Please let me preface this post by saying I am not a nutritionist. I don’t claim to be. I have no formal training but I can read a food label.
I was asked by a personal trainer friend for some good vegan protein sources for a client of his. Here is what I’ve uncovered:
Pumpkin seeds / Pepitas 25.5%
Almond meal 24.2%
Sunflower seeds. 22.7% (My Organics)
Cacao 20% (Ceres Organics)
Coconut flour 20.7% (Organic Road)
Hazelnuts 15% (My Organics)
Teff seeds 13.3% (The Giving Tree)
Quinoa 12-16% (seems to depend on the brand)
Now how to use them!
An easy option is to keep on hand a mixed jar of hazelnuts, sunflower seeds & pepitas. A great way to get in protein throughout the day – tip some into a little container or snap lock bag the night before work.
Add cacao into your morning smoothie – what a great excuse for chocolate!
Top your smoothie with hazelnuts, Pepitas & sunflower seeds.
Bake yourself some healthy muffins – I sweeten mine with banana, dates or rice malt syrup & sprinkle some teff through. Make the muffins with almond meal or coconut flour to get in some extra protein grams!
Sprinkle Pepitas & sunflower seeds on your salad – everyday – it adds a great texture & another element of flavour.
I will taste these ice pops a little later to see if anything needs refining but for now, here’s the ingredients without quantities:
Organic Vanilla bean
Rice malt syrup
Organic cacao butter (I like Loving Earth brand)
Organic coconut oil
Organic rice malt syrup (I use ‘Pure Harvest’)
1. Melt together cacao butter, coconut oil & rice malt syrup. Stir well then add cacao. Stir well again. Keep warm so it doesn’t set!
2. Put Greek yoghurt in a bowl, then stir through vanilla bean & cinnamon. Gently fold through the rice malt syrup so you can see the swirls.
3. Pour into ice pop holders, freeze overnight.
As a family, we have been making this recipe over 10 years – it is often amended as to what we have in the cupboard on the day!
Depending on how many mouths you have to feed, the quantities can easily be expanded
1 cup couscous (when uncooked)
1 small sweet potato, sliced into wedges
1/4 cup pine nuts
10 green beans
Chilli, to taste
We were away on holiday when we made this one, at a house with boat access only so couldn’t drum up any herbs but normally I would say they are an essential part of the recipe:
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice malt syrup (or honey if you’re paleo or not vegan)
Squeeze lemon, to taste
1. Cool couscous as per instructions
2. Bake sweet potato for approx 45 mins at 180-200 degrees celsius with a touch of olive oil.
3. Steam green beans 1-2 mins max. I tend to undercook my greens so they have a bit of crunch & retain the maximum nutritional value.
4. Mix all ingredients together then pour the dressing over just before serving as it tends to absorb a lot & subsequently lose some flavour. Sprinkle chilli to taste.
This is an easy summer meal.
protein: quinoa is considered a “complete protein” due to its’ relatively high content of lysine & isoleucine
1/2 cup Quinoa (uncooked)
2 tbspns feta
1 carrot (I choose organic), grated
1 small zucchini
4-6 honey snap peas, sliced thinly
1/4 cup combined parsley & mint, finely chopped
1 tspn thyme
chilli & lemon to taste
1. Cook quinoa as per packet instructions
2. While quinoa is cooking, grate the carrot & zucchini (I tend to do a “large” grate)
3. Chop / crumble feta
4. When quinoa is cooked, let it cool a little then stir through carrot, zucchini, feta & herbs.
5. Stir through chilli to taste, pop honey snap peas on top
To me, these elements make the perfect meal for me: sweet (sweet potato, pumpkin), fresh (herbs or green veg), spice (normally fresh chilli or flakes), salty (olives, feta, capers, Himalayan pink salt).
Generally speaking I enjoy high fat meals, with minimal processed foods in my diet.
1/2 cup white quinoa (when uncooked)
1 baby pumpkin, skin on
Olives, handful (I like Kalamta & pitted are much less work!)
1/2 cup Basil
1 tbspn Thyme
Olive oil, to taste
Himalayan pink salt (optional), to taste
Chilli (optional), to taste
1. Slice the pumpkin & put in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil @ 180-200 degrees celsius. Set the timer for 45 minutes
2. Cook the quinoa to packet instructions. I think the absorption method is easiest.
3. Toss the quinoa with pumpkin, tear fresh basil & sprinkle thyme.
4. The dressing is optional – use your desired combination of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chilli & Himalayan pink salt, to your personal taste.
Millet is a seed, not a grain, making it suitable for those following the paleo diet. I enjoy millet, with a similar consistency to couscous.
1/2 cup millet (when uncooked)
1/4 cup feta
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup mint
1 small sweet potato
Zest of lemon
Chilli to taste
2 tspns dukka
Cook millet as per instructions.
At the same time, roast or bake sweet potato in small wedges or chip shape.
Mix in feta, lemon zest & chilli when millet is cooked.
Once it has cooled a bit, mix in dukka & mint