Proteins are known as the building blocks of life as they breakdown into amino acids that help the body grow and repair. Our hair, skin and muscle are all made from the protein we eat. Three plant sources – soy protein, quinoa and Quorn – contain all the essential amino acids needed for good health. Other plant sources of protein lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Sometimes animal protein is thought of as a ‘complete protein’ for this reason. But it’s not true that vegetarians will lack protein, or that you need to eat plant-based proteins in certain combinations. Eating a variety of plant protein each day gives you all the essential amino acids you need. Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilo of body weight per day (for the average woman, this is 45g, or 55g for men).
Keeping the vegan Eatwell Guide in mind, you can personalise your portion sizes.
Carbs like cereal/rice/pasta/potato:
Protein like tofu/beans/pulses
Vegan spreads/nut butter
Savouries like popcorn/crisps
Bakes like vegan brownies/flapjacks
Baked beans – 120g– 6g of protein
Chickpeas – 105g –8g of protein
Lentils – 120g – 9gof protein
Tofu is a plant-based protein made from soybeans. The beans are soaked, cooked, and crushed into a liquid. With the help of a coagulant, the liquid thickens to become tofu. Tofu is low-carb, dairy-free, gluten-free, cholesterol-free.
Tofu is extremely versatile. It doesn't have a lot of flavour on its own, and it takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it with. The more firm, the less water content, and therefore, the more calories and nutrients. The more liquid varieties, likes silken and soft tofu, have more water in it, and fewer calories, carbs, protein, and fat.
100g tofu gives you 8g of protein
Edamame beans are immature soybeans and 40g will give you 5g of protein. They can be added to soups, stews, salads and noodle dishes or eaten as a snack.
Tempeh is a nutrient-dense soy product with a high amount of protein, as well as various vitamins and minerals. It may decrease cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and appetite while improving bone health. Tempeh also contains prebiotics, which may improve digestive health and reduce inflammation. has a strong, nutty flavour. It also tends to absorb the flavours of any food or sauce to which it is added, making it a versatile choice for many sorts of dishes, from chilli’s and stews to sandwiches.
100g of tempeh gives you 19g of protein
100g of seitan gives you 75g of protein
100g of quorn gives you 11g of protein
185g cooked quinoa gives you
Peanuts – 30g serving– 8g protein
Walnuts – 30g serving – 4g protein
Hazelnuts – 30g serving - 4g protein
Sunflower – 30g serving – 6g protein
Pumpkin – 30g serving – 7g protein
Wholegrain rice –185g cooked – 7g protein
Wholegrain bread –medium slice – 3g of protein
Oats ( uncooked ) –40g – 4g of protein
Wholemeal pitta –58g – 5g of protein
Spelt - is a cereal grain from the wheat family, but is not wheat (same genus, different species), looking very similar to wheat in appearance. Once turned into flour it has a nutty and slightly sweet flavour, very similar to whole wheat flour. 100g of raw spelt has 15g of protein.
Teff – is a tiny grass seed with a high calcium content as week as containing iron and protein. It has a mild, nutty flavour and can be used in many ways – ground into flour or as a whole grain. It can also be boiled or steamed as a side dish. 100g of teff flour has 12.2g of protein.
Vegetables – Many dark-coloured, leafy greens and vegetables contain protein. Eaten alone, these foods are not enough to meet daily protein requirements, but a few vegetable snacks can increase protein intake, particularly when combined with other protein-rich foods. Mushrooms are also a good source.
a single, medium stalk of broccoli contains about 4g of protein
100g kale has 4.3g of protein
5 medium mushrooms have 3g of protein.