Nourish - How To Get Enough Protein On A Plant-Based Diet |Part 2
Welcome to part two of How To Get Enough Protein On A Plant-Based Diet. In part one we covered what exactly is protein, why we need it and where to source it from.
In this blog post, we are covering plant-based protein foods and what meals you can easily incorporate them into.
Here are some of my all-time favourite plant-based protein foods to give some ideas or inspiration for your own creations.
Plant-Based Protein Foods
Chia seeds are a great source of protein, as well as omega 3’s, fibre and antioxidants. They are really easy to add into your diet and are incredibly versatile.
- Chia puddings – this makes a fantastic breakfast option or dessert
- Add to your homemade or store-bought granola e.g The Paleo Food Co. Chia and Almond Granola
- As a breakfast topping on porridge, chia pudding, granola, yoghurt e.g SuperLife Breakfast Topping
- Add it to homemade bread or find it in storebought. e.g Biona Chia Rye Bread
- Chia Jam – amazing with porridge or used in replacement of regular jam.
Hemp seeds are a great way to increase your protein intake. In fact, just 3 tablespoons of hemp is about 10g complete protein. Hemp seeds are a complete protein that are also rich in omega-3s. They have a somewhat nutty flavour and are soft in texture. (Make sure to buy the shelled hemp seeds).
- Add hemp seeds to yoghurt, salads, porridge, granola, muesli and smoothies.
- Make your own hemp milk
- Take it in hemp protein powder form and add to shakes and smoothies, raw snacks and desserts
- Get them in a breakfast topping pack such as SuperLife Acai Breakfast topping and sprinkle on anything you fancy
- Add to yoghurts or plant-based alternatives e.g cashew/almond/coconut yoghurt. Check out our fridge section for the full range.
Quinoa is actually a pseudo-grain because it is really a seed.
Interestingly, it tastes like a grain and is used like a grain and is naturally gluten-free. 2 cups of cooked quinoa is about 7-9g of protein. It is high in amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and can easily be used in place of rice or couscous.
- Add to a salad
- Add to veggie burgers
- Eat as a side dish
- Combine roasted veggies with a pulse, some greens, a dressing and have quinoa as the base
- Steam some broccoli, add a side salad of leafy greens and crisp veggies. Boil the quinoa in some stock and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Yum.
- Eat as a porridge alternative.
- Add Quinoa flakes and quinoa pops to homemade granola/muesli or sweet treats. Remember rice Krispie buns? Try them with quinoa pops 🙂
- No time to make your own granola? Try Quinoa Crunch.
- Make something tasty with quinoa flour.
Tempeh is a high protein fermented soybean-based food. It is the fermented alternative to the most commonly used non-fermented tofu.
Just as with hemp seeds, it contains all the amino acids making it a complete protein, plus it contains fibre and healthy fats. It can be added to salads, stir-fries, sauces or shaped into burgers for example. Find it in our fridge section.
Beans are so versatile, you can throw beans into almost everything!
- You can make hummus with chickpeas, cannellini beans or even butter beans.
- Black beans are great in Mexican dishes, as are red kidney beans. They work a treat in a good chilli or homemade burrito.
- Breakfast Baked Beans are a wonderful start to any day
- Side dishes
- Patties and more!
Lentils are perfect for a multitude of meals.
- Indian Dhal recipes are great for lentils.
- Add them to soups, stews and curries is a great way to bulk out a meal. Red lentils are great in soups as they become very soft.
- Burgers and patties
- Vegan/veggie shepherds or cottage pie
- Red lentil pasta is available as a great alternative to wheat pasta. Give it a go and see what marvels you can make!
- Red lentil pizza
- Eat them sprouted
Almonds are packed full of minerals and vitamins, healthy fats and naturally, protein.
- Spread almond butter on sliced apple pieces for a healthy snack
- Add a good dollop of almond butter to your porridge
- Stuff dates with almond butter
- Make granola or buy granola e.g The Paleo Food Co. Berry and Almond Granola
- Use ground almonds in place of flour in sweet treats like this orange and almond cake
- Add to quick and easy snacks like these vegan banana oat bites
- Make or buy almond milk
- Make a trail mix with your own blend of your favourite protein and nutrient-packed nuts and seeds. You could throw in a handful of dried fruit like raisins, mulberries or goji berries. For a real energy boost try adding raw cacao nibs.
- Eat them as they are!
Nuts and Seeds
Despite giving almonds, hemp and chia seeds their own sections, let’s not leave out all of the other protein-packed tasty nuts and seeds!
Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp and flax (linseed) and nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia and pistachios are definitely for the shopping list. Not only are they rich in minerals and healthy fats, but also as a source of protein.
- They are great for munching on their own, especially when your blood sugar or energy levels are dipping.
- They can easily be added to dishes. Try these cashew and chickpea patties or Stuffed Courgettes with Walnut and Sage Drizzle
- Make granola e.g this raw buckwheat granola
- Toast them in a pan to bring out the flavour profile. This works well with pumpkin seeds especially. Throw them into a bowl of rice and rip up some coriander. Add in some steamed broccoli and a tahini dressing – yum!
- Make homemade granola bars.
- Grab yourself some protein bars like Pulsin Protein Snack Bar Vanilla Choc Chip, NuzestVanilla Almond Bar or Nakd Cashew Cookie for when you’re peckish.
Just remember that a little goes a long way when it comes to nuts and seeds, so don’t go overboard. Admittedly it’s easy to do, I know, but a balance of everything is key.
This blue-green algae is incredibly rich in absorbable protein (60-70%) and contains 18 amino acids including all essential amino acids. It also contains vitamins A, B Complex, C, D, and E, potassium, and other trace minerals.
- Try it in a smoothie. The simplest recipe I can five you is two frozen bananas, two dates and a teaspoon of spirulina. But trust me, there’s a lot of recipes out there!
- You can add it to a multitude of things. It’s easily added to smoothies, shakes, juices, water, home-made snack bars and so much more. Check out my previous blog How to Get Greens Powders into Your Daily Routine During Winter for the low down.
- Simply take as a supplement in capsule/tablet form.
Green leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables cover an enormous range of requirements for us, from vitamins and minerals through to being an excellent natural protein source.
- Add a few handfuls of greens to your bubbling curry, stew, soup or chilli.
- Make a pesto using rocket/basil/wild garlic
- Make kale chips
- Add them to a salad
- Throw a cube of frozen spinach into your smoothies
- Juice them
- Learn more about greens here on my blog What’s the Scoop on: Greens.
So there we have it! Now you know what protein does and where to get it (from plants). Happy munching!
– Emily Nöth
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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.