I am writing this post for many people. For the high school students who want to be vegetarian but whose parents are giving them a hard time, for anyone who is (usually unnecessarily) worried about protein, and of course for those who are asked every time someone finds out they’re vegan, “But how do you get your protein?”. I classify protein into the following categories:
-Beans. So many varieties of beans, dried, soaked and cooked, canned and fresh. Edamame, refried, bean dip, falafel, bean burgers, the list of bean products goes on and on.
-Nuts & Seeds & their Butters. The old standby, peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, tahini (ground sesame seeds), straight munching nuts, nuts used in recipes, like cashew, pecan, walnuts, pignoli, brazil, hazelnuts.
-Whole Grains. There’s one magic grain that is a complete protein. It’s quinoa. Rinse it to remove the bitter resin and cook with water or broth, plus seasonings. Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and many others. whole grain bread, pasta, cereal.
-Substitutes. For new vegans and those living with nonvegans, this tends to be a large part of the diet. Vegan burgers, chicken, ground “meat”, hot dogs, ribs, sausage, cheeses, nuggets, etc. Usually made from soy or wheat gluten, I’m also including soymilk in here, because unlike rice, almond, or most other nondairy milk, soymilk has a good amount of protein if you drink several glasses a day.
-Other. My favorite “Other” is nutritional yeast flakes. There are also other “others” like protein powders sourced from hemp, soy, pea protein, a combination, or more. Sprinkle protein powder right on hot or cold cereal, mix into drinks, or sprinkle over whole wheat pasta, bread, or other grains.
Any way you look at it, vegans are getting plenty of protein, and really a lot more than they need to be healthy.
Much, much more about this in the near future!!