Making Homemade Seitan for Vegan Month

November 30, 2017

Today is the final day of Vegan Month, so I decided to go out with a flourish: by making homemade seitan from scratch.

Now, please bear in mind that I have never eaten seitan. Or even seen it. It’s very difficult to make something when your brain has absolutely no idea what the thing should look like.

What is seitan?

It’s a vegan protein source often called “wheat meat”. It is made from vital wheat gluten (gluten is after all a protein – the protein in wheat, rye, barley and some other grains I can’t remember right now). Needless to say, seitan is not going to be good for coeliacs or Crohn’s sufferers.

But I have no reason to avoid gluten, so off I went to my local independent healthfood shop (holla Folkestone Whole Foods who were extremely helpful, and even high fived me!)

The recipe

I used the basic seitan recipe from Fit Pro Client Recipes (which also has various recipes for how to use your seitan once you’ve made it). But, me being me, I adapted it a bit. Oh, and totally forgot to add one ingredient (I found it under my jumper halfway through).

Here’s how the seitan happened.

Ingredients:

  • 140g wheat gluten
  • 5 “normal” spoons of nutritional yeast (meant to be 3 tbsp but I don’t own any tbsps)
  • 1.5 vegan stock cubes (recipe called for various amounts of “broth” but I just used stock cubes)
  • 2 “normal” spoons of olive oil (meant to be 1 tbsp)
  • 8 “normal” spoons of soy sauce
  • 8 “normal” spoons of lemon juice (meant to be 2 tbsp but I like lemon)
  •  2 garlic cloves (not very well chopped – I should have crushed them)
  • Various herbs and spices: paprika, black pepper, coriander.

Method:

  • Fill a pan about 6″ with water and add one of the stock cubes and 1/2 of the soy sauce. Set this boiling whilst you make the seitan. (This is the broth that the seitan will “steam” in to cook).
  • In a big bowl, mix the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, and spices/herbs.
  • In another bowl, mix the 1/2 stock cube with cold water, add the other half of the soy sauce, the garlic, the olive oil, and the lemon juice.
  • Pour the liquid into the dry mix and mix it about with a wooden spoon. It will clump together.
  • Then get in there with your hands and knead it. It gets really bouncy and weird. Knead for about 3 mins.
  • Cut the dough (are we calling it dough? We are now) into 3 with a sharp knife.
  • Take each piece in your palms and knead it a bit more, then form it into whatever shape you want. I went for “patties” but I guess you could make sausage type things?
  • Lower your seitan into the boiling broth, then reduce it to a simmer. Put a lid on the pan but leave a gap for the steam to get out.
  • Simmer the seitan for 45 mins, turning it occasionally. Then turn the heat off and let it sit in the broth for 10 more mins. Then take it out and put it on kitchen towel.
  • Then… use it!

This makes it sound a LOT more complicated than it is. It’s easy. It took me about 15 mins (plus the steaming time). It’s essentially: dry mix, wet mix, combine them, knead it, steam it.

Macros

I’ll be honest, I didn’t calculate it. Sorry. But seitan is obviously high in protein (the highest protein non-animal source?), and the only added fat in this recipe is from the olive oil.

The verdict?

Wowsers! I am seriously impressed (so was the dog, as you’ll see if you have a chance to watch my Insta story in the next few hours).

It looks like meat.
It slices like meat.
It has the texture of meat.
It’s chewy like meat.

It doesn’t taste like meat, but then again there is no single “meat” taste anyway, is there?

It tastes… hearty, and chewy, and of all the flavours you add to it. I guess you could make a more spicy version, or one with Thai/BBQ/Indian (etc) flavours to suit. You’d also use your seitan like meat – in a dish – so more chance to flavour it then too.

But honestly I just ate a couple of slices once it had cooled down, just like this. OK I’d just got home from the gym so I was hungry, but hand on heart I enjoyed it.

So – thank you to the people who challenged me to make seitan during Vegan Month! I’m really glad I did, and I will make it again.

Final Vegan Month round up post to come tomorrow. It’s been fun!

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.

Advertisements

Vegan Baking With Protein Pow’s Pea Cooking Mix

November 15, 2017

Banana & Cacao Nib Squares (Vegan – obvs – and Gluten Free)

I couldn’t let Vegan Month go by without attempting some baking. I used to bake “protein” things all the time: bars, cookies, muffins etc. But over the past few years of bodybuilding prep, I’ve got out of the habit (bored of it, I think!)

