The best plant-based protein foods for vegetarians that are energizing and a protein bomb

The best plant-based protein foods: Protein is a key part of a healthy diet. It used to be the obsession of body-builders and gym fanatics alone, but now lots of us are keen to ensure we are eating enough.

Read more: How to prepare Asparagus Mini Toasts: delicious and easy

It can be tricky to get your daily quota as a vegetarian if you’re not sure what your best veggie sources of protein-rich foods are. Discover our best protein-rich recipes, bursting with fresh veggie flavours that are key to a healthy diet.

Stay with this section of Cooking in the Wonder section of Eternal Pen magazine.

The best plant-based protein foods

If you’re cutting out certain food groups such as meat and fish, you might think your protein choices are somewhat limited, but there are lots of options for packing in the nutrients.

1. Grains and pulses

The best plant-based protein foods: Lentils, pulses and beans are an excellent store cupboard staple source of protein – 100g of boiled lentils contains around 9g of protein and are a hearty way to bulk up soups, stews and casseroles.

Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and even baked beans are an easy way to power up your protein intake. There are also a range of grains such as oats, barley, rice and quinoa that can add protein to a simple recipe.

The best plant-based protein foods: Quinoa in particular is a valuable veggie ingredient as it is one of the few plant sources classed as a complete protein.

This means it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Learn more about the health benefits of quinoa. And it’s well worth having that bowl of porridge in the morning – 50g of oats made with milk contains around 15g of protein.

2. Dairy products

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Image source: freepik

The best plant-based protein foods: Dairy products are packed full of calcium and protein, which are both essential as part of a healthy diet – 100g of cow’s milk contains around 3g of protein, while 100g of cheddar cheese contains around 25g of protein.

Choose reduced-fat options if you are concerned about saturated fat and calories. Vegan options include nut milks, such as hazelnut or almond milk, but be aware that shop-bought versions contain very low levels of protein.

The best plant-based protein foods: Soya milk is more comparable with dairy in terms of protein content. Learn how to make your own dairy-free milk in our easy-to-follow guide. A spoonful of Greek yogurt is also a great way to add in protein, with around 6g for every 100g of yogurt.

Try topping your muesli, smoothie bowls or cereal with a hearty dollop of fresh, natural Greek yogurt.

3. Eggs

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Image source: allrecipes

The best plant-based protein foods: Eggs are an easily available, cheap source of nutrients. A single hard-boiled egg contains around 7g of protein and makes a nutritious, filling breakfast or lunchtime meal. They’re also easily digestible and low in calories.

4. Soya and tofu

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Image source: veganonboard

The best plant-based protein foods: Soy protein is a very versatile ingredient and can be turned into many different delicious forms.

Tofu, for example, is made from the curds of soy milk and can be great when bulking out veggie stir-fries or salads.

It comes in different forms: silken, firm or extra firm and is another low-calorie, high-protein ingredient you can make use of relatively easily – 100g of firm tofu contains around 8g of protein. Soya beans themselves can be eaten alone or turned into soy milk, miso or tempeh.

Per 100g, soya beans contain around 15g of protein. Although plant and animal proteins are digested in different ways by our bodies, soya is a great veggie substitute for meat and is decidedly adaptable.

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