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12 Delicious and Creative Ways to Incorporate Protein Powder into Your Diet

Updated: Mar 29

Different protein powders in wooden spatulas

During cancer treatment, making sure you are getting enough nutrition can feel like an uphill battle at times. If you are trying to increase your protein intake, 'fortifying' your meals and snacks with extra nourishment can really help. It's a way to get more nutrients on board without having to eat a lot more food.

When it comes to fortifying your meals and snacks, my top suggestion is to adopt a "food first" approach whenever you can. For example, try adding nuts and seeds to your porridge, blending yoghurt into your smoothies, or adding a beaten egg to a comforting bowl of soup. These easy tweaks can make a world of difference in boosting your nutritional intake.

If you find that you still need more protein, introducing protein powder is an option worth exploring. Unflavoured protein powder is versatile and can be easily mixed into a variety of dishes without significantly altering their flavour. If you enjoy flavoured options, those can work well too!

Here are 12 ideas to help you explore the versatility of protein powder in your diet.

12 Ways to Incorporate Protein Powder:

  • Smoothies: Blend together a mix of fresh fruits, baby spinach, yoghurt, and a scoop of unflavoured or flavoured protein powder for a delicious and nutrient-packed smoothie.

  • Hummus: Pimp up the protein content of hummus by stirring in a small amount of unflavoured protein powder.

  • Yoghurt: Gently fold protein powder into yoghurt. Customise your toppings to your liking - try a mix of fruits, nuts, and seeds. For those experiencing swallowing difficulties, consider topping with stewed fruit paired with smooth nut or seed butter.

  • Porridge: Stir unflavoured or flavoured protein powder into your porridge, enhancing its nutritional value while providing a creamy texture. Don't forget, porridge isn’t just for breakfast; it makes a wholesome snack or meal any time!

  • Soups: Mix unflavoured protein powder into soups or broths, effectively increasing the protein content without increasing the volume.

  • Pancakes: Add protein powder to your pancake batter for a fluffy, protein-rich pancake. For a nourishing sweet topping you could try a scattering of fresh berries or sliced banana with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon. For a nutritious savoury twist, consider topping them with sautéed spinach and mushrooms, followed by a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of chives.

Pancakes with sliced orange and yoghurt

  • Baking: Incorporate flavoured or unflavoured protein powder into baking recipes such as muffins, granola bars, and bread.

  • Custard: Infuse custard with unflavoured protein powder to create a silky-smooth texture and boosting the nutritional value.

  • Fortify Sauces: Add protein powder into savoury sauces and dressings to enhance their protein content without compromising taste.

  • Milkshakes: Craft a delicious milkshake by blending your chosen milk, ½ banana, a spoonful of nut butter, and a dash of either flavoured or unflavoured protein powder.

  • Frozen Yoghurt Bark: Mix protein powder with yoghurt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Spread the yoghurt mixture evenly onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle your favourite berries, chopped fruits, nuts and seeds over the yoghurt. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the mixture solidifies. Once frozen, break the bark into yummy, protein-rich shards.

  • Chia Pudding: Combine chia seeds, your preferred milk, and protein powder to create a protein-rich base. Let it set in the fridge until it reaches a pudding-like consistency. Top with any combination of fresh berries, sliced banana, peach, nectarine, nuts, seeds (or a drizzle of nut/seed butter), shredded coconut, and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

These strategies offer creative ways to add protein powder to your diet, so you can get the nutrients you need using the foods you enjoy. Individual protein needs vary based on factors like age, activity level, and health status, including the kind of cancer treatment you are undergoing. If you are unsure about what is best for you, consult your Treatment Team, a registered dietitian, or nutritionist for personalised guidance.

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