Tested: DIY Protein Powder II



Hemp Seeds…delicious!

Quinoa…complete protein perfection!

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)…nutty awesomeness! (when cooked)


All of these ingredients grounded into a fine powder, blended with a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, banana, and honey……a test kitchen disaster.  Folks, the taste was a little rough, but great if you’re into drinking bean flavored milk.  I originally added two tablespoons of the DIY Pro-powder to my normal morning smoothie, but found the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) to be extremely overpowering.

final drink

When adding only one tablespoon, the taste was less extreme and sweeter.  The drink itself was somewhat bearable, but far from enjoyable.  Well, at least I could taste a little bit of the sweetness from the milk and the banana, but the bean flavor was still pretty pronounced.  Soaking the beans overnight and adding a few to the milk and banana mixture may be the solution, but has yet to be tested.

The upside of this kitchen nightmare is that all of the ingredients were things that I had on hand.  In general, aside from the hemp seeds, the ingredients are inexpensive.

There’s potential with this protein combination if I skip the chickpeas, but I think I’m going to play around with a few more ideas as well.

Folks, it ain’t over!

‘NOT SO YUMMMY’ – DIY Protein Powder

1/3 cup oats (not instant)

3 tbsp raw hemp seeds

3 tbsp quinoa

3 tbsp garbanzo beans, uncooked

* Blend ingredients in a food processor or heavy-duty blender until fine powder if formed.


Healthy Journey!


Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip made with Chickpeas

For those who know me, they are already aware that I am the queen of anything cookie dough.  Cookie dough cupcakes, cookie dough candy, cookie dough ice cream, cookie dough cookie dough.  You know, I’m still on the lookout for the perfect cookie dough donut.   I prefer to make my own, but I’m open to other possibilities.  Is there a such thing as healthy cookie dough?

I like to think outside of the box, but there is no way in the world that I could have come up with something as clever as this.  Thanks to one of the most creative young ladies of the cyber world, I was able to bring this exciting recipe to you.  I made a few modifications given the supplies that were available at the time, but I must give credit where credit is due.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my version of the awesome No Sugar Cookie Dough Dip inspired by Chocolate-Covered Katie, the Healthy Dessert blog.


Chocolate Cookie Dough Dip with Almonds

(Adapted from: chocolatecoveredkatie.com )

1 1/2 cups chickpeas
heaping 1/8 tsp salt
tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond butter or nut butter of your choice
1 and 1/4 cups pitted dates
1-2 tsp unsweetened coco powder
2 tbsp coconut flour or oats
1/2 cup almond milk of choice plus more (depending on the consistency you want. I used a few tbsp.)

*Almonds or walnuts for garnish (optional)

*1/3 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Soak dates overnight or at least 8 hours in 1/2 cup of almond milk.  Place in the refrigerator to keep from spoiling.
  2. After dates are soaked, combine all ingredients, except almonds and chocolate chips, in food processor or blender.  Katie suggests using a food processor over blender.  I used a Vitamix and would recommend adjusting the power and adding more almond milk until desired consistency.
  3. After mixture is to your liking, pour into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips.  Top with more chocolate chips or nuts for garnish.
  4. Enjoy!

Enjoy this dip with:


Graham Cracks

Apple Slices

On top of pancakes

On top of frozen yogurt

Heck, just eat it by the spoonful……!


Sweet Potato Chickpea Balls

I love this recipe.  It’s like the healthier version of falafel, but baked.  I wish I could bottle of the smell coming from my kitchen while baking these things.  I would be a very wealthy woman indeed.  The great thing about this recipe is that it’s simple, quick, versatile, and healthy.  If you don’t want to make meatless meatball versions, you can always make sweet potato chickpea burgers instead.  See, I told you this recipe was versatile!  Let’s dig in!


