By now you have probably noticed that there are several products which are routinely used for the recipes here at Dashing Dish. Some of them may already be staples in your kitchen, but others may not. I got to thinking that some of you may have wondered why I use them so often, where is the best place to purchase them, why I use certain products in certain recipes, etc. With this in mind, I wanted to take the time to formally introduce some of my favorite products and better familiarize you with them!
(Please note: The links provided are for reference only! These products are not sold through Dashing Dish, but by various retailers via Amazon.)
Oat Flour: This is another very versatile flour which works well on its own, or in combination with other flours, protein powders, cocoa powder, etc. You can buy it already ground, or make it at home by simply grinding old fashioned oats in a blender. The only thing you need to remember is that pre-ground oats measure differently than out flour does, so you will want to measure out the amount the recipe calls for after grinding your oats into flour. For the most accurate conversion, you can measure the flour by weight with a kitchen scale once the oats have been ground into flour. Make sure to buy certified gluten free oats if required for dietary restrictions.
Like I mentioned, you can either make your own by purchasing old fashioned oats at the grocery store, or you can purchase them. Bob’s Red Mill brand can be found at most grocery stores, or they can be purchased online in bulk from sites like Amazon.
Almond Flour: This flour is another great option for special diet needs like Paleo, grain free, low carb/keto, and diabetic. The healthy fats in found almonds lend an amazing texture to the recipes you make when you bake with this flour. It is possible to make your own at home in a similar fashion as you can with oat flour, however, it is a bit more tricky because you can easily end up with almond butter instead of almond flour! Luckily, stores like Costco and Sam’s Club sell almond four in bulk at good prices. You can also order it online from sites like Amazon.
Peanut Flour (AKA powdered peanut butter, Protein Plus, PB2, etc.): This amazing flour is made by removing the majority of the fat from peanuts and making it into a powder. It can be reconstituted into peanut butter consistency, used as flour in baking, or added to sauces and shakes for a delicious peanut butter flavor without the calories and fat. It is also a good way to add protein, especially for those who do not eat meat. There are several brands that sell peanut flour. Most are comparable in nutrition, and several come with added fun flavors like cocoa, maple, and coconut. Some have added salt and sweeteners, so if that matters, just make sure to check your labels. You can find several brands at almost any grocery store now. It is cheaper to buy it in bulk from Costco, Sam’s Club, or sites like Amazon. For brands that offer customized flavors, you will usually need to order online directly from the company’s website.
Protein Plus (this brand has no added salt or sweeteners). You can purchase it on sites like Amazon, or in bulk at many Costco and Sams Club.
Coconut Flour: This flour works well for a variety of recipes, which is why you will see it used often in the recipes found on Dashing Dish. It is a great flour to mix with protein powders in baking because it helps to offset some of the texture changes that using protein powder alone can yield. It is also suitable for special dietary needs such as diabetic, grain free, low carb, and Paleo. Coconut flour is a good source of dietary fiber. Because of its high fiber content, it does absorb a lot of moisture. This makes it excellent for use as a binder in “no bake” recipes, but it also means that it can be tricky to try to adapt recipes / make substitutions for other flours, as it usually cannot be converted using a 1:1 ratio. Don’t let that intimidate you or keep you from trying it, because the texture of baked goods which call for this flour may quickly become a new favorite! Until you have worked with coconut flour some and become more familiar with it, we recommend that you first make a few recipes “as is” and avoid substitutions.
Protein Powder: There are an overwhelming number of brands and types of protein powders available—and it seems new products are being added to the market by the day! Each type of protein (i.e. whey, casein, vegetarian, vegan, isolate, concentrate, blends, the list goes on and on!) carries its own mixing properties, flavor profile, and dietary implications. Some brands add in questionable ingredients. All this can make it difficult to know which one to buy if you are new to using them. Trust us when we say that you want to use the best tasting and highest quality, but there is no need to over-pay for quality either. It comes down to finding powders that taste good, are suitable for the recipe you are using them in, have no questionable ingredients, and which can be purchased at a reasonable cost. That being said, I have several recommendations for which to use in Dashing Dish recipes, each for different reasons. Protein powders don’t all work the same in recipes (i.e. “no bake” vs baked goods), so unless alternatives are listed as suitable for the recipe, I recommend using the type of protein that is listed for a particular recipe (i.e. whey, casein, blend, vegetarian). As long as you enjoy the flavor, almost any kind of protein powder works well for shakes! If you want a thicker, fluffier shake, you can add xanthan gum to those protein powders that do not have it included.
