I'm a firm believer that you should be able to get all the vitamins, and minerals that you need from the food you eat but sometimes you just need a bit of a boost, particularly if you're lacking in energy or if you're stressed, unwell or if you've been eating badly,
It's funny how things become trendy or popular but at the moment you can't go on Facebook or instagram without somebody talking about protein powder. Although I follow a lot of fitness and wellbeing accounts where people are using protein powder to increase muscle mass and stamina and to aid weight loss, protein is something that we all need to help tissue regeneration and to provide the body with essential fuel.
Whilst I don't think my diet is too bad and I do still eat a lot of protein based foods such as soya, grains, and beans, I'm going through a bad patch health wise, so as a vegetarian, who wants a bit more energy and is trying to lose some weight, an extra boost of protein powder sounded like it would be perfect by me.
The problem is though where do you start - research protein powders and it really is a minefield, what is made from? what does it taste like? what do I do with it? So many questions so many options and answers and I have to admit I was a bit stuck. Thankfully though the lovely people from Veganicity came to my rescue.
Veganicity produce a huge range of vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements, all of which are 100% vegan and animal friendly, and are approved by the Vegan Society. Their products are also suitable for coeliacs and diabetics and anyone who wants to avoid unnecessary or artificial ingredients in their supplements. One of the supplements that they offer is Pea Protein, and I was kindly sent a bag to try out.
Okay, I know in this world of sweet flavoured protein powders, that pea protein probably doesn't sound too appetising but appearances and words can be deceptive. The humble pea is crammed full of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre and protein.
The 250g bag contains nothing but pure pea powder, it contains no artificial fillers, preservatives or binders and 80& of the contents is pure pea proteins. When I opened the packet I assumed that it would be green but it's actually a very finely ground, cream coloured powder. It reminds me a bit of flour in both texture and in taste. It's classed as unflavoured but it actually tastes a little bit like raw flour. It certainly isn't overpowering and it definitely won't alter the taste of anything that you put it in.
Veganicity recommend that you take around 1 to 3 servings a day, a serving is about a heaped dessertspoon. You get around 25 servings in each bag and each serving contains around 39 calories.
There is no one way to use this, you can mix it into cold drinks, hot drinks, stews, soups, smoothies and milkshakes, and you can even use it to make pancakes. The pancake recipe is on the packet and it's both egg and dairy free, I gave it ago but instead of soya milk, I used normal semi skimmed and I used gluten free flour.
Because of my poorly wisdom tooth, I'm eating a lot of soup at the moment and I've been putting spoonful or two of the pea protein into my homemade soups and stews. It dissolves really well into hot liquids but it needs a bit of extra work when you add it to cold drinks. If you're going to add it to a milkshake or say a smoothie I would definitely recommend that you use a blender or a specialist shaker to make sure the pea protein is full dissolved because you don't want any lumps.
Here I've just made a quick milkshake with a spoonful of powder, some milk, some frozen raspberries and some frozen banana (just a tip peel your bananas before you freeze them to stop them going brown)
and here I've made a quick frozen smoothie, with some fresh orange juice, and some frozen banana and some frozen pineapple, and a spoonful of pea protein.
Whether or not all of this extra protein is doing me any good, I really can't tell but I do know that I can't be doing me any harm, and I certainly feel a little bit better for it. Although nothing can replace a healthy diet, supplements definitely can play a part when we need that little bit of something extra. If you are feeling a bit under the weather though, or if your not sure whether or not you should be taking supplements or vitamins, it's worth having a chat with your GP or another health care professional. Veganicity From Health Plus Pea Protein retails at around £8.45 for a 250g bag and is available from the Veganicity website, Amazon and from various other health food stores x