his is one of our time-tested recipes at High Protein Low Crap. We’ve been making it for years and it’s always a hit. Even people who aren’t on the protein train will eat it, and are amazed that it’s so healthy and packed with protein. All you need is a 9″ circular pie pan.
1 can (15oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin (or any PURE canned pumpkin – not “pumpkin pie mix”!)
1 cup egg whites
1.5 scoops Optimum Nutrition French Vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (real or fake – it’s up to your wallet and taste.)
1 tsp dried cinnamon powder or fresh-grated cinnamon stick
1 tsp dried nutmeg powder or fresh grated nutmeg
12 packets Truvia stevia-based sweetener (or 12 Splenda packets.)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Spray your pie pan with some PAM or a dab of vegetable oil on a paper towel. This keeps the pie from sticking.
Mix all of the ingredients in a big bowl with a regular spatula, and then dump them into the pie pan. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to taste the raw mix if you’re waiting for the oven to heat up. Commercially-produced egg whites are usually pasteurized and homogenized to kill bacteria, so unless you’re separating egg whites from eggs still in the shell, there’s no salmonella to worry about!
When your oven hits 350 degrees, set the pan in there LIGHTLY and remove it GENTLY after exactly 32 minutes of baking. I’ve experimented with the timing, and this seems to be the optimum length of time to create a light, fluffy texture while still browning the top slightly for a great taste. If you’re rough with the pan when you take it out of the oven, you may see it deflate – this is what we’re trying to avoid. It’s not as fussy as a souffle, but the airier and puffier it is, the better the texture will be.
This is GREAT paired with turkey or chicken, which, of course, is another staple of the high-protein lifestyle.
It’s good hot, but throw it in the fridge overnight & it tastes AMAZING.
NUTRITION FACTS: The whole pie has 440 calories, 69g protein, 3.3g fat, 39g carbohydrates (mostly fiber!)
If you only eat 1/4 of it: 110 calories, 17g protein, 0.8g fat, 10g carbs.
But, look… go ahead and try to just eat 1/4 of this. You can try if you want. But you’ll be back for another piece, and you’ll go back a third time and just eat the other half right out of the pan. It’s not full of trans-fat and sugar, so why not? Get your protein up.
This recipe destroys all other “protein cookie” recipes you’ll find online. Nearly all the fat in this comes from almonds, a healthy source of fat, and the almond flavor is intensified by the almond flour and almond milk. (Hit the links in the recipe if you don’t have any of these ingredients.) They’re fairly dry, so they cook fast. Make sure you have a timer, or carefully watch the stopwatch on your phone while cooking.
2 rounded scoops (62g) vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup almond flour (also called almond meal)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp (16g) almond butter
5 tsp Stevia (Adjust to taste)
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Mix it all together in a bowl and divide it into 10 portions as evenly as you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just make an effort. Space them a couple inches away from each other on a baking sheet and slide it into your oven. Check them after 8 minutes, and again at 12 and 15 minutes if you don’t think they’re done. I’m usually good at 8 minutes, but it’s up to you.
This is a good time to use a Silpat, if you have one. If you don’t: these things are magical. You’ll never wash your cookie sheet again.
NUTRITION FACTS: 72 cal, 6.2g protein, 2.5g carbs, 3.9g fat each
If you eat the whole batch: 721 cals, 62g protein, 25g carbs, 39g fat.
If you eat them out of the bowl without cooking: Acceptable, but honestly, they’re better cooked.
You may have seen “protein pancake” recipes online which are mostly flour or oats. They taste good, because they’re full of flour and oats, but they barely have enough protein to be worth making! Our protein pancakes absolutely destroy anything else you’ve seen online. They use PB2, which is a defatted peanut butter that’s great to use in baking. PB2 is made by removing the peanut oil from real peanuts, so it’s not artificially flavored, it’s just powdered peanuts without all the fat.
