I’m really glad you’d like to try one of my protein-packed recipes! Because I receive the same questions over and over, I’ve assembled them into this Tips & FAQ page. If your question isn’t answered below, please leave it in a comment on the specific recipe that you’re interested in, and I’ll respond there!
PROTEIN POWDER QUESTIONS
♥ What protein powders do you recommend?
The three I use the most are Bob’s Red Mill soy protein isolate (← I use that to make this smoothie almost every day!), Jamie Eason’s Lean Body for Her vanilla whey concentrate, and PlantFusion vanilla bean. I prefer these because they have a very high amount of protein with minimal fat and sugar. They also don’t have any strange aftertastes, which I absolutely love!
♥ Can I substitute XYZ protein powder for the one you’ve listed in the recipe?
It really depends! All protein powders behave very differently, especially in my energy bite, protein bar, and baking recipes. Nearly every type and brand has a different level of sweetness and absorbs liquids differently. In general, use the following as your guide.
›› Plant-based for plant-based. Yes! You may need to slightly tweak the amount of sweetener, protein powder, or liquid ingredients in the recipe, but it should still turn out fairly close to the taste and texture of the protein powder that I used.
›› Whey-based for whey-based. Yes! You may need to slightly tweak the amount of sweetener, protein powder, or liquid ingredients in the recipe, but it should still turn out fairly close to the taste and texture of the protein powder that I used.
›› Plant-based for whey-based. Yes, but you must make modifications! Plant-based protein powders are much more absorbent than whey-based ones, so start by adding half as much of your plant-based protein powder as the whey-based recipe calls for. For example, if the recipe includes two scoops of whey-based protein powder, start with one scoop of your plant-based protein powder, and add more later if the batter seems too wet once you’ve mixed everything else.
›› Whey-based for plant-based. NO! Whey-based protein powders are much less absorbent than plant-based protein powders, and they do not set or firm up the same way. Do not substitute whey-based protein powder in any of my no-bake energy bite, protein bite, or protein bar recipes; the snacks will never set and will remain a sticky, gloopy mess. (*Note: The one exception where whey-based would work instead of plant-based would be in a smoothie! You’ll probably need to adjust the amount of frozen fruit, ice, or liquid ingredients.)
♥ If I want to substitute XYZ protein powder for the one you’ve listed in the recipe, should I measure by volume/scoops or by weight?
To start, make sure your protein powder follows the substitution guidelines listed above! If it does, then measure by volume and the weight of your protein powder’s scoop, not mine. For example, my carrot cake protein muffins recipe calls for 2 scoops (84g) of Jamie Eason’s Lean Body for Her vanilla whey concentrate. If you wanted to substitute your vanilla whey protein powder that weighs 35g per scoop, you’d use 2 scoops (70g) instead.
♥ How do I measure a scoop?
It depends on the type and brand! In general, most protein powders come with a scoop inside of the container. Therefore, one “scoop” in a recipe would be equivalent to filling that scoop all the way and leveling it. Most scoops are around ¼ cup in volume.
♥ Why didn’t my protein muffins turn out with the same taste and texture as yours in the photos?
There are two typical reasons for this. First, the recipe was specifically designed for the protein powder listed in the Ingredients list. If you substituted a different protein powder, the taste and texture will most likely be different. It can either be too dry or too wet where the centers of the muffins never set, and that entirely depends on your protein powder. Second, it’s incredibly important to measure the coconut flour correctly, using either the spoon and level method or a kitchen scale. (I highly recommend the latter, and this is the inexpensive one that I own!) Coconut flour is about three times as absorbent as any other flour, so adding too much will quickly dry out the muffins.
♥ What can I substitute for xanthan gum?
I don’t recommend substituting anything for xanthan gum. It imitates gluten’s structural properties and helps the treats hold their shape after baking. However, you may simply omit it, but the baked goods may be ever so slightly denser.
♥ Can I substitute XYZ flour for the coconut flour?
You may try, but I cannot guarantee the results. Coconut flour is about three times as absorbent as any other flour, so start by adding twice as much of your preferred flour, and if the batter or dough still seems too wet after you’ve mixed together the rest of the ingredients, add more a little at a time until the consistency seems right.