Ultimate Guide To Cooking With Protein Powder
Show that tub of protein powder some love by taking it beyond the shaker bottle!
We’ve all mixed up our fair share of whey protein shakes: water, whey, mixer bottle, done! And whilst that’s undeniably a great way to meet your protein numbers and get essential amino acids into your day, sometimes it gets… well… a bit boring.
If you’ve been looking for more exciting ways to put protein powder into your daily diet, take a look at our top 5 easy recipes. And let us know if you have a favourite you’d like to share!
Which Protein Powder To Use
Not all kinds of protein powder work well for smoothies, protein ice-cream, protein oats, and protein baking. Here’s how to match your protein powder to your recipe.
Whey Protein Concentrate or Whey Protein Isolate (or a blend of the two) is great for protein baking, for blending into ice-cream, for mixing into your oats to make proats, and for all kinds of protein cakes and muffins. It can dry baking recipes out a bit, so be sure to use plenty of wet ingredients to balance out the texture. Good ingredients to pair with whey in protein baking recipes include apple puree, mashed banana, cottage cheese, yoghurt, or eggs/liquid egg whites. Whey comes in so many flavours that it really opens up the potential of your protein creations in the kitchen!
Casein is also a dairy based protein powder, but it’s a lot more absorbent than whey, so will make a thicker paste. It’s best in protein icecream or smoothies, homemade protein bars, or protein puddings. You can use it in baking and proats, too. If you want to make a paste for topping homemade cakes or muffins, casein is a winner!
This isn’t as common as whey, but it can be a great ingredient for protein baking (and it’s dairy-free of course, making it a good choice for lactose intolerant or for vegans). Rice protein needs a lot of moisture, but it yields great protein cookies, bars, and cakes.
This is another plant-based protein so it is free from lactose and ideal for vegans. Plain pea protein is a great choice for making savoury recipes like protein breads, or savoury protein pancakes. It can even be made into protein sauces. If you want to use a protein powder to replace flour in a recipe, pea protein works really well both from a flavour and texture point of view.
3-Ingredient Protein Pancakes
Once you master a basic protein pancake recipe, you’ll never look back! Protein pancakes need very few ingredients and can match the macros of a diet-friendly meal – just in a more exciting format. Maybe you can make protein pancakes for breakfast this weekend?
125ml liquid egg whites
30g whey protein
Spray oil or coconut oil
Blend everything together in a blender. Put a frying pan over a high heat and spray the pan with oil (or use a small amount of coconut oil). Once the pan is hot, pour in the batter (either as one big pancake or several smaller ones). Turn the heat down to medium. Flip the pancakes once the edges have firmed up. You can top the pancakes with sliced banana, fruit, berries, nut butter, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, coconut…or eat them plain. A delicious way to use protein powder!
Protein Ice cream
Protein ice-cream could not be easier to make, and it’s almost as good as the real thing (just with unreal macros!) Amazing as a dessert, or to cool off on a hot day. And you can keep it simple, or make it as fancy as you like with toppings.
30g whey, casein, or plant-based protein
Pinch of xantham gum
Simply blend everything in a high powered blender. Use a small amount xantham gum (max 5g) as it makes the mixture very thick. You can find xantham gum in the baking or “free from” section of most supermarkets. Pimp your ice-cream by adding frozen berries, frozen banana (peeled and sliced before freezing), or milk. Then of course you can top the concoction with anything you like: try cereal, crumbled rice cakes, chopped protein bars… whatever your macros allow!
Proats (Protein Oats)
Proats are every bodybuilder’s go-to breakfast, but you can make yours as crazy as you like when it comes to mix ins and toppings. Keep it super simple for dieting or prep, or go wild in offseason.
30g whey or plant-based protein
Water or milk
Cook your oats as usual. Just before they are ready, stir in the protein powder (you might need to add a bit more liquid). Cook again for 30 seconds or so. If you want creamier oats with even more protein, add 50-100ml liquid egg whites during cooking. And then top your proats with whatever you want!
Save serious amounts of calories by making your own muffins – and get a protein hit into the bargain! These go so well with a cup of coffee, or could even be a post-workout snack.
150g real Greek yoghurt
50g coconut flour
5g baking powder
30g whey or plant-based protein powder (try chocolate)
15g cocoa or cacao powder
150ml water or milk
Heat your oven to 180*C and either use silicone muffin cases or spray paper cases with spray oil. Mix the ingredients in a food processor, and spoon the mix into the cases. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They will be slightly wet in the middle when done – allow to cook on a wire rack and the middle will firm up. Optional extra – add chopped dark chocolate to the mix, or top with nut butter. For even more protein, make a “frosting” by mixing casein with water and spreading over the top.
If you’ve got a microwave, you can make a quick and easy mug cake – it’s like a cupcake and a muffin rolled into one, and only takes a few minutes to whip up. A great way to get your pre-bed protein in!
30g whey protein
5g baking powder
10g coconut flour
Mix everything together, spray a mug with oil, and pour the batter in. Microwave for 60-90 seconds. Done! If you want to get fancy, try pushing a square of dark chocolate into the middle of the mixture, or topping your mug cake with nut butter. Yum!