People sometimes say to me that the recipes here and in the Protein Pow cookbook contain far too many different flavors of protein powder. They say to me, “argh, I want to try all your recipes but I can’t afford to buy all the different flavors of protein powders you use!”
My response to them? You don’t HAVE To get a bunch of flavoured proteins, you really don’t, especially if what you intend to use them in is food.
You see, when it comes to cooking and food, you really don’t NEED any of the stuff most protein powders out there contain. You know, things like gums, artificial flavours, artificial (or ‘natural’) sweeteners, and soy (or sunflower) lecithin. Those things might be fine if what you want is to add water to your protein shaker, shake it, and end up with a shake. But when it comes to food, ingredients like the above are unnecessary – and sometimes even counter-productive! Counter-productive in the sense that, if you’re making things like Protein Fluff, for example, using a protein with a bunch of gums will make you end up with a toothpasty-feeling fluff.
When it comes to sweeteners and flavours too, sure, you can buy a protein powder that tastes of cookies, cake, pie, etc. But that’s really restrictive in that if you want to use that same powder to make savoury foods or something else, you won’t be able to. You’ll then spend a lot of money on other flavoured protein powders when you could just have one and use it in multiple different recipes!
Flavouring your own protein powders is REALLY easy and fun too. That’s where our Protein Pow Tree of flavors comes in!
Here are a few examples of how you can think flavour (and sweeten) your plain one-ingredient protein powders:
1. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + vanilla essence (or freshly ‘shaved’ vanilla pods) = vanilla protein powder
2. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + cocoa powder = chocolate protein powder
3. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + instant powdered coffee or coffee essence + vanilla essence = latte protein powder
4. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + cocoa powder + instant powdered coffee or coffee essence +/-vanilla essence= mocha protein powder
5. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + vanilla essence + banana flavouring or banana powder = banana protein powder
6. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + strawberry flavouring = strawberry protein powder
7. Unflavoured protein powder + your sweetener of choice + chicory powder = a somewhat malty-tasting protein powder!
SWEETENING YOUR PROTEIN POWDERS
Sweetening your own protein powders is great, I think, because you can do away with any and all artificial sweeteners that you may not like! For example, if you, like me, don’t like low-quality sweeteners with dodgy reputations like aspartame and ace-K (i.e. acesulfame potassium), you don’t have to ever consume them!
Sucralose, erythitol, and processed stevia are a lot better options. They’re still lab-derived and in that sense ‘artificial’ (e.g. you can’t find them in nature they way you do in a bottle or pack) but they’re an OK low-carb option, in moderation of course. If you want to go fully ‘natural’ with your protein powders though, you can sweeten them using whole fruits (dates are amazing!), whole leaf stevia concentrate (just know it’s pretty bitter!), coconut sugar, date syrup, or honey/agave.
FLAVORING YOUR PROTEIN POWDERS
The Tree of Pow frees up your mind completely. Suddenly, with only a basic understanding of ingredients, you can create ANY FLAVOR of protein powder you want. You can use natural or ‘artificial’ flavours if you want. Below is list of what I think are some of the best ingredients for flavouring:
NATURAL FLAVORS (aka Nature’s Flavors):
These can be added to the vanilla, chocolate, or the sweetened ‘plain’ branch of the tree
Cinnamon and other spices
Freeze-dried strawberry powder
Lemon juice or zest
Orange oil or orange zest
Rose water (if you want to go a bit exotic with your flavours, this one is great!)
Instant Coffee Substitute (i.e. chicory powder, for that ‘malty’ flavour)
Peanut butter powder (this adds a bit of extra protein to your starting protein powder too!)
Orange oil or orange peel
If you then want to go into the land of artificial flavours, well, the sky is the limit there. There are companies dedicated to producing a massive array of flavours! Check out, for example, FoodieFlavours.com.
CHOOSING JUST ONE OR TWO PROTEIN POWDERS
“What about the protein powders though? If I could get just one kind, which one should I go for in order to create most of your recipes?”
Here I’d say go with two: get an unflavored whey protein powder and a pea protein powder, plain (you can get ours now!!!!)
If you look at The Protein Pow Substitution Chart, you’ll see how having these two powder will enable you to make a massive array of both sweet and savory recipes.
And you don’t need much else, you know? Bid farewell to the idea of getting a huge array of different kinds of protein powders. You just don’t need to turn your kitchen into a warehouse! They take up space, they cost money, and with the Tree of Pow you just don’t need them all.
Pretty cool, don’t you think?