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Protein Content Of Plants2019-06-21T10:40:38+00:00

Protein content of plants

Legumes & lentils

Listed below are seeds which contain some of the highest amount of protein:

  • Adzuki beans, cooked (1/2 cup/115g): 9g
  • Black beans, cooked (1/2 cup/86g): 8g
  • Lentils, brown, cooked (1/2 cup/99g): 9g
  • Peanuts, raw (1/4 cup/36g): 9g
  • Peanut butter (2 tbsp/32g): 8g
  • Peas, fresh (1 cup/145g): 8g
  • Tofu, firm (1/4 cup/42g): 10g
  • White beans, cooked (1/2 cup/90g): 8-9g

Where to buy:

  • Many health food stores,
  • Asian supermarkets,
  • All supermarkets.

Seeds & nuts

Listed below are seeds which contain some of the highest amount of protein:

  • Almond butter (2 tbsp): 5g
  • Almonds (1/4 cup/36g): 7-8g
  • Brazil nuts (1/4 cup/35g): 5g
  • Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup/32g): 10g
  • Hemp seeds (1/4 cup/40g): 13g
  • flaxseed, ground (1/4 cup/32g): 7g
  • Sesame seeds, hulled (1/4 cup/38g): 8g
  • Sunflower seeds (1/4 cup/36g): 7g

Where to buy:

  • Many health food stores,
  • Asian supermarkets,
  • All supermarkets.

Grains

Here are the richest sources of protein:

  • Armaranth, dry (1/4 cup/49g): 7g
  • Barley, dry (1/4 cup/46g): 6g
  • Wild rice, dry (1/4 cup/40g): 6g
  • Quinoa, cooked (1/2 cup/92g): 4g
  • Spelt, dry (1/4 cup/44g): 6g

Where to buy:

  • Many health food stores,
  • Asian supermarkets,
  • All supermarkets.

Seitan

Known as kofu in China, seitan in Japan and wheat meat in the US, seitan is the gluten from wheat flour. It is obtained by rinsing the wheat dough until the starch and bran have been washed out. Because it is made from pure wheat gluten, it is not suitable for those who have wheat or gluten allergies/intolerances.

It is used in many recipes as a meat substitute and is also made into vegan sausages, burgers, nuggets, etc., due to its texture and taste that are very similar to flesh.

Seitan is high in protein and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. 100g serving contains 118 calories, 18% protein and less than 1% unsaturated fat. It also contains a modest amount of B vitamins and iron.

Seitan was a staple food among vegetarian buddhist monks in China who discovered this method to extract the gluten from wheat flour. It has been eaten in China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the Middle East for thousands of years.

Where to buy:

  • Many health food stores (expensive),
  • Asian supermarkets (cheap, labelled as “Mock”).

Tofu

Tofu has long been a staple of Asian cuisine since it was first used in China around 200BCE and is one of the best protein rich plant foods. Tofu comes in different forms: firm, extra-firm, soft (known as silken tofu). Tofu is made by adding a coagulant such as calcium sulfate/ nigari or lemon juice to soy milk and then compressing the resulting protein solids until the required consistency is achieved.

Sometimes, it will be packed in a container with water to keep it fresh and refrigerated. Firm tofu can be baked, grilled, and used in stir fries. Silken tofu is used as a cream for desserts or sauces. Tofu does not have much flavour on its own, but it absorbs the flavour of other ingredients.

Tofu is easily digested, rich in B vitamins, rich in mineral nutrients, free from both gluten and cholesterol. We recommend that you use tofu made with calcium sulfate as it is an excellent source of calcium.

Where to buy:

  • Many health food stores (expensive),
  • Many supermarkets (average price),
  • Asian supermarkets (Great value).

Tempeh

Tempeh originates from Indonesia. It is made from fermented soybeans and sometimes a combination of other grains such as lentils, rice, millet, quinoa or barley.

Unlike tofu, which is made from soybean milk, tempeh contains the whole soybeans. Cooked soybeans are fermented with Rhizopus mold, which binds the soya beans into a compact block.
Tempeh contains amongst others, many B vitamins and has a high protein content. It can be fried or baked.

Where to buy:

  • Some health food stores (expensive),
  • Asian supermarkets (great value).