Protein powders are very trendy right now, and are a great way to add more muscle-building protein to the diet. Although protein powder increases fullness and can improve nutritional balance, protein shakes may lose their yum-factor after a while. But fear not! No need to give up the powder, just check out these easy and delicious ways to incorporate it– without the need for a straw!

Protein Pancakes
• 2 tbsp protein powder
• 1 egg

1. Whisk together & thin to pancake batter consistency with milk or water.
2. Cook as you would normal pancakes.
3. Add cinnamon, stevia, nutmeg, cocoa, or fresh fruit.

• 1-2 scoops of protein powder
• Plain Greek yogurt
• 2 tbsp. chopped nuts or fruit of choice

1. Stir protein powder into plain Greek yogurt.
2. Top with nuts and fruit.

Protein Powder Cake 
• Everything you typically need to make your favorite cake
• Protein power (amount with vary)

1. Swap up to half the flour in your cake recipe with protein powder and add ½ c water.
2. Bake in a  cupcake pan for portion control .

Power Oatmeal with Fruit
• 1 scoop protein powder
• Oats
• Cinnamon, fruit and nuts to taste

1. Add protein powder to your usual oats add cinnamon, fruit, and nuts to taste.

No Bake Protein Bars
• 1 ¼ c rolled oats (divided)
• 4 scoops vanilla protein powder
• ¼ c smooth reduced fat peanut butter (Smuckers All Natural is a good choice)
• 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds
• 1/3 c non-fat dry milk
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp. sliced almonds, if desired
• 2 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips, if desired

1. Line a 5×8 loaf pan with wax paper.
2. Place 1 c of oats in food processor and pulse until they are ground.
3. In a mixing bowl stir together oat flour, remaining oats, protein powder, peanut butter, flax seeds, dry milk, vanilla, and ¼ c warm water.
4. Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan; using the wax paper, press down firmly until the mixture forms a loaf shape.
5. Toast the almonds in a small skillet over low heat until lightly toasted; remove from the pan and chop.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate to melt it stirring often.
7. Press the chopped almonds into the top of the loaf then pour the chocolate over the almonds.
8. Place the bars in the freezer for 10 min.
9. Using the wax paper lift the bars from the pan and slice into 6 bars
10. Wrap each bar with wax paper in a sealed bag and store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

*When choosing a protein powder, look for varieties free of artificial ingredients. Warrior Whey and Sun Warrior, are both good picks.

By: Leslie Deason MS RD LD/N CPT
To learn more about the author, follow her on Twitter!

More from Fit Nation:
Dine Smart- Angelina’s Ristorante 
The Paleo Diet: A Prehistoric Plan for Present-Day Performance
Try This! Quinoa with Spinach and Arugula