Tag Archives: fruit

“PFF” (Protein Fiber Fruit) Pancakes

Here’s the recipe to one of my favorite morning treats to help break the monotony of eating oatmeal daily. In addition to my PFF pancakes, I usually eat an egg over easy and drink a cup of black coffee. This meal keeps me feeling full throughout most of the morning. It also serves as one of my favorite post morning workout meals.

Ingredients
-1 1/2 c. favorite pancake batter
-1/2 to 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (approx. 15-20 g of protein)
-1 tsp chia seeds
-1 tbsp ground flax seed meal
-3 tbsp old fashioned oats
-fresh or frozen fruit
-extra virgin olive oil

Feel free to alter quantities to your liking. Mix pancake batter, protein powder, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, and oats in water. The batter should be a little thick. Heat pan. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in the pan. Make sure the pan is hot enough before pouring batter into it. Pour enough mix into the pan to create your desired pancake size. Sprinkle some of your favorite fruit on top of pancakes in pan. (I prefer frozen blueberries.) Flip pancakes. You may need to drizzle a little bit more EVOO in the pan. This helps make the pancake a little crunchy on the edges and prohibits it from sticking to the pan. Remove cooked pancakes from pan and continue process until done. Enjoy!

Tips:
1. Keep pancakes in warm oven or covered in microwave to keep warm.
2. There’s no need to use syrup because the protein powder and fruit serve as sweeteners.
3. Pre-mix dry ingredients in bulk as a time saver.

Yields approximately 5 medium size pancakes.

Of course there are a few nutritional benefits of this delicious morning treat.

Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and also serve as a blood sugar regulator. Omega 3 fatty acids are terrific for heart health, muscle recovery, brain functioning, joint tenderness, lowering blood triglyceride levels, and anti-inflammatory effects on the body. The soluble fiber found in chia seeds, flax seed, and oats helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Additional fiber benefits include satiety and bowel movement regularity. Antioxidant rich foods offer nutritional benefits and help eliminate free radicals from the body. Flaxseed meal is full of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and lignans. Lignans offer additional antioxidant benefits to the body. Old fashioned oats are high in fiber, protein, and help lower cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (lowers cholesterol levels in the body) and polyphenols (antioxidant properties). Check out a past blog post about the benefits of proteins.

Sources:
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcidsandHealth-HealthProfessional/
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dietaryfiber.html
http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-11/insoluble-soluble-fiber
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2010/DGAC/Report/D-3-FattyAcidsCholesterol.pdf

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Protein Shake Essentials

What are the best things to readily have on hand in the kitchen and pantry to make some of the tastiest protein shakes? Over the years I’ve learned I can throw just about anything into the blender and drink it. Well, fruits and vegetables, that is. All it takes is some basic knowledge about assembling a flavorful shake. Admittedly, I like my shakes a little sweet and creamy. Here are some of my favorite protein shake ingredients. By no means is this list exhaustive, but it includes several foods I often incorporate into my pre- and post-workout shakes.

Keep in mind fruit and veggies have a high concentration of water. This translates into needing less of a liquid base than you may initially think. Play around with it!


Five Shake Makin’ Tips

1. BALANCE THE BITTER. If you want to blend a bitter veggie, such as arugula, and you don’t like bitter shakes, make sure you compensate for the bitterness and add something sweet (i.e., banana, pineapple, etc.).

2. DON’T OVERDO IT ON THE FRUIT. Fruit naturally has a high sugar content. There’s no need to put a whole banana or an entire mango into a shake. Take it easy. For example, in one of my go-to shakes, I tend to use ¼ of banana, a small handful of blueberries, and a couple blackberries. Bonus tip: slice your banana with the peel on. Place unused banana in fridge (I like to place mine in the little plastic compartment in the door with the flip up lid) and slice another piece off later for your next shake!

3. WASH, TOSS, AND FREEZE. If you think your fruit is about to go bad, freeze it! Cut ripe bananas into small 1” – 2” slices, toss in a container, and freeze them! Keep in mind they tend to get stuck together when frozen. It’s nothing a little tap with a dull knife won’t solve!

4. BUY LOCAL AND IN BULK. If possible, buy fruit and veggies local and/or in bulk. Support your local farmers’ market. Divide everything up into plastic storage bags and freeze what you don’t need immediately. This saves you money and time. Plus, it feels good to support local farmers.

5. FANCY BLENDERS NOT REQUIRED. There’s no need to purchase a super fancy expensive blender unless you can afford it and insist on having VERY smooth shakes. I have found the “lower end” models work very well; however, you may occasionally get a tiny piece of spinach stuck in your teeth!

Coming soon…my favorite protein shake recipes.

Happy blending!

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