Unflavored whey protein powder may seem unexciting and tasteless, but there are some creative ways to blend it into your diet deliciously.
Package instructions typically recommend that you mix your powder with water and shake or stir it up. That is a recipe for a tasteless protein drink that won’t leave your taste buds watering for more. Use this list of alternative suggestions to kick start your own creative ideas.
1. Mix your powder into your oatmeal for a powerful breakfast or snack. Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfasts you can enjoy as long as you stay away from the sugar and artificial sweeteners some brands offer. You can mix in your protein powder to give it a protein boost without changing the flavor, but consider adding a bit of skim, almond or coconut milk so it doesn’t get too dry.
2. Learn how to bake with protein powder. Unflavored whey protein isolate is one of the best options for baking simply because it won’t affect the flavor of your baked goods. You can start with protein powder cookies and brownies, but don’t hesitate to come up with your own recipes. If you have baked goods that you already enjoy, consider adding a scoop or two of protein powder for an extra muscle-building punch.
3. Jumpstart your day with protein-packed coffee. Simply mix in your protein powder as you would sugar or creamer. Of course, this option is not limited to mornings. It is also a great afternoon energy spike when you are running low on energy.
4. Make protein powder smoothies. You can use fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables, herbs and a variety of milks or fruit juices. Make sure to use ice or frozen fruit to create that slushy consistency that sets a smoothie apart from a protein shake. You can turn your smoothies into a healthy meal replacement if you select your ingredients wisely. Flavored protein powders can also be used for smoothies, but unflavored whey protein isolate allows your other ingredients to dominate in flavor.
5. Increase the protein content of your yogurt. This is an easy way to get your protein in without mixing a shake when you are away from home. If you measure your protein powder into a portable container, you can mix it into your yogurt with a spoon and have a healthy snack on demand. Just pay attention to how much protein you put into a single container of yogurt. You don’t want it to become too chalky or bulky for your taste buds. If you are counting calories for weight loss or maintenance, make sure to consider the calorie, fat and carbohydrate grams in your chosen yogurt. Greek yogurt is typically the healthiest option.
6. When in a pinch, grab a bottle of juice and mix it up. This is a simple idea, but it may help you curb a craving for unhealthy snack foods from a vending machine or gas station. When you need to eat but don’t have access to a healthy option, buy a bottle of juice from the vending machine or gas station rather than a candy bar or chips. You can mix unflavored whey protein isolate into the juice, and the protein will help satisfy your appetite until you can find a healthy meal with more substance.
7. Take advantage of your freezer and ice cube trays to create fast and delicious protein drinks. You can freeze skim or 1% chocolate milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coffee or any other liquid that you may want to combine with your protein powder. You may also drop a fresh berry or two into each hole of your ice cube tray. Once your tray is filled, freeze it so that it is ready when you need to mix your protein shake on the go. You can add your flavored frozen cubes to the blender with your unflavored protein isolate and fresh fruit, or you can add it to water and shake it all up in a blender cup as you head out the door. Get creative, and you will find many ways to use your frozen cubes in combination with your protein powder.
8. Splurge a little by enjoying your protein powder with ice cream. You can blend protein powder into softer ice creams, or you can mix the ice cream with lite Hershey’s syrup and other goodies and blend it up for a milkshake. The ice cream will add to your protein intake, and you will wake up your taste buds.
9. Make your own protein bars. Flavored protein powders are often chosen for this because they add flavor to the bars, but unflavored powders are great for bars that already contain high-flavor ingredients, such as berries and fruits. You may also use honey and a variety of natural, healthy sweeteners to make up for the sweetness not provided by your unflavored protein powder.
10. Ditch the fruit and create a protein-rich vegetable juice or smoothie. If you are into juicing, you can add protein to any of your fresh juices. You can also use fresh, homemade juice to create smoothies and baked goods. Simply blending your protein powder with leafy greens, mint and other herbs can deliver a nourishing drink or shake that helps cleanse your system.
Can you think of other ways to blend unflavored whey protein isolate into your diet? The more ideas you can come up with, the more options you will have when trying to meet your protein goals each day. While some people enjoy protein powder mixed with water and nothing else, most find that boring and unappetizing. Protein powder should be just as pleasing on your taste buds as it is on your muscles and joints so that you want to enjoy your protein each day