6 tips for baking with Whey Protein because it truly is a science all on its own to bake with this stuff. Everyone wants to rid every recipe of all those refined sugars and bad carbohydrates. But then you end up with a hard-spongy-tasteless treat that doesn’t do any good curbing your sweet tooth.
( TIP 1 ) EXCHANGING FLOUR FOR PROTEIN POWDER – rule of thumb is 1/3 of the flour in a recipe can be exchanged with protein powder
But you will need to understand the science behind the art of flour exchanges with whey protein:
- Substitute up to 1/3 of the flour in a recipe with protein powder
- You can replace white flour with oat flour 1:1 (so same conversion) but you need to add a rising material as the oats don’t have gluten. So for every ¼ c of oat flour you use add 1/8 t baking soda and 1/8 t baking powder. This exchange works in all types of recipes.
- You can replace white or wheat flour with Almond or Cashew meal 1:1 also but same as above, you need to add a rising material. So for every 1/2 c of nut flour you use add 1/8 t baking soda and 1/8 t baking powder. Nut flours are great to use in cookie, bread and cake recipes
- Black beans can replace flour 1:1 but this really only works in brownie recipes – please comment below if you have found success with other creations
- Coconut flour is a tasty low carbohydrate flour that can replace white or wheat flour 3:1- for example 1 c of flour = 1/3 c of coconut flour. Now I wouldn’t replace all the flour with coconut flour- actually, don’t use more than ½ c of it because the coconut flour gets a bitter taste. **IMPORTANT INFO** if using this flour you will need to reduce cooking temps by 25 degrees
I know- this all sounds confusing right? Let me run down an example from a recipe:
If a muffin recipe called for 1 ½ c flour:
1/3 would be protein powder = ½ c
1/3 can be almond or any nut flour = ½ c
1/3 can be any flour = ½ c (If using coconut flour it would be 2 T +2 t)
( TIP 2 ) ENHANCE FLAVOR
Now you know your flour exchanges, but as you start to dissect recipes (AKA remove all the sugars and fats); you often get rid of all the FLAVOR along with them. My favorite flavor enhancer is an easy trick using tea bags or juices in a recipe instead of just plain nut or rice milk. Try steeping 4 tea bags in your milk/ nut milk and allow it to cool, then use that flavored milk in your recipe- you will see a huge difference!
( TIP 3 ) KEEP IT SWEET
The sweet tooth is most likely why you wanted to bake in the first place so here are some tricks on keep the sweetness there without all the refined sugar:
- Replace sugar with applesauce or mashed bananas 1:1. But when doing this you need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 25%
- You can replace 2T of sugar simply with ½ t vanilla extract
- If choosing a liquid sweetener like honey or agave the exchange is 2:1. So for every 1 c of sugar you will need ½ c honey or agave. However honey is acidic so you will need to add a rising material- for every 1/2 c honey use ½ t baking soda. **IMPORTANT INFO** You will also need to reduce your standard cooking temperature by 25 degrees as the liquid sugars caramelize faster.
(TIP 4) KEEP THE FAT
We’re BAKING here! You can’t take away the flour, the sugar and the fat and hope to come out with a splendid whey protein baked good. Just keep in mind there’s lots of ways to choose healthier fats than the common butter and oil.
- Replace butter with mashed avocado 1:1 this exchange is great in brownies and chocolate cookies
- Replace ¼c oil with 1/3 c Greek yogurt
- Replace heavy cream with evaporated milk ( I know this adds more sugars- about 2% BUT WE’RE BAKING)
- Replace 1 c sour cream or buttermilk with this recipe- 1c Greek yogurt + 1 T white vinegar + 1T lemon juice
- Replace ¼ c butter with 3 T flax or chia seeds mixed in 1 T water
- Use coconut oil instead of regular oil 1:3/4 ex: 1 c oil = ¾ cup coconut oil
( TIP 5 ) DON’T OVER MIX YOUR BATTER
When making a healthier whey protein baked goods, we’re using items that tend to be tougher and heavier to start with, so fold your ingredients just until incorporated. Don’t over mix. Also keep in mind protein powder baked goods STICK to the pans. Spray your pan with non-stick spray or grease them up with coconut oil. I like to use wax paper or parchment on the bottoms of cakes or muffin liners in my tins- yes I spray a little non-stick spray INSIDE my muffin liners!!!
(TIP 6) DON’T OVER BAKE – we love things gooey right?
I have found through lots of trial and error that protein powders don’t like heat. Whey Proteins are tough to begin with so if the heat’s too high, they pucker up like someone eating a lemon! Using 325 degrees is a really good temperature to not dry out or burn protein powder baked goods — this is a key point because most baked recipes call for 350 degrees. Also, from our tips above keep in mind coconut flour and liquid sugars need a reduced temperature anyways so a good rule of thumb is 25 degrees less than a standard recipe. Be sure that your oven is preheated too. You will have varied cooking times if you don’t plus it will overcook the outside and undercook the inside. That doesn’t make for good eating!
Now go have fun experimenting in the kitchen. Take grandma’s favorite recipe and make it healthy and make it your own.