Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This little nutritional gem has been one of my favorites for a couple of years; the nutrient profile is one of the best I’ve seen for a plant product that is not highly processed: 150 Calories, 1g fat, 5mg sodium, 13g carbs, 8 g fiber and 22g protein!
As described on the package below the title soya granules are “nut-like nuggets of toasted (joyous) soybeans”
I may have opted for the descriptor of “bits” or “nibbles” over nuggets, but I digress.
The only ingredient in the product is soybeans. In appearance, the granules look like a cross between oat bran and bulgur wheat. They have a mild flavor and very crunchy texture.
My favorite use thus far is in my pure protein pancakes (recipe below); however, they are also great for increasing the protein content of hot cereals, homemade granola and bars, and some baked goods. Have fun substituting a little at a time and see where it takes you!
Not only are the little soya nibbles great nutritionally, but they are also an inexpensive source of protein; there are 22 servings in one 2lb container that generally sells for about $2.50 online.
An important point to consider is the high fiber content. While this is great for boosting your daily fiber count, you don’t wanna go crazy on the soya granules at first (as is true with any other high-fiber product). There are literally hundreds of different kinds of fiber and each food contributes a slightly different type. Even if your diet is already high is fiber, add the granules about 1 Tbsp at a time to a given portion of food.
Now for the “pancake” recipe:
Pure Protein Pancake
¼ cup egg whites (2 large) or egg substitute
1 ½ Tbsp soya granules
1 Tbsp oat bran or pancake mix
1. Combine all ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes
2. Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat and spray with cooking spray (Pam)
3. Stir the batter and pour it on the hot surface
4. Cook like a regular pancake; specifically, allow to cook until solid enough on the bottom that the entire thing is flippable (let it brown slightly); flip it only once; allow it to cook on the other side.
Nutrition: 100 Calories; 1g fat, 9g carbs, 4g fiber, 16g protein
Sweet Pancakes: I prefer to use egg whites for sweet variations. Some possible additions are: two packets of splenda; a heavy sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg; a couple drops of natural vanilla (or any other flavor) extract; any fruit.
Also for sweet pancakes, I like to microwave frozen berries for a minutes or two, add a couple of packets of splenda and some cinnamon, and pour the mixture on top as syrup.
Savory Pancakes: Both egg white and egg substitute are fine for savory pancakes. I like to add any herb, roasted onions and peppers (or any other vegetable), and hot sauce to the batter.
Savory pancakes can be topped with low-fat refried beans and salsa, low-fat dressing, or low fat cheese.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Making yogurt at home is easy, requires little active time and saves loads of cash. You can easily culture a whole gallon of the most fancy schancy yogurt as long as the container reads "Contains Live and Active Cultures." Here, the traditional yogurt recipe gets ramped up a little with the addition of whey. I also like to add vanilla and Sweet N' Low Brown to the milk once it has cooled a little.
*You will need a candy thermometer*
1 quart of low-fat or 2% milk
2 scoops unflavored or vanilla whey or soy protein powder
4 oz of plain commercial yogurt (with live and active cultures)
Preheat your oven to 100 F or start a hot water bath set-up. Alternatively, heat your oven in the warming mode and shut it off as you start to cool the milk (see below).
1. First, heat the milk in a large saucepan, stirring constantly so a skin does not form. Heat the milk slowly until it comes to a simmer and keep it there for about 5 minutes. DO NOT allow the milk to go into a rolling boil or burn.
2. Take the pan off the stove and allow the milk to cool to about 115 degrees F. The milk should not fall below 100 F during the whole culturing process.
* Heating the milk to a simmer is important because it kills harmful/competitive bacteria, so you healthy cultures can dominate!*
3. While the milk is cooling down, purée 2 scoops of whey with 1cup of warm milk; blend until smooth and add back to the milk mixture.
*Avoiding clumps here*
4. Once the temperature has reached 115 F, whisk in 2 tablespoons of store-bought yogurt containing live and active cultures with ½ cup of warm milk; add the mixture the rest of the warm milk and stir thoroughly.
5. Cover the bowl, wrap it in a towel. Place the entire thing in the oven which has been turned OFF for 20 minutes or so. Alternatively, you may also fill a small cooler with hot tap water and set the yogurt dish inside.
