Pump Up The Protein
Better Nutrition|June 2019

Protein powders aren’t just for boring shakes! These five recipes incorporate them in new and exciting ways.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

When it comes to what we eat, it’s best not to overlook protein. Most active people require about 1.5 grams of protein for every kilogram they weigh (that’s 89 grams for a 130-pound person). Protein helps build lean body mass (aka muscle) and keeps you feeling satiated to stamp out overeating, and protein powder is an easy and convenient way to help make sure you get what you need. But most people think of whey, soy, and plant-based protein powders as something to blend into smoothies, chug down after a workout, or throw together for quick breakfast. And while protein powders are perfect for that, there are so many other ways to use them in the kitchen. As these recipes show, you can employ protein powders to boost the muscle-building power of everything—from baked goods to oatmeal to soups— without needing the shaker cup. Use any protein powder you like here. For tips on picking the best ones, see p. 35.

Masala Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4 Creamy soups are a great opportunity to sneak some more vegetables and—surprise, surprise—protein into your diet. This heavenly spiced soup is a nutritious companion to any meal.

1 Tbs. grapeseed oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

½ tsp. salt

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbs. ginger, chopped

1 Tbs. garam masala powder

¼ tsp. cayenne powder

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1/ cup unflavored protein powder Juice of ½ lime

1 cup unsweetened plain cashew milk

1 cup crunchy chickpeas (optional) ½ cup cilantro, chopped

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cook until onion has softened and is beginning to darken, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, garlic, and ginger to pan, and heat 3 minutes. Stir in garam masala, cayenne, and black pepper, and heat 30 seconds more. Pour in broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

2. Place soup in blender or food processor, along with protein powder and lime juice, and blend until very smooth. Return to pan, stir in cashew milk, and heat through.

3. Divide soup among serving bowls and garnish with crispy chickpeas (if using) and cilantro.

Per serving (with whey protein powder): 160 cal; 14g prot; 6g total fat (1g sat fat); 15g carb; 30mg chol; 460mg sod; 4g fiber; 7g sugar

PB & J Oatmeal

Serves 4

This creamy oatmeal tastes like everyone’s favorite schoolyard sandwich, albeit one with more lofty protein levels. Soaking hearty steel-cut oats overnight slashes their cooking time to make this breakfast more conducive to harried mornings. Whole nuts and coconut chips are a great way to add a satisfying crunch.

1½ cups fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries

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