Recipe: Vegan Protein Balls

Recipe: Vegan Protein Balls

I made some more protein balls and this time I made a note of the ingredients. These make a really nice mid-morning or late-afternoon snack when you’re hungry but don’t want to spoil the next meal. The coconut condensed milk is something I’ve discovered recently and it’s available at Ocado. If you’re in Aberdeen you can get it at Newton Dee and Foodstory. Holland & Barrett sell pea protein powder.

Ingredients

1/2 cup pea protein powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup coconut condensed milk
1/4 cup soya (or other non-dairy milk)
ground hazelnuts for rolling the balls in at the end

Method

Soak the chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water for ten minutes. While they’re soaking combine all the other ingredients in a bowl except for the hazelnuts. Add the chia seeds and mix everything really well until it’s a nice, gooey consistency. Then create small balls with a diameter of 2-3cm and roll them in the ground hazelnuts. Eat!

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Vegan protein balls

Vegan protein balls

I got some pea protein powder at the SFN Expo in GlasgowSFN Expo in Glasgow. Don’t ask me why. I guess I was inspired by the peanut butter balls they were making with it. They looked delicious.

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I’ve just made these:

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Ingredients: pea protein powder, cocoa, ground hazelnuts, sweetened condensed coconut milk, chia seeds, peanut butter … and I think that’s it. I don’t recall the quantities as I just kept adding stuff until the consistency was right and it tasted good.

The sweetened condensed coconut milk I found in a health food store recently and bought a can thinking I might use it one day instead of cow’s condensed milk. It’s really good and I’ll buy it again. You could probably make a savoury version of these peanut butter balls without it but you’d need to add some other liquid instead otherwise they’ll be too dry. You could also use dates for sweetness.

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Sainsbury’s vegan mac and cheese

Sainsbury’s vegan mac and cheese

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Sainsbury’s reported earlier this year that sales of their newly launched vegan cheese exceeded expectations by 300%. This is not bad at all considering the vegan market has always been viewed as small and somewhat niche. I decided to give their vegan macaroni cheese a try.

It’s a ready-made meal for one which you heat for five minutes in the microwave. It’s also gluten-free and wheat-free which is a disappointment for me since I’m not in the 1% of the population that has coeliac disease. Why does it matter, you ask? Gluten-free foods tend to have a higher glycemic index (GI) than foods made with wheat. Wheat is often replaced with rice or potato and both are very starchy and have a high GI. Wheat has more protein in it than rice and therefore a lower GI. I will always choose wheat over rice and potato for this reason. I also prefer the taste of wheat. Pasta made with rice is often sticky and doesn’t have the same flavour. It annoys me when vegan food is made gluten-free. I guess they are trying to boost sales by capturing two different markets but when I see gluten-free I usually put my wallet away. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Daniel and people who follow a gluten-free diet are at a slightly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

I purchased Sainsbury’s mac and cheese without realising it was pasta made with rice but I ate it nevertheless and it was very tasty. If I hadn’t known it was made with rice I probably wouldn’t have realised. The texture was good and suitably cheesy. If I was a coeliac I’d definitely buy it but given that I’d prefer pasta made with wheat for health and taste reasons, I will not buy it again. Now to go and do 300 star jumps to combat the sugar rush…

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