“Go on, tell us. Just where do you get your protein from?”
Not all meat-eaters ask the question out of malice. Sure, some do. Some just love to tease you about how turning vegetarian will make you skinny, pale and gaunt, because apparently protein doesn’t actually exist in vegetables.
But there are also those meat-eaters who patronise you with their concern.
“Aww, you do know that you’re going to have to work extra hard to get your protein, don’t you, dear? Because without protein, you will DIE.”
Right, okay. As if we didn’t already know that.
Well, the next time you’re asked where you get your protein from, just reel off these 10 protein sources for vegetarians.
Beans have got so much protein in them that they’re practically high on the stuff. They’re also high in fibre and antioxidants too, which means they help you lose weight, as well as prevent you from developing nasty diseases.
The problem with beans is that there are so many different types. For the best bean sources of protein, we suggest that you turn to soybeans (boiled soybeans contain 17g or protein per 100g), lupin beans (16g per 100g), and tempeh (18g per 100g).
2. Peanut Butter
Americans just love peanut butter. They eat it in the morning, at dinner, at lunch and they even eat it before bed. But Europeans have attached a stigma to peanut butter simply because it’s Americans who consume the most of it.
After all, anything the American’s love just has to be unhealthy, right?
2 tablespoons of peanut butter is stuffed with 8g of protein, which makes this spreadable edible a favourite source of P-power for vegetarians. It’s super convenient, and you can spread it on your toast, your waffles, your apples, or you can just lick it straight out of the tub!
Quinoa is another one of wonderful protein sources for vegetarians. Described as God’s gift to vegans and vegetarians by pretty much every vegan and vegetarian who has ever eaten it, quinoa is a source of protein that you may have heard of but never actually tried.
Not quite a grain and not quite a seed, quinoa is dubbed as being a complete protein. Nutritionally powerful, it can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can put it in a salad, swap it for rice, enjoy it as a cereal, and you can even use it instead of protein powder. It’s awesome.
Next one of great protein sources for vegetarians is kale, which has been described as the new beef, and it’s so jammed with protein that even meat-eaters are convinced.
A leafy green, it looks a bit like spinach but is actually more impressively potent than Popeye’s favourite muscle-enhancer. Most of kale’s calories are protein, with a single half-cup of the green stuff containing a gram of protein power, and as a bonus you also get calcium, vitamins A, C, B6, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans, are either used in a salad, fried as part of a stir fry, or eaten alone as a crispy bite. You can even find them in hummus, which basically means that chickpeas are super accessible, and therefore a super convenient source of protein for vegetarians.
A 100 grams of darling chickpeas contains 19 grams of protein, and they are also rich in fibre, whilst being low in calories. Making a meal with them is really easy, which means there is no excuse not to get strong on protein with these lovelies.
We love tofu because it’s so inexpensive, so versatile and it tastes great, and it’s also one of fabulous protein sources for vegetarians. (Only make sure to buy it Non-GMO).
You’ve probably seen cartons of tofu, as you make your way around your local supermarket, as they’re becoming more and more visible on the shelves. This is because vegans and vegetarians see tofu as a protein gift from above, and are making the effort to incorporate it into their daily meals.
A 100 grams of tofu contain up to a whopping 8 grams of protein, and you can either get soft tofu that resembles mash, or you can get more solid tofu that resembles meat. Enjoy.
Another one of great protein sources for vegetarians is soy. We included beans on this list earlier, but soy actually beats beans hands down when it comes to being a complete protein. You can get around 10 grams per half a cup of the stuff, and you get more of the amino acid methionine, than you do from a tin of beans.
Lots of vegans and vegetarians have made soy the ideal substitute for meat when it comes to protein, and we’re not ones to argue with them. Tofu, which was mentioned above, is actually a soy product, so you’re in fantastic company if you get on the soy train.
8. Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel was actually a character in the Old Testament who lived for hundreds of years. We’re guessing this bread was so named, because it is so rich in protein that you, too, can live for hundreds of years!
But probably not. Oh well.
But actually, there is a connection to the Ezekiel found in the Bible, as the recipe for this bread can be found in the Old Testament. It reads as follows:
“Take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself.”
A staple point of the student diet for the last million years, lentils might be cheap and associated with cash-strapped students, but they’re actually also one of wonderful protein sources for vegetarians.
A single half-cup of lentils contains 9 grams of protein. Additionally, it contains a whopping 16 grams of fibre. Lentils are also very tasty and there are lots of amazing recipes for you to gorge on.
Almonds might not be the richest source of protein on this list, but they’re still a good go-to protein source of vegetarians.
Even better, they’re really convenient and can be eaten as a snack whenever, wherever. They also come rich in fibre, as well as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
There are many more sources of protein for vegetarians to enjoy, such as brown and white rice, artichokes, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, spinach, chia seeds, spirulina, cooked broccoli, asparagus, etc.