So my recipe-creating skills were a little rusty for inventing a vegan baking recipe!

Add to that the twin challenges of 1) no eggs allowed and 2) only the scrapings out of the bottom of the coconut oil tub remaining… and things were about to get interesting. (For “interesting”, read “probably dry and crumbly”).

However, I forged ahead with my zero eggs and probably-10g-if-that oil.

  • I knew I wanted to make a banana bread type creation
  • I knew I didn’t want it to be too sweet (just not my thing)
  • And I knew I wanted to use Protein Pow’s Pea Protein Cooking Mix as the base (because it’s awesome, and vegan, and does half the work for me!)

The Protein Pow “Pea Protein Pow Mix” is gluten free, vegan, and contains just five ingredients: pea protein powder, GF oats, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and vanilla beans. I’ve been using it during Vegan Month to make mug cakes, and as an addition to breakfast oats. But I was keen to bake with it, since that’s really its forte.

Here’s what I made: Vegan Pea Protein Banana & Cacao Nib Squares

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bananas (240g, FYI) – mashed
  • 25g ground flax mixed with water to make a “flax egg” (apparently that’s a thing)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 300g Protein Pow Pea Protein Cooking/Baking Mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 40g cacao nibs
  • 300ml almond milk (that much because the batter was really dry… !)
  • 10g coconut oil (the batter reeeeally needed more, but I had the end of a tub so I microwaved that and used what I could pour out) (then gave the empty tub to the dog)

Instructions:

  1. Make the flax “egg” by mixing the flax with water and leaving it aside
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl
  3. Combine the Protein Pow mix, cinnamon, and baking powder in a big bowl
  4. Mix the cacao nibs through the dry mix
  5. Mix the flax egg into the mashed banana
  6. Add the banana/flax to the dry mix and form a batter (add the milk as you go)

I used a silicone baking tray but you could use muffin cases or whatever you want. Pour the batter into whatever you’re using and bake for about 30 mins at 180*C. Let it cool in the tray then cut into 9 squares.

It looked a bit dry but kind of firmed up as it cooled. The squares held their shape just fine once I cut it into 9 portions.

The verdict? Tasty, actually surprisingly moist and un-crumbly, not too sweet, perfect for a snack with a coffee. The fibre is pretty high (oats, coconut flour, cacao nibs…) so I probably wouldn’t have one before training, but they’d be good for after. I made nine squares out of this recipe but they are pretty big (espresso-cup saucer below for scale… what do you mean you don’t have espresso cup saucers?) – you could definitely cut them into 12 (for fewer cals per bar) or leave out the cacao nibs (?) if you wanted.

Nutrition per 1/9 recipe:
Cals 202
Pro 13.4g
Carb 24.3g
Fat 6.8g

Have you baked or cooked anything with the Protein Pow Pea Mix? Let me know – I’ve got more here and am keen to experiment.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.


Vegan Food Prep (with help from Fitproclientrecipes)

November 11, 2017

One of the things I was looking forward to most about “going vegan for a month” was cooking 🙂 I enjoy cooking all the time, but I get stuck in a rut with my regular foods, and it’s been ages since I’ve tried anything new. This vegan experiment has forced me to get creative and rethink how I construct meals.

(Side note: I was Googling “Tempeh” earlier – as you do – and realised how difficult it is to find tempeh in supermarkets. Then I discovered that our local farmers’ market/food co-operative sells it! Locally made and fresh. I’ve ordered some and will collect it on Tuesday. Hit me up with your best tempeh ideas?!)

Back to my food prep…

My friends at FitPro Client Recipes (the online recipe database for PTs) gave me a free log in for the month. This amazing resource has around 2000 recipes at the time of writing, and almost 20% of them are vegan.

Look how easy it is to select food by diet type, food type, meal type or anything else a PT client might want to know! I narrowed it down to Vegan recipes and main meals.

For tonight’s food prep, I decided on a Split Pea and Cauliflower Curry (mainly because I had all the ingredients).

I altered it a bit, so I’ll give you my recipe rather than the FCPR one (I never was any good at following recipes to the letter!) Thanks FitPro Client Recipes for a ton of ideas.

This made 4 Nicola-sized servings.

