I don’t really cook. Let me rephrase – I don’t cook. Or at least not very often. Now – I don’t have anyone that is dependent on me for their dietary needs, so that makes it a little easier. However, I do try and put good things in – and sometimes as a plant-based eater getting enough protein can be challenging.
How Much Protein?
Now – I am well versed on all of the research that we don’t actually need as much protein as we think. The CDC recommends, in general, that 10 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from protein. The recommended daily allowance for both men and women is 0.80 grams of protein for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. Or, that’s 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh.
So – if you eat a vegan diet with protein-rich foods, it might be unnecessary to add protein powder to the mix. There are many ways to get your recommended daily allowance of protein via plant foods. One cup of tempeh provides a 31 grams of protein, and lentils provide 18 grams per cup. Two tablespoons of peanut butter provide 8 grams – although, I don’t keep peanut butter in my house as I would get ALL of my protein from that …. Probably not a good idea!
3 Plant Based Protein Recipes
3 suggestions about how to add plant based protein to your meals.
Real Food or Protein Shakes?
Ok. Good information – but that means I actually have to cook. And while I do advocate real food over supplements – I am a lover of a good protein shake. Sometimes just plain – and sometimes blended up with a frozen banana and a big handful (or two of greens). You can also add protein powder to protein balls or baked goods, such as muffins, pancakes or cookies by replacing part of the flour for protein powder! Super simple … so now you are thinking – which one should I buy? Well – here are three of my favorites! (I tend to lean toward those who rely on hemp, pea or rice protein.)
3 Awesome Protein Powders
Garden of Life has two lines of raw, vegan protein powder – Raw Protein and Raw Meal . A serving from either contains 17 grams of complete protein from sprouted brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, and other whole grains!
Sun Warrior makes two great vegan protein powders – the Warrior Blend and the Classic Protein. The Blend is a soy-free mix of raw pea, cranberry, and hemp proteins, and comes in chocolate, vanilla, and natural flavors. The Classic protein powder is made from raw, sprouted brown rice, and comes in chocolate, vanilla, and natural flavors. Both varieties contain 16 grams of plant-based protein per serving, and are lightly sweetened with stevia, with no added sugars.
Vega (and truth be told this is my absolute favorite!) makes four great high-protein powder products: the Vega One Nutritional Shake, Vega Clean Protein, Vega Sport Protein and Vega Protein and Greens. The Nutritional Shake contains 16 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving, and comes in Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai, Almond Coconut (my new favorite!) and Natural flavors. The Clean Protein has 25 grams protein, and 4 grams BCAAs in a complete, plant-based protein blend made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin seed proteins. The Sport Protein has 30 grams protein from a complete multi-source plant-based protein blend, grams BCAAs, 1 billion CFU probiotics (bacillus coagulans) and no sugar added. The Protein and Greens has 20 grams plant-based protein from a multisource plant-based protein blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, hemp protein and sacha inchi protein. It also contains veggies & greens with ingredients like organic alfalfa powder, spinach powder, broccoli powder, and organic kale powder.
Now you have some great options – but I would love to hear about your favorite – and how do you use it?
Remember – move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!