You are reading Dunkin’ Caffeine Content Guide

Post was last updated at 2022-01-11.  

2022-01-11

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Dunkin’ recently underwent a bit of a rebrand, but their coffee is still one of the best.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite the coffee snob. Whenever I travel, I like to try as many of the local coffee spots I can.

And I’m “that guy” that only orders his coffee black to really enjoy all the nuances of the cup.

All of that being said, Dunkin’ is still some of the best (and most consistent) coffee around, especially when it comes to cold brew.

Whenever it’s time for a road trip, I always. make sure I’m accompanied by a nice big cup of Dunkin’ cold brew. Maybe it’s my East Coast bias (I grew up in New York), but I stand by it.

My hope is that someday coffee shops will post their caffeine content the same way many fast food chains now post up all of their calories. While I don’t concern myself too much with the caffeine content, I know that there are many people who simply can’t handle too much caffeine or simply want to limit it.

But since the caffeine content isn’t posted up for ya to see when you’re placing an order, here’s a guide to help you!

How much caffeine is in Dunkin’ coffee?

Dunkin' Coffee Caffeine Content

These caffeine amounts are all based on ordering a medium drink (except espresso, which is just a lil’ baby cup).

But remember, a medium drink is a completely different size for hot and cold beverages. Cold drinks are full of ice, so the cup is going to be much larger to fit both the beverage and the ice.

Generally speaking, you’ll get around the same amount of liquid, but a medium for hot drinks is 14oz, while a medium for cold drinks is 24oz.

Why medium? I don’t know about you, but I’m never ordering a small. It’s not quite enough! Medium is the safe bet here and more along the lines of a “regular” sized cup.

Life hack: If you prefer cold coffee like I do, order your drink with light ice to get even more bang for your buck. Or if you’re going straight home, get no ice and then add your own! That way you’re getting more of that sweet, sweet elixir.

When you order a Nitro Cold Brew, you’ll only be able to get it as a small instead of a medium. While that may feel like you’re getting ripped off, it’s because Nitro is served without ice. The nitrogen keeps is super cold and smooth, and you end up getting the same amount of liquid in a smaller cup since there is no ice getting in the way.

Dunkin’ doesn’t list the exact caffeine amount for Nitro, but I estimated that it’s the same amount of coffee as the cold brew, just in a smaller cup. Since there’s no ice, you’re roughly getting the same amount of coffee.

The iced coffee caffeine content is also listed as higher than cold brew, which may be surprising to you. In most cases, cold brew is stronger and has more caffeine than regular iced coffee, so what gives?

A Dunkin’ spokesperson has said that the cold brew they list is just an estimate because each batch depends on a variety of factors.

In all likelihood, you’re getting a bit more caffeine than listed.

 

How does Dunkin compare to Starbucks?

If you’re asking me personally, there’s no comparison- Dunkin’ is far superior.

But if you’re asking me how the caffeine content stacks up, I’ve got just the handy graphic for ya…

Caffeine Content Starbucks vs Dunkin

This isn’t the full menu, but it should cover most of the popular items between Dunkin’ and Starbucks! Here are a few notes for you to help even more…

1. The caffeine counts aren’t exact. There are lots of variables involved to determine the amount of caffeine, and each batch of coffee can end up being slightly different, so consider these close estimates. One day the coffee your order at Starbucks may just be stronger, having a bit more caffeine, so keep that in mind.

2. I checked each one number about 10 times based on the respective menus available online. Unfortunately, I can’t answer the questions like “why does Dunkin iced coffee have so much more caffeine than Starbucks?” I did my best with the information I could find online, but still couldn’t find all the answers. Rest assured, the caffeine contents are pulled directly from the Dunkin’ and Starbucks websites!

3. The cup sizes between Dunkin and Starbucks are also slightly different. For example, a Starbucks Tall is 12oz and a Grande is 16oz, while a Dunkin small is 10z with a medium being 14oz. The amounts are slightly different, but I stuck with the small/medium/large system for consistency. You’ll notice that the 2oz difference in drinks doesn’t really translate to more or less caffeine, though.

4. The Starbucks caffeine levels for some drinks (like a cappuccino) seem to be the same for Grande & Venti, whereas Dunkin caffeine increases. That leads me to believe that with Starbucks, you’re getting more of the other stuff in those drinks, and not more coffee. I checked in with someone who used to work at Starbucks and they confirmed that you indeed do not get more espresso when you order the large at Starbucks, so you might be better off sticking to the Grande in that case (especially if calories are a concern).

5. Starbucks does have different coffee roasts available as well: a blonde roast has slightly more caffeine, and a dark roast has slightly less.

15 Exercises To Do With A Leg Extension/Leg Curl Machine At Home

12-01-2022 · Exercise #2: Single Leg Extensions. Doing single leg exercises with this machine is fantastic because it allows you to keep the weight really light. In most cases, you’re going to cut the weight in half or even more than that, allowing you to get a great workout with very little weight

12-01-2022

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This post contains an affiliate code (MATTROSE5) for Valor Fitness. I am signed up as an affiliate because I truly love the product I am talking about here, but the machine was purchased with my own money  (prior to becoming an affiliate) and my thoughts are 100% unbiased.

I created a video for this post if you’d rather watch these demonstrations in my YouTube video:



Or, you can swipe through this Web Stories version.

Otherwise, let’s get into it!

When the pandemic forced me to start working out at home, I knew I needed to get creative with my limited amount of space. I bought myself the basics, like a squat rack, bench, etc, but one thing I really missed from my commercial gym was leg extensions.

I wasn’t sure if purchasing a leg extension machine would be a silly purchase, but I pulled the trigger on it, and I am SO glad that I did.

It turns out that if you’re a little bit creative, a seated / can become an incredibly versatile piece of equipment.

There are a bunch of different leg extension/leg curl machines you can purchase for your home workouts, but the one that I have specifically is the Valor Fitness CC-4 Leg Extension/Leg Curl Machine.

I can’t definitively say that it is the as it is the only one I have personally tried, but I absolutely love it.

If you want to buy this leg extension machine for yourself, or any other home gym equipment, you can use my code MATTROSE5 to save 5% on any Valor Fitness purchase.

A few things to note about this machine, and home-gym equipment in general:

  1. This isn’t a commercial-quality piece of equipment. It’s lighter, smaller, and it’s not built to take a lifetime of daily hardcore abuse. But for a , it’s a perfect solution.
  2. The weight is plate-loaded, meaning the resistance is going to feel slightly different. More on that in the next section.
  3. You’re not meant to use crazy amounts of weight with this leg extension machine. With home gym equipment in general, they’re not really made for you to load 10 plates onto. If you’re competing in a Strongman competition, I’d advise you invest in some heavy-duty equipment with a much greater .

How other home leg extension machines differ

If you have a different at home leg extension machine, some of the exercises I’m going to break down here will not be applicable to you.

Let’s take the Titan Leg Extension and Leg Curl Machine as an example.

Titan Leg Extension

Leg Extension/Curl Machine from Titan Fitness

This leg curl machine looks to be very well-built, but there is one major difference you’ll see here vs the machine I use.

Unlike the leg extension/leg curl machine from Valor, this machine from Titan does not have a removable thigh pad.

You can adjust the height setting on the thigh pad, but it is not removable, which will interfere with many of the exercises I describe here.

You can check out the leg curl machine from Titan here, and it may work great for your needs, but note that it’s not going to be as versatile as the machine I will be demonstrating with.

Tip to get the most out of your leg extension/leg curl machine

The biggest adjustment I found when using a plate-loaded leg extension machine is that the resistance feels very different.

When you are using a leg extension machine at a commercial gym, there is resistance throughout the entire movement.

In other words, you are lifting X amount of weight from the very first inch of the movement.

When the machine is plate-loaded, the first couple of inches are virtually resistance-free. You’re working against gravity, so in the beginning of the movement, the weight is basically just moving side to side before it begins to move against gravity.

You can load up a ton of weight onto the machine and swing your legs with basically no resistance at all!

This really bummed me out, because only feeling the resistance at the top of the movement felt like a total waste.

Luckily, I found a solution:

This applies to all of the exercises I’m going to show you, but it’s especially useful for leg extensions.

If you just go to set up normal leg extensions, the first half of the rep will feel incredibly light.

