As a vegetarian, I’ve had an interest in protein for a long time. There’s lots of conflicting information about the healthiness of vegetarian diets, with some people arguing that it’s not possible to get enough protein from plant sources. I disagree with this, but as a very active person who is trying to lose weight, it is preferable for me to increase the amount of protein in my diet, so that I’m relying less on carbs to curb my hunger. Protein is also good for building muscle, and with the cross-training sessions that I’ve been doing, that’s definitely something that I need help with!
The lovely people at myprotein.com recently sent me some protein pancake mix and some Spirulina powder to try.
I’ve tried protein powder before, but have only used it in a smoothie or porridge. I’m not a great baker, but I love pancakes, so I was excited to try the protein pancake mix.
On Sunday morning, I went out for a training run withe the Marafun people. I ran up to the meeting point, and then we went out for a 10.5km run. The group I was in was being led by Rob, a coach from my running club, and Pete a Run Leader from my running club. They’re both lovely guys and experienced runners. Rob is a firm believer in Maffetone training for endurance sports – this is aerobic training (low heart rate). Unfortunately, it’s a tough kind of training to start off with as it involves lots of slow running initially. My husband is trying it at the moment – I hope it works out as well for him as it has done for his friends.
It was cold and wet when we were out running… and I felt even colder after we had stopped for a chat at the end. Fortunately, we had a short run to get home and help me to warm up again. Overall, I ran just over 15km, with most of it at quite a fast pace… which meant that I felt I deserved a treat. Maple protein pancakes were on the menu.
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the packet was to open and even more surprised by the heavenly aroma that greeted me. I had expected it to have a synthetic smell; instead, it smelt exactly like a jar of maple syrup – delicious.
The next step in the process was to weigh out the powder and mix it with milk or water – I decided to go for a combination of milk and water. A true chef would have weighed out the powder and then slowly added the liquid whilst stirring to form a smooth paste… but I’m not a true chef, so I weighed out the protein powder in my measure jug and then topped it up with the liquid. It was a bit lumpy and took a bit of whisking to smooth out the lumps – oops! I think it would also have been possible to mix it in a smoothie shaker, but I don’t have one.
I heated some oil in my omelette pan and added the mixture. It smelt so good that I was desperate for it to be ready. It was looking great until I tried to turn it over… my culinary skills let me down, so it didn’t quite go as planned.
At this stage, I must point out that this is what always happens to my pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. I have never fried a perfect pancake first time, but I usually get it right before I run out of batter! I also believe in the authenticity of my blogging – this is my real life, it’s not just someone’s beautifully staged instagram account – so I thought I should share these images with you.
I dished up the pancake anyway, as I was desperate to try it. It tasted a thousand times better than it looks. I had thought that it might not taste as good as it smelled, but it was much better. I thought it might need some additional maple syrup, but it was perfect as it was.
Fortunately, there was more batter left, so I was able to make some more pancakes, which turned out much better:
I made up the mixture as described on the packet and was able to make 4 large pancakes. They all tasted really good, even if they didn’t all look perfect.
So, next up is the Spirulina… I’d love to hear whether you’ve tried it before and what your recommendations are. I’m hoping to be able to make some delicious smoothies for after training.
If you’d like to try some myprotein.com products, there are some discount codes available here: http://www.myprotein.com/voucher-codes.list