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Using Protein Powder in the Kitchen

We love smoothies: Americans spend close to $13 billion on them every year. And sales of protein powders, a key smoothie ingredient, continue to rise. 

But in an age when a protein has become the go-to nutrient, cooks are starting to experiment with protein powder in dishes that are more solid than liquid. And if you’re a vegan cook, NaturesPlus offers a line of organic all-plant protein powders that allow your creativity to flourish.

To get the most from protein, you need to distribute your intake throughout the day. That’s one big advantage of using protein powders in the kitchen; it allows you to get all you need in an almost effortless fashion.

There are some things to watch for. For instance, in baked goods, “if your batter is over one-half protein powder, your food will turn out really dry and rubbery,” says Anna Sward, author of The Ultimate Protein Powder Cookbook (Countryman).

She also notes that, unlike regular bread, “protein bread doesn’t rise very much when they’re baked. That’s why you need to bake them in a narrow-enough baking pan (ideally a silicone one) so that the batter has some height before you even bake it.”

In addition, plant-based powders are much more absorbent than animal-based ones; if a recipe calls for let’s say, pea protein, you really can’t substitute something like whey powder, which is animal-based.

If a recipe doesn’t turn out right, no worries. Sward encourages you to not be “overly rigid or scared about experimenting with your powders, ingredients, and flavors. Listen to your taste buds.”

NaturesPlus organic vegan powders are ideal for such experimentation. They come in four varieties—Almond, Paleo, Pea and Pumpkin Seed—and are free of gluten, soy, added sugars and GMOs. What’s more, they include enzymes that help liberate the energy found in these proteins.

While making bread, cookies, brownies, muffins and other treats (including no-cook bars and energy bites) with protein powder is one option, it isn’t the only one. Here are some others:

  • Add protein powder to your morning oatmeal, along with fresh fruit and nuts.
  • Soaked chia seeds and NaturesPlus Paleo Protein team up to make a nutritious, flavorful pudding base.
  • Throw protein powder in a blender with a banana, a cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk and a tablespoon each of peanut butter and flax seeds for a post-workout smoothie.
  • NaturesPlus Pea Protein is a natural enhancement for pasta dishes.
  • Pair protein powder with pumpkin purée and mashed chickpeas for an imaginative burger substitute. You can also combine a plant-based powder with black beans for another alternative to burgers made with chopped meat.

Three-Minute Egg & Sweet Potato Protein Soldiers

“Before I moved to England, I had no idea what Eggs and Soldiers were,” Anna Sward writes. “I did some research and found out that these thinly sliced pieces of toast are called ‘soldiers’ because they’re evocative of soldiers on parade.”

cooking spray or coconut oil

1/4 cup NaturesPlus Organic Pea Protein Powder

1/4 cup sweet potato flour

3/4 cup liquid egg whites

1 egg

1. Preheat a nonstick frying pan and add some cooking spray or coconut oil. Turn heat to high.
2. Mix the next three ingredients together; spread the batter into the pan like a big pancake (it’ll be chunky and thick; just press it down with a spatula). Turn the heat down to medium.
3. Bring a small pan of water to a boil; carefully drop in the egg (shell and all). Cover pan, turn off the heat and wait 5 minutes. Remove egg, rinse in cold water and prop up in egg dish or bowl.
4. Flip the “pancake,” then slice into strips. Tap the top of the eggshell and peel enough so that you can eat it with your soldiers.

    Yields 2 servings

    Source: excerpted from The Ultimate Protein Powder Cookbook by Anna Sward. Reproduced by permission of Countryman Press. All rights reserved.

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    **These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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