Here’s how to remedy this:

  1. Sit forward in the seat
  2. Bring your feet back under the seat as far as possible
  3. Adjust the starting position as far as you can, so the shin pan meets your legs
  4. Sit back into a comfortable starting position

When you do this, the weight plate is going to start higher up, and you’ll feel resistance throughout the entire movement!

Watch the video at the top of this post for a demonstration- this little tip will make this machine SO much more effective.

15 Different Exercises You Can Do With a Leg Extension / Leg Curl Machine

I’ve taken screenshots from the video demonstration to be able to visually break down the different exercises I am going to talk about here.

But if you want to see the exercises performed, make sure you check that video out!

Edit: Home gyms are all about creativity, and I’m always discovering new exercises to perform at home. I’ve since figured out a solid way to perform Lying Hamstring Curls, so I will add those as a bonus #16 to this list!

Exercise #1: Leg Extensions

Let’s start with the obvious: the .

This is one of the main exercises that this Valor Fitness cc-4 leg curl / extension machine is made for, and it’s the reason I purchased this machine.

When done correctly, the is a fantastic to build your quads.

My top tip for leg extensions:

  • Keep the light to focus on your form and the contraction of your muscle.
  • An exercise like leg extensions is meant to be an accessory/isolation exercise. In other words, it compliments your compound exercises like squats, lunges, etc.
  • Don’t feel like you need to load up the machine with a ton of weight. Keep it light, focus on proper form, and really feel it in your quads.

Exercise #2: Single Leg Extensions

Doing single leg exercises with this machine is fantastic because it allows you to keep the weight really light. In most cases, you’re going to cut the weight in half or even more than that, allowing you to get a great workout with very little weight

Keep one leg back and lift the weight with your other leg. Rather than alternating legs, simply do your set (10 reps for example) with one leg, then switch to the other.

The other benefit to doing single leg is that each leg will get to rest while the other is working, so you can be very efficient with your time.

Personally, I find that single-leg extensions are the best way to pump your quadriceps, and they’re a staple in my leg workout.

Exercise #3: Seated Leg Curls

The is the other main this machine is designed for, but personally, they are my least favorite to perform with it.

I have nothing against leg curls themselves- they are actually a great exercise for the hamstrings!

But with this machine specifically, setting it up is kind of a pain.

Remember the trick I showed you earlier about adjusting the to help the issue? With the , you can’t quite do that, because the kind of locks you into place like a seatbelt.

But once you do get set up properly, these can still be a very effective exercise!

What I like to do is sit down in the and lock the in. Then, while the is loaded onto the peg, I actually grab the and pull it towards me.

This brings the leg pad down, and I am then able to comfortably straighten my legs into the starting position.

Again, that may not translate well to text, so I hope the video helps break that down for ya!

Exercise #4: Single Leg Curls

Much like the leg extensions, you can do leg curls with single leg as well!

If you are larger, you may not find this one super comfortable. With these, the only option for keeping your one leg out of the way is adjusting your body so your leg is off to the side.

This actually works out just fine for me, but since the machine can be narrow for some people, you may prefer sticking with the standard seated leg curls.

Exercise #5: Standing Leg Curls

After leg extensions, standing leg curls are my other favorite exercise to perform with this machine.

You’ll only be able to do one leg at a time, but this is a fantastic hamstring exercise that I prefer to seated leg curls.

Face the machine, keep your knee on the seat, and curl the weight up behind you.

You will need to keep the weight very light for standing leg curls (trust me, it’s a tough exercise) but I feel the contraction in my hamstring muscle so much more than seated.

Exercise #6: Ab Crunches

Now we’re going to get creative.

If you adjust the machine so the pad is up at the top, you can actually do ab crunches that rival any crunch machines at your gym.

You’ll need to move up to sit on the edge of the seat with your feet firmly on the ground, but once you’re into position, you can perform ab crunches.

Depending on your height, you’ll need to adjust the pad and seat so the pad sits against your chest.

Once you get it adjusted, you’re gonna love these!

Exercise #7: Back Extensions

Back extension machine are fantastic, but they’re definitely a luxury item. It’s certainly not a necessity that I’d invest in for my home gym.

But, now I basically have one of those machines!

If you adjust the leg extension machine very similarly to the ab crunches we just broke down, all you have to do is sit backwards in the seat with your legs tucked beneath the back pad:

One problem I see far too often with people doing back extensions is that they hyperextend their backs waaayyyy too much.

If you ever performed back extensions on one of those roman chairs (where your upper body hangs off the machine and you lift your body against gravity) you may very well life your body up as much as possible.

This a big no-no.

You want to lift your body to the point where your back is straight- you don’t want to hyperextend your lower back or it’s going to get uncomfortable really quickly.

That’s why these back extensions are so great- when you push your weight back, you won’t be able to go past the point where your back is straight, making it a very effective exercise for the lower back.

Exercise #8: Hip Thrusts

Barbell hip thrusts are an amazing exercise to build the glutes & hamstrings, but they’re a real pain in the butt to set up.

Loading the bar, wiggling your way underneath the bar with a pad, then getting your back into a comfortable position on a bench… it’s pretty annoying.

Hip thrusts with the leg extension may not be quite as effective as barbell hip thrusts (I mean, we can only do so much weight here) but I absolutely love these.

The weight you use will be significantly lower than with barbell hip thrusts, but the movement itself is slightly different, so you cannot compare it directly to barbell hip thrusts.

With this machine specifically, I put a barbell pad behind me to make this comfortable. This machine has a slot for the thigh pad to slide into, and it’s made of hard plastic, so we want to keep that covered. Luckily, a barbell pad fits perfectly right over it!

If you find you can’t use enough weight to make these hip thrusts effective, allow me to introduce you to…

Exercise #9: Single Leg Hip Thrusts

When it doubt, go with single leg!

Doing single leg hip thrusts will absolutely torch your glutes.

And you don’t need much weight at all to make that happen!

Plus, keeping your one leg straight out in front of you will add the little bonus of some core stability work, too.

When it comes to leg workouts, I do these single leg hip thrusts quite often, and I highly recommend giving them a try.

Exercise #10: Single Leg Vertical Leg Press

For these next few exercises, we’re actually going to be performing them while we are off the machine completely.

In other words, we will be making zero contact with the seat.

Because of this, there are two very important things I need to say upfront:

  1. You do not want to do a lot of weight for these exercises, or you risk tipping it over. Remember, we’re not sitting on the machine, so there is nothing holding it down!
  2. Along those lines, put a plate (or something comparable) on the seat to weigh it down. We’re going to keep these exercises light, but we still want to make sure the machine has a little weight to it.

Put a pad or yoga mat on the ground in front of the machine, then adjust the pad so it’s above you.

With one leg at a time, press the weight up to do single leg presses.

For home workouts, I love doing vertical leg presses. Whenever you have the opportunity to work against gravity, it makes the movement more difficult, which means you’ll use less weight.

And when you’re at home with limited weights available, that’s a huge bonus!

A vertical pressing motion single leg = an effective workout without super heavy weight.

Exercise #11: Narrow Stance Vertical Leg Press

If you want to work both legs together, narrow stance leg presses are the way to go:

You want to keep your feet and knees together, then go through the normal leg press motion.

When it comes to legs (whether it’s leg press or squats), keeping your stance narrow will shift the focus onto your quads.

Narrow stance = quad focused, Wide stance = hamstring/glute focused.

Since this leg extension machine is on the smaller side, you really can’t go wide with both feet, so narrow stance leg presses become our friend!

I prefer performing vertical leg presses with my lever arms, but this is still a great option.

Exercise #12: Single Leg Seated Leg Press

If you find the vertical leg press to be uncomfortable, you also have the option to set a bench up in front of the leg extension machine to do normal seated leg presses instead:

For the seated leg press, I MUCH prefer single leg.

I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but I want to keep the weight light on this machine, and doing single leg allows for that.

With this exercise in particular, if you try to go very heavy, all that is going to happen is you’re going to push your bench backwards.

It’s just simple physics… not that I’m going to pretend that I know anything about physics, but I do know that if you try to push something super heavy with nothing holding you in place, you’re gonna go backwards.

Exercise #13: Narrow Stance Seated Leg Press

Just like the vertical leg press, we have the option to perform narrow stance seated leg presses as well.

Personally, I cannot do this exercise.

While I love keeping the weight light and the reps high, I simply cannot do enough weight for this exercise to make it effective for me.

If you’re too strong for these, stick with the vertical leg press to make it more challenging with lower weight.

