- Steven Depolo/Flickr
- Some desserts contain higher amounts of protein than others.
- If you’re looking to incorporate more protein into your diet, consider egg-based desserts such as cheesecake, custard, or bread pudding.
- Store-bought, high-protein ice creams can be a great source of protein.
If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth while still getting adequate amounts of protein, high-protein desserts might be the answer. Upping your protein intake can really treat your body to some helpful benefits, as registered dietitian Julie Upton, M.S., explained that desserts filled with protein can help you experience a more tempered blood sugar response compared to sugar-rich desserts which can lead to a dramatic spike in blood sugar.
Upton also told INSIDER that protein-rich desserts are more filling, meaning you can have a smaller serving and still feel satisfied. To help bring some protein-rich desserts to your radar, we spoke more to Upton and other registered dietitians about easy ways to indulge your sweet tooth and get protein at the same time.
Here are some dessert ideas to try next time you are craving something sweet.
Try a high-protein ice cream
- Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDER
“Try high-protein ice creams from brands like Halo Top and Enlightened,” said registered dietitian Summer Yule, MS. These products tend to be much higher in protein than traditional ice creams on the market.
Make a cheesecake with Greek yogurt
“Whip up your very own cheesecake made with ingredients like Greek yogurt,” Yule said.
She said that making your cheesecake with an almond flour crust will further increase its protein content as 100 grams of almond flour contains approximately 21 grams of protein.
Look into egg-based desserts
“For desserts that have a lot of protein, I always recommend looking for ones that are egg-based,” said registered dietitian Katherine Brooking MS. A large egg has about 6 grams of protein, she explained.
Desserts that are typically rich in eggs include cheesecake, bread puddings, and custards.
Whip up some chia seed pudding
- Larry Jacobsen/Flickr
“A nutrient powerhouse, chia seeds are packed with fiber, healthy fat, and protein,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Maya F. Bach, MPH. They contain approximately 16 grams of protein per 100 grams.
Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut or cashew milk, add a dash of vanilla extract, and top with your favorite fruit to make a sweet treat, she suggested.
Make a no-bake almond coconut pie
“Blend in 12 ounces of tofu with a half cup of your favorite dairy-free milk and one-third a cup of nut butter,” said Bach. Add a cup of melted chocolate chips to the mixture before pouring into a pie crust and refrigerating overnight.
Using tofu not only gives this pie a creamy texture, but it also makes it high in filling protein, added Bach. It contains about 8 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving.
Treat yourself to some custard
“Custard is a great go-to dessert if you want a lot of protein because the main ingredients are eggs and milk, which are considered high-quality proteins,” said Upton.
Most custards will provide approximately 6 grams of filling protein per serving, she added.
Eat some yogurt parfait
“Combine plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola for a great high-protein dessert option,” said registered dietitian Sara DeLuca, CPT.
Greek yogurt is made of casein protein, she explained, which is slower to digest than whey protein and it helps to repair, rebuild, and recover muscle tissue overnight. It contains 9 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving.
Make a DIY high-protein smoothie or smoothie bowl
“DIY high-protein smoothies (or smoothie bowls) are easy to make at home and the recipe options are endless,” said DeLuca.
She suggested combining a scoop of protein powder, a cup of water or milk, and half of a banana in a blender then adding spices such as cinnamon or unsweetened cocoa powder to add flavor.
Add protein powder to cookies, bread, muffins, and bars
- Rebecca Siegel/Flickr
“A good rule of thumb is to substitute one-third a cup of flour with protein powder, which works extremely well with whey protein powder,” said registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth, MS.
Some recipes can handle more protein powder, like peanut butter cookies, due to the fat and liquid content, she said.
Combine the right protein-rich ingredients together
“You can satisfy your sweet tooth and satiety at the same time by including sources of protein in your desserts,” said registered dietitian Stephanie McKercher, MS.
McKercher said she loves to dip strawberries in yogurt and add crunchy pistachios, which contain about 20 grams of protein per 100-gram serving.