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Home ยป Waste-free Living ยป Sources of Protein for a Plant-based Diet

Sources of Protein for a Plant-based Diet

It is assumed that meat is the only (or the best) source of protein but with a little bit of research you will discover a range of vegetables, legumes and plant-based foods that are rich in protein.

If you are looking for protein rich foods for your plant-based diet, give these foods a try.

  1. Tofu – tofu is made from soy and is in it’s pure form, flavourless but when it is cooked it takes on the flavour of your dish. I am not the biggest fan of tofu, the texture is a little funky but it can be used in pretty much any dish and contains 10g of protein per ½ cup. Not only is tofu rich in protein it is also a good source of calcium and iron.
  2. Lentils – this is one of my favourite protein sources because you can make some delicious dishes with it and it is pretty easy to cook. Lentils contain 8.84g of protein per ½ cup.
  3. Chickpeas – chickpeas are another one of my favourites because they are also pretty versatile. Cooked chickpeas take a few minutes to heat up when you need a quick meal. Hummus is perfect to eat with veggies or crackers and roasted chickpeas are a most delicious snack. Chickpeas contain 7.25g per ½ cup.
  4. Peanuts – these little nuts are jam-packed of protein and healthy fats. Peanuts contain 20.5g per ½ cup. If you prefer peanut butter, you will still get a decent amount of protein – around 3.6g per tablespoon. 
  5. Almonds – almonds are a more indulgent source of protein but still a great source with 16.5g of protein per ½ cup. 
  6. Spirulina – spirulina comes as a supplement in powder or capsule form. In powder form you can add it to your smoothies or sprinkle over your salad. You will get 8g of protein per 2 tablespoons of spirulina. 
  7. Quinoa – I am not a fan of quinoa but it is gluten free and if cooked correctly it isn’t too bad in salads. When cooked you will get around 4g per ½ cup. 
  8. Chia seeds – these little seeds are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and pack about 2g of protein per tablespoon. You can add chia seeds to your smoothies, desserts or even your homemade muesli. 
  9. Broccoli – a single stalk of broccoli contains roughly 4g of protein and is very easy to add to lunches and dinners. 
  10. Mushrooms – I love mushrooms and have them with at least one meal a day. 5 medium mushrooms contain 3g of protein.
  11. Soy Milk – if soy milk is your plant-based milk of choice you will get 6.34g of protein per cup. This is an easy way to get your protein in throughout the day. 

What is your plant-based protein source?

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16 Comments

  1. 24 January, 2022 / 12:04 pm

    I really love mushrooms and am currently snacking on peanuts. This is a great list to go by as like you, I am not a huge fan of the texture of tofu

  2. 24 January, 2022 / 12:46 pm

    We are not following a plant-based diet, but we have cut a lot of our meat consumption. So many of your listed items are part of our daily routine, and we couldn’t be happier, especially with things like quinoa, tofu and chickpeas that are so versatile. Great post thanks a lot for sharing!

  3. 24 January, 2022 / 3:48 pm

    I love all of those sources of protein. They are fairly inexpensive, delicious, and can be used in various ways. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Rosey
    25 January, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    Iโ€™ve tried all of these except Spiriluna. Got me curious to try it!

  5. Luna S
    25 January, 2022 / 4:44 pm

    Great list of choices, I love several of these!

  6. Luna S
    25 January, 2022 / 4:45 pm

    Great list of choices, I love several of these already ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 25 January, 2022 / 5:22 pm

    I don’t follow a plant-based diet 100% of the time, but I do eat broccoli, chickpeas, spirulina and quinoa.

  8. 25 January, 2022 / 7:37 pm

    If you disregard tofu ( which is a base of my regular eating) I love lentils and beans the most when it comes to protein. Not only it is a good source but it is also inexpensive and easy to cook. so many good options! I didn’t think much about almonds here, it’s definitely new to me too
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  9. 25 January, 2022 / 10:22 pm

    I was just having this conversation with our son. We have other family members who are plant-based eaters. Because they are heavy weight trainers he said they have to eat meat. I explained there are many other sources of protein. However, I didn’t think of broccoli or mushrooms as a source of protein.
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  10. Lisa at Following the Rivera
    26 January, 2022 / 1:30 pm

    Iโ€™m trying to add more chia seeds to my diet. I didnโ€™t realise it was a good protein, this is good to know!

  11. 26 January, 2022 / 2:52 pm

    I love these choices. Mushrooms and broccoli are best for me.

  12. 26 January, 2022 / 4:05 pm

    A really good list – and a great argument when dealing with these people who think you haven’t eaten until you had meat.

  13. 26 January, 2022 / 6:29 pm

    I love to eat a lot of these foods on this list, especially nuts. I been craving nuts for a lot.

  14. 27 January, 2022 / 12:07 pm

    Thank you for defining out all of the options! When it comes to going plant base, I am always aware that I do not understand protein options, and end up eating a lot of mushrooms (which seem to be a main thing in everything) and chickpeas as they are the only forms of protein I thought I liked – but with this list, there are tons of options.

  15. 27 January, 2022 / 2:56 pm

    Today, I learnt something new. I workout and keep a close eye on what I eat. And the majority of my protein comes from Chia seeds, broccoli, and almonds. I’m happy to hear that I have a variety of options, including Spirulina and Quinoa.
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