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Top 8 Plant Based Foods High in Protein

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No matter your reasons, one of the challenges for non-meat eaters is making sure they get enough protein every day.

But it’s not as big a deal as many think.

If you’re vegetarian, vegan or just want to add some non meat based proteins to your diet, here is Emed’s Top 8 plant based proteins.

 

1. Quinoa: 14g Protein / Cup

A grain like seed, quinoa is a high protein alternative to rice or pasta, served alone or over vegetables and greens. It provides a good base for a veggie burger and is also a fantastic breakfast cereal when served cold with almond or coconut milk and berries.

  • Cook and top on raw or cooked greens 
  • Use as a a hot or cold cereal by adding homemade nut milk and fresh fruit
  • Use a bed of quinoa instead of a bed of rice for stir-fry dishes or a side dish

 

2. Lentils: 18g Protein / Cup

Delicious, nutritious and super easy to prepare lentils are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre.

  • Cooked with your favorite spices and seasonings and eaten plain
  • Sprinkle on top on salads 
  • Combine with rice or quinoa for a hearty meal
  • Use to make vegetarian meatballs, loafs, or burgers 
  • Use as a taco filling or meat sauce for spaghetti

 

3. Tempeh/Organic Tofu/Edamame: 20g Protein / 100gm

Soy containing foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame all offer a complete protein, containing all amino acids. Often these sources also carry fibre and healthy fats as well as the protein. Tempeh is the most nutritious out of this bunch, and an exception to soy foods as it contains natural occurring healthy bacteria from the fermentation process.

  • Use as you would beans or lentils. Tofu and tempeh both can be marinated
  • Use tempeh and tofu as toppings to salads
  • Add to stir-fry meals
  • Add to sauces such as creating a “meat” spaghetti sauce 
  • Use as filling for tacos, burgers, or even shaped into “hot dogs”

 

4. Beans (Black, Kidney, Mung, Pinto): 12-15g Protein / Cup

Beans are an amazing source of protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. Beans are considered to be a starchy protein similarly to be used like lentils.

  • Cooked with your favorite spices and seasonings and eaten plain
  • Top on salads or Nourish Bowls, One Bowl Skillet Meals
  • Combine with rice or quinoa for a hearty meal
  • Use to make vegetarian meatballs, loafs, or burgers 
  • Use as a taco filling or meat sauce for spaghetti

 

5. Spirulina: 6g Protein / 10 grams

A blue-green algae, spirulina is a highly bioavailable complete protein containing all essential amino acids. At 60% protein (the highest of any natural food), it’s a plant-based protein powerhouse that should find its way into everyones morning smoothie.

  • Blend into smoothies, such as Tropical Green SmoothieBeauty Green Smoothie
  • Use in snack or dessert recipes, such as the Spirulina Energy Globes

 

6. Hemp Seeds: 16g Protein / 3 Tbsp

With a perfect ration of omega-6 and omega-3 EFA’s, hemp seeds are another bioavailable complete protein rivaled only by spirulina. A simple and great addition to a multitude of dishes, from breakfast cereal to salads to smoothies to vegetables and rice.

  • Sprinkle on top of salads 
  • Stir into soups, stews, or blend into soups and stews to slightly thicken
  • Add to smoothies
  • Make hemp seed milk
  • Make Hemp Seed Crumble
  • Add to hummus, dips, or dressings by blending the hemp seeds into it
  • Sprinkle on top of porridge, oatmeals, or other cereals
  • Add into baked goods and desserts for added protein

 

7. Chia Seeds: 4g Protein/ 2 Tablespoons

Chia seeds are an ancient seed used for centuries for their amazing properties to absorb water and turn into a gel-like substance because of the soluble fiber content contained in the seeds.

Due to this unique characteristic, chia seeds are great to add to meals and foods to thicken naturally, while also boosting the fiber, protein, and healthy fats. mainly omega-3’s.

  • Sprinkle on top of porridges, oatmeal, and cold cereals for a crunch
  • Soak for at least 30 minutes in almond milk for a basic chia seed pudding. 
  • Soak in water for a refreshing and hydrating beverage

 

8. Nutritional Yeast: 12g Protein/ 3 Tablespoons

Nutritional yeast is a staple food item in plant-based diets due to it’s cheesy flavor, versatility, high amounts of B vitamins, and protein.

Nutritional yeast contains no dairy or active yeast, it’s found in a powder/flake form and creates a paste when mixed with liquid- i.e. it’s great for making sauces, dressings, and more with.

  • Add flaked nutritional yeast to almond milk, or water to create a cheesy dressing or sauce
  • Sprinkle on top of salads, quinoa, lentils, beans, and more for a cheesy flavor
  • Incorporate into dips such as hummus, baba ghanoush or tahini 

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