Athletes always need more protein. If you aren’t sure how much you need, read about how much protein you should eat. Or maybe you would rather skip straight to protein shake recipes. If not, read on…
The problem with most protein powders is that they taste like cardboard. I found a company called Optimum Nutrition that puts out some great inexpensive protein powder. I haven’t really bought anything else in several years now. Optimum Nutrition protein powder tastes pretty good, but we can still realize a ton of benefits by learning to mix it with some of the other healthiest foods.
In my 13 years experience whipping up protein concoctions I have retained a couple favorite combinations. Get some protein, get some groceries, and enjoy.
My Top 21 Favorite Foods to Mix with Protein Powder
- Milk - Just use milk instead of water for more flavor, more thickness, and more calories. Try goat’s milk for an extra health kick.
- Cream - Use instead of milk or water for way more flavor and calories.
- Fruit - Blend it up and it’s called a fruit smoothie. Try strawberries and bananas. Add fruit to just about all of these other recipes. Fruit adds vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants so don’t hesitate to add it to anything.
- Nuts - Mix or blend with walnuts, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Adds healthy fats and a nutty aftertaste to everything. You could probably use peanuts too, but honestly peanuts aren’t that great for you.
- All Natural Peanut Butter – Use peanut butter to make Peanut Butter Protein Balls using this recipe. These are so good.
- Oatmeal - Make strawberry or chocolate protein oatmeal for a high fiber breakfast. I have also added 1/4 cup of raw oatmeal to a plain chocolate protein shake.
- Cereal - Cereal is generally not too good for you unless you’re eating something like Total or Special K, Grapenuts, or Kashi; and that’s exactly what I’m recommending here. Add a scoop or two of protein powder to your healthy cereal… it’s perfect because it already has milk!
- Cottage Cheese – Just use 1/4 cup of protein powder at the most and add a few drops of water if it gets too thick. Read a post all about cottage cheese recipes. Add fruit and nuts as desired.
Pancakes - Everyone that’s been reading this blog for a while knows about protein pancakes. Just add 1/2 a scoop to the mix and a little water to thin it out. Add fruit and nuts as desired.
- Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt – Blend together for a weight gainer treat. Add fruit and nuts as desired.
- Dessert Mix – For more junk food, mix the protein powder with brownie mix, cookie mix, or any sort of dessert bread or loaf.
- Pudding Mix – You can make protein pudding with just about any flavor of pudding or protein. You can choose low fat pudding or regular. Check out The Hulk Protein Shake for a swell pistachio flavored snack.
- Apple Juice and Caramel Flavoring – Mix it with vanilla protein for a caramel apple dessert. Add fruit and nuts as desired.
- Other Juices – You can also use pretty much any other juice or even Gatorade. Try orange juice, cranberry juice, and someone one recommended green Gatorade but I don’t know anything about it.
- Yogurt - Particularly low-fat or non-fat yogurt mixed with fruit or vanilla flavored protein powder. Blend it with fruit for an even thicker fruit smoothie. Add fruit and nuts as desired.
- Pasta Sauce – Or any other thick heavily flavored sauce. The catch is that it has to be unflavored protein powder.
- Eggs and Egg Whites – Mix unflavored protein powder into any recipe that is primarily made with eggs. From what I understand, cooking the protein powder somewhat denatures the protein, making it less useful to your body, but it’s better than no protein at all. Fact: nearly all macronutrient enzymes are in some way compromised at heats in excess of 160 degrees C.
- Mashed Potatoes – Once again you’ll need to use unflavored protein powder, but it will make you feel so much better about eating your mashed potatoes. Add a splash of milk or cream if the potatoes become too thick.
- Sweeteners - Add any type of syrup if you don’t care about carbs, and add any type of artificial sweetener (I prefer Splenda) if you want to avoid sweetening your protein with sugar.
- Coffee – The secret is to mix up a scoop of protein with milk, then add the milk concoction to your coffee.
- Homemade protein bars.
Let me know if I’ve left anything out. Hopefully between the post and the comments we’ll have even more than 21 great foods to mix with protein powder.
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