In my previous post Why Use Protein Powder, I discussed why your body needs protein and the benefits from getting a proper amount. Here I’ll introduce some different protein substitutes other than meat products or powder. Hopefully, reading this list will lead to some nutritious ideas for your next meal!
Tofu - Soybean curd is made by curdling fresh, hot soy milk with a coagulant. Tofu is chameleon like in flavor and has an amazing ability to take on the flavors of other items it is combined with. You can find tofu in 3 main varieties
- Firm – The highest in protein and good when you need it to maintain its shape and stay solid.
- Regular or Soft – The most common one good for most recipes.
- Silken – A smooth and creamy tofu good for creams, sauces, and deserts.
Approximately 2 grams of protein per ounce.
Beans - Also known as legumes, come in many varieties and are an excellent source of protein! How many kinds of beans can you name? Do you have a favorite?
Approximately 1.6 grams of protein per ounce.
Chickpeas - Also known as a garbanzo bean or Indian pea and in the legume family. They have a high versatility and high fiber content and are fantastic addition to any snack or meal. Try them in salads, stews, and casseroles.
Approximately 1.5 grams of protein per ounce.
Tempeh - Is also made from soybeans. Tempeh has a higher amount of protein and due to its texture, works great as a meat substitute. Tempeh is considered more flavorful than tofu and is often described as tasting nutty.
Approximately 10.3 grams of protein per ounce.
Portobello Mushroom – Known as either portobello or portabella , these mushrooms are a good meat substitute due to their size and texture. Use them as the “meat” of a burger or diced up in soup, and countless other ways.
Approximately 2.5 grams of protein per ounce.
Seitan - Gluten or wheat meat is an alternative to soybean products. Seitan’s texture is similar more to meat than other substitutes due to a chewy or stringy texture. Chances are, if you’ve ever eaten mock chicken, beef, or pork in a Chinese vegetarian restaurant, then you’ve had seitan.
Approximately 6.9 grams of protein per ounce.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database.
Perhaps you have a great recipe that includes one or more of these protein sources? Please share in the comments section!