I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of protein powder. I know there is a time and a place….however, I would rather get my protein from a more “natural/realistic source”; meaning, I’d rather eat something I can grow or harvest then something processed in a factory, no matter how “healthy” it is.
With that being said; there is a time and a place and this is one of those instances! I have been watching social media and the latest athletic food trends…vegan protein are all the rage…and I have to admit..I’m glad! I am a big advocate of plant-based protein because it is a more sustainable product and seems to appease more of those latest diet trends out there rather then just “carnivores”.
I saw that Target was selling Vega protein powder and made an impulse purchase.
My first attempt at using it was in a smoothie….the texture was grainy and protein-powder like in flavor, (not bad, but not a hit with the toddler crowd).
My second attempt happened when I was mulling around in my mind trying to think of quick, easy, and Bodhi friendly breakfast choices rather then his latest favorite, (Luna protein bars…don’t judge…he is a picky eater and I’ll take what I can get!). Going along the same lines of plant-based protein, but cutting out the soy…I decided that I would make some sun butter muffins and sub some of the gluten-free flour for the Vega protein powder.
My inspiration came from this recipe book! Pascal has the original recipe in a cupcake form, but I subbed some sugars out as well as some other substitutions and made them breakfast worthy.
The end product was a hit! Another way to enjoy protein powder! Bodhi ate 5 of them today alone!
The great thing about these muffins is that there is so much healthy goodness, but they also taste really good!
These muffins contain:
Sun Butter: It is a great source of plant-based protein; so even if you didn’t use protein powder you would be getting a good dose of it with sun butter alone. Sun butter’s nutritional profile includes the water-soluble B-complex vitamins and vitamin C along with fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E along with vitamin K. Sunflower seeds supply minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium (http://www.livestrong.com/article/433344-sunflower-seed-butter-health-benefits/).
Golden Flax Seed: For being so tiny, flax offers a lot of healthful benefits. Golden flaxseed meal helps fight inflammation with it’s source of ALA, (an essential fatty acid). Flaxseed has also been used to help support a woman’s cycle. I have found, personally, when incorporating flax at certain times in my cycle…I have seen improved symptoms during times when I wasn’t ovulating effectively or having less then fun periods.
Coconut Palm Sugar: It contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin, and antioxidants. You’ll also find the B vitamin inositol, often used as a mood booster (http://www.livestrong.com/article/367337-what-are-the-benefits-of-coconut-sugar/). It certainly isn’t a “super food”, however, I feel better using it rather then white sugar and I like the taste better…it’s caramel-like and reminds me of brown-sugar.
I think the biggest reason I love coconut palm sugar is the fact that it is a more earth friendly option.
“The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization named coconut palm sugar the most sustainable sweetener in the world in 2014. The trees use minimal amounts of water and fuel, especially compared to sugar cane production, and produce for about 20 years. It has no artificial ingredients and is not chemically altered in any way.” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/367337-what-are-the-benefits-of-coconut-sugar/)
Vega Protein Powder: I am in love with the fact that the protein sources are pea, pumpkin, alfalfa, and sunflower seed sources. Brown rice protein has been a traditional/popular plant-based protein source for a while, but with the recent information out there of it’s arsenic content…I try to moderate our intake.
Vega protein powder also contains other great nutrients that help combat inflammation and are great for gut health, (glutamine!).
Without further ado…the recipe!
- 1/2 C. + 2 T. unsweetened coconut milk (carrageenan free)
- 2 t. cider vinegar
- 1/2 C. creamy SunButter
- 1/3 C. unsweetened, organic apple sauce
- 2/3 C. organic palm sugar
- 1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
- 1 T. golden flaxseed meal ground mixed with 3 T. hot water (egg substitute)
- 3. Scoops Vega Pure Protein, Vanilla flavored protein powder
- 1/2 C. gluten free flour, (I used Bob's Redmill)
- 1 t. dbl. acting baking powder
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/4 t. salt
- Preheat oven to 350
- Line muffin pan with 12 muffin cups
- Combine coconut milk and cider vinegar together and set aside, (this will act like buttermilk...it will also keep the muffins from turning green; sunbutter has chlorophyl in it that turns green when added to baking soda)
- Combine applesauce, palm sugar, vanilla, and sunbutter in mixer on medium speed until combined and creamy (about 2 min.)
- In a separate bowl whisk together protein powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Sift flour mixture into sunbutter mixture in three batches, alternating with coconut milk mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture. Mix until well combined (don't over mix)
- Fill liners half full
- Blake in center of oven for 22 minutes, rotating pan half way
- Mine didn't take the full 22 minutes...so watch carefully
- Cool and enjoy!