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


  • 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)


  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.

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves

December 18, 2011

Hello! Well, isn’t this lovely? The weekend before Christmas and it’s all about decorating the tree, wrapping presents and baking. There’s even one of those marathon “best of” TV shows on. This one’s about musicals. So, I’m baking and bellowing. (My husband is out and the dog is feigning deafness).

At this time of year, people tend to bang on about the fact that it’s so difficult to eat healthily. Poor old Christmas. It’s not Christmas dinner which is the problem. It’s everything else around it! Christmas dinner, at its basic level, is great. Plenty of veg (probably more than most people usually eat), and turkey. What’s not to love? However, when we add in bread sauce (WTF?), sausage rolls and all the desserts and cakes, we can see where the potential problem lies.

So I was wondering if a lower-carb, lower-fat, higher-protein alternative could be made for any of those little extras, particularly the ones we don’t really like in the first place. I thought I’d start from the beginning, with Christmas Day breakfast or canapes (if you get up too late for breakfast), by inventing a replacement for bread, blini or crackers.

Today, I baked up some high-protein “bread” made with my GOOD Hemp (plain) hemp protein powder. It was so quick and easy. I think I only missed out on “Cats” and “Fiddler on the Roof” in the TV musical countdown.

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves

Gather your ingredients:
– one egg
– 200g egg whites
– 4g coconut flour (sounds like hardly any but a little goes a very long way with this stuff. Buy it from your local health food shop or Holland and Barrett)
– 20g quinoa flakes (I got them from our local health food shop, I suspect you can get them in the “weirdy’ section of the supermarket, too. You could probably leave them out, maybe add a little more coconut flour, or substitute for oats/oat flour)
– 30g GOOD Hemp natural hemp protein powder
– pepper
– baking soda

– Put everything in a blender. Blend it.
– Pour it into mini loaf pan (I have a silicone one, it’s great). Top tip: half fill, then go round again and top them all up, because the heavier ingredients will sink to the bottom of your blender whilst you’re pouring.
– Bake at about gas 6 for about 20 mins or until a knife comes out of the middle of a loaf clean
– Allow to cool on a rack
– Pop out of the silicone mould, slice, top with whatever you like: a sliver of organic butter, cream cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled egg or sliced hardboiled egg, tahini…. ?

I’m going to suggest to the husband that we have these as our Christmas breakfast with our eggs and salmon. They have a savoury, nutty taste and a light, spongey texture. You could, of course, bake the mixture in one large loaf tin and then slice the loaf up. I got 8 mini loaves out of this mixture.

Using hemp protein powder doesn’t just give these a lovely savoury taste. It packs the loaves full of omega 3 and all essential 10 amino acids, and (particularly alongside the coconut flour) lots of fibre, too. Oh, and they’re not too green! More of a brown colour, like brown bread. (Sorry for the rubbishy iPhone photos.)

Per loaf (if you get 8 from the mixture above) without toppings:

Enjoy! 🙂

For more protein powder-based bread recipes (including more using hemp), check out Anna’s blog Protein Pow(d)er – her recipes were my inspiration today.

Now, can anyone suggest a lower-carb alternative for devils on horseback? No? Me neither! 😉

Quick and easy hemp protein mini loaves 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. savoury protein powder reviews, guest blogger recipes

August 7, 2011

In my “what do you want to know” post, one of the options was to ask about recipes, and one (!) person did click that option. So, whoever you were, this is your lucky day. 😉 The rest of you – of which there are thousands I’m sure – can either look away now or read on if you’re interested in some high-protein, highly-creative, super-tasty eats.

This post is sort of a review of the savoury protein powders you can get from A long time ago, they sent me some of their goat’s whey to sample (the review is here) and, since then, they’ve kindly sent me some pea protein too. Thank you,, I do appreciate your support.

I love to experiment in the kitchen as part of my contest prep. Yes, I eat a lot of grilled chicken, steamed, raw or roasted veg, omelettes and stir fries when I’m in a time-pinch. However, I also love little more than pottering in the kitchen to come up with prep-worthy versions of “normal” foods (and typically I’ll honestly rather have my versions than the real thing). It’s so satisfying to experiment with ingredients and come up with something delicious and healthy.

Most protein powders are sweet – wheys and caseins. But you can get savoury protein powders – hemp, pea, brown rice and goat’s whey amongst them. This post is a collection of recipes giving you some idea of how to use them. I’ve asked a couple of notable health and fitness bloggers to join me. (Hint: theirs are the recipes with the really great-looking photos 😉 )

First of all, here are the powders we’ll be using:

Goat’s whey
I love goat’s whey. It’s unflavoured but does taste mildly cheesy, like goat’s cheese really. Funny, that! So if you like goat’s cheese – which I do – try it! I use it for savoury dishes like pancakes and breads (see below) but also make it into a thin sauce with water to drizzle over poached eggs and grilled asparagus. Delish! It’s quite sticky but doesn’t seem to weigh baked goods down, in fact they puff up quite spectacularly. I’ve tried my recipe (below) with pea and hemp and it doesn’t turn out remotely the same. Goat’s whey is the only savoury powder I’ve tried which creates a bun puffy enough to slice.

