Plant Based Proteins

by Madeleine Andersson

Photo courtesy of Sophie Perez

The mention of protein is a hot topic for vegans and vegetarians.

After two and a half years of being vegan, I am very much accustomed to the age-old question: “Where do you get your protein from?” Well, after all this time, I finally have the answers. The sources of protein that best suit my vegan lifestyle include tempeh, tofu and hemp hearts.

Tempeh flavor differs depending on each brand and seasoning you decide to purchase. Ranging from savory to sweet, tempeh has a meaty consistency that provides you with 31 grams of protein per cup. My favorite tempeh brand is Lightlife’s Flax found in most grocery stores.

Another soybean powered protein is tofu. Although it goes through more processing than tempeh, it is still considered a great vegan or vegetarian protein. Taking on the flavors of most everything it accompanies, tofu can be added to any meal—even oatmeal! The textures range from soft to extra firm in all grocery stores. These generic brands are not only affordable but consist of 20 grams of protein per cup.

The last and most versatile add-on is hemp seeds or hemp hearts. These protein-rich seeds can be added to anything; from salads to hot meals, just three tablespoons is equivalent to 11 grams of protein. No brand has a superior taste compared to Manitoba Harvest. Other sources such as quinoa, flax seeds, chia seeds, lentils, beans and soy milk are helpful in achieving your daily requirements for protein.

Although they contain less protein, these options are excellent sources of many other beneficial nutrients as well. Overall, incorporating any of these options into your diet will have a positive effect on your health by increasing the amount of protein in your diet, even if you have a plant-based diet.