Does a sink full of shaker bottles have you singing the protein shake blues? Good news: With a little creativity, you can change the protein game. Even better, you can enjoy healthier versions of your favorite treats made with whey protein powder.
Gain all of whey protein's muscle-building benefits in complete meal (or brownie) form with these protein powder recipes. You'll find everything from breakfast smoothies and pancakes to dessert bars and brownies. These protein treats will satisfy your macros and your taste buds.
1. PB&J Protein Smoothie
IFBB pro Alex Carneiro knows that going low(er) carb can be rough. Not only do you have to limit your bread intake, but childhood favorites are off limits—crustless peanut butter and jelly, anyone? Well, there's good news. It turns out you can enjoy a healthy version in the form of a smoothie!
Made with peanut butter, fresh berries, and vanilla ice cream-flavored whey protein, this smoothie tastes even more indulgent than the sandwich, and its high-nutrient ingredients will support your health goals, too.
2. Sunrise Smoothie
Mornings can be rough. You wake up late, head into work flustered, and spill your morning cup of Joe on your new shirt. Follow Carneiro's suggestions: Lessen the blow and nix the caffeine with a sweet protein treat.
Start the day on a better foot with this simple, four-ingredient smoothie. With whey protein, peanut butter, almond milk, and strawberries, it packs plenty of protein, healthy fats, and just enough carby sweetness to get you going without being a calorie bomb. Use unsweetened almond milk if you want to keep carbs to a minimum.
3. Peanut Butter-Coconut Craving
Athlete Stephanie Toomey makes this protein shake every morning. The combination of coconut and almond milk makes for a silky-smooth base, while peanut butter kicks the flavor profile up a notch.
In addition to tasting delicious, the fats from the peanut butter and coconut milk make this recipe extra satiating. Along with the whey protein, they'll keep you full till lunch. Go nuts!
4. Almond Butter Protein Pancakes
National bikini competitor Lindsey Renee prefers her protein in pancake form. Who could say no to a sizable stack of flapjacks first thing in the morning? Forget the tasteless, frozen variety and dig into these freshly baked hot cakes instead.
These protein pancakes may look a little different from what you'd find at a diner. That's because instead of empty carbs they're made with super healthy ingredients: egg whites, almond butter, and protein powder.
5. Morning Breakfast Shake
Need a powerful morning punch? Noah Siegel has just the recipe. Peanut butter? Good. Berries? Good. Oatmeal? Really good! This smoothie has all your favorite ingredients, together in one glass. With a healthy dose of good fats, vitamin C, fiber, and protein, it takes your protein powder and turns it up to 11.
6. Banana Pancakes
Why limit banana flavor to bread? Break the standard baking mold by serving up a batch of banana protein pancakes. Try this recipe by Jaquelyn Kastelic, Optimum Nutrition athlete and owner of CrossFit Unrivaled.
Tropical ingredients like real coconut and banana meet creamy vanilla protein powder. The result is a breakfast protein treat that tastes like a cheat but is low in carbs and calories.
7. Pumpkin Protein Bars
Power up on protein with these tasty bars! They're more like cake than protein bars, but with whey protein powder instead of flour and applesauce instead of butter. That makes them way lower in calories and higher in protein.
Clean-eating ingredients like cinnamon and clove will awaken your palate. The applesauce lowers the fat content while still providing the moisture necessary for a delicious cake.
8. High-Protein Ezekiel French Toast
Hungry for something different than protein shakes, oatmeal, and eggs for breakfast? Serve up healthy slabs of French toast for your next brunch with this recipe from Noah Siegel.
The sprouted grain bread is made from natural ingredients, and is relatively low in calories and high in protein compared to other breads. The graham cracker protein powder and cinnamon make this recipe as decadent as it is wholesome.
9. Mocha-Cappuccino-Cinnamon Brownies
Get your coffee fix in protein-brownie form with this recipe from IFBB pro bikini competitor Anna Starodubtseva.
Mocha Cappuccino protein powder, eggs, and fat-free cream cheese pack 31 grams of protein into each brownie and make them dangerously habit-forming. And, with the addition of Optimum Nutrition fiber powder, they'll get you going in the morning just like coffee.