My 5 Top Tips & Tricks For Baking with Protein Powder
#NHgang we have a bunch of new recipes right around the corner and with the festive season almost here, you'll want to start testing out these new favourite treats. Most of our recipes contain our THRIVE plant protein and Steph from @betterbeingsteph has kindly done all the trial and error for you so you don't need to make any of the common mistakes that happen when people first start using protein in their recipes! Over to Steph...
Creating healthier & high protein recipes shouldn’t have to mean getting a dry, tough or tasteless outcome! I know there’s a lot of confusion or hesitancy when it comes to using protein powder as an ingredient in recipes - and often this is because people just don’t know how to use it in a way that makes the outcome super delicious and flavoursome - plus, packed with the added benefits of protein.
Here are my top tips:
1. DON’T SUBSTITUTE PEA PROTEIN WITH WHEY OR CASEIN
I know they’re all protein powders, but they have totally different textures, tastes, and consistencies - and function so differently in recipes! For baked recipes, you’ll notice I mainly use pea protein in the form of the Naked Harvest THRIVE Proteins. This is because it adds thickness to the batter without making it dry or sticky. It essentially acts much like almond meal and bulks up the recipe without relying only on flour.
Whey protein is less suited to baking, and at high heat becomes tough and chewy (not how you want a muffin or cake to be!). Whey also reacts with liquids to become really sticky - which can be useful for certain recipes! You’ll notice I use whey protein as a binder in recipes such as oat cookies, protein balls, cheesecake bases and raw slices. It’s also fine for smoothies.
2. DON’T JUST USE PROTEIN POWDER
As a general rule, when you’re baking with protein, you still want to have an equal or larger amount of other dry ingredients e.g. oats or flour. It’s also really important to include enough wet ingredients to add moisture, especially when baking with whey which absorbs the liquid used in the recipe! By wet ingredients I mean things like banana, egg or egg whites, milks, Greek yoghurt, pumpkin puree etc. Which leads me to my next point….
3. ADD LIQUID SLOWLYIf you notice a recipe saying to ‘add milk or water as necessary’, this is largely dependent on the absorbency of your protein powder - some have added digestive enzymes, gums and fibres that may slightly alter how it reacts with liquids in a recipe. Start with the minimal amount of liquid I’ve suggested, then slowly add more if you think you need to thin the batter out a bit more.
4. DON’T SKIP OUT ON FATS WHEN BAKING WITH PROTEINYour fats can be coconut oil, nut butter, actual butter, egg yolk etc. Baking without any fats and just a whole lot of protein powder will result in a dry, tough and miserable-tasting outcome. I know a lot of you are after super macro-friendly treats, but if you want something super low-calorie - grab a piece of fruit. Don’t try to strip down something like a cookie or muffin so much so that it’s essentially just an egg frittata - no one wants that!
5. START WITH A VANILLA FLAVOURED PROTEINI totally respect & understand that using protein powders in a lot of recipes can get expensive, or you feel torn on which flavours are best to buy first. My biggest tip is to start with a vanilla flavoured protein like the Vanilla Pancake Batter THRIVE protein that will be really versatile in a range of recipes - vanilla can be used for banana bread, carrot cake fudges, blondies, pancakes etc. You can add whatever fruit to a vanilla-based recipe, as well as things like choc chips, coconut, nuts. It also means that for chocolate recipes - e.g. brownies, cakes, cupcakes - you can still use vanilla and just add 1-2tsp cacao or cocoa powder.
MY RECOMMENDATIONS:The last thing I’ll say is….pick a good protein powder!
It’s totally a personal preference thing, but when it comes to plant protein, there are lots of hit and misses and not all are created equally.
Shop our THRIVE range today!