1 cup egg whites
1 rounded scoop (31g) Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Whey
3 tbsp (18g) PB2
1 tsp Stevia natural sweetener (Adjust to taste)
Mix it all in a bowl. You’ll have to whisk or really work hard with a fork to get the pb2 into the egg whites, but it’s worth it. Heat a nonstick pan on high for 60 seconds so the pancakes will be crisp. When it’s hot, hit the pan with a spray of PAM or a tiny bit of butter/coconut oil/vegetable oil, and pour in your pancake batter.
Cook for appx. 2 minutes on the first side, flip when top begins to solidify, and cook for 30 seconds on the back side. It’s fluffy in consistency and should have areas of yellow & golden brown like in the pic above.
NUTRITION FACTS: 302 calories, 57g protein, 9.5g carbs, 3g fat.
This recipe makes a stunning three-layered gelatin dessert. Best of all: it has zero carbs. Zero. ZERO. How does this work? How does it taste good (which it does?) Read on.
EQUIPMENT: You’ll need a 9x9x2″ Pyrex pan, a wire whisk, and a measuring cup for the water. If you can stir fast enough with a regular fork, you can use that instead of a whisk. I won’t be mad.
3 scoops (93g) Isopure Mango Peach protein powder
4 envelopes (28g) Knox Gelatine unflavored gelatin powder
8 tsp natural sweetener (stevia) – adjust to taste
1. Pour 3 cups (24oz) of cold water into the Pyrex pan and throw it in your microwave until it’s almost boiling. This takes me 8 minutes in my 1300W microwave. Adjust as necessary or just heat a small pot of boiling water on the stove if you prefer.
2. While this is heating, mix the 4 packets of gelatin powder, 10 sweetener packets, and the 3 scoops of Isopure in a bowl, along with 1 cup of COLD water. Whisk the crap out of it. You want it to all be dissolved, with no chunks. Whisk or fork it until the chunks are gone. Two minutes will probably do it.
3. CAREFULLY take your hot pan of water out of the microwave and dump the cold gelatin bowl solution into the water. Mix it GENTLY with the whisk, but don’t stir it up too much or you’ll disturb the layers that naturally form.
4. Let the hot pan sit out at room temperature for 30 or more minutes, then stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Try not to slosh it around or the layers won’t look as nice.
Nutrition information (the whole pan): 427 calories, 103g protein, 0g carbohydrates, 1.5g fat.
If you cut it up into 6 servings, each one will have 71 cals, 17g protein, 0g carbs, 0.25g fat.
Bonus: If you have one of those inexpensive “gummy candy makers”, you can stop at step 3 and dump the gelatin mix into your candy maker to make protein gummy-bears.
Protein shakes are a staple of a high-protein diet. While I like to make recipes with protein powder (both to avoid protein farts and to keep from getting sick of shakes) it’s still my go-to when I need more protein in my day but I don’t have much time.
I’ve tried whisking, stirring, putting the powder in first, putting the powder in after the water, whispering chants, praying, and crying into my cup of chunky lumps. All of these methods are horrible. The only way of making protein shakes that works fast and consistently is a Blender Bottle. Grab a three-pack of Blender bottles, dump in your milk/water/almond milk, your powder, maybe some PB2, shake it for ten seconds, and chug it. Done.
And if you forget to immediately rinse your bottles – which is the easiest way to keep them clean – I wrote an article on how to get the stink out of your shaker cup if you leave it sealed up in your car or your desk at work.
Are you ready for the highest-protein pudding recipe you’re going to find online? This isn’t some Pinterest trash, talking about how to get a bicep burn by lifting bottled water. It’s hardcore, dark chocolate, hyper-protein pudding.
1 box Jell-O Sugar Free chocolate pudding mix
20 oz (2.5 cups) skim milk
2 scoops (65g) Isopure Dutch Chocolate protein powder
Mix all of it together in a big bowl and put it in the fridge. It’s that easy.
1 serving (1/4 of bowl): 191 calories, 0g fat, 17g protein, 17g carbohydrates
The whole bowl (because who are you kidding): 765 calories, 1g fat, 69g protein, 70g carbohydrates
Roar loudly and pound yourself on the chest after you complete this pudding. It’s going to be a good day. You have chocolate power now and your life will never be the same again.
