Oumph!

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’ve probable already seen my posts about these guys over the weekend.

Their stall at the Just V Show was one of the busiest, and they weren’t even selling anything!

Oumph! was created to fill a gap in the meat substitute market. Something plant based, with low climate impact, that could increase people’s health, and help feed the 9 million on Earth. No small task!

The solution? These meat-free proteins, made entirely from beans, “unlike anything else from the plant kingdom”, and (they claim) with a climate impact is so low, that everyone on the planet can eat them every day!

Not only is this plant protein resource efficient, low in climate impact, rich in protein & fibre, and a great source of iron & folic acid, it tastes amazing. I mean A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! So good, we cheekily went back for more than a few of the tasting samples on offer on Sunday, despite the crowd & queues!

Oumph! comes is 9 varieties ~ 3 unseasoned & 6 seasoned with lots of spices ~ but as I mentioned, none of these were available at the show. Which at the time I was gutted about, however I am excited to announce that the full range will be launching in UK Whole Foods stores in September!!!

Their presence at the show was inspired PR-ing, and despite my initial disappointment, I’ll be spending the next couple of months planning how I’m going to cook and eat all 9 varieties. Roll on September… the question is, will we have enough Summer left for BBQs?

If you see them popping up anywhere else in the meantime, please make sure you give them a try.

I know some veggies & vegans don’t like the flavour or texture of meat (real or substitute), and if that’s you, you’re better off giving this one a miss. However, if like me, you were once an enthusiastic meat-eater, who has chosen to live a cruelty-free life for other reasons, I guarantee these texture & flavours will blow you away.

When you manage to get your hands on a pack, let me know what you think… I’ll be in front of you in the Whole Foods queue.

In the meantime, their website has loads of recipe ideas to ensure we never get bored, and can, as they suggest, eat Oumph! every day!

*** Disclaimer: whilst the majority of the images featured in this post have been borrowed from the Oumph! website, I have not been asked to promote this product by anyone & the opinions expressed here are entirely my own. ***

Protein – the vegan way

January is a time of new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions made, but not so often kept. Two of the most popular being an overhaul of our diets, health and fitness. If, like many others, you have decided to go vegan for Veganuary, you might also have signed up to a brand spanking new gym membership, you’ll be wanting to get the most of your vegan diet.

Most of the time, when someone finds out I’m vegan, they suddenly become concerned that I get enough protein from my diet. No one seems to worry about your protein intake before you become a veggie or vegan!

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And I must admit, pre-veganism, I also thought the best types of protein was in lean meats & eggs. So to help out all you new vegans, I’ve pulled together what I hope is a helpful list of specific types of vegan protein, and what they are good for. Eat away…

 

pumpkin seeds

 

Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber and protein to keep you feeling full, whilst the magnesium, phosphorus and zinc contained in them provide additional energy, great as a pre-workout snack.

 

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Tempeh is less likely than tofu to add on the lbs as it is made from soy beans, rather than soy milk. This makes it more of a whole food and retains more protein, around 50% more than tofu!

 

 

Health-Benefits-Of-Spinach

Spinach wasn’t Popeye’s favourite for nothing! Not only a great source of protein, but also high in vitamins A and C, antioxidants and calsium. Strangely enough spinach is one of the veggies that is best served steamed rather than raw, as it becomes easier for you body to digest and absord the calcium. And did you know that there is almost as much protein in one cup of spinach, as there is in a hard-boiled egg?! Superfood or what?

 

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Guava was an odd one to stumble upon for me, but it is the highest-protein fruit, whilst also containing 600% of your daily vitamin C requirement per cup.

 

 

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Chia Seeds are great for vegans and veggies; not only are they protein rich, but they also contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, something we can often be lacking while others can easily get it from eating oily fish.

 

 

spirulina-in-tablet-and-powder-formSpirulina is not a favourite of mine, I find it leaves a chalky residue in anything I had it to, but its protein content can’t be denied. Made up of 60% protein, like Quinoa it’s complete which means our bodies can directly convert it to muscle! It also contains 50% of your daily vitamin B12 requirement, something some veggies and vegans find themself deficient in when they stop consuming red meat.

 

what-is-the-health-benefits-of-cacao-96451269645126Dubbed the ‘food of the Gods’ in America, cacao is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc, potassium and Vitamins E and B. Full of fiber to help digestion and keep you fuller for the longer, this really is a superfood, the benefits of which have been rounded up very nicely here by The SuperFoods.

 

imagePeanut Butter is an absolute favourite of mine, and a teaspoon of a 100% nut butter, with no added salt, sugar or oil, is great as an after dinner treat, when you’re craving something naughty. Watch out though as it is high in calories, but 2 tablespoons added to a post workout smoothie, provide a great dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats. Peanuts are also good for your heart, and studies have shown they can prevent both cardivasular and coronary atery disease.

 

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Another nut packing a healthy dose of protein is the almond. Consume before your workout and studies have shown that these little nuts can actually help you burn more fat and carbs.

