Find out which protein powder is BEST for baking Protein Banana Bread – plus tips and tricks for baking with whey, soy, and pea protein powders.
It’s Healthy Kitchen Hacks Wednesday – the day we share our favorite time-saving kitchen tricks and cooking shortcuts to help you make healthy and delicious meals.
Now…onto today’s featured Healthy Kitchen Hack:
Which Protein Powder is Best for Baking?
I’ve been hearing how you can replace some of the flour in baked goods with protein powder. This sounded like a good idea for my family – to replace some of the carbohydrates with muscle-building protein. I bake muffins almost weekly – and banana bread for lunches/snacks fairly often.
But I’ve also read that whey protein powder turns baked goods into hockey pucks.
And apparently, pea protein powder has a stronger flavor that may not be suited to baking.
So I tested my favorite banana bread recipe with three different protein powders to discover the differences in baking with:
- Whey protein concentrate powder
- Soy protein powder – isolated soy protein
- Pea protein powder – unflavored
I measured the ingredients using a kitchen scale to make sure my ingredient amounts were the exactly the same. The soy and pea protein banana breads were baked in a metal bread pan and the whey protein bread was baked in a stoneware pan. I added peanut butter to each bread to help boost the moisture – as I’d read protein powders (especially whey) need extra fat when used in baking. My recipe is low in sugar for a banana bread recipe. But it has A LOT of banana. If your family is not used to this lower-sugar bread, add another 1/4 cup sugar.
|Pea Protein Banana Bread||Whey Protein Banana Bread||Soy Protein Banana Bread|
|Appearance|| Darkest color
Most even interior with fewest holes
| Light golden color
Fell the most in the center due to early foil covering
|Raised higher than pea protein bread|
|Texture|| Dense and moist
Cake-like tenderness when warm, but gets more ‘squishy’ and less tender as cools
| Dense and moist
Best texture after cooling
|Taste & Aroma|| Slight earthy flavor
| Good banana taste – no off flavors at all
| Sweetest flavor without additional sugar
Honestly, I would use any of these protein powders again. Soy was a surprise winner in most categories, but the cake-like texture of the warm whey protein banana bread was a hands-down winner. And pea could be almost as good with the addition of chocolate chips.
Tips for baking with protein powders:
- Whey protein powder:
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil for the first half of baking time. I did this and my whey protein banana bread came out a lovely light golden color. (I read that one of the reasons that food companies use whey in baked products is because it helps food brown faster – but I didn’t want my bread to brown too soon.)
- If you don’t have a stoneware/ceramic bread pan, lower the oven temperature 25-degrees when baking with whey and bake longer to get a moister final result. Stoneware takes longer to heat up and bakes slower so my bread didn’t become a ‘hockey puck’ which occurs when whey protein powder baked goods cook too fast at a hotter temperature.
- Mix batter just until moistened
- Pea protein powder:
- Add strong flavors like peanut butter, chocolate or banana to cover the earthy, nutty flavor of the pea powder.
- Bake in stoneware/ceramic pan for a moister result.
- Soy protein powder:
- You may be able to replace even more flour with soy in some recipes. I replaced 1/3 cup of the original 2 cups of flour with soy protein powder. I would not go higher than this 16.5% replacement ratio for pea or whey, but you might substitute up to 25% for soy.
- Bake in stoneware/ceramic for a moister result. Which protein powder is BEST for baking? #HealthyKitchenHacks to bake with protein powders via @TspCurry Click To Tweet
Disclosure: None! I purchased all of the protein powders myself and have no affiliation with Bob’s Red Mill – who makes all the powders I used. I bought Bob’s Red Mill Whey Protein Powder, Bob’s Red Mill Soy Protein Powder, Bob’s Red Mill Unflavored Pea Protein Powder – as I believe these powders are the easiest to find in supermarkets or online – and they are available in pure forms without additional ingredients.Print
Protein Banana Bread
Replace some of the flour with protein powder for a protein-packed, lower-sugar, but still soft and banana-rich banana bread
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
1 cup (4.25 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (2.80 oz) whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (0.75 – 0.80 oz) whey, soy, or pea protein powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup (8.80 oz) mashed ripe banana, about 2-3 large bananas
1/3 cup (2.80 oz) plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
Grease an 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with butter (Don’t butter if using stoneware pan.) Place a rectangle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (If using whey protein and a metal pan, preheat oven to 325-degrees F.)
In a medium bowl, combine flours, protein powder, baking soda and salt. Stir with a whisk to mix. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place sugar and butter, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and light in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add mashed banana, yogurt and vanilla extract; beat until blended.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture, mix gently with a wooden spoon just until moist. Drop peanut butter on top of batter, swirl gently.
Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack; remove from pan and let cool completely on wire rack.
Have you ever baked with protein powders? How did it work out?
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