Sweet Potato Chickpea Balls

Makes: 4 servings

(Recipe Adapted from: www.self.com )

1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas, cooked and drained

3 tablespoons tahini

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated

1 cup panko crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas if using canned version.  Toss all ingredients except grated sweet potato and panko crumbs into a blender or food processor.  Blend until ingredients form a paste.  Texture should be similar to cookie dough.  Feel free to leave some of mixture chunky depending on your preference.
  3. Pour mixture into a bowl and mix in sweet potato.
  4. Once mixture is combined, divide into 4 portions.
  5. Then divide each single portion into four small balls.  You will have 16 balls when done.
  6. Pour panko crumbs into small bowl and roll and press each chickpea ball in the crumbs being sure to coat each one evenly.
  7. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  If you don’t have either, lightly coat the pan with cooking spray or any oil you have on hand.
  8. Place each chickpea on the sheet, about one inch apart and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Turn baking sheet halfway through cooking time.
  9. Enjoy!

Toppings/Dip Suggestions:

Tzatziki sauce

Hummus (see my Cucumber Hummus recipe)

Serving Suggestions:

Top off a plate of spaghetti squash with these babies.

Have as a side dish

Serve as an appetizer

Stuff inside of whole grain pita/wrap with plenty of veggies and a healthy sauce.


Quinoa Chickpea Banana Pancakes

Wow, that title’s a mouth full! But what a mouth full of deliciousness it is.  If you’re looking for a way to get rid of extra garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or just want to try something new, then you’re in the right place.  I found this recipe on the back of a bag of quinoa flour, but made a few adjustments.  Feel free to do the same.  These pancakes are packed pull of protein, whole grains, and the right amount of sweetness.  Well, they’re not as sweet as you!


Quinoa Chickpea Banana Pancakes

Makes: 4 servings

(Recipe adapted from: http://www.mamatinas.com)

1/2 cup Quinoa Flour

1 cup 100% Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

2-3 ripe banana

2 tbsp sweetener (optional)

1 cup almond milk

1 whole egg

1 cup chickpeas, cooked and drained (rinse if using canned)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2-4 tsp coconut oil (use more if needed)

  1. Stir together all dry ingredients (quinoa flour, wheat flour, baking powder, protein powder, spices).
  2. Blend wet ingredients (bananas, sweetener, milk, egg, chickpeas) in blender or food processor until smooth.
  3. Add wet ingredients into dry mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Add vanilla extract last.
  5. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add 1-2 tsp coconut oil to pan.  Oil will melt quickly.
  6. Pour about 1/4 cup of mixture into pan.  Depending on size of pan, you may be able to fit 3-4 pancakes in pan at one time.
  7. Flip pancakes over after 2 minutes of cooking or until small bubbles appear.  Depending on the intensity of heat from your stove, you may have to flip sooner.
  8. Enjoy


  • If you’re not a fan of nut milks, feel free to use dairy milk.
  • Banana drive you crazy?  Use unsweetened applesauce to taste.
  • Use any of your favorite spices.
  • Vegan?  Skip the egg and use 1 tbsp of chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp of water.  Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes and you’ll be good to go.
  • If you’re using canned chickpeas, be sure to rinse them to get rid of the extra salt.
  • Use ripened bananas as sweetener instead of agave, white sugar, brown sugar, and other options.


  • Almond butter or any nut butter
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Preserves
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Syrup (if you just have to have it)
  • Banana Slices
  • Apple Slices
  • Berries
  • Dried Fruit
  • Nuts


Heeeere, Chickpeas, Chickpeas, Chickpeas!!!


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!


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.


Photos Courtesy of:



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


Health Magazine


Youtube Videos

How to Make Chickpeas


Cucumber Hummus Recipe


(Makes 2 1/2 cups)

Adaptation of Cosmic Cafe Recipe: http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/cityofate/2009/02/appetite_for_instruction_hummu.php


2 cups Garbanzo Beans (Cooked or canned), drained

1/4 cup Tahini

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 bunch of Cilantro

1/2 Cucumber, peeled and cubed

1-2 Garlic cloves or 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or pickle juice

Water or Broth (to make hummus thinner)

*Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.  Add water or broth to thin out based on your taste.

Use this recipe as a dip for vegetables or condiment on wraps and sandwiches.  Also feel free to adjust ingredients based on your preference.

Calories: 70 calories per 2 Tablespoons