When you think of protein the first thing that tends to come to mind is meat or eggs. But did you know that plants also provide this muscle-building macronutrient? In fact, plant protein is ever better because not only is it low in saturated fat, but it also provides soluble fiber that is important for lowering cholesterol. Plant protein is also much cheaper than meat. Here are 4 protein-packed options for you to try.
Chickpeas are one of the best sources of plant-based protein, with 39 grams of protein per cup. They have been part of certain diets for over 7 500 years and with the health benefits and delicious taste they offer, it is easy to see why. At Anat, we love chickpeas and use them in several forms, including hummus and falafels. Chickpeas are included in the diets of some of the healthiest populations living around the globe today.
Lentils come in a variety of colours including black, brown, red and green, but they are all packed with protein. 1 cup of lentils contains 18 grams of protein, and these legumes are often used in vegetarian dishes such as Bolognese, burgers and lasagna. Lentils are also great in soups as they tend to fall apart and give you a gorgeous purée-like consistency without having to use a blender. They are great warm or cold and are also great in salads.
Pumpkin seeds are delicious and sweet and contain 9 grams of protein per 30 grams of pumpkin seeds. Also knows as pepitas in some parts of the world, pumpkin seeds are great raw or roasted. You can mix them with granola, sprinkle them over home-baked muffins or even substitute them for pine nuts in pesto. Roasted pumpkin seeds are also tasty when added to salads, giving an extra crunch. The options are endless!
Spinach may not be everybody’s favourite, but when it comes to packing a protein punch this vegetable comes out tops. Spinach contains 5 grams of protein per cooked cup. When in its raw form, you would have to eat heaps of the stuff to make a dent in your protein needs, but luckily this vegetable cooks down considerably. When sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil, spinach is delicious as a stand-alone side dish, or it can be added to a brown rice bowl or pasta dish. Baby spinach requires very little prep and there are also some frozen options if you are short on time. Spinach is also a great addition to many smoothie recipes.
For the perfect vegetarian, protein-rich snack try our falafels at Anat. We know you will love them, and you won’t miss the meat at all!