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High-Protein Plants for Filling Meatless Meals

If you’re looking to bulk up the protein in your diet the plant-based way, there are several high-protein options that come straight from mother Earth. Though these foods offer nearly as much protein ounce-for-ounce as a hamburger (which provides about 7 grams of protein per ounce), keep in mind that most plant-based proteins are incomplete, meaning they don’t provide the total amount of essential amino acids to create a complete protein. To offset this imbalance, most plant-based proteins need to be combined with other foods (usually grains) to create complete proteins. The CDC indicates adult men need about 56 grams of protein a day, and adult women need about 46 grams a day. Check out the protein amounts in these plant-based foods, and see just how easy it is to meet these nutritional requirements without consuming meat or dairy.


  • Black Beans 1 of 7
    Black Beans
    Black beans ring in at 8 grams of protein per half-cup. Not only that, they're tasty, cheap, and easy to keep stocked in your pantry! Find the nutritional breakdown by serving for black beans at Fat Secret.
    Get our recipe for Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango
  • Tofu 2 of 7
    Tofu
    With 10 grams of protein in a half-cup of raw firm tofu, this plant-based food product packs a protein punch. Find the nutritional breakdown by serving for Tofu at About.com.
    Get our recipe for Salt and Pepper Tofu Triangles
  • Lentils 3 of 7
    Lentils
    Nine grams of protein are provided in a half-cup of lentils. When mixed with grains, such as brown rice, lentils become part of a complete protein. Find more about the nutritional density of each serving of lentils at Nutrition Data.
    Get our ideas for 7 Delicious Ways to Prepare Lentils.
  • Artichokes 4 of 7
    Artichokes
    Would you believe artichokes make the list of top-protein veggies?! Indeed, one medium artichoke can provide up to 4 grams of protein! Find the nutritional breakdown by serving for artichokes at Fat Secret.
    Check out our slideshow and discover 10 Ways to Serve Artichokes.
  • Chickpeas 5 of 7
    Chickpeas
    Commonly used in hummus and soups, chickpeas are a protein powerhouse. Try sneaking pureed chickpeas into your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe for added plant-based protein, and tons of great texture. Find the nutritional breakdown by serving for chickpeas at Fat Secret.
    Feta and Chickpea Salad
  • Broccoli 6 of 7
    Broccoli
    One cup of broccoli provides nearly 3 grams of protein. If you're looking for a tasty, low-cal way to bump up your protein intake, try broccoli! Find the nutritional breakdown by serving for broccoli at Fat Secret.
    Get the recipe for Lemon-Pepper Tahini Broccoli.
  • Brussel Sprouts 7 of 7
    Brussel Sprouts
    A single cup of brussel sprouts provide nearly 3 grams of protein in a single meal. All you gotta do is find a way to cook them right, and you're in protein heaven! Fat Secret.
    Get our recipe for <a href="Brussell Sprouts! Brussel Sprouts 25 Ways.

Read more from Brooke on her blog, Cheeky Kitchen.

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