Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

11 Protein-Packed Vegan Foods

Food
11 Protein-Packed Vegan Foods
Shutterstock

Maybe you've heard the term "complete protein." It derives from the idea that there are 20 different amino acids that can form a protein, and the human body can't produce nine of them on its own. In order to be considered "complete," a protein must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in equal amounts.

The thing is, we don't need the complete amino-acid profile in every meal. We need only a sufficient amount of each amino acid daily. Dietitians confirm that plant-based foods contain a wide variety of profiles, and vegans are pretty much guaranteed to get their daily dose without even trying.


Still worried about your protein profiles? Here are 11 plant-based foods or food combos that are considered complete protein sources:

Buckwheat

Shutterstock

Buckwheat is hearty and versatile—and isn't a type of wheat at all. In fact, it's a cousin of rhubarb. Japanese buckwheat noodles or soba, are a great protein source. Check out this spicy soba noodle recipe featuring shiitake mushrooms and cabbage, or try this heavenly buckwheat porridge with figs. What the heck—here's a buckwheat pancake mix, too.

Hummus and Pita

iStock

Hummus and pita might already be one of your go-to snacks. If you haven't ever made hummus from scratch, we suggest that you take the plunge. Try this recipe to take your love of hummus to new heights.

Soy

Shutterstock

You have to give it up for soy. Whether it's in the form of tofu, tempeh or edamame beans, it's a powerful food that offers cardiovascular benefits, helps prevent prostate and colon cancers, decreases hot flashes in menopausal women and protects against osteoporosis. Love a quick breakfast sandwich? Try this tempeh "bacon" sandwich. If you're more of the lunch-sandwich type, we recommend this Vietnamese tofu bánh mì sandwich. And here are six other fun ways to prepare tofu.

Roasted and Salted Pumpkin Seeds

iStock

Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds are a good snack to have on hand.

Peanut Butter Toast

iStock

Peanut butter toast? (Or bagel, or english muffin). Don't you love it when your favorite snack is also a complete protein source?

Hemp

Shutterstock

Hemp is pretty much a miracle plant. Rich in fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3), hemp seeds are said to aid digestion, lower your risk of developing heart disease, and relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause.

Just three teaspoons of hemp protein powder contains 15 grams of protein. That's 30 percent of your daily value! Check out this delicious hemp milk and this mouthwatering hemp and beet burger that no cow had to die for. Navitas Organics offers a size-able selection of healthy hemp products and supplements.

Beans and Rice

iStock

Beans and rice, anyone? But of course. Take a look at this rice, bean and kale bowl with lemon-dill tahini.

Chia Seeds

iStock

Chia seeds are loaded with iron, calcium, zinc, and antioxidants. Since they form a gel when mixed with water, they make a great egg replacer. They're also perfect for puddings and smoothies.

Ezekiel Bread

Foodforlifebaking / Instagram

Ezekiel bread is made from sprouted grains, which significantly increase the bread's fiber and nutrient content. They also make it easier to digest.

Quinoa

Shutterstock

Ah, quinoa! We love you so. Check out these tasty quinoa recipes.

​Spirulina

iStock

Spirulina is considered a "superfood" and, when combined with grains, oats, nuts or seeds, forms a complete protein. Add spirulina powder to your next morning smoothie.

Here are some more protein-packed vegan foods.


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less