Vegan Protein Sources You Probably Didn’t Know About

April 9, 2018  |  
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Whether you’ve been a vegan for years, you’re just now dipping your toes into the lifestyle, or you’re not even a full vegan put hoping to incorporate some more non-animal protein into your diet, you’ve probably run into one little issue: it’s hard to find quality protein if you aren’t eating meat. There is only so much tofu you can eat, and you’re trying to avoid those fake meats because they are loaded with chemicals. But there actually are a lot of vegan protein sources that just aren’t marketed correctly, and that we don’t associate with protein. Don’t let boredom and monotony with your diet force you off of your diet. You just need to know where to look to get plenty of nutrition, without eating animal products. Here are vegan protein sources you may not know about.

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Bulgur

You may have seen some cereal made from bulgur—it’s typically formed from several kinds of wheat. One cup can give you 17 grams of protein. It will also rack in just shy of 500 calories so, you can make it your meal.

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Amaranth

Amaranth is a gluten-free grain you may find in baked goods and cereal. It’s great for digestion, and it happens to pack nine grams of protein per cup. Use it as a base for sweet or savory dishes, the way you might oatmeal or rice.

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Nutritional yeast

Vegans love nutritional yeast because it tastes just like cheese! In fact, it’s usually used in vegan mac and cheese. It also happens to contain eight to 10 grams of protein in just two tablespoons.

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Oatmeal

Many people don’t think about protein when they think about oatmeal, but one cooked cup has six grams of protein, and under 200 calories. Have a couple of cups and you’ll have a full meal.

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Sunflower seeds

These aren’t just a fun snack to pop in your mouth when you’re sitting in the bleachers of a baseball game. One-fourth a cup of these salty seeds yields six grams of protein.

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Seitan

Seitan is made from wheat, but has a thick texture that makes it a good substitute for tofu. A three-ounce serving of the stuff boasts 21 grams of protein.

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Soymilk

You can drink your protein, too! One cup of soymilk contains eight grams of protein. If you start your day with a big bowl of cereal with soymilk—say two cups of the stuff—you’ll get plenty of protein.

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Green peas

People don’t often think of green peas as a source of protein, but one cup of the stuff can offer eight grams of protein.

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Spirulina

This green powder is nearly flavorless so you can add it to your smoothies, cereal, and even baked goods. It boasts four grams of protein per two tablespoons.

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Artichoke hearts

Did you know that one artichoke heart can have four grams of protein? And it’s so low in calories, that you can easily down a few of these. Add them to salads or blend them up for dip.

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Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds make tasty additions to smoothies, cereal, and more. Two tablespoons of the stuff can pack six grams of protein. It also makes a good addition to baked goods.

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Spinach

A bundle of spinach can have up to 10 grams of protein. If you sautee it or blend it up, spinach is something you can easily eat in bulk.

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Asparagus

One cup of asparagus can get you three grams of protein, so add a few cups as a side dish and you’ll actually pack a lot of protein in your greens.

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Tahini

Tahini makes a delicious dip or spread, as well as a good base for creamy salad dressings. Two tablespoons of the stuff can deliver around six grams of protein.

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