Split Pea, Tofu, & Cauli Curry

Ingredients:

  • 20g oil
  • 400g tofu (I used the Cauldron brand) – pressed and chopped
  • 140g (dry weight) split peas (I used 1/2 green, 1/2 yellow mainly because I didn’t know if they taste the same)
  • Vegan stock
  • 400g cauliflower (chopped)
  • 200g tomatoes (chopped)
  • 100g red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1/2 green chilli (chopped)
  • Bit of lemon rind (sliced really thin) plus lemon juice
  • Bit of fresh ginger (chopped)
  • Coriander powder, black pepper, turmeric
  • Fresh coriander (chop the stalks, keep the leaves aside for later)

How to make it:

  • Cook the split peas in the stock (they will take about 40 mins)
  • Heat the oil in a heavy pan (one that has a lid)
  • Cook the garlic, coriander powder, black pepper, lemon rind, coriander stalks, and ginger for a minute or so
  • Add in the tofu and let it cook through (stir it a bit)
  • Add the tomatoes and red pepper and cook for a bit (put the lid on)
  • Add the cauliflower, stir it, put the lid on (cook for about 5 mins)
  • Put the split peas in (if there’s any stock liquid left, don’t drain it off just add it in too) and some lemon juice.
  • Stir, cover the pan, leave it for 5-10 mins.
  • Add the fresh coriander leaves, turn it off and ideally leave it to cool (it tastes even nicer once it’s been left for a bit).

Per (huge) serving
Cals 289
Pro 22
Carb 20
Fat 13

I made this earlier today and got home famished from a “road trip” gym visit. I was SO GLAD I’d made this! The house smelled great, and the food tasted amazing. It’s spicy and rich with a ton of flavour, but not too hot (green chilli instead of red).

Tomorrow I’m going to attempt to do some vegan baking. I’ve honestly no idea if it will work (without eggs) but if it does, I’ll post the recipe.

Let me know if you have a favourite vegan recipe so I can expand my repertoire!

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.


My Vegan Month: 1 Week In

November 5, 2017

It’s not quite one week in to “World Vegan Month”, but Sunday seems a good day for a round up.

In case you missed it, I’m “going vegan” for the month. I’ve gone into this with no preconceptions, no expectations, and no particular concerns. So these round up blog posts will simply be what’s on my mind, and what (if anything) has surprised me about being vegan so far.

How have I felt?

Surprisingly, no different to usual. Hunger and appetite are about the same. If anything, I feel less hungry – more balanced – than eating my usual foods. I don’t know if this is an increase in fibre, or food volume? I should point out that I haven’t done a complete 180* in my food choices here. I was already eating a “good diet”, of “mostly whole foods”, with almost everything prepped from scratch by my own hands. I already ate a lot of veg, quite a lot of pulses/lentils.

So what’s changed?

Well, obviously no meat, fish, or eggs. I didn’t eat much dairy anyway (for some reason it makes me a bit queasy these days). But of course there is a bit of dairy in things like sauces, chocolate, dressings etc.

Snacks and “quick grab” foods are more difficult

The few times I have felt hungry have been the times I’d typically grab a quick “something”. Doing that is much more difficult as a vegan, it turns out. Maybe not once you’ve got used to it, I suppose. But where I might make myself a quick protein mugcake (EGGS!), or some scrambled eggs (EGGS!), I’m now left opening and shutting the fridge door thinking: “hmmm”.  There are plenty of things I can snack on, of course. But at this stage in my vegan adventure, I can only think in meals. (Thank you to Bulk Powders who gifted me a box of their Chocolate Coconut vegan protein bars which have been my sweet treats!)

Protein is a little harder to hit

It’s not difficult to eat protein as a vegan – plenty of plant sources have decent protein (tofu, pulses, lentils) and of course there is trace protein in pretty much everything. But it’s more difficult to – say – bump up a meal by 20g protein. Because vegan protein is tied in to other macros. So I have been having more servings of protein powder than usual (thanks again to Bulk Powders for this vegan protein powder!)

You have to rethink “meal construction”

As an omnivore, you tend to think of your macros separately. “OK, for my carbs I’ll do potatoes…. I’ll have chicken with that for my protein, and if I need any fats in there I’ll put some butter on top.” Or whatever. A bit more creative than that, but you get the idea. You can’t do that with vegan foods, because (as mentioned), the macros are all attached. So I’ve been trying to find higher protein versions of “carb” foods – like these pasta shapes (made from lentil flour and green pea flour), so then I can just have a veggie sauce on top and the macros are pretty decent.