Exercise #14: Seated Calf Raise

For seated calf raises, all you need to do is set up some kind of a block in front of the machine. I have a little block designed specifically for calf raises, but any kind of aerobic step, brick, or block, or rectangular-shaped object will work.

This exercise should be relatively self-explanatory, but I need to say one thing:

Do not bounce the weight.

I see far too many people performing seated calf raises as quickly as possible, just bouncing their feet up and down rapidly.

This is going to do absolutely nothing for your calves.

Lower your heels as far as possible, then lift them up as high as you can and squeeze your calves at the top. Then, slowly lower your heels back down.

Trust me, these will be way more effective you keep them slow and controlled.

Exercise #15: Glute Kickbacks

At 15, we have some glute kickbacks!

Note: I demonstrated these without shoes, but please wear shoes when you perform any of these exercises. Socks = zero traction.

For these glute kickbacks, I like to lay on a bench with my knees just off the edge.

This allows me to adjust my starting position so my knee is slightly below the bench, giving me a full range of motion that is very comfortable.

If you don’t have a bench, or don’t want to use one, you can perform these on the ground as well. Instead of laying flat, position yourself on your hands and knees and kick the weight back behind you.

Here is a great demonstration of that variation that I found!

Bonus Exercise #16: Lying Hamstring Curls

Since putting together this guide, I have figured out a solid way to perform lying hamstring curls with this leg extension machine, so I needed to add it to this list!

Lying hamstring curls are one of my favorite exercises of all time, so being able to perform them is a huge game-changer for me.

Lying hamstring curls at home

To perform this exercise, you will need to set up a bench in front of your machine.

Adjust the leg pad so it is all the way back (similar to when we did lower back extensions) and remove the back pad so your feet don’t hit it. Your feet should hang off the back of the machine.

I like to use a foam roller here to put under my hips to prop them up.

You can make this exercise work without a foam roller, but you’ll find that your butt raises up in the air as you curl your legs. The foam roller helps to keep proper form (think about a lying leg curl machine at the gym and how there is usually a curve to it).

Here is a visual to help you with the setup:

Setting up a lying leg curl at home

It may take some experimenting to get it just right, so feel free to change things up if needed!

You’ll likely find that the leg extension machine is slightly taller than your bench. If you have an adjustable bench as I do, all you need to do is set the bench seat at a slight incline so it meets the seat of the leg extension machine.

Then, when you perform the exercise, keep your knees on the seat of the leg extension machine. Your body will decline from there, like a regular lying hamstring curl machine, and should work very well!

Again, this one might take some playing around to get the positioning just right. But once you do, it will likely become one of your favorite exercises!

Is a leg extension machine worth it?

I’d say so!

Once I learned how to adjust the weight properly so the resistance felt consistent through the entire movement, the value of this machine skyrocketed.

I absolutely love this machine for leg extensions, but as you can see, it is so much more than that!

When space is limited at home, you want equipment that you can use for more than just a single exercise, and this leg extension machine certainly allows for just that.

There are plenty of similar machines out there that I’m sure are great, so definitely shop around to find one that suits you. Titan sells a comparable machine (you can find it here), but it is on the more expensive side and will not work quite as well for some of the exercises I’ve described here. But ultimately, it’s up to you and your needs.

makes a comparable machine to the machine as well, but I do not know much about the company to speak on the quality of the equipment.

No matter which leg extension or leg curl machine you use, I really hope this guide proves useful for you!

Pizza Dough Soft Pretzels - Cheat Day Design

11-01-2022 · In a large pot, combine 1/2 cup baking soda with roughly 6 cups of water and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat down to low. While the water is heating up, use a knife or pizza cutter to cut your dough ball into 4 pieces.

11-01-2022

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Pretzels are probably my favorite snack of all time. If I’m going out to eat and pretzels are on the menu as an option, you bet your butt I’m ordering them.

Whether it’s Auntie Anne’s, Bavarian, or boring ballpark pretzels, I’m eating them.

When I had leftover pizza dough from my pizza recipe, I needed to find something to do with it (I was pizza’d out, believe it or not).

So, why not take that dough and turn it into pretzels?

All the work was already done, and I had fresh baked pretzels in about 15 minutes.

You can use store-bought pizza dough or make your own! I highly recommend making your own, but if you want to whip up pretzels in just minutes without any extra work (it’s especially fun for the kids) then you can very easily buy some pre-made dough.

I’ll walk you through both ways!

Making your own pizza dough

My Neapolitan pizza crust recipe is my baby- it took a lot of trial and error, but I’m very pleased with the final result!

The “problem” with this recipe, if you can call it that, is that it works best if you have a pizza oven. Without a pizza oven, you don’t get quite the same result. I know this is what prevents a lot of people from trying it.

But, when it comes to pretzels, you don’t need a fancy oven! A regular oven (or even an air fryer) work beautifully.

The main ingredient

Pizza Flour: A lot of people haven’t heard of this, and that’s totally fine! Basically, pizza flour is super fine flour. and it almost feels like baby powder. If you want to make a great dough, I can’t recommend it enough. It is SO elastic, and it allows you to stretch the dough very, very easily. You can grab the one I bought off Amazon right here.

No pizza flour, no problem. While I don’t advise a different flour when it comes to pizza, it won’t be quite as big an issue with pretzels. A close alternative is bread flour, and that should work very well. Otherwise, you can use all-purpose flour, but the dough isn’t quite as easy to work with.

Outside of flour, the recipe only requires yeast, salt, and some sugar. The sugar is optional! In my original pizza recipe, I use some garlic powder and no sugar at all. I like my pretzels with a hint of sweetness, which is why I don’t mind throwing in a tiny bit of sugar, but it doesn’t make a huge difference in flavor and can be omitted completely.

How to knead the dough

Once you combine all of your ingredients together, you’ll want to knead the dough on a lightly floured surface.

I use the “fold and press” method (I have no idea if it’s called that, but that’s what we’re going with).

Continue doing this until the dough ball is nice and smooth. This should take 5-8 minutes in most cases. Trust me, you’ll notice a difference once it’s smooth, and the dough becomes pretty tough to knead, which is how you know it’s ready.

At this point, I like to separate the dough into 2 smaller balls since that makes it easier to work with.

Then you just need to rub the tops with olive oil, cover them with a damp towel, and let them rise for 1 hour.

Check out how much they rise in only an hour:

After an hour, they’re ready to go! Each dough ball here will turn into 4 pretzels.

You can refrigerate your dough for up to 2-3 days (or freeze it) to use later, too. If you do that, just be sure the dough sits out at room temperature for at least an hour before making your pretzels.

Using pre-made dough

Fun fact: at most pizzerias, you can purchase a dough ball. They don’t advertise it, but most places have no problem selling you one of the dough balls. I’ve done this countless times!

Otherwise, most grocery stores should have pizza dough (check the freezer section, too).

The only variable with the pre-made dough is that they won’t all be the same size. With my dough recipe, I know how many pretzels it’ll make. Another dough you buy may be larger!

Here is when math comes into play. Ugh, I know, but we’ll make it quick.

With my pizza recipe, each dough ball is 550 calories. I divided that dough into 4 pretzels, making each pretzel roughly 135 calories.

For me, that’s a great size!

If you get pizza dough from the store that is 800 calories and want to make the same sized pretzels as I made, that would mean about 6 pretzels.

That being said, maybe you want to make thicker or larger pretzels. In that case, divide it up however you want!

If you don’t know the nutritional facts of the pizza dough, you’ll just need to eyeball it. Break off a piece and form a pretzel- if it’s a good size, keep doing it that way. If not, adjust accordingly.

Just note that no matter what, you need to let the dough sit at room temperature for an hour before making the pretzels. If the dough is cold, it will be tough to work with!

Alternative to pizza dough?

That’s where the super simple 2-ingredient dough comes into play! Check out my recipe for 2 ingredient bagels, and use the instructions here for the baking soda bath & baking time to turn those into pretzels!

Come to think of it, pretzel bagels sound amazing…

Making the pretzels

This might feel like a lot of notes, but I promise this recipe is so simple. Here’s a visual to prove it to you:

  1. Add your dough to a lightly floured surface
  2. Cut into pieces (how many depends on the size of the pretzels you want)
  3. Roll out into a long rope
  4. Form a U shape
  5. Twist at the top (I do a double twist, but a single is more “traditional”
  6. Fold the top over the bottom of the U
  7. Drop the pretzels into a baking soda bath for 30 seconds
  8. Top with pretzel salt (or coarse sea salt) and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Serve with honey mustard or cheese and enjoy!

