Most people think of meat when they think of protein, but there are plenty of other sources of this essential nutrient. In fact, you can get all the protein you need from a vegan diet – you just have to know where to look. Here are some great vegan protein sources, plus tips on how to incorporate them into your diet. Make your meals more vegan and protein-packed.
Vegan Protein Sources
Here are some of the best vegan protein sources to incorporate them into your diet:
- Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, and peanuts are all great sources of vegan protein. You can add them to soups, stews, salads, and curries, or use them as the base for dips like hummus.
- Tofu and Tempeh: These soy-based products are both high in protein and versatile in the kitchen. Tofu can be pan-fried, baked, or blended into smoothies, while tempeh can be sliced and added to sandwiches or stir-fries.
- Seitan: Also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, seitan is made from wheat protein and is a great source of protein for vegans. It can be sliced and used as a meat substitute in sandwiches or stir-fries.
- Nuts and Seeds: almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds are all high in protein. You can add them to smoothies, sprinkle them over salads, or enjoy them as a snack on their own.
- Whole Grains: quinoa, bulgur, and farro are all whole grains that are high in protein. They can be used as a base for salads, or as a substitute for rice or pasta.
- Protein Powder: there are many plant-based protein powders available, such as pea protein, soy protein, and hemp protein. They can be added to smoothies, or used to make high-protein snacks like energy balls.
By incorporating a variety of these foods into your diet, you can ensure that you are getting enough protein as a vegan. Additionally, it’s important to remember that not all protein sources are created equal, so it’s important to eat a variety of plant-based proteins to get all the necessary amino acids your body needs.
How to Incorporate Vegan Protein Sources into Your Diet
Craving delicious vegan dishes that are satisfying and packed full of protein? Look no further! Incorporating a wide variety of vegan proteins like legumes, tempeh, tofu, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal and almonds into meals is a great way to boost nutrient levels. Try experimenting with tasty recipes featuring these ingredients. Your taste buds will thank you for it! With these nutrition-packed meals any vegan can stay energized and healthy throughout the day.
Ready to add some of the proteins mentioned above into your diet? Here are a few simple and quick recipes that you can try:
1. Classic Hummus
- 1 can cooked chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a food processor or blender, combine the cooked chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil and blend until desired consistency is reached. (You may need to add more liquid if you’d like a smoother hummus).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm pita bread or vegetables such as carrots and celery sticks. Enjoy!
2. Baked Tofu
- 1 block of firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). For a perfectly cooked outcome, line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices or cubes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and cornstarch.
- Place the tofu on the prepared baking sheet and brush both sides with the soy sauce mixture.
- Bake the tofu for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve the baked tofu with your favourite dipping sauce or in a stir-fry.
This baked tofu is a simple, healthy, and delicious way to add more plant-based protein to your diet. Enjoy!
3. Seitan “chicken”
- 1 cup of vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, thyme, basil, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Gradually add the vegetable broth, mixing until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough for a minute or two, until it becomes elastic.
- Cut the dough into desired “chicken” shapes and place in a large pot of boiling broth or water.
- Boil the seitan for 45 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Carefully remove the seitan from the pot and allow it to cool before proceeding.
- Use the seitan in your favourite recipes as a meat substitute, or slice and serve in sandwiches or stir-fries.
This seitan “chicken” is a high-protein, plant-based alternative to traditional chicken. Enjoy!
4. Vegan protein smoothie:
- 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 handful of spinach or kale
- 1 tablespoon of your favourite nut butter, like almond or peanut butter.
- 1 teaspoon of honey or other natural sweetener (optional)
- Ice (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.
- If the smoothie is too thick, add more non-dairy milk until you reach your desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust sweetness as desired.
- Pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy!
This protein smoothie is a simple, delicious, and convenient way to get a boost of plant-based protein in your diet. Enjoy!
Eating vegan doesn’t mean giving up the essential nutrients our bodies need – in fact, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious vegan protein sources out there. Whether you’re enjoying a plate of baked tofu or sipping on a protein-packed smoothie, you can be sure that your body is getting all the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and strong. So go ahead and enjoy these quick, easy, and delicious vegan recipes.
Eating well has never been so tasty!