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New to a meat-free diet? Or maybe you’ve been vegetarian or vegan for some time, but still struggle with ways to get enough protein. It’s not as hard as you think! With a little know-how, you can sneak plant-based proteins into every meal. Start with these suggestions:
- Skip the carbs, and snack on protein-rich munchies. Try roasted chickpeas, edamame (whole soybeans), roasted peanuts, and raw nuts.
- Purée coconut milk, almond butter, and cashew butter with honey and cocoa powder, and freeze in an ice cream maker for a protein-packed, fudgy ice cream treat.
- Use hemp or rice protein powder instead of flour to make waffles, pancakes, and baked goods. Instead of eggs, use flax as a binder.
- Make a simple cream sauce by whisking cashew butter with vegetable stock, garlic, and minced parsley. Toss with cooked rotini.
- Crumble tempeh (fermented soybean protein) into pasta sauce or soups, or wherever you’d use hamburger meat.
- Purée cooked black beans and add to brownies. For blondies or light-colored muffins or cakes, use cooked, puréed chickpeas.
- Sprout sunflower seeds and add them to salads. Soak raw seeds overnight in filtered water to cover; drain, and let sprout for 24-48 hours.
- Add ground flaxseeds to muffins, waffles, breads, or cookies for a protein boost and added omega-3 fats.
- Make a protein-packed pudding. Purée silken tofu with cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract.
- Eat lentils more often-they’re fast-cooking and easy to use. Add to soup, toss in salads, and stir in cooked rice.
- Spread sandwiches and wraps with hummus instead of mayo. Purée hummus with roasted red pepper or chipotle peppers for added zing.
- If you tolerate gluten, seitan (wheat protein) is a great substitute for sliced deli meat. Use it in wraps or sandwiches for an easy lunch.