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Thursday, March 8, 2018

A mid-afternoon protein boost

Lately I've felt like I needed more protein in my day. I've turned to something that I read about in Prevention Magazine 15 years ago -- a tofu-orange drink. It's a bit like an orange Julius in flavor, more so with added sweetening.

to make one drink, I use:

4 1/2 ounces of tofu, rinsed
6 ounces of orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
honey, stevia, or sugar (optional)

Whirl all ingredients in a blender and serve.

The texture is smoothest, and flavor the mildest, if using silken or soft tofu. However, firm tofu has a higher protein content, so I often opt for that, and just "deal" with the texture.

For one glass of tofu-orange beverage I get 11 grams of protein (that's equal to almost 2 boiled eggs, or 1 chicken drumstick), 273 mg of calcium (about the same as in a cup of milk), 4 mg iron (the same as in about 2/3 cup of cooked spinach), and 540 mg potassium (about the same as in 1  1/4 bananas).

It's just what I need to get through the afternoon slump. The taste is good and it's easy to make. One serving costs about 60 cents in my kitchen (most of the cost is the tofu).

I know soy is a controversial food for many people. If it's not your thing, I understand. If it works for you, here's another way to use it.


Live and Learn said...

Soy's not my thing, but if it tastes like Orange Julius...

EcoCatLady said...

That sounds yummy! I'm not generally a fan of tofu, but that might be worth a try...

Allie said...

I love using tofu this way! I'll usually blend it into a smoothie for my husband, especially after a workout. The texture works so well!

Alice said...

Oh, boo! OJ gives me heartburn and reflux so I can't have it anymore. I love orange julius (non-alcohol) and I don't mind tofu either.


Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
I realize that many people don't use soy. I'm sure there are other ways that you can make Orange Julius at home, though. Have a lovely weekend.

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
if you buy tofu specifically for this you might prefer silken tofu, for both flavor and texture. You still get a fair amount of protein, but it's less tofu-y. Have a great weekend, Cat.

Lili said...

Hi Allie,
I've been trying to get more protein, and tofu in a blended drink is such an easy way. I'm sure your husband appreciates a drink like this after a workout! Hope your day is off to a wonderful start!

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
Oh, I'm so sorry that heartburn and reflux trouble you. That must be hard to not be able to have some of your favorite foods. Can someone with reflux have any fruit juices? Or is fruit inherently too acidic. You have my sympathy. I hope your weekend is pleasant, Alice.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lili--

Wow, this sounds great if you like/tolerate soy and orange. And so happy it works well for you. (Nice price, too!)

DH recently did some health research and found another interesting mid-afternoon (also good mid-morning or when you wake up, depending on when you need the perk-up)-- home-cooked chicken broth (from any old cut of cheap chicken with the bones in.)

Sounded weird to us, but it's actually great. Even cured a confirmed cola drinker of their afternoon "fix". This actually works better.

I don't know the cost, but we usually use a couple of sale picnic-pack chicken pieces, and then we add whatever veggies we have on hand -- onion, garlic, celery, carrots, beets, herbs-- so it can't cost a lot per cup. And then you have yummy boiled chicken for salads, pasta, and eggs, too. Or you can use the broth with the chicken and veg as real soup. Super-easy and fast to prep now that we're in the habit.

Here's to afternoon pick-me-ups! :) Hugs -- Sara

Alice said...

Citrus is the culprit and peppermint is bad also.


Alice said...

Sara, do you add any salt or seasoning like that? I made a (yes, only one) chicken breast in the pressure cooker yesterday with a little salt and water. I used the chicken for a chicken/pasta/pea salad and hubby ate the broth with some roasted potatoes. He loved it. We have done it before but I'm wondering if you used seasoning or not.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Alice--

Your broth/chicken pasta salad combo for yourself and your husband sounds like a great deal to me. :)

I usually make the broth with 1 thigh and 1 drumstick, and that's enough broth for maybe 2 days, depending on who's drinking it. Broth is healthiest fresh, so I can't see any reason to make more than you'll need in a day or two.

