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While both versatile and delicious, protein powder is also an effortless way to increase our daily protein intake to help reach the daily recommended dose of 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Reaping some major health benefits, protein does it all— it cuts cravings, replenishes muscles, increases energy, and aids in weight loss. To add to the greatness, protein powders are also low in calories and super simple to toss into the food you’re already eating. So, it’s about time you skip those plain old protein shakes and simply start adding it into every area of your diet.
Add It to Your Joe
Start your day off right with the caffeine you need to get your energy flowing and the protein you need to keep it going. Add a single scoop of protein powder and almond or coconut milk to a freshly brewed cup of, Joe, stir and enjoy. Coffee is already chock full of natural antioxidants and metabolism-boosting properties, so why not add in some extra benefits with the assistance of protein powder?
MAKE A FANCY PARFAIT
Yogurt is a delicious snack loaded with health benefits like bone-building calcium and probiotics. A study done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that there is a direct link between the lactic acid-producing bacteria in yogurt and strong gut health.
UP YOUR OATMEAL GAME
Are you resorting to the icky prepackaged oatmeal because you think plain oatmeal is a boring breakfast with no taste? It doesn’t have to be that way! Toss those pre-flavored oatmeal packets that are filled with artificial ingredients, additives, and sugar, and indulge yourself in a hearty breakfast with the help of some protein powder. Mix ¼ cup of steel cut oats with 1 cup of water (or your fav nut milk), 1 small scoop of protein powder, 1/2 tablespoon of flaxseed, a diced green apple, and nutmeg. Bring the water to a boil, add oats, reduce to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
COMBINE IT WITH CHIA
When it comes to getting a tasty treat that isn’t gut-wrenching, you can easily combine chia with any liquid in order to find the consistency of pudding with no unnecessary additives. To make your chia treat even more exciting, toss in a scoop of chocolate protein powder to give it that extra sweet kick you’re looking for an even more protein. This is a childhood throwback that won’t leave you with any guilt!
ADD PROTEIN TO YOUR PROTEIN
Sound redundant? Maybe so, but by adding a little bit of unflavored protein powder to your meatballs, veggie burgers or lasagnas can really amp up those belly-shrinking benefits. It’s a great binder and keeps your classic meals tasting and feeling just like they’re supposed to! There aren’t any crazy steps, either; just add ¼ a cup of protein powder to your signature recipe.
SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Brownies, cakes, cookies and more—there is no shortage of healthy desserts you can add protein powder too! Choose a protein powder with the flavor that your dessert is looking for and mix it right into the batter. We love this doughnut recipe from Protein Cakery that allows you to have three mini doughnuts for only 203 calories!
SPRINKLE YOUR FRUITS
A bowl of refreshing fruit is like nothing else— juicy, invigorating, and so satisfying. But fruit is one of the food groups slacking off when it comes to the calorie to protein ratio. By giving your fruit a sprinkle of protein powder, you can change that!
CREATE A DIP
Make a dip by combining protein powder to one of your healthy faves to get some extra waist-whittling benefits. You can combine a scoop of chocolate protein powder, a tablespoon of nut butter and a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency to dip your apples and celery in. Or go for a savory Greek yogurt Tzatziki dip, hummus, or guacamole with the addition of a scoop of unflavored protein powder. Be sure not to add so much that it changes the texture of the dip; incorporate it slowly and add a liquid like water or lemon juice if necessary.
HAVE IT HOT
Mix unflavored protein powder into a butternut squash soup or chili to get an added dose of nutrients. Don’t overdo it, though; adding too much protein powder can lead to a grainy texture or even curdling. Mix it slowly into your soups, stews, and sauces before they’re boiling to make sure you don’t go overboard and turn your dinner into a weird mess.
HAVE IT COLD
Ice creams that are made with just two ingredients and are bursting with nutrients are ice creams that we’re big fans of! Give this freezer treat a go by combining protein powder and either frozen bananas or Greek yogurt. Freeze and stir until it reaches your preferred consistency and voila! You now have a healthy ice cream to feel good about!
MAKE A DRESSING
Protein is just what a dull salad needs, especially when you’re not in the mood for meat, tofu, or chicken. Choose an unflavored protein powder and combine with garlic, vinegar, mustard, extra-virgin olive oil and your choice of spices to make a thickened dressing that will kick up the flavors of a plain protein-lacking salad.
AMP YOUR SMOOTHIE
Make your fruit smoothie a protein smoothie by adding a scoop of your favorite blend of protein powder. To make it even more nutrient-dense, add chia seeds and flax meal. You can even imitate some of your favorite desserts like carrot cake or coconut cream pie in smoothie form with the help of those flavored protein powders. They give a smoothie a great consistency and some often-needed sweet flavor.
HEALTHIFY YOUR PIZZA
Protein-packed pizza? It’s hard to resist a good slice of pizza, so stop resisting and instead indulge in a healthy version of the old favorite. Make a pizza dough using 1 cup of rolled oats, ¼ cup of unflavored protein powder, 1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, and seasonings of your choice.
ADD TO MASHED POTATOES
Or really to any vegetable that can be mashed. A small scoop of flavorless protein powder can be added to mashed veggies like squash, cauliflower or potatoes and it might just be the answer to getting that consistency perfectly right. I