There’s a reason why protein shakes are so popular in the fitness world. They are highly nutritious, filling, energizing, and you can take them anywhere whether you’re going to the gym or for a walk around the park. Because of this, protein powders are known almost exclusively for making protein shakes, but did you know you can make a bunch of other things with them?
After all, a protein powder is there to give you an extra dose of protein and help you meet your daily protein intake. You might be wondering to yourself, “does protein powder expire?”... and the answer is yes, it does! So, instead of limiting yourself to just one use and reaching the expiration date before you even notice, try getting creative with it!
We’re going to show you all the different ways in which you can put your protein powder to good use. So you can still enjoy your favorite meals while getting extra nutrients in the process!
Make homemade protein bars
Who said protein bars have to be store-bought all the time? They might look complicated to make, but it’s not like that at all. Just grab your favorite plant-based milk, some granola, and a flavored protein powder and you’ll have a delicious batch of protein bars for days!
The best thing about homemade protein bars is that you can customize them to your liking and make a bunch of different ones for your different cravings. You could make a batch of protein bars with honey and oats for those rough early mornings and another batch with chocolate chips and trail mix for when you’re craving something extra crunchy.
You can store your homemade protein bars in small food bags to take with you when you go to the gym, or to keep in your bag when you’re on the go and might need an energy booster later in the day!
Mix it in when you’re baking
Do you enjoy baking in your free time? If your answer is yes, then protein powder could become your new favorite ingredient!
From regular cakes and cookies to mug cakes, brownies, and all other kinds of baked goods, protein powder can offer extra flavor, extra nutrients, and even extra thickness for that consistent mix that you’re looking for when baking.
Since there are all kinds of flavored protein powders, you could give your vanilla cake a hint of strawberry with your protein powder, or maybe blend some chocolate protein powder into a chocolate mug cake for extra flavor. You can even use unflavored protein powder if you want to preserve the original flavor, such as when you’re baking some banana bread. It’s completely up to you!
Make your favorite coffee with it
Protein coffee, also known as proffee, is the latest fitness trend that everyone’s talking about. It mixes coffee with your protein of choice for a packed beverage that will boost your protein intake and energy for the rest of your day!
Regardless of how you prefer making your coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, super sweet, or not sweet at all to stay true to coffee’s pure flavor, you can add some protein powder to it to make it more nutritious and to get those proteins in for the day.
Here’s our favorite iced cold brew latte recipe so you can make it at home:
- Make your cold brew by mixing grounded coffee and cold water, leave it overnight, and then strain it the next day – or you can just buy it pre-made!
- Add a scoop of 373 Lab’s Cold Brew Latte Whey Protein to a shaker bottle along with one cup of cold brew and shake until blended.
- Pour around 1/2 cup of your favorite plant-based milk. You can also add your favorite additional ingredients to it, such as nut butter and cocoa powder.
- Blend some more, add a few ice cubes to your cup, and you’re done!
Add it to your pancake mix
There’s nothing better than a good breakfast that makes you feel full and ready to start your day, and protein pancakes are the perfect meal for that!
You can buy pancake mix at the grocery store, but making your own mix will ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients and none of the additives and preservatives that most store-bought foods contain. Get your mix ready and then add some delicious vanilla or chocolate-flavored protein powder to it, or choose unflavored if you prefer the original pancake flavor.
There are many ways to make pancake mix, but you can avoid adding the less nutritious ingredients by using healthier alternatives – especially if you’re on a weight loss journey! Instead of white flour and butter, add some oats and banana slices to keep your mix consistent. Then pour your plant-based milk, one or two eggs, and maybe some cinnamon or vanilla extract to keep it tasty. Lastly, add your favorite flavored or unflavored protein powder and get to cooking!
Use it as a pudding ingredient
Pudding is probably one of the last things you think of when it comes to protein powder, but it’s a great ingredient for it! You can make all kinds of puddings, from classic vanilla or chocolate puddings to more complex ones such as peanut butter and roasted banana pudding.
One of our favorite choices is chia pudding because of how nutritious it is – after all, chia seeds are considered a superfood by many! They are a complete protein, so mixing them up with your favorite protein powder will definitely give you that protein punch you need, especially when it’s almost the day of the day and you need to hit your macro goals.
Here is a simple recipe for chia pudding that you can try:
- Add 1/2 cup of your plant-based milk of choice to a mason jar followed by 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Almond and oat milk offer the creamiest texture, but it’s up to you!
- Stir well, then add your favorite protein powder. Depending on the powder flavor you chose, or if you opted for unflavored, add your additional ingredients such as vanilla extract and cinnamon for extra flavor.
- Stir again until everything is mixed well and put it in the fridge overnight to let the chia seeds soak.
- Grab a portion, sprinkle your favorite toppings on it, and enjoy!
Make overnight oats with it
Another breakfast choice that you can make with protein powder, or maybe you prefer eating your oats at night, it’s up to you!
The truth is, when it comes to oats, there is so much that you can do that adding some protein powder is probably not that crazy of an idea. Whether you prefer your oats with a lot of diced fruit, different nuts and seeds, or maybe a spoonful of nut butter instead, vanilla, cinnamon, Greek yogurt… There are many ways to prepare it, and adding protein powder can only make it better!
You can make some overnight oats to make your mornings easier by mixing some rolled oats (for better texture) with your favorite plant-based milk. From there, you choose what to add to make it tastier, such as cocoa powder, or healthier, like chia seeds. Don’t forget to add your favorite protein powder, put it in the fridge overnight, and enjoy the next day!
Add it to your favorite savory meals
So far, we’ve only covered snacks, breakfast foods, and baked goods. These are usually all on the sweeter side, so let’s finish with a strong one – savory foods!
More specifically, what you add to savory foods. Whether it’s a homemade sauce, a dressing, some cream, or just a dip for your nachos, protein powder mixes well with almost everything. You can even make soup with it! Add some butternut squash, chopped veggies, store-bought or homemade bone broth, and some protein powder and you’ll have a delicious soup for lunch or dinner.
Of course, if you’re making a pasta sauce, for example, you don’t want any chocolate or vanilla flavoring in it, so unflavored protein powder is the best choice for these meals! You can make a delicious and healthy cream by blending your favorite greens with Greek yogurt, some salt and pepper, and your favorite unflavored protein powder.
Make protein powder your new best friend in the kitchen
Out of all essential macro and micronutrients, protein is particularly important if you’re on a strength training journey. Your body needs a certain amount of protein to repair and make your muscle mass grow post-workout, so make sure you try a few of these protein powder ideas for a richer diet!
And if you’re looking to buy a high-quality protein powder without worrying about unnecessary additives, 373 Lab has just what you need! With two whey protein powder flavors currently available, Cold Brew Latte and Chocolate Cheesecake, you can make sure you’re getting the proteins, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids that you need in the most delicious way possible.