Plant-based foods are certainly becoming more popular. More and more vegan food is available now and lots of people are trying to eat less animal products. Still, protein is still often equated with animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy.
I’ve got a lot of questions lately about meat substitutes. ”But Len, they aren’t healthy for you right? What about soy? And do I still get enough protein?” Not only is it possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, it’s so easy to do this way without eating tofu or tempeh all day. So, today I’m gonna give you my top 5 vegan protein sources!
As you might know, lentils come in different varieties: green, brown, red and black lentils. I use all of them but the most popular are the red lentils for soups, stews or curries. While technically in the bean family, I categorize them into their own. Lentils have a completely different texture and flavor than other beans and they even have more protein.
My favorite recipes with lentils: pumpkin soup, sweet potato dahl and lentil burgers!
Quinoa is maybe one of the most versatile products of all. What I really love is that quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids next to a big amount of protein. I use quinoa for my savory dishes as the base, but you can also use it for a sweet dish! Quinoa comes in different varieties as well: red, white and black quinoa. Most of the time, I use white quinoa, but seriously, they’re all good!
Examples: quinoasalad with mango and chickpeas, quinoa porridge with chocolate and coconut yoghurt with puffed quinoa.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are one of the most popular vegan protein sources at the moment. I mean, who doesn’t eat hummus these days? You can buy chickpeas in different varieties: dried, canned or as flour. Because of this, chickpeas are, as same as quinoa, very versatile. Sometimes I get the question: but are they proteins or carbohydrates? Well, the answer is: BOTH! Chickpeas contain both starches and proteins. But while they may be a starch, they are a great source of fiber and have a lower glycemic indexthan it’s other starchy veggie counterparts (like potatoes).
My favorite dishes with chickpeas: homemade hummus, a salad with roasted chickpeas and carrot soup with chickpeas.
These tiny little seeds are definitely in my top 5. They are loaded with antioxidants, almost all of the carbs in it are fiber, they contain lots of healthy fats and per serving they give you 6 grams of protein! You can do a lot with chia-seeds, but most of you use it as topping.
I use them for: chia-pudding, smoothies and as topping for my old-fashioned oats.
Pumpkin! I love it! But now we’re just talking about the seeds:) As a kid I loved tearing them out of our carved pumpkins at Halloween, and cleaning them to roast in the oven. But these days you can eat them raw or roasted through the whole year. Discover the benefits of these amazing ones! Pumpkinseeds are high in magnesium, antioxidants, zinc and contains lots of protein. A portion of 15 grams contains 8-10 grams of plant-based protein.
I basically use them in my granola, as topping for salads or in my banana bread.
I’m trying to eat less animal products but I always get enough protein. Are you trying to eat more plant-based foods?Let me know what your favorite vegan protein source is!