What I love most about vegan protein powders in general is that they contain much cleaner and healthier ingredients than most proteins marketed out there. Yes, a lot of these dairy-based proteins taste good and have these delicious flavors, they are filled with chemicals, sucralose and other artificial sweeteners that aren’t good for you. I’ll be first to admit that I’m guilty of being a huge fan of Quest proteins, which use sucralose, but that’s because a lot of the ones I have right now were handed to me as free samples, and I can’t let food go to waste. Everything in moderation. Regardless, I’m always seeking to find cleaner alternatives that do not have lactose.
On the other hand, one of my BIGGEST problems with the supplement industry is the discrimination of flavors in protein powders. While most plant-based proteins are basically confined in their vanilla bean or natural chocolate cells–strawberry if the company is nice–on the other hand, you have the whey and casein proteins prostituting themselves to these outrageous flavors such as birthday cake, pumpkin, apple pie, red velvet, peanut butter cookies n’ creme, cappuccino, salted caramel, think of any dessert that sounds delicious and you can most likely find it in whey protein form. But since I am looking to reduce my dairy intake, I’m stuck in Blah-Flavorville with the vegan protein powders around me.
It wasn’t until I attended the Natural Products Expo West in March when I found some amazing vegan protein powder companies that carried fun flavors such as peanut butter, cookies n’ creme, chocolate caramel, chai latte, and of course, cinnamon! In this case, I was THRILLED when the people working at the BodyNutrition booth allowed me to take a sample of their new released Gardenia CinnaBun protein powder!
If you saw my three-ingredient protein waffle recipe, you know that I used Gardenia’s chocolate protein powder to make that masterpiece (BTW, that recipe is completely vegan and gluten free, and it is absolutely amazing)! Anyways, even though there are plenty of cinnamon-flavored vegan protein powders, it still excited me because I love Gardenia in particular! I tried blending it in some sweet potato kabocha pudding that I have a recipe for down below to see what the results would be, and they could not have been more perfect.
The aspects of this protein are all A+! I did add a bit more cinnamon prior to blending, but the cinnabun flavor is strong while being sweet enough to dilute the spice.
BodyNutrition doesn’t sell in California, so I do have to buy them online.
- 1 medium-large Japanese yam
- 1 cup of kabocha
- 1 serving of Gardenia CinnaBun all-natural vegan protein
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- Powdered peanut butter to drizzle (you can also add a couple of tablespoons to blend for extra flavor)
- Water to prevent stickiness (measurements vary but you’ll probably only need a couple tablespoons)
- Opt: peanut butter, chocolate chips, coconut, etc.
- Cook your yam and kabocha completely, but make sure they are not mushy as this will prevent the mixture from thickening in the blender.
- Peel the yam and kabocha. Optional step: let cool if you have a sensitive blender.
- Blend all ingredients except the powdered peanut butter (unless you want to) completely. If necessary, scrape the sides of the blender to mix everything and add a little more water and repeat.
Have you ever tried Gardenia protein? Do you agree that there are not enough fun vegan protein powder flavors?