The number one thing vegans and vegetarians hear: “Where do you get your protein?” If you’re someone asking this question, or a new vegan trying to figure out their nutrient panels, this essential guide to plant based proteins is about to be your saving grace. Within these 5 basic categories are tasty and versatile vegan proteins, perfect for saving your health and the planet.
Few plants are more protein packed than soybeans. Since they are considered a whole protein, they provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs.
What are the best ways to feast on soybeans? For most vegans, tofu is number one. You can marinate, grill, and crumble it. A lot of plant based experts will use it for mock meat specialities, like vegan burgers or ground round. Upbeet Foods’ vegan meal delivery menu uses tofu in a variety of ways, from their creamy tofu ricotta (found in the Lentil Eggplant Lasagna, pictured below) to their turmeric tofu scramble – the ultimate egg substitute.
Other soybean options are tempeh, soy milk, and edamame, all of which are bursting with iron and calcium to boot.
2. Green Veggies
Sometimes, vegetarian protein can be as simple as the first syllable. Veg, especially green veg, contains solid amounts of protein that can fuel your energy levels and boost your daily nutrition.
If you’re looking for the highest hit of protein, look no further than green peas. In just one cup of cooked peas, you’ll score 9 full grams of protein intake. They can be prepared in so many unique ways, like in Upbeet’s Green Pea Pesto Pasta Salad, tossed with sun dried tomatoes and fresh arugula (pictured below). Other protein-rich veggies include broccoli, asparagus, spinach, potatoes, brussels sprouts and artichokes.
We’re not your mother, but seriously – eat your vegetables.
Getting your grains in means loading up on plant powered protein, too.
Just half a cup of oats account for 6 grams of protein, while one cup of quinoa gives you 9 grams of protein. Wild rice is another nutrient-dense grain, far more than brown rice or basmati. One cup provides about 7 grams of protein, along with a slew of other important vitamins and micronutrients.
Easy to make and typically inexpensive, these grains are the perfect base to any plant based bowl or stir fry. Just like in this Citrus & Garlic Tofu Marinade (pictured below). With both tofu and quinoa, this dish is basically protein heaven!
4. Nuts & Seeds
Healthy fats are an essential part of any healthy diet, especially when they’re also packed with protein. Nuts and seeds are bursting with both and offer a tasty and simple option for upping your plant based protein intake. From walnuts to cashews, chia and hemp, these bite-sized powerhouses can be a crunchy addition to almost any dish.
The magical fruit! Beans are an incredibly important part of a plant based kitchen. They are stacked with amino acids, which are used to form proteins. They’re also lower in saturated fats and calories than some other protein sources.
What’s more? They’re extremely filling. Chickpeas, black beans, and lentils are the perfect base or topping to make any dish more satisfying. If you’re new to veganism and worried about feeling full, our number one suggestion would be to ADD. MORE. BEANS.
You can keep it simple, like in this colourful Mexican Quinoa Salad (pictured below). By topping your salad with a hearty handful of black beans, you’re making sure your body gets all the protein it needs to kick ass.
Whether you’re new to the veg life or you’ve been living it for some time now, feeding your body the nutrition it needs can still be a mystery to most. Fill your plate with a healthy dose of all 5 categories above, and you can rest easy knowing your protein needs are being met. Keep learning about the nutrients your body requires and don’t be afraid to speak to a health care professional for more information!
And remember – living plant based isn’t about being deprived. It’s about THRIVING with the amazing ingredients that plants offer us. Keep thriving with one of Upbeet’s delicious vegan meal plans – packed with protein and plant based goodness. Place your first order now in Toronto or the GTA and score 15% OFF using the coupon code NEWBEET15!
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UPBEET FOODS welcomes you into our kitchen with our new blog. Here you’ll find everything you need to #GoVegan, including simply delicious recipes and chef-inspired tips and tricks. If you’ve been shying away from vegan cooking, shy no more! With our easy recipes and expert advice, vegan never looked so good.
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