The first part of my protein quest was to find a simple, delicious, high-protein breakfast. The obvious answer was a smoothie. I follow the Green Thickies blog so that was my first port of call for some inspiration. I looked through several recipes, did a mental check of what I had in the fridge, and dragged my visiting brother off to the supermarket to buy bananas and spinach.
Incidentally, while I was at the supermarket I stocked up on bulbs of Spanish garlic: much larger and juicier than the Chinese version that is available at other times of year. I’ve put five bulbs straight in the freezer to ensure a steady supply.
The next morning my brother whipped up a couple of smoothies full of protein. He used bananas, peanut butter, porridge oats, dairy-free milk (coconut, in this case, but I’ll switch to soya when it runs out as that’s cheaper and higher in protein), ground almonds and a handful of baby spinach leaves in mine – not in his, as he didn’t want to drink something green. I was quite happy to have leaves in my breakfast, because I like the taste of spinach anyway but had heard that you can’t really taste it over the other ingredients in smoothie and it’s a great source of iron. It’s true, the taste is almost imperceptible and if you have a better blender than mine the green flecks would be less obvious.
It’s extremely easy to make a smoothie even with a relatively puny stick blender like mine, and the only mildly irritating part is washing up afterwards! Once I’ve perfected the quantities I will make double portions so that I don’t have to get the blender out every morning, and experiment with adding different things to the mix, but for now I’m happy to have found something that tastes so good to get my day off to a strong start.
Made with soya milk, one serving contains between 15 and 20 grams of protein which is excellent (I’m aiming for at least 50g a day, based on advice from various people). It’s also fairly high-calorie, due to the ground almonds, the banana and the peanut butter, but that’s not a huge problem for me: I’m normally trying to increase my calorie intake, not decrease it. The same applies to fat, since other than a bit of olive oil or soya spread my diet is pretty low in fat.