Pea protein
Great for sweet or savoury baking, smoothies, or mashing into veg. I love pea protein! It’s lighter than hemp (in weight) and tastes quite sweet although it is definitely a savoury whey. It doesn’t taste like peas. Like hemp, it’s a great choice for vegans or anyone avoiding lactose. It’s particularly high in BCAAs and arginine.

Hemp protein
None of the recipes here actually use this but it’s well worth a try – great taste (nutty and earthy), quite heavy so useful for baking (I often make a pancake-type thing with hemp and top it with sauteed veggies for a kind of pizza, or make it into a wrap). Great nutritional stats too because of the hemp – high in good-for-you fats (omega 3 & 6), essential amino acids (all 10 of them) and other goodies like GLA. A really great choice of protein powder.

On to the recipes!

First up is Anna from Protein Pow(d)er, a fun blog and Facebook page. Anna is incredible inventive with her protein powder recipes. I have many, many, many of them bookmarked to make some time. Do check out her blog and Facebook page. Here’s the recipe she sent me. Let me know if you try it.

High Protein Caraway Tahini Bread

160g liquid egg whites (also available from
37g pea protein
17g brown rice protein
10g coconut flour (another awesome ingredient which I’ll probably blog about soon!)
30g tahini paste
sea salt
baking powder
caraway seeds
coconut milk (enough to bind)

– Blend the ingredients together
– Bake at 160 degrees for around 25-35 minutes

Nutritional info
Entire loaf (9 slices)=
70g protein
11g carbs (5.4g are fiber)
21g fat

Anna says:

“I love making breads out of pea protein and brown rice protein. I find they make fantastic flour replacements and have the added advantage of giving you a super protein kick. Protein breads made with vegetable protein powders are a lot thicker, denser and heavier than regular bread. This is why I find that soaking them in olive oil or topping them with almond butter works wonders. This particular recipe is one of my favorites because it involves caraway seeds: caraway seed bread + extra virgin olive oil + eggs = mmmmm!”

Thanks Anna! Loving your work! 😉

Next up is my coach Kat who has lots of great recipes on her site (ideal for anyone in contest prep or wanting to eat more healthily) and on her nutrition Facebook page. Check both out and follow her on Facebook!

Healthy carrot cake

This makes 16 slices.


1 cup fine rolled oats or sifted oat or buckwheat flour 

1 scoop (about 30g) vanilla whey protein powder
1 scoop (about 30g) pea flour protein powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp stevia powder (non-bitter) or ½ tsp vanilla liquiflav

50g walnut pieces
1 medium/large carrot (approx. 230g)

8 large/250ml egg whites

100g quark

Olive oil spray

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees / gas mark 4.
– Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
– Peel carrot, chop/grate and blend with egg whites and quark in a jug blender.
– Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until well combined.
– Spray olive oil around the edges of a shallow non-stick cake pan and pour batter in evenly.
– Top with extra walnut pieces if you like.
– Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

– Let it sit for 15 minutes or so then turn onto a wire rack.
– Allow to cool before cutting into 16 slices.

Nutritional info (per slice)
6.1g protein
5.7g fat

Kat says:

“If you love carrot cake but are avoiding because you’re watching your weight or you just want a healthier cake, this is a great alternative to the high fat, high sugar versions. I love cooking with protein powders and using pea flour protein is a great change from whey. I use a variety of powders to give the taste buds and the body a change and help prevent intolerances. With the huge range of powders available, I can keep my gluten intake almost zero, which makes me feel better – and I still get to do two of my favourite things – cook healthy food and eat it!”

Thanks Kat! Let me know if you try Kat’s cake.

OK, here’s my offering. Rubbish photos, tasty breakfast! I had this just this morning. It doesn’t have a fancy name, but it’s what I like to call (much to Kat’s amusement)…

Big Bun

For the bun:
150g egg whites
30g goat’s whey
pinch baking powder

For the filling:
5g (?) coconut oil
Veggies of your choice, chopped finely (I used shallots, courgette/zucchini, cherry tomatoes, chestnut mushrooms. I would have used spinach too if I had any)

Poached egg (my choice this morning)
Cheese or cheese substitute (nutritional yeast)

– Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan
– Sautee your veggies
– Remove from the pan and set aside
– Blend egg whites and goat’s whey in blender
– Add baking powder
– Add the mixture to the pan you did the veggies in
– Cook on a high heat until the edges are cooked, then put under the grill – but leave lots of room as it will puff up and you don’t want to have to remove the batter from the top of the grill (…I’d imagine…)
– Poach your egg
– Once the Big Bun is brown on the top, remove it from the pan and slice in half just like you would a bread roll
– Put your veggies, egg, cheese or whatever else you’re using inside
– Feast!

I’m hungry again now! What’s for lunch?

Do you cook or bake with savoury protein powders? Are you going to try any of these recipes? Do the words “Big” and “Bun” (when said together) make you laugh? savoury protein powder reviews, guest blogger recipes 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.

A bodybuilder’s birthday

July 10, 2011

Well, I made it to 34! And what a lovely day it was yesterday.

