Going vegan doesn’t have to mean sacrificing protein. In fact, there are plenty of high-protein vegan foods available if you know where to look. Here are six of our favorites.
These delicious nuts (best eaten in moderation since they’re high in calories and fat) provide 6g of protein per ounce, which is about 48 almonds or 1.5 cups whole almonds. That’s not too shabby. Almonds also contain plant-based nutrients such as magnesium, iron, and vitamin E; each ounce provides 25% of your daily magnesium needs and 30% of your iron needs. Not bad for a tasty little nut, eh?
Add almonds to salads, smoothies , or just eat them as a snack. They’re full of healthy fat and protein so they’ll keep you satisfied. If you’re not into eating the whole nut, try almond butter . It’s delicious and high in protein too.
Okay, okay – technically broccoli isn’t a “nut,” but it has a significant amount of protein for a green veggie at 3g per cup, which is around 86 calories’ worth of broccoli. Add some to your vegan stir-fry , make broccoli salad , or just steam it and add a flavorful sauce.
Oats are great in the morning when you’re looking for something quick, but they’re also great in the evening when you want to make yourself a healthy vegan protein shake . Each cup cooked provides 6g of vegan protein, which is only around 246 calories. Oats also contain iron and antioxidants.
One fun tip: If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to make oatmeal in the morning, measure out 1/2 cup dry oats, add 2 cups of water or plant-based milk (almond is our favorite), microwaves for 90 seconds, and voila! You have yourself some instant oatmeal.
Lentils are packed with fiber and protein , which makes them great for vegans who want to lose weight. One cup of cooked lentils contains around 18g of protein, only 230 calories, and 16g of fiber . They’re also full of iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, B-vitamins, and potassium.
Add lentils to soups, stews , or salads for a high-protein vegan meal. They’re also great when blended into healthy dips .
5. Black Beans
Black beans are one of our all-time favorite sources of vegan protein because they have around 15g of protein every cup, cooked. Plus each cup has around 230 calories and tons of fiber (15g in total).
Black beans are best in dishes like black bean burgers , tacos, fajitas , chili , or in a sweet potato with kale . They’re also really great blended into smoothies if you want to fortify your drink with extra protein.
6. Broccoli Rabe
Another favorite of ours, broccoli rabe is high in protein (3g per cooked cup) and low in calories (around 25). It’s also full of fiber to keep you satisfied. Like other leafy greens, this one is packed with iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
We love broccoli rabe mixed into pasta or stir fried with garlic, olive oil , salt, and red pepper flakes . It’s also delicious sautéed on its own.