Every cell, tissue and organ in your body relies on proteins for basic biological processes. Since the protein turnover in your body is constant, it's essential to replace them by eating-protein rich foods such as dairy and nuts. An easy way to pack protein into your diet is with a shake. You don't need to buy protein powders, however. You can make a healthy, delicious drink with ingredients you already have in your pantry and fridge.
Pour a liquid base into the blender. Soy and cow's milk both contain roughly 8 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. If you're counting calories, use low-fat or skim milk. Be wary of flavored soy milk which can contain a lot of added sugar. Opt for unsweetened varieties.
Scoop in some nut butter. Peanut butter packs roughly 4 grams of protein per tablespoon. Another option is raw nuts. Almonds have 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving and plenty of healthy fiber. Grind nuts in a food processor before you add them to your shake, to keep it from being gritty.
Add cheese. Ricotta is a protein superstar with 28 grams per 1-cup serving, but it is also very high in calories and fat. A healthier option is low or non-fat cottage cheese, which has 15 grams of protein per cup for only 117 calories.
Blend in a cup of yogurt. Greek-style yogurt is another protein-rich dairy product, with 15 to 20 grams per 8 ounce serving. Opt for non-fat, plain yogurt, as flavored varieties have a lot of added sugar and whole-milk yogurts are heavy in saturated fat.
Choose a fruit. Most produce isn't particularly high in protein, but it will add natural sweetness to your shake. Bananas have 1.3 grams of protein per serving and will make your shake extra creamy.
Add grains. It may sound odd to include oatmeal in a shake, but it's an excellent way to add protein, fiber and a little texture to your drink. One ounce of dry, instant oatmeal has 4 grams of protein. Cook the oats first so they'll puree better in the blender.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Soymilk
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Milk, Nonfat
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Peanut Butter, Smooth
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Nuts, Almonds
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cheese, Ricotta
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cheese, Cottage, Nonfat
- U.S. News Health: Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt: Which Is More Healthful?
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Bananas, Raw
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Cereals, Oats, Instant
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein