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WhirLocal Salem

(112 reviews)

503-877-1330
222 Commercial St NE PMB 2303
Salem, Oregon 97301


Protein is an essential component of a balanced diet, helping to build muscle, repair tissues, and keep you feeling full and satisfied. While common protein sources like meat, poultry, and fish are great, there are plenty of other ingredients you can add to your meals for a little protein boost. Whether you’re looking for alternative protein options or trying to find creative ways to reach your protein goal for the day, let’s explore some simple (and delicious) ways to up your protein intake without making them the star of your meal.

1. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a versatile protein powerhouse that can be incorporated into numerous dishes. Try it as a creamy topping for baked potatoes or as a base for fruit parfaits. You can also use it to make a creamy salad dressing or as a replacement for sour cream in dips and sauces. It’s also great in smoothies!

2. Edamame

Edamame (also known as young soybeans) are not only packed with protein but also fiber and essential vitamins. Add them to stir-fries, salads, or simply enjoy them as a quick and nutritious snack. They’re particularly delightful on their own when seasoned with a sprinkle of sea salt.

3. Tofu

Tofu is like a protein chameleon—it takes on the flavors of whatever it’s paired with. Cube it, marinate it, crumble it, and add it to stir-fries, soups, rice bowls, or even sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

4. Hemp Hearts

Hemp hearts are tiny nutritional workhorses, offering both protein and healthy fats. Sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or salads for a subtle nutty flavor and a protein boost. These are also great to add to a breakfast smoothie or smoothie bowl for a bit of texture.

5. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is an underrated protein source that can be sweet or savory. Pair it with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey for a protein-packed breakfast or mix it into pasta dishes for added creaminess.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a grain that’s often considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Use it as a base for grain bowls, toss it into salads, or serve it as a side dish instead of rice.

7. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small but mighty when it comes to protein and fiber. Create a protein-rich pudding by mixing chia seeds with milk or a dairy-free alternative and sweetening it to taste. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, and it’s ready to enjoy for breakfast!

8. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all excellent ways to boost the protein in your meals. Sprinkle them on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or salads for an added crunch!

Incorporating these ingredients into your meals is a simple and tasty way to boost your protein intake on top of your main proteins, be it meat, poultry, fish, or plant-based alternatives. Experiment with these options to find your favorite combinations and enjoy a well-rounded, protein-rich diet.

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