A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Food Review: EnergyFirst Natural Whey Protein

If you’ve been following my blog, you might remember my post on protein and the important role it plays in our everyday health. There are many sources of protein from plants, animals, and dairy. Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or can’t go a day without some form of meal, protein powders offer an easy and tasty way to up your protein intake. I know this is about Whey protein and some forms of vegetarians are strictly plant based, so forgive me for any offense taken. I choose whey over soy, hemp, or other protein powders for its naturally high quality amino acid profile that is hard to obtain from the other sources.
I enjoy mixing whey protein with frozen fruit and some winter squash (I keep it varied) puree almost every night for a healthy treat. When selecting whey protein, there are several ingredients I like to make sure are not in the mix:
- Artificial Flavors
- Acesulfame Potassium (a.k.a. Acesulfame K) = artificial sweetener; found in most diet drinks
- Aspartame = artificial sweetener; found in most diet drinks and “low-carb” foods
- Sucralose = another artificial sweetener found in most diet drinks and “low-carb” foods; a.k.a Splenda
- Any added colors; i.e. FD&C Yellow #5
- Hydrogenated Oils; there should be no oil added to a protein powder, but “hydrogenated” is a word that makes me automatically put a product back
- Carrageenan gum = thickener; other gums like guar and xanthan do not give me problems, but carrageenan always upsets my insides
- Sugar in the form of cane juice, fructose, or any other names used for sugar
Example of too many ingredients and artificial crap.
The whey protein I choose should have no more than 5 ingredients and be either unflavored, vanilla, or chocolate; any other flavors usually mean extra ingredients in the form of artificial flavors and colors. For the flavored versions, look for stevia to be the only sweetener used as it is a natural, zero calorie substitute that makes for great flavor to me.

I found a great company in the business of making quality whey protein powders and decided to ask for a sample. A representative from EnergyFirst responded to my inquiry and immediately shipped a sample of their chocolate and vanilla whey protein powders and a green superfood blend. Before trying their product, I was already impressed with their excellent customer service; always a guaranteed way to keep my business!

Since I always use protein powder to make shakes, I wanted to try something a little different….peanut protein brownies! I raved about peanut flour in a previous post and have been baking with it non-stop. So, why not add a healthy dose of all natural EnergyFirst chocolate whey protein to peanut flour and make some awesome Peanut Flour Protein Brownies (PFPBs)? Once the samples arrived, I grabbed the following ingredients and set my oven to pre-heat at 350 degrees:

EnergyFirst PFPB Ingredients

- One scoop (25g) EnergyFirst Natural Chocolate Whey Protein
- One scoop (25g) plain, unflavored whey protein (If I had more of the chocolate, I would’ve done 2 scoops, but I used the usual protein I buy in bulk to bake with)
- 3/4 Cup rolled oats pulsed in blender for a couple seconds (I also use whole wheat or whole spelt flour interchangeably)
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg and 4 egg whites
- 1 Cup peanut flour
- 3/4 Cup pumpkin puree (I have also used refried/mashed black beans to replace some or all of this)
- 1/4 Cup plain, non-fat yogurt
- 12 drops plain liquid stevia and 6 drops vanilla liquid stevia


Add all of the dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a whisk. Add wet ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet to form a slightly runny dough/mixture. It’s ok if the mix is a little runny, the eggs will help to firm everything together. Place mixture in an 11 x 7 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes. I usually lift everything out of the pan and place the parchment paper directly on the oven racks to help cook the bottom after 15 – 20 minutes. Remove once a fork or knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle and let cool on a rack; cut to desired size and enjoy! The chocolate protein provided by EnergyFirst really helped give an awesome chocolate flavor to these brownies and I am ready to get more very, very soon….I suggest you do too!

Not too "pretty" but very healthy and tasty!
My baking is pretty simple and not very thought out since I make it up as I go; but most of the time it turns out good to me! Don’t expect an exact replica of the sugary, fat-laden brownies, these are sugar free and very low fat after all; but these are good enough for me. It takes some practice, and I still don’t have an exact process down, but that’s part of the fun; plus you can still eat your mistakes most of the time! I will usually make 3 batches of a protein and whole grain carb with pumpkin puree each weekend. Some are cut into small pieces and used a “cereal” and others I cut into bar-size and have for snacks at work and nighttime.

Serving Suggestion
With the success of the chocolate whey protein, I decided to use the vanilla powder in a more traditional (somewhat) way by making a shake. For the shake, I threw some frozen chunks of papaya and banana, squash puree, one packet (25g) of EnergyFirst Ultimate Vanilla Whey Protein, a little water, a shot of vanilla vodka (it was night afterall…plus it helps keep it from freezing solid when I stick it in the freezer), plain low-fat kefir, and 6 drops of liquid vanilla stevia. I put the lid on my Magic Bullet blender cup, gave a few shakes and blended until smooth, creamy, and delicious. WOW! I am a fan of this protein! Only 5 ingredients and the taste is just right; not too sweet like you get with some artificial sweeteners, it was perfect. I have no doubt that just mixing a scoop of this protein with water would be satisfying in and of itself.

For the Energizing Superfood Blend, I mixed the packet with a 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of milk for a quick green energy boost and found the taste surprisingly good. I never have high expectations when using a dark green powder in my drinks, but I would buy this again and add to my smoothies without worrying about sacrificing taste.

All in all, I recommend any of the stevia sweetened all natural EnergyFirst protein powders. At only 90 calories, 3g of carbohydrates, 20g of protein, and 0g of fat per 25g serving you get a lot of the good stuff and none of the bad. It also mixes very easy for those of you that just want something quick at work; just add mix to a liquid and shake anytime, anywhere!

Check out EnergyFirst’s products for a healthy boost in quality protein and tasty treats at the same time.

8 comments:

  1. Great article! I really appreciated your well informed comments and agree 100%! Look forward to trying your brownie recipe ;-) Peace & health! Kiki Powers kiki@kikipowers.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,

    Nice blog! Natural whey protein powder is one of the best supplements that our body needs daily. Whey's protein is a natural high-quality protein containing necessary amounts of all the essential amino acids. Thank you...

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  3. Thanks,This blog is very informative and helpful for us to keep fit and healthy.

    Whey Protein

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  4. Thanks for the information that how energy food made with use of Whey Protein...

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  5. Thanks for giving me information about protein. Your blog is very appreciable and informational, Healthgenie.in provides wide range of protein powder ,BP monitor, weighing scales, amino acids. Protein offers a convenient source of amino acids that repair and recover the body. It is refreshing and at the same time, healthy for you. Among athletes and bodybuilders it has became widely popular. If you are planning to gain muscles, it has been proven to be extremely helpful. Protein powder is a good way to gain muscle mass without accumulating fats on your body.

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  6. Whey protein is among the best types of protein supplements that can present remarkable health benefits.

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  7. Yes you are right Whey Protein helps us to make muscles fast by their useful ingredient which is absorbs in it.

    ReplyDelete