Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or trying to enjoy more meatless days every week, you’re likely looking for a fantastic source of plant-based protein. For most people, this means leaning rather heavily on legumes such as beans and lentils. But when you don’t like beans – or when you just want something different – you’re likely wondering if there are some alternatives out there that will allow you to completely avoid them.
For the average healthy adult, a diet requires a bare minimum of 40 grams of protein. That amount rises if you are active. This isn’t hard to get when you eat meat, but when you’re leaving animal based products behind, if you also can’t stand beans, you may wonder what options you have left.
Fortunately, you do have some. Consider the following alternatives to both animal based foods and beans:
• Seeds and nuts – Nuts are extremely high in protein. The key is to eat them in small amounts because they are also high in dietary fat. Choose a few favorite nut or nut-based products to help give your protein levels a boost every day. Sesame seeds have 6.5 grams of protein per ounce while cashews have about 4 grams per same amount. Two tablespoons of peanut butter will give you about 8 grams.
• Soy based products – There are many different soy based options from which to choose. These include edamame, tofu, tempeh and soy alternatives to dairy such as soy milk and soy based ice cream. Tempeh has 18 grams of protein in every 100 gram serving, while tofu will give you 10 grams per half cup.
• Fruits and vegetables – Certain fruits and vegetables can offer you a surprising amount of additional protein every day. For instance, one cup of spinach has 5 grams of protein and peas give you a whopping 9 grams per cup. On the other hand, 8 ounces of mashed avocado will give you 5 more grams of protein.
• Whole grains – If you want to get a huge amount of protein from a whole grain source, your best option is to look to quinoa. One cup of this ingredient, cooked, gives you 18 grams of protein. That said, brown rice is also a good choice, so don’t forget to add that one to your grocery cart the next time you’re in the supermarket.
Eat these foods on their own or mix them into your favorite recipes. That way, even if you don’t like spinach, you can still get your fill through a tasty meal such as a vegan quiche.