From Powders to Peas: The Best Vegan Protein Sources
Did you know that only about 2% of the population follows a vegan diet?
While this number might seem a tad underwhelming, there are now over 1 million of us vegans in the UK – six times more than we were back in 2014. Online searches for veganism are at an all-time high, and some estimates suggest that our numbers could double by 2021.
If you have an active lifestyle that requires a protein-rich diet, there are some great vegan protein sources available to help you reach your daily target, from powders and hemp seeds to lentils and more.
How Do We Vegans Get Protein?
If a vegan diet means giving animal products a skip, that doesn’t mean you have to bid farewell to protein altogether, right?
Correct. Protein is one of the three primary food groups, as it plays a role in cell growth and muscle repair in our bodies. If you’re someone who enjoys a good (socially distanced) gym workout, you’ll have to be consuming more protein as it plays a key role in how your body recovers right afterwards.
So how do vegans get their hands on enough protein? One of the best ways is through a selection of plant-based hemp protein powders, which you can use in smoothies and protein shakes but are also especially excellent in porridge, pancakes, waffles and more!
Find out all the ways in which to use hemp protein powder here!
Our hemp protein powders
Our hemp protein powders pack a punch and a half. They each contain all the essential amino acids, come in 500g pouches and range from being high in protein to super duper high in protein. Plus, our list of ingredients is simple: just 100% natural hemp protein. Nothing more, nothing less. What more could you want? Well, if you answered choices, we’ve got you covered.
- Our 46% Hemp Protein can give you that big protein boost you’ve been craving – just toss a scoop or two into your smoothie, blend and you’re all set. It’s naturally delicious with no artificial flavourings or sweeteners and will help with your digestion (thanks, fibre and omega 3!). We think this protein goes best in smoothies, but it’s also the perfect addition to anything you’re baking, like banana bread – just switch out some of the flour the recipe calls for and add in this powder instead.
- Like its 46% counterpart, our Pure 75% Hemp Protein is chock-full of omega 3, but this bad boy amps up the protein from ‘high’ to ‘super high’. Add this powder to your post workout protein shake or use it to give your pancake mix a boost.
- Were you intrigued when we said ‘super duper in high protein’? Then you’ll be all over our Pure 85% Hemp Protein. It’s got 25.5g of protein per 30g serving, and packs a protein-powered punch in any smoothie, porridge or baked good. Plus it’s free from all 14 of the major allergens, making it suitable for just about everyone’s dietary requirements.
Here are some of our favourite protein powder recipes to get you started. From pancakes to smoothies and waffles to porridge, there is a sea of options you can add any of our protein powders to.
Other types of protein powder
While hemp protein powder is often considered to be the best option, the following types will also have your back in a nutritional sense, plus they still can taste pretty damn good:
- Plant protein blends: This type of protein powder consists of a range of different plant proteins. It usually contains complementary proteins that ensure that satisfactory levels of essential amino acids are achieved in the body. Winning!
- Soya protein powder: A cholesterol-lowering protein powder that provides all of the essential amino acids that the body can’t make itself. Soya protein powder is another natural addition to your vegan diet.
- Pea protein powder: While you may automatically think of green peas when you think of this powder, in reality it is actually made from its esteemed cousin, the yellow split pea. Great for muscle building, this powder is rich in essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and complements any sweat sesh as a result.
Wholefoods forms of protein
Protein powders aside, there are some other immaculate vegan protein sources that will do the job, and should be added to your weekly shop’s ingredients list:
- Hemp seeds are a great natural source of vegan protein, omega 3 and fibre, making them a great all-rounder. Not to mention they taste delicious! Our Hemp Seed Hearts go well with everything from salads to porridge. Thank us later.
- Lentils are modern miracles. They not only contain ample protein, but you’ll get a ton of other nutrients from them too, like B vitamins, iron, magnesium potassium and zinc. Pair them with brown rice to make it a full protein.
- Green peas taste better than kids make them out to be in ads, and deserve to be upgraded from side dish to main meal from time to time. Green pea mash is severely underrated and will give your dishes that MasterChef plating opportunity with each spoonful.
- Quinoa is a great protein solution for vegans, and tends to be used as a rice substitute and tossed with other vegetables. Relatively easy to prepare and tasty enough, you’ll be “keen”-oa to try more after just one bite.
- Tofu, tempeh and edamame are all derived from soybeans, which, as we learnt in the previous section, are a whole source of protein. Chuck some hemp-crusted tofu on top of a Thai Red Curry to hit two protein-sources at once.
Hemp seeds are extremely versatile, as demonstrated by @mama_the_vegan, who used them as a delicious topping for a spiralised miso cucumber salad.
Veganism and the Future
If more people knew how simple it was to replace protein in their diets, or how much fun it was to experiment with different recipes, perhaps we’d be marching closer to the 2 million vegans mark already.
Trying a protein rich alternative or delving into one of the protein powders we’ve mentioned is a great way to make the change gradually, and in a way where you get to experiment with your tastebuds, test out what works for your energy levels and reap the health benefits along the way.
Who’s with us?