Are you looking for alternative ways to use protein powder other than simply in a protein shake? Perhaps you’re looking to ditch sugary, fat-laden recipes for healthier ingredients that also help you achieve your protein targets. Well here, you’ll discover 16 of the best ways to use protein powder. In many societies, people fail to consume adequate amounts of protein, and as a result, they put their health at risk as well as feeling less satiety from their meals. Additionally, it’s no secret that many of the foods and desserts available are densely saturated in sugar, fat and calories.
With protein powder, you can achieve a multitude of flavours while making your meal both tastier and healthier. Enhance the protein profile of your meals with the below delicious foods that will inspire you to make healthier and tastier choices. But don’t take my word for it, read on to discover the multitude of foods for yourself!
Protein cereal: Enhance the protein profile of your favourite breakfast cereal with a scoop of protein powder. Mix the protein with the milk or water and then pour it over your cereal of choice. Of course, if you’re concerned about the sugar content of food, then caution should be observed when choosing your cereal of choice. Unfortunately, the majority of cereals on the market fall into the category of high-sugar content, which often equates them to a sugary dessert.
Tip: Many cereal brands are releasing low-sugar versions of their cereal which can be a healthier alternative to the original version, which is often loaded with sugar.
Protein oats: Also known as ‘proats’, this has been one of my breakfast staples for some years now. It’s so simple to make and completely revolutionises your porridge in terms of flavour, and the nutritional value is also enhanced. It’s also a great way to bulk up the bowl, I usually have mine nearly overflowing! Simply make your porridge as you normally would and then add a scoop of your favourite protein powder after it’s cooked, and then mix until combined. Adding protein powder before it’s cooked can lead to lumps, so it’s best to leave it till the oats are ready to eat. Depending on how thick you enjoy your oats, you may need to add a bit more water.
Tip: Add a scoop of flavoured creatine to your protein oats to give it an explosion of flavour. I love berry burst creatine mixed with vanilla and raspberry protein powder in my protein oats.
Protein pancakes: When it comes to types of protein pancake recipes, the varieties are endless. Whatever your nutritional goals, diet and taste preferences are, there’s something for everyone. If you want to have pancakes that are low in carbohydrates, fat or calories, you can opt to omit or reduce the flour content or use a banana, cottage cheese or yoghurt as the base for the pancake. If you’re on a bulking diet or looking for pancakes that have carbohydrates present to keep you fuller for longer, some pancake bases you could try include flour or oats.
If you’re looking for a pancake recipe that’s low in carbohydrates, low fat and high in protein, then my most recent culinary experiment may be of interest to you. My protein pancakes comprised of:
- 1 scoop of protein powder (most flavours work, I used rocky road whey protein from Myprotein)
- 100g cottage cheese
- 40g liquid egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Mix all the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
- Add some water if the mixture is too thick.
- Spray a pan with cooking spray or add a small dash of oil and heat it on a medium heat.
- Add the pancake mixture when the pan is heated up.
- Cook for 1 – 2 minutes and flip them until they are cooked. Be careful not to overcook them.
I served mine with some mixed berries and greek yoghurt.
Tip: The cottage cheese tends to have a lumpy consistency. Consider blending the mixture instead of mixing it by hand if you prefer a smoother appearance.
Protein smoothie: An ideal method of camouflaging protein powder is by mixing it into a protein smoothie. I recently bought a protein powder that I’m not a fan of (vanilla machta protein powder tastes a bit too grassy for my liking), so I intend to use smoothies to conceal the taste. To boost the protein profile of your smoothie and to bulk it up so that you feel fuller for longer, add a 1/2 – 1 scoop of protein powder to the blender when you mix the smoothie ingredients.
Protein Weetabix: There may come a time when you feel that you need a break from oats, or perhaps you’re looking for a slightly different texture. Weetabix are an excellent alternative to oats and their nutritional value is more or less on par with oats too. There are a few ways you can make them. Either make up the protein powder mixture and pour it over the Weetabix. Alternatively, you can add the water or milk to the Weetabix, mash them up and then add in the protein powder. At least this way, you can have a bit more control over the amount of liquid and thickness of the mixture. They also taste delicious when heated.
Tip: Chocolate flavoured protein powder is an ideal flavour to accompany your Weetabix.
Protein yoghurt: Eating yogurt doesn’t mean having to sacrifice on flavour, nor does it mean having to settle for yoghurts with unnecessary amounts of sugar added to them. When it comes to adding protein powder to foods, it doesn’t get much easier or tastier than this. You can also play around with the various flavours of protein powders too. If that’s not enough variety for you, there are endless possibilities in terms of toppings to choose from, whether you go for chocolate shavings, granola, fruit, jelly, nuts, seeds or sauces. So now you can ditch the flavoured, sugary yoghurts and create your own delicious masterpiece in minutes with these selections.
Tip: Use greek yoghurt as opposed to natural yoghurts, as yoghurts tend to have a significant portion of sugar added to them.
Lunch and dinner
Protein burgers: A crafty way to increase the protein content of burgers is to add a spoon or 2 of unflavoured protein powder to the mix and combine it before molding them into the desired size. It’s an ideal solution for plant-based burgers, such as black bean burgers, which can be lower in protein when compared to animal-based burgers. Using moist ingredients, such as pumpkin purée, offers a moist base which the protein powder can bind to.
