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5 vegan-friendly protein-boosters everyone should try

Plant-based diets have become increasingly popular, as we all try to do our bit to be kinder to the environment and get a few more greens into our systems. A common misconception about vegetarian, vegan, or broader plant-based diets is that they’re low in protein. However, there are myriad ways to get your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein that don’t involve great steaks.

If you’re looking to boost your protein intake in a vegan-friendly way, try out these simple and delicious options. Even the carnivores among us will love them.

1. Seitan

Known as ‘wheat meat’, seitan is a popular source of protein for many vegans. It’s been around for centuries but has recently become popular for its unique meat-substitute qualities. Made by rinsing away starch in wheat dough, leaving the high-protein gluten behind, it closely resembles the look and texture of meat when it’s cooked. It contains around 25g of protein per 100g. Make it from scratch or look out for it in plant-based alternatives to cold cuts, sausages, or patties.

2. Hempseeds

Containing 10g of protein per 28g – that’s 50% more than chia seeds or flaxseeds – hempseeds are a brilliant vegan-friendly protein option. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of shelled hempseeds over oats or yoghurt for a protein-packed breakfast, or add them to salads as an unusual topping. They can also be used to make hummus or for some nutty flavouring in dressings or sauces. An added bonus? Hempseeds are a great source of magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc and selenium, and contain a variety of omega-rich fatty acids. There’s no reason to go without protein with this easy option.

3. Vegan protein powders

This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get an extra dose of protein in your diet. How many of us are used to preparing fruity smoothies for a healthy breakfast on the go? Especially in summer when you want something light to start your day. Simply add a vegan protein powder to your morning smoothie or post-workout shake, and there’s one less nutrient for you to worry about. Today's vegan protein powders provide a complete protein product, so look out for the latest options.

4. Lentils

There are so many ways to prepare these little protein-packed gems. And, they’re so easy to get your hands on! Cook them in a rich tomato sauce for easy lentil bolognaise, or use them in soups, curries, salads and savoury ‘mince’ dishes. Lentils contain an impressive 18g of protein per cooked cup (240ml) as well as loads of fibre. In fact, they’re known as a secret superfood. With so many nutritional benefits, and an array of delicious lentil recipes to choose from, everyone should be adding these tasty legumes to their diet – vegan or not.

5. Nut butter

Ah, now this can be enjoyed on a teaspoon as a snack – what could be easier? There are loads of nut butters on the market – from almond and cashew to macadamia – so it’s up to you to pick a favourite and keep a jar in your pantry at all times. Most nut butters boast a similar protein content – between 2.5g and 3g per tablespoon serving – but try sticking to natural options.

There’s no doubt that protein is a crucial part of every diet and the good news for those following a vegan friendly diet, is that with these delicious plant-based protein options, you’ll be hitting that daily target in no time.

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