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Favourite vegan protein sources!

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By Mitisha Panchal, Blogger, Where to Vegan

Hey guys! HAPPY SUMMER!

I hope you are all enjoying the glorious sunshine, I sure am! I am here with a new blog post all about… VEGAN SOURCES OF PROTEIN.

One of the main questions I always get when people first find out that I’m vegan is… ‘Where do you get your protein?!’ – I’m sure the rest of you can relate!

Throughout this blog post, I am going to talk through all the PLANT BASED protein sources* I try to fit into my diet. There are probably way more that all of the ones I am going to discuss and describe today, but here are the main ones. Here we go!

Favourite Plant Protein Sources

  1. Tofu

Tofu is one of my ultimate favourite sources of plant based protein, mostly because it is so versatile! It has been found that it is one of the greatest forms of protein for those on a plant based diet due to the fact that it contains all essential nine amino acids that our bodies require. There are also SO many different types of tofu e.g. soft silken tofu, firm silken tofu, fried tofu etc.
I especially love tofu because you can use it in so many different dishes. I tend to scramble and season it to resemble ‘scrambled eggs’ or I marinate and use it in a salad. There are immense amounts of options when it comes to cooking tofu.

  1. Seitan

Seitan is another one of my plant based loves! Did you know that it has been found that seitan has roughly a similar amount of protein as animal meat? It is low in carbs and fats which also makes it a fantastic source. Although it is highly nutritious, it is made completely out of hydrated gluten, so it must be avoided by those who have a wheat or gluten intolerance.

I tend to make my own seitan; there are loads of recipes online where you can make your own delicious seitan! There are lots of businesses out there that serve it on their menu. A personal favourite of mine – Temple of Seitan.

  1. Tempeh

Tempeh is another great source of plant protein. It is made from soy and is very high in protein. It has an immense number of nutrients; it is high in vitamins and minerals and low is sodium and carbs. Research has found that due to the fermentation process which takes place, tempeh is rich is prebiotics which helps your digestive system.
I personally love tempeh! I have had tempeh in different ways but my ultimate favourite is tempeh ‘bacon’! It can be marinated, seasoned, baked, crumbled and steamed, so therefore can be used in a range of dishes.

  1. Chickpeas

Ooomg who doesn’t love chickpeas? Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and can be used as a fab replacement for meat within a plant based diet. It contains a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre and research has found that it also helps with digestion and managing your weight too. Have you realised that when you eat chickpeas, you tend to fill quite full afterwards? Chickpeas basically help to slow digestion which promotes the feeling of being ‘full’. This is a good thing because it actually lowers your calorie intake for the day!

My favourite way to eat chickpeas? HUMMUS, OF COURSE! I also love roasting them and eating them as a crunchy snack. One of my favourite healthy crisps are ‘Hippeas’ which use chickpeas too.

  1. Lentils

Lentils! Lentils! Glorious lentils! Did you know that lentils can reduce your blood sugar levels? Lentils are one of cheapest sources of proteins out there and is known as one of the ‘world’s healthiest foods’.  There are loads of different types of lentils, e.g. brown, puy, green, yellow and red and beluga. Lentils are filled with magnesium, zinc and potassium too! They’re also high in fibre which helps with a healthy digestion.

I love creating my own Bolognese using brown lentils mixed with carrots and mushrooms. I also love making a Shepherd’s Pie with lentils too!

  1. Nuts

There are a huge range of nuts which are great sources of protein…

Peanuts is an amazing source of protein and it contains lots of the essential nutrients we need. They’re also a lot cheaper than other nuts! I love making peanut butter cookies using the recipe by So Vegan.

Almonds are just amazing. Although they do not contain as much protein as peanuts do, they contain lots of other important nutrients. My mum always used to give me almonds as a child and used to say, ‘it is good for the brain!’ They’re also rich in vitamins and minerals.

Pistachios! Another form of plant power. They have loads of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants and also helps lower blood pressure.

Cashews. I just loooove cashew cheese! Cashews are brilliant because not only are they good for you, they are so versatile when cooking and baking. I’ve used cashews when making vegan cheese and also as a key ingredient for vegan desserts.

Of course, there are loads more – but these are my favourites!

  1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a great alternative to protein especially if you have a wheat or gluten allergy because it is gluten free! It is fab because it contains all of the 9 amino acids, just like tofu. It’s also extremely high in fibre, iron and vitamin E.
There are 3 main types of quinoa: red, white and black. I love having quinoa in a salad or as a replacement for rice.

  1. Mycoprotein – Quorn

Oooh Quorn is one of my ultimate favourites. When all the other fabulous meat replacements came out, like seitan, I forgot all about Quorn. But I was soon reunited!
Mycoprotein is a very nutritious protein which resembles the texture of meat. It is made from a funghi called Fusarium Venenatum. Quorn uses a fermentation process, just like how beer is made, to create the texture.
I absolutely love Quorn and I use it within most of my meals. I especially love the Vegan Quorn Pieces which I use in curries, stir frys and salads.

  1. Vegetables which are high in protein

There are a huge range of vegetables that you can incorporate into your diet easily which are very high in protein. First up is…

Broccoli

Sweetcorn

Edamame Peas

Asparagus

Spinach

Avocado

^ Those are my favourite vegetables that I enjoy eating in all sorts of ways. I love having vegetables on the side of my meals or incorporated within. Vegetables are delicious!

Those are my top nine PLANT BASED protein sources! I hope this helps new vegans, current vegans, long-term vegans or even those who are just considering a little bit of plant based goodness in their lives.

I have to admit – since turning vegan, I have never felt so healthy. I very rarely get sick or catch the flu and I’m guessing that is because I am ensuring that I have all of my vitamins and nutrients through what I eat. Moreover, it is important to ensure that you have blood tests to make sure you aren’t deficient in anything. So if you are feeling extremely tired and not sure why, make sure you get yourself checked.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please check out my Instagram – www.instagram.com/uk_vegans
I frequently post my own cooking but mainly restaurant and vegan product reviews! I tend to stay quite up to date with the trends so I hope to keep you fully informed!

Thanks for reading guys! I’m off to enjoy some of my plant based ice-cream!

Mitisha x

*Thank you Medical News Today & Healthline for the information.