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5 easy protein powder recipes

Someone pours oats into a blender
(Image credit: Getty)

Want to hear about five easy protein powder recipes that are amazing for your health? You’ve come to the right place! But first, it might be time for a little refresher. Especially if you’re secretly wondering, what is protein anyway?

Protein is an important macronutrient that aids growth and repair, as well as keeping us healthy. As Claire Snowdon-Darling (opens in new tab), alternative health expert and author, told Live Science: “Protein is made up of amino acids and is mostly found in meat, fish, eggs and tofu, although small amounts are also found in other foods like nuts and cheese. Protein is essential for regulating appetite, healing and recovery, creating lean muscle and weight maintenance.”

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.03oz (0.8g)  per 2.2lb (1kg) of body weight. So, if you weigh 160 pounds you would need 58g of protein a day. You may need more protein depending on your age, if you’re pregnant or if you are very active. Athletes for example tend to need at least 0.04oz (1.2g) of protein per 2.2lb (1kg) of body weight, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (opens in new tab)

Snowdon-Darling says: “It’s important to eat protein at every meal, but it can be difficult to get the right amount when we are on the go or busy at work. That’s where protein powders can come in. They are a great way to get protein into our diet.” 

Many powders contain milk-based whey protein, which some people cannot tolerate, so other options include the best vegan protein powders or even bone broth protein powders.

To help you decide which variation to go for, check out our guide to the best protein powders, and the best protein powders for women.

If you’re a shake fan, Snowdon-Darling recommends adding fats and complex carbohydrates into the mix to make your drink more balanced, especially if you are using it as a meal replacement. “Fats could include nut butters, coconut oil, almond milk or avocado and great carbohydrate options include fruit, as well as green leaves such as spinach or kale,” she says. Plus, you can enjoy it in the best protein shaker.

Working out regularly? “A post workout protein source is really beneficial,” she says. “When we work out, we create microscopic tears in our muscles and the protein helps to repair these.” The end result? Stronger, more defined muscles.

Protein powder recipes don’t have to be limited to shakes, however. Mix things up with our five easy protein powder recipes. 

Easy protein pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 scoops of vanilla protein 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Olive oil spray

Method:

Put the bananas into a blender and whizz until broken down. Add the eggs, protein powder and cinnamon and blend again until smooth.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low and spray with the olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of the batter and when the pancake mix starts to bubble, turn it over for a couple more minutes to brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter and add your favorite toppings.

protein pancakes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carrot cake protein balls (vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup carrot (peeled and grated)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates (pitted)
  • 1 tsp. crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • Desiccated coconut (to coat)

Method: 

Put the carrots, dates, peanut butter, salt and cinnamon into a food processor and blend until smooth. With clean hands, roll the mixture into individual balls about one inch in diameter. 

Roll the balls in desiccated coconut and put in the fridge or freezer to harden. Keep in the fridge until ready to eat.

carrot cake protein balls

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Post-workout tropical smoothie (vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1 tsp. ground flaxseed
  • 8 oz light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes

Method:

Peel the frozen banana and chop the stalks off the strawberries, then blend all the ingredients until smooth and drink immediately.

tropical protein smoothie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eggless protein mug brownies (vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder (plant-based powder bakes better)
  • 6 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ¼  tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp. honey
  • Vegan spread or spray oil for greasing

Method: 

Grease a large, microwave-friendly mug with vegan butter or spray oil. Put your dry ingredients into the mug and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and mix until it forms a smooth batter.

Microwave your mug mix for 60 seconds, or up to two minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is).Let the mug brownie rest for 20 seconds before removing and putting onto a plate. 

protein brownie mug cake

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chocolate and strawberry protein smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain low fat yogurt 
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder 
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. flaxseed 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Ice to taste

Method: 

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add ice until you’ve reached the desired level of thickness, and enjoy. 

chocolate protein smoothie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maddy is a freelance journalist and Level 3 personal trainer specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. She has been a writer and editor for 22 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women's Health. Maddy loves HIIT training and can often be found working out while her two young daughters do matching burpees or star jumps. As a massive foodie, she loves cooking and trying out new healthy recipes (especially ones with hidden vegetables so the kids eat them).