Time to bring you another amazing interview. This is one for the foodies. Introducing the undisputed
king queen (and founder?! I reckon so) of protein baking…Anna Sward from ProteinPow.com
I first discovered some of Anna’s recipes on Bodybuilding.com and then followed her work (in a professional, non-stalker-ish way) through the Ben Coomber Podcasts. As a keen, but regularly crap, protein baker myself, Anna’s two protein cookbooks have really helped me up my protein-baking game. Up yours (your game – I’m not swearing at you) HERE!
On to the good stuff…
For anyone who has had their head buried in the sand, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I created Protein Pow in 2011, as a blog, a hobby – a place to catalogue my journey through the land of protein powder. I would create and upload new recipes every day at www.proteinpow.com, recipes to enjoy before or after the gym where my focus was on strength training.
My passion has always been nutrition, fitness, and GREAT tasting food so that’s what’s been at the core of Protein Pow since the beginning.
As a business, Protein Pow was born at the end of 2012, after I graduated with my PhD and decided to pursue my love for cooking full time.
I pioneered and have been running ‘protein cooking’ workshops with professional athletes and members of the general public alike since 2012. Then, in 2013, I self-published my own cookbook (the first protein powder book ever published!), and launched an app (the Protein Pow App). In 2014, I got a book deal for a second book (now the biggest and fastest-selling protein powder cookbook in the world) and, in 2015 launched our brand new line of protein-featuring cooking products.
“It’s been a really exciting journey, getting to here!”
Besides heading Protein Pow, I’m also a brand new mum! Well, the baby is 11 months. But it feels like yesterday that she was born. Both like yesterday and like forever! Because when you have a baby, you suddenly can’t imagine what life was like without her 🙂
Any exciting ideas in the pipeline for the next 18 months?
Our brand new cooking protein powders were launched last week at proteinpow.com and will soon arrive at Tesco’s Nutricentre and Ocado! Right now, they can be bought directly from proteinpow.com as well as Predator Nutrition and the Protein Pick and Mix.
Both mixes are certified gluten-free and completely revolutionary in terms of their ingredients and the things you can make with them. You know, protein pancakes that taste like REGULAR pancakes? The ‘cleanest’ and most delicious protein bars you can imagine in just 2 easy steps?
The mixes are like magic! They’re perfect for creating delicious protein-featuring healthy foods without any junk – no artificial sweeteners (that includes stevia and sugar alcohols), no preservatives, no soy, no randomness! Only the highest-quality ingredients in a perfect blend to bring to life healthy foods that taste like the real deal. Early next year, we’ll be launching our third mix. It’ll be vegan and completely mind-blowing in terms of the protein it’ll feature. Hint: it’s one that’s not been launched in the UK market before! Insanely yummy.
If you had to select an all-time favourite protein recipe, what would it be, and why should we make it?
I’d probably say protein bars. I love protein bars! They’re so easy to make and so much better than anything you’d find ready-made in the market. They taste like candy – like confectionary – but they’re full of goodness instead! So I’d say protein bars are my favourite thing to make with protein powder. They’re something that when you learn how to make, change your life. Because you never feel the need to buy a ready made bar again. And you never buy any other snacks. You just out some time aside one day a week and make a bunch of bars to last all week! What’s not to love?
Do you ever see any common mistakes that people make when using protein in their cooking / recipes?
Yes. They treat protein powder like regular flour. Result? Dry rubbery foods! Or they substitute protein powders for others that just don’t work. For example, in my recipes sometimes people substitute pea protein for whey. That’s a big no no because, besides tasting differently, they have different textures and consistencies. So they bake totally differently.
It can take a while to perfect recipes, have you ever made something that tasted like death?
Hundreds of things, yes! It’s what happens when you innovate with new ingredients – you have to go through a lot of trial and error to best know and understand them 🙂 That’s what I think has made Protein Pow so popular – that I give people recipes so they don’t have to go through all the error and experimenting themselves. They can literally learn from my (something quite expensive!) mistakes instead.
Don’t try and deny it, we all have a cheeky dance around the kitchen when we’re cooking – what’s your soundtrack?
Hahaha, best question ever. I don’t actually have a soundtrack per se. I listen to EXTREMELY random songs, sometimes on repeat until I get sick of them. Daddy Yankee’s Corazones has been making me dance for years! I also listen to Three Days Grace, Imagine Dragons, Michael Jackson (primarily just the Earth Song and They Don’t Care About Us – LOVE that song!), Louise Attaque, Silvio Rodriguez (when the mood is right), dubstep remixes of popular songs, and Aerosmith. Told ya: VERY random.
I’m a fan of consuming my own weight in nut butters. Are there any ingredients that you can’t help but pick at while you’re baking?
Yes! Protein Cookie Dough! Whenever I make cookies I always taste the cookie dough before and sometimes, well, sometimes… let’s just say they don’t make it to the oven
Batman vs Superman in a drunken bar fight: who wins?
Batman 100%! Ever since Spiderman was placed by Tobey McGuire, I can’t help but think of him as weeeeeak. Plus, Batman has Robin. Who does Spiderman have? Spiders?
Massive thanks to Anna for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to take part! Make sure you check out all her channels: