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Protein powder should be a staple in your pantry. It can provide necessary amino acids, which are needed for healthy muscle maintenance and growth. Invaluable after any workout, protein powder can also serve as an easy shelf-stable source of protein in times of scarcity. It is commonly known by fans as “muscle dust.”

Most of us take our protein powder in the form of a shake, mixing it with water or milk. While that is an easy way to get our protein, it isn’t the only way. This versatile food can be used in a variety of protein powder recipes, as an ingredient in everything from breakfast to soup.

Protein powder is especially worthy in baking recipes. It can create a fine, even crumb in breads, cakes and cookies, improving not only the nutrition in a recipe, but also the texture.

One word of advice when it comes to protein powder: make sure that you are choosing a quality product. Not all are created equal. There are a few more guidelines, including recipe adjustments, to follow to get the best success when adding protein powder to recipes.

When adding protein powder to baked goods, you may need to decrease the baking time or the baking temperature of a recipe. Crusts tend to brown quickly, so watch you baking the first time you add protein powder to a recipe.

When baking with protein powder and other ingredients, make sure your recipe includes a binding ingredient, such as eggs or egg whites.

One scoop of protein powder is the approximate equivalent of 1/3 cup of flour, but it contains between 20 and 25 grams of protein. Don’t replace all of the flour in a recipe. You’ll need some flour for lift. The exemption is for the simple pancake recipe that appears below.

Protein powder can be used to make carb-rich savory dishes more balanced. For example, when mashing potatoes, add a scoop of plain or vanilla-flavored protein powder along with the milk and butter to transform your mashed potatoes from carb-heavy to muscle friendly.

Sometimes with protein power, simple is best. This protein powder pancake recipe is easy. Just mix a scoop of protein powder with enough water to make it the consistency of pancake batter (lumps included). Then cook it on a griddle or skillet on medium heat. It works! The consistency will be a bit different, but if you don’t overcook the pancakes, they will have a good texture.

Protein powder can be sprinkled on cut fruit to boost nutrition. Try apple slices sprinkled with vanilla protein powder and cinnamon. This is a healthy, easy-to-make snack that packs a protein punch.

What are some of your favorite ways to use protein powder?

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