More Culinary Torture!

What is it in protein shakes that makes them taste so indefinably, ineffably… WEIRD?

I bought Body Fortress vanilla last year and it tasted so wrong, I just shoved the giant tub to the back of the cupboard, appalled, and abandoned it. It’s still sitting there behind a stack of old egg boxes and assorted vacuum flasks and hot water bottles, whispering, “Thirty-two quid! I cost thirty-two quid!” in an accusing tone every time I open the cupboard. I’m thinking of nailing the door shut, actually.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered a way to beat the weirdy-protein-powder taste: add really strong-tasting stuff to it. A few people have asked since my gloaty food post below, so here, for your very much delectation, I present my method for making the Choca-Mocha Peanut Butter Protein Shake (patent pending).

First, get chocolate-flavoured protein powder. This gives you a head-start in the flavour stakes. Vanilla just leaves far too many taste-buds vulnerable to attack by the weirdy-protein-molecules. Unless you’re the sort of athlete who happily glugs down raw eggs and Worcestershire sauce, you still won’t want to drink this stuff unmodified.

Make a very small cup of very strong coffee. I just use my usual brand of instant, and make it extra-strong, but those of you who love espresso, feel free. Just don’t use too much water.


You can follow my usual method and accidentally forget about the whole enterprise until the coffee is cold, or you can drop an ice cube in it to hurry the process along a bit. So long as it’s not hot-hot, it’ll be fine. My protein powder tub recommends 250-300ml cold water to two scoops of powder, so I use 250ml and let the coffee make up the rest of the liquid content.

Put powder into water. It will float. Do not panic. Add coffee. The powder-slick will go lumpy. Still don’t panic, OK, because we’re not done making a mess yet.


Get two big dollops of peanut butter – smooth or crunchy, it doesn’t matter as you’re going to be blending this in a minute. Dump them on top of the mess in the jug.


Now poke a stick blender into the jug (or use a bigger bowl to start with and use whatever electric whisk-like implement you like), and whizz until it’s smooth.

It’s possible at this point to add in a drop or two of vanilla essence if you like, or cream (but adjust the rest of the liquid content).

You should end up with a jugful of liquid that somewhat resembles this:


Yes, the fulfilment of all my breakfast dreams: a pint, glinting gently in the early-morning sunlight!

And no hangover afterwards…