I know that Tanner sends out a weekly recap of some of the best recipes of the week from the Stronger U Instagram, but with fall being right around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to do a more in-depth recipe post. So for those of you who have wanted more detailed recipes, have been craving some fall foods, or are just looking for new and interesting ways to satisfy those cravings, these three recipes are bound to be just what you were looking for.
95-CALORIE HIGH PROTEIN PUMPKIN SPICE DONUTS RECIPE
The days of feeling guilty about eating a dozen donuts in one sitting are over. Kidding. That’s probably a bad idea regardless of how favorable the macros are. But if you were going to eat a dozen donuts without blowing your calories out of the water, these pumpkin spice protein donuts would be the ones to make it happen. With 95 calories, 12.5g of protein, 9.3g of carbs, and virtually no fat, it’s possible to indulge a little.
And while pumpkin spice may feel like a flavor profile that’s restricted to fall months, these donuts are delicious year round. You’ll catch zero judgment from me if you’re making pumpkin spice donuts for your summer barbecue, though others may not be so kind. If you are looking for a more season-neutral protein donut recipe, check out my 90-Calorie Double Chocolate Protein Donuts.
PUMPKIN SPICE PROTEIN DONUTS INGREDIENTS
This recipe is ultra simple, so I don’t have many ingredient notes other than the applesauce. If you can spare the extra fat (only adds 10-12 calories per donut), you can swap the applesauce for an egg to get a fluffier donut.
Also, if you’d like the frosting to be more like a glaze, try skipping out on the cream cheese and just going with evaporated milk and protein powder. Something like my ultimate protein frosting would work well. You may start with 1 serving of evaporated milk and add in more until you get the right consistency.
If this is the first time you’re using the fat-free evaporated milk, be sure to get one with 25 calories per serving. Some fat-free evaporated milk has 100+ calories/serving. I use the Nestle Carnation.
One final note here: Any donut pan will do, but you can get the one I use on Amazon here.
BEST PROTEIN POWDER FOR RECIPES
You can use any protein you’d like, but I personally like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey and/or Dymatize’s Whey or Elite XT blended protein. They’re reputable brands that have been around forever.
The macros are with Gold Standard Whey.
If you’d like to learn more about the different types of whey protein and how to find the best value for protein, read this article.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Donuts
A higher protein spin on pumpkin spice donuts with a low-calorie cream cheese icing.
- 1/4 C (30g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 scoop (32g) Protein Powder vanilla
- 3/8 C (92g) Liquid Egg Whites or two whole egg whites
- 1/2 C (120g) Canned Pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp (15g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce or an extra 1-2 Tbsp canned pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp Stevia or 0-Cal Sweetener
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1-2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 2 oz Fat-Free Cream Cheese room temp or softened
- 1/4 C (60mL) Fat-Free Evaporated Milk
- 1 scoop (32g) Protein Powder vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 6-donut pan with low-cal cooking spray.
Mix all donut ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. (Depending on the consistency of your protein powder, you may not need the additional applesauce or pumpkin. If your donut batter is too thick, add as needed.)
Spoon the donut batter into the donut pan.
Bake for 15 minutes.
While your donuts are in the oven, make your frosting by mixing the cream cheese, evaporated milk, and protein powder together. If your cream cheese is not room temp, you can microwave it for 10-15 seconds. Allow donuts to cool slightly before removing from the pan. Frost and enjoy!
65-CALORIE PUMPKIN AND BANANA BREAD PROTEIN BITES RECIPE
I try not to throw this out very often, but this is one of my favorite recipes. Not only are these banana bread protein bites the perfect on-the-go sweet treat, with 7 grams of protein and only 65 calories per bread bite, you’d have to go crazy on them to eat too many calories. And that’s going to be hard to do because these things are dense thanks to the high-fiber oats and pumpkin.
After I develop a recipe for the site, I continue experimenting with follow up batches to see if something can be improved. Typically, I find something that either works better or at least gives options like in the protein frostings for the Pumpkin Spice Protein Donuts and Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites recipes. In this case, however, I’ve yet to make anything better than the original recipe.
They’re just that good!
PUMPKIN AND BANANA BREAD PROTEIN BITES INGREDIENTS
For the syrup, I used Walden Farms pancake syrup which actually has 0 calories in addition to being sugar-free. So using a normal sugar-free syrup may add 15-30 calories to the entire recipe.
I used quick oats because I personally like my oats smaller, especially in baked goods. You can use old-fashioned or whole grain oats, but you may have more of a pronounced oat texture.