 

 

Avocado-Recipes

 

A superfood high up on my list of protein packed favourites, is the avocado. Full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, more potasium than a banana, loads of fiber, vitamins & minerals in abundance, a regular sized avocado will contain around 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats.

 

 

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Popular with those trying to lose weight, mushrooms contain very little carbs or fat. The protein in mushrooms is only small, but is unique and it’s been thought to have anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

 

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1 cup of chickpeas contains 12g of protein, around 24% of your daily requirement. The protein in chickpeas is not complete, so combine with wholegrains such as wholegrain cous cous, or make up a batch of hummus and enjoy it on wholegrain bread or toast to get a complete protein.

 

beans

Not only are beans high in fiber and antioxidants, they aid with weight loss, and in turn disease prevention too! Comparable to meat when it comes to calories, beans are full of fiber and water, helping you to feel fuller for longer; meaning you should be able to cut calories, without feeling deprived. By losing weight you decrease your chances of developing serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. So nutritious are these little legumes in fact, that it’s recommended we tripple our weekly intake from 1 to 3 cups.

 

black-riceBlack Rice, also known as Forbidden Rice, has similar nutrient levels to brown rice, but with higher quanities of antioxidants. It is also a great source of fiber and minerals, including iron. A 100g serving of black rice has 8.5g of protein, 3.5mg of iron and 4.9g of fiber. Compared to white, brown and red rices, black rice has the highest amount of protein and double the fiber of brown rice.

 

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Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie nuts, at only 4kcal per average sized nut, you can enjoy around 40 of these delicious nuts for a healthy 160 kcal snack – I also find the process of cracking & eating quite theraputic! They are great sources of protein (around 20g for every 100g consumed), healthy fats, antoixidants, vitamins and minerals; a great all rounder and easy to carry in your bag for an on the go energy source.

 

So there you have it, a thorough but not exhaustive list of veggie and vegan proteins to help you get the most out of your month of Veganuary! Now off to the gym…

 

All images courtesy of Getty Images.

Raw Vegan Nut, Seed + Cacao Hearts

Just a quick post today to tell you about the Raw Vegan Nut, Seed + Cacao Hearts I made at the weekend.

I wanted to jazz up my usual protein balls so I made them in to little hearts, using a silicone ice cube mould. I love using these to make sweet treats as they come in so many different shapes; I’m on the lookout for something “Easter-y” at the moment, if anyone can point me in the right direction?

Anyway, I digress, these are so simple to make and they are raw so no cooking involved, retaining all their natural nutritious goodness.


Here’s what I used, but feel free to play around with the ingredients, I tend to just use up what I have in my cupboards. Your quantities will vary depending on the size and shape of your mould. I always find it’s better to make too much than too little. I like to taste as I go – of course, who doesn’t, right? – and you can always revert back to good old protein balls if you run out of space in your mould. I ended up making 12 hearts, with enough mixture left over to make 6 balls, which I rolled in the leftover cacao chocolate and coconut.

·         Desiccated coconut

·         Porridge oats, steel cut if you’re gluten-free

·         Your preferred mixture of nuts and seeds – I used cashews and almonds + sunflower and pumpkin seeds

·         Dates, medjool if poss as they are best

·         4x tbsp maple syrup – 2x tbsp for the protein mixture + 2x tbsp for the cacao chocolate topping. You can add more or less depending on the size of your sweet tooth and mould of course

·         Coconut oil, melted –  1x tbsp for the protein mixture + 4-5x tbsp for the cacao chocolate topping

Do you know how good this stuff is for you? Check out post featuring some of the amazing ways coconut oil can be used in your cooking and beauty regime

·         3x tbsp raw organic cacao powder – 1x tbsp for protein mixture + 2x tbsp for cacao chocolate topping

Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter)

You can use regular cocoa powder but your creations won’t be raw

You might also need to use more cocoa powder, in order to get the same depth of chocolate flavour as cacao

 

Add your favourite vegan friendly protein to ramp up the protein content. They’re then great little snacks for an immediate post workout protein hit.

And how you make them :

1.       Sprinkle a little desiccated coconut in the bottom of your moulds, this will give them nice little coconut tops

2.       Put nuts, seeds, oats, dates, 1x tbsp cacao powder + more desiccated coconut in a food processor and blend to desired consistency

3.       Add in 2x tbsp maple syrup and 1x tbsp coconut oil and blend once more, until the mixture becomes thick and sticky, then pack tightly in to your moulds

4.       Mix the remaining melted coconut oil and cacao powder to make a rich cacao chocolate, then drizzle on top of your moulds, creating what will become their lovely chocolate bottoms

5.       Put in your freezer for about 30 minutes and until set and they’re ready to devour. Make sure you keep them in the fridge when not eating, as this will keep them set and fresh!

 

raw vegan nut, seed + cacao hearts

 

Let me know how you get on making these. I think some bunnies would be fun for Easter, now where would I get that mould from? Post your pictures on Instagram tagging me so I can see your creations!