I am always concerned I am not getting enough protein in my daily diet. Like most woman I know, I am pretty active and love to eat healthy. I make sure to always get my daily servings in of fruit and vegetables but sometimes completely forget about my recommended intake of daily protein. I eat mostly plant-based during the day, and usually will have a small piece of lean animal protein with dinner in the evening. During the day I have found some really easy ways to sneak in some extra plant-based protein and wanted to share them with you!
Adding seeds to meals is an easy way to get some more nutrients in your diet including complete protein.
Chia seeds add a boost of protein & fiber and are easy to sprinkle into almost any dish. I add chia seeds to my homemade pasta sauce to thicken it up & boost the nutritional value. I also enjoy adding chia seeds to my smoothies and oatmeal in the morning.
Hemp seeds have become a new favorite of mine. They have a mild nutty flavor and add a slight crunch that I love! Again, like most seeds they blend perfectly into smoothies and sauces but my favorite way to enjoy hemp seeds is to mix them into my salad for lunch to keep me feeling fuller longer.
Flax Seeds are another great plant-based protein option with a plethora of health benefits. I grind mine up in the blender but you can buy them pre-ground at the grocery store as well. It is super simple to add ground flax seeds to your homemade baked goods such as breads & muffins. I also LOVE sneaking flax seeds into my kid’s meals for the extra boost of omega-3s. I do this by mixing it into their yogurt, or mixing it into the jelly on their PB & J sandwiches. Any little bit helps!
Nuts are also a great plant based protein source- but be careful-it can be SUPER easy to over indulge (spoonful after spoonful in the Peanut butter jar sound familiar to anyone?).
I like to buy my nuts and nut butters in pre-portioned single serving sizes so I don’t have to worry about going over my allotted serving. Justin’s makes single serving nut butter packets that pair great with cut up apples, bananas, whole wheat toast and anything else you can think of to spread them on.
Almonds, walnuts, peanuts & cashews are some of my favorite nuts to snack on during the day to curb hunger between meals. Again, make sure you are sticking to the recommended serving sizes.
Quinoa is a grain that is rich in many nutrients. It has 8 grams of protein per serving, making it a great choice to incorporate in your daily meals. I love to meal prep a big batch of quinoa for the week then mix it in with roasted vegetables for a quick lunch or mid-day snack. Quinoa can also be used in place of oatmeal for breakfast. Simply cook it on the stove top with your favorite milk, add in some fruit and you have a delicious and nutritious way to start your morning.