Now we all know the story – Popeye begins as a scrawny sailor and every time Olive Oyl needs saving, he pops open a can of spinach and…. GUNS FOR DAYS!!!!
Well truth be told, spinach is 49% protein! So maybe he is on to something. Society has always been curious about how vegetarians and vegans get enough protein.
I challenge you to search the hashtag #veganbodybuilding. These people do NOT look protein deprived. So for those of you that want to experiment with being a vegan or a vegetarian and sustain your health and wellness journey, take a look below at some plant based proteins and a few ways to add them to your diet!
Nuts – 1 serving (1/4 cup) can provide you with anywhere from 4-7g of protein depending on the variety. You can add crushed nuts to salads, cereals, yogurt or your granola. Nuts also serve as a great snack to have on the go.
Seeds – a 1 oz. serving of seeds can give you 5 to 10 grams of protein depending on the seeds. Some popular seeds are pumpkin, sesame and hemp – hemp being very rich in protein. Seeds can also be added to smoothies, cereals, yogurts and as a snack.
Edamame – 1 serving equals 1 cup of 17g of protein. Edamame can serve as an amazing snack with some salt and lemon juice or add it to top salads and stir fry’s.
Tempeh – a fermented soy-based product can pack 20g of protein in a 4-oz. serving. Miss “meat” based meals? Substitute your meat products with tempeh. You can season the tempeh the same way you would your meats BUT FIRST steam or simmer the tempeh for 10-15 minutes to get rid of the bitter flavor. Tempeh has a nutty flavor and can do with liberal seasoning so don’t skimp on all of your herbs and spices!
Lentils – ¼ cup of dried lentils packs 14g of protein. A staple in Indian cuisine, it is good for curries and stews or in rice dishes.
Vegetables – Now you would have to eat A LOT of vegetables if that’s the only way you want to get your protein, but it can be done. Every gram counts and they are chocked full of nutrients that can enhance your health. Leafy greens can be added to salads, smoothies; cruciferous vegetables can be added to stir-fries and curries and root vegetables are great in soups and stews.
Have any plant proteins that you love to cook with?
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Until next time,
Team Make It Fun NYC