We’re two months into the new year, and many of us are still staying at home. With restaurants still limiting in-person dining in some parts of the country, most of us are continuing to cook at home and looking to remake healthier versions of our favorite recipes.
In the face of a 24-hour culture where the traditional dayparts of breakfast, lunch, and dinner have faded, it’s no wonder eating and snacking habits have changed. However, consumers continue to look for ways to incorporate more protein into their meals and snacks.
Protein helps satiate your hunger, which can keep you from overeating. Ensuring you have enough protein in your diet also helps maintain the healthy muscle mass and the health of your skin, hair, and nails.
Looking to add more protein to your meals but don’t know where to start? Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education, and Training, offers some simple and delicious ways to boost your protein intake.
Protein powder is a common ingredient in smoothies. But have you ever considered stirring protein powder into hot cereals, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, or yogurt? You can also “power up” your baked goods by adding protein powder to your recipes for items like bran muffins, whole-grain pancakes, or banana bread. While baking with protein powder is not a new idea, a fun new option to try is the Protein Baked Goods Mix combined with Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, a healthy go-to option to make high protein muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, and other items. If you like gourmet coffee and tea beverages, try making a “protein chai” blend vanilla protein powder into a smooth paste with a little water, then top off with hot tea and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Eggs are protein boosters. Adding a single egg or two egg whites contributes about 7 grams of protein to a dish. Beat eggs and drizzle into hot soup or try stirring some egg whites into oatmeal as it cooks – it will help thicken up the cereal but won’t change the flavor.
Milk and soy milk can replace other liquids called for in recipes to boost the protein content. Depending on the recipe, milk can often stand in for broth, juice, or wine in lots of dishes. Make your oatmeal with milk instead of water, and you’ll get an extra 7 to 10 grams of protein. If you use milk alternatives, such as almond or rice milk, check labels for nutrition content, as not all non-dairy milks are protein-rich.
Beans are delicious plant-based protein addition to soups, curries, and salads. Baking may be the last way you ever intended to use beans, but you can use pureed chickpeas, white beans, and black beans to replace some of the fat in recipes for baked goods.
Plain, nonfat yogurt adds a tangy protein boost to protein shakes, oatmeal, soups, sauces, and curries. If you’re adding to hot foods, stir in at the last minute to prevent it from curdling. Plain yogurt can also replace mayonnaise in tuna, chicken, or egg salads and can be used to replace some of the fat in baked goods. Even salad dressing can get a protein boost from yogurt – whisk plain nonfat yogurt with salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil for a tangy dressing for your greens.
Chia Seeds make great additions to your baked goods by adding a boost of extra fiber and protein. You can also sprinkle them on top of salads or cooked veggies to get their nutritional benefits.
No matter what you choose to make at home, it’s important to remember that being open to trying new things and cooking healthy by adding color and variety doesn’t have to be boring.
For more tips from Susan, visit http://www.IAmHerbalifeNutrition.com/.