Many people are concerned about their protein when eating a plant based diet. No need to worry - there are many amazing sources of plant based proteins that (unlike animal proteins) come with other health benefits including iron, fibre and healthy fats. Read more to find out what they are and why you should be eating them...
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Plant Based Proteins You Should Be Eating

Nutrition

Many people are concerned about their protein when eating a plant based diet.

No need to worry! There are many amazing sources of plant based proteins that (unlike animal proteins) come with other health benefits including iron, fibre and healthy fats. 

Here is a quick breakdown of seven healthy plant based proteins, why you should be eating them, how to use them and some delicious recipes...

Beans

Beans are an amazing source of protein and fiber. They are also full of disease fighting antioxidants. You can cook dry beans but I use canned beans to save time and prep work. My favourites include black, chick peas, kidney, cannellini and aduki. When buying canned beans look for ones marked “BPA Free” – many organic brands are including Eden Foods.

How to use them:

  • Top your salads or make a bean salad
  • Sauté with greens
  • Make black bean burgers
  • Add cannellini beans to pasta dishes
  • Use as a taco or fajita filling
  • Make hummus or other types of bean dips

Make Black Bean Burgers

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Seeds

Hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, chia and flax seeds are all a great source of protein and are really easy to incorporate into your day since they don’t need to be prepped or cooked. Hemp seeds are also a great source of magnesium and pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc. They also all are full of heart healthy fats – a small addition to your meal that can make a big impact on your health.

How to use them…

  • Sprinkle on top of salads
  • Sprinkle on top of avocado toast
  • Garnish soup with seeds for a little crunch
  • Add to cookies or muffins when baking
  • Add to smoothies
  • Add to hummus or dips for an extra boost of protein
  • Sprinkle on top oatmeal or cereal

Make Healthy Granola Bars

Lentils

Lentils are a great source of protein and iron. They are an easy staple to keep in the pantry and can be used in a variety of ways. They do require some prep – they need to be rinsed well and cooked.

How to use them…

  • Add to salads
  • Make a power bowl using lentils, beans and veggies
  • Use them in soup or stew
  • Use to make plant based meatballs, loafs, or burgers
  • Use as a taco filling, Bolognese or in chili 

Make Veggie Bolognese

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Quinoa

Quinoa is technically a seed and is a gluten-free grain. It contains a good amount of iron and fibre and is considered a complete protein – meaning it contains all the amino acids your body needs. It is easy to store and needs to be rinsed before cooking. You can either cook it with water similar to rice or toast it for a nice crunch.

How to use it:

  • Add to salads – cooked or toasted
  • Make a quinoa salad with herbs and veggies
  • Mix with beans and herbs for a hearty dish
  • Use it as a breakfast cereal as you would oatmeal
  • Use it anywhere you would usually use rice

Make Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad

Oats

Oats contain a good amount of protein as well as heart healthy fibre. They are an easy way to get protein at breakfast and can be used in baked goods as a hidden source of protein. I love using oats and always have both rolled oats and steel cut in my kitchen. Be sure to stick with pure oats as packaged flavoured and quick oats can contain sugar and other unwanted ingredients. Read more on 6 Ways Eating Oats Will Change Your Health

How to use them:

  • Make oatmeal and top with seeds and berries
  • Use them in baked goods – you can blend them to make a “flour”
  • Make homemade granola bars or energy balls
  • Use them as a filler in bean burgers or veggie meatballs

Make Blissful Blueberry Muffins

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Nuts

Nuts are full of healthy fat, vitamins, protein and antioxidants. My favourites include brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which keeps your thyroid healthy and are a great filling snack – you only need 1 or 2 a day to get all the benefits. Walnuts are an amazing source of healthy fats and immune boosting antioxidants.

How to use them:

  • Sprinkle nuts on top of salads
  • Add to oatmeal or breakfast cereal
  • Grind and use as a “flour” in gluten free baking
  • Have them alone as a snack
  • Use them in baked goods for extra crunch and protein
  • Top your stir fry or rice bowl with them 

Make Classic Vegan Caesar Salad

Nutritional Yeast

Not only is nutritional yeast a good source of protein, its also an amazing source of B vitamins. It has a cheesy flavour that works great in sauces, dips or sprinkled in place of parmesan cheese. It contains no dairy or active yeast, and it’s found in a powder/flake form that is easily stored in the pantry. Learn more about Nutritional Yeast

How to use it:

  • Sprinkle on salads, pasta or popcorn
  • Top your baked potato
  • Add it to hummus, sauces or dips
  • Use it in risotto
  • Mix it with nut milk or cashew cream to make a cheesy sauce

Make Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles

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