The Secret Protein Trick Nutritionists Swear by (It’s Not Protein Powder)

Does your morning protein regimen need shaking up? A more appealing type of powder could could crack your morning smoothie routine.

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Pump up your protein

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsIf you're getting tired of using whey protein powder in smoothies or snacking on beef jerky in the day, you might want to check out PB2: powdered peanut butter. "PB2 is a powdered peanut butter, meaning it is dry roasted peanut powder with the oil extracted," says Elizabeth Ann Shaw, Ms, RDN, CLT, of Shaw's Simple Swaps. "Of course, there's nothing wrong with layering peanut butter on toast or adding to it homemade granola bar recipes. But you can still get that creamy texture from PB2, but it has 85 percent fewer calories than natural peanut butter and supplies five grams of protein per two tablespoon serving. So, PB2 is a great alternative for those looking to save a few calories, but still enjoy the delicious taste of peanut butter."

Because whey or casein protein can cause digestive issues in some—especially those with lactose intolerance or sensitivity, PB2 might be a good alternative. Just remember that when the oil is squeezed out of peanuts, you're losing healthy monounsaturated fats and fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E. If you're OK with that, check out a few healthy recipes for putting PB2 to good use.

Perfect for parfait

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsTake your morning Greek yogurt parfait up a notch in flavor and protein by adding PB2 to the mix. Shaw recommends using puffed amaranth, Greek yogurt, and PB2 powder, where the yogurt and PB2 are blended together and then layered alongside amaranth. This parfait is guilt-free and will keep you full, says Shaw. And, if you'd like to add fruit on top, she recommends strawberries, though any fruit will do. Get the recipe: Peanut Butter Parfait with Amaranth

On toast

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsThere's no reason to ditch an easy slice of peanut butter toast to satisfy an afternoon craving, refuel after a tough workout, or get your late-night munchie fix. And, a PB&J is a classic. Here, Shaw swaps the jelly for sliced banana. You'll get extra potassium from the bananas, which is also why this snack is a good post-workout choice. Want some more post-workout noshing suggestions? Here you go. And, a tip, Shaw recommends playing with water consistency, adding more or less depending on your preferred consistency. Get the recipe: Cinnamon PB Banana Toast

In your oats

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsThere's nothing quite like the smell of warm, peanut butter oats to get you out of bed. How do you make that happen? By making overnight oats the night before, you'll have something ready for you bright and early; kiss those excuses for not eating a hearty, well-rounded breakfast goodbye. And, eating protein in the morning will fight fatigue and life your mental energy, says Shaw. This oatmeal peanut butter powdered recipe uses PB2 for some protein and chia seeds for healthy fats and for brainpower. Get the recipe: Five-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

For a low-cal cookie

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsGet this, you can indulge in chocolate peanut butter cookies, without worrying about your health or waistline. And, there's no denying that chocolate and peanut butter are quite the pair. Shaw's low-calorie, PB2 cookie recipe hits the spot when you're craving something sweet, and it'll only cost you 64 calories a piece. And, thanks to peanut butter powder, almond milk, and egg whites, it's pretty high in protein and healthy fats for a cookie. As long as you can wait a little over 20 minutes for them to cook, you're in for a treat. Get the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

In homemade non-dairy milk

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsThere's no need to buy store-bought almond milk when you can easily make your own. Especially when you choose to make it fancy, adding chocolate and PB2 to the recipe. And, if you're curious about the benefits of almond milk, there are several. Just think how great this milk will taste over a bowl of cereal, granola, or oats. And, if you're in need of a sugar-fix, this sweet-flavored milk is just the thing. Plus, you won't get that dreaded sugar crash, thanks to the high amount of protein from the almonds and peanut butter powder. Get the recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Milk

As a thirst quencher

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsA great way to hydrate and fill up is downing a nourshing smoothie that's rich in protein and important vitmains and minerals. Beacuse PB2 is low in sugar and calories, this peanut butter powdered smoothie can be a flavorful low-calorie snack. Get the recipe: 100-Calorie PB&J Fit Smoothie

As a frosting

Courtesy Shaw's Simple SwapsIf you want a health swap in your baked goods, PB2 can come in nicely. Shaw recommends pairing antioxidant-rich sweet potato with peanut butter powder frosting for a nutrient-packed, chocolate pie that'll taste like a treat—and only 120 calories a serving! And, if you're looking for a frosting hack to make the perfect cake, we've got you covered. Get the recipe: Sweet Potato Chocolate Pie with Peanut Butter Frosting

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