Vegans, who are strongly committed to the welfare of animals, follow a stricter diet than vegetarians: they consume no meat or fish and exclude any products of animal origin (eggs, dairy products, honey, pork gelatin, chicken broth, and certain sauces).
Contrary to popular belief, eliminating animal products does not lead to protein deficiency. However, it is an undeniable fact that many vegans are not quite sure how to replace animal-derived proteins in their diet.
Without any further delay, let’s discover the top 6 high-protein vegan foods.
1. Tofu, the most popular plant-based protein
Tofu is a soft food product made from soybeans, water and a coagulant. There are two main types of tofu. Soft (or firm) tofu and silken tofu.
Soft (or firm) tofu from China:
This type of tofu is great for cooking because it can be fried or sautéed, and it easily absorbs the flavors of foods with which it is cooked. It is perfect with marinades or in a vegetable stir-fry.
A 100 gram serving of soft tofu has 15 grams of protein.
Silken tofu from Japan:
It is used mainly in soups, particularly Miso soup, but its creamy texture and neutral taste make it the ideal ingredient for pies, cheese dishes, sauces, desserts in general, and smoothies.
A 100 gram serving of silken tofu contains 5 grams of protein.
If you’re looking for tasty tofu recipes, download the Nutri Coach app.
2. Tempeh, the Indonesian vegan protein
Tempeh is made from dehulled soybeans. Unlike tofu, it is prepared from whole soybeans that are cooked and then crushed. It is then inoculated with a very specific fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus, and through fermentation, the beans are transformed into a homogenous and firm product.Tempeh is denser and tastier than tofu. It has a mushroom-like, nutty taste, which some people also describe as meaty. Note: because tempeh is fermented, it is very easy to digest.
100 grams of tempeh provides 18 grams of protein.
Tempeh is typically served fried or sautéed, in a soy sauce marinade.
3. Seitan or “wheatmeat”
Seitan is made from wheat flour. The flour is rinsed with water to separate the gluten from the starch and the bran. The resulting dough is left to rest and kneaded, then cooked in water or broth.
100 grams of seitan provides about 25 to 30 grams of protein. It is an excellent source of protein, except for people who are gluten intolerant.
Seitan is a perfect substitute for meat in many recipes. It can be used in sauce dishes or to make vegan steaks or sausages.
4. Malted yeast, must-have flakes for vegans
Malted yeast comes in the form of little pale yellow flakes. It is a microscopic fungus (Saccharomyeces cerevisiae) produced from the fermentation of barley malt. It is not considered a probiotic because the yeast is dried at a high temperature and is therefore not classified as “live”.
This deactivated yeast is a savory seasoning that can be sprinkled on dishes, including pasta and salads, or mixed in other foods, such as sauces and yogurt.To ensure that all its nutritional properties are preserved, it should be added after cooking.
This yeast was used as a dietary supplement during the Second World War to compensate for nutrient deficiencies. It is an excellent source of plant proteins, which are rich in B vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Today, malted yeast has gained popularity among dieticians and food specialists, as well as those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
100 grams of organic malted brewer’s yeast contains about 50 grams of protein.
5. Seeds and nuts, a vegan delicacy
Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and various other nuts, as well as sesame, sunflower, flax, or pumpkin seeds, are excellent sources of fats, fiber, minerals, and vitamins, but are also rich in plant proteins.
Averaging 18 grams of protein per 100 grams, nuts and seeds are a wise choice for a vegan diet.
However, don’t forget that these seeds and nuts are high in calories and should be consumed in small quantities. The nutrient intake should therefore be determined according to the actual quantity consumed.
For example, when the package states “rich in protein” or “rich in omega 3″, it is always based on a quantity of 100 grams. Typically, the quantity of seeds and nuts that you add to your meal is generally far from 100 grams (fortunately).
However, even in small quantities, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of their benefits.
6. Legumes, superheroes of the protein family
Legumes are also called “pulses”. As legumes include multiple varieties, they are classified into three subfamilies: beans, lentils, and peas.
Legumes are inexpensive, rich in protein, nutritious, and easy to store. They also offer numerous health benefits.
Examples of legumes:
- Dried beans (red kidney beans, white kidney beans…)
- Lentils (green, black, yellow, coral…)
- Fava beans
However, plant proteins from legumes are often deficient in essential sulfur amino acids like methionine. If you are a vegan, consider supplementing your diet with a source of whole grains, which do contain these amino acids. Here are the proportions that you should keep in mind to create a healthy plate: 60% legumes + 40% whole grains.
Note: if your plate is made up only of legumes, without any whole grains, don’t worry. Simply try to incorporate grains into your next meal to rebalance your diet.
Lentil Dhal is without a doubt one of the most popular vegan meals. And with good reason! In addition to being delicious, it contains lentils as its main ingredient. You can find the original recipe on the Nutri Coach app.