The whole concept of using various protein supplements in order to help us to gain muscle mass is far from new, as protein supplements have been hugely popular and the health and fitness community for a number of decades now. So popular are protein supplements in fact, that whey protein powders are actually the number 1 best-selling health supplement in the entire world, used by bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts all across the globe, from all walks of life. Of course, when we think of protein supplements, we think of protein powders, namely whey protein powders as they’re the most common and most popular. When we envision ourselves, or others for that matter, using these protein shakes, we tend to picture a plastic shaker bottle filled with water, a couple of scoops of powder being added, the whole thing getting a quick shake, and then being chugged down there and then. Whilst this is of course a perfectly viable and effective method of using protein powders to help us get in shape, it is by far not the only way to use protein powders to help us meet our daily protein macros and therefore hopefully build, or maintain, lean muscle mass. If you’re looking for new and exciting methods of using various different protein powders, take a look at these unique examples listed below, and see what you think.
When we think of popular dips, we think of examples such as guacamole, hummus, black bean dip, and salsa. Whilst all of these dips are indeed fantastic party foods, and indeed health foods too for that matter, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with protein powder? Well, in answer to that question, by simply adding a scoop or two of protein powder to these dips, and giving it a good mix, you’re able to increase the protein content of these dips, and make them much more beneficial to you. You can now easily find unflavoured protein powders, so don’t think you need to add strawberry or vanilla flavoured protein to your guacamole in order to make this dish. For any vegans out there, or people that cannot consume dairy, if you opt for pea protein, soy protein, or hemp protein instead, not only is this acceptable on your diet, it also works even better than regular protein powders. This not only boosts the protein content, but it helps fill you up as protein is thermogenic, and therefore takes longer to digest and break down.
You’re probably sick of hearing about protein pancakes (although we do have to mention them again, but don’t worry, we’ll be quick) and if you are indeed, perhaps the sound of healthy protein waffles sounds more appealing instead? To make the ultimate healthy waffles, instead of white flour, use a healthy flour such as coconut flour, or even whole wheat flour. Add your eggs, top up with soy or almond milk, and stir in a couple of scoops of protein such as whey, brown rice, or hemp, into the mixture, and make your batter. For added flavour, vanilla flavoured protein works very well. Simply make your waffles, serve with a little Greek yoghurt and mixed berries, and drizzle with a little Manuka honey.
There are many different breakfast foods that work extremely well with protein powders, including the delicious waffles which we listed above. On top of that, you have protein pancakes, oatmeal, or even natural yoghurt. For the pancakes, instead of flour you can use oats, with the oatmeal you simply stir the protein in right before serving, and with the yoghurt, you again basically mix it all together. Serve any of the above with fruit for added vitamins and antioxidants, and perhaps another drizzle of honey.
Soups or curries
Another fantastic way of using protein powder in your foods, is to add a couple of scoops to soups or curries, a few minutes before serving them. Say you make a delicious vegetable soup for example, around 5 minutes before your soup is ready, simply add a couple of scoops to the mixture, continue cooking gently, and hey presto. Again, make sure you choose unflavoured protein, as a strawberry and vegetable flavoured soup is probably not going to taste all that great. Alternatively, hemp protein works absolutely brilliantly with many soup and curry dishes, and it actually not only boosts the protein content, it actually enhances the taste as well, so really it’s a win, win situation.
Various baked goodies
If you find yourself stuck at home on a cold, wet, and windy Sunday, why not spend your day baking instead? Don’t worry however, the foods that you’re baking won’t be like the processed garbage that you can pick up from various supermarkets and convenience stores, oh no, your baked goodies will be packed full of flavour, and above all else, packed full of nutrients as well. The great thing about baking with protein powders, is that you can mix and match powders based upon what it is that you’re making. For example, if you’re looking at baking a seeded loaf of bread, not only could you include hemp seeds in the recipe, you could also include hemp protein powder, which again, not only increases the nutritional profile of the bread, it also lifts the flavour as well, because obviously, a bread containing hemp seeds is going to work very well with hemp protein. If you’re baking muffins, adding a couple of scoops of say, strawberry or vanilla protein, will help lift the flavours and make the foods feel more like a treat than a health food. If baking banana bread, banana flavour protein powder is a no-brainer. You can make cupcakes, cakes, flapjacks, scones, muffins, bagels, breads, wraps, and much more besides, and best of all, to make many of them, all you have to do differently is add the extra protein to the dough/mixtures.