Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Make "Empty" Foods Better

Do you and your family like waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cream of wheat, oatmeal and/or grits for breakfast?  Those are all very common breakfast foods in the US.  There is nothing exceptionally wrong with those items as long as they are only a part of your breakfast and not the sole item of your breakfast.  Eating a high carbohydrate breakfast is setting you up for dietary failure.  Yes, first thing in the morning your body needs calories because you have, in effect, been fasting for about 10-12 hours. But pure carbohydrates with the super sweet (and empty calories) of the powdered sugar or syrup typically sprinkled or poured on the above items does very little nutritionally for you.

If you do like these things for breakfast make sure you balance them with some quality protein like milk, eggs, turkey sausage or bacon, or yogurt. If that seems too heavy of a meal for you then try this.

Substitute or add one or two scoops of a high quality whey protein powder (vanilla works best for favor) in your recipe.  I don't eat any of those normal breakfast items except uncooked oatmeal myself but I have cooked most of them for my family over the years.  Unknown to them I have always fortified the food with protein powder to help them get a better nutritional start of their day.  Protein powder added to pancake or waffle batter actually makes for fluffier pancakes and waffles.  Its the protein strings that do this.  That is the "secret" behind "Better for Bread" flour that you can buy at the grocery store. I made another blackberry cobbler yesterday and added two scoops of this product to stiffen the batter.  I like more of a "cakey" texture with my cobbler and I have to say that this cobbler turned out much better than the first and now has some nutritional value beyond the value of eating the blackberries.

The typical or stereotypical American breakfast is one of the cheapest meals of the day but it also is typically one of the unhealthiest or maybe I should just say "emptiest".  A simple inclusion of a high quality protein powder can change that and your kids will never know the difference.  In fact, the slight vanilla flavor apparently makes the pancakes and waffles taste even better (again, I don't eat them so I don't really know).

Do a Google or Yahoo search using the following search string, "how to add protein powder to recipes" and try some of the resulting recipes.

There are a lot of different protein powder companies out there but I have found the one I posted here to be the cheapest and best nutritional value for the cost.  It has a very good Amino Acid profile and significant amounts of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), which are more and more important as you grow older.  I am not crazy about the weak flavor of the Vanilla but the chocolate is very good.  One good thing about the vanilla is no one will taste it if you mix it into sauces, flour-based recipes, or drinks.  Another thing I don't like is that this particular protein powder creates a lot of foam when you mix it in milk.  That is great if you are making a smoothie but not so great if you are just mixing it with milk in a shaker.

At only 100 calories a serving it could be a great part of a weight loss or weight maintenance program.

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