GM, Paleo, South Beach, Blood type, Keto or any other. What diet are you on?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by so many diet routines making the rounds? And even more overwhelmed and confused by the different opinions about these diets. Some swear by these routines and some call them a fad. Being totally honest with you, through my 35 kilos of weight loss journey, I was never able to follow any of these diets for more than 2 days.
Early on in my 12 years fitness journey I realized that there is no formula for fitness that works for everyone. Mostly, I worked with simple goals guided by my body intuitions and eating preferences.
I always created a nutrition regime around my preferred foods, habits, schedule and requirements. However, I do bilieve in some logical nutrition concepts like “right protein intake”. Unfortunately, in early years of my weight loss I have overlooked this due to lack of knowledge. In more recent years, I have realized the importance of a high protein intake, primarily through my deep-dives into nutrition based cooking and observing my physical capacity during weight training.
Especially being a vegetarian, managing a high protein intake is a challenge that needs continuous effort and trust me it is not easy to find whole protein foods in a vegetarian world.
The protein challenge for vegetarians is two-fold. Firstly, even the highest protein composed veggies cannot help you accomplish a high per day protein goal. Secondly, most other protein rich foods like pulses, grains, dairy etc. also come with double or triple Carbs or Fats (than protein).
Personally, I aim to take a minimum of 100 grams protein each day, and my best attempt is to take it up to 150 grams. This includes some of the richest veggie protein foods like Tofu, Lentils, beans, Cheese, Greek Yogurt, Sprouts, Green veggies etc. However, as mentioned before its nearly impossible to reach the daily goal without adding some protein supplement.
Over a period of time I have realized several benefits of using protein powders. For example, it is a great filler at mid-meal time, boosts my energy and I can easily use this as a sugar substitute in my chia or oatmeal bowls, or in my smoothies. It even inspires me to be a healthy baker!
Also, this adds another cooking challenge to my life, i.e. to innovate recipes with protein powder. My favorite zone so far is to create smoothies, power bowls, ice-creams or cakes with the protein powder, as it greatly helps me to curb the sweet cravings and consume energetic mid-meals. Let me share my most favorite protein recipe here!
Banana & almond protein bread is my best baking experiment with protein supplement till date. This protein bread can be your best friend if you are practicing a protein heavy nutrition diet and of course if you are a banana lover ; )
So, why is Banana Almond Protein bread a super snack?
1 – Packed with proteins – Over 40% bread composition is pure protein
2 – Guilt free – Sweetened with banana & protein powder, not sugar!
3 – Dodges the grease – Tat bit of butter & sticky bananas do the trick
4 – High on fiber – Loaded with chia, oats, bananas, nuts
5 – Baked with healthy flours – No all-purpose flour, just oats, almonds & protein
BUT (and a big one).
Baking a cake with protein powder is a tricky job. Why? Well there are 3 main reasons. Its sticky, makes your baking dry and can have a bit of odor! Don’t worry, I can help you tackle these 3 problems : )
Let us talk about the protein powder stickiness first. The protein powder has the tendency of being very sticky, however this is not your biggest problem compared to the other 2. Usually, stickiness bothers you at 2 stages. Firstly, when you are preparing the batter. For this arm yourself with a sharp sweep spatula. Secondly, it bothers when you have to pull the cake out of the bake tin. For this you can either use a baking sheet in your tin or use a tin with a movable bottom plate. Get these 2 equipments and you are sorted with the stickiness problem
Now, the second problem of ending up with a dry cake. This one needs attention, as this clearly disturbs your taste. To manage the dryness, you must use the right proportion of flour and protein powder. This means, you may have to experiment a bit to understand the right amount of protein powder that works for your cake recipe and suits your taste. Ideally, a protein and flour ratio of 1:2 works fine for most cake recipes. However, you may prefer to increase or decrease it depending on the powder you are using and of course as per your liking. In case you want to increase the protein content then you must offset the dryness that it will cause with another ingredient like a little more banana or butter or a healthy nut oil. My final suggestion is to make your first baking attempt with 1/3 of protein powder (of overall flour), as instructed in the recipe. Later you can try to adjust the ingredients to achieve a mix that works best for you.
Lastly, the protein odor, this an equally big a problem but there are a lot of options to fuzz this off. Thankfully there are a lot of spices and essences in this world. For this recipe I am using loads of vanilla essence, cinnamon and even the sweet smell of banana is a total savior. But you can find many more for your taste palate.
So, with that you are all wise and armored to bake this healthy cake.