Sourcing Protein As a Vegan

Aside from sourcing Vitamin B12, sourcing protein is one of the biggest debates when discussing vegan diets.

While most people will tell you that it’s impossible to reach your recommended protein intake as a vegan, this just isn’t true! Between legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, and tempeh there is plenty of ways to source protein in a vegan diet. Not to mention that various vegetables and grains also contain protein. No matter what your taste preference is, there is a vegan protein source for you.

WebMD details that the daily recommended intake of protein for adult males is 56 grams and 46 grams for adult women. (Source) This can easily be achieved in a normal 2,000-2,500 calorie a day diet. Protein alone would come to 224 calories at a minimum for men and 184 calories for women.

Legumes (beans) are a good place to start when sourcing protein in your diet. From chickpeas, to kidney and black beans, to edamame (immature soybeans), there’s a legume you’ll enjoy. My personal favorites are black beans and chickpeas. I often make rice and beans with black beans. There is so many ways to flavor this simple combo I’m never bored. In addition if you get an extra 5 grams of protein in a cup of brown rice!

If you eat 3/4 cup black beans and 1 cup long-grain brown rice you’ll get approximately 16 grams of protein. That’s already 35% of a woman’s daily protein intake and 29% of a man’s daily protein intake! Add in half a cup of corn and you get another 2.25 grams of protein. As you can see it is easy to rack up the protein content in your vegan meals.

Chickpeas are a great source of protein too. Hummus is an easy way to utilize these high protein beans. (Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.) Chickpeas pack an incredible 39 grams of protein per cup. You wouldn’t be eating a full cup in hummus, however if you use 2-4 tbsp of hummus in a wrap or as a dip for vegetables you could easily 4-8 grams of protein just from the chickpeas. One high protein vegetable that makes a great addition to any hummus recipe is spinach. Spinach contains 5 grams of protein per cup.

In addition to chickpeas, one of the foundation ingredients in hummus is tahini. Tahini is made from sesame seeds. Sesame seeds are also a great source of protein! In just one tbsp of tahini you get 2.5 g of protein.

If you add 3 tbsp of spinach hummus to a wrap for a tasty and quick lunch you can add another 7 grams of protein to your daily intake. There are also many high protein options for tortillas. If you use two 2 1/4″ patties of falafel you can also get 5 grams of protein. As you can see even your vegan lunch can be high protein!

Breakfast can be protein packed too! Thomas Bagels contain 9 grams of protein in one bagel. One slice of whole wheat bread contains 3.5 grams of protein. Pair one of these with some peanut butter or nuts and you’ve got a protein loaded breakfast. You can even include a nice tofu scramble with nutritional yeast for a larger breakfast. This not only gets you 10 more grams of protein but it also gets you vitamin B12, which is vital in a vegan diet.

So let’s lay this out. Here’s a simple sample day food log with protein contents.

Breakfast: 1 whole plain bagel (9g protein), 1 tbsp butter (0g protein), 1 oz peanuts (7g protein), 1 medium apple (0.5g protein), and 1 cup oat milk (2g protein.) In just your breakfast alone you’re getting 18.5 grams of protein.

Moving on to your next meal. Lunch can also be really high in protein!

Lunch: 1 whole wheat tortilla (6g protein), 3 tbsp spinach hummus (7g protein), two 2 1/4″ falafel patties (5g protein), 1/4 cup cucumber & 1/4 cup carrot (0.5g protein), 1 oz almonds (6g protein.) Total protein comes up to 24.5 grams.

So far in the day you’re up to 43 grams of protein. If you’re an adult woman you’re only 3 grams away from your daily recommended amount and you haven’t even eaten dinner yet! If you’re an adult male you’re only 13 grams away. This is assuming you haven’t eaten any snacks yet and haven’t drunk anything outside of the oat milk with breakfast that contains protein. (Think plant milks or protein shakes)

For dinner you can have taco salad. Even a fun meal like this can contain good sources of protein to boost your daily intake.

Dinner: Tortilla chips (2g protein), 2/3 cup black beans (10g protein), 2/3 cup brown rice (3g protein), 1/4 cup sliced avocado (0.75g protein), 2/3 cup lettuce & 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (1g protein.) Your dinner is already contains 16.75 grams of protein. Regardless of your gender you will have hit your daily recommended protein intake!

Of course you can snack and include more nuts like pistachios or pecans. You could snack on some sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You could enjoy a rice cake with some almond butter. (One of my favorites!) There are so many wonderful vegan protein sources.

Of course if you or your doctor still feel as though you’re not getting enough protein, you can supplement with protein shakes or protein powder. I don’t recommend this, because they are processed and I always recommend that you eat food first. Sourcing your nutrients from real whole foods is always the best first step. This gets you the most amount of nutrients and can often cost less than shopping for more processed sources of protein.

This doesn’t even just include protein powder. This also includes other processed vegan products like frozen meat alternatives or vegan products like egg and dairy replacements.

If you have the time to make your own non-dairy milk I highly recommend it. If not buy it! That’s the only vegan replacement that I do really rely on.

There are so many ways to source protein while still eating vegan. I hope this post showed you that it isn’t impossible to meet your body’s needs while avoiding animal products. It doesn’t even have to be hard! Just put a few minutes of thought into it before your meals and I’m sure your body will thank you.

Whatever your reason for being vegan or considering going vegan, there is a way to be healthy and satisfied. Don’t let fear stop you from making a better choice!

Thank you for checking out my blog! Whether you stay for a day, a week, a month, or a year, I appreciate you.

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Published by k.emerso00

20 year old blogger and online business owner located in the small state of Delaware, USA.

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