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There are a lot of protein powders out there. Most of them are just okay. I've found some I like but also have tried many I don't. When I received my Designer Protein in the mail I honestly wasn't expecting much after trying so many different protein products over the past few years. I had picked up an older version of Designer Whey protein from Trader Joe's years ago and don't remember it being a stand-out.
I was however, excited when I started to read about Designer Protein (yup, name change) and all their new & improved offerings. They have lots of different protein powders based on what you want and need, all for 100 calories or less per serving. I was sent the Designer Protein Aria (100% plant-based) in vanilla. I think the taste is good, and it blends easily in smoothies. I like that it only retails for $14.99 for a 12 oz tub so if you are flavor crazy like me, you can buy a bunch of different kinds to keep on hand that aren't huge, expensive protein tubs.
What I love the most is that it's a plant-based, all-natural formula with 15 g of soy-free protein plus like all the other Aria protein powders, it has wellness helpers like biotin, vitamin C, folate, calcium and vitamin D. It hits all the bullet points with being non-GMO, certified vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.
I tried the protein in a few smoothies and drinks. Next I was inspired by a Designer Protein recipe packet that was sent along with my powder that included a big fruit smoothie bowl. I made my own twist on an acai bowl using a frozen acai packet, banana, cashew milk, maca powder, and my vanilla Aria protein powder. I topped it with shredded coconut, half a banana, raisins, and some oats.
I know, another balls/bites recipe-what a basic blogger move, haha. I really do love having a container of little bites in the fridge to quickly grab or pack as a snack for work. I've been eating 1 or 2 before a run or workout in the morning this week since I'm the type of person that wakes up hungry and needs something in my stomach. They are nutty and slightly sweet and delicious. It's really hard to not eat half the batch in one sitting!
Vanilla Cookie Protein Bites
Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 10 bites (~95 cal per bite)
1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup whole almonds
2 scoops Designer Protein Aria vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp agave
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 dates, pitted
Mix all ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until combined and roll out 10 balls with your hands. Store in refrigerator (or freezer) and enjoy!
For the agave and the maple syrup you can substitute honey or another liquid sweetener for either or both.