A few months ago, our family welcomed six baby chicks into our lives. It was an amazing experience for the whole family and we immediately fell in love with these fluffy little girls. Although we’ve had a blast raising them into healthy, egg-laying hens, we’ve had one negative side effect.
My daughter stopped eating chicken.
It’s all my fault. I was happily pulling a delicious roast chicken out of the oven and didn’t realize she was right behind me. As I pulled out my beautifully browned bird, I heard her gasp in horror.
With trembling lips and crocodile tears, she squeaked out, “Is that one of our chickens?”
Like an idiot, I just stared at her. Perhaps, I stared at her just a moment too long. Let’s just say it was long enough for her to run outside and count the chicken to make sure that all six of them were still safe and sound in their run.
Oopps. Bad Mommy.
So now, my little pipsqueak of a child, is not eating chicken. It’s not that I object to her being a vegetarian – but vegetarians need to eat, you know, vegetables and beans and tofu – and she doesn’t want any of that either.
Let’s just say food has become an issue now. And it’s okay because we’ll work through it. But for now, and maybe forever, chicken is off her menu.
Obviously, I’m worried about her nutrition, so I reached out to my vegetarian and vegan friends and asked them for ways to boost her protein intake without her knowing it. I’m not always a fan of sneaky foods, but the less I tell her about her food right now, the better.
One of my friends advised me to start adding some protein powder to her favorite muffin recipes. When you pick a healthy brand, it’s almost undetectable to kids, especially when you know how to bake with it. So that’s how we came up with this protein powder muffin recipe.
Since my daughter takes a muffin to school every day for lunch, this was an easy way modification for me. This protein powder muffin recipe can be easily adapted for whatever your favorite fruit happens to be. I find that these muffins taste best when cooled completely so I bake them the night before and they keep fresh for days.
However, when adding protein powder to your baked goods, it’s important to remember a few simple tips so that your food doesn’t end up tough, dry, or tasting like rubber. 😉
6 Tips For Baking With Whey Protein Powder
1.) You need flour and you need to be mindful of your whey-to-flour ratio. If you add too much whey, or try to eliminate the flour completely, the end result will be terrible. For this recipe, half a cup of Whey Protein Powder was just enough whey to meld nicely with 2 cups of flour.
2.) Always include a wet ingredient. Baked goods need moisture to keep them from drying out. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 1/4-1/2 cup of wet ingredient for every 1 cup of dry ingredient. Good sources of moisture include: fats like eggs, peanut butter, coconut oil as well as other ingredients like: applesauce, pumpkin, banana, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. In general, if your batter looks too dry, just add more wet stuff.
3.) Don’t forget a binding ingredient like eggs.
4.) Make sure the protein powder flavor you pick will meld with your recipe. Vanilla was perfect for these muffins, but chocolate would have tasted off. You can also use the unflavored variety and add vanilla extract to this recipe if you prefer.
5.) Protein powders tend to toughen up baked goods, so it’s very important not to over mix your batter. I repeat, do not over mix your batter! Just mix the wet and dry ingredients until just incorporated.
6.) Grease your pans! Whey will stick to your pans so make sure you use a nonstick cooking spray or butter – or better yet, use muffin liners and spray them too.
CRANBERRY ORANGE PROTEIN POWDER MUFFIN RECIPE
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice, no pulp
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, or frozen cranberries, unthawed
- Wilson’s sugar crystals (optional, but go for it – they balance out the tartness of the cranberries)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard muffin pan.
Step 2: In a bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients: flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest.
Step 3: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and orange juice until just blended. Gradually, add the melted butter and whisk until blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon (or mixer) until just blended.
Step 4: Using a spatula, add the cranberries to the batter and mix just until cranberries are evenly distributed. Do not over mix the batter.
Step 5: Spoon the batter into muffin tin cups, filling them evenly.
Step 6: Bake for 20 minutes or until golden; a toothpick should come out clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin and allow to cool completely.
How do you do more with protein? Do you have a favorite recipe that you’ve successfully added protein to? Let us know in the comments section below.
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This recipe originally appeared on We Know Stuff here.