Labrada Lean Body for Her: This is a whey protein which uses natural flavors and has no artificial sweeteners, so it is suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding moms! It works well in baking, plus it mixes well and tastes good in shakes.
Quest Nutrition: This is a blend of whey and casein proteins, making it a great protein for baking. It comes in several delicious flavors. As mentioned, taste is a major consideration when you use a protein for shakes. Regardless of if you are in using it for baking or blending, you won’t be disappointed with any of the flavors from this brand!
Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth: For those who need an alternative protein that is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and paleo friendly. This is a collagen-based protein with natural sweeteners. This is also suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding moms!
Jay Robb Egg White Protein: This product is another good option for those needing a lactose-free/dairy-free option.
Protein Bars: A similar situation applies with protein bars as does with the protein powders. There are a plethora of brands and varieties available, all of which vary widely in taste, nutrition, and ingredient profile.
Quest Nutrition: We are sure you have heard of these low carb, whey-based protein bars, but if not, you are in for a treat! These are some of the yummiest bars available and they come in all kinds of flavors. The best are the ones are the newer “chunky” style flavors (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cookies and Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Raspberry, Rocky Road, Oatmeal Cookies, etc.). Tip: You can also chop the bars up into little chunks and use them like chocolate chips in baking. This works especially well with the double chocolate chunk bar! Quest bars are high fiber, low carb, and low glycemic index. In addition to the classic protein bar, Quest also makes Protein Cereal Bars and Hero Bars which have three different texture layers, almost like a cross between a cereal bar and a candy bar.
Mojo Bars: If you are in the mood for something that is more like a trail mix bar, but still has a good amount of protein, then the Mojo Bar is a great option! Mojo Bars have a balance of carbs, healthy fat, and protein.
Julian Bakery: These are a dairy-free / Paleo-friendly protein bar option. They come in a variety of flavors and offer several different protein source options (grass-fed beef, egg white, and plant-based). They contain no sugar alcohols, which is something that can cause GI upset for some people.
Stevia: We use stevia as a healthier alternative to sugar for many of the recipes that you’ll find on Dashing Dish. Not only does Stevia have much fewer calories than sugar, it has actually been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. Stevia comes in several forms. The liquid form is concentrated and comes in plain as well as a variety of flavors. It is great for adding to beverages (coffee, tea, shakes, and more, but can also be added to baked goods if you want the extra flavoring. Keep in mind that unless the recipe calls for the liquid, conversion for baking is tricky. For most recipes, it is easier to use the baking blend because it measures cup for cup like sugar. You can also find a concentrated powdered version (for baking) as well as in packets (which is more convenient to add to beverages). The sweetness and aftertaste of different forms of Stevia can vary from brand to brand, which is why you’ll see specific recommendations in Dashing Dish recipes.
Sweet Leaf drops or Nu Naturals drops (or packets) for beverages as well as things like yogurt. Natural Mate Stevia or Nu Naturals baking blend are best suited for recipes. These can be found in grocery stores and online from sites like Amazon.
Sugar Free Maple Syrup: This is obviously good on any of the various pancake or waffle recipes on Dashing Dish, but you will also find that we use it often in recipes as a sugar substitute. It adds sweetness and flavor without the excess calories or harmful effects on blood sugar.
Whole Grain Wraps: These are a great alternative to bread or sandwich rolls, as they are higher in fiber and lower in carbs. You’ll also see them used a lot in other Dashing Dish recipes like Pizzas, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Paninis, Cinnamon Crisps, and Waffle Bowls for froyo or ice cream!
Pasta: For a more nutrient rich alternative to regular pasta, you can always use spiralized veggies, but sometimes, you just want the texture of the real thing! There are several high fiber/ low carb options, and even some grain-alternative pastas available which are much healthier, and even more flavorful than the highly processed ones!
Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta or Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta for alternatives and Dreamfields or Smart Taste by Ronzoni for High Fiber / Low Carb options. These can be found in grocery stores and online from sites like Amazon.