Powder Power: Get Pumped Up About These 5 Protein-Packed Snacks

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Protein powder isn’t the most appetizing thing in the world. Often chalky, tasteless, and unappetizing, you won’t find many consumers incorporating the nutritional supplement into their diet for no reason at all, but you will find many men and women scooping the powder into their drinks, soups, and smoothies in order to meet a certain fitness goal or nutrition requirement. Protein powders come in various forms, but they all serve the purpose of providing a convenient source of complete, high-quality protein.

So, if you are in the market for that complete protein and are trying to determine a way to incorporate the protein powder into your diet in the most painless way, you’ve come to the right place. We’re drawing up a list of the five ways you can hide the nutritional supplement in your drinks and foods. No one expects you to eat protein powder by the spoonful, and as it turns out, there are actually a number of ways to make the protein-pushing process an appetizing one. Whether you’re swallowing the powder to bulk up, train for a race, or just get more protein in your diet, enlist one of these ways to make the powder go down a little easier.

1. Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Toss your protein powder in a smoothie and slurp away. Here’s a Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie recipe from YummlyThe pungent strawberry and banana flavors will mask the chalkiness of the protein powder, and the addition of almonds to the drink also further amps up its fiber and protein content. You’ll go nutty over protein powder after trying this drink.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bananas
  • 11/4 cups strawberries (sliced fresh)
  • 10 whole almonds
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 3 tablespoons protein powder (chocolate flavored)

Directions: 

Place the banana, strawberries, almonds, and water into a blender. Blend to mix, then add the ice cubes and puree until smooth. Add the protein powder, and continue mixing until evenly incorporated, about 30 seconds.

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71430589@N02/

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/71430589@N02/

2. Chocolate Chip Protein Balls

Want your protein in bite-size form? Pulse up these no-bake Chocolate Chip Protein Balls from FitnessistaThis snack will taste like such a treat that you’ll completely forget about the complete protein you are consuming. In fact, you’ll likely go back for more. Protein paired with nut butter never tasted so good.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla or chocolate protein powder of choice
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter (drippy almond butter works best)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (honey or brown rice syrup would work too)
  • pinch of sea salt, Stevia and cinnamon
  • 1 square of extra dark chocolate

Directions:

In a small food processor, add the protein, almond butter, coconut, and pulse until the ingredients are well incorporated. Add the cinnamon, sea salt, Stevia, and sweetener (maple syrup or whatever you decide to use), and pulse again — the mixture will start to clump together.

Add in one square of extra dark chocolate (break it apart with your hands), or whatever mix-ins you’d like to use. Pulse together one more time to finely chop the chocolate, and assess the situation to see if you’ll need more liquid sweetener for the balls to stick together. Roll mixture into four balls with your hands.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pumsya/

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pumsya/

3. Banana Bread Protein Pancakes

Want to get your protein for breakfast? Whip up these Banana Bread Protein Pancakes via Peanut Butter Fingers. The protein powder paired with cottage cheese makes these pancakes especially protein packed, and the oats, banana, and cinnamon combination make them tasty, too. Take Jack Johnson’s lead, and make these banana pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Spray pan with cooking spray and heat to a medium heat. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend with an immersion blender until batter is relatively smooth and all ingredients are fully mixed. Pour batter onto the warm pan to form four medium-sized pancakes. Allow to cook until edges start to harden, about three minutes. Flip pancakes and allow to cook until batter is no longer runny, about two more minutes. Top with syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and banana slices, and enjoy.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/photophnatic/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/photophnatic/

4. Peanut Butter Protein Fudge

Yum. Who knew protein could taste so good? Peanut Butter Protein Fudge from Your Trainer Paige is up next. We’d eat these with or without the protein powder, but if you’re looking to amp up your protein consumption, we recommend you go with. This fudge requires only five ingredients and can all be made in one bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • honey as needed (I used 2 tablespoons)

Directions:

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl, and mix until well combined. I used my stand mixer and it all whipped together in less than a minute. Grease down a sheet of tin foil and place in a loaf pan. Press down the fudge mixture in the pan, and place in the freezer for about two hours. Cut into 2×2 bars, and store in the freezer.

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/collinanderson/

source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/collinanderson/

5. No-Bake Protein Bars

Last but not least, your protein served up in bar form, peanut butter flavored. The nut butter in these recipes helps mask the taste of the protein powder, holds ingredients together, and further boosts the protein content of the already protein-packed treats. These No-Bake Protein Bars from The Lean Green Bean call for 1/2 cup of peanut butter, as well as chia seeds, Chex cereal, and oat flour. It’s a snack that no one can feel guilty about, and one that you will even enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder (2 heaping scoops)
  • 1 cup Rice Chex cereal
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, protein powder, cereal, and chia seeds. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, milk and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave 15 to 30 seconds more. Add liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, if necessary, to make sure all dry ingredients are moistened. (Mixture will be crumbly). Use parchment paper to press the mixture into an 8×8 pan (I use a 9×9 and just leave about an inch empty on one side). Freeze for 20 minutes.

Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Melt chocolate and spread or drizzle over the bars.

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