Soy protein powder comes directly from soybeans. Manufacturers separate the protein from the bean to create the powder, resulting in an end product approximately 95 percent protein with only small amounts of carbohydrates and fats. The powder comes plain or with added flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Learning to cook with soy protein powder can give your diet a healthful boost of plant-based protein.
Soy Protein Powder Tips
Many people see that big container of soy protein powder as one thing: a base for a protein drink. It is certainly true that blending protein powder with ice, milk, fruit, yogurt, or any combination of those ingredients makes a healthy, satisfying beverage. But protein powder is far more versatile than you may think. Below are a few ideas for cooking with soy protein powder to get you started.
- Use soy powder in place of flour when you bake. As a general rule of thumb, treat soy protein powder as you would flour when you are cooking. Begin with substituting small amounts only, and build up to using more.Soy protein powder makes a fine base for pancakes, muffins, waffles, quick breads, cookies, pie crust, dumplings, and much more. Note that the baked goods may not brown as well as those that use primarily flour. Avoid subbing protein powder for flour in recipes that require yeast.
- Soy protein powder is also a great base for granola bars. Combine the protein powder with an equal amount of wheat germ, oat bran, or whole-wheat flour. Add chopped, dried fruit, and combine the mixture with pureed silken tofu, nut butter, brown sugar, and apple juice. Stir until the mixture holds together and is sweetened to your taste. Spread the bars in one large sheet in a pan, and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until they're browned. When cool, cut the sheet into bars and serve.
- Combine 2 cups of flavored cups soy protein powder with 1/2 cup butter or vegan butter substitute, 4 ounces silken tofu, and 2 tablespoons walnuts to create a high-protein, sweet treat. Spread the mixture in a pan and chill until set. The recipe works especially well with chocolate soy protein; it comes out tasting like fudge.
- Stir soy protein powder into cream-based soups and oatmeal to thicken them.
Buying Soy Protein Powder
If you're ready to start playing with soy in your recipes, be sure to look for soy protein powder that is marked "soy protein isolate." That powder is the highest in protein and lowest in carbs; many people also find it has the least bitter aftertaste. Unflavored soy protein isolate powder should not add any discernible flavor to your recipes, but other varieties might impart some bitterness. See Best Soy Protein Powder for suggestions of specific products you may want to try.