Food shopping is eye-opening

I did a late night dash to the supermarket on the 1st, because I realised I didn’t really have enough food in the house to create a vegan meal. It was eye-opening. I realised how people must feel when they first embark on a “healthy eating plan” for the first time. All of a sudden, entire sections of the shop are off limits or completely redundant. You have to scrutinise labels (who knew that not all Quorn products are in fact vegan? Not me!) The shop took ages (see “scrutinising food labels”) but by the end of it my trolley was pretty sparse.

Question of the week

What is creatine? I mean, what is it actually made from? Is it… vegan? (I hope so! If it isn’t, please let me down gently!)

Um… what else?

  • Gym performance is absolutely fine. I’ve had a wicked week’s training actually.
  • My guts are fine, thank you 😉
  • Sleep is fine/no different.
  • I haven’t craved/been hungry for/missed anything in particular.

Recipe

I will be using Fitproclientrecipes during the month, to try a whole load of new meals and snacks. I’ll report back.

For now, I will leave you with a recipe I’ve just made up on a whim. I call it Curried Cauliflower & Tofu, because that is what it is.

Ingredients:

  • 20ml oil
  • 400g raw cauliflower, chopped
  • 400g firm tofu, water pressed out
  • 200g tomatoes, chopped
  • Spinach (as much as you want, it will wilt away to nothing anyway)
  • 1 lemon (grate a bit of the rind, and squeeze all of the juice)
  • Garlic paste or fresh garlic
  • Fresh coriander
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili flakes or fresh chili
  • Ground black pepper
  • You could put more herbs/spices in if you have them – I don’t)

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a heavy pan (lidded one)
  • Put in the cubed tofu and all the herbs/spices apart from the fresh coriander
  • Let the tofu brown a bit (you won’t be able to tell, because turmeric makes everything yellow, including my fingers, my kitchen surfaces, and my utensils)
  • Add the lemon rind, tomatoes and cauliflower
  • Put the lid on the pan and let it cook away
  • Add the lemon juice & spinach, turn the heat down, and leave it.
  • Put the fresh coriander on top when it’s done

Macros per 1/4 of this recipe:

  • Cals 193
  • P 15
  • C 8
  • F 12

So. There’s my rather underwhelming update after 5 days as a vegan! Let me know if you have any questions (or suggestions).

I’ve got some interviews with real actual (as in permanent!) vegan athletes lined up, as well as more recipes, review of vegan protein products, and anything else that comes to mind! Requests are welcomed.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.


My Vegan Month: The Start

November 1, 2017

So, I’m “going vegan” for a month. This month, specifically.

Back in September, I got a press release informing me that November is World Vegan Month. “Hm,” I thought, as a fledgling idea popped into my brain.

Eat vegan for World Vegan Month.

And then – because I’d about it – I basically had to see it through. Because that’s how my brain works.

I’m going to post a lot about this during the month:

  • what I expect/hope to get out of it
  • my worries/doubts/concerns
  • any challenges I come up against
  • tips/recipes/brilliant ideas* I come up with (*if relevant)
  • what I learn from this experience
  • whether my macros have to change and/or how difficult it is to keep them the same
  • whether or not I’ll stay eating vegan afterwards

I’m also planning on interviewing a few vegan athletes, bodybuilders, and generally sporty people so you can get some really useful and substantial advice from people who are actually real vegans!

A quick note before we go on: no, I am not a vegan. I am doing this as a personal experiment. That doesn’t mean I think veganism is a joke. I will be taking this seriously during the month, avoiding any animal products, and eating/drinking only 100% vegan. I won’t be extending my temporary veganism to leather or anything like that. (I’m not planning on buying any shoes or handbags in November anyway tbh). I will not be getting into any discussions or debates about the ethical side of veganism. It’s beyond the scope of this blog series. Please trust that I am a decent person, I care about the environment, I love animals, and I won’t even kill a wasp 😉

Phew!

My initial thoughts as my first day of veganism comes to a close.

These are in no particular order; I’m really tired and want to get this post up.

