PROTEIN INTAKE AND SEASONAL EATING
Maria Viall CHHP, CNP, ROHP
With the change of seasons comes a change in temperature as well as a noticeable shift in the foods we start to crave. Typically, we find ourselves swapping our cold salads and smoothies for roasted vegetables and warming soups. Pumpkin, squash, sweet potato and root vegetables start to make their way onto our plates in seasonal fashion.
Other than shifting from cold to hot and raw to roasted, when it comes to food, increasing the amount of protein rich foods can be another beneficial change to make during the colder months.
Seasonal eating is something our society has strayed from with the increased accessibility of food year round. However, nature provides not only different foods during each season but also different nutrients as well.
Fall and winter provide hearty squash and root vegetables. Spring is full of sprouts, leafy greens and berries all of which are packed with fiber to help with natural detox. Summer is known for ripe fruits and cooling produce such as watermelon, cucumbers and zucchini.
Due to the lack of produce, fall and winter require consuming foods with higher fat and protein to help stay warm during the colder months. In addition, in the past, nuts, seeds, meat and dairy were much easier to come by versus a big leafy salad or green smoothie.
Some may find it a challenge to add more protein to their diet or lack ideas on how to make mealtime favorites richer in protein. Below are two of my favorite recipes for colder weather that are easy to make, loaded with protein and are certain to keep you fueled through the day.
MAPLE OVERNIGHT OATS
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 tbsp grade B maple syrup (or raw honey)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 scoops tera’swhey® Bourbon Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- In a bowl or small container, add the oats, cinnamon and tera’swhey® Bourbon Vanilla powder. Mix together with a fork or spoon.
- Add almond milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir together.
- Cover with a lid or small plate and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
- Remove from fridge and add chopped walnuts or pecans on top before eating.
PROTEIN PACKED BABA GHANOUJ
1 medium eggplant
2 scoops tera’s whey® Plain Protein Powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
1.5 tbsp tahini (ground sesame seeds)
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp Sea salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the eggplant with a fork all around and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or aluminum foil.
- Roast until the skin is wrinkled and the inside is tender (roughly 20-30 minutes). Let cool.
- Peel the eggplant and scoop out the seeds. Chop the eggplant and place into food processor.
- Add olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt and garlic. Process until smooth.
- Add 1 scoop of tera’swhey® Plain Protein and process until smooth. Add the second scoop and do the same.
- Season with cracked black pepper and serve with your choice of crudités or whole-wheat pita triangles.