Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD
One of the best ways to keep your hunger under control is to include some protein at each meal or snack. That’s easy when your meal features a piece of grilled chicken or fish, but other healthy foods and dishes that don’t naturally contain much protein might have more staying power if they had a little protein boost. So here are ideas for some simple ways to add protein to your everyday foods.
- Protein powder is a natural protein booster in smoothies, but you can also stir some into hot cereals, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs or yogurt, or add to your recipes for healthy baked goods like bran muffins or banana bread.
- Eggs are super versatile protein-boosters. A single egg, or two whites, adds about seven grams of protein to your meal. Hard boiled eggs are great to have to round out a snack, chop into a tossed salad, slice onto a sandwich or as a source of protein in a vegetable curry. You can give a protein boost to soup by slowly pouring beaten eggs into simmering broth. They’ll cook almost immediately.
- Nonfat cottage cheese offers up a good boost of protein, along with bone-building calcium. You can stir cottage cheese into cooked scrambled eggs, casseroles or pasta with tomato sauce. You can give baked goods a protein boost by sneaking some cottage cheese into your recipes for pancakes, waffles and muffins.
- Milk and soy milk can help boost protein when you use them to replace other liquids called for in recipes. Make your oatmeal with milk instead of water, and you’ll get an extra 7 to 10 grams of protein. Depending on the recipe, milk can often stand in for broth, juice or wine, and your favorite soup can get a creamy protein boost when you substitute milk for broth or water.
- Edamame soybeans have about eight grams of protein in a half cup, and they’re delicious added to salads, soups and wraps, or you can mash them with avocado to give your guacamole a protein boost.
- Tofu has such a mild flavor that it can be sneaked into a lot of dishes for a protein boost. You can add it to protein shakes, or blend it until smooth and add to sauces, casseroles, eggs and pasta dishes, or use as a base for a healthy dip for veggies. You can also cut firm tofu into cubes and add to salads, soups and stir-fry.