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  • Writer's pictureS. Lemon

Oh Snap! Healthy Protein Gingerbread Donuts!

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

'Tis the season for gingerbread! These high protein gingerbread donuts are sure to bring joy to your Christmas season. These healthy high protein gingerbread donuts taste like the real thing without all the calories and sugar of a traditional donut.

Who doesn't love a good donut recipe? And if you don't, who are you? Donuts make for a perfect treat for me. Why? Because they are a single serve food which makes it perfect for a quick treat. Either way, these high protein gingerbread donuts are freaking delicious and perfect for the holiday season!

Eat on the go without feeling sluggish after eating a few of these healthy gingerbread protein donuts. It amazes me that these donuts are so low in calories because they are a good size and seriously drool worthy. They have the most perfect moist cake-like texture with just the right amount of sweetness and spice.

What ingredients do I need to make these healthy high protein gingerbread donuts?

One of the best things about this recipe, is that you only need a few ingredients.

  1. Unsweetened Apple sauce: You could use sweetened, but you would want to reduce the amount of cinnamon on the recipe.

  2. Eggs: I prefer to use whole eggs. Most fitness recipes will use egg whites, but fat is flavor and for the few extra calories, it makes things taste better. And the egg yolk is loaded with healthy nutrients.

  3. Protein Powder: I would recommend finding a Whey/Casein blend. In my experience, they tend to cook the best.

  4. All purpose flour (or GF all purpose flour): You should be able to use all purpose four or GF flour to make this recipe.

  5. Monk Fruit: This will add the sweetness. You could also use Swerve.

  6. Baking Essentials: Spices and baking powder.

Why do I love these healthy high protein gingerbread donuts?

Because it's a donut! Do I even need to say any more? They are super easy to make with only a few ingredients and their flavor is off-the-hook. What is even better, you can have two or three of these and be full while getting 20-30g grams of protein. Ultimately, it's a great food that you can use as a treat or a quick breakfast, while helping you get in protein.

Are these protein gingerbread donuts weight loss friendly?

Abso-fricken-lutely! If you use a nutritional sweetener, like monk fruit, then these donuts are just over 100 calories, while packing in 9g of protein per donut. If you eat three of them, your meal will be just over 300 calories and 27g of protein! That nutrition profile is better than your typical Starbucks drink, which leaves you wanting more. Personally, I am relying heavily on recipes like this to help me lose weight and gain muscle.

Why is protein important for breakfast?

It is no secret in the fitness industry that protein is a critical component of your diet. As described by the National Library of Medicine, every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.

The saying goes, "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". And while that isn't technically true, having a filling breakfast will help you make better decisions throughout the rest of the day. If you look at studies, they consistently rate protein and fiber at the macronutrients that fill you up the most.

Can you store or meal prep with this recipe?

You can! All you need to do is double or tripe the ingredients to make a very large batch of donuts. Since this recipe makes between 8-10 donuts, depending on the size of your donut pan, you can easily make 16-24 of these and take a few each morning to start off your day strong.

Are there any substitutions for these healthy protein gingerbread donuts?

There are definitely things you can do. Some of them I have not tried, but it is always good to add your own little spin on the recipe:

  1. All-Purpose Flour: You can use a 1:1 gluten-free alternative if you want, but be careful about making other substitutions like oat flour. The cake-like texture comes from the flour, so something like an oat flour or almond flour might take that away.

  2. Sugar Substitute: I use sugar substitutes to save on calories, but if you are not concerned with calories or added sugar, you can simply swap it back in. Alternatively, you can make the donut with a sugar substitute and make the cinnamon sugar coating with real sugar. The latter is how my wife and kids love the recipe. It only adds another 15-30 calories per donut, so don't feel too guilty.

Doughnut types, Donut confuse them!

In general, there are two types of donuts: yeast and cake donuts. When you think of traditional donuts that are deep fried, these are yeast donuts. These are cut from dough. Donuts made from yeast are usually super light and airy. But this recipe is making cake donuts, which involves mixing batter and baking them in molds. I prefer cake. Typically, my sweets and treats have a more cake-like consistency, as do most of the sweets I make.

So instead of belaboring this, let's mold you to perfection!

Gingerbread Protein Donuts:

½ cup (126g) unsweetened apple sauce

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tbsp blackstrap molasses

2 scoops protein powder

¾ cup (92g) all purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

⅛ tsp ground cloves

⅛ tsp ground allspice

½ cup (60g) powdered confectioners sugar

1 tsp baking powder

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325°. Take out two bowls (1 medium and 1 large). In the medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients. In the large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add the wet bowl into the dry bowl and thoroughly mix. It will take a few minutes to fully mix. Add mix to donut containers. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Let the donuts cool down for 10 minutes.

Gingerbread Donuts Nutrition (8 servings):

Calories: 102

Protein: 8.7g

Fats: 1.6g

Carbs: 13.2g

Fiber: 0.8g

Net Carbs: 12.4g

* Does not include the calories of an icing.

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