22 Kitchen Spices That Add Protein

Updated on August 31, 2016
Cynthia Hoover profile image

Cynthia is a homesteader who grows, harvests, and stores many foods, and prefers natural, homemade remedies for her family.

Protein is body fuel, and adding it to any diet is a great way to keep your energy up. Our bodies need protein to provide energy for the day. If you have ever had a picky eater in your family, you have no doubt stressed over adding protein to their diet.

Especially when it comes to kids it can be very hard to add protein. I have found over the years that even spices contain protein. Not as much as you would get from eating meat of course. Spices offer a simple way to add additional protein to many dishes, while adding some great flavors as well. Making these spices a great way to add some flavor to vegetarian dishes, or to get a little protein in your picky toddler's diet!

I have an extremely picky 7 year old, and a toddler that will not eat meat unless I say it is chicken. He loves chicken bites. Well sometimes it is beef that I call chicken, but you get the point. My 7 year old daughter hates everything, home cooked or not she just is the pickiest little thing I have ever known. So I have had to get pretty creative through the years with finding ways to add protein to her diet. It can get extremely hard to add protein when cooking for someone who seems to only want to eat bread! Since she loves bread so much I have found by adding spices to my bread recipes I can feel a bit better (not much) about what she is eating.


AeroGarden Extra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
AeroGarden Extra (LED) with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

I use the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden in my home to keep my herbs and spices growing all year. It is extremely easy to use, and cultivate my herbs to create spice blends. My herbs grow much better than any I have planted outdoors. I love growing my own herbs and saving money by not buying them at the store.

 

22 Spices With Protein

You will find that many spices will add wonderful flavors to your dishes also contain protein! Spices add wonderful flavor, color and aromatics to many dishes that would otherwise fizzle and fade, easily forgotten like last week's newspaper. Be it a picky tween, toddler or your vegetarian or vegan friends spices can add much needed protein as well. Though smaller amounts than other proteins, these 22 spices

Here are some spices to consider adding to your pantry! Keep in mind some only offer minimal amounts, as compared to the items we discussed before. But when pursuing more veg in your diet it can't hurt to add more proteins when you can.

  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Tarragon
  • Dill seed
  • Paprika
  • Basil
  • Poppy seed
  • Caraway Seed
  • Spearmint
  • Parsley
  • Red or Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Fennel seed
  • Garlic
  • Cumin seed
  • Anise seed
  • Celery seed
  • Mustard seed
  • Dried chervil
  • Fenugreek seed
  • Curry powder
  • Marjoram

That is a pretty good list to get you started on creating some delicious dishes and adding some protein! This would be a great idea to save, for those that have veggie loving friends over for dinner! Consider planting your own herb garden as well, even if it is outside and only producing in the warmer months. You can use a dehydrator and make your own spice blends for the winter months!

I keep herb gardens indoors so that I have a year round supply of fresh spices at my fingertips. The initial cost is a bit high for an herb garden kit, but well worth the cost for fresh herbs and spices. I never have to worry about not having a spice on hand, or paying the high prices at the market. I produce enough with my several herb gardens to create my own spice blends for many dishes as well.

Creating your own infused oils at home can add additional protein if you choose the right spices.
Creating your own infused oils at home can add additional protein if you choose the right spices.

Adding Additional Spices for Protein

Now that you have the list of spices what do you do with it? Adding these spices to your meals is easy. The sky's the limit and you can use your imagination. I will give you a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Curry powder is not just for adding to chicken, try adding it to quinoa and other grains as well.
  • Fenugreek seed, spearmint, poppy seed and ginger can all be incorporated into yogurt or smoothies.
  • Cayenne and red pepper can be added to just about any dish if you can stand a little heat. I enjoy adding pepper flakes to slices of pizza and salads.
  • Basil, paprika, tarragon, cumin seed, and mustard seed work well with chicken, and on steamed vegetables.
  • Garlic is a stand alone spice. It works well with just about everything and you can easily roast entire cloves and eat them as a side dish.
  • Infused oils, it is extremely easy to create your own infused oils with a wealth of the spices I mentioned. Adding additional protein and flavor in just your cooking oil.

However you decide to use these spices, they are sure to add some wonderful flavor profiles to your meals. Plus add a little protein as well.


Questions & Answers

  • What are good sources of protein?

    Protein sources will vary depending on your lifestyle. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, I have written another article that mentions eight sources of protein.

    If you are not a vegan or vegetarian, there is a wealth of foods you can eat to add protein to your diet. To name a few, you could add the following to your diet:

    Eggs

    Chicken Breast

    Cheese (many types of cheese including cottage cheese are high in protein)

    Tuna

    Broccoli

    Beef (lean cuts of beef are best)

    This is only a small example of the foods you can eat to add protein to your diet.

© 2016 Cynthia Hoover

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