Final notes

I’d love to see you get creative with these! While I stuck with traditional pretzels, there are just so many flavors you can try.

Top with garlic & parmesan cheese, make them sweet with some cinnamon & sugar, try out cinnamon raisin, make pizza pretzels… it’s a blank canvas for you to get creative!

And if you love pretzels as much as I do, you’re going to want to check out these other pretzel recipes I have…

For Pizza Dough (makes 2 dough balls)

  • 300g Pizza Flour (Italian 00 Flour) - You can use bread flour or AP flour as well
  • 5g Instant Yeast (about 1 tsp) *may also be called rapid-rise or quick-rise
  • 5g Salt (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp Sugar or Sugar Substitute
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water 2 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil

For Baking Soda Bath

  • 6 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda

For Topping

  • Pretzel Salt / Coarse Sea Salt
  1. Prep the pizza dough (you can find the full instructions with photos in my pizza recipe here.) I'll summarize the dough directions here for you, too. If you already have dough, skip ahead to step 6.
  2. In a large bowl, combine your flour, yeast, salt, and sugar substitute. Mix together. Pour 3/4 cup warm water into the bowl, and use a silicone spatula to mix it all up until there is no powder left. Add another 2 tbsp warm water, then use your hands to incorporate everything. It's okay if the dough is a bit sticky!
  3. Generously flour a clean surface and add your dough. Add some flour to your hands to help with the stickiness as well. Knead your dough until it becomes nice and smooth- this should take 5-8 minutes. You can use a stand mixer with a dough attachment, but I like to just use my hands.
  4. Use your palm to press and roll the dough, fold it towards you, and repeat.
  5. Once smooth, separate the dough into 2 equal sized pieces. I used a food scale to find the total weight and divide that evenly by 2. Once you have 2 balls, roll them a few more times to smooth them out. Form a ball and put them on the counter with the smooth side up. (Note that you can keep them as one single dough ball, but I find it easier to work with when they are smaller)
  6. Take 1 teaspoon of olive oil (you don't need much) and rub the tops of each dough ball. Cover the dough with a damp towel for 1 hour to rise. Then it's ready to go!
  7. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F, and then make the baking soda bath. In a large pot, combine 1/2 cup baking soda with roughly 6 cups of water and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat down to low.
  8. While the water is heating up, use a knife or pizza cutter to cut your dough ball into 4 pieces. You can cut more or less depending on the size of the pretzels you want! Roll each piece out until about 20-24" long (that's how long mine were).
  9. Form the pretzels by creating a large "U" shape, twisting it at the top, and then folding it down over the bottom of the U.
  10. Using a spatula, carefully drop each pretzel into the baking soda bath for 30 seconds. Remove and add to a baking sheet. Repeat for all the pretzels.
  11. Sprinkle coarse salt over the pretzels, then bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Once removed from the oven, they are ready to go! To kick things up a notch, I melted one tablespoon of butter and brushed the tops right when they came out of the oven. This is optional, but nobody ever complained about a buttery pretzel.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 Pretzel
Amount Per Serving Calories 135Carbohydrates 28gFiber 1gProtein 5g

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Neapolitan Style Pizza Crust - Cheat Day Design

11-01-2022 · In a large bowl, combine your flour, yeast, salt, and garlic powder. Mix together. Pour 3/4 cup warm water into the bowl, and use a silicone spatula to mix it all up until there is no powder left. Add another 2 tbsp warm water, then use your hands to incorporate everything.

11-01-2022

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Welcome to the last pizza recipe you’ll ever need. All you need to make this dough is some flour, water, yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and you’ll have an amazingly airy and flavorful crust.

This isn’t necessarily a “healthy” pizza by the macro-friendly definition, as we’re not making any substitutions to make it super low calorie or high protein. But by only using quality ingredients, we’re going to make an absolutely delicious pizza that is still quite healthy by all other definitions!

If you want an authentic pizza recipe, look no further. If something lower calorie or lower carb is more your speed, there are plenty of other pizza recipes out there for ya!

What is Neapolitan Style Pizza?

A true Neapolitan pizza hails from Naples, Italy. It’s made with simple, fresh ingredients, has a charred, airy crust, and is cooked in a super hot oven in about one minute.

If you’ve never been to Italy, you’ve likely seen this style of pizza at a local “wood fired pizza” spot. The pizza is nice and thin, and the crust is super airy and delicious.

But here’s the thing: true Neapolitan pizza is an art form. There is actually an official certification in Italy to prove that restaurants are meeting the requirements. And true Neapolitan pizza takes days to sit and develop flavor before baking.

While we’re going to be making a Neapolitan style pizza, it’s not TRUE Neapolitan pizza. If any pizza officianatos are reading this, I want to make that very clear. This pizza will come out nice and airy, but isn’t quite authentic. We’re all about simple recipes here, so we’re simplifying the process a bit.

And before we go any further: yes, you can make a quality pizza in your home oven! A pizza oven will ALWAYS result in a superior pizza, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed if you use a regular oven. More on that soon.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza has dough sitting for days before baking. This helps activate the yeast, giving you that super airy crust, and develops a deeper flavor. I tried leaving my dough in the fridge for 2 days before baking, and I can confirm the dough does indeed get VERY airy.

However, when compared to the dough that I let sit for just one hour, I couldn’t taste much of a difference. Maybe I just don’t have a sophisticated enough pallette, but I found a 1-hour rise time to be plenty. If you do want to make dough ahead of time, just know that you can keep them covered in the fridge for 1-3 days!

Do I need fancy ingredients?

Here’s the thing, you don’t NEED special ingredients, but if you want to have a beautifully bubbly crust, you’re going to want to buy a specific type of flour.

Before I set out on my pizza making journey, I had absolutely no idea that pizza flour existed. If you’re new to the pizza game, I’m betting you weren’t aware of this, either.

Pizza flour, otherwise known as Italian 00 flour, is a super fine flour. The 00 refers to how finely ground the wheat is, and the flour feels almost like a baby powder. It has strong, elastic gluten and is higher in protein than most flours, which helps make the dough stretchy and easy to work with.

Where regular flour can lead to dough tearing easily, check out just how thin you can stretch dough made with pizza flour:

That may be thinner than you want it, but it surprisingly baked up well and doesn’t fall apart, even if it is that thin!

Truly, this flour makes a world of difference. Even if you’re going to be making pizza in a standard oven, I highly recommend you grab yourself some pizza flour.

If you want to use the same exact flour I used, you can pick up a bag on Amazon! This is the one I based the nutrition on, and all photos you see are using this specific brand. There was no reason in particular that I chose this specific brand, other than it popped up when I searched for pizza flour.

That being said, I’ve more recently learned about a different brand that I will be using going forward: Antimo Caputo, which comes directly from Naples. You can also get it right on Amazon, which I recently bought for myself.

While any 00 pizza flour will work great, Antimo Caputo brand actually has 2 different versions depending on what type of oven you are using. Traditional 00 flour is meant for pizza ovens that reach 700-900 degrees F, but they have a slightly different 00 flour that is specifically made for traditional ovens that only reach about 500 degrees F.

If you have a pizza oven, check out their pizzeria flour (for hotter ovens) here.

If you’re going to be using a standard home oven, check out their chef’s flour here.

Antimo Caputo flour is actually slightly less calories as well, so this entire recipe will be 500 calories instead of 550.

While I highly recommend getting quality pizza flour, this recipe can also be made with bread flour or regular AP flour. Bread flour will work slightly better (due to the gluten content), but I did test with AP and it still worked.

If you do use a regular flour, just note that you’re not going to be able to stretch the pizza out with your hands very well, because it’s not going to be very elastic. Instead, you’ll need to roll your dough out, and it won’t be nearly as airy.

Don’t you need sugar for your yeast?

A lot of pizza dough recipes will call for sugar to help the yeast, but not here. By using quality ingredients, you can get a great rise in your dough and have that airy crust without needing to use any sugar at all.

Plus, we don’t need to dissolve our yeast in water before working it all together. We’re just adding water directly to the flour & yeast and making the dough. This recipe calls for instant yeast (otherwise called rapid-rise or quick-rise) instead of active dry yeast, which requires dissolving in water first. Remember, we’re all about simple!

What tools do I need?

