Going meat-free doesn't have to be a decision on whether or not you're gonna be vegan or vegetarian. There are so many health benefits connected with lessening our consumption of animal protein, the least of which include lowered risk for heart disease because of lower consumption of cholesterol-inducing food. But we all need protein, for low protein levels, including muscle pains, low energy, and trouble sleeping.
1. Black beans ("Tausi")
Known locally as "tausi," black beans are very versatile and can be used in vegan burgers, as a base for flourless brownies and cakes, as a side dish with brown rice, or in various dips and sauces. They are recommended for patients with diabetes because of their low glycemic index score, which means they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Aside from being protein-rich, they're full of fiber, so they're great for weight reduction and those looking to maintain a healthy weight.
For every 100 gram serving of cooked lentils, you get 26 grams of protein! Of course, you may not eat that much in a meal, but knowing just how much protein is packed in this powerhouse legume makes it an affordable, delicious way to get your nutrients and fiber. They are also a source of iron, potassium and magnesium, which we need for healthy blood. Best of all, they are free from cholesterol. Enjoy them in all sorts of soups, mix them into rice, or make them into vegan burger patties.
Seen as a grain, quinoa is actually completely plant-based and also a complete protein, with 4 grams per every 100 gram serving. Out of any grain, it has all nine essential amino acids, making it a rich source of protein. We like to eat it in place of carbs like rice or pasta, in a gluten-free version of oatmeal or porridge, and as a component in hot or cold salads.
You can find falafels on almost any restaurant menu, even in fast food joints. They are sold in mom & pop stores and in grocery stores. Made from chickpeas and spices, there is about 13 grams of protein for every 100 grams of cooked falafel. Don't get too excited over the fried variants, though, as they can be quite fatty in content. Opt for baked versions, if you can.
5. Hi-oleic peanut butter
We all know you love our Pic's Peanut Butter, and it's true that hi-oleic peanut butter is an excellent alternative to meat. Its composition makes one serving of protein equivalent to an adult person's nutrition needs. (And it's yummy.) A natural source of magnesium and potassium (which benefits bodily functions) as well as Vitamin B-6, which nourishes liver function. Don't gorge on it, however, because though it is considered a good fat, it is still fat (and you won't lose weight, if that's your workout goal). Enjoy a tablespoon with your apple a day (ideally before a workout); add it to protein shakes; use it in flavoring vegan kare-kare.
It's an acquired taste, tofu, but if you can get used to it, it is a complete protein and excellent source of calcium and iron. In 100 grams of tofu, you can get 8 grams of protein. Just make sure you get GMO-free variants (read your labels!). Tofu is very versatile and can be incorporated as meat replacements in various cuisines.
7. Pea protein powders, hemp protein powders, etc.
A lot of people are suspicious of powders like these, because of their powder form. However, if we are building lean muscle, it is impossible to eat copious amounts of protein in a meal that will actually be functional enough for muscle-building (which we ALL need, as we get older).
Veggie protein powders like hemp powder, pea protein (and the non-vegan versions, like whey protein), can be classified as "concentrated food" or functional food: Whole foods that have been concentrated into powder form through a cold-pressed extraction method that retains all the nutrients in the food, so that you get a huge amount of protein in one scoop. For active people, these are used post-workout for muscle recovery. You can blend these with nut milks, yogurts, berries, chia seeds, flaxseeds for a complete meal.
Raw Bites Recommends: Pulsin Protein Bar
We're lucky. You're lucky, because we have an amazing source of plant protein with our Pulsin Protein Bar. Our variants contain pea protein and rice protein, almonds, cashew butter, cacao, and green tea extract which make them a great post-workout snack as they can fill you up and enable you to burnout on calories. Get yours in your Raw Bites Box, today!