Todd often gets dozens of emails a day with questions just about nutrition and diet.
One issue that comes up time and time again is that people are struggling to get enough protein. There’s a huge list of reasons given, but the top one is usually always the same; it’s just easier to get carbs.
Whether it’s an apple or a bagel, a bag of pretzels or carrots, carbs are more readily available and easy to find. But since carbs are so accessible, that means there’s all the more reason to intentionally make sure that you have a protein source that is ready to eat.
Whether you’re a busy stay-at-home parent, a college student on the go, or just an avid fitness enthusiast, this recipe is for you. Protein never tasted so good!
The Crappy Version
Do you remember those pudding cups that came in snack packs? I have to admit that they were a favorite treat of mine in high school, although I could never eat just one. Yum. There never seemed to be enough pudding in one cup and it always made me more hungry for other sugary sweets. Looking back, I’m sure that was the whole idea.
What I find really interesting is that if you go to their website, there are no ingredients listed. Kind of shady, right?
Instead you’ll find this. The only information they give about ingredients is as follows:
- Made with real non-fat milk
- Good source of calcium
- Not made with High Fructose Corn Syrup
Calcium? I didn’t know that counted as an ingredient. 😉 No high-fructose corn syrup? That’s great, but I’m left wondering what they have sweetened it with.
Here’s a snapshot of the ingredient list for Jello Pudding Cups. They were much more forthcoming with their ingredients, although they don’t look promising.
I don’t want to spend too much time going into the ingredients, but I do have to question something that’s made from ingredients that I don’t even know what they are, or ingredients that are artificial.
Artificial flavorings literally mean that the flavor is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herbs, bark, buds, roots, leaves or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products.
Basically, they’re flavored by nothing found in nature. Yuck!
The added food coloring is a whole other issue in and of itself. Check out this page for more information.
Bad ingredients = bad nutrition quality.
Here’s another example. This pudding offers a measly 2g of protein, a whopping 18g of sugar, and a total 24g of carbs that will be converted into more sugar in your body.
The Better, Healthier Version
Chocolate pudding isn’t bad in and of itself. Chocolate has many wonderful nutritional benefits. It’s just that food companies have turned a good thing into yet another thing that we can’t enjoy guilt-free.
But here’s a chocolate protein pudding that you can enjoy!
Chocolate Pudding Recipe
Prep time: 3 minutes
Refridgeration time: At least 6 hours
Nutrion: 39g protein, 26g carbs, 20g fiber, 12g healthy fat
Note: The nutritional content of the pudding will vary depending on your specific protein powder, dairy source and chia seed, but this should give you a rough idea of the macros.
- 4tbsp or ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup milk (we used rice milk, but you can use any kind)
- ¼ cup protein powder
- 1 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder (optional – if you use chocolate protein powder you won’t need any)
- Optional toppings: berries, peanut or almond butter, hemp hearts, chopped almonds
- Place all the ingredients in a jar or plastic container and shake vigorously.
- Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a blender for a smoother consistency.
- Place the container in the refrigerator for a least 6 hours.
- Top with your favorite toppings.
- Eat and enjoy!
Bonus Recipe: No Bake Peanut Butter Protein Bites
Prep time: 5 mins.
Refrigeration time: 2 hours
Nutrition: 8g of protein per serving (depending on your protein powder)
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 2 scoops protein powder
- 2 bananas
- 2 tbsp flax seed or chia seed
- Mix all the ingredients together by hand.
- Make small balls with the mix and place in a plastic storage container.
- Layer peanut butter balls with parchment paper in between them.
- Freeze for 2 hours before serving.
- Eat and enjoy, or store them in the freezer for later!
What are your go-to recipes for quick, easy protein?
Let me know in the comments!