I started the day with breakfast in bed brought to me by my lovely husband. And present-opening, of course!

Then I went to the gym (someone said yesterday “oh, well, happy birthday for tomorrow: I guess you’ll have a day off training then?” – erm, no, training is my time, my treat, my passion. A day off on my birthday is the last thing I’d do!) It was chest/shoulder day, and this is what I did after a warm up:

Press ups and dips
Flat barbell presses (Olympic bar+ 22.5kgs, 22.5kgs, 20kgs)
Incline dumbbell presses (with 18kgs)
Incline flys (with 16kgs)
Clean and presses (Olympic bar +10kgs) superset with dumbbell shoulder presses (with 12kgs)
Weighted abs work

Wish I had a spotter for chest day!

(At least I think that’s all I did, I can’t find my notebook. I think I might have left it at the gym so I’ll edit this post if that list is incomplete).

Then I came home and ate some birthday cake: bodybuilder-birthday cake that is. I would give you the recipe but quite honestly it didn’t turn out at all well. 😦 However, most of my adapted baking recipes do, and I’m going to do a baking post very soon (with a discount code for which is where I get my savoury/unflavoured protein powders from).

Then my best mate came to see me – the one whose hen-party I went to just a couple of weeks out from my comp. She’s not sporty but she’s amazingly supportive. In fact, two nights before my comp, she Skyped me so I could practice posing via video link and try out my routine on her. 😀 She’d brought me a loaf/cake too, made from one of my coach’s recipes (you can see it here – date and walnut cake). Love you, Wendy!

Today marks exactly 10 weeks out (including peak week… so some people might say nine weeks out) from the BNBF Finals. In 70 days time I’ll be awake and applying that final coat of tan… I’m looking forward to each one of those days and I’m going to squeeze every minute from them as I continue my prep.

And with that, I’m off to the gym – leg day! 😀

Do I share a birthday with any of my readers? Do you bake yourself birthday cakes? Aaaaand… where’s my card?!

A bodybuilder’s birthday 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.

A lesson in self-control (baking for others)

April 29, 2011

So, as my competition draws closer, I’ve started to cut the amount of carbs I eat (typically putting them at breakfast, and before and after training). I’m also ‘cycling’ my carbs: rather than taking in the same amount every day (regardless of the amount of training I do, which makes no sense to me), I take in more on heavy lifting days (or days when I lift and also do intervals), and fewer on rest or active recovery days.

It just so happens that today was a pretty low carb day. Not a problem (I actually prefer eating more protein than carbs): veggie/egg/salsa scramble for breakfast, baked oatmeal with berries after a short bike ride, cottage cheese with berries and nuts later on, big veg stir-fry and a salmon steak for dinner, and whey protein “icecream” for pud.

However, here’s the thing. The title of this blog post comes from the fact that I baked this afternoon. Not for myself. Nope, I made good on my promise to bake for my husband and his training partner Richard (of Richard’s TransRockies). As his blog’s name suggests, the two of them are currently training for the TransRockies mountain bike event, a stage race set over seven days and nights, in the Canadian Rockies.

These guys need their carbs. In fact they need all the ones I don’t eat, too.

So when I said I’d bake for them, I meant I’d be baking carbs, carbs and more carbs. I basically walked around the kitchen, looking in cupboards for all the things I don’t eat, and mixed those things in a bowl. The aim was to make a more savoury energy bar, as Richard gets sick of super-sweet stuff to eat on the bike. So, into my bowl went:

– oats
– brown rice flour
– salted pretzels
– broken-up rice cakes
– honey-roasted peanuts
– peanut butter
– date syrup
– blackstrap molasses

and…er..possibly something else, I can’t remember (If I’d known I was going to be blogging about this I would have written the ‘recipe’ down).

Did I sample a sneaky spoonful? Taste-test the batch? Nobble a nibble? Not me! My eye’s on the prize and eating like an endurance mountain biker won’t get me there. Not this year, anyway. Come back next year and, if I’m back doing triathlons and long-distance open-water swimming, it’ll be a different matter 😉

What do the bars taste like? Dunno, I couldn’t say. 😉 My husband sampled a square and said “you have to blog about these!”. Then he had another and confirmed they are “definitely blog-worthy!” (so you have him to blame for this post). Hopefully Richard will give me his review when he’s tasted them, too.

What about me? Well, I’m home alone this weekend whilst the chaps (fuelled by pretzel-peanut energy squares) ride the Dyfi Enduro. So….shall I bake Jamie Eason’s carrot cake protein bars, her cinnamon swirl protein bread, or my coach Kat’s swede cake (yes, really – it’s great – even my husband liked it and he’s very much a ‘traditional baked goods’ kind of a man)?

Can you bake for others without sneaking a bite? Do you prefer more savoury or sweet energy foods? Do you have a favourite low(er) carb, high(er) protein baking recipe for me to try? 😀

PS Frankie says thank you for all your questions – he’ll answer them this weekend. There’s still time to ask him that burning question you’ve been wanting to get off your chest. Just leave a comment on this post.

A lesson in self-control (baking for others) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

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