Monthly Archives: December 2015

Healthy High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie / Brownie Hybrid Recipe

Let me start by saying I’m not known for my baking prowess. My cooking comfort zone is in savory dishes–soups, sauces, salads, and hearty entrees.

Truth is, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (this is known to happen when you stop eating added sugar). However, I do love to splurge on the occasional bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream, dark chocolate, or chocolate chip cookie.

The issue with this, as you healthy eaters know, is it’s damn near impossible to find a healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. Most of the ones I found online still had a boatload of sugar and used some type of refined flour … both no-no’s in my kitchen.

So I decided to create my own recipe for a healthy chocolate chip cookie that was low in sugar and high in protein. The final product turned out more like a cookie/brownie hybrid but it was actually pretty tasty. Here are a some things I did differently to make it healthy:

  • Used a combination of coconut flour and whole grain spelt flour (these are higher in fiber and protein)
  • Used real vanilla bean powder (a nutritional powerhouse packed full of flavor)
  • Used coconut oil instead of butter and vegetable oil (a healthier source of fat)
  • Added a couple scoops of Pure Food Protein
  • Made my own dark chocolate chips by buying a high cacao/low sugar chocolate bar (avoid Godiva and Ghiradelli … they had soy lecithin, a GMO emulsifier, last time I checked)
  • Used organic whole leaf stevia powder instead of added sugar or artificial sugar (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs … it’s the same stuff that goes into our protein powder. This is the real, healthy form of stevia because it’s the actual ground up leaves of the plant and nothing else … 99% of “stevia” is junk)

Here’s the rundown of what’s in it, how to make it, and the impressive nutrition stat line:

Healthy High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie / Brownie Recipe

What’s In It:

  • healthy chocolate chip cookie ingredients3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain spelt flour (any whole grain flour will do here … try almond meal instead if you need a gluten-free recipe)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla bean powder (the real stuff is super expensive but tastes phenomenal … organic vanilla extract works too though)
  • 4 T coconut oil, divided
  • 1 cup coconut/cashew/almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 scoops Pure Food Protein
  • 1 (3.5 oz.) dark chocolate bar (the higher cacao content, the better. I recommend at least 70% cacao … I used 85%)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. stevia leaf powder (optional … I used just a tiny pinch but I don’t like things overly sweet … taste the mixture to see if it’s sweetened to your liking then add more stevia little-by-little as your heart desires)

How to Make It:

  1. Mix the egg, flours, and coconut milk together thoroughly with a whisk or mixer.
  2. Use a large chef’s knife to cut the chocolate bar into chocolate chip-sized pieces.
  3. Add the baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, protein powder, nuts, stevia, chocolate, and 2 T of the coconut oil and mix again.
  4. Coat a large baking pan or sheet with the other 2 T of coconut oil.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly across the pan.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Here’s what the final product looks like (with my festive Christmas decor in the background):

Healthy High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookie / Brownie Recipe

And the best part … it’s actually healthy!

Nutrition (per cookie … makes 12 total cookies):

Calories: 188

Fat: 12.5g

Carbs: 12.5g (3g fiber, 3g sugar)

Protein: 9g

 

If you have a good healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe … or another healthy dessert you think might be good with some Pure Food Protein powder, send me your recipe and I’ll do some experimenting!

Scott@purefoodcompany.com

P.S. Fashion Santa loves Pure Food.

healthy cookie recipe for santa

How to Find the Healthiest Plant Protein Powder in 3 Simple Steps

You remember those “Where’s Waldo” books? The ones where you had to find the little guy in the striped shirt in the middle of a colorful, chaotic scene filled with Waldo imposters?

That’s kind of what it’s like trying to figure out if all those protein powders marketed as “healthiest” and “all-natural” are actually good for you.

In other words, if you don’t know what to look for and where to look, chances are your protein powder may not be so healthy after all*.

Here’s why …

Supplement brands and their marketing teams spend LOTS of money on “Waldo imposters” (pretty graphics, clever marketing language, deceptive psychological tricks, etc.).

I know this because I was one of the guys they paid to help them create their marketing campaigns.

Here’s the truth they don’t want you to hear:

Most food supplement marketing is deliberately designed to distract you from scrutinizing the one piece of information that actually matters: the ingredients they put into their products.

In this article I’m going to show you how to see right through their b.s. and find the healthiest protein powder for you.

The Problem With Most Protein Powder Brands Marketed As “Healthy” and “All Natural”

When it comes to protein powder supplements, there’s one objective source of truth you can use to determine if a product is the right fit for your health needs: the ingredients list.

