Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How Green is Your Protein?

It's March so that means you will all get bombarded with recipes, facts and fun about St. Patrick's Day. We have all seen the typical green menu items and it's all really fun in the name of a holiday. But what about those of us who just want to change it up a little bit? Maybe test the food limits a little but still have some fun in the kitchen while we show our true (green) colors? Of course, me being a Kitchen Geek, I am here to try to help as always.

When Green Means Protein Yes, I am pushing the protein thing again (Yay, Team Protein! Optimal brain function!). I can't help it- you all know I always tell you protein is needed so why not sneak it into our lives whenever we can? Well, at first we will sneak but then we will like and THEN we will just eat it. It's a pattern and I'm totally going to get you into it. Just wait- you'll see. My newest find and yummy sampling that will leave you green with envy (green, see?!)- the pistachio milks that I received from Elmhurst Harvest. I can tell you that I had never seen or heard about pistachio milk and how is that possible, exactly? I mean, part of what I do is to tell people about dairy free alternatives so why was I not informed earlier?! Bygones- they are here now so all is good. I bet the next thing you're wondering is what these taste like. I was more than happy to taste-test for all of you.

  • Vanilla A hint of vanilla but by no means too much of a pistachio or vanilla taste. It reminded me of vanilla milk but less sweet and a tad thicker.
  •  Original More of a pistachio taste (like if you were eating a few) but still not overbearing on the sweetness or nut taste.
  • Unsweetened I thought this one would be bland but nope- still just as good and equal on the not too sweet and not too pistachio chart.
I have to say that I was skeptical opening these because although I recommend products every day, I am the worst about trying new things to a certain extent. To my delight, all of these milks were just as creamy as dairy-based milk, they were smooth enough to drink alone or add into coffee or cereal and no funky aftertastes. NutriHubby even helped himself for his workout shakes. 

Dessert & Beyond I wanted to share a recipe that would be not only easy, green, protein-packed but also something that could be eaten anytime of the day. Sometimes we need to have dessert for breakfast and this recipe allows us to do it without feeling so much guilt. I updated my original recipe for Quinoa Pudding by swapping out the almond-coconut milk with Elmhurst Harvest Vanilla pistachio milk. It worked just as well and it's always better to use a wide range of proteins if you can. The best part was the Pistachio Sauce that I made to top it off!

Click for the Recipe
Pistachio Sauce
1/3 Cup Elmhurst Harvest Original Pistachio milk
1 Tablespoon raw honey
1/4 Cup Original Banana Water
1/2 of an avocado
1/2 Teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 Teaspoon sea salt
1/4 Cup So Delicious Coco Whip (thawed)

Prep Time:        6 Minutes
No Bake Time:  2 Minutes

Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend for 2 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container.

This recipe is not only great for the Quinoa Pudding recipe! Open up your mind and think about all of the foods and recipes you can use it with- granola, dairy free yogurt, frozen treats, cake- basically any place you could use something for your sweet tooth without worrying about so much extra sugar. Between the benefits of the pistachio and the Banana Water, you are (almost) eating sinfully well. Plus, it's that weird green color so some people may turn their nose up in disgust which leaves you even more to eat for yourself.

Green May (Not) Mean Go Just a gentle reminder that everyone's food allergies and intolerances are different. I highly recommend that you read product labels and double-check on the website to get all of the facts to keep you safe and as close to reaction free as possible. Elmhurst Harvest does produce other non dairy nut milks (which are delicious but may not be safe for your specific allergies). If you are able to try out their line of pistachio milks, I definitely recommend them. I am picky about dairy free milks (I don't like anything too watery, too bland) so these were a welcome treat.

Many thanks to the folks at Elmhurst Harvest for asking me for my thoughts, I appreciate being asked.

Now let's get cooking!

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