Tina Haupert
August 15, 2012

Protein powder is often associated with muscle-heads who mix it in a shaker and chug it down right after a workout. But, if used creatively, protein powder can actually be quite versatile in your diet. Here are four ways to shake up how you use this supplement!

Coconut Protein Cookies
Once I've eaten dinner, especially after a tough evening workout, I almost always want a little dessert to end the night. These cookies combine the best of both worlds: sweetness and muscle-building protein powder. Heart-healthy coconut and nutrient-rich almond flour add to the superstar ingredient combination. They're not your typical cookie!

Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.

3. Roll batter into 1-inch balls, place on a greased baking sheet, and flatten with hand.

4. Bake cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes.

5. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack before serving.

Protein Pancakes
I'm always hungry when I wake up in the morning, so my go-to meal is a protein pancake. It powers up my metabolism and keeps me satisfied for hours. I typically top my pancake with nut butter and fresh fruit for an even more nutritious start to my day.

MakesĀ 1 serving

Ingredients:
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cupĀ vanilla protein powder
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
1/2 tsp. baking powder

1. In a bowl, mix together ingredients.

2. Preheat a skillet (medium-low heat), spray with non-stick spray, and pour in half of the batter while shaping it into a pancake with a spoon.

3. Heat until partially cooked and flip pancake.

4. Once cooked through, top with syrup, nut butter, chia seeds, fresh fruit, etc.

Next page: No-Cook Almond Butter Bites

No-Cook Almond Butter Bites
I can't work out on an empty stomach, so these bites are the perfect fuel. They're made with healthy carbs, a little bit of sugar, and some satisfying protein. Post-workout, they're an easy and efficient way to get protein to my muscles for repair and recovery.

Makes 32 bites

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tbsp. honey
Cinnamon to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and then spread mixture evenly inside pan.

3. Chill in refrigerator overnight (or 4-5 hours).

4. Once mixture if firm, cut into bite-size pieces.

Peanut Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie
I enjoy drinking pretty much any smoothie, but this is one of my favorites because it's absolutely delicious! I love the sweet peanut butter and banana flavors. It's also packed with protein from both the vanilla protein powder and peanut butter, which is the perfect way to recharge my batteries, especially when I'm short on time.

Makes 1

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
1/4 cup of vanilla protein powder
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

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