Over the past few months, I’ve been investigating Isopure protein. It contains zero carbs, since the whey protein used to make it is processed in such a way as to remove impurities. (Optimum Gold Standard whey contains 3 grams of carbohydrate for every 24 grams of protein, by comparison.)
The downside of Isopure is that some of the flavors aren’t as good as the others. My favorites are Mango Peach (above) and Dutch Chocolate. And while you can never go wrong with chocolate, I strongly recommend the Mango Peach since it’s such a refreshing change from the typical protein powders. Strawberry or banana protein powders are seldom good, which leaves you with vanilla, chocolate, uh…. vanilla… cake… and… chocolate… cake?
Another standout flavor from Isopure is the Toasted Coconut flavor. It’s not often you’ll find coconut-flavored protein powder. This works amazingly well as a shake mixed with almond milk.
I use the Isopure Mango Peach flavor in my HPLC Three-Layer Jello recipe here on High Protein Low Crap, and I use the Isopure Dutch Chocolate in the HPLC Protein Pudding recipe. Both of these recipes are super-simple, require no cooking, and are a great compliment to the real food you’re eating.
I’ve bought and cooked with over a hundred different types of protein. Pea protein is great for baking, since it tends to absorb more water than whey protein. Here are my favorite pea proteins:
Naturade’s pea protein is the best-tasting vanilla I’ve used. Artificial vanilla flavoring is hard to get right, but this is great. You can make shakes with it, if you have no imagination, but I prefer to keep my pea protein for baking. After all, you can mix anything into water and chug it. Your local store probably won’t carry this, but it’s easy to order.
Olympian Labs has the best chocolate-flavored pea protein. I like this in my protein brownies and other protein-heavy baked goods. Again, it absorbs more water, so it keeps your protein-based recipes from turning into rubbery crap which happens easily when you cook without handfuls of grains, sugar and butter. (That’s why most baking recipes have them!)
If you’re hardcore, you can go for the NOW Foods unflavored pea protein – it’s cheaper than these other two, but the texture isn’t as nice, and it’s unflavored, so you’ve either got to like the taste of dried, dessicated pea extract, or dump in something else to flavor your pea protein recipe.
Gotcha! They’re not! There’s nothing immediately toxic or harmful in protein shakes. However, as with any supplement, you have to keep a few things in mind:
1. Protein shakes are not food. When you base your diet around supplements, instead of a healthy balance of meat-/fish-/vegetable-protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, you’re missing out on key micronutrients, specifically vitamins and minerals. A good way to mitigate this is to cook recipes (I’ve published a few of my favorites here) to let you get extra protein without sacrificing nutrition.
2. Protein shakes make you fart. I wrote a separate article on this, but the long story short is that drinking liquid on an empty stomach dumps it into your intestines, which makes you fart. It’s a good reason to think about making Almond Butter Protein Cookies or Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes instead of just chugging milky jugs.
3. You may have the temptation to combine pre-packaged or fast food with protein shakes, justifying it with “it fits my macros.” While this is true, you’ll also be eating more sugar, trans-fat, salt, and less fiber than if you were just eating healthy, simple foods along with your protein supplements. A young person may be able to feel great on french fries, hot dogs, cigarettes, and Quest Bars, but once you hit 30, you’ll be hurting, my friend.
4. If you rely on protein shakes for a large proportion of your daily caloric needs, you’ll likely be wasting your money, to some extent. Without an adequate supply of carbohydrates (or, in the ketogenic diet, fat) your body will break down excess protein through gluconeogenesis, converting it to glucose, and depriving your muscles of the protein you’re faithfully glugging down every two hours.
5. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you very likely want to take in more protein than you get from the whole foods you eat. Check out my article on egg protein if that works for you, and if not, then read my article on which pea protein tastes the best. You’ll still need vitamin supplements, but you can at least take care of your macronutrient needs.
So, in summary: Protein is great. Protein helps to prevent muscle loss when trying to reduce body fat, and helps to build muscle when you’re trying to make gains in your lifting. I’m not telling you to put down the Isopure and live a life of crackers and lettuce. But learn how to supplement correctly, safely, and in moderation.