Hope your October is starting off swell. While this is a month is filled with lots of standout holidays and observances, there are some other occasions we think you should note too. Here at The Meal Planning Method, we're celebrating #VegetarianAwarenessMonth!
Now we realize that a meat-free diet isn't ideal for a lot of people. (Myself included!) However, there's certainly something to be said for enjoying a more plant-based eating routine -- like consuming less saturated fat and more vitamins, minerals and fiber and therefore lower body weights, blood pressures and risks of chronic diseases and possibly even cancers.
Even if you increase your fruit and veggie intake by just half a serving, that's one half more serving than you were before :) Check out these 7 of plant-based foods that also provide you with protein:
Depending on the brand and variety, non-fat Greek yogurt can contain 23 grams of protein per cup! (Like this non-fat version from Wallaby.) That's like the equivalent of 3 ounces of meat. Need a recipe? Try our Easy Apple Pie Smoothie.
These young soybeans don't have to be enjoyed only when you go out for sushi. Pick up a bag in the frozen food section of your local grocery store! (Try this version from Trader Joe's.) One cup of shelled edamame contains 22 grams of protein.
You don't have to live in Colorado to enjoy this unique food product :) Hemp hearts are a great source of protein with 10 grams in 3 Tablespoons... that's more protein than in 1 large egg! Check out these hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest. They're great in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, grains and even salad! Need a recipe? Try our Chocolate Almond Butter No-Bake Bites.
Lentils are referred to as pulses (aka dried seeds). They cook quickly (about 15-20 minutes) and there's no need to soak them overnight like beans. Just 1 cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein. They come in a rainbow of colors (like this red variety from Bob's Red Mill) and are great in chili, tacos, soups or stews!
They are the magical fruit! The more you eat... the more fiber, calcium, and iron you get :) Whether you choose black, garbanzo (like this Green Valley variety), kidney or pinto, you're sure to find a savory (or maybe even sweet) way to enjoy this inexpensive protein source. On average, 1 cup of beans contains 15 grams of protein.
Popeye must have been onto something... 1 cup of cooked spinach contains 5 grams of protein! (Very rare for a fruit or vegetable.) There are endless ways to enjoy spinach - raw as a salad or in a smoothie or cooked in hot dishes to pump up the nutrition. You might like this ready-to-eat baby spinach variety by Taylor Farms!
We promise you won't grow sprouts. Rather, chia seeds are an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and contain 2 grams of protein in just 1 Tablespoon! Try this variety from Navitas Naturals on top of oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies or even as an egg replacement! Need a recipe? Try our simple Chia Seed Jam.
Happy #VegetarianAwarenessMonth! What's your favorite plant-based protein to eat? Share your idea or recipe with us in the comments below!