So, you’re among the crowd that has decided to take meat, eggs, and dairy off the table. Of course, once you announce this decision to your friends, family, and people on the street, you inevitably get that one question: “How do you get your protein?” Barring the fact that actually there are several vegetables, like broccoli, that do contain a fair amount of protein, you can easily look at several different, not-adorable sources of protein that will leave you, and your conscience, feeling a bit better. Keep reading to learn the easy way to get vegan protein, and finally get the arsenal to answer that annoying question once and for all.
Get Vegan Protein: Quinoa
Can you believe that some people have never tried this incredible food? Okay, it might be because it’s on the expensive side of grains, especially when you compare it to rice and oatmeal. But, that’s because it’s actually not a grain – it’s a seed. And, it’s actually a complete protein, which means that it contains enough of all the nine essential amino acids for humans to synthesize protein. Actually, soybeans also fall into this category, but if you’re vegan and you HAVEN’T been eating tofu, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Otherwise, all of the other complete proteins are not considered (animal) cruelty-free. That’s one reason to keep quinoa in your cupboard as an easy way to get vegan protein. Plus, it might cost you a bit on the front end, but a little bit puffs up to quite a lot once you prepare it.
Get Vegan Protein: Chickpeas
You might also see these as garbanzo beans, but these little tan cherubs of a legume are amazing in a variety of dishes. You can eat them tossed into a salad. Or, you can fry them up and eat them like a little crispy snack. And, hummus comes from chickpeas, so you can do it up with your own unique recipe. What else is great about chickpeas, besides being an awesome way to get vegan protein? Well, if you’ve been on the lookout for a way to get a fluffy, meringue-like base to your desserts, look no further. Use your electric mixer to whip the heck out of some aquafaba (the water in a can of chickpeas), and you’ll soon have yourself some pretty flavor-neutral foamy fun.
Get Vegan Protein: Green Peas
This goes along with legumes containing quite a bit of protein, but if you’re like us, peas somehow passed under the radar. Plus, canned peas or cooked peas are perfect for blending up into soups or pesto sauces, if you’re not big on eating them alone. And, they add some much-needed color to your sad, mid-week plates when you haven’t done enough meal prep.
Get Vegan Protein: Non-Dairy Milk
When your family misguidedly thinks that there’s no way you can be getting enough protein on a vegan diet, we beg you to please whip out your container of your favorite non-dairy, milk-type beverage. After all, anybody can read a nutrition label. Plus, non-dairy milk is not only a great way to get vegan protein, but it’s awesome for cooking. Just be sure to watch out for the calories and sugars that you might get in these non-dairy milks that you wouldn’t get in skim milk. If you’re looking for a suggestion on which one to buy, soy milk generally has the most protein out of the big ones (almond, hemp, and rice are other options).
Maybe you’re not quite as impatient as we are, but it can be such a hassle when people need to know all about your diet and lifestyle. (You do you, we say. Just check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your diet. And, ask for a blood test if you feel like you might be missing something important.) Just show them this article the next time your mother laments that you’re not getting enough protein. Hi, Mom.