Gluten-Free Whey Protein IsolateIsolated Whey Protein is one of my favorite gluten-free recipe enhancers and ingredients. If you have followed this blog for any time, you have certainly noticed the importance I place on this substance — in fact, I have even referred to it as: "Whey Protein: the Miracle Gluten-Free Baking Ingredient" in previous blogs. I use this stuff in all sorts of recipes because of its wonderful abilities to, at least in part, mimic gluten (another protein; one we can not consume).
Gluten-Free Whey Protein PriceI am sorry to report what most of you already know: contrary to what the government says, there has been substantial inflation over the past few years, especially among food products and most certainly among dairy or dairy-derived products. When I first wrote a blog about this identical product in late-2007, it cost only 2/3rds of what it does now — or, another way to say the same thing is that this product costs 50% more than it did only 3.5 years ago. Wow! And, that is comparing the identical gluten-free isolated whey protein from Now (brand) at the best price I could find then versus the best price I can locate now.
This time around, I acquired a 5-pound tub (as pictured above) from a place called "AllStarHealth.com" for about $53.00 with shipping included. Here is a link to their site if you are interested: AllStarHealth Now Whey Protein Isolate 5#. They shipped quickly and I was pleased to see that the "best by date" on the container I received was January-2013, which gives me plenty of time to use this (it lasts a fairly long time, even when used as extensively as I use it). I suggest keeping the container somewhere out of direct sunlight and/or heat for best results.
This giant 5-pound container of GF Whey Protein consists of what the label calls "81 servings", where each serving is an ounce essentially and there is a small included scoop that makes measuring a "serving" quite simple. And, that 1-ounce serving is a pure 25 grams of protein that comes in very handy for our gluten-free recipes...
Gluten-Free Recipes using Whey ProteinI have used this product to not only simulate the binding-power of gluten in recipes, but also as a consistency-enhancer for all sorts of creations too — a favorite being smoothies! So, here are some ideas and real examples of how this baking ingredient can help you with regards to your gluten-free and wheat-free diet recipes:
- Gluten-Free Smoothies: whey protein is amazing in smoothies and other blended drinks. It adds thickness and "body". I especially like how the gluten-free whey protein allows you to use your blender (my preference is a VitaMixer) to whip extra volume into a smoothie as well as a thicker texture. Perhaps you could say it adds "fluff" or "fluffiness" to blended drinks as well as improving the overall smoothness and consistency.
A favorite frozen drink "recipe" I use is approximately: one frozen banana, 6 or 8 ice cubes, 1/2 scoop of whey protein, a pile of cocoa (1/4cup+), some cinnamon, some rice milk or hemp milk, and (very much optional) some Gluten-Free Carolan's Irish Cream liqueur. Just grind / blend / whip all that together in the Vitamixer until you have a very satisfying and creamy chocolate-banana "shake" (variations abound!)
- Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Recipes: we have used the whey protein in a variety of pizza-crust recipes, and here is a link to an example of a Gum-Free and Wheat-Free / Gluten-Free Thin-Crust Pizza Crust Recipe using whey protein. Notice the "gum-free" part of that recipe? Again, this is where whey-protein's binding powers are making up for gluten, and thus making up for the typical use of "gums" like Xanthan and/or Guar gum. It will not necessarily replace gums in all recipes, but it sure can replace it in a lot. If you wondered: no, we did not use Whey-protein in our GF Desserts cookbook recipes even though all those recipes are gum-free as well; though we have created variations using whey-protein since — some of which we have posted online.
- Gluten-Free Bread Recipes: we have used whey protein in some of these recipes as well; again, its unique gluten-like abilities come in very handy. One example recipe variation we published online is this Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe using Chia Seed and Whey Protein. Sorry, but that recipe references one from our Gluten-Free Gourmet Desserts book, and build upon and extends that recipe using whey-protein and chia seed. Experimentation is how we arrived at this variation, and you too will surely discover some nice recipe-alterations/variations by playing around a bit with whey protein (note: go lightly and build up; too much whey can lead to undesirable results).
- Pancakes: ahhhh... a favorite use of this gluten-free whey-protein for me! I love making pancakes, and I have used whey protein to accomplish some wonderful feats of pancake engineering :) Here is a link to my Gluten-Free Multi-Grain "Diet Pancakes" Recipe using Whey Protein and all sorts of other neat ingredients. The whey-protein undoubtedly contributes the ability for this recipe to support some seriously thick and bread-like pancakes! I have made all sorts of variations based on this type of formula with whey-protein offering that gluten (and gum) replacement ability I so like.