Peachy Protein Pudding? Really?

The genesis for today’s culinary tinkering was a sale on peaches. That got me thinking about how divinely amaretto pairs with peaches. Peaches n’ cream is also wonderful. So I started obsessing over the idea of peaches in cream with amaretto. Mmm….peaches in cream and amaretto…

Fear not, I managed not to drool on the peaches on display in the grocery store but it was a close call. I did receive a few stares from fellow shoppers. So I guess I spent a few moments too long staring lovingly at the peach display. (This is why I shop only in the evenings preferably on weeknights.)

First problem I encountered is the cream part. I’m lactose intolerant and I am NOT a fan of coconut anything. So coconut cream is out which is good because that stuff contains a ridiculous amount of calories.

In lieu of cream, since I can’t do lactose, I thought of Body Fotress’ Whey Isolate in Vanilla creme. It’s got 30 grams of protein for 130 calories or it did until they changed the formulation. Now I have to hunt for another low cal, high protein powder. Expect a blog post on that soon.

You can use whatever protein powder you like but please, give the nutrition label a look before you buy. Protein powders are not all created equal. There are different formulations for different purposes. Make sure the one you take home with you meets your caloric and macro-nutrient needs. DO NOT just grab any protein powder off the shelf. Don’t assume that a powder that claims to be formulated for your gender (women especially) offers much in the way of protein. I can’t stress this enough.

This goes for power bars and bottled protein drinks too. Read those labels. Protect your body. Don’t put something that claims to be what you need into it without first verifying those all important nutrition facts. Be especially leery of “low” fat and “high” protein claims.

“Low” fat products are higher in sugar than their non-low fat counterparts because they have to make up for flavor somewhere. If sugar intake is something you’re monitoring, you need to check that label. Find out what what was added to make up for the lower fat content. Make sure it’s not something that will adversely affect your health goal. Remember that your body needs some fat. So choose healthy fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated–the kind found in nuts, seeds and other healthy oils. Some saturated fat is ok too. Its the transfat you really want to avoid.

Just so you know, anything under 20 grams of protein is NOT high in protein. Your body processes up to  30 grams of protein per meal. So those protein powders and drinks that offer 50-60 grams of protein in one shot are a waste of money. Your body doesn’t absorb that much protein at one time. You’re shitting away your money. If you need to take in that much protein in a short period of time, you’re better off splitting your protein intake into multiple meals/snacks and keeping them each to 30 grams until you meet your goal.

For those wondering how much protein you need to take in a day, the answer is simple: 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If you’re a body builder that ratio changes depending on how much of your body weight is muscle and on whether you’re trying to gain muscle or maintain.

For more information, I strongly recommend that you read/listen (yes it comes as an audiobook and yes I own it) to Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto. His book lays out systematically everything you need to know but were never taught about nutrition, exercise, diet and how to approach them. You need all three working in tandem to look and feel great.

There is an encyclopedia’s worth of information in his book and it’s all presented in a clear, easy to understand format. It’s full of anecdotes from Tom’s life about how he figured all this out. He backs up all his claims with shout outs to the scientific papers he perused because knowing that it works wasn’t enough. He wanted to know why it worked or didn’t. For the audiobook version, you want to go here. For the kindle/physical book version, here.

I’d apologize for the excursis on nutrition, but it’s something I’m very passionate about. Your body is made up of protein. Not getting enough protein is detrimental to your health and it will keep you from reaching your goals. So this is no joke people.

Okay back to my culinary experiment. Without further rambling, I bring you peachy protein pudding…

The idea: Peachy Protein Pudding with Amaretto!🙂
The challenge: make it with 30 grams of protein per serving

The recipe (serves 2):

  • 1.00 fluid ounce, Amaretto Liqueur (1/8 of a cup or 2 tablespoons for the unenlightened)
  • 3.00 extra large, Peaches (3″ diameter)
  • 1.00 Scoop, Super Advanced Whey Isolate – Vanilla Creme
    (old formulation–which is what I have on hand: 30 grams of protein for 130 calories per scoop, new formulation blows my calorie budget so I’ll be locating a new one very soon and you’ll hear all about my search.)
  • 0.80 scoopful, Isopure Unflavored Protein Powder (.80 – think almost full but not quite)
    (26 grams protein per scoopful for 110 calories; best bang for your calories that I have found)
  • 0.25 cup, Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup quick or rolled oats (whatever’s on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1 cup water (use more if you need it)
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (whatever you prefer; I tend to drown my fruit in cinnamon and add a dash of cloves and nutmeg but that might not be for you. So add it to taste)
  • Flavorings: dash of almond extract (because almond extract makes everything better, didn’t you know that?)

Method used for this trial:

Mix the protein powder, spices, Almond extract, amaretto, lemon juice, almond flour/meal and water in a bowl and whisked them good. Flavored protein powder tends to clump, so really get that whisk going. I recommend using cool water and smaller whisk.

Toss the sliced peaches and oats into the mixture and mix with a spoon this time. Dump the whole thing in a nonstick skillet or some other deep bottomed pot.

I gave my skillet a quick spritz of cooking spray because I tend to walk away and forget to stir my creations. If you’re more attentive or possess superior nonstick cookware, feel free to dispense with that.

Turn the heat up to medium-ish. You want it to bubble a little but not spit at you. Since your stove is different than mine, I leave you to work out what setting that is. You want to be able to stir this without burning your hand.

Stir constantly. Don’t get distracted and walk away. You want the peaches to soften. The water will boil away making a thick paste. When the peaches are soft enough to suit you and the oats are the way you like them, turn off the heat. Divide and conquer.

If you need more spice or sweetness, add stevia or spices to the finished product and work them into the mixture.

The verdict:

It’s definitely peachy and vanilla-y. This recipe is a work in progress though fear not, my initial trial was not a failure. It just didn’t taste quite like I had hoped. I had not thought that the vanilla flavor of the protein powder would be so overpowering since I only used one scoop. Yet it was. I could taste the amaretto but not as strongly as I had hoped. The end result is definitely edible and actually pretty good, just not what I’d wanted.

Oh well, this just means that I will have to make it again once I receive a new canister of Isopure’s unflavored protein powder.

Tune in next time for a raspberry quinoa bowl that’s so good, it should be illegal.

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