So how do you get your protein?

If you’re a vegan and you haven’t heard this question, brace yourself, because it’s going to happen. A lot.

I wanted to write a little piece on the subject because quite honestly, what vegan website would be complete without it? As a general rule, it is believed that you should be getting 46 grams a day as a grown woman, and 56 grams as a grown man. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

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Tofu

Lovely stuff. Half a cup provides 10 grams of protein and this stuff contains all 8 essential amino acids. It’s good stuff, but it is one of those foodstuffs you have to really figure out how to prepare. There are certain ways of preparing it that even I, as a self-confessed tofu fiend, don’t like much. It’s super versatile though, so keep trying new recipes if you’ve still not found the way you like it. I highly recommend trying it this way – Peanut butter coconut tofu with noodles.

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Quinoa

Quinoa is pretty versatile – you can boil it, bake it, throw it into sauces, stir fries, and salads. It provides 8 grams of protein per cup. Doesn’t taste of much so pair it with something spicy or highly seasoned.

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Lentils

I won’t lie. The word ‘lentils’ still has me underwhelmed but, with 9 grams of protein in half a cup, not to mention nigh-on 15 grams of fibre, I get them into my diet. My favourite way is in pretty much any kind of dal. I love indian food, so it’s basically my go-to if I find something I want to eat but don’t like too much. Here is a great recipe for dal fry from one of my favourite sites – Vegan Richa.

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Black beans

You can throw these in basically everything you ever cook. Half a cup provides 8 grams of protein.

Anyone tried it condensed?
Anyone tried it condensed?

Soy milk

This has to be one of the easiest ways to get protein into your diet. Chugging back one cup of this stuff can provide 8 grams of protein. There’s a little controversy about how healthy soy milk actually is, but my advice is to try to procure soy milk that has not been highly processed. In fact, that’s a good rule of thumb for eating in general.

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Peas!

Green peas are awesome to nibble on. I like them frozen (and so do my dogs!), but that’s probably because we live in one of the hottest places in the world. One cup of these gives you 8 grams of protein.

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Pumpkin seeds

These have a whopping 8 grams of protein in just a quarter of a cup. They’re also a great source of magnesium and iron so keep them on your desk at work and get to nibbling.

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Oatmeal

Want to start your day off with a minimum of 6 grams of protein? Go for a bowl of oats. Whack some PB (see below) in there to boost that protein percentage further.

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Peanut Butter

You only need 2 tablespoons to get 8 grams of protein. I eat this stuff straight, in smoothies, and in peanut/satay-based dishes.

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Chia seeds

You only need two tablespoons of these to get 5 grams of protein. They’re one of my absolute faves.

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Edamame

With 8.5 grams of protein in just half a cup, plus fibre and antioxidants, edamame is too good to leave off the menu. I like to chow them as is – I buy them frozen, defrost in hot water and nibble my way through them while I work. Most more-ish proteins source ever.

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Spinach

Not a massive favourite of mine but it does contain 5 grams of protein per cup so I cram it in, usually in a smoothie.

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Broccoli

I feel all kinds of healthy when I’m eating this stuff. It contains 4 grams of protein per cup, so not the heaviest hitter, but then, who only has one cup of broccoli? Not me.

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Asparagus

It seems to be an acquired taste but I frikken love this stuff. Pan fried in a little oil, with some salt and garlic and I’m a happy bunny. 4 grams of protein per 4-6 stalks. So, I get like, 12 grams minimum every time I eat this stuff.

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Green beans

I have to jazz these up to enjoy eating them. This recipe rules and it includes almonds too – next on the list. Green beans give you 4 grams of protein per half cup.

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Almonds

Whether you eat them straight or make them into butter, these nuts are a desktop must-have. You get 7 grams of protein per cup, or if you go the nut butter route – 2 tablespoons provides the same.

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Spirulina 

I can only get the tablets where I live, but one day I’ll live somewhere vegan friendly, where my kind are accepted, nay, embraced *starts daydreaming*. Ok, back to reality. For those of you who can get this stuff, whack it in a smoothie – one tablespoon is 4 grams of protein, a boatload of iron and on top of that, it’s a complete amino acid source. This stuff is amazing.

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Tahini

Now this stuff, I can get. As well as providing 8 grams of protein in just two tablespoons, it also provides B vitamins, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.

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Nutritional yeast

I have to order this stuff in, but with 8 grams of protein in just two tablespoons, it’s totally worth it.

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Chickpeas

Living in the land of hummus, I get more than my fair share of these. Half a cup will give you about 8 grams of protein. They’re also pretty versatile, so you can add them to almost anything you’re making. Roast them with salt and spices to make a yummy and healthy snack.

So, there you have it. My list of where I get my damn protein from. It’s not exhaustive, by any means, but it’s more than enough to convince any carnist that I’m not protein deficient.

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