Cooking with Protein Powder

Lexi wrote:

Hello! Have you done a lot of experimenting with whey protein powders? You have enlightened me that they are great to add into healthy baked goods for a boost of protein! Are there any brands that you find bake the best? Any that bake the  worst?

Have I done experimenting?! Oh, have I! On the protein powder topic, make sure you read this post first: Protein Powder Tips

A handful of DO’s and DON’TS for cooking with protein powder:

DO use whey protein for baking. The brand doesn’t matter, in my experience most brands behave about the same. You may find some flavors better than others, but in baked good there are usually many other ingredients so any nuanced taste differences between different protein powders isn’t distinguishable.

The protein powder I use is Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey. I use both vanilla and chocolate, and think it’s delicious! You can pick it up here:

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Double Rich Chocolate

I like to keep both vanilla and chocolate on hand in my kitchen. Chocolate obviously goes in anything chocolate-flavored and vanilla (or natural) can be used for everything else, including fruit flavored smoothies or bars.

On the flavor topic, I don’t usually go for the fancy flavors, Cookies N Cream, Root Beer etc. But you might like them, and there certainly are a lot of fancy-dancy flavored proteins out there. I just like the basics so I have many options for recipes to put them in.

DON’T use casein protein for baking, because it will dry things out like crazy. Whey also tends to do that, but I account for in recipes with the amount of liquid and baking time, but casein won’t be the same.

DO know your scoop conversions: if a recipe says 1 scoop of protein, it’s generally 1/3 cup, and will provide 20-24 g protein.

DO use extra liquid or oil when adapting your own recipes to include protein powder. Also DO adjust baking times to be slightly shorter.

Besides baked goods, other things you can boost with protein powder include oatmeal, smoothies, pudding, pancakes, and frappuccino-style coffee drinks.  I also make protein packed ice cream in my Vita-Mix. Soooooo good.

With oatmeal, DON’T add the protein powder before cooking! You’ll get a clumpy coagulated mess. Cook the oatmeal first, and either (1) let it cool for a few minutes, then stir in the protein powder or (2) mix the protein powder with a small amount (~2 Tablespoons) of water or milk in a separate bowl until smooth, then pour over cooked oats and stir. I prefer method 2.

I have some horror stories of where adding protein powder was downright disastrous. I’ve tried adding protein powder to homemade popsicles/fudge pops, and it’s a definite DON’T. Gross texture. I’m also not a fan of protein powder and cottage cheese, but I know several people who do enjoy this combination, so I guess it’s a matter of personal taste.

Here’s one of my favorite protein boosted coffee drinks for the summertime:

Mocha Frappuccino

  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (you can use vanilla too, it just won’t be “mocha”)
  • 2 Tablespoons skim milk or Silk unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 packet calorie-free sweetener

1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes and pour coffee over.

2. In a separate small mug, combine whey protein, milk, and sweetener. Mix with a fork until lump-free. Pour over coffee, add a straw and enjoy! (Especially since it didn’t cost you 5 bucks!)

The protein powder I use is Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey. I use both vanilla and chocolate, and think it’s delicious! You can pick it up here:

Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Double Rich Chocolate

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • debby July 31, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Great information, Georgie!

  • Adam @ U-Raaw! October 19, 2013, 12:05 pm

    “With oatmeal, DON’T add the protein powder before cooking! You’ll get a clumpy coagulated mess.” – great tip.

    Here is another one…

    If adding to hot drinks like coffee (coffee with whey and coconut oil is one of my favourite drinks), make sure that the water is not too hot. The one time I added the whey first, and dripped the hot coffee over it, it turned in to a clumpy mess that couldn’t be salvaged.

    Cheers!

    Adam

  • Kim April 14, 2014, 12:28 pm

    I LOVE baking with protein powder. I have used whey, casein, and egg white protein powders. I use it in cookies, muffins, pancakes…So great!!

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