From cheese to hummus: The best sources of protein for vegans and vegetarians
For many people, the idea of a vegetarian diet conjures images of leafy greens and tofu, but the truth is that there are plenty of delicious, protein-packed options for those who choose not to eat meat. Dairy vegans, in particular, have a variety of great protein sources to choose from, including cheese, milk, and eggs. In addition to these dairy products, there are also plenty of plant-based protein sources that can help dairy vegetarians maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Cheese and other dairy products
For vegans who eat dairy products, cheese and other dairy products are some of the best sources of protein available. Hard cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss, and Parmesan are particularly high in protein, at about 7-8 grams per ounce. Soft cheeses such as brie and goat cheese also provide a good amount of protein, as do yogurt and milk. Cottage cheese, in particular, is an excellent source of protein, at about 28 grams per cup. Incorporating these dairy products into meals and snacks can help dairy vegetarians meet their protein needs while adding rich flavor and texture to their meals.
Eggs are another great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians, with each egg containing about 6 grams of protein. They’re also incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes, from omelettes and frittatas to baked goods and salads. Their high protein content makes them a satisfying and filling choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and they can also be a great addition to packed lunches and snacks. Eggs are also an excellent source of essential nutrients and provide a number of health benefits, making them a valuable addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet.
Chickpeas and other vegetables
Chickpeas and other vegetables are strong sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans. One cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 15 grams of protein, making them an excellent addition to salads, soups and stews. They can also be mashed and shaped into burgers, shaped into falafel, or mixed with creamy hummus. Other vegetables like lentils, black beans, and kidney beans are also great sources of protein, at about 15-18 grams per cup. They can be included in a variety of dishes, from tacos and burritos to curries and casseroles, and can help dairy vegans get protein while also enjoying delicious, satisfying meals.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are another valuable source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and can be enjoyed as snacks, added to meals, or used to make nut butters, sauces, and seed-based sauces. Almonds, for example, contain about 6 grams of protein per ounce, while sunflower seeds provide about 5.5 grams per ounce. They are also a good source of healthy fats and essential nutrients, making them a great addition to a balanced diet. Nut butters like peanut butter and almond butter are also delicious and versatile options for vegans and vegetarians, providing a good amount of protein as well as essential fats and vitamins.
Quinoa and other whole grains
Quinoa and other whole grains are not only rich in protein, but also provide a number of other important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of cooked quinoa contains about 8 grams of protein, making it a great base for salads, pilafs, and grain bowls. Brown rice, barley, bulgur, and farro are also great options for vegans and vegetarians, with each cooked cup containing about 5-7 grams of protein. These whole grains can be incorporated into a variety of dishes and meals, from breakfast porridge and stir-fries to hearty soups and side dishes, and can help dairy vegetarians meet their protein needs while also enjoying the benefits of whole grains.
There are plenty of delicious and satisfying protein sources for vegans and vegetarians, from cheese and eggs to chickpeas, nuts and quinoa. By incorporating these protein-rich foods into their meals and snacks, vegans and vegetarians can meet their nutritional needs while also enjoying a varied and delicious diet. These options also provide a wealth of essential nutrients and health benefits, making them a valuable addition to any lacto-vegetarian eating plan.