How to Get Vegan Protein: 5 Easy Ways
I think I would be a millionaire right now if I got a dollar for every time someone asked me, ‘how do you get vegan protein?’ It’s very understandable that that would be a big concern. It definitely was one of my concerns when I decided to hop aboard the plant-based lifestyle. I don’t get mad when people question my protein intake. It’s hard for someone to comprehend getting enough protein on a plant-based diet when they’ve been bombarded by society to think that meat is the only source of protein. The truth is, there are many protein options out there. It requires some time and research, but I promise you, there are plant-based proteins out there!
I remember starting out and having trouble thinking of protein I can add to my diet. After educating myself and trying the options out, I’ve come to find that I definitely have my favorites. It really doesn’t have to be complicated! In the spirit of keeping things simple, I’ve listed my five go-to ways to get vegan protein.
I know a lot of people aren’t fans of tofu. Before I became plant-based, I wanted nothing to do with tofu. I quickly realized, seasonings and cooking methods were my best friends when it came to cooking tofu. Choose flavors that you love and compliment each other. My favorite combos are lemon, curry, and paprika, and thyme, dill, and vegan mayo. I like to cut them into cubes, pan fry them until they are fairly crispy, then stick them into the oven at 420F for another 10 minutes to get even crispier!
- Protein in Carbs
When living off a plant-based, I find it is super easy to carb overload. For me, this comes in the form of pasta and rice. Instead of eating the not so nutrient-dense versions of these staples, opt for high protein versions. I discovered some miraculous things on my journey like pasta made out of chickpea and lentils which are high protein. I haven’t had any luck finding them in mainstream local grocery stores. The best place to find this special pasta is at health food stores like Willow Natural Foods and Whole Foods, or online health stores like well.ca, thrivemarket.com, and iherb.com. As for rice, opt for quinoa or couscous as they are high in protein. Quinoa and couscous are great additions to salad, or with stir fried veggies.
- Hemp Protein
I was so happy when I stumbled upon this gem at my local grocery store. It’s hemp seeds grounded up into powder. It’s a great, natural way to add protein into your diet. Hemp is full of vitamins, good fats, and protein. I love to add it to my smoothie, oatmeal, pancakes, and baked goods!
- Add Nuts and Seeds!
Nuts and seeds are not only high in protein, but they also consist of healthy fats which is also vital to a healthy diet. They are so easy to access. Every grocery store carries them. They are great for adding texture and flavour to salads. I also love taking them on the go as a healthy snack. You can’t go wrong with a handful of nuts and seeds! My favourite is the trail mix packages because they come with a variety of nuts and seeds, as well as dried fruit to sweeten it up a bit. I make sure to check the label for any added sugar, so I could avoid it – especially because I’m already sweet enough! Haha.
- Beans, Chickpeas, and Lentils
When I started off on this plant-based journey, I had no experience with cooking beans. It took me no time to learn! It is also a cheap way to add protein to your diet. If you purchase canned beans or chickpeas, make sure to rinse them a couple of times before cooking. It will help reduce bloating. I love to stir fry my beans, chickpeas, and lentils with veggies, or combine them into a patty for veggie burgers! Spices really help make these low key items taste divine!