There are a lot of protein powders to choose from on the market. More recently I decided, why not just make my own? Thoughts of not wanting to necessarily limit myself to a couple servings of chocolate milk after a race is partly what inspired my protein powder making endeavors. After race prep filled with sports drink, gels, honey, and other valuable quick to absorb sugar sources, I thought I’d take an 8 ounce serving of post-workout chocolate milk to the next level. I decided to try to better serve my recovery purposes with a homemade protein boost. Of course I still wanted to aim for a good dose of muscle repairing and building protein, but I also wanted to add more variety in high quality ingredients to that great cup of low fat chocolate or vanilla milk.
There are many great ingredients that can build a protein boost powder such as beans, lentils, oats, seeds, nuts, grains, textured vegetable protein, and milk powder. Not only are they great ingredients, but they can make for an extremely affordable, health promoting, protein boosting powder.
For my protein boost I knew I wanted to emphasize good quality protein sources. For this reason I tend to use hemp seeds and quinoa in many of my protein boost recipes because, in terms of plant based protein sources, they offer as a high quality protein amino acid base. Less potent flavored ingredients such as brown rice, oats, textured vegetable protein, and milk powder add a touch of protein, but also make the powder more palatable.
I call it a protein boost because this protein containing powder does not contain a massive amount of protein like many other protein powders. However, this protein boost offers as a source of valuable fiber, healthy fat, phytonutrients, whole grain, and more… It offers as a source of natural protein and a boost of wonderful health promoting ingredients.
Here is one of my favorite recipes. It serves as a great start in creating your own homemade protein boost powder. The base powder can be flavored to your liking using ingredients such as unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla bean, ground coffee bean, and maybe even sweetened with a touch of stevia for those who prefer a sweeter powder.
Homemade Protein Boost Powder
- 1/4 c. dry quinoa
- 1/4 c. dry textured vegetable protein (available in the specialty flour section of most grocery stores)
- 1/3 c. dry steel cut oats
- 1/2 c. nonfat instant milk powder
- 3 tbsp. hemp seeds
Individually grind each ingredient in a high quality blender, food processor, or coffee grinder until a fine powder. I find grinding smaller quantities in the coffee grinder (I use a Magic Bullet) works best. When grinding hemp seeds they can easily turn into a thick paste-like consistency. I like to start grinding the hemp seed, but when they start to turn thick, I add some of the other powders already ground. Grinding the other powders, such as the steel cut oats powder, with the hemp prevents the hemp from clumping together, creating a nice powder consistency. Although instant milk is in powder form, I grind the milk powder to make the powder a touch more fine. The quinoa will take a little longer to achieve a fine powder compared to all of the other ingredients. Combine all of the ingredients in making 1 1/2 cups worth of inexpensive homemade protein boosting powder!
Makes 6 – 1/4 cup servings.
Each 1/4 c. serving is approximately 125 calories, 3.4 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of fiber, and 8.5 grams of protein
Now you can take that powder to the next level! Blending the protein boost with that basic chocolate or vanilla milk works perfect. Maybe consider creating a flavorful smoothie with the health supporting, protein boosting powder.
What a great start to the day, or health boosting post-workout snack!
Cocoa Banana Protein Boost Smoothie
- 1/4 c. above protein boost powder
- 6 oz. nonfat milk
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 – 1/2 c. ice
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. stevia (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Each smoothie is approximately 307 calories, 4 grams of fat, 54 grams of carbohydrate, 6.5 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein