Swole Kitchen: Cooking with Plant Based Protein Doesn’t Have to Suck

I’ll be the first to tell you that cooking and baking with plant-based protein is not for the faint of heart. It will leaved you frustrated, confused, and looking for a glass of water faster than the chalky glob can squish between your teeth . . . I might be a little jaded, but, never fear, if there is a will there is a way!

Protein pancakes, protein banana bread, protein sludge bars (I’ll be referencing these guilt-free morsels of goodness below), making all of your delicious favorites packed with plant-based protein is a total possibility!

Now you may be thinking, “Why PBP?” (We’ll be calling plant-based protein PBP from now on…) Well, my tummy doesn’t do the best with dairy or soy based products, so soy-free, PBP is my go to for supplementing additional protein into my diet to help my muscles can grow big and strong! I do concede that it is a little more expensive than your common whey isolate, but being able to consume food that doesn’t make you feel like a sack of crap afterwards is totally worth it to me.

Before we get to the niddy-griddy, I would like to share with you my favorite soy-free, PBP: Orgain’s Organic Plant Based Protein Powder in Creamy Chocolate Fudge. This protein is decently affordable, a protein isolate, organic, and doesn’t exclusively taste like chalk. All wins. I haven’t done a whole lot of experimentation across the market taste wise, but after reading the reviews from my internet friends who have done it before me, I settled and fallen in love with this one.

Let’s get back to these aforementioned sludge bars, shall we? Malory King over on Malzisfit made an AWESOME recipe for 5 Min No Bake Protein Bars. First time was a hit following the recipe as she wrote it and using whey protein. My boyfriend and I dubbed them “sludge”, because of the excellent sludge-like consistency before you stick it back in the fridge. They were such a hit I just had to make more! Second time around, I went for my PBP.

Because of all of my previous struggles, I had been browsing the internet quite fervently to try and figure out what the heck I was doing wrong while using PBP in my recipes. After going from article to article I found out this very important fact: MORE MOISTURE. You can easily substitute PBP for regular whey protein just with the use of additional liquid. Usually doubling your liquid will easily do the trick, but playing around based on your particular PBP is important. This will prevent your protein lava cake from tasting like a ramekin of dry dirt…

Adding more water is exactly what I did with the sludge recipe! I put in the recommended amount of liquid and then drizzled more water into the recipe until the desired consistency was attained. A nice gloopy mix ready for slicing and dicing into protein packed deliciousness.

Don’t be afraid to experiment in your kitchen. Working with your particular protein is important. Pea verses soy verses hemp verses a variety PBP will have an effect on how much additional moisture you need to add to your recipe. Baking is a little more difficult to eyeball, but success only comes with trying. Be it pancakes, banana bread, or even basic protein pudding, it can all be accomplished with a little patience and a little extra water.

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