“But how do you get any protein?”
This is the question that can be the bane of a vegan or vegetarian’s existence. Pesky relatives who consistently pose this question aside, it is true that doctors often express concern for vegan and vegetarian diets and their ability to provide proper nutrition.
Diets that are higher in protein can promote muscle strength, satiety, and weight loss. Most Americans actually do not get enough protein, and those that do typically find it in their eggs, chicken, and milk. That being said, certain plant-based foods can actually contain significantly more protein than others.
Here are 5 protein-rich plant foods that will make you jump for joy.
Tofu, Tempeh and Edamame
Tofu, tempeh, and edamame all originate from soybeans. Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein, meaning that they provide your body with all the essential amino acids it needs!
Edamame pairs perfectly with any soup or salad and they are usually steamed or boiled. They taste great, give you some good crunch, and are packed with protein.
Tofu and Tempeh don’t normally have all that much taste but are wonderful sources of protein for someone who follows a plant-based diet. Both absorb the flavors of ingredients they are prepared with, so they can be used in a diverse selection of recipes.
Lentils too can be used in a variety of dishes and are loaded with protein at 18 grams per cooked cup. Lentils also contain healthy amounts of slowly digested carbs, providing roughly 50% of your recommended daily fiber intake.
Moreover, the type of fiber found in lentils can help feed the good bacteria in your colon, making for good gut health. Lentils are nutritional powerhouses and, more importantly, they’re delicious!
“Wait, really?” Oh yeah. Green peas, which are often served as a side dish, actually contain 9 grams of protein per cooked cup. That’s more than a cup of milk. Furthermore, a serving of these little guys covers more than 25% of your daily fiber and vitamin intake.
Even better, peas can pretty much go with anything. Whether you use peas in pastas, soups, guac or whatever else, they are tasty and healthy. Take that all those carnivorous uncles!
Soy Milk is a great alternative to cow milk. Aside from being creamy and delicious, soy milk contains 7 grams of protein per cup and is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
Found in most supermarkets, soy milk can be consumed on its own or used in a variety of recipes. It is a versatile product and a high-protein plant alternative that we love.
When it comes to chickpeas, most people think hummus. While chickpeas are used as a base to make hummus, they can also be enjoyed as is with a variety of recipes. These yummy protein-rich peas can be devoured hot or cold and contain about 14.5 grams of protein per cup.
We’re certainly not hating on hummus – it can be a wonderful plant-based alternative to butter and is creamy and delicious. But the chickpea power does not end here! In fact, SoBe Vegan uses toasted chickpeas in several of our menu items – come try them today!
It is indeed possible to maintain a plant-based diet and get sufficient nutrition. With these five sources of plant protein, you’ll have everything you need to pack some protein into your meals. And get some satisfaction for proving your pesky relatives wrong.