Knowing which foods have more protein than others is a very important step toward knowing how to take care of your body’s nutritional needs. Most people know that meat has protein, but what about plants? Eating plant-based doesn't necessarily mean that you are a vegan or vegetarian, it just means that you are proportionately choosing to make more of your meals from plant sources like vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, seeds, oils, whole grains, and nuts.
There are tons of environmental and moral reasons to start eating more plant-based meals and reduce the dependency on meat, but when you make that choice it’s still crucial to ensure that your body gets enough protein and fats.
So here are my top 5 favorite plant-based protein sources and some recipes or ways that I would prepare each of them for a meal.
One cup of lentils has 18g of protein making them a hearty source of this necessary macronutrient. You can prepare lentils in a soup or stew, or my favorite way, as a sauce.
Here are a few great lentil recipes:
One half cup of chickpeas has almost 20g of protein. These make an excellent addition to any salad and they can also be seasoned and air-fried for a quick, yummy snack. Here are a few ideas:
I was not personally a fan of quinoa until recently when I found out it just truly depends how it's cooked. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8g of protein, so it isn't the highest but when paired with another protein source it's perfect. Here are my favorite ways to eat quinoa:
Beans are a great source of protein and although each type has a different quantity, they're all pretty good. Kidney beans have about 20g per 1/2 cup, lima beans have 15g in one cup, and so do black beans. There are so many ways to prepare beans, the possibilities are endless.
5. Steel-Cut Oats
Everyone loves a good cup of oatmeal! And steel-cut oats have a whopping 15g per half-cup. They're perfect in overnight oats. I even have some great recipes for pancakes, cookies, and no-bake protein balls using steel-cut oats in my personal recipe ebook!
As I'm sure you can see, there are plenty of ways to incorporate plant-based meals in your week while still getting plenty of protein. If you have any other recipe ideas for plant-based meals or snacks, feel free to comment them below!