Friday, May 18

Protein Puppies

One of my favorite things about experimenting with lowcarb foods is the amazing combinations. It's like magic, or Star Trek's Replicator. It goes in as an almond, it comes out a dense bread-like thing. That's bizarre. And wonderful!

I never knew about the ability of egg and protein to combine into a semi bread-like texture for example, since typical highcarb eating combines eggs with powdered, nutrient-stripped sugar-cardboard grains as flour instead.

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I think it's important (I've said this before) that lowcarbers not name half their foods like "fake versions of highcarb stuff". So for example I don't call it mock apple pie, I call it Zucchini cobbler, and then say in a subtitle it tastes just like apple pie. As long as people are comparing lowcarb dishes to highcarb dishes, or only evaluating lowcarb foods by "how much like" highcarb foods they are, then psychologically, as well as to others, it's a "specialty diet", not just different foods. (Because then you're not really saying "I eat different foods" but rather, "I eat the same foods in a substituted form". Kinda like the plainwrap or no-name version instead of a popular brand.)

I think lowcarbers should be delighted that cauliflower can do a dish that tastes a lot like twice-baked cheese potatoes, or chicken fried rice, but I think that should have its own name that lowcarbers learn to love, not "I'm pretending to be a potato or rice." I think we should celebrate the food our eating plan has, not as a substitute for high carb food, but as its own culinary delight. Who knows? Maybe some lowcarb foods, if they are not pretending to be fakes of highcarb, but are just proud to stand on their own as what they are, might migrate into a few highcarb diets as well. Plenty of highcarbers are willing to try a cauliflower dish. But they have no reason to try a 'fake potato' dish since they can just eat potatoes.

In California where I grew up, there was this place called Kaiser's Nutrition. They had carob flavored "Hercules Flips" drinks. The first time I got one, I did it as 'fake chocolate' -- I thought it was a substitute of sorts, and I thought it was healthier. (Oh brother.) At first, I was disappointed, because really, it didn't taste a damn thing like chocolate. But then later, I realized that it tasted really, really GOOD, and I loved it! In fact, it has a unique taste unlike anything else I've ever had. As a substitute for chocolate, it was pitiful. As a new food I'd never tried, I loved it. If you see what I mean.

It made me realize that how we "frame" our perceptions about our food is important. Substitutes are always 'diet' or 'fake' foods, psychologically, not their own thing.

There are many foods -- curry, pesto, etc. -- that do not taste like anything else in the universe but what they are. They are "new" to people the first time. If they were presented as a substitute for something else, they would surely be a disgustingly poor version of whatever it was. But on their own, they're divine foods!

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Over in the lowcarber.org forum, a member named Atlee posted this great recipe she called "protein powder donut holes." After about 100+ replies to the thread, most ravingly positively, I finally got around to trying them. I'd like to officially offer thanks and prayers for a long happy lowcarb life to Atlee for sharing it freely!

My versions of things are seldom exactly like the original, and then I usually number them like software and they "evolve" as I try different flavor or other variations. I can later refer to v1.7 and v2.3 as my favorites worth keeping, for example. I rename them, partly to match what I think is best descriptive, and partly because it seems unfair to represent someone else's recipe in a way that is not what they provided. (I do always provide refs and links to the source, teacher's pet that I am.)

These things (protein batter deep fried into balls) are totally reminiscent to me -- in appearance, not taste -- of "Hush Puppies" (fried balls of cornmeal batter). So I am calling them:

Protein Puppies

Ingredients:

1 scoop protein powder (I used Designer Whey, Vanilla Praline)
1 egg (I used large)
1/2 cube (1/4 cup) butter, fully melted (I used regular salted)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used artificial as it's way lower carb)
2-3 Tbsp sweetener equivalent (I used 6-8 drops of sweetzfree)
coconut oil in a small deep saucepan, about 1" deep of it

Nuke butter to fully melt it, stir in everything else, stir well. Let sit for a few minutes. Stir again. Original creator suggested using an ice cream scoop but I only had a large table spoon. Heat oil to boiling. Drop in a spoon(s) of the batter stuff in the pan. It poofs up into balls with the heat. Flip them over, only takes several seconds till they are done. Drop on a plate with paper towels (to drain oil). The ones I cooked longer that were pretty dark brown were better. I think it made 6-8 of these (my sizing was inconsistent).


They came out with a nature and look rather like hush puppies: sorta crispy outside, dense yet light somehow (bit breadish) inside. Ry and I were amazed at the result (given the ingredients), they were really good!

Click the image below to see a nutrition count with ingredients and instructions; print in landscape mode and it should fit on one page.



Alrighty then. I think I'm going to try and make this again today and put the stuff in a ziplock and squeeze it into the oil more like a funnel cake and see how it is. Calianna said she tried it like that and it was really good. But first I think I have to come up with some kind of something to dip it in. Big Daddy D mentioned LC cinnamon rolls (oh my gosh!) so I'm off to see if his blog has any ideas for a sweet dip. I do remember seeing cinnamon streussal something on there, yum!

P.S. or maybe I'll just break down and try Tracy's Chocolate Mayo Pound Cake which actually does look pretty darn good.

Edited to add: I tried it again with strawberry protein powder and didn't like it. I forgot the sweetener though! Don't do that. :-) I did it like a funnelcake but I didn't care for it that way cause (a) it was thinner and the inside wasn't as moist and (b) I overcooked it by cooking it to the same color of the balls-ideal. So if you do the funnelcake format (cut tiny hole in corner of ziplock with the batter), it doesn't need to be cooked as long as the balls. We are talking about only seconds of difference here really. :-)

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7 comments:

stacey said...

Kayser's Health Food Store! I lived in Thousand Oaks my whole life (has it really been 40 years! I'm getting old!) and I absolutely LOVED the Hercules Flip! I would love to have the flip powder, but apparently, after some 35 years in Santa Barbara (the Kayser headquarters), they closed shop this past summer for good! I'm so bummed, I could sure use a little carob Hercules Flip right about now! YUM! Blows Choclate, anything, away!

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Julie Melchor said...

From what I've been hearing, Pacific Health Foods in Carpinteria, might have the mix. I sent them an email tonight and they have "The Flip" on their menu.

Julie Melchor said...

From what I've been hearing, Pacific Health Foods in Carpinteria, might have the mix. I sent them an email tonight and they have "The Flip" on their menu.

Julie Melchor said...

From what I've been hearing, Pacific Health Foods in Carpinteria, might have the mix. I sent them an email tonight and they have "The Flip" on their menu.