It’s now official, and I’m totally assuming my decision: my beloved Whey Protein Powder, which I had completely abandoned since switching to Paleo, has now been formally reintroduced into my life and is now a complete part of my regular diet.
As such, you will probably see more and more recipes on here that call for it, like this High Protein Apple Pecan Bread, for instance.
I mean after all, shakes are great, but it’s fun to changes things up a little from time to time, and Whey Protein happens to be a super versatile ingredient that can easily be added to all kinds of dishes and baked goods.
So what motivated my decision to welcome Whey Protein back into my life, you wonder?
Well for starters, whey protein happens to be one of the best, purest sources of protein out there and it is super easily digestible, too. As such, whey protein is pretty much essential to athletes who are training hard every day, but this supplement was also proven to be extremely beneficial for the elderly and incapacitated people, teenagers (as it provides highly bioavailable proteins essential to their growth), overworked and stressed people (who are unable to have regularly scheduled meals with an adequate and sufficient supply of proteins), and is also very suitable for children who need a protein nutritional support.
Most of all, though, whey protein is extremely useful, if not downright essential, for people who are wanting to lose weight. (which is exactly where I’m at right now!)
Indeed, while trying to lose weight, it is imperative that one preserves their existing muscle mass at all cost, and consuming at least 1g to 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight per day during those times is of utmost importance. Whey protein makes achieving that goal so much easier, for it will boost one’s protein intake without affecting fat and carbs in the least, leaving plenty of room for more real, wholesome food.
Plus, whey protein contains 20 amino acids, including all the essential amino acids; it is known to help increase muscle mass and promote weight loss, as well as to facilitate the management of insulin and reducing blood triglycerides. It is also an excellent source of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), which are essential for protein synthesis to enable faster recovery after exercise.
It is also said that regular consumption of whey protein helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
So really, what’s there not to like and why deprive yourself?
All powders aren’t created equal, though. Personally, I’m a big fan of Whey Protein Isolate and believe that it is probably your best option. Isolate is a form of whey protein that’s been processed to remove the fat and lactose from it, so they’re at least 90% protein by weight and are usually safe to consume even for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.
When it comes to protein powders, there are tons of options to choose from, and unfortunately, products range from truly excellent to complete garbage. Some powders have all kinds of fillers added to them, such as flour, maltodextrin, sugar and many other undesirable ingredients; be sure you look very closely at the ingredients list.
A high-quality whey protein is easy to spot: it will have whey concentrate, isolate or hydrosalate listed as the first (and pretty much only) ingredient, and the scoop size will be pretty close to the actual gram weight of protein per scoop.
And in the case of flavored protein powder, make sure that they are naturally sweetened, preferably with stevia.
New Zealand Whey is probably one of the best options available on the market right now, because in New Zealand, the agriculture and dairy industry are highly controlled by the state: they simply don’t tolerate the use of any pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones.
My favorite product of the moment is Perfect Nutrition’s Diesel New Zealand Whey. Not only does it provide 26g of protein per serving of 30 grams of powder, but it’s also is mega dosed with 7 grams of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) and 5 grams of L-Glutamine/Glutamic Acid, to help stop the breakdown effect of training and supply your muscles with what they need to rebuild, repair and grow.
It is very well priced for a product of such quality. All the flavors that I tasted so far were absolutely delicious and the powder blends super well in just about any liquid, or cake batter, for that matter…
So yeah, all this to say that protein powder is back into my life and it’s definitely here to stay, so you can expect me to be cooking with it a lot more from now on, just like I did in the “good old days”…
And in case you’re wondering, this is NOT a sponsored post at all. Sometimes, you know, I just like to talk about a product that I truly believe in, for the sake of sharing knowledge, without necessarily expecting any kind of compensation in return.
Alright… I say now it’s time we stopped talking and actually started baking. This Apple Pecan Bread isn’t going to make itself after all.