I’m going to recommend using a pizza oven here, but I know that not everybody has one. We grabbed one that is on the cheaper side (authentic pizza ovens can be thousands of dollars), and it has been life changing.

We have a Pizzacraft propane pizza oven, which basically looks like a little grill, and gets up to about 800 degrees F. It has made some amazing pizzas for us!

We got it off Amazon, which you can see here, but at the time of writing this is currently sold out. Keep your eyes peeled if it comes back in stock.

A great alternative I’ve also seen is a stovetop pizza oven. The same brand that made the pizza oven I use came out with a small oven you can put right on your stovetop. I haven’t used it, but it looks like it would work really well! Check that one out here (plus, it’s under 0).

If you’re going to use a traditional home oven, you must pick yourself up a pizza stone or pizza steel! Pizza ovens are great because they get insanely hot, so the bottom of the pizza crisps up and the top chars nicely. They’re absolutely essential for authentic Neapolitan pizzas- the hot temperature paired with the pizza flour is magical.

With standard ovens that don’t get as hot, it’s a slower cook and you don’t get the same crispy bottom or airy, charred crust.

With a pizza stone, you add it to the oven and preheat it to get the stone nice and hot (usually 30-60 minutes). That way, you can slide the pizza right onto the stone in the oven, and the bottom will crisp up really well! A pizza steel is the same concept, but it’s more like a baking sheet rather than a round stone.

The absolute worst pizza you can have is a soggy pizza, and a pizza stone will solve that problem. Cuisinart has a pizza stone that comes with a pizza peel (the thing that allows you to slide the pizza into the hot oven) and it’s very cheap.

I’ve never tried this brand (my oven came with its own stone), and while I recommend investing in a quality pizza stone, I don’t think this can hurt. I recommend getting a quality stone if you plan to make pizzas often, but it’s not a bad option to get you started!

If all else fails, you can use a baking sheet or cast iron pan as well. Simply flip them upside down in the oven so you have a flat surface and preheat the oven so they can get nice and hot. Typically, 30 minutes at the highest your oven goes will suffice.

You should be able to cook the pizza right on that to get a nice crispy crust on the bottom. I’d say a cast iron is your best bet if you don’t have a pizza stone (because those get HOT), but a baking sheet should somewhat get the job done.

The result if you use regular flour & a regular oven…

I used this same exact recipe with all purpose flour and in my standard oven as a test (and did it as a breakfast pizza, because why not) since I know many will ask!

I can confirm that it cooks up very nicely! It doesn’t get quite as airy and charred as in a super hot pizza oven, but it was still light and crispy.

I couldn’t stretch the dough the same way, so I mostly just used my hands to press the dough out into a circle rather than picking it up and trying to stretch it. Other than that, it worked pretty well. I won’t lie and say it’s as good as the real-deal (seriously, get yourself some pizza flour! You will never, ever regret it) but you can make this work if it’s all you’ve got!

If you’re working with minimal equipment or ingredients, don’t sweat it.

The Pizza Making Process

Let’s walk through the process really quickly so you can see a step by step on how easy this pizza is to make.

 

Step 1: Combine all your ingredients in a bowl

You’ll just need to combine everything until there are no dry ingredients left. It will be sticky, but that’s okay!

 

Step 2: Add your dough to a floured surface and knead it with your hands

The kneading of the dough is crucial- I did attempt a pizza without kneading, and while it still kind of worked, the pizza tasted way too dense. Kneading is what is going to make the crust light and airy.

Don’t be afraid to add additional flour if it’s extra sticky. Using pizza flour can be sticky sometimes. Even if you are generous with the flour, it’s not going to add a ton of extra calories, so I wouldn’t worry! From my experience, using too little water is way worse than using too much, because then the pizza is way too dense.

Use the method of folding your dough towards you, then using your palm to push down and away. Repeat this for 5-8 minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. Don’t be afraid to really get in there and work the dough- no need to be gentle with it!

Once it looks nice and smooth, it’s good to go.

Step 3: Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, then give them a couple more rolls to round them out.

Shape them into balls, then leave them on the counter a few inches apart (with the smooth side up), then rub the tops with olive oil and cover with a damp towel for one hour. Don’t worry about extra calories from olive oil here- I only used 1 teaspoon total for both of these dough balls, which is not much at all.

 

After 1 hour, they will have doubled in size and be nice and airy

Step 4: Preheat your oven

If you’re using a pizza oven, get it cranked up- they typically only take 10-15 minutes.

If you’re using a standard home oven, preheat your pizza stone for at least 30 minutes as hot as your oven goes (500-525 degrees F) to get it nice and hot.

In the standard oven, I put my rack the second to the highest, which is about 6 inches from the broiler. That way, you can bake your pizza until it’s almost done, then switch the broiler on to get a quick char!

Step 5: Form your pizza 

I plan to put together a video on exactly how to form your pizza, but in the meantime, King Arthur Flour has a great video for exactly the method I use:

  • Start by pressing your dough down in the center and working out towards the crust. This helps keep the air in the outer crust.
  • Pick your pizza up and use the steering wheel method, allowing gravity to pull the dough apart.
  • Use your knuckles to pull the pizza apart to the desired size.

If at any point your pizza is tough to stretch, put it down and let it rest for a minute before continuing.

You can form the pizza to be as thin or as thick as you want it. I like to make it nice and thin, but still make sure the outer crust is thick and airy. You can see the air bubbles in there!

My pizza ends up being 10-12″, roughly the size of my pizza peel. That equates to a medium(ish) pizza, which is more than plenty to satisfy my pizza addiction.

Note: if you’re using AP flour, you won’t be able to form the pizza the same way. In that case, you can just roll it out into a pizza shape.

Step 6: Add some semolina flour or cornmeal to your pizza peel to make it easy to slide the pizza off, then add your toppings.

The worst thing that can happen is topping your pizza, then having it stick to the pizza peel and fold over itself. I’ve been there, and it ruins your entire week. I use semolina to generously cover the pizza peel so the pizza will slide off easily, but cornmeal works great too.

Before you add your toppings, make sure the pizza dough slides around easily. If it doesn’t, add some more semolina until it moves around freely.

No pizza peel? You can use a baking sheet flipped upside down to be able to easily slide the pizza off.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza uses fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and doesn’t overdo it on the toppings (since the crust is the star) but you can top it however you want! Since this pizza is thin, just be careful to not go too heavy on the toppings.

As you can see by my photo, I didn’t go very heavy on the cheese. It melts well and ends up covering plenty of the pizza, I promise. This was 1.5 servings of cheese.

And a note on cheese: I wouldn’t worry about going “macro-friendly” here. Fat free or low fat cheese doesn’t melt nearly as well. Regular mozzarella melts significantly better, tastes better, and doesn’t add a crazy amount of extra calories.

Step 7: Bake your pizza

If you have a pizza oven, add your pizza and let it sit for about a minute, allowing it to poof up, then rotate it. The whole cooking process should only take a few minutes. Check out this poof, and why pizza ovens are so magical…

If you’re using a regular oven, as long as your pizza stone is preheated for at least 30 minutes, add your pizza and allow it took for about 7 minutes. If you’d like, you can flip the oven to broil (assuming your rack is close to the top) to get a quick char on the pizza before removing it.

Remove the pizza and enjoy!

I end up enjoying the whole pizza for myself! While this may not be your typical “healthy” pizza recipe, it’s certainly not unhealthy by any means. We’re only using quality ingredients, and this entire pizza you see here is:

690 Calories, 7.5g fat, 117g carbs, and 30g protein.

For an authentic pizza, I’ll take it!

If you’re looking for a healthier spin on pizza and don’t have any interest in picking up specialty ingredients, check out Mason Woodruff’s greek yogurt pizza. Before I dove into the world of pizza making, this pizza dough was a staple in my house. His skillet pizza is great, but the air fryer pizza was my go-to for quite a while.

Remember, the ingredients you use are important! If you’re really adamant about not buying pizza flour or a pizza stone, I can’t be held accountable for a subpar result. The ingredients, and/or a pizza stone & pizza peel, are worth the investments! Once you make this pizza once, you’re going to want to make it every single week.

And don’t be afraid to experiment! Meat, veggies, whatever you want! If you do make this pizza, share your results with me on Instagram!

