The Hippo


Jul 16, 2019








Windham resident Derek Howes is known as The Protein Chef online. Courtesy photo.

Live Free or Pumpkin Pie Protein Cupcakes

From Derek Howes, The Protein Chef
1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
¼ cup (2 ounces) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk/other milk substitute)
6 tablespoons coconut flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
4½ tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
5.3 ounces pumpkin Greek yogurt (or vanilla/plain)
⅓ cup sweetener
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
Combine all ingredients (except graham cracker crumbs) into a food processor or blender. Process everything together. Take out 12 silicone cups or a cupcake pan and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly distribute mix into silicone cups or pan. Top cupcakes with the 3 tablespoons (18g) graham cracker crumbs that was left aside. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Tips: Top them with some Greek yogurt (whatever flavor you want). 
Nutritional info per cupcake:
Calories: 83
Fat: 2.1g
Saturated Fat: .9g
Sodium: 71.7mg
Carbs: 8.7g
Fiber: 2.2g
Sugar: 4g
Protein: 7.2g

YouTube cooking
Protein Chef keeps his recipes simple and healthy


 On YouTube (and Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.), Derek Howes is known as The Protein Chef. The Windham resident started with the occasional post on his food blog, and today, he’s a legit YouTube personality, posting two recipe videos each week and having over 76,000 YouTube subscribers.

“Originally, I’ve always been into web development and design. To make a long story short, I got into fitness and personal training on the side,” Howes said. “The one thing I came to the conclusion of, it wasn’t the working out aspect that people had trouble with but the dieting.”
Howes doesn’t even like the word “diet,” he said. To help his clients (and now, thousands of followers online), he finds easy and quick ways to introduce protein into a dish. That includes creative shakes, baked goods, oatmeals and savory recipes, like nontraditional meatballs.
“It’s not about eating high protein, it’s about eating everything in moderation. Protein is the hardest thing to get in,” he said.
For Howes, a fitness and personal training background and a passion for cooking go together. He said he loves watching the Food Network at the gym, and he also has a cookbook coming out around the holidays.
Howes took a few minutes to answer some questions over the phone about cooking and baking with protein, and what it’s like to be an online personality.
You have quite a following on YouTube. What’s it like being a YouTube personality?
It’s fun. If you read the comments on a lot of the videos from people on YouTube, there are a lot of negative comments, but I don’t get those. I have a certain demographic. ... I get a lot of emails from people saying I’ve helped them, and that’s always rewarding.
What do people seem to like most about The Protein Chef?
I think people seem to like that everything is pretty quick, it’s cheap because I made a lot of these recipes when I was in college. … I’d say cheap, quick, and I simplify everything. It’s not like a huge process to make any of my recipes. 
What’s one of the most popular recipes you’ve done?
Definitely the three off the top of my head, my protein cheesecake, my homemade protein bars, and then my microwave protein cake. I have a lot of different variations on those, like right now I have a pumpkin cheesecake that’s popular this time of the year.
What’s one of your favorite fall-inspired recipes?
The pumpkin cheesecake. I’m going to be putting up a microwave pumpkin cake which is pretty quick, and that’s fun. My pumpkin brownies, that’s pretty good. I’m a huge fan of pumpkin. I eat it year round, but now it’s more of an excuse to eat it.
Do you have a favorite go-to ingredient? 
It’s probably pumpkin. And protein powder, obviously.
How do you keep coming up with fresh new recipes?
Now, I get a lot of suggestions from people to do recipes. Just over the years ever since I was 18, I just jotted down things, whether it’s my mom’s recipe or at a restaurant inspired by things. … Like at Chili’s, they have a skillet cookie, so it’s like, why can’t I make a protein cookie like this?
How does your role as a personal fitness trainer lend to your role as a chef?
There’s this huge thing now called IIFYM — “If It Fits Your Macros” — basically if you’re meeting your macros, which would be your fats, carbs and proteins. … My recipes help you incorporate a healthy lifestyle. If you’re trying to lose weight, it has to be within your macros. 
As seen in the October 23, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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