Right now, getting enough protein is one of my big health concerns. I’m tracking this macro like an Amazon package past its 2-day Prime promise. Getting enough protein is important at every age, but it’s even more important now that I’m in my 40s. (Sarcopenia—the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength—sets in around age 40.) If you’re like me and focused on getting enough protein but still have a sweet tooth or want to enjoy an occasional treat, swapping out sugary treats for high-protein versions is an easy way to hit your protein goals.
7 High-Protein Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes
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I’ve rounded up seven incredibly tasty high-protein versions of cookies, brownies, cakes, and more to satisfy your sweet tooth and help pack in the protein. All of these recipes get their added protein in the form of protein powder. My personal favorite is Simply Tera’s Pure Whey Protein Powder in Bourbon Vanilla. I keep it on hand for protein smoothies, and the bourbon vanilla flavor is perfect for adding to protein cookies and cakes! You can use whatever whey protein powder you have on hand or add Tera’s Whey to your Amazon cart.
4 Ingredient Protein Cookies
Cookies are my kryptonite. Finding high-protein alternatives to my favorite cookie recipes is an easy way for me to “indulge” without sacrificing my health goals. This peanut-butter-based 4 Ingredient Protein Cookie recipe by The Big Man’s World features protein powder, peanut butter, egg, and sugar substitute. You can create different versions of these thick and chewy protein cookies by swapping chocolate chips for sprinkles (birthday cake cookies!) or oats. It’s flour-free, sugar-free, and offers 20 grams of protein and four carbs per cookie.
Chocolate Protein Brownies
When I come across a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, there is never a doubt in my mind that I’m going to discover something absolutely delicious and guaranteed nutritious. Katie is the Queen of healthy desserts, and she’s taking brownies to an entirely new level. Katie’s recipe for Protein Brownies brings you a rich and fudgy decadent dessert with 15 grams of protein each.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls
When it’s time to see a movie on the big screen, I do what every responsible adult does. Hit up a gas station, buy a pack or two of peanut butter cups, and smuggle those chocolate-peanut butter beauties into the theater via my oversized purse. My peanut butter cup smuggling may save me a few dimes at the concession stand, but it’s not doing my waistline any favors. Now that I have this recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls from The Roosted Root, I can get my peanut butter-and-chocolate fix without guilt. Each ball contains 110 calories, 6 proteins, and 3 carbs.
Chocolate Protein Mug Cake
I finally understand what people mean when they say have your cake and eat it, too. I doubt the origination of this phrase was referencing a chocolate mug cake that could be made in 2 minutes in the microwave and provide 10 grams of protein at the same time. But that’s exactly what you’ll get when you try yet another Chocolate Covered Katie recipe. Katie’s Chocolate Protein Mug Cake can be made with oat, white, or spelt flour, or you can try her Keto Mug Cake version if you want to go low carb.
Sugar-Free Sugar Cookie Protein Bars
I was completely pulled into the promise of a sugar-free protein bar that looks and tastes like a frosted sugar cookie, but the added promise of this being a NO BAKE recipe really sealed the deal. That’s right: No. Bake. Frosted. Sugar. Cookie. This recipe for Sugar Cookie Protein Bars from Hayl’s Kitchen packs a protein punch with vanilla protein powder and Greek yogurt. You’ll need to store these high-protein treats in the fridge, an easy price to pay for a no-bake sugar-free sweet with 16g of protein and 1g carb per serving.
High-Protein Rice Cereal Treats
One of my favorite childhood treats is an ooey-gooey rice cereal combined with melted marshmallows and butter. You know the one! Who would’ve thought that you could add protein powder to those classic ingredients to up the protein ante of this childhood classic? Well, Randa Nutrition did with this recipe for Protein Rice Cereal Treats. Her pumped version of rice cereal treats offers 9g of protein per serving of childhood nostalgia.
Single Serve Protein Monkey Bread
Monkey bread is a tear-apart breakfast treat full of sugar and carbs. It tastes great on a lazy Sunday morning paired with a hot cup of coffee, but the traditional pull-apart Monkey Bread recipe is definitely a diet destroyer. Hayle’s Kitchen transforms the concept of oh-so-naughty Monkey Bread into a single-serve, high protein, gluten-free treat perfect for breakfast or any time of day. The Single Serve Protein Monkey Bread recipe from Hayl’s Kitchen boasts 20g of protein per serving.
Healthy Eating Hack: Protein Powder Desserts
Sometimes getting a little more protein into your diet is as easy as adding protein powder to your favorite dessert recipe. When crave-able sweets are transformed into healthy treats, it’s easy to get enough protein, cut the sugar and processed ingredients, and help keep you and your family on the healthy eating track.