PROTEIN SOURCES FOR VEGETARIANS

Mimi ON Jan 15, 2018 AT 10:55 am

By Carly Bayroff

There was a time when being a vegetarian was harder than it should have been. One of the biggest concerns with being a vegetarian is getting all of the nutrients you need, especially protein. But now, there are plenty of options for you to get all of the protein you need if your diet consists of skipping meat. Use this list as a way to guide your food choices in order to get the most out of your veggie friendly meals.

vegetarian protein sources

Vegetarian Protein Sources

Chickpeas/Beans: Legumes are praised for their high protein but they have all kinds of health benefits like being extremely fibrous. Chickpeas and beans are available year-round in your grocery store. You can add them to salads and stews or eat them on their own. Hummus is made of chickpeas and should be a staple in your meal if you’re a vegetarian. I use hummus as a healthy snack to dip vegetables or pretzels in when I’m hungry and also as a spread in wraps or on sandwiches.

Tofu: Tofu is made from soya protein and makes the perfect substitute for meat in almost any dish. You can use it in a stir-fry to replace chicken and it’s also great in rice and noodle dishes. It has a very neutral taste, giving it the ability to work with all types of flavors. It also comes in several different consistencies: extra firm, firm and soft so you can play with the texture in your recipes.

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Ingredients for Vegetarian Stir Fry with Tofu

Quinoa: This makes for one of the best protein sources because it’s something you most likely already eat and cook with. High in protein and wheat free, quinoa is a great healthy alternative for grains because you get all of the benefits without the starch. Replace all of your withstanding recipes calling for rice with quinoa, as you’ll be getting twice the protein but the same fluffy texture with a slight crunch. Th best part about quinoa is that if you store it in an airtight container it can last for months.

Nuts/Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a quick way to add some protein to your diet. Try adding chia seeds to your yogurt (which is also a great protein-rich food) with some fruit and honey – you won’t even know they’re there and you can get your protein fix. Like seeds, nuts are also easy protein sources. Add them to your granola for much-needed salt and additional crunch or eat them all by themselves since they make a great healthy snack. Nuts are heart-healthy and a good way to boost your protein levels and with all of the varieties out there, the possibilities are endless.

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Quick and Easy Way to Add Protein to Your Breakfast

Nut-butters: I love peanut butter and can’t imagine my diet without it. For those who don’t like it, almond butter is also an excellent source of protein. Use both of these in smoothies or as a spread on a sandwich. The classic combo is peanut butter and banana (my favorite!) but don’t be afraid to get creative with nut-butters, they make the perfect canvas for some amazing snacks.

Eggs: Eggs are rich in several nutrients but make a great source of protein because they are inexpensive and high quality. Although there are many foods that can give you much more protein than an egg, they are great for adding protein to dishes. You can start your day with an omelet that you load up with veggies, boil them and use them in your salads or crack an egg on almost anything, like toast, to up your protein levels.

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