Back in May this year it was National Vegetarian Week. I decided to go veggie for a week, and since then have pretty much been pescatarian (vegetarian but with eating some fish). I do still eat meat, normally about once a week, but this is a massive change from the two or three times a day which I was doing so previously. Initially I did it as an experiment to see how my training and body composition were affected (they weren’t) but have stuck with it because I think it’s a significant way an individual can reduce their impact on the planet, both in terms of their carbon footprint but also reducing the part they play in the bad and unethical animal husbandry that is commonplace in these days of £3 chickens.
I find it easy to eat veggie food, but it’s hard to get the same amount of protein. I was eating a lot of dairy, mostly Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese – cheap sources of protein – but if I’m honest, I don’t think they agree with me. They make my throat feel mucus-y and my breathing worse, and I’m pretty sure they make me constipated and gassy too.
(That might be TMI, but frankly if you don’t enjoy a good poo then there’s something wrong with you. And in all seriousness, if you are not having daily good poo’s it’s actually a sign that there is something wrong: poor diet, inadequate hydration, too much stress etc. etc. Just something to think about whilst you eat your breakfast).
Anyhow, I don’t take protein shakes (pointless waste of money and also disgusting) but I had read somewhere online about cooking with pea protein, and since I had to buy a 1kg tub of almond butter from Myprotein.com I figured I’d get a bag to see what I could make. So far I’ve only done pancakes and a kind of Indian chapati style thing, but the pancakes I’ve got nailed now, so thought I’d share the recipe.
Makes two large-ish pancakes (for one person or two small/non-greedy people)
- 1 scoop pea protein (don’t see why you couldn’t use flavoured if you like), soaked in water overnight
- 1 desertspoon flour (I used spelt)
- 1 large pinch psyllium husks (optional)
- 1 large pinch baking soda (or bicarb)
- 1 small egg
- Something sweet (optional) like honey, date syrup, sugar etc.
- Spices (optional) eg. nutmeg or cinnamon
- Milk of some sort (cow, almond, coconut etc.)
- Coconut oil for frying
- Soak the pea protein (in enough water to make a thick batter) overnight. This is to stop you getting that weird grainy texture that some vegetable proteins can have.
- Put a large frying pan on to heat on a medium flame. Add some coconut oil – a teaspoon should do it (up to you really, assuming you have a decent non-stick pan) – and spread so it covers the base
- Add the flour, baking powder, psyllium husks, optional things (eg. honey and cinnamon) and the egg, and whisk with a fork till smooth
- Tip half the mixture into the frying pan and wait for bubbles to form on the surface like this:
- When the surface looks dry (you can speed this along by sticking it under the grill, but don’t be tempted to turn the hob temperature up, otherwise the bottom will burn) then flip it over. It should look like this:
- Cook for a couple more minutes – if you’re not sure whether it’s cooked then give it a prod – it should feel firm and not squishy at all.
- Serve! I had mine with home made apple sauce (Mum gave me some cooking apples from the garden, which I cooked with some cinnamon and date syrup in a bit of water) and natural yoghurt.