If you recently transitioned to a plant-based diet or are at least incorporating more meatless meals into your routine, you may be wondering how to get your daily recommended intake of protein. While it does require a little more work and time at first, receiving enough protein from plants is not only possible, but it can be better for your body than animal protein.
Here are six plant-based proteins you can try. As always, when possible, we recommend shopping local and organic for your fruits and vegetables.
Coming in at the top of our list, edamame is extremely high in protein for a plant. These premature soybeans have 17 grams of protein per cup and make for an excellent snack or appetizer. Enjoy with a sprinkle of salt.
These green trees are not as high in protein, but with minimal fat, they make a delicious side and/or addition to any stir-fry, salad, casserole, or pasta dish. One cup of cooked broccoli has about 2.6 grams of protein. Broccoli also has a ton of fiber and many necessary vitamins, so load up!
Keeping with the green theme, peas are another great source of protein at 8.6 grams per cup. Enjoy in various forms—try split pea soup in the winter or fresh peas in a summer salad.
If you haven’t tried pumpkin seeds on your morning oatmeal or mixed them into a spring salad, you’ve been missing out. Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, not only have 5 grams of protein per quarter cup, but they contain about half the recommended daily intake of magnesium, immune-boosting zinc, and plant-based omega-3s. Buy in the bulk section of your grocery store and sprinkle on everything.
We wrote a blog about the power of nuts a while back, but we want to re-emphasize the benefits. Nuts have so many of the nutrients your body needs to fight off disease and maximize your health. They are also tiny protein powerhouses. Per cup, peanuts have 38 grams of protein, cashews have 20 grams of protein, and almonds have 24 grams of protein.
And Brazilian nuts, arguably one of the best foods around, contain 19 grams of protein (per cup).
While not 100% free of animal products (Vukoo bars contain dairy), Vukoo bars are still a great source of protein for those looking for a meat-free protein alternative. With only the highest quality ingredients and 20 grams of protein per bar, these meal substitutes are great for reaching your daily protein recommendation.