  • 300g Pizza Flour (Italian 00 Flour)
  • 5g Instant Yeast (about 1 tsp) *may also be called rapid-rise or quick-rise
  • 5g Salt (about 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water 2 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • Semolina Flour or Cornmeal for dusting your pizza peel
  1. In a large bowl, combine your flour, yeast, salt, and garlic powder. Mix together.
  2. Pour 3/4 cup warm water into the bowl, and use a silicone spatula to mix it all up until there is no powder left. Add another 2 tbsp warm water, then use your hands to incorporate everything. It's okay if the dough is a bit sticky!
  3. Generously flour a clean surface and add your dough. Add some flour to your hands to help with the stickiness as well. Knead your dough until it becomes nice and smooth- this should take 5-8 minutes. You can use a stand mixer with a dough attachment, but I like to just use my hands.
  4. Use your palm to press and roll the dough, fold it towards you, and repeat.
  5. Once smooth, separate the dough into 2 equal sized pieces. I used a food scale to find the total weight and divide that evenly by 2. Once you have 2 balls, roll them a few more times to smooth them out. Form a ball and put them on the counter with the smooth side up.
  6. Take 1 teaspoon of olive oil (you don't need much) and rub the tops of each dough ball. Cover the dough with a damp towel for 1 hour to rise.
  7. After 1 hour, they should have doubled in size. Now it's time to form your pizzas! Lightly flour your surface, and press down the center of the dough ball working your way out towards the crust to keep the air bubbles in the crust. Once the center if flattened, pick the dough up and use the "steering wheel" method, letting gravity stretch the dough. Once stretched a bit, you should be able to use closed fists to pull the dough apart (carefully) to stretch it.
  8. I know that dough stretching directions are tough to follow. I plan to add a video walkthrough, but for now, King Arthur flour has a great video for this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcEIRm9nczk
  9. Dust a pizza peel with semolina flour (my preferred method) or cornmeal, add your pizza to it, then top it before baking! Refer to the notes above this recipe card for a full walkthrough on how to bake your pizza depending on what equipment you have.

With 1/4 cup tomato sauce and 1.5oz mozzarella, the entire pizza is 690 calories, 7.5g fat, 117g carbs, and 30g protein

Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1 Pizza Crust (No Toppings)
Amount Per Serving Calories 550Carbohydrates 110gFiber 5gProtein 20g

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Easy Protein Pancakes With Only 3 Ingredients

22-03-2022 · Set the batter aside and heat your pan or skillet over low-medium heat for a few minutes. Spray your pan with nonstick spray and use a spoon to add the batter to your pan. Each protein pancake should be roughly 2 large spoonfuls of batter, and you can fit 2-3 in your pan at one time depending on the size of your pan.

22-03-2022

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If you know me at all, then it’s no secret that I’m a huge waffle fan. So, it may seem very strange seeing me post a pancake recipe…

I need to set the record straight. I love ALL breakfast food.

Yes, waffles are my breakfast of choice. I believe they’re the most versatile and delicious of all the breakfast options out there.

But that being said, it would be crazy for me to say I don’t appreciate a stack of fluffy pancakes!

There’s just something about light, that make them an incredible .

We can love waffles and still make delicious pancakes because sometimes you just want a stack of pillowy protein pancakes.

We don’t need any insane ingredients to make this stack of pancakes, either. All we need are 3 very simple ingredients that you likely already have in the house!

 

You only need 3 ingredients to make protein pancakes

Many people request simple recipes from me, and these protein pancakes deliver in that department.

We only need three ingredients to make these protein pancakes.

Yes, three!

Many recipes out there require, , , or , cottage cheese, and the list goes on. We don’t need ANY of that here.

Here’s what you need to make protein pancakes:

  • Cake mix
  • Diet soda or seltzer
  • (or any flavor of your choice)

Really, that’s it!

You can use any cake mix you’d like to make these pancakes, too. I find Funfetti to be superior when it comes to cakes (maybe it’s just the nostalgia), so that’s always my choice when I’m in the mood for something fun.

If you want to go with classic pancakes, a regular yellow cake mix works unbelievably well for an authentic pancake flavor.

3-Ingredient Cake Mix Pancakes

Since cake mix already includes baking powder, it’s a nice little shortcut for us.

As far as the protein powder is concerned, we only need to use about one scoop here. Depending on the type of protein powder you use, 30g will be roughly one scoop of protein- I kicked it up to 40g of protein, so slightly more than a scoop, but anywhere from 30-40g of protein works just the same.

Note that I did try adding even more protein powder to these pancakes, but I found the final result to be very dry. 40g total (1 & 1/3 scoops) was the sweet spot I found for still having these taste like authentic pancakes.

It’s not a ton of protein overall, about 6g of protein per pancake, but the protein powder actually helps these protein pancakes become even fluffier.

I haven’t tested these with any other type of , but I would imagine that most types should work. The one I use for my (and pretty much all other recipes on my blog) is PEScience, which is a blend of & casein .

If you want to try it out, you can use my code “Matt” to save 15% on your order!

Whey protein should work just fine as well, considering the amount is pretty low. Whey protein powder tends to lead to dry results, but it should still work.

I try to test many recipes with various types of protein powder, and you can check out my Protein Powder Substitution Guide if you want to see all the differences.

I have no experience testing these with vegan protein, but if you try it, please let me know if it works!

Why do we use diet soda for these protein pancakes?

Cake mix diet soda is my favorite baking hack of all time. Most cake mix requires adding coconut oil/butter or eggs to make the cake.

My “hack” that I learned many years ago is swapping those out for diet soda! I couldn’t tell you why it works, but it works incredibly well.

When you use this hack to make cake (or cupcakes), look how fluffy they get!

Try this swap next time you’re making a cake or cupcakes, and I promise nobody would ever know the difference.

No matter what type of soda you use, you won’t taste the flavor. I’ve used plain seltzer, lime, peach, and others, and you can’t taste them in the slightest! The flavor cooks right out.

I’ve tested this numerous times and always have fantastic results. Check out my Protein Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes, Protein Churro Bites, or Microwave Mug Crumb Cake to see this same diet soda hack in action.

How to make 3-ingredient protein pancakes

These pancakes really couldn’t be easier, but let’s walk through it so I can give ya a few tips.

First, mix your 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Be sure to gently mix everything up until there is no dry powder left, but don’t overmix. If you beat the batter too much, you will flatten the carbonation, and that’s how we’re getting a rise out of these protein pancakes.

The batter you’re left with should be thick, but easily pourable (or spoonable, in this case).

Once the protein pancake batter is ready to go, heat a pan or skillet over low-medium heat for a few minutes.

Spray the pan with cooking spray, then use a spoon to add the batter to the pan. Each pancake was 2 spoonfuls for me, and I am able to consistently fit 2 or 3 pancakes in the pan at a time.

Let the protein pancakes cook for about 1.5 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready to be flipped when the edges thicken and you can effortlessly slide a spatula underneath.

Flip and pancake and cook for another 1.5 minutes.

Remove from the pan and repeat for as many batches as you are making! This recipe will make about 6 protein pancakes, so it should take 2-3 batches.

Keep in mind that the pan will continue to heat up, so if you are making multiple batches, it may get too hot.

Low-medium heat is the perfect heat to crisp the edges of these pancakes while keeping them light and fluffy inside. If you find the pan getting too hot, remove it from the flame for a few minutes to allow it to cool down slightly.

When I initially tested over medium-high heat, it was too much:

I much prefer playing it safe and keeping the heat low. If the pan is too hot, the pancakes will brown and burn without a chance to fully fluff up.

But if you keep the heat low, you’ll achieve beautifully fluffy protein pancakes.

Serve ’em up with (I use a -free version, but any works great) and dive right in!

How to customize Cake Mix Protein Pancakes

If you want to change up the flavor of your protein pancakes, you can use any cake mix you want! Funfetti is one of my go-to’s, and nothing says weekend brunch quite like a stack of pancakes filled with sprinkles.

Stack of funfetti pancakes

If funfetti isn’t your cup of tea, here are some ideas of ways to switch it up:

  • Top with banana to make a delicious .
  • Use a chocolate cake mix and chocolate to make rich chocolate pancakes. Bonus points: add .
  • Speaking of – you can use a yellow cake mix and add to make delicious chocolate chip pancakes.
  • Use a plain cake mix, and add (or use ) then top with icing to make roll pancakes. You can make a very simple icing with powdered like I used for these Roll Cookies .
  • Use a chocolate cake mix with a flavored , then top with melted (or another ) to make Reese’s pancakes!