Protein mashed potato: Believe it or not, you can add protein powder to potatoes. It probably works best with unflavoured versions of protein powder. Once you have mashed your potatoes add 1/2 – 1 scoop of unflavoured protein powder and mash until it’s completely combined.
Protein pasta sauce: While it’s possible to purchase protein pasta, you could alternatively make a pasta sauce and whirl in a spoon or 2 of unflavoured protein powder. This works relatively well with any pasta sauces, provided you add the protein powder in slowly over a low heat to prevent lumps and making the sauce too thick.
Protein soup: This works well with unflavoured protein powders in most soups. Pumpkin and coconut flavoured protein powders also work well, particularly if you use vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash. Wait till the end when the soup is cooked to add the protein powder to prevent lumps developing. This works well with both animal and plant-based protein powders.
Dessert and snacks
Protein balls: A popular snack that’s also convenient to keep hunger at bay when you’re on the go are protein balls. You can also be adventurous in terms of the protein powder flavour that you use and the nuts and seeds that you add. If you are conscious of calories, fat or protein content, beware that they are a touch on the dense side as nut butter can add significantly to their nutritional value.
Protein brownies: If you’re looking for a brownie that’s lower in calories, fat and sugar than the standard brownie, then you can rest assured that you’ve come to the right place. With just 4 ingredients, you can have a healthier brownie in less than 30 minutes.
- 6 bananas
- 1 cup of nut butter of choice
- 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
- 2 scoops of plant-based protein powder (chocolate-based flavours work well)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking tray.
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour the ingredients into the greased tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the mixture has cooked throughout.
- Serve once cooked or allow it to cool; then cut it into portions and store in an airtight container.
Tip: Add a handful of cacao nibs for some extra texture and flavour when the mixture has been blended.
Protein cinnamon apples: Shake things up with this tasty twist on apples. Chop up an apple into chunks or wedges, throw them into a plastic bag, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/3 scoop of protein powder to the bag. Shake vigorously until the apple is well covered in the mix. Once fully mixed, serve and enjoy.
Tip: If you don’t plan to eat them straight away, add 1 – 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to prevent the apple from browning.
Protein ice cream: You’ve probably seen protein ice cream being sold in supermarkets and you may also be astonished at just how expensive a tub of protein ice cream is to buy. For me, I was mostly disappointed to discover how low the protein content of these so called protein ice creams was, and for that reason, I endeavoured to make my own at home.
Simply add the below ingredients to a blender and mix until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- 500g frozen bananas
- 4 scoops of vanilla protein powder
- 250ml low-fat yoghurt
- 50ml of your milk of choice
Scoop the mixture into a freezable container and freeze immediately. Alternatively, if you want to eat it straight away, scoop it into a bowl and experience immediate mouth-watering flavour. You can also sprinkle them with fruit, sauces or your topping of choice.
Tip: Make it a vegan-friendly recipe by opting for plant-based protein powder, dairy-free yoghurt and a plant-based milk.
Protein mug cake: Mug cakes have exploded in popularity recently, and it’s no wonder why. They’re so quick and easy to make, plus making a cake in a mug saves on preheating ovens and all the cleaning that goes with baking trays etc. The choices are endless too in terms of flavours, provided you have the protein powder flavours available, that is.
Tip: Plant-based protein powders tend to achieve a moister texture than animal-based protein powders.
Protein waffles: Fancy switching things up and making waffles instead of pancakes? Well instead of routing around for a healthy protein waffles recipe, you can take a shortcut by adding an extra tablespoon of oil to the pancake mixture so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the waffle iron. Make sure you heat and oil the waffle iron too so that the mixture is meeting a hot surface.
When investing in protein powder, it’s always worthwhile choosing a reputable brand that has high quality products. When I buy protein powders, I always seek ones that have a high protein content. It’s surprising how many brands offer protein powders with less than 70% protein in them. Personally, I would never settle for less than 80% protein and that’s why I use Myprotein impact whey protein powders. With this brand, I know that I’m getting a premium quality protein powder that’s low in sugar, fat and calories. Did I mention I have as much as 50 flavours to choose from!
- Protein powder is a convenient source of protein that can be added to many foods
- When adding protein to hot food or drinks, allow it to cool slightly and add the powder slowly to prevent lumps developing
- Unflavoured protein powder is ideal for sneaking some extra protein into food, e.g. mashed potato, pasta sauce and soup
- Depending on the type of food you’re making, plant-based proteins may be more suited as they offer more moisture than animal-based protein powders
If you’re new to using protein powder or if you’ve had previous experiences of cooking with protein powder that didn’t quite meet your satisfaction, it’s likely that you might not know which protein powders are best suited to your culinary experiments. I used to be disappointed when I’d take a bite of my protein pancakes or protein bread to discover that it was either a touch on the dry or rubbery side. For that reason, I researched tips and guidance from experts to discover where exactly I was going wrong. As a result, I no longer have to deal with dry protein foods in an effort to be healthy! You too can find out how to achieve tasty, moist foods by checking out: what are the different types of protein powder?
Regardless of your nutritional goals, there’s something to cater for every diet in this article. No longer should you have to settle for protein shakes. With these suggestions on the best ways to use protein powder, you should never be short on inspiration for using protein powder and for ideas for healthy meals and snacks. Fortunately, many of these recipes can also be adjusted to meet the requirements of vegetarians, vegans and people who have food intolerances. The only challenge that I can envisage is deciding which recipe to try first!
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