Yes, the subject of protein powder in the paleo world is a heated one. I choose to incorporate it: I don't eat it every day, and I use an option that is grain, dairy and refined sugar-free. The brands I use always contain simply organic hemp, organic unsweetened cocoa powder and either a little organic palm sugar or evaporated cane juice. The amount of sugar is very low, and I like having protein powder for nutrition in a pinch.
That said, I'm sure you could make today's recipe without the protein powder. I chose to give these cookies a double dose of hemp. Making them chocolate helps disguise the fact that hemp products tend to be tinged green!
I like to keep these in the freezer; sometimes I grab one in the morning so I don't have to hit the gym or trail on an empty stomach.
If you are unfamiliar with hemp products, you can find them at Whole Foods or other health food stores. I prefer to buy mine online as it's a cheaper option. I usually get Manitoba or Nutiva products on Amazon or Vitacost.
Trader Joe's also sells vanilla and chocolate hemp protein powder, and I've read some Costcos stock hemp hearts.
Paleo Hemp Protein Cookies
1 cup hulled hemp hearts
1/4 cup chocolate hemp protein powder
1 cup raw nut butter (I used cashew)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbs. coconut milk
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet stevia (could omit)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well mixed. Drop by tbs. onto a greased or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Press down slightly with hand.
Bake for 12 minutes.