Blog Posts

    Best Vegan / Plantbased Protein Foods

    PROTEIN

    Here’s a simplified way to think of the best plantbased protein sources in serving sizes that intuitively make sense if you cook (cups / cans / tbsp NOT ounces and grams — I have no idea wtf 1 oz of quinoa grains is, who’s weighing all their food crumbs?). I personally need to visualize it for me to understand it, so hope this is helpful.

    Since the point of this post is protein sources, I’m only including protein grams to keep things simple. FYI – the reason why I’m including calories is so that you can see as a proportion of calories, how much protein you get (not to trigger anybody). E.g nuts have long been known as amazing protein sources, but as you can see they’re pretty mediocre (1 cup black beans will give more than double the protein the calorie-equivalent in nuts would).

    Top Sources

    Tofu, edemame, tempeh, lentils, beans, chickpeas — amazing sources of protein. To put it in perspective, if you had 1 cup cooked lentils a day, 1 cup tofu and 1 cup of beans you’d be over the protein needed requirement!

    1 cup tofu
    188 calories
    ~20g protein (42% of calories are protein)

    1 cup edemame
    190 calories
    17g protein (35%)

    1 cup tempeh
    320 calories
    31g protein (39%)

    1 cup cooked lentils
    230 calories
    18g protein (31%)

    1 cup cooked green peas
    130 calories
    8g protein (24%)

    1 cup cooked black beans
    220 calories
    14g protein (25%)

    1 cup cooked chickpeas
    270 calories
    15g protein (22%)

    1/2 cup hummus
    200 calories
    10g protein (20%)

    1/2 cup seitan (“wheat meat”)
    160 calories
    31g protein (77%)

    Powders & Seeds

    The below are amazing sources of protein (80% of spirulina is protein!) but we never eat high quantities of them. However 1 tbsp here and there go a long way. E.g if you put 1 tbsp of spirulina in your smoothies, 1 tbsp of hemp seeds to top your oats, and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast sprinkled in your dishes that’s en extra 10g of protein super easily (not to mention all the other nutritional benefits).

    1 tbsp spirulina
    20 calories
    4g protein (80% of calories are protein)

    1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    20 calories
    2g protein (40%)

    1 tbsp hemp seeds
    63 calories
    4g protein (25%)

    1 tbsp pumpkin/squash seeds
    56 calories
    3g protein (21%)

    2 tbsp nut butter
    200 calories
    8g protein (16%)

    GRAINS & “CARBS”

    Fear the grains, not! Most grains have a nontrivial amount of protein.

     

    1 cup cooked soba noodles
    110 calories
    6g protein (22% of calories are protein)

    1 slice ezekiel bread / sprouted bread
    80 calories
    4g protein (20%)

    1 cup cooked wheat
    220 calories
    10g protein (18%)

    1 cup cooked spelt
    250 calories
    11g protein (18%)

    1 cup cooked  wild rice / couscous
    160 calories
    6-7g protein (17%)

    1 cup whole wheat pasta
    174 calories
    7g protein (16%)

    1 cup cooked bulgur
    150 calories
    6g protein (16%)

    1 cup cooked teff
    255 calories
    10g protein (15%)

    1 cup cooked buckwheat
    155 calories
    6g protein (15%)

    1 cup cooked quinoa
    222 calories
    8g protein (14%)

    1 cup cooked amaranth
    250 calories
    9g protein (14%)

    1/2 cup cooked farro
    340 calories
    12g protein (14%)

    1/2 cup uncooked oats
    150 calories
    5g protein (13%)

    1 cup brown rice
    215 calories
    5g protein (9%)

    Vegetables

    We never think of veggies as having protein, but they do! Most veggies have a good amount of protein, however you’d need to be eating quite high volumes to get enough “grams” (if you were neglecting legumes and grains).

    1 cup brussel sprouts / broccoli / kale / asparagus
    30-40 calories
    ~3g protein (30-40% of calories are protein)

    1 cup whole mushrooms
    20 calories
    3g protein (60%)

    1 cup cooked spinach
    40 calories
    5g protein (50%)

    1 cup cooked corn
    140 calories
    5g protein (50%)

    Protein Powder

    I believe in getting your protein through your nutrition first and foremost. If your nutrition is good, this isn’t needed by any means. But sometimes I understand the need to supplement a bit if your meals haven’t been on point. However, sadly I haven’t had the best experience with vegan protein powders…most have had a very chalky eeeek taste I haven’t even be able to hide in smoothies. I have heard Form Nutrition is great, but currently only available in the UK. My mom enjoyed this Nutiva Hemp Protein in her smoothies.

    Hope this was enjoyable! If you want me to do more blog posts like these, please let me know my DM-ing / commenting on my instagram @vegansrecipe. or my personal account @arlaxh.