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What are some good vegan sources of protein, other than soy?

I want to decrease the amount of animal products in my deit, but I'm having trouble finding protein-rich foods that aren't soy-based. The seitan at Whole Foods was very expensive, and legumes and quinoa still have a high carbohydrate to protein ratio. What other options are there?

asked by Ovensports over 2 years ago
10 answers 16195 views
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added over 2 years ago

Seitan (can be made at home fairly easily from Vital Gluten Flour – try Bob's Red Mill) Any and all beans & lentils – fresh, dried, canned (if you must) and as flours/meals, cheeses, yogurts, nuts & nut butters, seed butters (tahini, sunflower), seeds (sunflower, flax & pepitas are easy to incorporate into everything). That said, it really isn't sustainably healthy for anyone on a vega/vegetarian diet to avoid whole grains for any significant period of time. Most grains have very significant protein profiles when kept whole. Seitan is a wheat product, and 1/4 cup of wheat berries (raw wheat) have nearly 14% of your usda-reco of protein. Farro, steel cut oats, quinoa (technically a seed), & wild 'rice', millet, amaranth, and so on have very similar protein content, and loads of great fiber & mineral to boot. Try a grain salad with fresh blanched beans, toasted seeds/nuts (and a crumbling of cheese), and you are on fire. Carbohydrates are good for you, super-processed foods stripped of their fiber, vitamins, minerals and flavor are not.

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added over 2 years ago

Mushrooms are surprisingly high in protein, with two grams of protein per 70g raw. That's two grams per 15 calories. Another great source is quinoa, which is a complete protein - no need to combine incomplete proteins to get the full profile of amino acids. There are 8 grams of protein in a cup of cooked quinoa. I often make it into a salad with black beans and corn for an extra boost.

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added over 2 years ago

Sorry about the too-many dairy references, I got side tracked. Almond & cashew milks can be made at home, and can also be made into 'cheeses'. Not all vegan faux-dairy products are soy based, although, in my opinion, you are generally better off with whole grain, complex carbohydrate & real dairy than you are with processed and manufactured food-products. FYI: I am a 25+ year 98.9% 'real' vegetarian (ovo-lacto, as they say); I eat all the dairy and starch I care to, and in my mid 30's I weigh less than 15 lbs more than I did 20 years ago. Something to consider.

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added over 2 years ago

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian fermented food, usually made from soybeans but some US companies make tempeh from other bean/grain blends. I'm not positive but I think the protein-to-carb ration is higher than tofu. It is tangy and earthy tasting. Trader Joe's might sell it, and it is definitely less expensive than seitan.
All the suggestions by threefresheggs and dea are great. There is a theory (from the 70's) that combining beans with seeds or nuts makes a more "complete" protein but some people (from the 00's) dispute that theory. In any case I like tempeh with green beans in a peanut satay sauce, yum.

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added over 2 years ago

Tempeh is tasty (wonderful with peanut sauce!) and has lots of interesting applications not really open tofu. It is also often made with grains and other beans as well as soy. That said I *think* it does rely on fermenting fresh soybeans to achieve the fungus (or whatever) that binds it into a cake. So, while you can get it with a lower soy content, I am not sure you can avoid soy altogether. And, that said, at 15grams to a 1/2 cup serving, it is nearly all the protein you need per day, unless perhaps you are a body-builder or undertaking triathlons regularly.

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added over 2 years ago

Traditional tempeh is made from cracked hulled soybeans, inoculated with a "starter," and left to ferment to achieve cakes. Even critics of soy consumption allow for "fermented soy" as a healthy food. The scaremongers need to look at traditional cultures that eat a wide range of soy products, in moderate amounts and consistently. From ancient China, soy was called "meat without bones."
Another ancient piece of advice that applies -- All Things in Moderation. I have been vegetarian for ~35 years and try to keep my food choices many and varied, delicious and healthy. If you are an athlete or other heavy consumer of protein, look at the blog No Meat Athlete. Matt is a good role model (even if you're not doing sports). You'll find good recipes and thoughtful discussions of issues like this. A link to an article on his site dealing with this question -- http://www.nomeatathlete...

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added about 1 year ago

I need to find protein recipes for my husband who was recently diagnosed with Kidney Disease, Stage III.
He needs to avoid beans as a poor quality protein source high in phosphorus. Anyone have any ideas and/or experience to help me?
Thanks, appreciated.
Already doing 4 oz schnitzel, milanese and tiny sliders.
irina

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added about 1 year ago

Avocados have about 4 grams per serving, nuts, chickpeas have 8 grams of protein per serving, and hemp protein powder

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added about 1 year ago

Hi Irina, Have you visited this site? They offer recipes for stages 1-4 & 5. http://www.kidney.org/atoz...

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added about 1 year ago

I have not cooked from this site directly yet but I have a friend who refers to it ALL the time for inspired vegan recipes: http://www.theppk.com/