The list goes on and on. If you get creative with your own cake mix pancakes, please share them with me on Instagram! I always love seeing your creativity.

Can you use this recipe to make protein waffles?

I knew I’d receive this question, and as a lover of waffles, I needed to give it a try!

Turns out, the answer is a big YES.

Cake Mix Protein Waffles

The waffles gets super crispy on the outside, and stays soft and cake-like on the inside.

To make 3-ingredient protein waffles: follow the recipe as-is, but use exactly 1/2 cup of seltzer/diet soda (slightly less than the recipe calls for).

For waffles, we want a slightly thicker batter than pancakes! The recipe will make 2 Belgian waffles, each being roughly 300 calories and 15g of protein.

Update: I ended up using this recipe to create Crispy Churro Waffles, so be sure to check that recipe out as well!

Stack of churro waffles

More recipes for breakfast lovers

Breakfast food is my favorite food, which is evident by the large selection of breakfast recipes I have here on my blog.

While I’ll never be able to choose my favorites, here are some delicious protein-packed breakfast recipes to check out:

  1. Add your cake mix and protein powder to a large bowl and give it a quick mix to fully combine them.
  2. Add the diet soda while lightly mixing the batter. Mine needed exactly 2/3 cup, but the exact amount will depend on the absorbency of your cake mix and protein powder. We want a somewhat thick, but still pourable batter. Do not overmix as we do not want to flatten the carbonation.
  3. Set the batter aside and heat your pan or skillet over low-medium heat for a few minutes.
  4. Spray your pan with nonstick spray and use a spoon to add the batter to your pan. Each protein pancake should be roughly 2 large spoonfuls of batter, and you can fit 2-3 in your pan at one time depending on the size of your pan.
  5. Let cook for about 1.5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-1.5 minutes on the other side. Adjust the cook time based on how light or dark you like your pancakes!
  6. Remove the protein pancakes from the pan and repeat until all your batter is used.
  7. Top with maple syrup and enjoy!
  • If you're making multiple batches, your pan is going to continue to get hotter. If doing any more than 2 batches, I recommend removing the pan from the flame for a couple of minutes to allow it to cool slightly before your final batch.
  • 1.5 minutes was the perfect time for my pancakes, but you'll need to adjust based on your preferences. You'll know the pancakes are ready to flip when you can easily slide a spatula underneath them. If you prematurely flip the pancake, you can always flip it back over to finish that side.
  • I haven't experimented with different types of protein powder, but I would guess that any type of powder should work here. The one I use is a blend of whey/casein, but whey protein alone would work, and a vegan powder SHOULD also work. I would lower the protein powder amount to just a single scoop (about 30g) to be safe.
  • If you want to make this pancakes recipe for meal prep, you can store the protein pancakes in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later in the week.
  • The nutritional information will vary based on the type of cake mix you use, so be sure to calculate your own.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Servings Serving Size 1 Pancake
Amount Per Serving Calories 105Total Fat 1gCarbohydrates 18gProtein 6.5g

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How To Make Decaf Cold Brew (And Why You Should)

19-04-2022 · Instructions. Grind 10 ounces of decaf coffee beans into coarse ground coffee, or measure out your pre-ground decaf coffee. Add 10 ounces (about 284g) of coarse ground coffee to your brewing container (or pitcher). Slowly pour 40 ounces (5 cups) of cold water over the top of the coffee grounds.

19-04-2022

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is my favorite drink on the planet. I will take a glass of over ANY day of the week.

Because I love so much, I find myself wanting to drink multiple glasses a day. However, I definitely don’t need all that in my system.

Enter: .

Cold brew in mason jar

When I did a search for , a shockingly low amount of results came back.

I thought that maybe there was a reason nobody is making . Maybe make a terrible batch of .

So, I decided to give it a try.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t taste any different from ! I have no idea why so few people are making their own , but I’m here to show you how easy (and amazing) it is.

What’s so special about , anyway?

Years ago, when become very popular, I thought it was just a fad.

I mean, it’s just … right?

Wrong!

and are not the same drink. I have a full blog post breaking down the differences between and that you can read here, but I’ll summarize the main differences here.

Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee

To simplify: is any that is served over ice. If you in a pot, pour-over, or French press, then serve it over ice, it’s considered .

, on the other hand, never uses any hot . is made by steeping grounds in for 12-24 hours.

The result is that is incredibly rich & smooth with virtually no acidity at all. If you experience acid reflux from , will eliminate that completely!

has a smoother taste than , and I absolutely love it.

How much is in a typical ?

It’s no secret that is a highly , but just how much is in a single cup?

The exact amount of in will vary based on the exact method and type of beans used, but let’s look at Dunkin’ & Starbucks to compare the .

Starbucks Cold Brew

Tall (12oz): 155mg

Grande (16oz): 205mg

Venti (24oz): 310mg

Dunkin’ Cold Brew

Small (10oz): 174mg

Medium (14oz): 260mg

Large (20oz): 347mg

For comparison purposes, a typical 8oz cup of hot coffee typically contains 70-140mg of caffeine, according to Healthline.

If we estimate around 100mg of caffeine for the average 8oz cup of coffee, that means that every ounce of coffee contains about 12mg of caffeine.

When it comes to cold brew, based on Dunkin’ & Starbucks, each ounce of cold brew coffee contains 13-17mg of caffeine, making it slightly more caffeinated than the average cup of hot coffee.

It’s worth noting, however, that cold brew is most often made as a cold brew concentrate. With a cold brew concentrate, it is highly caffeinated as it is designed to be diluted with water or milk to your preferences.

So, in that sense, cold brew contains much more caffeine than regular coffee, but it is meant to be diluted, which will bring that caffeine content down!

Why make decaf cold brew?

You now know what cold brew is all about. So, why should you make your own decaf cold brew?

Glass of decaf cold brew

If you’re anything like me, you love coffee. I love starting my morning with a cold glass of cold brew coffee (or two), but by the time noon rolls around, I’m ready for more.

Some days I just need the extra caffeine boost, which is just fine. But more often than not, I just want the taste of delicious coffee.

Once I started brewing decaf cold brew, it allowed me to drink more cold brews without constantly pumping my body full of caffeine all day long!

Now, I start every day with a regular cold brew coffee, then enjoy a decaf version in the afternoon.

Here are some other reasons you might want to make decaf cold brew:

  1. You’re pregnant or nursing and trying to keep your caffeine consumption to a minimum.
  2. You don’t tolerate caffeine well.
  3. You’re trying to cut back on caffeine, so you start drinking half-caff cold brew.
  4. It’s late in the day and coffee sounds great, but you know the caffeine will keep you awake.
  5. You just want some decaf cold brew!

There are many other reasons why you might want to make your own decaf coffee, and we don’t judge around here. All coffee is welcome!

How to make your own decaf cold brew at home

Making cold brew at home is surprisingly easy. In fact, all you need to do is let coffee soak in water, then strain it out.

And although the process is very simple, it’s important to use the right materials and tools for the best result.

That, of course, starts with choosing the right coffee.

Decaf coffee beans

When I make my own decaf cold brew, I always start with decaf dark roast whole beans. Specifically, I love this French toast from Trader Joe’s.

Cold brewing brings out the natural sweetness of coffee, so a dark roast will lead to the deepest flavor. A light or medium roast will work just fine, but if you truly want the best flavor, dark roast is the way to go.

If you only have pre-ground decaf coffee, feel free to use it for your decaf cold brew.

Decaf coffee grounds

While this ground coffee will work just fine, for the best result, you want to use coarse ground coffee, which is why I always recommend grinding your own.

I use the OXO Burr Grinder, which has 15 different size settings for you to choose the perfect coarseness.

Here’s a quick visual breakdown of how the different coffee grinds look:

Different types of coffee grinds

Any coffee grounds will work for cold brew, but you’ll notice a much better end-product if you use coarse coffee.

When it comes to brewing your decaf cold brew, I use this OXO Cold Brew Maker. I wasn’t sure if buying a dedicated cold brew maker would be worth it, but it’s one of the better purchases I’ve made.

OXO cold brew maker

Having a specific system like this is not necessary, but I definitely recommend it to make your life very easy.

This is basically just a container to hold the coffee grounds and water, which then strains out into the small carafe. You can follow a very similar process with a pitcher and strainer, which I demonstrate in my How To Make Cold Brew Concentrate guide.

