Thursday, March 30, 2017

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake

I admit to having what I like to call a latent sweet tooth.  It sorta lays in wait and does not show itself very often... thankfully... but when it does appear, it demands to be placated and satisfied almost immediately.  I have come up with a Simple Chocolate Mug Cake, using ingredients that I always have in my panty. It tastes somewhat sweet and satisfies that need.  But it is also actually very low in sugar and carbs and fat, overall, and jam-packed with protein... and flavor!  It is gluten-free, and grain-free, too.

I can pretty much whip it up in a couple of minutes and if you have a sweet tooth that needs attention, you know how important immediacy can be!  You have just got to get something sweet into your mouth as quickly as possible so it might just as well be something that is not going to break your macro/calorie/Smart Points bank, right?

The 3 main ingredients in my Simple Chocolate Mug Cake are chocolate based... chocolate whey protein powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chocolate PB2... and then I add almond or other unsweetened nut milk and a bit of baking powder.  I mix them together and pop into the mike for a minute. The aroma is wonderful. Gives me something to savor and anticipate while I am waiting a few seconds for it to cool enough to slide out of the baking dish and into a serving bowl.

And it also gives me a bit of time to decide if I want or need toppings... yogurt, nut butter of some kind, berries, cinnamon... you know... the really good stuff.  Sometimes I just want plain chocolate cake and eat it right out of the baking dish!  It is that good.  I am thinking you could also make up an icing with protein powder or even top it with whipped coconut cream.  Mmmm.  Yep. Gotta try that!

Now, I have used a plant-based protein powder instead of whey to make this cake. And it works, but you need to cook it a bit longer for some reason.  Your choice.

I have also used a variety of nut milks, depending on what I have on hand.  I am sharing the nutritional information using unsweetened original Almond Breeze.  And if you don't have chocolate PB2, use the plain one, or failing that, use a second tablespoon of the cocoa powder. You will get an even chocolatier cake!  Is that even a word?

Okay, I did not make it in a mug... but you could!  My baking dish is a small glass bowl... about 4 inches across and about 3 inches deep.

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
makes 1 cake

  • 1 scoop (about 32g) chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbs chocolate PB2
  • 1/4 cup nut milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Coat the inside of a microwave safe cooking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the nut milk and stir.  You want a brownie batter consistency so if it is a bit thick, add more nut milk a couple of drops at a time.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared baking dish.
  5. Cook in microwave oven for 1 minute on HIGH. Time may vary slightly.
  6. Remove cooked cake from microwave and allow to cool about 30 seconds before removing cake to serving dish.
  7. Top as desired or eat plain.
Per serving, without toppings.
Weight Watchers Smart Points = 3.
Calories 166
Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Carbohydrates 8g
Sugar 3g
Protein 28g

Printable Recipe

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
Dry ingredients before mixing together.  See the difference in color of my 3 chocolatey ingredients and then the baking powder?

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
Thick brownie-like batter after stirring in nut milk.  Not runny at all but very moist.

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
Cooked cake, cooling a bit before placing in serving dish.

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
With yogurt and berries.

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
With yogurt and a drizzle of sugar free chocolate mint syrup.

Simple Chocolate Mug Cake
Whether you dress it up or enjoy it plain, you are sure to love this easy peasy chocolate cake!

Do you have a sweet tooth?  How do you satisfy it quickly?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Delicious and Filling Protein Powered Pancakes

Over the past many, many years I have experimented with breakfast foods and breakfast recipes. I have learned that my first meal of the day needs to be filled with protein.  Oh, I have tried various carb-filled delights such as pancakes with fruit and maple syrup, or stuffed French toast with whipped cream... and as delicious and filling as I find those things while I am eating them, an hour later I am shaking and HANGRY... with low blood sugar and a headache.  And quite miserable.  And I make everyone around me miserable too, until I get something else to eat.

So, I know that my breakfast needs protein.  Lots of protein.  On days I work out in the morning, I normally have a shake made with some kind of protein powder.  If I use a whey powder, I make it with nut milk and some kind of fruit.  If I use a vegan powder that is higher in carbs I usually add only water.

After my workout, I will have an another small protein-filled meal... usually eggs or egg whites with spinach, or squash, and perhaps some turkey bacon.

But on days I don't work out, I like to have one solid meal in the morning and then not eat again till noon.  I have been trying out different foods to make sure I have my nutritional bases covered... protein, carbs, and a bit of fat... enough to get me through a busy morning but not weigh me down. It needs to have lots of protein, some carbs, some fat.  A good balance of all three.

I love pancakes.  But I have not found a mix that is both high protein and gluten-free that is anywhere near affordable, so I have been trying various mixtures of ingredients, and I think I have finally come up with something that is worthy of sharing.

I have make this same recipe 3 different mornings now and find it not only tastes great, but it also fills me up and keeps me fuelled, easily, through several hours.  Now, admittedly, it is kind of time consuming to make a new batch every time I want some, so I have started to pre-measure the dry ingredients for a few batches and keep them in sealed bags in the pantry. That way I can grab one, add the wet ingredients, and start cooking within a couple of minutes. Cleanup is easy too.

I weigh gluten-free oats and then grind them into flour in my food processor.  Then I mix them with the rest of the dry ingredients and bag them up.  When I want to make a batch of cakes, I mash some banana, then beat up some egg whites, add the dry ingredients and cook the cakes in a pre-heated pan that has been coated with a bit of non-stick spray.

If you don't have a banana, I am pretty sure that an equal amount of pumpkin puree or unsweetened applesauce would work as well.  Of course, the N.I. would be slightly different.

I use a vanilla whey protein powder. You could try another flavor if you like. If you use unflavored, then add a bit of vanilla extract or almond extract to your wet ingredients.

Here are the amounts you need to make 4 nice pancakes.  And yes, they freeze.  Make a huge batch and freeze them. That would make mornings even easier, right?

Protein Powered  Pancakes

Protein Powered Pancakes
makes 1 serving of 4 cakes

 Dry Ingredients:
  • 40g oats ground into flour (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
  • 16g whey protein powder (about 1/2 scoop)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • liberal dash of cinnamon
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 60 g ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 small)
  1. Pour egg whites into mixing bowl and beat till a bit fluffy with fork or whisk.
  2. Add mashed banana and beat a bit more.
  3. Add the dry ingredients, mix well.
  4. Make 4 individual pancakes.  Use a 1/4 cup measure to spoon batter into prepared pan.  Cook for a couple of minutes and flip over to cook second side. Remove to plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat for all 4 cakes.
  5. Serve with favorite toppings.
Per 4 cake serving, without toppings.
Weight Watchers Smart Points =  8.
Calories 324;
Fat 4g;
Saturated Fat 1g;
Carbohydrates 42g;
Sugar 9g;
Protein 33g

Protein Powered Pancakes
Cook the pancakes one at a time in a preheated pan.

Protein Powered Pancakes
I like sugar free syrup on my pancakes... but you could try fruit or yogurt.

Protein Powered Pancakes
Dig in!

Are you pancake fan or do you prefer waffles?