You’re Vegan? Where do you get your protein from?
How many times do we hear “Where do you get your protein from?” “Vegans only eat salads” “You need meat to build muscle and be strong”.
Well think again! Here are some of our favourite versatile vegan protein sources you can get anywhere without breaking the bank balance. It won't require you to search far and wide for the ingredients but instead it will help you lose fat, gain muscle and fuel those workouts.
Protein: 12g protein per 100g
Cost: £1.50 – £2 on average per 300/400g pack at your local supermarket.
Tofu is every vegan’s best friend. It is made by curdling soy milk and it is the most versatile of the lot, high in protein and calcium and very low in carbohydrates.
It has been known to lower cholesterol and actually prevent cancer. Guys, soy will not give you man boobs! Soy contains plant estrogen called phytoestrogens which do not have an effect on male humans.
We love to make tofu scramble, add it to curries, stir
fry’s, sandwiches or just season it with a bit of vegetables on the side.
Protein: 6-20g per 100g cooked
Cost: £1.50-3 per kilo at your supermarket or local market stalls.
There are various types of lentils (red, yellow, white, green) and there are many types of beans such as black beans, borlotti, haricot, kidney beans, navy beans, edamame, chickpeas and soybeans. They are all packed with not only a high protein punch but also a load of good carbohydrates and more importantly fibre. This keeps you energised and fuller for longer. To top it all off they all contain a shed load of iron, anti-oxidants and B vitamins which help you to convert food to energy!
We use them to make some tasty curries, soups, add them to salads and even make them into burgers.
Links: Legumes, pulses and beans.
3) Nuts, Seeds and Grains.
There is a large variety of nuts and seeds and they are all versatile and delicious. On average a bag of mixed nuts or seeds(like chia) have about 10-15g of protein per 50g serving and cost around 40p-£1 per 50g serving.
They are high in good fats and omege 3 fatty acids. They are a source of calcium, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. All these things are great for your health in particular your bones, heart and general immunity. They may be small but pack a lot of calories so eat these in proportion and according to your goals.
We eat a handful of nuts as a snack or use some nut butter and/or chia in our smoothies or on our pancakes.
Quinoa deserves a shout out and is often confused for being a whole grain but is actually a seed which contains around 10g protein per 100g costing around 70p.
Oats are another big favourite containing about 12g per 100g and only costing £1 per kilo bag. Both also contain slow digesting carbohydrates and are high fibre to keep you fuelled for longer.
Try adding quinoa to your salads or making some quinoa porridge. We love making some tasty overnight oats, adding oats to our smoothies or incorporating them both into our baking recipes.
4) Vegan Quorn (Mycoprotein), Soy mince and other mock meats
Protein: 10-20g protein per 100g serving
Cost: 300-500g bag at £1.50-£3 at your local supermarket or try Ocado for a larger range
Mycoprotein is made by fermenting a blend of glucose, minerals and fungi. Other products such as soy mince, burgers and sausages made from soy, wheat gluten and even some legumes too.
These frozen mock meats get a lot of bad press because they are processed. Nonetheless, they are low in carbs, high in fibre and protein and very convenient.
They can all be cooked within 10 minutes and added to your favourite carby dishes or eaten by themselves with a nice salad.
5) Vegan protein shakes
Protein: 15-25g per 30g scoop
Cost: 40-80p per serving depending on the brand. Try Myprotein for the biggest savings.
Now if you’re like us and do not always have the time to pre-prepare foods and snacks or just need a protein boost then vegan protein shakes are really handy. There are more and more vegan shakes coming onto the market which combine a variety of vegan protein sources such as soy, pea, rice and hemp to ensure you obtain all essential amino acids. Most of these shakes are low carb and can be used in a number of ways.
Our personal favourites are adding a scoop vegan protein powder to some porridge oats or making a protein smoothie with some soy milk, bananas, yogurt and peanut butter.
Look out for our next blog post where we will post some of the high protein recipes mentioned above!