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Vegan Sources of Protein

When people think of foods that contain protein they probably think of something along the lines of a steak or a glass of milk. But with more people turning to vegan diets, we rounded up a list of plant-based nutritional superstars that are full of protein.

veggies & fuits

Avocado:

At 4 grams of protein per avocado this fruit sneaks in a healthy punch of protein. Avocados are full of healthy fats and a variety of nutrients like, folic acid, zinc, fiber, and potassium. Add more avocados into your diet by adding them to soups and sauces for a creamy substitute.

Jackfruit:

Jackfruit is enjoying its time in the spotlight thanks to its uncanny resemblance to cooked meat. Now it is showing up on menus as a substitute for meats like pulled pork. Jackfruit contains almost 3 grams of protein per cup. It also challenges bananas for the amount of potassium and is loaded with vitamin C and fibre. Jackfruit sliders anyone?

Potatoes:

Americans consume more potatoes than any other vegetable. Unfortunately, the majority of these potatoes are consumed from fast food restaurants in french fry form. American’s obsession with french fries has contributed to potatoes getting a bad rap. However, there are 4 grams of protein in just one medium white potato along with 20% of your daily recommended potassium intake.

Brussels Sprouts:

Brussel sprouts have gone through a flavor revolution in recent times. Now you see crispy, saucy, sprouts popping up on menus in the coolest restaurants around the country (amen for that!). WIth 3 grams of protein per cup, potassium, and vitamin K, brussel sprouts are some solid nutritional nuggets.

Guava:

With more protein per cup than any other fruit, we couldn’t leave guavas off the list. Guavas are nutritional superstars in other areas as well. In a single serving they contain four-times the amount of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C.

Spinach:

Spinach is one of those health foods that isn’t going away. Sure, other foods get their time in the spotlight but spinach remains one of the top nutrient packed veggies. It also contains the most protein of any leafy green. 100 grams of cooked Spinach will give you 4 grams of protein. (Pro tip: you get more protein from spinach when it’s cooked).

Broccoli:

Long touted to be a super veggie, broccoli deserves all the credit it gets. For a vegetable, it’s high in protein and will give you around 3 grams per 80 grams of cooked broccoli. It’s also loaded with cancer fighting compounds and is full of fibre.

Nuts, Grains, and Seeds

Almonds:

Almonds are rockstars when it comes to protein. They deliver 6 grams per cup along with vitamin E to keep your skin and hair healthy, and magnesium to keep your bones and muscles operating smoothly. We like using finely ground almonds as a substitute for regular flour when we are baking or just reaching for a handful when we are hungry.

Cashews:

Cashews are full of bone building nutrients like magnesium and vitamin K. They also have a decent amount of protein at 5 grams per 30 gram serving. A handful makes a perfect snack but they also can take a starring role in plant based recipes, everything from cheesecake to cesar salad dressing.

Quinoa:

Quinoa was the most prominent food source of the ancient and powerful Inca empire. It is a superfood seed that contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Just one cup of Quinoa has 8.14 grams of protein. Quinoa makes a great addition in soups, salads, or as a substitute for rice.

Pumpkin Seeds:

There are 12 grams of protein in just one cup. But you also get the bonus of half  the daily recommended intake of magnesium (which studies have shown fights off depression), zinc (to boost your immune system), and plant based omega-3s to keep your heart healthy. We like them shelled and toasted…on pretty much everything.

Peanuts:

Not only are peanuts great for snacking on they are also super versatile. Use them to make some of your favorite comfort foods, or use them in cooking and baking. Just 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein.

Steel-Cut Oats:

There are lots of different types of oats but your best bet for protein is steel-cut oats. With 7 grams of protein per cup they are a solid source of protein. With a lower glycemic index that other varieties, steel-cut oats won’t spike your blood sugar as much. Meaning you’re more likely to stay satisfied for longer after you eat them.  

Chia Seeds:

Until recently Chia seeds were relatively unknown in the US. Chia seeds were also used in the Aztec empire as both medicine and food. Turns out the Aztecs were on to something. For a small seed, Chia is packed with protein. In just one tablespoon there are 3 grams of protein. They are also full of omega-3’s which tells our bodies to start burning fat. We like to sneak these little seeds into baked goods and veggie burgers.

Flax seeds:

Flax seeds might be tiny but they are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and protein. They can be used in baking to replace eggs and hold foods together in some recipes. We like to sprinkle ground flaxseeds in our veggie burgers to make them firm enough to flip on the regular BBQ. One tablespoon of flax seeds has almost 2 grams of protein.

Peas & Beans

Chickpeas:

Next time you want a snack reach for some hummus. With 6 grams of protein per serving and lots of fibre, chickpeas are loaded with the right kind of nutrition.

Lentils:

Lentils are high in protein and low in calories. They make great side dishes, veggie burgers, and soups. Their healthy nutrient profile has been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Black Beans:

Adding black beans to your veggie burgers, tacos, and salads is a great way to sneak in extra protein. Cooked they have 15 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber. They are also loaded with potassium, folate, and B vitamins. 

Soy Beans:

These mighty green beans contain 17 grams of protein per cup making them our plant based protein winner. Soybeans also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients. To enjoy the true benefits of soy beans skip the heavily processed soy products and try eating whole edamame next time you’re craving a snack.