So go and preheat that oven of yours to 350°F. Then, we’ll get working on the crumble: in a small bowl, add some chopped pecans, pure maple sugar and ghee and mix with your fingers until well distributed. Set aside.
Next, grease a loaf pan really well with ghee or coconut oil and, if you want to take a little bit of an extra protection against sticking, line the bottom of the pan with a rectangle of parchment paper cut to the exact size of the bottom of that pan and set aside.
Now time to take your food processor out!
In the bowl of that food processor, place your whey protein powder, almond flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt and then give that a good spin until all the ingredients are evenly combined and all the little lumps have been destroyed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In that same bowl of that same food processor, add the baked sweet potato, (obviously, I used a purple skinned, white fleshed sweet potato for this recipe) ghee and maple syrup and process until well combined and creamy.
Add the eggs and resume processing until the ingredients are homogeneously combined and creamy.
Add the reserved dry ingredients to this wet mixture and again, process until well combined, no more.
In a glass measuring cup, mix the buttermilk, lime juice and vanilla extract. Add that to the cake batter and process for about 15 seconds, or until combined.
Transfer this batter to a large mixing bowl (the one you used earlier for the flour should work just fine) and delicately stir in the grated apples.
Pour the finished batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the reserved crumble all over the top.
Place the bread in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and the center is fully set (a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean).
Set the loaf on a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before delicately unmolding it.
Finish cooling on the rack and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely before slicing.
Can you get a feel of how incredibly moist this cake is? Insane!
I usually find that baked goods made with protein powder tend to be a little bit on the dry side, but not this cake, let me tell you!
This is one moist, one sweet, one tasty and one satisfying little snack…
But wait! It gets even better!
Throw a slice in the toaster, or panfry it French Bread style in a little bit of ghee, and then smother it in All Natural Toasted Almond Butter. (Hehe! I’ve a great recipe for that in my fantastic, newly released cookbook!!! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself…)
OH-HEM-JEE! One bite and you will think you died and were sent straight to seventh heaven! I swear.
And this bread will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.
But I sincerely doubt that it will ever make it that long…
- 1 cup (100g | 3.5oz) vanilla flavored whey protein powder
- ½ cup (50g | 1.75oz) almond flour
- ½ cup (70g | 2.5oz) tapioca starch
- ¼ cup (20g | 0.75oz) coconut flour
- 1 tbsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 large (300g | 10oz) purple skin white flesh sweet potato, baked and cooled, skin removed*
- ⅓ cup (70g | 2.5oz) ghee, (store-bought or homemade)
- ¼ cup (75g | 2.65oz) pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (100g | 3.5oz) buttermilk
- the juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, (store-bought or homemade)
- 3 medium red apples, peeled and grated (2 cups)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Start by making the crumble: in a small bowl, add the chopped pecans, pure maple sugar and ghee and mix with your fingers until well distributed. Set aside.
- Grease a loaf pan really well with ghee or coconut oil and, for extra protection against sticking, line the bottom with a rectangle of parchment paper cut to the exact size of the pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of your food processor, place all the dry ingredients and then give them a good spin until they are evenly combined and all the lumps have been destroyed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In that same bowl of that same food processor, add the sweet potato flesh, ghee and maple syrup and process until well combined and creamy. Add the eggs and resume processing until the ingredients are homogeneously combined and creamy.
- Add the reserved dry ingredients to this wet mixture and again, process until well combined, no more.
- In a glass measuring cup, mix the buttermilk, lime juice and vanilla extract. Add that to the cake batter and process for about 15 seconds, or until combined.
- Transfer this batter to a large mixing bowl (the one you used earlier for the flour should work just fine) and delicately stir in the grated apples.
- Pour the finished batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the reserved crumble all over the top. Place the bread in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and the center is fully set (a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean).
- Set the loaf on a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before very delicately unmolding it.
- Finish cooling on the rack and transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely before slicing.
- This bread will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.