Protein powder isn't just for meatheads
EC: Make Healthy Protein Popsicles for Breakfast
Credit: Photo by jenifoto via Getty Images

When I think of eating protein powder for breakfast, I cringe a little bit, and think of my roommate who would chug an aggressively clumpy smoothie after working out in the morning. But protein powder can be better than that. It isn't just for post-workout smoothies and no-bake energy balls. You can use protein powder in popsicles, too. It's a perfect breakfast when you're in a rush, because you, by definition, have to prepare it in advance; all you have to do is grab and go. Plus, it's served on a stick, which means that you can eat it while riding the subway or driving your car or filling in the crossword puzzle while you sit at the kitchen table.

And though it might seem like an unnecessary add-in, the protein powder does a couple things to enhance these protein-packed popsicle recipes. The powder helps create a thicker consistency for the smoothie, which makes for a creamier popsicle. Plus, most of the protein powders are flavored, so they add a little extra taste to your breakfast treat.

Perhaps the best part about these protein powder popsicle recipes is that they're endlessly customizable. Once you understand the basics of how to make them, you can add in whatever flavors, fruits, or even vegetables you want. So here are six tips on how to make the best breakfast protein popsicles—because who doesn't want to eat a popsicle for breakfast? Especially one that'll actually keep you feeling full all morning long.

Recreate a Classic

You are eating a popsicle for breakfast, so you might as well make it a classic popsicle. This recipe for a protein-packed popsicle mixes fresh orange juice with vanilla protein powder to give it that signature creamsicle taste.

Use Fresh Fruit

All you need for this popsicle recipe is three ingredients: Greek yogurt, protein powder, and fruit. Though this recipe calls for blackberries, really, any berries will do. You can also place full berries into the popsicle mold and then pour the smoothie over it before freezing to get a little more fruit in your mouth.

Drizzle on Chocolate

Just because these popsicles are healthy, doesn't mean they can't be drizzled with chocolate. For this dairy-free popsicle recipe, use a vegan or plant-based chocolate protein powder, coconut milk, and unsweetened chocolate.

Add Vegetables

If you've got bunches of kale or spinach in the fridge, throw it in the blender with some protein powder, almond milk (or dairy product of your choice), and coconut milk. Pour into a popsicle mold, and you've got a green breakfast popsicle.

Milk Is Optional

Most protein powders are whey-based, and a lot of these recipes call for milk. But the vegans or the lactose intolerant among us don't have to forgo the fun, because there are a bunch of plant-based protein powders out there in a variety of flavors, from peanut butter to matcha. You can also get creative in your non-dairy smoothies. This one combines chocolate, plant-based protein powder with ripe avocados to create a creamy, popsicle texture, rather than any dairy products.

Make It Caffeinated

Make your breakfast popsicle do double-duty by adding a cup of coffee into a standard chocolate protein shake, so you can caffeinate while you eat. If you really want to add some extra pep in your step, try pouring in cold brew instead of regularly brewed coffee.

By Maxine Builder and Maxine Builder