Protein boba pearls are tapioca pearls that are made with protein. They are good for building muscle, as they are packed with amino acids. This article will go over how these healthy boba pearls are made, along with some health facts. Depending on the protein used in them, they can come with other things, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats are extremely healthy for the body.
Tapioca pearls do not contain any protein, so they are not high in protein. However protein/amino acids can be added to them to make them great for workouts and building muscle. They already have a large amount of carbohydrates for the energy, they just need the protein. Adding protein powder to the tapioca starch can turn them into high energy muscle building tapioca pearls.
The benefits to adding protein to boba pearls, instead of directly into the bubble tea drink, is that it won’t significantly change the taste or the texture of the milk tea/bubble tea. It can be enjoyed without thickening the bubble tea with more powder, since the protein is in the boba.
It also means that the protein tapioca pearls can be placed in other drinks and snacks too for some added protein and health benefits.
Boba pearls have been unfairly criticized by some individuals as dangerous black pearls that “provide few health benefits”. Most of the time, these same people haven’t even tried them or no little about them. Either way, this will add yet another benefit to the tapioca pearls with some added protein powder.
How do you make boba tea with protein?
To make boba with protein, add in some protein powder into the tapioca pearls when making them from scratch. This will show you how to do it, and the equipment that you will need.
Equipment needed to make boba with protein:
- A non-stick pan.
- A heat resistant spatula.
Ingredients for making boba with protein:
- Tapioca starch/flour or cassava flour.
- I used Otto’s cassava flour for this one, but if you can get your hands on tapioca starch or have it, it will work too.
- Brown sugar.
- The brown sugar is really used as food additive to darken the protein tapioca pearls. It isn’t required to make the actual boba from scratch. Go with this if you want the boba to come out black or darker colored like traditional tapioca black pearls.
- Unflavored protein powder.
- I use the Naked Whey or the Garden of Life’s raw unflavored organic protein. For this one, I am using the organic protein for more health benefits.
Instructions for making boba with protein from scratch:
These instructions will give a good generalized way of how it is made from scratch with pictures. The reason for this is that some individuals may want to use more or less dough for making the protein tapioca balls. With these general instructions, any amount of dough can be made.
1. Put a small portion of water in a non-stick pan with brown sugar.
Start with a small portion of water. It will be used to make our starting dough. Use only a small portion for the bigger dough size that you want later. You don’t want to start of trying to make the entire dough all at once.
I used a small portion of brown sugar for mine, but you can use more to add more sweetness and color to the tapioca pearls for later. The brown sugar will determine how dark the pearls will be. It is ok to use other sugars too instead of brown sugar.
2. Mix it together.
Mix the sugar and water together (Skip this step of course if you aren’t using any sugar.). Tapioca dough can be made from scratch without sugar too.
3. Heat the pan on the stove to low-medium heat.
You don’t want the temperature too high, else the dough will cook too fast. It needs to be on low to medium. A lower temperature will allow the tapioca dough to form properly.
4. Add in a fifth of protein powder to the mix.
A fifth or less is fine for the starting mix. You don’t want to add too much, or it might affect the mixing of the dough later and the cooking of the boba pearls. I found that adding a fifth or less to the proportion of the mix gave the boba some protein without altering the texture. Adding too much will make the tapioca pearls possibly uncookable.
5. Mix in the protein powder.
Mix the protein powder completely into the mixture.
6. Add in tapioca starch or cassava flour equal to a third to half of the mixture.
In the picture, I accidentally added more than half of the mixture, but it still came out right after I diluted it with some water. It is better to have less flour/starch at this point than more. When it is mixed, you want it to still be a liquid mixture, not a solid mixture.
7. Mix it together.
Mix the starch into the rest of the mixture with the heat resistant spatula. Once again, it needs to still be a liquid. If you added too much flour or starch, then fix it by adding in a little water at a time in increments until it comes out right. The dough cannot form properly unless it is slowly cooked from liquid form first.
8. Keep stirring and mixing it together until it forms a thick sticky blob.
It will take awhile to form, but the dough will eventually appear. It needs to be really thick. It will be thicker than what is shown in the picture.
9. Once it thickens, add more tapioca starch/cassava flour.
When the mixture thickens into a sticky paste, add in more cassava flour or tapioca starch (depending on which you are using). Keep adding in very small amounts to the dough until it is no longer sticky, and can hold no more flour/starch.
10. Take it off the heat. Keep kneading water or tapioca starch/cassava flour until it forms the tapioca dough.
You will need more water if there is too much flour, and more flour if it is still wet and sticky. Eventually it will make a perfect dough that neither sticks or crumbles as you keep kneading. For additional help with this, please refer to fixing bad dough.
11. Form the protein tapioca pearls from the dough.
Form the tapioca pearls on a flat surface with some of the tapioca starch or cassava flour spread on the surface, to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface. Begin forming the tapioca pearls from the dough, and cover them in the starch or flour after they are formed to keep them from sticking to each other.
After this, they are ready to cook. They cook at the same times as traditional tapioca pearls are cooked. 30 minutes boiling, and 30 minutes simmering.