Whether you're using protein powder to bulk up, lose weight, or to supplement as a healthy drink for breakfast, you know it can get pretty expensive quite quickly.
Making your own protein powder is surprisingly easy and gives you control of exactly what goes into it.
DIY protein powder is becoming more popular as more and more people realize how much money you can save compared to buying one from the store.
Step 1. Pick the Perfect Protein Base for You
The first thing you need to do is pick your recipe. For my own protein powder, I typically choose three protein-rich dry foods as a base and then add in any chosen flavorings from there.
Oats, seeds, and nuts are all a perfect place to start as they are low in moisture, high in protein, and doesn't have a significant impact on taste.
Oats are a great powder base as they are full of fiber that keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
So, if you're like me who likes to get a headstart on their daily protein intake with a shake in the morning, oats can be an excellent choice.
It's even better if you're trying to lose weight.
Here's a list of good bases that make for a great starting point for any protein powder.
1. Dairy Protein
If you're not lactose intolerant or a vegan, then using milk powder in your protein powder base is a great choice. Dairy-based whey is high in nutrients, packed with protein, but low in calories.
You can find dried milk powder in almost any supermarket for a fraction of the price of a branded whey protein powder.
In a simple but effective milk-based protein powder recipe, registered dietitian Serana Ball combines 3 cups of milk powder with 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of almonds.
A half-cup serving of the resulting powder provides 12 grams of protein and only 180 calories.
2. Plant Protein
When choosing to make an entirely plant-based protein powder, you should consider your BCAA's. A lot of people prefer whey because it has all 9 essential amino acids.
To achieve the same nutritional profile with plant-based sources, you'll have to combine proteins such as rice and pea, or use an alternative that has all 9 as well, such as hemp.
Hemp seeds make an excellent plant-based protein base as 30g of seeds serves up 15g of pure protein with minimal carbs.
They are a little fatty though, so those looking to shed some fat may want to pick one of the other options as a base.
Related: Check out this article to see a list of my favorite vegan protein powders.
Step 2. Spice It Up A Little
After you've chosen your base, you'll want the throw in additional ingredients that add more protein but also extra nutrition and taste.
Oats are an excellent example used above, but others include spirulina for its superfood nutritional benefit. You can also use almonds if you're looking to get more heart-healthy oils in your diet. A dash of chocolate is also great for that extra flavor.
Whatever you choose, make sure it provides something different from your other ingredients so that they can work together to become something better than they are on their own.
While you could make a powder purely from hemp seeds, it wouldn't really be that interesting or as nutritionally dense as a proper protein powder would be.
Here are some examples of great additional sources of protein that also give a little flavor or lots of nutrition.
1. For Nutrition
- Pumpkin seeds
- Quinoa flakes
- Coconut flour
- Sunflower seeds
2. For Flavor
- Raw vanilla bean powder
- Cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
- Maca powder
- Mesquite powder
- Acai powder
Step 3. Blend it All
After you've chosen your recipes, all that's left is to blend them all together until they make a fine powder.
If you're using milk powder or hemp protein powder in your recipe, use half the intended amount in the initial blend and then the other half once it's all finely mixed. Doing so will help smooth out the consistency.
Simply pick ingredients with a nutritional profile that appeal to your goal, whether weight loss or muscle gain, and then blitz them into a powder. The $50 a bottle price tag on your favorite branded protein powder is looking a little excessive now, isn't it?
Remember to keep your homemade protein powder in an airtight container to keep it fresh for your next meal.
Is My Blender Strong Enough To Blitz The Hard Grains Into A Protein Powder?
Most blenders can powderize grains without a problem. If you think you might have some trouble blending the ingredients you want in your protein powder, you can soak them first, then lightly toast them in a shallow frying pan beforehand. This will make them far easier to blend. You can also use a food processor.
What Can I Do With My Homemade Protein Powder?
Once your protein powder is ready, you can do whatever you'd like with it. We recommend whipping it into smoothies, do it yourself protein shakes, or turning it into raw protein balls. Pop in some fresh fruits or whatever flavoring you like, and you're good to go. Whatever you can do with regular protein powder, you can do with your own homemade version.
You can also make whey protein powder at home.