Plant Proteins

Probably one of the most annoying questions vegetarians and vegans hear is, “Where do you get your protein?!” Contrary to many beliefs, plants are a completely sufficient source of protein. Don’t believe me? How about you check out NFL Defensive Lineman David Carter—otherwise known as the 300-pound vegan—and these numerous vegan athletes. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you still didn’t believe me with all this propaganda pushed by society to keep you believing you need meat. Join us in saying, “screw you, meat industry” and let’s look at the facts.

According to the Bionic Vegan, who is certified in plant-based nutrition through Cornell University, beans trump beef in almost every category.

beefsvsblackbeans
https://www.instagram.com/p/BOH-FZeAdjB/
beefvsbeans
https://www.instagram.com/p/BOQPyNzjkgu/

 

Now let’s look at some other options…

Edamame (boiled, no extra additives)—22 grams of protein per 1 cup

Other benefits:

  • 0mg cholesterol, only 25mg of sodium, 7.6g of dietary fiber, 261mg of calcium, and 970mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • L’s favorite way to eat edamame is simply boiling or steaming the full pod, adding salt & garlic, then biting the pod and wiggling the seeds out with her teeth. This method is fun and tasty!
  • We also like to add the seeds to salads, any stir-fry, and sushi bowls.

Lentils—18 grams of protein per 1 cup

Other benefits:

  • Less than 1 gram of fat (only .1 g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, only 4mg of sodium, 15.6g of dietary fiber, 37.6mg of calcium, and 730.6mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • J likes to add them into soups or mash them up to be a base for tacos!

Black beans—15.2 grams of protein per 1 cup

Other benefits:

  • Less than 1 gram of fat (only 0.2g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, only 2mg sodium, 15g of dietary fiber, 46.4mg of calcium, and 610.6mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • Black beans are great for tacos, burgers, or meatless meat balls!
  • We both enjoy adding them to our quinoa bowls as well

Lima Beans—14.7g of protein per 1 cup

Other benefits:

  • Less than one gram of fat (only 0.2g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, only 4mg of sodium, 13.2g of dietary fiber, 32mg of calcium, and 955 mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • Lima beans used to be L’s FAVORITE vegetable…until she realized they aren’t so much a vegetable as they are starches. Doesn’t stop her from eating them, though. She likes to eat them by the spoonful as a side dish or making a bean salad out of them.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)—10.7 grams of protein per 1 cup (canned, drained)

Other benefits:

  • 9.7 grams of dietary fiber and 191.5mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • Can you say….HUMMMMUUUUSSSSSS?!!? I feel like that’s enough said right there. I mean, come on, it’s hummus. But we’ve got some other tips for you, too.
  • Chickpea salad is the bomb; similar to chicken or tuna salad. Mash up those chickpeas to desired consistency (or throw in a food processor or blender if you’re lazy), toss with your favorite vegan mayo or olive oil, add a dash of mustard, and finish off with whatever stir-ins you like. We like dill relish, chopped red onion and celery. Eat with a fork, with crackers, in a wrap, or on a sandwich.
  • Chickpeas can also be made into patties or thrown into salads; or if you’re really lazy, drizzle that olive oil, load up with garlic powder, and eat with a fork straight from the can (we won’t judge you).

Almonds—7.6 grams of protein per ¼ cup

Other benefits:

  • 0mg cholesterol, 0mg of sodium, 88.7mg of calcium, and 260mg of potassium
  • Good source of vitamin E
  • Help to lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and promote weight loss

How we like to eat:

  • Snacking on almonds by themselves is always awesome. Throw them into a bowl with other nuts, dried fruits, and vegan chocolate chips for a yummy trippy mix.
  • We like to add them to our oatmeal as well. In addition to raw almonds in her oats, L adds a tablespoon of almond butter, too! Let’s also not forget almond milk.

Wild Rice—6.5 grams of protein per 1 cup (cooked)

Other benefits:

  • Barely have a gram of fat (less than 0.1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, only 5mg sodium, and 165.6mg of potassium

How we like to eat:

  • Substitute this wild rice into any of your sushi bowls or other dishes you would typically use white rice
  • L likes to toss this in with sautéed veggies, beans, and hot sauce. Yum!

Old Fashioned Oats—5g of protein per ½ cup (dry)

Other benefits:

  • 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 0mg of sodium

How we like to eat:

  • Oats are our simple breakfast go-to’s. Microwave or cook on the stove in the morning then combine with your favorite toppings (fruits, seeds, nuts, etc). If you don’t have much time in the mornings, you can soak your oats in nondairy milk in the fridge overnight for the most delicious overnight oats.
  • L likes to throw oats into her smoothies sometimes for a creamier texture and a little added protein boost.

Cashews—5 grams of protein per ¼ cup

Other benefits:

  • 0mg cholesterol and 0g trans fat
  • Packed with vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium

How we like to eat:

  • Cashews are delicious by themselves as a snack but also very useful for vegan cheese-like dishes. After being soaked in hot water for a few hours, cashews can be blended to create vegan ricotta, queso, alfredo sauce, cream for white pizzas, and more!
  • Cashew milk happens to be our favorite nondairy milk for baking, cereal, dipping Oreos in, and whatever else we need milk for.

Chia Seeds—4.4 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons

Other benefits:

  • 0mg cholesterol, only 5mg of sodium, 10.7g of dietary fiber, and 178.9mg of calcium
  • Promote healthy skin, support the heart and digestive system
  • High in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids

How we like to eat:

  • We like to sprinkle our oats and vegan yogurts with chia seeds or add a tablespoon or two to smoothies. Chia seeds can also be made into chia pudding by soaking in nondairy milk overnight.
  • Best of all, chia seeds are a great egg replacement in baking recipes! Mix 1 tbsp of ground chia seed with 3 tbsp water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until goopy egg consistency is achieved.

These options are all low in cholesterol and almost all high in calcium and potassium. Plants also require much less land and water than it takes to raise cattle, but we’ll get into that another time ;). Long story short, we indeed are very capable of finding sources of protein without harming animals. Hope you found this helpful!

Much Love & Many Nomz

-L

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