You can't get much more old-school than hot rice cereal. If you're like my sons, it was the first solid food you ate in your life. And if you're like many elite athletes and bodybuilders, you've come to appreciate it again as an adult.
Why rice cereal? It digests quickly, is easily tolerated by people on restrictive diets, and provides an easily quantifiable source of carbohydrates that blends well with other nutrients and flavors—like whey protein. In the above video, Kaged Muscle CEO Kris Gethin shares one of his favorite treats: a healthy protein cream of rice cereal made with Kaged Muscle MicroPure Whey Protein Isolate. That's two ingredients—plus a cup of water—to make a snack that is remarkably filling, but still easy on the stomach.
"If you want a meal on the go, if you want to replace a meal, if you've got a craving, something like this is very light," Gethin explains. "It doesn't bog you down, and it doesn't require a lot of energy to be digested, because it's an isolate. Unlike a protein blend, which is a little bit slower digesting and has more lactose in it, this is the opposite: very fast to digest, and less than one gram of lactose."
If you've enjoyed Gethin's cold Kasein pudding at night, consider this its daytime counterpart. And like that dish, it makes for an easy way to hit ambitious daily protein intake targets, while also killing cravings and filling the stomach while dieting.
"Especially if I'm on a calorie restricted diet, I want that cream of rice to volumize as much as possible," Gethin says. "This is exactly how I like it: nice and thick, and lots of flavor."
Kaged Muscle Healthy Protein Cream of Rice Recipe
Rice cereal is one of the simplest, most easily digestible foods out there. It's what babies eat, after all! But mix some isolate protein into a bowl of it, and you've got a solid serving of carbs and protein fit for grown-up gains.
It's about as easy as cooking gets—we're talking 5 minutes, tops—but Gethin still has a couple pro tips to help it be even better.
Tip 1: Protein in the Bowl, Not in the Pan
"Add the protein to the bowl first," Gethin advises. Why? "Because it's harder to stir in the pan, and the powder will go everywhere."
If you've never spilled wet protein powder on a hot burner before, consider yourself lucky—and take Gethin's advice.
Tip 2: Use a Little Spoon
This tip is less science, more psychology. "You'll notice that I always eat with a little tiny spoon, because I want to take my time and enjoy it," Gethin says. "Also, if you wolf it down quickly, it doesn't allow time for your brain to signal that you are full and you're satisfied. That's a way we often overeat. I don't want to completely overeat, unless I'm trying to pack on a crapload of mass."
On the other hand, if you are looking to pack on pounds, this rice cereal makes a seriously simple way to add both extra carbs and protein to your diet. As a post-workout snack, you can't do much better.