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Ask the Protein Powder Chef

"Can I make protein cannolis?"

Ask The Protein Powder Chef: Can I Make Protein Cannolis?

Who can resist a cannoli? But, before you give in and devour the original, consider putting a new spin on Sicilian pastry dessert with this diet-friendly alternative.
Q

Hi Protein Chef! Cannolis are my all-time favorite treat, and I'd love to be able to include them in my diet without feeling guilty afterward. Is there a healthier version?

Cannoli, yum! Indulging once in a while is fine, but too many of those crispy shells and creamy-cheese centers can fry your diet quickly.

Don't fret, however. I'm a sucker for a challenge, so I decided to take these on and remake them as healthy protein concoctions.

First, I formed each cannoli shell by making a thick-ish protein pancake, frying it into shape with some low-calorie spray, and stuffing it with protein frosting before adding some melted chocolate and powdered Stevia for effect—you know, that irresistible, gotta-have-it, fresh-from-the-oven effect.

The trick is the "frying it into shape" part.

Normally, cannolis are made using cannoli molds—thick, short tubes you wrap pancakes around as you fry them to ensure they retain a tubular shape. They're not expensive, and you can easily get them online.

No cannoli molds? No problem. Just get a little inventive. While it's a bit trickier, you can use a fat raw cannelloni instead (which would be very apropos given that cannoli are related to cannelloni) or another thick tubular object.

Read through the recipe, and all shall become clear:

Anna's Protein Cannoli

Ingredients

Cannoli Shell

Filling

Directions
  1. First, make your pancake mix by blending all the cannoli ingredients together. Fry up four little round pancakes in a hot non-stick pan coated with low-calorie spray or coconut oil. Bear in mind that you can make three bigger pancakes or even five smaller ones, depending on how big you like your cannoli. To make sure you don't overcook the pancakes, flip and remove them from the pan as soon as they're cooked, but before they brown.
  2. Wrap each pancake around a cannoli mold or raw cannelloni.
  3. Spray your non-stick pan with more low-calorie spray or coconut oil. Once it's hot, hot, hot, manually press your shaped pancake on it to fry each side. As you fry the pancake, you should notice it start to retain its tubular shape. Do this with all the pancakes.
  4. Once your pancakes are all cannoli-shaped, make your frosting by mixing the ricotta with the protein powder. You can do this in a bowl with a spoon.
  5. Make your own piping bag! Stick the filling mixture in a small ziplock bag and cut off the corner of the bag to transform it into a pastry chef's proper-presentation must.
  6. Stuff your cannoli.
  7. Garnish with melted chocolate, ground pistachios, or whatever you fancy.
  8. Munch!
Anna's Protein Cannoli PDF (245 KB)

Nutrition Facts
Recipe yields 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 134
Total Fat2 g
Total Carb10 g
Protein20 g

Note: The method above still leaves the cannoli a bit pancakey instead of giving it that flat-out crunch. If you want to get the proper crispy texture, you have two options. Option one, use oil instead of low-calorie spray when you fry the cannoli into shape. Option two, start off with more of a dough instead of a batter and wrap that around each cannoli mold. I didn't do it this way because it's a bit more complicated, but it can certainly be done.



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About The Author

Anna's passion for exercise and nutrition inspired her to create proteinpow.com while she was still in the last year of her Ph.D. program.

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Comments

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HintonBE

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HintonBE

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this!

While I'll definitely try this recipe out, think I might try a second one and make the filling with non-fat plain Greek yogurt and some casein protein that I have. Wonder how it'll turn out...

Aug 26, 2013 5:10pm | report
 
SaraSolomon

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SaraSolomon

Looks Good!

Aug 26, 2013 6:10pm | report
 
VonSchwarz

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VonSchwarz

Awesome! All your recipes are great!

Aug 26, 2013 6:36pm | report
 
matthewscala

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matthewscala

what about protein eclairs omgs

Aug 27, 2013 7:19am | report
 
Simsas

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Simsas

would it work with almond flour??

Aug 27, 2013 3:53pm | report
 
jonymateus

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jonymateus

Looks good! Very good to have reciepes like that when you are in low carb no sugar diet..

Aug 27, 2013 5:03pm | report
 
elglodmo

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elglodmo

Looks good to me

Aug 28, 2013 6:05pm | report
 
iselaowens87

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iselaowens87

look good!! :) thanks

Aug 28, 2013 8:34pm | report
 
cyoothere

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cyoothere

Great idea. This pseudo-cannoli would definitely satisfy my craving for a sweet treat. I wonder if raw cacao nibs can be melted for the drizzle...

Aug 29, 2013 6:40am | report
 
RelaxImJoking

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RelaxImJoking

Anna im glad you do not have a drive through booth near me, or a food truck parked outside my gym. Id be well fed but broke.

Aug 29, 2013 9:25am | report
 
honeyroyale

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honeyroyale

that looks delish and impressive. must try it with the coconut oil. those cooking sprays are filled with crapoli.

Aug 29, 2013 9:45am | report
 
m82a1slayer

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m82a1slayer

If you don't have the cannoli mold, you can use a cupcake pan, press the cannoli into small cups, spray the tops with cooking spray, and carefully broil in the oven. I did this, and it worked out very well.

Aug 31, 2013 11:00am | report
 
Dondada469

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Dondada469

Do you have a gluten--free alternative? I think it would be awesome if you can give gluten-free substitutions with all of your recipes.

Sep 2, 2013 10:23am | report
 
BrotherJacob

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BrotherJacob

Ricotta cheese is underrated. The low-fat offerings are anyways. I use it on almost everything. This looks mouth-watering by the way!

Nov 4, 2013 3:29pm | report
 
AlexTaylor92

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AlexTaylor92

OMG soo tasty just made them, I now have a new favourite snack
just replaced the ricotta with Greek yoghurt

Nov 17, 2013 10:26am | report
 
alokpal

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alokpal

wow thats great recipe.

Dec 14, 2013 8:07am | report
 
alokpal

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alokpal

wow thats great recipe.i like it.

Dec 14, 2013 8:08am | report
 
alokpal

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alokpal

would it work with almond flour??

Dec 14, 2013 8:09am | report
 
MissCate

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MissCate

Great Recipe!

Jan 20, 2014 6:04pm | report
 
ray gigantino

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ray gigantino

like it

Apr 20, 2014 9:31am | report
 
Showing 1 - 20 of 20 Comments

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