Category Archives: Applesauce

Baking With Protein Powder

My journey of cooking with protein powder has felt like being in a pitch black cave – bumping and tripping my way through a tunnel I know nothing about.  I’ve been bumping around this cave for some time now and am starting to get to know this cave…and even feel comfortable, familiar and confident.

What I hated most with protein recipes – that darn RUBBERY texture! That airy texture that made you feel like you were eating an old, hard kitchen sponge…that was supposed to be healthy for you.

Well I am here to put an end to your protein powder cooking woes!! (or…at least give you some tools to help you tweak your recipe closer to “yum” than “yuck”)

Rule #1:  The ONE QUARTER (1/4) rule

Keep your whey protein powder to no more than 1/4 of your batter. You have to combat the whey’s after-cook rubbery tendency with moisture ingredients to help weigh it down, hence the 1/4 rule.  Some people will actually say much less (like 1/8), but it kind of depends on your recipe and your taste buds.

Rule #2:  MOISTURIZE

A main moisture element is necessary, but your recipe does not need to be limited to just one.  I will use things like water and applesauce, or baby food and water, or coconut oil, or peanut butter or cottage cheese – or any combination of these.

Rule #3:  BLESS BE THE TIES THAT BIND

Don’t forget your binding agent of eggs! Or egg whites, of course.  Depending on your recipe, sometimes things like honey or peanut butter can be enough of a binding agent.

Rule #4:  BAKE TIME

Whey protein gets rubbery when cooked (baked, pan fried, cooked) and though these rules help to combat it, one of the key things to watch out for is cook time.  I have found that my protein versions of recipes often are fully-cooked sooner than the allotted recipe cook time.  So if you are making pancakes, you may need to flip sooner OR if baking cookies, cut it short by 5 minutes (or more!).  Bottom line, watch the first batch and don’t hesitate to check it prematurely. You can always put it back, but you can’t reverse the rubber.  With some of my recipes that I post I even mention to under-cook it a little. The ingredients that have to be cooked (like eggs), will be cooked very early on, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria.

Rule #5:  NOT EVERY GIRL LIKES FLOURS

This rule is made to break. Flour works well with whey because it helps give volume, but most of the time I try to find ways to omit it (even the healthy flours) because I am trying to have a specific nutritional content.

Here are some flours that I have worked with that are high-protein, gluten-free and high-fiber:

almond flour – brings hints of almond flavor 
amaranth flour – I have never baked with SOLELY amaranth, so as far as flavor I cannot personally attest, but I do know that it is jam packed with protein, fiber, lysine, and essential amino acids
buckwheat flour – a hearty flavor
coconut flour – has a very very mild taste
garbanzo bean/chickpea flour – has a bean flavor that is very distinct to me, but most people I have served cannot pin-point it
oat flour – rich and full flavor 
quinoa flour – delicate and slightly nutty flavor

So, if you can keep these 5 rules in mind your limits for protein recipes will know no bounds! Think pancakes…cookies…breads…muffins!! And say bye-bye to rubber. Document as you go so you can learn and tweak your recipes. The best way to lead a healthy fit life is to be skillful in the kitchen. Some of the best lessons are learned by trial and error! Document, tweak and share with the rest of us!

Cooking with whey is even easier than baking and a lot less rules, but that’s another story 🙂

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Filed under Applesauce, Protein, Protein Powder, Tips

Protein Cookies: Oatmeal & Chocolate Peanut Butter

Easy, healthy, CLEAN cookies for even the bodybuilder in my house. These take me 15 minutes! 8-10 minutes in the oven and voila!

IMG: Faith Keith's Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Protein CookiesDry Ingredients:

1/3 Cup zero cal sweetener
2 cups old fashioned oats
3 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (or a baking blend of cardamom, cinnamon (yes more cinnamon), nutmeg, allspice)

Wet Ingredients:

1 (4oz) individual size container No Sugar Added applesauce OR fruit baby food (berry and banana flavors work well and add enough moisture)
1/2 C PB (you can make this with as little as 2 TBSP. I tried it for my own batch (less fat) and they turn out great.  I tweaked the recipe for more PB to make it a little less dense and add more fat for my husband’s off-season diet)
2 egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water

Extra Awesome:

if your diet allows for extra carbs/fats
raisins
nuts
SF chocolate chips
measure by handful or 1/2 cup

Suggested Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix dry ingredients
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl (do not stir yet)
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture (add your Awesome at this time too) and mix on low speed or by hand until fully blended. I try not to overbeat this mixture
  5. Prep cookie sheet with Zero Calorie butter flavored cooking spray
  6. Roll into balls and place on baking sheet OR bake these as bars (lay the dough as a sheet and cut them after baking)
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Careful not to overcook – almost better to slightly “under-cook” these. The eggs will be cooked within the first few minutes, and the oats (especially if you use quick oats) will be chewy enough early on. Under baking these means for softer cookies rather than crunch bars or that terrible protein spongy-ness.

The above directions are what helped me get a texture that was really enjoyable for even the non-healthful eaters of our home, BUT it does not need to be followed to the letter. For example, you can combine all ingredients at once to save you time; you can also drop the dough by the spoonfuls on to your pan (no ball forming necessary).  The key thing is not over-baking.

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Filed under Applesauce, Eat-Clean, Egg Whites, Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Snacks, Sweets