Ask the Chef: Besides smoothies, how do I use protein powders?

by Julie Morris, Navitas Naturals Executive Chef
December 5, 2016

Besides smoothies, how do I use protein powders?

Protein powders have rapidly become one of the top-selling products in grocery and health food stores alike. Their popularity is universal amongst all kinds of various diets, such as plant-based, paleo, gluten-free, or low glycemic. Plus, there are ever-increasing varieties of these powders to choose from: Some protein powders are made entirely from plants like peas and rice, while others are made from animal products like dairy and eggs. Different flavors abound as well, ranging from plain vanilla to fun combos like peanut butter chocolate. There are just so many options!

Yet despite this expansive variety, most people use protein powders for just one thing: smoothies. While dropping a scoop of protein into a blender is certainly the easiest application for these powdered blends, it’s not the only way to use them! If you’re looking to enhance more meals with protein than simply your blender drink, I recommend sticking with very neutral flavors for your protein of choice. Plain hemp protein is a great example of a versatile protein powder that can slip into all kinds of flavor structures. A runner-up pick would be a vanilla protein powder which can be versatile in sweet foods, too. Let’s look at a few of the creative ways you can use protein powder:

Cookies: Swap up to ¼ of the flour the recipe calls for with protein powder.
Muffins, non-yeast Quickbreads, and Cakes: About 1/6-1/8 of the flour needed for these recipes can be swapped with protein powder -- usually around 3 or 4 tablespoons -- without effecting the recipe.
Pancakes and Waffles: Swap up to ¼ of the flour the recipe calls for with protein powder.
Pizza and Pie Crusts: Swap a couple tablespoons of flour with protein powder
Oatmeal and Porridge: Add a spoonful or two of protein powder along with a little extra milk at the end of cooking
Energy Bars: Add a spoonful or two of protein powder into homemade energy bars. If needed, also add an additional date or bit of dried fruit to balance moisture and binding.
Nut Butter: Mix in a spoonful or two of protein powder into a jar of nut butter to enhance its protein availability.
Chocolate Desserts: Homemade chocolate truffles and chocolates can be infused with small amounts of protein powder for added benefits.


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