*I like to use a stain-resistant tupperware, since it is heat resistant and has a cover that thats. Also, the tupperware eliminates the need to transfer the yogurt when it has finished culturing*
* Adding the yogurt starter before the milk is adequately cooled will kill your little friends! So be patient!*
6. Allow the yogurt to set for 4-8 hours; the longer you leave it the 1) harder it will be; 2) more acidic it will be (sour); and 3) more healthy culture it will contain.
Nutrition (with 1% Milk): 170 Calories, 16g carbs, 20g protein, 2g fat
Random Side Note: If you happen to happen to be overtaken by an impulse-spending urge and buy a bag of cultured cheese, do not melt it! This will also kill the cultures that are useful!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Foods that are processed: Crackers, bread, deli meat, sausage, veggie burgers, frozen meals, protein bars, RTE, meal replacements, boxed cereals, many cheeses
Foods that are minimally processed: roasted nuts, low-fat dairy, frozen meats, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, dried fruit, old-fashioned oats
Foods that are not processed: brown rice, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, fresh meat/fish, dried beans, raw nuts
2. High in Fresh Produce, Especially Vegetables!
Piles of fresh vegetables should be included, particularly non-starchy vegetables. Examples include peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, collards, kale, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, etc. Eat vegetables in bulk and before eating other meal items.
3. High in Very Lean Protein
Very lean protein sources should be included in all meals and snacks. Shoot for at least 1g-1.5g protein per pound of body weight per day. For instance, a 180lb man should consume 180g to 270g/day. This equates to 22-33 oz chicken breast per day (nearly two pounds on the higher end)
Extra lean protein sources include, but are not limited to: chicken breast, tilapia, low-fat cottage cheese, 96% lean ground beef, whey protein, soy protein, defatted soy grits, fat-free cheese, egg whites
Other acceptable protein sources to eat in moderation are whole eggs, edamame, low-fat cheese, tofu, top round steak/roast, flank steak/roast, skinless dark chicken, center-cut pork loin, beans
4. Restricted in Fat
This does not mean that all fat should be freakishly eradicated from the diet; it means that most high-fat foods should be avoided most of the time, while select high-fat foods should be included regularly and in moderation.
Include small portions of flax (1-2 Tbsp ground), nuts (6-10 nuts), fatty fish (3-6 oz fish), and oil (1tsp to 1Tbsp)
Limit/avoid dairy fats, animal fats, and, most of all, trans fats. If you avoid processed foods, you will automatically eliminate nearly all trans fats from your diet!
5. Contains carbs most of the time
This point will vary based on what kind of exercise/events you participate in. If you are an endurance athlete, you will need more carbohydrates. However, power athletes do not have nearly the same need for daily carb use or carb supplementation around workouts. For myself (not relying on science here) I find that the protein rule of thumb works well for carbs too, so I get about 115-170g of carbs on most days, not including carbs from fiber. Occasionally, I will have kind-of a carb spurge day and eat closer to 250-300g carbs.
A carb serving at a meal for me may come from ½ cup of beans combined with vegetables in a meal (about 25 grams) and I always save about 20 grams of carb for pre-workout and about 30g for recovery. Remember these values will be higher if you are a large male!
Good, unprocessed carb sources include old-fashioned or steel-cut oats, quinoa, vegetables (including potatoes— whole food!), fruits, beans, brown rice
If you follow the guidelines above, you'll realize that you're automatically getting enough fiber, vitamins, minerals, vegetable and fruits servings, and ample energy once you figure out the amount of protein/carbs/fat you require. Stick with it and watch your body love you for it!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
It is generally accepted that a carb to protein ratio of 3:1 to 4:1 is preferred after a workout. Also, high glycemic carbs (the cereal and marshmallows both fit into this category) are recommended to promote an anabolic insulin spike after a workout! Considering all of this, a rice crispie treat with a little protein boost can be the perfect portable post-workout snack!
3 Tbsp Butter
6 oz minimarshmallows (1/2 12oz bag)
3 Scoops Vanilla or Cookies 'N Cream Whey
3 Cups Rice Crispies
1. Lightly grease a small square baking pan
2. Combine whey and cereal in a bowl
3. Melt butter over medium heat
4. Mix in marshmallows, stirring constantly until all melted
5. Remove from heat and quickly mix in cereal and protein
6. Press in to pan with damp fingers
7. Cool 15 minutes; cut and enjoy!
Nutrition: 190 Calories, 10 g protein, 27 g carbs, 5 g fat
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