Do you have a bag of protein powder sitting in your pantry? Sweet: you’re in business today.
If you’re like me, your containers may be collecting dust. I go through phases with how I choose to get more muscle building protein into my diet. Lately I feel ‘meh’ about protein shakes. Especially now that it’s autumn and I just want to bake things. And shove them in my belly.
Protein shakes can save the day. Whey protein in particular is top notch for being easy to digest, quick to whip up into a shake with nothing more than water, and relatively cheap to boot. There are other kinds of protein powders too, and you can learn more about how they work here.
You can fancy them up too with some milk, fruit, and whatever else you can dream if you’re feeling like channeling your inner Top Chef.
Sometimes I’d rather eat more “food food” for my protein intake. You know – meat, fish, eggs, lentils, or a bunch of Greek yogurt. Sometimes I can’t stomach the idea of sucking down yet another protein shake. Still, using protein powder makes it way, way easier for me to hit my daily protein target. And it’s a high quality source of those amino acids your body needs to build those gains.
If you’re feeling burned out on bro shakes but want to get that extra boost from a powder, here are a few ways you can shake things up (without the shaker bottle).
Spiced Pear Rice Pudding
Use whatever kind of rice you have sitting around for this not-too-sweet dessert that works for breakfast too. The idea is simple: use equal parts rice and milk, add a splash of vanilla and a little bit of spice. I substituted pear for my usual apple, added a pinch of cardamom, and sprinkled on a few teaspoons of hazelnuts.
Get the recipe here.
Protein mug cakes are a thing now. Usually you microwave them and they become rubbery and sad. Yes, an affront to cakery. Is that a word? In any case, I almost always skip these. I’ve found a few good tips if you do decide to nuke one. The power level in your microwave should stay at around 30% power as you bake your cake. Start with a minimal time- like 30 seconds. And then check.
The kind of protein you use makes a difference when baking with powder. Whey protein absorbs less liquid than other protein powders, so be wary of substituting when you follow a recipe.
Or you can just bake your little cake in the oven, as I did with my lemon protein mug cake. It was surprisingly tasty and felt like dessert. Or breakfast dessert.
Rating: 1 or 9, depending on your recipe. The lemon was a 9 for “almost real dessert”.
This recipe isn’t pretty. It sounds kind of gross. But it’s a chocolatey way to increase your protein intake. I added a few teaspoons of peanut butter chips. Because peanut butter is life, and I was PMSing like a beast. You know, weeping intermittently while watching the Walking Dead. I also needed a gateway recipe to help myself stop stealing my kids’ Halloween candy. Get the recipe from Muffin Topless.
Cinnabon Protein Oatmeal
You don’t even need a recipe for this breakfast treat. And it’s crazy good. Instead of adding whey protein to my oatmeal, I whipped egg whites into my oats along with a little cinnamon and vanilla.
The magic comes in the topping. Use a tablespoon of Greek yogurt cream cheese or lowfat cream cheese. Add a half scoop to a full scoop of protein powder depending on how much of a boost you’d like. Thin it out to a thin frosting by adding a little milk, bit by bit.
So good. Not funky. Much yum. Get my recipe here.
This is the bro-iest bro treat to ever bro. I avoided it because it didn’t sound very yummy to me. But I finally caved and I’ll make this over and over again. Because it’s tasty. But mostly because: holy mother of God, it’s filling. If you’re having a hangry kind of day, make fluff. It’ll fill your belly.
You only need fruit, protein powder, some kind of milk, and perhaps a little extract and stevia. Plus something to help whip it up. Most people use xantham gum. I used an egg white. Yeah, it’s raw. I probably won’t die.
Get my recipe here.
I have two questions for you, because I’m a curious cat. First. What’s your favorite brand/flavor/type of protein powder? And what’s your favorite way to use it? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page. Thanks!
P.S. I share ideas for workouts and nutrition in my newsletter. I’ll help you build muscle, get lean, and feel mighty fine. Just fill out the form thingy below and I’ll hook you up with my Fat Loss on a Budget book. See you there!