We need 50g-60g of protein a day. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Good vegan sources include:
Tofu, tempeh and edamame – all originate from soybeans.
Soybeans are considered a whole source of protein. This means that they provide the body with all the essential amino acids it needs.
Edamame are immature soybeans with a sweet and slightly grassy taste. They need to be steamed or boiled prior to consumption and can be eaten on their own or added to soups and salads. Biona produce a tinned variety that are ready to eat and can be added to soups, salads and noodles.
Tofu is made from bean curds pressed together in a process similar to cheesemaking. Marigold produce a ready to eat braised tofu which is delicious in salads, sandwiches, stir fried with vegetables and ideal for casseroles or chilli’s.
Lentils – these are a great source of protein and fibre containing 18g per cooked cup (240 ml)
Lentils also contain good amounts of slowly digested carbohydrates, and a single cup (240 ml) provides approximately 50% of your recommended daily fibre intake. Lentils are also rich in folate, manganese and iron.
Biona produce a variety of lentils; vert, green and beluga. They can be used in a variety of dishes, ranging from fresh salads to hearty soups and curries.
Chickpeas and other types of beans
Kidney, black, pinto and most other varieties ofbeans contain high amounts of protein per serving.
Both beans and chickpeas contain about 15 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml). They are also excellent sources of complex carbohydrates s, fibre, iron, folate, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.
If you combine proteins such as rice with beans this will ensure also you get all the essential amino acids.
Beans can be added to your diet by making a tasty bowl of homemade chilli, stew or curry, or by making your own humus. Biona produce a variety of beans that can be used to boost your protein intake.
Nuts, nut butters and seeds and their derived products are great sources of protein.
Nuts and seeds are also great sources of fibre and healthy fats, in addition to iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin E and certain B vitamins. Go for raw un-blanched versions of nuts as this will ensure that there isn’t any damage to any of the nutrients in the nuts.
You could also try opting for natural nut butters to avoid the oil, sugar and excess salt often added to nuts. Try the Carley’s range of nut butters.
As talked about in part 1 of my what vegans need to know blog nutritional yeast is high in protein, fibre and is often fortified with various nutrients, including vitamin B12.
It has a cheesy flavour, which makes it a great ingredient in dishes like mashed potatoes and scrambled tofu. It can be sprinkled on top of pasta and also used to make a cheesy sauce. See my recipe for macaroni cheese.
Marigold have produced a pot of savoury vegan engevita yeast flakes with added B12 which is made from primary inactive yeast.
Chia seeds are a versatile source of plant protein. They also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds.
Golden Greens sell a 250g bag of chia seeds which are great for sprinkling on a salad or adding to a smoothie. If you make your own bread you can also add the seeds to boost up your protein intake.