  1. If you haven’t prepared for veganism, you won’t have much to eat. Obvious, perhaps, but I discovered this by lunchtime today. Breakfast was barely different to normal (my usual “protein porridge” but without the splash of liquid egg whites, and with a vegan blend protein powder instead of whey. I use this vegan protein powder from Bulk Powders – who kindly sent me it in support of this blog series. I will do a review another time). If you’re going vegan, go food shopping first, and cook up some beans and pulses!
  2. It is more of a challenge to eat protein (than on a non-vegan diet). This is because vegan proteins are all “connected” to other macros. So if you just ate chicken (say), that would be mostly protein with a tiny bit of fat. White fish would be basically pure protein. Egg whites are also pure protein. But there seem to be very few pure protein sources from plants. Most of them are also quite carby. This is fine, it just means you need to think a bit differently about meeting your macros.
  3. Food shopping is an eye opener. I dashed to Tesco after training tonight, because I had no vegan food ready for dinner. Shopping for vegan food really made me realise how people might feel when they first start “eating healthy”. You have to think hard about everything. Read labels. Compare things. My subsequent vegan shopping trips will be much faster, but this one took ages! And even things you assume are vegan – like Quorn – are not, unless specifically labelled as such. There were vast areas of Tesco that were totally irrelevant to me as a vegan shopper. Most of it, actually, apart from the fresh fruit and veg part.
  4. Thank god I really like vegetables, salad, and fruit.

Here are the questions I hope to answer by the end of this vegan month:

  • did I feel any healthier eating 100% vegan?
  • am I sleeping better?
  • has my body changed at all (composition and/or size?) I’ll be weighing myself and taking waist measurements
  • is my training performance affected at all (better/worse)?
  • do I feel hungrier?
  • how easy (or not) is it to hit my normal macros? and, if I can’t, how do I feel/perform/look on the new macros?
  • what kind of recipes/meals do I end up cooking, and will I keep any of them in my regular diet?
  • will I carry on with all or any of my vegan food choices after 30th November

Right, I’m going to bed!

I hope you’ll find this interesting. If you have any questions, or want me to focus on anything in particular, please leave a comment (or contact me on Facebook or Insta).

Also… if at any point you realise that I’ve totally screwed up and eaten something that’s not actually vegan, please for the love of God tell me gently. I don’t think I can take it! 😉

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.


4 Healthier Pancake Day recipes from top fitpros

February 17, 2015

Today I turn the blog over to the capable hands of four fab fitpros. They’ve whipped up a pancake recipe each – which will you use tonight for Pancake Day?

The truth is, pancakes can be enjoyed all year round so if you find this blog post at a later date, go ahead and take your pick from these healthy, delicious protein pancake recipes!

Thanks to Fitcetera, The Fit Mum Formula, Benjamin Tormey and Vikki Ede.

fitcetera pancake day recipe
Fitcetera’s Fuss-Free Protein Pancakes

Fitcetera is a health and fitness blog run by Georgina Spenceley, a full time business analyst, part time sports massage therapist and blogger. Running, CrossFit and Yoga are her weapons of choice, but she also enjoys trying new fitness concepts. She has a passion for stylish apparel, and sometimes geeks out with science and gadgets. Georgina believes in a balanced approach to nutrition – no fads, no elimination – just moderation and learning to give your body what it needs, when it needs it. Look out for her “Anti-Diet Approach” book and course in the near future.

“I love these protein pancakes as a weekend treat that also helps me get my protein intake up. I sometimes struggle to get in enough protein to fulfill my needs as a very active person, but I also have a real sweet tooth, so protein powder helps me supplement my food. This recipe is so easy to make, and feels indulgent every time.”

Ingredients
– 1 medium banana
– 2 whole eggs (or 1 egg and 3 tbsp egg whites)
– 1 scoop (70ml or 25g) of whey protein (I use MyProtein Impact Whey, or Impact Whey Deluxe – vanilla or chocolate are nice)
– 1/2 tsp coconut oil (not because it’s “metabolism-boosting” or a “superfood”; just because it stops the pancakes sticking!)

