Think it’s hard to get protein from plants? Think again!
Remembering that EVERYONE is unique and different, what works for one may not work for another.
Here’s a guide to my favourite plant based, high protein foods.
-Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family, making it a cruciferous vegetable. It’s name is derived from the Italian word broccolo, meaning the flowering top of a cabbage
-It’s versatile in the kitchen, both as handy snacks, in soups, in salads, and finely chopped in homemade pesto.
-Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.
-Broccoli is high in Vitamins C, A, and folate and also soluble fibre and contains approx 4g of protein per 100g
-Broccoli contains the flavonoid kaempferol. Kaempferol is an anti-inflammatory, helps fight against cancer and heart disease, and has been shown to be preventative in adult diabetes
– One cup of raw chopped broccoli will give you your entire daily needed intake of vitamin C
– Tempeh is made from whole soybeans
– Tempeh is extremely low in sodium, which is rare for a fermented soy product (like miso).
– Tempeh has a unique nutty/savory/bitter/fermented flavor and texture that many people love.
– One serving of tempeh contains around 19g per protein per 100g
-Indonesians who eat tempeh as a regular part of their diet recognize it as a medicine for dysentery and rarely fall victim to the intestinal diseases to which they are constantly exposed.
– Tofu is actually made of bean curds! Similar to the process of making cheese, Tofu is made from cooking soybeans into a kind of ‘soy juice’ and then adding Nigari (magnesium chloride). Nigari acts as a coagulant and produces curds that are pressed into the soft white blocks of tofu that you see in the supermarket.
– Tofu has been around for over 2, 000 years! Tofu was first developed in China around 200 B.C. It is thought that very early Buddhist monks ate tofu as part of their strict vegetarian diets.
– Tofu can be a dessert! Generally, you can get three types of tofu: silken, soft, and firm. Where firm and extra-firm tofu is more meat like in texture and is great for stir-fries, silken tofu is very creamy, almost like custard, and so it is used to make delicious desserts from chocolate pudding to pumpkin pie to cheesecake. It is also great for adding thickness and protein to smoothies.
– Yes, tofu is naturally very bland, and this is why it’s such a great and versatile food to cook with
– It takes on any flavour you cook it with!
– Frozen tofu is a delicacy! It is called Thousand Layer Tofu because when it is frozen, the large ice crystals that develop within the tofu result in the formation of large cavities that appear to be layered. Have left over tofu? You can freeze it! It will be more textured than fresh tofu but it will hold all the more flavor. Just let defrost before cooking and then cook it like regular tofu.
–Tofu is a great source of protein. One half-cup of tofu contains:
• 10 grams of protein (the equivalent of about half a chicken breast)
• 25 percent of the daily recommended value of calcium
• 11 percent of iron
• 5 grams of fat
– It’s also high in phosphorous, magnesium, copper, and selenium
– Packed with protein, fiber and essential fats
– A golf ball-sized portion (about 30g) of unsalted nuts makes a vitality-boosting snack and, unlike most other options, contributes a mix of valuable vitamins and minerals.
– Rich in energy, protein, packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and much discussed omega-3 fatty acids. Crunchy yet buttery and wonderfully delicious!
– Walnuts enjoy a distinction like no other – they are the only nut that has omega-3 fatty acids
– Along with pecans, macadamias boast the highest calorie count in the nut world. Use macadamia oil for a different, yet delicious flavour
– Guys, stop throwing the big Brazil nuts out of the nut mix you’re buying! Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a mineral that has been found to be effective in the fight against prostate cancer.
– Having a snack of nuts every day is great for controlling your weight, optimizing your health and increasing your feelings of satisfaction
– Avoid nuts that have been “dressed up” such as beer nuts, honey glazed and candied varieties.
– Legumes include some of the most important of all food and forage crops, such as clover, peas, beans, alfalfa, peanuts, and soybeans.
– Many legumes are exceptionally rich in proteins and are practically the only non-meat source of some of the proteins essential to the human diet.
– Cooked beans can be frozen for up to six months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before reheating.
– Bean carbohydrates have been proven to drastically improve the stability of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Many adult-onset diabetics have been able to greatly reduce or eliminate their dependence on insulin through diets containing substantial amounts of beans.
-Between 6 and 11 percent of a cooked bean’s weight is protein.
– We cook and eat quinoa like many other grains, but, botanically speaking, it’s a relative of spinach, beets, and chard. The part we eat is actually the seed, cooked like rice, which is why quinoa is gluten-free. You can even eat the leaves!
– There are roughly 120 known varieties of quinoa
– The cooking process releases what looks like a curly “tail” coming from the seed. That’s actually the germ of the seed, which separates slightly when your quinoa is ready.
– The quinoa crop protects itself from predators with a waxy, bitter-tasting coat of saponins, an organic chemical compound that gets rinsed away during cultivation. Resourceful Andean families would traditionally save this saponin-heavy wash water to use as shampoo.
– Quinoa is nutritionally renowned for its protein content and while it does have a decent amount, it’s not actually the amount of protein that’s so impressive. Instead it’s the type of protein.
-Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition. This type of complete protein is rarely found in plant foods, though common in meats. Quinoa also offers a good dose of fiber and iron. There are 111 calories in each 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa.
– Just half a cup of raw spinach counts as 1 of the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat a day and contains approx 2.9g of protein per 100g.
– Spinach leaves are a mild diuretic and mild laxative.
– Spinach is best eaten fresh. It loses nutritional properties with each passing day.
– Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits! Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you three times as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That’s because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.
– Freezing spinach diminishes its health benefits. The way to get the best from the leaf is to buy it fresh and eat it the same day.
– Do place spinach on your ‘organic shopping’ list, because the leaf tends to be sprayed heavily with pesticides that don’t come off with normal washing.
Want more of this?
The Vegie Head Academy is filled to the brim with all of this- and more!
So come along and join us…if you’re stuck in a food rut, you aren’t sure if you’re eating ‘right’ and you tear you hair out every night trying to decide what to eat,The Vegie Head Academy is the answer!
- Access to an exclusive 12 week course
- A private community support group, designed to support, educate and uplift you
- Video tutorials, teaching you some of my favourite recipes and shortcuts in the kitchen
- An exclusive interview series, with some of the most inspirational, knowledgable and influential industry leaders
- Done-for-you shopping and meal lists
- A VIP day, for Academy members only, where you’ll all join a virtual hangout, where you can ask questions, give support and share your story!
- A copy of my ’14 Days of Nourishment’ program
So come along and see what everyone is talking about! Can’t wait to help you make some major changes in your and your families lives!
P.S. When choosing tofu and tempeh, please make sure you choose an organic, non-GMO brand. I eat tempeh 2-3 times a week, and tofu maybe once a month. I personally don’t consume a lot of soy; but again, everyone is different, so do what suits you best.