Protein is a necessary nutrient for building and repairing the body. For a healthy, balanced enteral nutrition regimen, each meal should consist of a source of protein to keep you going! Getting the proper amounts of protein can be difficult, especially when on a budget. This list is full of high-quality protein options that blend well and can save you some money! We’ve also included some tips on blending each of them to make life easier!
Eggs can have between 5-8 g of high-quality protein per egg and contain different vitamins and minerals that are required for the body. The price of eggs can range based on where they are from, grown, and sold, but it is very common to see a dozen eggs at less than $2.
Blending Tip: Make sure the egg is fully cooked before blending. I prefer hard boiled eggs because I can cook a dozen in advance and use them as needed.
Tuna is not only a good source of protein, but it also contains other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. These nutrients are good for brain health, inflammation and even your immune system! You can get canned tuna at almost any grocery store and when bought in bulk can be less than a dollar per can. Three ounces of tuna contains about 22 grams of protein.
Blending Tip: Drain all of the fluid and pat the tuna dry to minimize the fish smell. You can get other canned fish such as salmon that are also good sources of protein.
Tofu is a good source of plant protein and contains all essential amino acids. It takes on the flavor of other ingredients so it can be added to most recipes. This is a good choice for those who are vegan or vegetarian! One pack of tofu costs about $3 or less and can be found at most grocery stores.
Blending Tip: Make sure to buy soft/silken (not firm) tofu for the best results when blending. You can also save time with this one since you don’t have to cook the tofu.
These are another great source of plant-based protein! They are rich in other vitamins and minerals giving a variety of other health benefits. Their nutty flavor makes it easily pairable with other ingredients. You can normally find a can of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) for less than a dollar at your local grocery store. Other beans are a good source of inexpensive protein as well such as black and pinto beans.
Blending Tip: For dried bean, add a small amount of backing soda to the water that you let the beans soak in. This will increase their sodium content but also makes the skin softer and easier to blend.
This classic source of protein is great to use in your blenderized meals! One normal sized chicken breast can be about 54g of protein. It can be found at your local grocery store, with prices varying per region. It’s neutral flavor pairs well with many ingredients.
Blending Tip: Avoid overcooking the chicken. Try to cook the chicken in a way to that preserves its moisture, like steaming, boiling, or braising. For those home economics nerds, such as myself, meats blend best with moist heat cooking methods.
If would would like to work with a Registered Dietitian to get started blending you own tube feeds, or if you just have room for improvement with your current blends, contact me today to set up an appointment.