Switching to a plant-based diet doesn't mean you have to miss out on protein. There are numerous protein-packed plant foods available, and we're here to guide you through the top 5 vegan protein sources and how to cook them.
What are vegan proteins?
'Vegan proteins' are sources of protein that are plant-based and do not come from animals. They are an essential part of a vegan diet, which excludes all types of meat and animal products.
Top 5 vegan protein sources
Here are five of the best vegan protein sources you can incorporate into your diet:
Lentils: High in protein and fiber, lentils are a great vegan protein source. They can be used in soups, salads, and stews.
Quinoa: A complete protein source that contains all essential amino acids. Quinoa is a grain that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Tofu and Tempeh: Derived from soybeans, tofu and tempeh are versatile vegan proteins that can be cooked in many ways.
Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are high in protein and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Nuts and seeds: These not only provide protein but also healthy fats and fiber. They can be added to salads, cereals, and other dishes.
How to cook vegan protein sources
Cooking vegan proteins is not as intimidating as it may seem. Here's how to prepare each of the top 5 vegan protein sources:
Boil lentils in a pot of water for about 15-20 minutes, until they are tender. They can be used in a variety of dishes like salads, soups, or stews.
Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking. Then, cook it in a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu can be pan-fried, grilled, baked or stir-fried. Tempeh, on the other hand, needs to be cooked at a high temperature, either by frying or baking, to bring out its nutty flavor.
Soaking chickpeas overnight will shorten their cooking time. Boil them until they are tender, which can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. They can then be used in salads, stews, or mashed to make hummus.
Nuts and seeds
Most nuts and seeds can be eaten raw, but roasting them can bring out their flavors. Just spread them out on a baking sheet, roast for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and let them cool before eating.
Incorporating these vegan proteins into your diet can ensure you're getting enough protein while following a plant-based lifestyle.