best vegan sources of protein

The Best Vegan Sources of Protein You Should be Eating

Are you looking for the best vegan sources of protein or for high protein foods for vegetarians? Maybe you’re wondering where do vegans get protein from?

In this article we are going to be going over a list of the most protein rich foods that also just happen to be vegan! Because there are really a lot more options then you might think.

The protein question is the first one that you will get once becoming vegan. I don’t really know why but it is just a fact. What most people don’t realize is that there are so many protein rich foods out there that are in no way connected to animal products.

So, if you are interested in adding more high protein foods into your diet then keep reading.

The Best Vegan Sources of Protein

When you make the switch to a vegan diet one of your biggest concerns is often going to be how to get in enough protein.

It is an understandable concern. Since many of us grew up thinking that meat was practically the only protein dense food to eat. And it is true that meat is very protein rich but there are also other options.

This list of vegan protein rich foods should help you to easily replace the animal products in your diet without any extra stress or hassle.

And don’t forget to read till the end to find out how you can easily incorporate these foods into your diet!

Seitan

Seitan is a very nutrient dense vegan food option that also packs a powerful quantity of protein.

It is made out of wheat gluten and is able to closely resemble meat. Much more so than many other meat-like substitutes on the market.

It contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces of seitan. Making it a very good option if you are worried about protein in your diet!

However, it is not a good option for those who are sensitive to gluten or those who has celiac disease.

Soy Bean Products

Soy products are all a great source of vegan protein as well as soybeans are a source of complete protein. As they contain all of the most essential amino acids.

Soy beans can be unhealthy in large quantities however. So, it is best not to eat too many soy products on a regular basis.

best vegan sources of protein

Tofu

Tofu is a product that occurs during the creation of soy milk and is made up of soy bean curd. Giving it a bright white color and spongy or squishy texture.

There are 8 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces of tofu. It can be easily added to your normal meals or used to create new ones.

Because of its texture, tofu might take some time to get used to in cooking. You can even use it in some vegan recipes as a kind of egg substitute!

Tempeh

Tempeh is another soy product that is made out of fermented soy beans which binds it together into a meatly like block.

Only 3.5 ounces of tempeh comes to 19 grams of protein. Making this an excellent high protein food for vegetarians or vegans.

This is often used as a meat substitute much like seitan.

Edamame

Edamame is immature soybeans that have been harvested while they are still in the pod.

Just 3.5 ounces of cooked edamame comes to 11 grams of protein! It is also very easy to include in your daily meals or you can eat edamame as a savory snack throughout the day.

You can either buy them fresh or frozen or you could buy something like this roasted edamame snack!

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a byproduct of making tofu. And is one of the best vegan sources of protein that is easily available.

It contains 7 grams of protein per cup of soy milk and it makes a great cow milk substitute. As it is rich and creamy in comparison to most plant-based milks.

Soy milk is one of the best if not the very best option when it comes to finding a similar replacement for normal milk. This organic soy milk is a great option as it is enriched with vitamins and is shelf stable.

Lentils

Lentils are another very easy source of protein if you are wondering where do vegans get protein from.

Just one cup of cooked lentils comes to 18 grams of protein . Which is almost half of your daily needed amount of protein!

Lentils are also very easy to add into your normal meals and are a bit easier to digest then other legumes.

Get something versatile like these french green lentils that you can use in stews, curries, and more.

Beans

Beans are by far one of the most common protein rich foods that comes to mind when you are trying to get protein on a vegan diet.

And rightly so, as beans do contain a hefty amount of protein. Not to mention that there are so many amazing meals you can whip up with beans.

They are easy to eat and go well with a variety of different foods. They are also nutritious in other ways and provide many essential vitamins and minerals.

Chickpeas

Canned chick peas are an excellent source of vegan protein as just one cup contains 19 grams of protein!

This is even a multipurpose protein source. As you could even start using chickpea flour in order to get in the extra protein.

Kidney Beans

Canned kidney beans are even slightly higher in protein than chickpeas are. As they contain 24 grams of protein per one cup!

These beans are excellent in chilis or salads and are an easy way to get in a hefty amount of protein in one sitting.

Black Beans

Black beans are another mild flavored bean that is a good source of protein. As it contains 15 grams of protein per cup of cooked beans.

These canned black beans can be added to most meals in order to get a little more protein in your diet.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are one of my favorite beans especially in Mexican food and it contains 15 grams of protein per cup of cooked beans.

These beans can be added to a variety of meals including many Mexican style dishes! Canned pinto beans especially come in handy for large batches of refried beans or dip!

They are a great mild bean that can be used in a variety of ways. Definitely one to keep around in your pantry for last minute meals.

Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds are a very recognized superfood that has many amazing health benefits wort checking out.

One of those benefits is that it is one of the best vegan protein sources when it comes to seeds. As it contains 10 grams of easy to digest protein per ounce of hemp seeds.

These organic hemp hearts are practically tasteless and can easily be sprinkled over your food for a nutritional boost.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a food additive that I talk about often as it is such an amazing ingredient to have around!

It is a source of complete protein and just might be one of the most common answers to where do vegans get protein from.

