Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Vanilla Mocha Protein Shake – This is GOOD!

by Kristen Suzanne in vegan

I’m a coffee flavor freak… black coffee, frou-frou type coffee, whatever. And, although I don’t indulge in icee frothy sugary type coffee beverages anymore, there was a time that I did. That was back in the day, before I knew any better.

Sure, I have organic fair trade coffee from time to time now, usually decaf, but that’s just plain coffee (my favorite brand is Green Star Coffee). When I feel extra sassy, I sometimes enjoy it as a fun beverage over ice with coconut milk or raw nut milk. That’s typically the extent of my coffee-ness though… until now… kind of.

Today, I share with you a recipe for a simple protein shake that you might start craving like mad once you try it. Coffee flavor lovers unite!

Organic, Fair-trade coffee at mom’s.

I think my addiction to the flavor of coffee started when I was seven years old… Nana gave me a sip of her coffee (well, we’re Italian after all, start em’ young), and I felt like such a big girl. It wasn’t long thereafter and I was shaving my legs (again, I’m Italian, what can I say? Or, maybe the coffee made the hair on my legs grow faster? ;)). Just kidding.

Well, the love of coffee and all things coffee flavored stuck with me. I remember growing up and taking sips of my mom’s International Coffee in the evening. You remember the ones, right? They came in those little tins and there were different flavors… kind of like a coffee hot cocoa. Oh the memories (sigh).

Well, tis no wonder that I can’t help but love coffee flavors with all of the nostalgia surrounding it. Imagine my immense delight when I made a delicious protein shake, with a coffee flavor. With each sip I was transported back to my childhood family room and remembering those good ol’ times. I know you might be thinking, “A protein shake that’s super yum? And, a coffee flavored one to boot?” YES.

Let’s take a step back for a moment. At the beginning of 2012 I started using Medicine Flower’s culinary flavor extracts (wow… I just noticed that they have a watermelon one! Holy smokes. Looks like that’s something Lauren and I need.). Nothing, and I mean it, nothing, compares to Medicine Flower cold-pressed, no preservatives, culinary extracts (they offer nice essential oils, too). Their culinary extracts are pure divinity, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

A few of the ones my mom has. My collection is a bit more extensive.

These flavor extracts are so potent that you might only need a drop, two, or three, and you’re blown away by the fun and delicious flavors you can enjoy. They’re not cheap, though, so I try to stock up when they’re on sale. Or, I simply just buy some and treat myself because they actually last quite a while, only using a drop here and there. (One of my all-time favorites is their vanilla, no doubt. I use one drop in a 16 oz bottle of water and it’s like aroma-taste-flavor-therapy for the tastebuds. Seriously. I also love their cinnamon, coconut, white chocolate, dark chocolate, pomegranate, and strawberry. Not as crazy about their morello cherry though.)

I’m also a fan of having different flavors because it makes playing around with food more fun. And, as such, the other day I decided I wanted to change up my protein shake of chocolate flavored Sun Warrior** and water. I decided to add some vanilla and coffee extract. Well, hells bells! It was fantastic. 

If you’re a fan of mocha-flavor-frothy-cappuccino type drinks then I bet you’ll like this new recipe. I make a couple bottles at a time and store them in the fridge so they’re nice and chilly when I take one out to enjoy.

Vanilla Mocha Protein Goodness! Yum!

Vanilla Mocha Protein Shake

Serves 2

Blend (or shake) and serve.

Warrior Blends – Vanilla and Chocolate. They also have a “natural” flavor that I use in smoothies.

** I’m also playing around with the Warrior Blends from Sun Warrior. These Warrior Blends offer a non-rice, raw, vegan protein option that is made with proteins of hemp, pea, and cranberry. The texture is different. Whereas the Sun Warrior rice can be described as a bit “chalky” – which I’m ok with and used to – the Warrior Blend is very smooth, but a bit “furry” feeling. Hard to describe – lol – but if you’ve had them both, you probably know. That being said… I usually drink them with just water – plus extracts, seasonings versus in a fruit/green filled smoothie, which is why I can distinctly feel either chalky or furry. But, two notes: 1) When I add the Warrior blend to an actual smoothie with other ingredients like produce, then the furry-ness is reduced. 2) If I am doing a normal shake of mine with just water and protein, then if I add more water, it decreases the chalky or furry texture experiences noted above for both their rice and Warrior blends. In conclusion, I am a fan of both of their blends. I like the versatility and variety of proteins. I think it’s smart to change them up.

******* By the way… Have questions or comments? Use twitter or my Facebook fan page to chat. Links are on the right-hand side of my blog. —>

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