Method
– Mash the banana with a fork. Add to a jug with the egg and protein powder and mix well.
– Heat a small pan (for American style pancakes) or a large pan (for traditional thin) on a medium heat and add 1/3 of the oil until melted.
– Add 1/3 of the batter mixture and tilt the pan to coat. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface then flip with a spatula (or, if feeling nifty, by flicking the pan), and cook until browned.
– Repeat for the remaining mixture.
– Serve stacked on a plate with toppings of your choice (berries, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, maple syrup, etc.) or for traditional thin pancakes, roll them up with lemon and a sprinkle of sugar (or substitute).

ben tormey pancakes recipe
Ben Tormey’s Coconut Flour Protein Pancakes

Benjamin Tormey is an international fitness coach and trainer with a background in pure mathematics. He applies those mathematical skills to the science of training and nutrition: this allows him to get results quickly and efficiently, while fitting training and nutrition comfortably into clients’ lifestyles. Ben has previously coached clients for and written articles for PropaneFitness and Fitocracy, and contributed recipes to Anna Sward’s Protein Pow. Ben teaches people how to fit training and nutrition into their lifestyle in a sustainable way, and build good habits, to ensure long-term progress. He helps them understand why they should do things, not just how.

“These pancakes are perfect if you’re keeping carbohydrates low, but they aren’t terribly high in fat either, which means you can almost certainly fit them into your macros with room for extras.

I have experimented with loads of different protein pancake recipes and I always come back to this one. It’s simple, quick, and doesn’t require loads of esoteric ingredients. It actually tastes like you’re eating a real pancake, which is the most important thing!

You can play around with the ingredients, because the recipe is quite robust. You can use egg whites instead of a whole egg, or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, for example, and it’ll still work.

I like to serve them with dark chocolate pieces placed between each pancake in the stack. Or take an additional scoop of whey, mixed with a little water to form a sauce and drizzle that on top.”

Ingredients
– 1 scoop/25g whey protein (white chocolate and vanilla whey are excellent choices for this recipe, but pretty much any flavour will work)
– 4tbsp coconut flour
– 1 whole egg
– 2tbsp semi-skimmed milk
– Raspberries, blueberries, dark chocolate, nut butter to serve (optional)

Method
– Mix all the ingredients or blend until smooth
– Coat a non-stick pan with cooking spray (butter and coconut oil are fine too)
– Place the pan over a medium heat
– Form small pancakes using 2-3tbsp of the batter
– Cook until bubbles form on top and then flip, cooking for another minute, or more until golden.

vikki ede gluten free pancake recipe
Vikki Ede’s Gluten and Wheat Free Banana Pancakes

Vikki Ede is Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach at MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com. As well as running MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com, she holds workshops for a charity teaching schoolchildren about healthy eating. She runs cookery classes for the school kids and for the parents looking to learn the basics of feeding children healthier options. After going through peri-menopause in her 40s, Vikki set about learning how best to help this special-population. She understands the feelings and pain that can be associated with this stage of life and wants to help women get more from life, lose weight, increase energy levels and enjoy relationships more. MenopauseSurvivalPlan.com shows women how to prevent, minimise or cope naturally with the many varied symptoms.

“All my recipes (including this one!) are created around tasty ingredients which benefit and nurture the hormones and reduce the impact of menopausal symptoms.

This pancake recipe is gluten free and wheat free and includes soya which is known to help during the menopause. It’s super quick, easy and stress-free for busy women juggling a million things.”

Ingredients (for 2 pancakes)
– 1 large ripe banana
– 1 large organic egg
– 2 tbsp gluten & wheat free or almond flour
– 1 tbsp protein powder (I use Synerprotein but you could use organic soya instead)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp baking powder (GF)
– Coconut oil
– Maple syrup (optional)
– Fresh fruit of your choice

Method
– Put the first 7 ingredients into a Nutri-Bullet or blender and mix for 30 seconds.
– Heat a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and add 1 tbsp of oil.
– Once melted add about 2 tablespoons of the batter at a time to the pan for each pancake and cook until the bottom is set (1-3 minutes).
– Gently flip with a spatula and cook for a further minute.
– They need to be small and will be ‘floppier’ than pancakes which contain more flour.
– Serve immediately, topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup (optional).

the fit mum formula pancake day recipe
The Fit Mum Formula’s Flourless Ricotta Pancakes

Polly Hale is founder of The Fit Mum Formula, an online Fitness & Nutrition programme with all the resources you need to get in shape from the comfort of your own home. As a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor, and full-time Mum to six year old Aurora two year old Bella, Polly understands the need to feel healthy and energetic as well as confident about your body, but knows getting to the gym or following complicated regimes is just not an option for busy parents. Included in the BodyBack programme is an online cookbook with easy recipes that are all tried, tested and approved by her family.

