Have you had way too much whey or maxed-out on meat, but want to make sure you’re getting ample protein without relying on protein powder? Think plants! You can find fair amounts of protein in a wide variety of plant-based foods.
Most plant-based proteins are easy to prepare and pair nicely with one another. They tend to be economical, especially if you prepare beans at home rather than buying canned. Flash-frozen vegetables are also kind to your wallet and retain their nutrients for quite a while, so you’ll always have a solid protein source on hand without having to defrost a chunk of meat. Choosing plant-based proteins also means you’ll consume a host of other vitamins and minerals that vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits provide.
Check out these 9 versatile plant-based proteins:
It might surprise you to know that a serving of oatmeal has more protein than an egg!
These babies are technically a fruit. They’ve become a go-to food in the world of health and fitness because they are a fine source of vitamins, the “good” kind of fat and protein.
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Here’s another fruit that can give you a protein boost. Eat the seeds or try the syrup. Pomegranate can liven many a bland dish.
Beans and Legumes
Though soybeans have the most protein (which means tofu and tempeh are common vegetarian protein choices), other beans and lentils hold their own when it comes to protein content. Pick a bean – any bean: red, black, pinto, cranberry, navy, fava and more.
This legume deserves its own entry because it’s found its way into a wide-array of products and popular recipes. It’s the main ingredient in hummus and a key ingredient in falafel. Products made with chickpea flour, like pasta, are becoming increasingly popular on grocery store shelves too.
This tender vegetable is often overlooked as a protein source.
Like green beans, protein-rich green peas fly under the radar.
Nuts make good snacks and add texture and taste to salads, sides, pasta dishes, rice and more. Try pistachios, peanuts, pecans and any other nut that catches your eye! But, remember that a small amount goes a long way, so be aware of your portions.
Rice with ample amounts of protein? Who knew? Well, now you do. So use it!
All of the above can be shaped into meals. Think about combining these protein-rich foods together to pack your plate with protein.
Here are two simple plant-protein recipes to get you started.
Oatmeal with Ground Pistachios and Pomegranate
- Prepare oatmeal.
- Grind pistachios.
- Sprinkle fresh pomegranate seeds and pistachios on oatmeal to satisfy your tastebuds.
Chickpea-Green Bean Salad with Black Rice
- Steam 1 pound green beans.
- Mix 1 ½ cups chickpeas with green beans.
In a separate bowl, whisk together
- juice of one large lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- ½ cup water
Pour over chickpeas/green beans and set aside.
Serve with prepared black rice.
Protein abounds in the world of plants! Experiment and see what combinations you can create.