Shake, after shake, after shake...a repetitive habit of the fittest who are supplementing their diet with protein powder. Limited variations of how one consumes their shakes have been as simple as mixing it with water, milk, juice or getting “fancy” and putting it in an electric blender and adding some almond milk,greek yogurt and berries to the mix to really make your taste bud sing! But what do you do when you just can’t possibly fathom yet another shake! What do you do when your protein needs are still inadequate with regular solid food and your taste buds are screaming oatmeal cookies, brownies, and yes...even pizza??? Well, you don’t cave in to temptation! Instead, grab your favorite brand of whey protein powder and a cookbook and start getting creative!
Despite the many myths and rumors that baking or cooking your protein powder will cause it to denature and become ‘damaged’ and/or ‘useless’, you can indeed actually have your cake and eat it too! Protein cake that is! In fact protein powder makes for a great substitute for carb and gluten packed baking flours you would normally use to make some of today’s most popular treats.
Truth is, heating your protein powder by baking with it or heating it in a microwave doesn’t “damage” it at all. In fact our bodies will still absorb sufficient amounts of amino acids from the protein regardless if we cook it or not. Okay, so yes...technically...baking alters the “structure” of the protein by molecularly denaturing it, but to consider it damaged is just not true. The quality and the protein powder’s nutritional value still remains unchanged despite the change in structure. You eat eggs, but not raw to preserve their nutrient density right? You cook them! Well, cooking them breaks down the molecular structure of the amino acid profile, but the egg still retains the same nutritional value it had before you cooked it.
Still not convinced? It’s very simple really. Instead, think of this: proteins are basically chains of amino acids that, when heated, can change their structure. When you eat the protein, its molecules are broken down into individual aminos and are then brought together in your cells becoming a source of dietary protein.
Cooked or uncooked, your body absorbs the protein anyway allowing the nutritional content of the whey and the essential amino acids to provide your body with the fuel it needs as part of a healthy diet.
Simple Low-Carb Protein Powder Pizza Crust
Makes 2-4 Servings
2 cups orgainc raw sharp cheddar or reggiano parmesan shredded (if you can’t find it at your local healthfood store part-skim organic mozzarella cheese will be fine too)
2 large cage free eggs
2 tablespoons almond meal/flour
1/2 minced garlic
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
2 tablespoons unflavored whey protein powder
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
Mix cheese, eggs, almond meal, protein powder, and baking powder, garlic and seasonings thoroughly. Spread with a spatula to 1/4″ thickness on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes on 350 degrees, flipping halfway through the baking process. Remove from oven, slide off of parchment paper, and flip over again onto a cooling rack for best results so the crust cool completely. Once crust is cooled, top with no salt added tomato sauce, veggies, lean meats, cheese or whatever you like! Using a parchment paper lined pizza stone or cookie sheet, broil your pizza on the middle rack for 2 minutes on high or until cheese topping is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!