Have you ever fallen into this trap – the one that begins with a resolution to eat more vegetables, to try a detox diet, to lose a few pounds or bulk up, or to pack your kids’ diet with more nutrition than humanly possible just by eating? I used to. Every now and then I’d feel some tug of not-healthful-enough-guilt, sometimes making a pot of that infamous cabbage soup, sometimes something buying something like whey protein or flax meal, things that get tossed after some period of time because, well, they really don’t taste very good in the recipes I like to make.  Yogurt or sherbet make excellent additions to smoothies. Fish oil, not so much.

It happened a few weeks ago, for the first time in years. I was at NOURISH in Santa Cruz, a really fabulous place if you every get a chance to stop in, waiting for a massage. Their berry tea blend was naturally sweet and soothing, and I amused myself by browsing the dietary supplements while waiting. For some reason, the powdered pea protein from Source Naturals caught my eye and my imagination.


Kid Two had decided to give vegetarianism a try and he likes peas, so it seemed like something I may rationally sneak into his smoothies to bulk up the nutrition. I couldn’t quite bring myself to do that to him, though. Peas and berries? Big ick. So the container sat on my counter for a couple of weeks, mocking me, destined as money down the drain.

Until, on a whim, I tried whisking a couple of heaping tablespoonfuls into homemade chicken stock just to see what happened. The broth was delicious. Honestly. Truly wonderful – not at all like something that contained hidden peas. The powder dissolved right away, thickening the broth slightly, changing the color to a pale ochre, and making the texture a bit more creamy. There was a flavor shift, but nothing that made you think you were eating anything even remotely like pea soup. Chicken stock with pea protein was a fairly light yet substantial chicken soup on its own. Topped with a little fresh chives or parsley, it became positively elegant.

Last night I spread my powdered pea protein wings and tried adding to mashed potatoes, a bald-faced attempt at getting that Kid some extra protein. And again, it was surprisingly delicious. For 6 large potatoes, I dissolved two heaping tablespoonfuls of the powder in about a cup of warmed milk and used half a stick of butter and a big dollop of plain yogurt. Mash, whip, and serve. Mmmm.

I swear to you – and this is NOT a sponsored post in any way – this stuff is great, especially for gravies, stews, and stocks. A great find, all around. Sure, it may sound strange. But check it out: