Oh, that so often asked question, how do vegans get in their protein? And what if soy just isn't your thing?
When it comes to protein, people are usually referring to complete sources of protein, which include all 18 amino acids. Some sources of vegetable protein may have all 18, but may be rather low in 1 or 2 of them, which is why you will often see a grain paired with a bean in many vegetarian recipes.
The truth is that you do NOT have to eat grains and beans together in the same meal, but can eat them separately in the SAME day. In fact, you can eat a variety of plant proteins throughout the day without worrying about whether they are a complete source of protein or not.
Not into grains? Don't worry, there are lots of alternatives.
One good rule of thumb is to think green :)
12 Sources of Plant Protein
A Few Interesting Tidbits
Since nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, it's a good idea to soak them for 4-8 hours and rinse well before eating. Once soaked, you can eat them as is, or dry them in an oven or dehydrator to keep them for longer. You can also sprout nuts and seeds after soaking them, which increase nutrient bio-availability. Again, you can eat them as is once sprouted, or dry them for a longer shelf life. Finally, you can make soaked (and perhaps sprouted) nut and seed butters. These fetch a pretty penny in health food stores, so it's much cheaper to consider making your own.
Grains contain phytic acid, so you want to soak them for at least 30 minutes (usually 4-8 hours to overnight) before rinsing well and cooking. Similarly, you want to soak beans 8 hours to overnight before cooking them to increase their digestibility. Just like nuts and seeds, you can sprout both grains and beans and then eat them as is, or go one step further and blanch, steam or cook them.
Hey, guess what? You don't need to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy plant based protein! :)
To healthy days ahead,
Article Originally Written in 2017. Updated 2020.
Photos: Free Stock Images.
Savvy Health &