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One of my favorite smoothie recipes consists of carob powder, nut butter (usually almond), a splash of organic apple juice, nut milk, and a frozen banana.  As I’m conforming more and more to the McDougall diet, I’m looking for substitutions, especially for nut butters.  Enter protein powder.

I hate protein powder.  Soy powder tops that list.  I’ve always found protein powder leaves an after taste that’s…well…disgusting and soy powder is nastier than all the others.  Disliking it as I do, what are my options?  Whey powder seems to be the biggest seller but, as a vegan, it’s not an option.  What is a vegan girl to do?  Enter, Vitacost!

I shop a great deal at Vitacost.  The prices are usually reduced by 33% off retail, there are sales going on all the time, and I get coupons in my e-mail.  For shelf-stable foods, I recommend Vitacost.  I can’t say enough good things about the online store and as a bonus, I’m not subjected to someone else’s taste in music as I shop.  Good ole Vitacost was having a sale on Vitacost brand products and one such item happened to be protein powder: soy free protein powder, thank you very much.

No Soy!

No Soy!

 

The item description states one scoop contains 20 grams of protein and, as the powder is vanilla flavored, I decided to give it a try.  My game family agreed to be test subjects so I hauled out the Ninja and began building a smoothie.  I started with vanilla rice milk and added three scoops of the protein powder, six TBSP of carob powder, and three frozen bananas.  I dropped approximately 2 cups of ice cubes into the blender jar and, in minutes, had a thick, dark chocolate smoothie.

Everything tastes better with chocolate (or carob)

Everything tastes better with chocolate (or carob)

How did it taste?  It was awesome despite being a little on the sweet side.  The protein powder left no after taste and all three of us said we felt an energy lift within minutes.  My family trucked out to get my Mother’s glasses and I have to say I had a successful day; a nice surprise since all I wanted to do was curl up and sleep.  The energy benefit had to be due to something besides the carbohydrate and/or sugar content because it stayed with me for hours.  I never experienced the crash that comes from sugar consumption and I wasn’t hungry until dinner time five hours later.  I think the sweetness was because of the rice milk.  I also thought the rice milk too thin.  I prefer the creamy texture of almond or coconut milk.  Blue Diamond makes an unsweetened almond/coconut blend that is my current favorite.  So, the next time I make this I’ll leave out the rice milk and, perhaps, two TBSP carob powder per person is a little excessive.  Although, the carob powder did make for a delightfully rich smoothie.  I declare my experiment a success and claim I am now a devotee of the plant protein powder.  Thanks, Vitacost!

For those that like to drink their breakfast-or lunch, in this case

For those that like to drink their breakfast-or lunch, in this case