Low Carb Baking With Protein Powder
You may have noticed that many of my recipes lately involve protein powder. I received a few huge canisters of whey protein powder, so I decided to see how well it would work in baked goods! So far, I’ve learned a few tips along the whey (eh? eh?) that I thought I’d share.
First, I wanted to mention that I’ve found a few brands of low-carb, naturally sweetened protein powders that I’ve been using in my recipes on this site. They’re all pretty interchangeable (gram for gram), so you can sub them in and out for recipes here. I can’t vouch for other brands’ levels of sweetness, or carb content, or how well they incorporate into recipes, but these have been treating me well so far. I’ve basically been using just vanilla for a while.
- Natural Factors
- 365 by Whole Foods Market – in-store only
- Jay Robb
- Legion Whey+ – Frequently out of stock, unfortunately
1. Brands Matter
This is for a few reasons – it’s not just the quality of the protein itself, but also what’s added. Brand to brand, levels of filler vary, as do sweeteners, flavors and general texture. If you bake some protein cookies, and they come out gritty – the culprit might be the whey!
2. Weigh things out!
Protein powders typically come with a scoop, and this scoop is totally different across brands. So, one scoop of Jay Robb might be completely different from one scoop of Jarrow. I started using a digital kitchen scale and just weighing out the protein powder, but it took a lot of trial and error to realize that this is the best method.
3. Overbaking is Easy
Did your cookies come out tasting like cardboard? They probably baked too long. For some reason, I noticed that everything I made with whey protein required about 1/2 – 2/3 the amount of time to bake that regular cookies take. This led to me overbaking quite a few batches of cookies…and the result was a nice cardboard flavor/texture.
4. Sweetness Levels Vary
Whey protein is typically not overly sweet, so you may have to supplement with a little more sugar replacer in recipes, if it’s not to your liking.
5. Practice Makes…Something Significantly Closer to Perfect Than Where You Start
Baking with whey is certainly not easy, but do it enough times and you’ll start to see what you need to adjust. Maybe your oven runs a little hotter, so you can reduce the baking temp/time, or you realize that for the level of sweetness you like, you need to add a lot more Swerve… Either way, you’ll never know if you don’t keep trying!