Protein-Packed Foods for Summer
Summer is upon us already! With it come the articles and advertisements promising foods to get you fit, fast. They promise more protein, fewer carbs, and healthier fats to help you meet your daily macros so you, too, can have abs like Chris Hemsworth and endurance like Cristiano Ronaldo. After all — it’s sports season!
But, what are macros? And how can we make sure we get the right amount of them while still enjoying the summer sun? We’ve got your refresher on macros right here as well as some great protein-packed foods for summer that will leave you energized and ready to take on anything from soccer to croquet.
A Refresher on Macros
Macronutrients are those nutrients that the human body needs in relatively high quantities. These nutrients have caloric value (as opposed to micronutrients, which do not have caloric value).
While your exact macronutrient requirements will vary based on several factors including your fitness goals, generally speaking it is recommended that you consume 1.0 gram of protein per pound of body weight for muscle maintenance.
Protein-Packed Foods for Peak Performance
As the weather heats up, protein-packed foods can help you actively enjoy your favorite summer activities and maybe even make a few new personal records while you’re at it. If you’ve been feeling lethargic, it’s likely because your body is lacking in the protein it needs to keep up.
Protein is necessary for repairing muscle tears that happen as a result of strenuous physical activity. By consuming an adequate amount of protein, you’ll recover better than ever from those extra laps at the pool or last week’s game of rugby.
We often think of soups as a dish for the colder months, but gazpacho is a delicious cold soup that might change your mind. To make this cooling dish into a protein-packed food option, we’ll add a can of navy beans into the mix.
Take 3 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 1 medium red onion, 1 can of drained navy beans, ½ a cup of cilantro, ½ a cup of basil, ½ a cup of parsley, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and 2 cloves of garlic, and blend in a food processor until smooth.
To boost the protein in this soup, add in an extra half can of beans. Alternatively, slightly mash the extra beans with a fork to give the soup some texture. Our last secret? Sprinkle in some cooked quinoa at the end. The quinoa is packed with extra protein and gives a perfect nutty crunch to an already-divine soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve cold, topped with fresh herbs and pita bread for dipping.
This protein-packed food will help you load up on protein, vitamins, and minerals without breaking a sweat.
BBQ’s are a summer staple, but they often come with highly processed meats, fatty snacks, and drinks high in sugar and alcohol (but low in actual nutritional value).
So, how do you stay healthy while still enjoying this summer tradition?
First, grill up zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, endives, red onions, mushrooms or whatever your favorite grilled vegetable may be. Protein is important, but so is the fiber from those veggies!
To get your protein, try a vegan alternative: tofu. Believe it or not, you can marinate and grill tofu just like you would chicken. Try layering bbq tofu pieces on a wooden skewer with some veggie pieces for a protein-packed bbq kebab.
Craving a burger? Go for a falafel or black bean burger. These lean, non-meat alternatives to traditional burgers have plenty of protein and few of the fats and bad cholesterol found in meat products. Slather with bbq sauce and enjoy.
Salads are great opportunities to pack all the flavors of summer into one nutrient-dense bowl. Try vegetables like radishes, beets, arugula, and cucumbers. Add fruits like watermelon, pineapple, and mango. For extra protein, add walnuts, sunflower seeds, feta cheese, or quinoa.
Better yet, give tempeh a try.
Tempeh is a versatile food from Indonesia made from fermented soy beans. The flavor is relatively mild and it has a firm, meat-like texture.
Best of all, tempeh is a protein-packed food.
Simmer tempeh in salted water on low heat for 8 minutes to soften. Next, coat with your favorite seasoning blend until completely covered on all sides, and then fry in a pan or bake until the outside seasoning just begins to blacken and harden. Think of your seasoning as the “crust” of your fried tempeh. Slice and layer on top of your salad.
No tempeh? Believe it or not, a poached or fried egg can be delicious on top of a salad.
Protein-Packed Foods To-Go
Did you get asked to bring chips to the next cookout? Or maybe you need a little something to keep you going during your beach volleyball match?
You’re in luck! Outstanding Foods brings you Outstanding Puffs: a vegan cheeto packed with 21 grams of protein and 20 essential vitamins and minerals. This protein-packed food comes in five outstanding flavors, so whether you’re a ranch or a BBQ fan, there’s a bag for you!
This protein-packed food is plant-based and soy and gluten free so everyone at the party can enjoy. So grab a bag (or four) and bring the flavor to the party — without the guilt.
Find Outstanding Foods snacks today in stores near you.