Strawberries & Cream Protein Powder Crumble

As much as I love to cook, there are some days when things are so bonkers that I barely have time for a proper meal. To get through those days, I used to make a point of stopping at the nearest Starbucks and picking up one of their banana chocolate protein shakes. They used to be called "Vivanno," although they don't call them that anymore, and they were good. REALLY good.

But I always felt ridiculous paying for them, because it was totally the kind of thing I could make at home for much less.

So I went out and got myself a container of a great protein powder, and while researching protein recipe ideas, I figured out that you can actually use the powder in a LOT more than just shakes!

In fact, protein powder can be used in recipes like pancakes, puddings, and all kinds of baked goods. It's an easy and actually quite fun way to add an extra dose of protein to some of your favorite treats.

(Or just a great way to use up that GIANT container of protein you've had sitting around your pantry for ages.)

This recipe for Strawberries & Cream Protein Crumble is one of my new favorite ways to use protein powder--as a delicious vanilla-scented crumble topping for baked summer fruit.

This recipe uses a vanilla protein powder mix (choose your favorite!). The sweet, vanilla flavor of the protein mix gives this crumble topping an almost cake-like taste that is incredible on top of the berries.

Other bonus? Using the already sweet protein mix allowed me to cut out the bulk of flour and sugar I would typically use, making this version much lower in carbs than your typically berry crumble.

Total win! 

Beneath the addictive sweet cream crumble topping, I kept my filling equally simple--just fresh ripe berries tossed with a bit more vanilla, some raw sugar, and a dash of lemon juice.

Once baked, the berries bubble and deepen in flavor--the perfect contrast to the crumbly sweet topping.

It's incredible served still-warm with a generous dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt on top. 

Note: I used strawberries here because my fridge is currently full of them, but you can substitute whatever looks good--fresh cherries, blueberries, or even a mix of berries.

Stone-fruit season is just around the corner, and I think peaches would also be perfect in this!

It's definitely an easy and healthy summer dessert that will keep you feeling and looking good!

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Strawberries & Cream Protein Crumble
Serves 6

For the Filling:
2 pounds ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons sugar (use a bit more if the berries aren't very sweet)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon corn starch

For the Topping:
2/3 cup vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup all purpose flour (substitute a low carb baking mix or gluten-free flour, if desired)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar + some for sprinkling on top
zest of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Creme fraiche, plain yogurt, or sour cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and corn starch in a bowl and toss well to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the protein mix, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk to evenly distribute, then add the butter, using your fingers to rub it into the dry mixture until it resembles crumbs.

Pour the berry filling into a 8" baking dish (or divide into smaller ramekins for individual portions, like I did above). Top with the crumble topping, piling it on generously. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for 30 - 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit filling is bubbling. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. Serve topped with a dollop of creme friache, plain yogurt, or sour cream, if desired.

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