fingerlickin toppings.

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Berries n’ Creme Proatmeal

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Peaches n’ Creme Oatmeal

– 2/3 cups oatmeal, cooked

– 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use UMP)

– 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– 1 tbsp hemp seed

-1/2 tsp flaxseed

-1/2 peach, diced

– 1 tbsp raw almonds

Instructions:

  1. Mix protein powder and milk with oats.
  2. Add rest of ingredients on top.
  3. ENJOY!

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Protein Options:

  • 1/2-1 scoop protein powder
  • 1-2 tbsps. walnuts, almonds, or other favorites
  • flaxseed or hemp seeds

Fruit Options:

  • sliced strawberries
  • blueberries or raspberries
  • mango
  • peaches
  • bananas
  • raisins
  • other dried or fresh fruit.  Frozen is a great option also.

Spice Options:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Unsweetened Coco powder

Sweet Options:

  • Drizzle of honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Almond Milk or Soy Milk
  • Coconut Sugar (low glycemic index)
  • Stevia

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oatmeal

Benefits of Eating Oatmeal

Can lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes Type 2

Can lower cholesterol

Fiber keeps you full longer helping with weight loss.

__http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-oatmeal-morning-4112.html______

Photos Courtesy of:

http://fit-wins.blogspot.com/

http://memy.pl/mem_344832_seriously

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