What Are Protein Muffins?

Megan Shoop

Protein muffins only differ from other muffins in that they contain high amounts of protein. Generally, muffins contain more carbohydrates than anything else, but protein trumps carbohydrates — and sometimes fiber — in a protein muffin. Flavored whey protein powders usually provide the extra protein, and some of the flavor, present in these pastries but it can also come from fortified beverages and nuts. Athletes and those looking for a fast, healthy breakfast often consume protein muffins. The extra nutrients may provide the fuel necessary for long workouts, or to keep people full until lunchtime.

Poppy seeds can be added to protein muffins for extra flavor.
Poppy seeds can be added to protein muffins for extra flavor.

The protein powders usually used to give protein muffins their extra nutrients come in a very wide variety of flavors. Chocolate and vanilla are generally among the most popular, though orange and strawberry are also available at some grocery stores. Online shops that sell dietary supplements and muscle-building foods often sell a larger array of protein powder flavors than grocery stores. Those interested in making protein muffins in many different flavors may want to have a variety of powders for this purpose.

Protein muffins can be prepared with protein powder.
Protein muffins can be prepared with protein powder.

Most muffin recipes can become protein-packed with the simple addition of a scoop or two of protein powder. No other adjustments usually need to be made to the recipe because the extra powder is relatively lightweight and mixes well with most flours. Some recipes may require a little more liquid to keep them from becoming dry and crumbly.

Another way to add more protein to muffins is to use protein-fortified beverages. Enriched milks, fortified orange juice, and protein shakes not only add nutrients to muffins, they provide flavor. Nut and oat milks often contain more protein than ordinary dairy milk, though some cooks may be able to find cow’s milk enriched with extra protein. Orange juice often has nutrients added to it and may make a tasty addition to strawberry, banana, and other fruit muffins. Protein shakes are often sweet and chocolaty, making them tasty in cappuccino or chocolate muffins.

Nuts and seeds can also give muffins an extra kick of protein. Rich in muscle-building nutrients and good fats, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, peanuts, and almonds are all usually delicious in protein muffins. Those that dislike, or are allergic to, tree nuts may be able to replace them with pumpkin, sunflower, or poppy seeds. Any of these ingredients can add crunch and nuttiness to protein muffins.

One last possible ingredient in protein muffins is oatmeal. This cereal typically contains more protein than enriched white or wheat flour, and gives baked goods a dense, chewy texture that some bakers may enjoy. Simply replacing a scoop or two of flour with oatmeal not only adds protein, but also fiber and flavor.

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