We do salt ours to taste after it's cooked, because we don't have anyone with sodium restrictions in the house. But I think that it's the collagen and other nutrients from the bone broth that are the pick-me-up. I'm sure you wouldn't need to salt it if you didn't want to, or shouldn't. I don't add salt while it's cooking.

I've tasted the broth without salt, and it's fine. I don't have a garden, but two have two rosemary plants by the back door; so I often put the leaves from a sprig of rosemary in while it's cooking. That's tasty, as would be fresh thyme (dried would be good, too, of course). I also sometimes drop in a couple of whole peppercorns, which is subtle but nice. Pressed or chopped garlic is nice, especially if you won't salt it alot (not sure why, but garlic seems to reduce my need for salt by taste a little bit.)

I've also added a little ground ginger and sesame oil, for more of an Asian broth flavor, as a change of pace.

We find this is a good use for older, less-attractive veggies, parsley stems, and that sort of thing because they get cooked pretty limp and lifeless, anyway. If we eat it as soup rather than drink it as broth, I eat the veggies and they're fine. If not, I'll admit (but shhh, don't tell Lili! LOL) I really can't stomach the veggies in any other form. I've tried adding them to brown rice and such, and they're too soft and slimy for me.

By the way, I just cook mine in a regular saucepan or stockpot, and it takes about 2-2 1/2 hours according to the recipe we started from (high simmer for 1/2 hour, and then a steady simmer thereafter) to get the nutrients you want out of the chicken and into the broth. How long does it take to cook your broth in the pressure cooker? Thanks!

Take care-- Sara

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I am going to try this. Tofu/soy is fine by me! I don’t eat meat so i’m always looking for a protein boost.

Cat said...

I used to love Orange Julius! Don't live near one now, but when I was a child, it was in a mall nearby and we'd go once in a while with my Grandma, who usually treated us to one. Mmm.Good memories!

Sounds like this is working perfectly for you! If you ever need other options for protein(if you get bored or whatever), what I'm currently doing is collagen powder. I buy it in bulk by the 5 lb box when there is at least 20% off (and free shipping) from a company called Custom Collagen (I am not an affiliate, just like the product) and it works out to .25 per serving, which is also 11 grams protein. I add it to coffee, or a smoothie, or Golden Milk at bedtime, but usually aim for at least one serving per day.

Anonymous said...

That's the same brand of tofu we usually find in our markets��. Since we generally use tofu in savory dishes, I have a hard time considering it sweetened or added in a drink. I'm sure it tastes good but my brain can't seem to accept it just yet. But, I will keep this in mind for my dad who may need the additional protein one day when chewing becomes more difficult. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Have a great weekend,

Lili said...

Hi Debbie,
I hope that you enjoy this as much as I do. Have a great day!

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
Thanks for the suggestion -- I will look into that product. I try to vary how I get protein, figuring that something out of everything will help.
I haven't had a real Orange Julius in decades. We had one near us when I was a girl and my mom would treat us a few times per year. I did really love them, though.
Hope your week is off to a great start!

Lili said...

I think I use tofu roughly equally in savory as well as sweet items. Another sweet use (my family's favorite use for tofu, on the whole) is chocolate-tofu pie. It's simply pureed tofu blended with melted chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and honey/sugar, then poured into a prepared pie crust. We made this for Christmas dinner this past year and it was so good!

I think that's a good plan to have for your dad, for when he no longer wants to chew as much. (I remember my grandmother not eating as much as she got older, and her complaint was foods required too much chewing.)
I hope that your week is off to a great start, YHF!

Allie said...

That pie sounds delicious! Would you mind sharing your recipe with the exact proportions?? :D

Lili said...

Hi Allie,
The recipe (with amounts) for the filling for tofu and chocolate pie is in this post:

For Christmas, we put it into a prepared chocolate cookie crust that I had bought on markdown. But I have also put it into a graham cracker crust and a traditional pastry crust that was already baked.

I think this is one of my family's favorite desserts. I hope that you enjoy it, too!

Allie said...

Thanks so much, I'm sure I will!! :D

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