Sunday, March 29, 2020

Make With Care: Protein Packed Hot Chocolate

I've had the idea a number of times: I bet I can make my morning hot chocolate more nutritionally significant by adding whey protein powder to it. My reasoning goes: whey comes from milk, and milk goes with hot chocolate. And the flavor of the chocolate should overpower the whey. The result: a solid hit of protein in a hot and tasty drink.

And yet early attempts at making whey hot chocolate were disastrous. I'd mix the whey and hot chocolate packet easily enough and then I'd add boiling water. The whey immediately formed nasty clumps and no matter how much I stirred the mixture, wouldn't dissolve. And trying to drink clumpy hot chocolate? Yuck to put it mildly.

Still, I tried this a couple of times before I got the hint: adding boiling water to whey is a bad idea. A little Internet research explains:

If it’s whey protein powder, you might want to avoid boiling it with milk. Most of the whey that is sold in market, is acid whey, which will cause curding of milk. It’s not harmful for health, but you might find the end product difficult to consume.

Difficult to consume is an understatement.

All isn't lost, however. If you're a more strategic about it, you can warm up the hot chocolate and whey so that you don't end up with a curdled mess. Here's what's been working for me:

  • Mix the hot chocolate and whey protein powder in a mug
  • Put some water on to boil, and turn on your sink's hot water tap
  • When the tap water is running as hot as can be, use it to fill the mug a quarter of the way
  • Mix the hot tap water with the whey and hot chocolate powders to form a thick sludge. The goal is get the powder completely dissolved at this point
  • Once the water is done boiling, let it cool for a minute, then add it to your mug, filling it to the top
  • Stir and enjoy!

The hot tap water should help both powders dissolve and the recently-boiled water should be hot enough to make the drink enjoyable, but not so hot that it curdles the why protein.

Mmmm....delicious and nutritious.

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