When it comes to calcium, a lot of us were raised to believe that dairy milk is the ideal way to get our daily recommended intake. If you grew up in the U.S., you can probably recall the white-mustachioed faces of the celebrities endorsing the “Got Milk?” campaign. The nutritional power of dairy-milk has also most likely was reinforced on the homefront, with family teaching us the calcium in dairy milk helps build strong bones. So, where do we get out calcium if we don’t drink milk? Plants!
It turns out there are a lot of ways to get calcium from plants. Green vegetables like kale, spinach, bok choy, and broccoli are all high in calcium. When it comes to beans, look for edamame, white beans, and black-eyed peas. Almonds, almond butter, sesame seeds, and tahini are more great ways to add plant-based calcium to your diet. You can also include fruits, like oranges and figs and plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh.
To help you out, we’ve curated 15 plant-based meals that are rich in calcium. These recipes are a great way to add a daily dose calcium to your diet and talk to a health professional before considering a supplement.
1. Bean Burger With Herb Aioli
Everybody needs a reliable go-to burger recipe that tastes fantastic, just like this Bean Burger With Herb Aioli. This calcium-rich white bean burger is paired with a refreshing and creamy herb aioli. Serve on toasted buns with leafy greens, sweet potato fries, and extra sauce on the side, for dipping.
2. Black Sesame Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry With Chili Sauce
This Black Sesame Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry is a quick, vibrant, uber-healthful dinner for those nights when you just really need a no-brainer. With broccoli, tofu, and kale, not only is it packed with calcium, it’s also tasty, light, and fast. Try this once, and you’ll be hooked — it’s all about the sauce here. Serve this on a bed of rice, or enjoy as-is!
3. Green Edamame Spinach Pesto
This Green Edamame Spinach Pesto is awesome. Edamame, cooked spinach, and tahini — all of which are great plant-based sources of calcium — are blended together to create a sauce unlike any other. It’s smooth like hummus in its texture, yet it tastes like pesto. Serve it over pasta or enjoy it as a dip.
4. Ginger Citrus Tofu Power Bowl With Bok Choy and Cashews
Zesty and fresh with a hint of crunch, this perfectly balanced Ginger Citrus Tofu Power Bowl With Bok Choy and Cashews is packed with flavor and calcium. Some days, you just need to give yourself a break from heavily-involved recipes and go with something simple. That’s where this dish comes in, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice big flavor for a quick meal.
5. Banana Bread Energy Bars
Need a quick, nutritious bite to eat? These Banana Bread Energy Bars taste amazing and really boost your energy levels! They have a base of calcium-rich almonds and dates, buckwheat, and mashed bananas. Keep these handy for whenever you feel the need for sweet, yummy snack.
6. Sticky Baked BBQ Tempeh Strips
Nothing says summer like Sticky Baked BBQ Tempeh Strips. Just because you’re following a plant-based diet, doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy a “meaty,” saucy meal or that you’re missing out on calcium, because tempeh is a great source! This oil-free baked BBQ tempeh would make a delicious addition to your backyard get-together this summer or anytime you’re looking for an easy vegan dish that everyone will love. Just make sure to cook a couple of batches!
7. Smashed White Bean, Avocado, and Basil Sandwich
Instead of your typical chickpea salad, calcium-rich white beans are the star of this Smashed White Bean, Avocado, and Basil Sandwich. They’re mashed together with creamy avocado, whole grain mustard, lemon, and fresh basil. Leaving the beans slightly chunky gives them the perfect texture as a base for creamy avocado and crisp, fresh lettuce. Mixed with all those fresh flavors and tangy mustard, this easy sandwich is the perfect lunchtime staple for anybody.
8. Fat-Free Broccoli and Spinach Patties
These Fat-Free Broccoli and Spinach Patties are a healthier, easy to make tikkis, Indian croquettes, made from spinach broccoli, and chickpea flour. These patties are crispy on the outside with soft and chewy texture inside. Ready in less than 20 minutes, they’re perfect as an appetizer or snack served with chutney or any creamy dip.
9. Pistachio Almond Tofu
Ground pistachios and almonds give this Pistachio Almond Tofu extra flavor and a delightful crunchy coating. You can have this nutty tofu as an entrée for dinner, put it in a sandwich, or use it to top a salad. It’s super versatile, so don’t limit yourself!
10. Spinach and Bean Chipotle Casserole
For a hearty, calcium-rich meal that only takes a half hour to make, look no further than this Spinach and Bean Chipotle Casserole. It’s loaded with iron and protein and is drenched in delicious tomatoey goodness. Serve with fresh coriander sprinkled on top and with some crusty bread to soak up all the tasty juices!
11. Grilled Tofu Steaks With Orange Ginger Glaze
Put your grill to good use with these Grilled Tofu Steaks With Orange Ginger Glaze! They’re grilled until browned on both sides and then brushed with a sticky, citrusy, and spicy orange-ginger glaze — the perfect combination of flavors to welcome outdoor weather. Serve on a bed of grains with grilled baby bok choy and your favorite barbecue sides.
12. Kale Edamame Dumplings With Simple Dipping Sauce
These Kale Edamame Dumplings With Simple Dipping Sauce are surprisingly easy, but the results are so impressive. The filling comes together in a snap in the food processor, the dumplings cook through in less than five minutes, and the dipping sauce is just whisked together in a bowl. That’s it! Make them and eat up!
13. Palak Tofu Paneer
This tasty Palak Tofu Paneer substitutes tofu for the cheese in a creamy, spicy, and savory spinach curry. Black salt brings a unique flavor to this dish — an almost egg-like flavor, but if you’re unable to find it, it can be substituted with regular salt. If you have a soy allergy, the tofu can be substituted with white potatoes. This is a gravy-like curry, so it’s best served with rice and flatbread.
14. Easy Green Casserole
Broccoli, kale, crunchy quinoa, and a creamy white bean sauce make this savory Easy Green Casserole a new comfort food favorite — and it’s packed with calcium-rich ingredients. Make this casserole at the start of your week and you’ll have a week-worth of dinner! Best of all, this recipe only requires one-pot meaning it’s an easy make and an easy clean up.
15. Thai Tempeh Collard Wraps
In these Thai Tempeh Collard Wraps, vibrant veggies and toasted tempeh flavored with ginger, garlic, and soy, are wrapped up in a luscious leaf! They’re crunchy, flavorful, and refreshing! These wraps make a fantastic lunch on a warm and breezy spring day, where the weather is perfect for eating outdoors.
We hope these calcium-rich vegan recipes made you as hungry as they made us.
Lead image source: Bean Burger With Herb Aioli