Protein is an essential component of any health-conscious eater’s daily intake. For vegans in particular, it might seem hard to get adequate protein. In reality, there are plenty of plant-based protein sources which are not only appetizing and easy to integrate into your meals, but also equally as effective as their mainstream counterparts. Whether you’re a bodybuilding vegan or simply aiming to feel fuller longer, the following options will help you get there!
As a classic favorite for many, soy protein is widely used but best enjoyed with minimal additives and processing. Bob’s Red Mill makes this simple version which is ideal for those wanting a soy option minus any unnecessary extras. Each serving provides you with 17 grams of protein. The mild taste makes this great for adding into your usual dishes like oatmeal and smoothies for an added boost.
Pea protein is on the rise and for good reason. The right kind can provide incredible benefits, like this one by NorCal Organic with 22 grams of protein per serving. This brand even works with sustainable farmers and uses rotational harvesting to nutrify the soil. With zero added flavors and an amino acid breakdown conveniently located on the package, this is perfect for no-nonsense eaters. Isolated pea protein is also allergen-free and a great source of iron.
All hail hemp! Use this for a healthy dose of fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, and plenty of minerals, not to mention hearty protein. Hemp is the only ingredient in this powder by Nutiva, providing 15 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per serving. This brand also uses cold-pressed methods to avoid any heating of the product which can cause nutrient loss. Since hemp does have a natural flavor, this is best for those who like to add protein into preexisting dishes.
Rice protein is ideal for those with potential allergies or who prefer a mild undetectable flavor. Naked Nutrition makes this perfectly simple version with organic sprouted brown rice protein as the only ingredient. This one also has an amino acid profile listed on the back for those who find it a priority. Although deceptively minimal, this has 25 grams of protein in each serving with zero sugar.
5. Pumpkin Seed
Pumpkin seed protein is often a component of nutritional supplements or mixes but is also great on its own. With high levels of omega fatty acids plus 19 grams of protein, every serving offers a valuable health boost. This pure option by Sprout Living is cold-pressed and minimally treated to maintain maximum health benefits.
Thought coconut was just a sweet treat? This one by Carrington Farms is a shining example of how it’s actually a great protein source too. The distinct flavor makes this especially great for adding into baking for a protein boost while enhancing the taste. With some help from other plant ingredients, this offers 20 grams of protein per serving. For all the coconut lovers out there, this is the one for you.
7. Sacha Inchi
Originating from Peru, Sacha Inchi is a seed full of calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and plenty of protein. Choose one with Sacha Inchi as the main ingredient, instead of others which only contain a small amount of it. This one by MRM is entirely pure Sacha Inchi, with 8 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons!
8. Peanut Butter Protein
Although the protein count isn’t quite as high as its counterparts, peanut butter protein is a great way to flavor certain dishes while providing essential nutrients. If you’re already a peanut butter fan, sprinkle this on oatmeal, cereals, smoothies, and desserts to boost protein and taste. PB2 offers these in a variety of flavors, with 4-5 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons. This brand also removes 90 percent of the fat from peanuts while maintaining its protein quality.
Combo Honorable Mentions
As the former options are mainly single-ingredient protein sources, there are also plenty of great choices which have a combination of elements.
Vega specializes in vegan protein, offering a wide variety of flavors and blends which will cater to any particular needs. This includes pea protein, hemp, maca, and goji, but there are plenty of others as well. You can expect 20 grams of protein per serving, not to mention ample daily vitamin and mineral content.
Although this isn’t as widely seen at grocery chains, KOS makes amazing clean protein. This uses a combination of pea, quinoa, chia, and pumpkin protein totaling 20 grams in every serving. As an added bonus, this also includes a digestive blend to promote gut health plus tons of essential nutrients. For the sugar-conscious, this is a great selection with only 2 grams of sugar as well.
Aloha offers a variety of classic and unique flavors (like this banana one) and includes, pea, pumpkin, and hemp protein offering 18 grams per serving. With a sweeter flavor, this is great if you like to add proteins into a nut milk without other ingredients.
To find more recipes using these ingredients, check out the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, or find us on Instagram and Facebook. You can discover new recipes every day to provide some inspiration for a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
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