Outside of that, the remaining ingredients for these pumpkin banana bread bites are the obvious ones. Unless you’re tracking your intake closely, you won’t need to weigh your banana. That said, if your mixture is too runny or too thick, you can adjust by adding more protein or oats to thicken or more applesauce, pumpkin, banana, or egg whites to increase moisture.
One thing I love about this recipe is the lack of precision required. As long as you get it in the muffin tin, there’s a good chance it’s going to turn out delicious!
HOW TO AVOID A TOUGH OR DRY PROTEIN RECIPE
Since there are a lot of moving parts in recipes with protein powder (different types of protein, volume differences in scoops, scooping vs weighing accuracy, etc.), there’s always a chance you’ll end up with a tough or dry finished product. I don’t think you will need to make any modifications to this recipe, but I know everyone’s taste buds are unique snowflakes! So, I’ll include a few ideas to combat this below:
- Use whey concentrate or a blend of proteins that’s not super lean like whey isolate (the extra carbs/fat goes a long way)
- Slightly reduce the amount of protein powder used
- Increase fat sources or faux fat sources (i.e. pumpkin, mashed bananas, sweet potato, avocado, unsweetened apple sauce, coconut oil or processed coconut flakes, etc.)
- 14 grams of light butter only has 50 calories and changes lives
- Slightly increase liquid ingredients
- Reduce cook time
- Add moisture after cooking via whipped topping, ice cream, or fruit reductions
Life’s too short for dry protein treats. I hope this helps!
Pumpkin and Banana Bread Protein Bites
A sweet combo of pumpkin and banana bread that delivers 7 grams of protein with only 65 calories.
- 1 medium (100g) Banana, mashed
- 1 C (80g) Quick Oats
- 1/2 C (120g) Canned Pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- 2 scoops (60-64g) Protein Powder vanilla
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 Tbsp Stevia
- 3/4 C (170g) Liquid Egg Whites
- 1/4 C (60mL) Sugar-Free Syrup I used Walden Farms pancake syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a muffin tin with low-cal cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Add batter to the muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to fully cool before removing from the muffin tin.
Per Muffin Bite (makes 12): 65 Calories | 7P | 8C | .5F
*I used Walden Farms pancake syrup which actually has 0 calories in addition to being sugar-free. So using a normal sugar-free syrup may add 15-30 calories to the entire recipe.
*Run a knife to separate the edges after cooling if needed.
CARAMEL APPLE PROTEIN MUG CAKE
This delicious caramel apple protein mug cake has 18 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories. Leaving you plenty of room to add a bit of ice cream or other toppings. You’ll never know you’re eating a high protein treat.
That’s great and all, but the best thing about this protein mug cake has to be how easy it is to make. Don’t believe me? Check out this video from my microwavable double chocolate banana bread to see how simple these microwavable mug cake and brownies really are.
CARAMEL APPLE PROTEIN MUG CAKE INGREDIENTS
The ingredient list is a short one. The apple pie filling brand is Comstock, which I’ve found at both Walmart and Kroger.
As for the caramel syrup, I used Walden Farms. You could use any sugar-free or lower calorie caramel syrup, however.
AN UNBIASED LOOK AT THE BEST LOW CALORIE ICE CREAM
I’ll leave you with a final tip for your .. The mug cake by itself is amazing, but you can really put it over the top with a scoop of ice cream. While I don’t have any qualms with the more expensive brands like Halo Top and Enlightened, many others are now coming out with the healthy or low-calorie ice creams. Below you’ll find a few alternatives that are close in calories to some of the higher priced options.
Caramel Apple Protein Mug Cake
A super tasty mug cake that’s ready in 5 minutes or less.
Mix ingredients in a bowl and microwave for 75-90 seconds. (Using your mixing utensil or a knife, you’ll probably want to cut the apple slices in the pie filling in half.)
Depending on the size of your bowl, you may have to finish the last 15-20 seconds in 5-second intervals to avoid overflow. The center should still be slightly moist but cooked.
If your cake sticks to the bowl, you may try mixing the cake in a bowl and transferring the batter to a separate bowl you’ve sprayed with nonstick cooking spray before going in the microwave. Top with a bit more caramel syrup, low-calorie ice cream, fat-free whipped topping, or other toppings of your choice.
If your cake is too dry, you can try adding a bit more applesauce, reducing the cook time, or reducing the protein to 1/2 scoop.