Brewing cold brew with cold brew maker

To make the decaf cold brew, you simply need to add 10 ounces of ground coffee to the container, then pour 5 cups (40 ounces) of water over the top.

Let the coffee steep at room temperature for 12-24 hours, but I find the best results to be right at the 16-hour mark.

Strain the coffee out, and you’re left with a perfect decaf concentrate!

Diluted cold brew

To serve this decaf concentrate, my preference is to use a 1:2 coffee to water ratio. In other words, add 2 ounces of cold brew to a glass, then add 4 ounces of water.

If that tastes too strong to you, you can use a 1:3 coffee to water ratio, which will be 2 ounces of cold brew and 6 ounces of water or milk. Feel free to experiment until you find the perfect taste for you!

The OXO Cold Brew Maker has a lid that doubles as a 2-ounce measuring cup, which is just another reason why I love it so much.

Enough talking. Go make yourself some delicious decaf coffee!

  • Decaf Coffee Beans (or ground decaf coffee)
  • Cold Water
  1. Grind 10 ounces of decaf coffee beans into coarse ground coffee, or measure out your pre-ground decaf coffee.
  2. Add 10 ounces (about 284g) of coarse ground coffee to your brewing container (or pitcher).
  3. Slowly pour 40 ounces (5 cups) of cold water over the top of the coffee grounds.
  4. If the coffee grounds don’t seem to all be wet, you can take a spatula and mix up the container to make sure all of the coffee grounds are steeping. 
  5. Let the cold brew steep at room temperature for 12-24, but I recommend 16 hours for the perfect length of time.
  6. If using the OXO cold brew maker, place the carafe underneath and flip the switch to drain the coffee concentrate out. If you are not using a cold brew maker, pour your coffee through a mesh strainer to separate the liquid. Then run the liquid through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any "sludge" that may be left behind.
  7. Store your decaf cold brew concentrate in the fridge in a sealed container (either in your carafe, a mason jar, or bottle).
  8. You should get about 3 cups of cold brew concentrate out of this, which will yield 12-14 cold brew drinks!
  9. When ready to serve, use a 1:2 or 1:3 coffee to water/milk ratio. In other words, pour 2 ounces of cold brew concentrate into a glass, then add 4-6 ounces of water or milk depending on your taste preferences.

This concentrate is made with a 1:4 coffee to water ratio (10 ounces of coffee 40 ounces of water). If you want to make ready-to-drink decaf cold brew, use a 1:8 ratio (5 ounces of coffee to 40 ounces of water).

A longer steep time doesn't lead to more caffeine. Most of the caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans in the first few hours, so a longer steep time simply results in a stronger flavor (but sometimes that means an over-extracted flavor if it sits too long).

Hot tip (pun intended): You can heat up cold brew and drink it hot! While it may sound counter-intuitive, it will yield an incredibly smooth hot cup of coffee because the cold brewing method removes all of the acidity from the coffee.

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How To Make Juicy Chicken Cutlets In The Air Fryer

28-03-2022 · Preheat your air fryer at 380 degrees F for a few minutes while you coat the chicken. You can get away without preheating the air fryer, but it really helps to achieve a juicy result. Add your breadcrumbs to a wide bowl, and whisk up the 2 eggs in a separate wide bowl.

28-03-2022

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The has been my secret weapon for a ton of recent recipes. The reason I love so much is two reasons:

1) The produces really results, like Churro Waffles or Crunchy Bagel Chips.

2) in the retains a ton of moisture in food, especially .

Plate of air fried chicken cutlets

That’s why for this , we’re whipping up a batch of delicious in the !

These are incredibly juicy and require just minutes to prepare.

What are ?

are simply thin, flattened-out breasts. I grew up in New York, and I used to call any piece of a .

Now, living in the Midwest, I don’t hear the term used nearly as much, but that’s not stopping me from making them!

To make these , we’re going to take regular breasts, slice them up thin, and coat them in before to perfection.

Closeup of chicken cutlet

These are perfect for sandwiches, pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, or served over rice or salad. Or, you can get creative and serve these any other way you see fit!

How to make

To make in the , we’re going to start out with regular .

I didn’t weigh the breasts, but I estimate that each was between 8-10oz in size.

Two large breasts will yield 4 since we are going to be slicing each down the middle.

First, trim the fat off each , then slice each across the center. My cuts are never perfect, so don’t stress if the is uneven when you slice it.

Once sliced, lay a piece of over the and use a meat tenderizer to flatten each out into a . Flattening the will help each cook evenly in the .

Prepping chicken cutlets

Once flattened, it’s time to make the .

To keep this simple, I used Italian-style , which are pre-seasoned you can find at any grocery store. If you only have plain , you can easily season them up yourself! Here is a I found to make your own.

Add the to one bowl, and whisk up 2 eggs in a separate bowl. I added a small amount of hot sauce in with my eggs, but that part is totally optional.

Chicken cutlet breading

Pat the dry with a paper towel, then add to your .

Dip the into the eggs, allowing any excess egg to run off before fully coating in the once more.

Chicken cutlets in egg mixture

Lightly spray your preheated with nonstick , then add 2 of your . Note that the amount of cutlets you can cook at one time will be dependent on the size of your , but I was able to fit 2 at a time.

Chicken cutlets in the air fryer

Spray the top of the with nonstick to moisten the breading, then at 380 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.

The exact time will vary based on the size of your , but 10 minutes ended up being the perfect time for me!

Juicy air fryer chicken cutlet

Continue until all of the has been cooked, which was 2 batches for me, then serve and enjoy!

I served this over rice, but you can serve this alongside any other side dish you’d like!

Other ways to prepare

Chicken cutlet over rice

I love this , and the are an incredibly versatile that can be paired with a wide variety of sides.

But if you’re in the mood for something a little different, I have a few other recipes for you to dig your teeth into.

If you’re a fan of and waffles, I highly recommend giving my Maple Waffle Popcorn a shot. This is the perfect combination of sweet and savory that makes a great appetizer!

Or, you can go with my personal favorite: The Sandwich.

This sandwich is not only one of my favorites, but is one of the readers’ favorites, too. The and shredded combine to create the most unreal crunch to this . If you love , you need to try this .

And last but not least, I also have a Meatless Sandwich. That’s right: if you follow a plant-based or vegan diet, you can still enjoy a delicious fried “” sandwich!

  • 2 Large Chicken Breasts (8-10oz in size)
  • 1 Cup (112g) Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • Optional: Hot Sauce
  1. If needed, trim the fat off of your boneless skinless chicken breasts.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breasts by slicing them in half across the center, giving you 4 thinner chicken breasts.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap, then use a meat tenderizer to flatten the chicken breasts into chicken cutlets. You want the chicken to be as uniform as possible so it cooks evenly.
  4. Preheat your air fryer at 380 degrees F for a few minutes while you coat the chicken. You can get away without preheating the air fryer, but it really helps to achieve a juicy result.
  5. Add your breadcrumbs to a wide bowl, and whisk up the 2 eggs in a separate wide bowl. I added some hot sauce in with my eggs for extra flavor, but that is optional.
  6. Pat the chicken cutlets with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture, then dip into the breadcrumbs to fully coat. Add to the eggs, allowing any excess egg to run off, then add back into the breadcrumbs.
  7. Spray your air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray and add your chicken cutlet. Continue for all 4 chicken cutlets. Note that I could only fit 2 chicken cutlets in my air fryer basket, so I made 2 batches, but I prepped all of the cutlets at once.
  8. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken cutlets with your cooking spray to wet the breadcrumbs, then air fry at 380 degrees for 10 minutes.
  9. Flip the chicken cutlets halfway through, spraying the tops once more with cooking spray before allowing them to finish cooking for the final 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from the air fryer and let the chicken cutlets cool for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!

If you only have plain breadcrumbs, you can season it up to create your own Italian-style breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning to your breadcrumbs and you should be good!

Depending on how thick your chicken cutlets are, the cook time in the air fryer may vary slightly. For mine, 10 minutes was the perfect amount of time, but you can cut into one of your chicken cutlets to be sure it is fully cooked through.

If you wanted to save some calories, you can skip the initial breadcrumb dip and add your chicken cutlets directly into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs. However, the difference will be very minimal, and skipping that step will make it harder for the breading to stay adhered to the chicken breast.

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  • Air Fryer

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Chicken Cutlet
Amount Per Serving Calories 255Total Fat 7gCarbohydrates 19gProtein 29g

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