Second only to “I would die without cheese!” folks ask all the time about where vegans get their protein. For someone accustomed to centering their dinner plate around a piece of animal protein, I can see how this might seem like a problem. You take that steak off of your plate, and you’re basically living on salad and potatoes.
Not that I’m knocking salads or potatoes. In fact, baked potatoes do contain a little bit of protein!
But really, where do you get protein when it’s not coming from animal products? The short answer is: lots of places! Here are some common vegan staples and their protein contents:
- beans – 7-10 grams per half cup (cooked)
- tofu – 2.3 grams per half ounce
- peanut butter – 8 grams per 2 Tablespoons
- almonds – 8 grams per 1/4 cup
- peanuts – 9 grams per 1/4 cup
- cashews – 5 grams per 1/4 cup
- flax seeds – 8 grams per 1/4 cup
- brown rice – 3 grams per 4 ounces
- quinoa – 4.5 grams per 1/2 cup
- baked potato – 2.5 grams
- cooked broccoli – 7 grams per half cup
- peas – 8 grams per half cup
- corn – 5 grams per 1 cup
Really, the question is, where don’t vegans get protein? The recommended daily value for protein is about 50 grams for a 2000 calorie diet, which you could easily hit by combining a couple of protein sources per meal: beans and rice, whole grain cereal in soy or nut milk, or broccoli and whole wheat pasta.
So, spill the beans, my vegan friends! What’s your favorite protein source?
Image Source: Creative Commons photo by Roger Smith