Nutritional yeast is a complete protein source and contains 14 grams of protein per ounce of flakes.

These nutritional yeast flakes are from the brand that I would highly recommend! This nutritional yeast is by far the most affordable brand that I have found, without having to sacrifice quality or taste.

Related: What is Nutritional Yeast and How to use it

Green Peas

Green peas are an amazing source of high protein food for vegetarians and vegans alike.

These little green peas are nutritionally dense foods that contain 9 grams of protein per cup which can easily be added to your meals as a side dish. 

They go very nicely in soups or salads. You can even buy them dried and seasoned as snacks that you can easily eat on the go.

Oats and Oatmeal

Oats are another great source of protein as they are very nutritionally dense and hearty. Making them a great addition to anybody’s diet!

They contain 6 grams of protein per half cup of oats. Which might not sound like a lot, but oats contain a higher quality of protein then other grains.

Oats are also very easy to add to your diet either in baked goods, as a binder in cooking, or as oatmeal for a hearty vegan breakfast!

I always make sure that I have these instant oats on hand as I use them for quick breakfasts or as a binder in vegan patties and sausages!

Wild Rice

If you like rice you might want to consider switching it out for natural wild rice as it is a more protein dense option!

One cup of cooked wild rice comes to about 7 grams of protein not to mention all of the other nutrients found in wild rice.

Other types of rice can easily be switched out with wild rice for a more nutritious option.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are not only a good source of protein they are also considered to be a health food!

They are rich in fiber and contain 6 grams of protein per 1.25 ounces of chia seeds. They are very easy to add to food throughout the day to get in your protein as well.

These organic chia seeds are a great option if you plan on using them frequently and don’t want to risk running out!

Nuts 

Like beans we all recognize nuts to be an excellent source of protein whether you follow a vegan diet or not.

They are easy to eat on their own or can be added to your meals or even desserts! They are also high in good fats that can help to fuel you through your day for longer. Giving you energy to get through the day.

Almonds

Almonds are by far my personal favorite when it comes to nuts and they just so happen to be protein rich as well!

Just a ¼ of a cup of these almonds comes to 7 grams of protein. Also make sure to eat almonds that still have the skin as that is one of the most nutrient dense parts.

I personally always try to have almond mill on hand as it is so easy to use and helps me to get in enough protein throughout the week.

Pistachios

Pistachios are another protein packed nut as one serving contains just as much protein as an egg does.

Just a ¼ of a cup of whole pistachios comes to 6 grams of protein.

Peanuts

Peanuts are surprisingly the most protein rich nut that you could choose! As just ¼ of a cup contains 9.5 grams of protein.

Not to mention all of the healthy fats that roasted peanuts contain. You could also eat peanut butter, just keep in mind that some fats are added to it through the addition of oil.

Quinoa

Quinoa is considered to be a gluten free or ancient grain as it is not technically a grain but can be used much like one.

This is one of the best vegan sources of protein as it contains 8-9 grams of protein per one cup of cooked quinoa.

The great thing about this organic quinoa is that it can be used in the place of other grains like rice in your meals. Or quinoa flour can be used in cooking instead of wheat flour.

Where do Vegans Get Protein?

One of the biggest and most frequent questions you will get as a vegan is where do vegans get protein from if they don’t eat meat.

You will probably be asked this question more than once if not a dozen times! Don’t ask me why, I just don’t have the answers for this question.

The simple way to try to answer this question is to remind people that almost all foods contain some degree of protein. Whether it be animal product, grain, legume, or vegetable.

There is a little protein in everything so even if you aren’t specifically trying to eat protein rich foods you are still getting in some protein. And once you do focus a little more on eating protein rich foods, you will be getting more than enough!

Even certain vegetables contain a decent amount of protein!

How to Include More Protein in Your Vegan Diet

Now that you know about the best vegan sources of protein you can start to include more of them in your diet.

The easy way to do this is to eat more meals that these foods would typically be used in. such as making more soups and chilis with the protein rich beans.

Or make granola with the oats and nuts. You could also try replacing less protein rich options like white rice or masked potatoes with wild rice or green peas.

Once you know which foods are going to give you the most protein it is really quite easy to adjust your diet accordingly.

Making it so that you will have a more protein rich diet to keep your body strong, fueled, and happy.

Conclusion

I hope that this article on high protein foods for vegetarians and vegans has helped you out. And that now you are more aware of the best vegan sources of protein that you have to choose from.

As you can see from this long list, there are more than enough options when it comes to meat free protein options.

In fact, there are far more vegan sources of protein rich foods then there are non-vegan ones! Simply because there are more vegan food groups then there are non-vegan food groups.

You might even be eating some of these foods right now in your diet without having realized it! It is quite easy to do on a vegan diet that is balanced and plentiful.

What is your favorite protein rich food that doesn’t include animal products? I would have to say that I really love chickpeas and almonds the most out of this list!

2 thoughts on “The Best Vegan Sources of Protein You Should be Eating”

  1. Pingback: Vegan Food List for Beginners: Top 10 Foods You Need to Try | Oh My Vegan

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Beans with the Highest Protein for a Vegan Diet | Oh My Vegan

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