We are now well into September and the kids, or maybe you, are settled back into school.  I have a teen-ager and he is growing like crazy, which means he is hungry most of the time.  He also plays a lot of soccer and is often rushing from school to training so he need some quick, healthy, easy to consume and sustaining snacks.  He loves muffins, but those often just lead to a carbohydrate crash.  I decided to experiment with muffins that include whey protein powder.  After several batches, we landed on a version that satisfies, sustains and tastes good!

Baking with protein powder is a bit tricky.  It tends to lead to dry, dense, rubbery baked goods.  But with a few rules, you can make some tasty treats that will also sustain!

If you are trying to adjust one of your favourite recipes I would start by looking at your total volume of flour and add 70g (about ¼ cup) of plain Greek yogurt per 1 cup of flour in the original recipe.  Then adjust your flour by replacing 1/4 of it with protein powder.     For example, to adjust a recipe that calls for 3 cups of flour, I would   add 210 g (about ¾ cup) of plain Greek yogurt (to add moisture) and use ¾ cup protein powder, 2 ¼ cups flour (this replaces ¼ of the flour with protein powder).

If you are trying to adjust one of your favourite recipes I would start by looking at your total volume of flour and add 70g (about ¼ cup) of plain Greek yogurt per 1 cup of flour in the original recipe.  Then adjust your flour by replacing 1/4 of it with protein powder.  

For example, to adjust a recipe that calls for 3 cups of flour, I would add 210 g (about ¾ cup) of plain Greek yogurt (to add moisture) and use ¾ cup protein powder, 2 ¼ cups flour (this replaces ¼ of the flour with protein powder).

  • Do not replace more than ¼ of the volume of flour with protein powder.  Replace more than ¼ of flour in a baking recipe and you will likely end up with a puck-like baked good!
  • Baking with protein powder requires more moisture.  In this recipe I use mashed bananas and Greek yogurt.  Applesauce and pumpkin puree will also work, but will change the flavour. 
  • It takes a little bit of work to hydrate the protein powder, so it should be mixed in with the wet ingredients.
  • Because protein powder is denser than usual baking flours, you will likely need to increase the chemical leaveners (baking powder, baking soda) in your recipe.  I usually start by adding 50% more baking powder.  If your recipe calls for baking powder AND soda, add these two amounts together and add 50% more of baking powder.  Baking soda requires an acid to be present to be activated, so adding more soda without adding more acid will not increase your leavening power.  This is why we use baking powder, because it only requires moisture to be activated. For example, if your recipe calls for ½ tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of baking powder, you would add ¾ tsp of baking soda (this is 50% of the total leavening 1½ tsp).
  • If you are baking a recipe that calls for protein powder, DO NOT replace whey-based protein powder with a vegetable-based protein powder and vise-versa.  Different sources of protein absorb liquid differently and set differently when baked.  My recipe uses Whey based protein powder.

TIP:  If you find your muffins burn on the bottoms, place a baking sheet under your muffin tin.

TIP:  If you find your muffins burn on the bottoms, place a baking sheet under your muffin tin.

 

 

 

 

I have not done a nutritional analysis of these muffins, but the original recipe that I started with had about 20g of protein per muffin.  None of the modifications I have done would decrease the protein.  In fact I use Greek yogurt to add moisture, so if anything, I have increased the protein levels in the muffins.  These are not low-fat or low-calorie, but that is not something I am worried about for my active teen-ager.  What they are is a wholesome, sustaining and easy to eat snack for my growing boy!  To make them even healthier, substitute the chocolate chips with an equal volume of fresh or frozen berries.  You could also make them even more hearty by adding 50g (about ½ cup) of toasted, chopped nuts.

Dybosyia!

 

Banana Chocolate-Chip Protein Muffins

Makes 8 muffins

175 g (2/3 cup) over-ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 medium bananas)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

112 g (½ cup)  canola oil

140 g (½ cup)  Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla-flavoured

100 g (½ cup)  brown sugar, lightly packed

50 g (½ cup)  whey protein-powder, plain or vanilla-flavoured

180 g (1½ cup)  whole-wheat flour

5 ml (1 tsp)  baking powder

156 g (½ cup)  chocolate chips

60 g (½ cup)  nuts, toasted, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line 8 cups of a muffin tin with paper-liners.  In a large bowl whisk together bananas, egg, oil, yogurt, sugar and protein power until well combined.  Add whole-wheat flour and baking powder and mix with a wooden spoon until almost combined.  Add the chocolate chips and nuts, if using, and continue mixing until ingredients are just combined.

Divide batter among lined muffin tip cups and bake until set, approximately, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.  Store in air-tight container at room temperature or freeze for longer storage. 

 

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