Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cold and Healthy


Polar Vortex weather doesn't often lend itself well to breakfast options like smoothies. Temperatures low enough to induce even the most stubborn of campuses to announce a snow day usually calls for oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or a stack of pancakes. (Let it be known that I actually did spoil myself with some peanut butter pancakes on Sunday - in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day. If you didn't already celebrate, there's no harm in some belated festivities.)

But today, I decided to do what the unexpected. Really, for the sake of my health. After being cooped up in my apartment all day (as a result of the aforementioned snow day) I miraculously ended up with a ton of super huge, freshly baked, chocolate chip fleur de sel cookies. Nevermind how it happened, I'm now just more concerned with how quickly the pile has dwindled. 

Hence, the fruit smoothie despite the cold. It pretty much ended up a hodgepodge of everything I had. Pom, mixed berries, greens, yogurt… and I threw in a packet of Vega One protein powder. I've made it my new mission to find a neutral-flavored protein powder I actually like. The strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla thing is just not for me. Artificial flavorings should be reserved for sour watermelon slices and the like.


I found a good review on Vega One and decided honor it with the first test in this case study. I opted for the "natural" non-flavor instead of the vanilla chai. The review for the chai flavor was good, but that seemed a little too aggressive for the fruit smoothies I'd typically make. 

The natural flavor was good. Since the protein powder is plant-based, the "green" taste is certainly noticeable however not overpowering. It added a slight sweetness to the otherwise tart smoothie, and a bit of grittiness as well. The powder didn't dissolve as much as I would have preferred but it definitely wasn't off-putting. Like the greenish taste, it's just noticeable. All-in-all, I'd definitely buy it again. Plus, the protein (15g) to calorie count (123 cal) ration was best compared to other protein options (at least at my local Whole Foods Market Heaven). 


Mixed Berry and Greens Protein Smoothie
[printable recipe]
makes 1 really big smoothie

1/2 C Pom juice
1/2 medium banana
1.5 tsp honey
1 packet Vega One protein powder - natural
1 C frozen mixed berries
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
2 heaping Tbsp plain greek yogurt
handful mixed greens (spinach, arugula, baby romaine)

Directions: put in blender and blend that shit up.

Happy healthy drinking!