“Avoiding gluten, whether by choice or for allergy reasons, doesn’t have to mean missing out, as this pancake recipe shows. Choose a protein powder that’s gluten free if you have an allergy or intolerance to it. Use whatever flavour powder takes your fancy – you could even skip the cinnamon and vanilla and use an unflavoured powder to make savoury pancakes; a little parmesan added to the mix would be delicious.”

Ingredients (makes 2 pancakes)
– 2 eggs
– 100g ricotta cheese
– 1 scoop (25-30g) protein powder
– 1 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– Pinch of salt
– Coconut oil, to grease the pan

Method
– Whisk all the ingredients together except the oil to make a smooth batter.
– Grease a frying pan lightly with coconut oil and heat to a high heat.
– In two batches, pour the pancake batter into the pan then turn the heat to low.
– After a couple of minutes (when the pancake starts to come loose and bubbles appear), flip it over.
– Fry for a further 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a plate and serving with fruit.

I’d love to know if you make any of these recipes! Let me know here or on FB or Twitter and I’ll pass your comments on to the fitpro behind the recipe 😀 I’m sure they’d love to know that their recipes are being enjoyed.

4 Healthier Pancake Day recipes from top fitpros is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Quest bars via Best Supps

March 15, 2014

Have you tried Quest bars? If you haven’t tried one yet I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’ve been big news in the USA for a while and have slowly made their way over here. One UK stockist – Best Supps – kindly sent me some to review.
quest bar free delivery uk
First of all, why is the fitness community going crazy for Quest?

Aside from the taste (more on that later!) the nutritional stats and ingredients are pretty fantastic for a “store bought” bar. Very few ingredients, no nasties, no chocolate coating. In short, they’re not one of those protein bars which are basically a chocolate bar in a hench wrapper. Quest bars are the real deal. High in protein and very low in carbs (most of the carbs are soluble fibre) – in fact most of the bars have around 3g net carbs, and they’re all from nuts.

Here’s what the various flavours contain:

Whey protein isolate (WPI) and milk protein isolate
Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO) (a plant-derived fibre)
Natural nut butters (peanut, almomd)
Peanuts, almonds, cashews
Sea salt
Lo han guo (a plant-derived sweetener)
Stevia, erythritol and sucralose

Sucralose is probably the “worst” thing on the ingredient list. Not too shabby!

Quest bars are famous for their flavours. Here are my top three:

Banana nut muffin
Amazing! Not too sweet, a true banana bread taste. Warm the Quest bar up in the oven for a few minutes and it’s even more authentic.

Chocolate brownie

The chunk-factor of this is amazing! I don’t quite know how they do it. Big, soft chunks of chocolateyness in a slightly chewy bar. Delicious.

Vanilla almond crunch
I was really surprised that I liked this one so much (more than the Cinnamon Roll or the various Peanut Butter flavours!) I thought it would be too mild and bland but actually it’s a lovely taste, subtle but so moreish. Not many chunks in this one (you want the brownie bar for that) but very soft.

I have to say that the bars I was sent are definitely softer and nicer to eat than the two Quest bars I’ve tried in the past (from elsewhere). It’s really noticeable. I asked Mike at Best Supps why this might be and he said: “We do turn them over quite fast, so they’re never on our shelves for long.”

Why buy Quest bars from Best Supps rather than anywhere else? Two good reasons that I can see: you can buy individual bars (rather than an entire box of one flavour) and delivery is free, even for one bar. So if you want to try a bar or a new flavour but you’re not sure about it (or if you don’t want the temptation of a dozen bars in the house!), it’s ideal.

One last thing: don’t just eat your Quest bars straight up. That would be wasting a ton of opportunities! Check out the official Quest youtube channel for some amazingly creative “15 second recipes”, or use my favourite method (it takes about 5 minutes):

– unwrap the bar, pop it in a warm oven for about 2 minutes til it soften
– roll it out thinly with a rolling pin or bash it with something to flatten it
– turn the oven up a bit
– slice the flat bar with a sharp knife into strips or squares
– you could add a berry or a smear of nut butter on each strip/square at this point
– put the bits back in the hot oven for 2-3 minutes
– leave them to cool slightly

Voila. Quest bar mini-cookies (or thumb-print cookies if you did the berry thing).

Yum Yum!

Thanks Best Supps – find them online here or at the Best Supps Facebook page or follow them on Twitter for offers and deals.

Fitness kit I’ve tested this week: Quest bars via Best Supps is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


%d bloggers like this: