An all-puree diet can seem, on its face, somewhat deficient of essential nutrients like protein. When we think of purees, our mind goes to smoothies, soups, and simple liquid foods. But, if you get a little creative, you can get any and all types of foods out of your pureed diet – everything from meat dinners to ice cream to healthy fruits and vegetables.
Protein is an especially important part of a puree diet because it fills you up faster than almost any other food group, which is hard to get from a basically all-liquid diet. It also aids in muscle fiber construction, keeping you strong and stable. On average, you need about 0.36 grams of protein for every pound you weigh. So an average female needs about 46 grams per day, and an average male needs about 56 grams.
One of the most important factors in getting sufficient protein into your diet is to have the best pureeing machine, but other than that, below are a few of the most high-protein foods that you can easily integrate into any puree, as well as some recipe ideas for each.
Tender top cuts of beef are best for purees, as they’re softer than other cuts and will mash up faster and easier. They’ll be a little more expensive, but they’ll make the absolute best, most satisfying puree if you’re craving beef.
Chicken and turkey are great, lower fat sources of protein if you’re craving meat. Just make sure that you’re getting boneless, skinless cuts so that none of it gets into your puree.
Fish is potentially one of the healthiest sources of protein derived from meat, because it comes with all kinds of other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Soft fish like white fish or salmon will work best in purees.
You can also try canned tuna, as long as it’s thoroughly mashed into a liquid form before it is consumed.
Recipe: Beef Stew
Buy a high-quality cut of beef (or your favorite meat) and slow cook it thoroughly for a few hours. Chill for at least 2 hours to make it easy to chop and puree. Finely chop up about 4 ounces of the beef and add that to a food processor with about a half cup of gravy or broth. Add their favorite vegetables, also finely chopped and cooked a bit to make them more tender. Blend until mixture becomes a thick puree.
Optional: Thicken with potato flakes or cream of mushroom soup for added nutrients and carbs as well. Add different seasonings to give the stew some flavor as well.
Milk of all kinds is packed with protein. Depending on your dietary needs, you may want to go for whole milk for a creamier, fattier texture to your pureed soup. You can also use skim milk for a thinner mixture with just as much protein. Also check out soy milk for slightly more natural, healthy proteins and fats, or nut milks like cashew or almond, which have a delicious, light flavor and often come with added protein alternatives as well.
Again, depending on your needs, you can get yogurt with all kinds of varying levels of fats, but you’ll usually get about 10-15 grams of protein per serving of yogurt. Yogurt is particularly great because it comes in all kinds of delicious flavors – there’s one for everyone! It’s very versatile, as it can be enjoyed as a smoothie for morning breakfast, an afternoon snack, or as a dessert as well. Protein and nutrients from sweets? I’ll take it.
While not the healthiest source of protein, certain types of cheeses, like cottage cheese or ricotta, are good sources of protein and add a rich, creamy texture to any puree. These two kinds are uniquely suited for purees because they’re so soft in their original form.
Recipe: Frozen Yogurt Parfait
Puree together vanilla (or your favorite flavor) yogurt with your favorite fruits and a bit of your preferred milk. Serve as is for breakfast, or freeze overnight to create a delicious, healthy ice-cream like treat!
Eggs are another awesome protein source, giving you an average of 6 grams per egg. So 2 or 3 eggs in a sitting can give you a whopping 18 grams of protein right away! While they’re mostly considered a morning food, it’s actually great to start your day with this big protein intake, as it’ll regulate your digestive system and help you build muscle for the rest of the day.
For purees, you should cook the eggs in your preferred method (scrambled is usually easiest) before adding them to the mixture. Adding them raw runs the risk of not cooking them thoroughly, and eggs really shouldn’t be eaten uncooked.
Finally, there are more protein powders and supplements made for adding to smoothies and purees than I can count. They come in all kinds of flavors and textures, but almost all of them are powdered, making them easy to add to any puree to give you a boost of protein in any meal.
There are all kinds of protein supplements you can get, from whey to soy to hemp to plant-based protein. Find what would work best with your diet and lifestyle, and add a spoonful or two to a few meals per day to get your sufficient protein intake.
Summary and Sources
If you’re looking for protein sources for a pureed food diet, don’t despair. There are more than enough sources out there, and many of them you probably enjoyed as a solid food as well! As long as you have the correct technique and soft versions of the protein source, you can puree pretty much any food. Review the suggestions above and start building some muscle!
Do you have a favorite protein source that can be pureed and that’s not listed above? Share it below. OH! If you found this article helpful at all, please share on your favorite social media!
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