An extra boost of protein is usually a good thing, but there are only so many eggs a person can eat in the morning. A shake or bar packed with protein powder seems like a natural solution, but the options in the supplement section can be a little chemical-laden. Plus, since most protein powders are sold in massive containers, you may just be out the money if you don’t like the flavor you bought. Plan B: DIY protein powder. Whether you’re looking for a whey-based protein powder, a gluten-free one, or a completely plant-based vegan situation, here's how it’s done.
Start with a protein base. Classic protein powders are made with dairy, so if you’re looking for something like that, dry milk or whey is the answer. For plant-based protein, you can also use whole nuts or seeds, like almonds, sunflower seeds, or hemp hearts. Protein rich flours like quinoa, chickpea, or yellow pea are also a great option. Scoop about ½ cup of whichever interests you into a blender or food processor, and feel free to mix a few different options.
Next, pour ½ cup oats into the blender or food processor. Not only will oats help thicken a smoothie, they’re backed with fiber and carbs that will keep you full for longer than a simple smoothie of ice and fruit.
For an extra nutritional boost of fiber, add ⅓ cup chia seeds, ground flaxseed, wheat germ, or hemp hearts if you didn’t use them earlier.
Finally, flavor. For chocolate protein powder, toss in 2 tablespoons cocoa (or cacao, or carob) powder. For vanilla, use the scrapings of ¼ of a vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla powder. For coffee, 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder. For berry, use 2 tablespoons ground freeze-dried raspberries.
Grind the mixture until a smooth-ish powder forms—depending on the ingredients you used, it may not be perfectly powdery, and that’s OK.
Transfer the protein powder to an airtight container or jar and store in the fridge, For a smoothies, use about 2 tablespoons protein powder in a standard smoothie recipe.