Why This New Protein Powder Is a Game Changer, According to a Nutritionist

Plus five ways to use it (beyond your smoothie).

A new type of protein powder is about to hit the market, and it’s going to be a total game changer: A brand called Noosh has developed the first ever almond protein powder.

One scoop of the plain, unsweetened version of the non-GMO verified product (the only ingredient is "almond protein powder") provides a whopping 21 grams of protein; 8 grams of carb, 5 of which are dietary fiber; 3 grams of healthful fat; 20% of your daily calcium needs and 10% of your iron need. All for 120 calories total.

The powder is a much more concentrated source of protein than whole almonds. One ounce of almonds (about 22 nuts), for example, only provides 6 grams of protein, along with 6 grams of carb (3.5 of which are fiber), and 14 grams of fat—for 163 calories. The new powder is also different from almond flour (or almond meal), which is made from whole ground almonds. A quarter cup portion of the flour contains 10 grams of protein, 10 grams of carb (with 2 as fiber), 10 grams of fat, and 160 calories.

Almond protein powder is an excellent plant-based, grain-free option, and a good alternative for those who need or want to avoid soy protein and whey protein (dairy). What's more, Noosh's production process generates less waste: It involves extracting the nut's natural oil to create the first U.S. branded virgin almond oil.

I predict that before long, we’ll see almond protein powder popping up in a number of protein-bolstered products—from bars to baked goods, and everything in between. When I whipped the powder into a smoothie, it added a silky texture and hint of nutty flavor, with no chalkiness or grittiness. But it's way too versatile to only use in smoothies. Here are five simple and satisfying recipes—all gluten-free and vegan—that I developed using the plain version of Noosh’s almond protein powder. (It won't be available until May, but you can pre-order it here.)

Overnight Almond Protein Oats

Cynthia Sass

In a small bowl stir together a quarter cup each of dry old-fashioned rolled oats and plain almond protein powder. Add a half cup of hot water and stir to dissolve the powder evenly into the oats. In a separate small bowl, whisk together one tablespoon each of virgin coconut oil and honey, and a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Stir in a half cup of shredded raw zucchini. Thoroughly combine veggie mixture with oat mixture, and then fold in one small chopped green apple. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and a few whole almonds and refrigerate overnight. Makes one serving.

Pumpkin Almond Protein Pudding/Ice Cream

Cynthia Sass

Stir together one cup canned pumpkin, one quarter cup plain almond protein powder, one and a half tablespoons pure maple syrup, two teaspoons pure vanilla extract, and one teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Garnish with shredded coconut (or toasted pumpkin seeds if you choose one of those pics). Chill and enjoy, or freeze to make ice cream. Makes two servings.

Protein Powered Mashed Cauliflower

Cynthia Sass

In a medium bowl combine two cups boiled, mashed cauliflower florets, one quarter cup plain almond protein powder, one tablespoon low-sodium organic vegetable broth, one tablespoon virgin coconut oil, one half teaspoon minced garlic, one half teaspoon Italian seasoning, and one eighth teaspoon each sea salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Mix thoroughly and garnish with fresh or dried parsley. Makes one serving.

Protein-Packed Sweet Potato Soup

Cynthia Sass

In a small saucepan over low heat, sauté one quarter cup minced yellow onion in one tablespoon virgin olive oil until translucent. Transfer to small food processor and blend with one small baked sweet potato (no skin), one quarter cup plain almond protein powder, one cup low sodium organic vegetable broth, one half teaspoon minced garlic, and one eighth teaspoon each ground cinnamon, black pepper, and sea salt. Transfer back to saucepan and heat on low to warm through. Garnish with a few toasted pumpkin seeds. Makes two servings.

Banana Almond Protein Pancakes

Cynthia Sass

Combine one ripe mashed banana with one quarter cup plain almond protein powder, two tablespoons crunchy almond butter, one tablespoon pure maple syrup, and one quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon. Stir thoroughly to form batter. Cook three spoonfuls of batter over low heat to form pancakes, flipping after about three minutes. Makes one serving.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.

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