POSTED BY NICOLA CHRISTOFOROS · MARCH 16, 2018
Myth: vegans eat bland food. Truth: they fking don’t! Don’t believe us? Have you tried a vegan doughnut? They're colourful, delish and definitely not bland. But because you can’t survive on doughnuts alone - vegan or otherwise - vegans need a proper diet to provide all the nutrients they need. You might think just because vegans don’t eat animal products, they might lack sufficient protein #WRONG. There are a plethora of hearty foods that are high in plant-based protein. The best part? You’ve probably already got them in your pantry! Here, 5 best protein sources for vegans so you can maintain muscle strength, satiety and smash your fitness goals!
Beans and Lentils
Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more... Protein you’ll get! Legumes are an easy, cheap way to fill up on protein - and they’re ridiculously good for you, too. Lentils being the main star, contain 18 grams of protein per cooked cup (240ml), along with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Lentils are also rich in folate and iron, and they also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Did we mention they’re super versatile? You can use these tasty babies in salads, vegan bolognese, hearty soups, or even made into burger patties! But it’s not just lentils that are high in protein - two cups of kidney beans contain about 26 grams - just be sure to soak them overnight if you’re using them fresh!
Nuts are a super source of plant protein. Yes, they’re high in calories (keep those portion-sizes contained), but nuts like almonds, cashews and pistachios have at least 6 grams of protein in roughly 28 grams. Better yet, they’re also high in fibre and vitamin E and they’re great for healthy-hair growth. Walnuts are also rich in ALA, the plant version of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid. If you’re nuts for peanut and almond butter, make sure you look for health-brands with minimal ingredients (and no added sugar) - these are a great source of protein, too.
When Quinoa was introduced to the western world, we had a tiny celebration (for real). Technically a seed and considered a superfood, Quinoa contains 9 grams of natural plant protein per cup and all nine essential amino acids the body needs for growth and repair - making a healthy alternative to meat. This perfect little grain can be added to soups, salads, cereals - or if you’re feeling creative in the kitchen, you can pop them in hearty breakfast bars and desserts.
Soybeans have been a vegan staple for yonks, so we couldn’t leave it out. In fact, soybeans are some of the highest vegetarian sources of protein. Tempeh and tofu contain up to 20 grams of protein per half cup and provide the body with all the essential amino acids! Not to mention they are full of iron and calcium, too! The great thing about tofu is that it can take on the taste and texture of whatever type of food you’re looking for. Fry it, soak it, bake it - either way it’s one of the best substitutes for meat.
P.S. Buying organic tofu like Hodo, ensures that it’s made from sustainably sourced soy and avoids the use of any synthetic chemicals.
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocoholics, this one's for you! Bet you didn’t know you could get protein from chocolate? Unsweetened cocoa powder - the type used in baking or making your hot chocolate with almond (or soy) milk- contains 1 gram of protein per tablespoon. Yes, the powder is a bitter all on its own, but you can choose from honey, xylitol or stevia (or any other natural sweetener) to sweeten it up. #bestdayever