Here are a few ingredients, in particular, I found in some of the so-called healthiest plant protein powders (Vega, Garden of Life, SunWarrior, Orgain, and PlantFusion all have one or more of these):

  1. Natural flavors. Natural flavors are the 4th most common ingredient on food labels. Unfortunately, they’re anything but natural. They can actually contain up to hundreds of chemicals and preservatives. Here are a few of the more common ones:
    • Propylene glycol (found in antifreeze)
    • BHA, a known carcinogen
    • Genetically modified plants (GMOs) like corn and soy
    • Insects and bizarre animal products (such as beaver’s anal secretions)
  2. Sugars. Sugar comes in many forms these days, as you well know. Most proteins have some type of sweetener added–whether it’s artificial or “natural” is open to interpretation. For example, some companies use sugar alcohols like xylitol and market them as natural. Sugar alcohols originate from plants, but they’re chemically altered and may cause major digestive distress. Many protein powders that use more “natural” sugars like agave claim to be the healthiest … but they have half a day’s worth of sugar per serving (Shakeology is one example). Choose a protein powder that has 1 gram of sugar or less per serving from all-natural sources.
  3. Additives and Fillers. Avoid anything that ends with “dextrin” (like maltodextrin, a cheap, highly processed food additive usually made from genetically modified (GMO) corn. Protein companies use it to make their products mix easier. Soy and sunflower lecithin are common  additives used to thicken protein powders and other foods. To make soy lecithin, soybean oil (GMO unless it says “organic” or “non-GMO verified”) is extracted from raw soybeans using a chemical solvent (usually hexane), then dried and bleached.
  4. Allergens. Dairy, soy, and gluten are among the most common allergens you’ll find. If you’re chugging down whey protein shakes and it’s causing GI issues, STOP. Whey protein works for some people. But for the majority, the cons outweigh the pros.
  5. Gums. Gums are thickening agents that improve the texture of protein powder blends. Xanthan gum, a common one, is produced by bacterial fermentation of a sugar-containing medium. Unfortunately, that medium is usually a potentially allergenic or GMO-containing substance such as corn, soy, dairy, or wheat. On top of that, xanthan gum has been shown to have a laxative effect … you might wanna wear a diaper if your protein powder has it. Be wary any time you see a “gum” listed on the ingredients list of your favorite protein brand.

3 Simple Steps to Help You Find the Healthiest Plant Protein Powder for You

My rule of thumb: stick with plant based protein powders that have mostly (or all) organic ingredients you recognize as real food.

Conclusion: Most Protein Powder Brands Claiming to Be All Natural Are Anything But

Shopping for the right protein powder brand for you starts with identifying your health goals.

Are you looking for a clean, all-natural ingredients? Then scrutinize that ingredients list and avoid all the stuff I mentioned above.

Do you want to lose weight and/or build some lean muscle? Then choose a powder with 20+ grams of protein per serving and 3+ grams of fiber.

If you’re looking to compare 20+ different protein powders, check out this post.

*Disclaimer: I sell an all-natural, plant-based protein powder called Pure Food.  

CrossFit: The New Scientology?

crossfit pros consThis week the NYT published an article called When Some Turn to Church, Others Go To CrossFit. In it, author Mark Oppenheimer likens CrossFit to religion, and it’s hard to argue with him when you see quotes like this one:

CrossFit is family, laughter, love, and community.

CrossFit, if you’re not familiar, is the one of the hottest workout movements, with 13,000 locations and over 2 million participants. CrossFit’s strenuous Workout of the Days (WODs), which combine Olympic-style weight lifting with functional movement, have been criticized for their propensity to cause injury.

Pros and Cons of CrossFit

I don’t have any affiliation with CrossFit … never been to a CrossFit gym, in fact. But I think it’s pretty awesome for two big reasons:

1. Doing interval training combined with strength training is the absolute best way to lose weight and build lean muscle.
2. The community-based environment is a great support system for anyone who’s had trouble sticking with a workout regimen (aka, everyone).
3. The CrossFitters I know are all in great shape … your friends who do it probably are too.

The whole CrossFit-causes-injury argument is way overblown. CrossFitters push themselves more than other exercisers … and that’s not a bad thing! Injuries happen in every sport and every type of workout, and they’re almost always attributable to poor form when you’re in the gym.

I’ll sum this one up by quoting CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman in the NYT article:

Three hundred fifty thousand Americans are going to die next year from sitting on the couch. That’s dangerous. The TV is dangerous. Squatting isn’t.