PRODUCT REVIEW: Botan-100% soluble vegetable protein drink

Some of you have seen my Instagrams and tweets about testing a brand new, ready-to-go nutritional beverage, Botan. I was pretty thrilled when they contacted me to test their product and to see and taste this vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO drink that delivers 12g of protein per bottle (25% of the FDA’s recommended daily amount) with just 110 calories. I’ve struggled to find a non-chalky or non-silty vegan protein that is free of soy, gluten, dairy, whey, artificial preservatives. I especially like that Botan lists their ingredients n a detailed way on their website too. Botan uses pea protein, describing peas as having an essential amino acid, rich in BCAAs (branch chained amino-acids), which delays fatigue during exercise; they contain arginine, which enhances immunity; and they are rich in lysine, which promotes bone health. 

Pea protein powder is listed on the label as their protein source and the solubility is described here:

“Botan is the result of a unique and patented method designed to extract proteins from plants and make them completely soluble. We use this amazing technique, combined with a simple natural ingredient (our trade secret), and the result is a 100% soluble plant protein containing a balance of all of your essential amino acids.”

I regularly make a protein smoothie after workouts and races or as an on-the-go breakfast or lunch. I was pretty sold on just grabbing a hydrating cold bottle out of the fridge or cooler to make that process even easier. After speaking with the company founder, Edward Cannan, I was pretty convinced, that even if I didn’t like the taste, this was a brand I wanted to get behind! Edward started the company after a severe injury and used plant-based nutrition to turn his health around and regain his vitality and wellness. Edward’s passion for surfing and outdoor sports drives his education on the environmental impact of packaged products and their disposal. Botan is thinking ahead with an Earth-friendly focus, using glass bottles that are recyclable and renewable and won’t contaminate the beverages. 

 

Sounds right up my alley!

I received my case of Botan to test and decided to try the 3 different flavors (strawberry-cucumber, pineapple-coconut, cherry-tomato) it in 3 different ways for review:

1. cool or room temperature, as if I’ve tossed it in my bag for after a workout or race

2. Icy cold from the fridge or cooler, as if I packed my cooler with me for after a race or workout, or grabbed at home

3. Blended in a smoothie as the liquid base, as if I made it at home after a workout or as a breakfast or lunch

 

Botan recommends shaking the product well and drinking cold, so the first test of drinking at room temperature resulted in the product tasting sweet but not refreshing. 

Next up, I tried it cold from the fridge and it was much more tasty, refreshing and easy to drink. I ultimately put it over ice and would recommend drinking it served over ice for the best flavor and most hydrating drink-ability. This will be ideal in the winter months when it’s too cold to make smoothies.

Lastly, I made it into smoothies, using Botan as the base, adding banana and some frozen fruit. This was basically amazing during this hot summer. I didn’t need to add protein powder, sweeteners or essential vitamins-they are all already in the bottle of Botan! With just 110 calories, making Botan into a smoothie is a great way to make a recovery beverage or small meal after workouts or racing. 

 

I gravitated to the pineapple-coconut flavor at first but found it to be too-sweet tasting straight up but excellent as a smoothie base. 

Botan is sweetened with monk fruit and stevia and I personally think all of the flavors could be less sweet and more tart or earthy to highlight the natural flavors of the fruits and vegetables used.

I ultimately prefer the strawberry-cucumber served over ice as my go-to and the cherry-tomato.

I was surprised to find Botan so filling, yet light and hydrating and a perfect midday snack while I’m at work.

So far this product is a great addition to my training, racing and work lifestyle and I’m happy to share my experiences testing it. If you’re local to me and you want to try some, let me know! 

 

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Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

This is my new favorite Spring food obsession! Serve with crispy chickpeas or tofu to make a light meal of this tasty salad. 

 

Ingredients:

1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons (OR 1 head romaine and 1 bunch of kale, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons)

fresh lemon juice from 2-4 lemons (up to ⅔ cup)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water (or a few TBSP more for thinning the dressing)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill golden flax meal)

½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 15-30 minutes, then drained

2-3 large cloves of garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

Toss washed/dried lettuce and kale in a bowl and set aside.

Add all remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

Toss lettuce with about 1/2 cup of dressing with salt and pepper (to taste)

Store dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

KK Weiler’s Homemade Coconut Yogurt

This recipe come’s direct from the blog of Kate Weiler Sports Nutritionist. Kate shared with recipe on Twitter and I finally got around to making it. It was a fantastic addition to breakfast, as most non-dairy yogurts are full of gums, and thickeners and odd extras that I refrain from them. But yogurt is one of the only non-vegan foods that I actually miss.

Welcome back, yogurt.

Her coconut yogurt recipe is fantastic: http://www.ironnourishment.blogspot.com/2013/10/homemade-coconut-yogurt.html

Enjoy!

 

 

Vanilla Cashew Cream

I was relieved to find out that cashews were no longer on my “potentially allergic to” list after some testing this year.

As a vegan, that means cashew creams and cheeses and actually snacky cashews are all available! The cashew is a pretty versatile food and I’ve been blending up with tasty cream  as a yogurt alternative.

1 cup cashews, soaked in water 8-10 hours

1 cup fresh coconut water (or filtered water or non dairy milk)

1 tsp vanilla (get good vanilla, like Penzey’s)

Drain cashews and put in a blender with coconut water and vanilla, blend until smooth.

That’s it! And it’s amazing.

Spicy Cacao-Cayenne Winter Smoothie

This is a variation on the Coconut-Banana-Sunflower Smoothie with raw cacao and warming spices.

Ingredients:

2 cups non dairy milk

1 TBSP raw or sprouted sunflower seeds or sunflower seed butter

1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 TBSP ground flax meal

1/2 TBSP chia seeds

1-2 dates

1 banana

1 TBSP raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cinnamon (try Vietnamese for a kick)

1 inch peeled chunk of fresh ginger

pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)

6 ice cubes

Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more cayenne and cacao to taste.

Homemade flour tortillas

Homemade flour tortillas:

Ingredients:

2 cups of white flour *GF substitute GF all purpose flour with 1 tsp xanthum gum But I will warn that I never really like the way they come out GF. Going to try different flours next!

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil

3/4 cup warm water

Directions:

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl combine the warm water and oil.

Add the water/oil mixture to the flour mixture, one tablespoon at a time and mix the dough with a fork. Once the water is mixed in, add another tablespoon of water and repeat the process until all the water is mixed into the dough.

The dough will be sticky. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until dough is nice and smooth.

Place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into golf-ball-size balls.Take each ball of dough and roll the tortilla until it is 6 or 7 inches in diameter and about 1/8 inch thick with a rolling pin.

Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan on medium high heat. Cook the tortilla until you will notice brown spots all over your tortilla. Flip it over and cook an additional 30 seconds.