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Best Vegan Sources of Protein

You need protein for the growth and repair of muscles, organ tissue and DNA, production of white blood cells, enzymes and hormones. Protein is rich in B vitamins which are good for the nervous system and helps us to cope with stress and reduce anxiety. Signs of deficiency include anxiety and skin problems. Vegans need to eat a variety of plant foods to get all the required amino acids that the body needs. As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I have a good knowledge of the best vegan sources of protein.

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Here are the best vegan sources of protein:

The following foods are complete proteins containing all the essential amino acids.

Tofu – is made from soy bean mashed into a block. It is a great source of protein. However I would not recommend eating a lot of tofu as it contains phytooestrogens which mimic the hormone oestrogen. It can mess with your hormones, especially if you are a man. It is popularly believed that they eat a lot of tofu in the East, but actually they eat mainly fermented soy beans such as tempeh, miso and natto.

Quinoa – is a seed that is a complete protein containing all 9 amino acids. It is quick to cook in around 10 minutes. You can use  it in place of a grain with a main meal or in a salad.

Amaranth – is also a complete protein. It is sweet and makes a tasty amaranth porridge in place of the usual oat porridge for breakfast.

Buckwheat – is a complete protein as well. It goes well in a main meal with carrots, brocolli and a veggie burger.

Hemp seeds – You can use hemp in the form of hemp protein powder. It is great added to smoothies or on your porridge for breakfast. It is one of the best sources of vegan protein as it is a complete protein.

Chia seeds – you can sprinkle chia seeds on your breakfast porridge, add to smoothies or make chia pudding for a tasty dessert.

Other Good Sources of Protein

The following foods are not complete proteins and may have one essential amino acid missing. Therefore you need to eat these proteins with other plant-based foods such as chickpeas, nuts, seeds and beans.

Lentils – are a good source of protein. There is 20g of protein in 75g of lentils, which is 1 or your 2-3 daily portions of protein. It is delicious in a red lentil dhal. However they are not a complete protein so you need to eat them with rice or bread to get all the essential amino acids.

Almonds – these contain the high amount of protein of any of the nuts. You can have a handful of almonds as a snack, add them to cereal, oat flapjacks or in smoothies. You can also grind them up with other nuts to make a great base for raw vegan desserts such as raw mango cheesecake.

Chickpeas – you can add chickpeas to curries for extra protein or make hummus which can be used as a dip or spread.

Beans – you can also add beans to curries for additional protein or with a baked potato. You can make a delicious vegan spaghetti bolognese with kidney beans. Also you could make a tasty butter bean spread.

If you would like more information of vegan nutrition, please contact me to book an appointment for a nutrition consultation.

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Gluten Free Vegan Pizza Recipe

As a vegan, one thing I miss is pizza! I made this tasty gluten free vegan pizza recipe using cashew nuts to make the vegan mozzarella and meaty mushrooms instead of ham. If you don’t want to make the pizza bases you can buy ready made gluten free pizza bases in the shops.

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Makes 2 small pizzas

Pizza Base Ingredients

300g gluten free white bread flour

1/2tsp sea salt

1tsp quick yeast

1tbsp sugar

1tbsp ground flaxseed or gram flour + 3tbsp warm water

2tbsp olive oil

1tsp vinegar

200ml warm water

Topping Ingredients

1tbsp olive oil

1/2 red onion

1/2 red or green pepper

3 mushrooms

5 black olives

1 garlic clove

1tsp oregano

1tsp basil

1/4tsp sea salt

1/4tsp black pepper

8tbsp tomato passata

Vegan Mozzarella Ingredients

30g cashew nuts

200ml almond milk

1tbsp tapioca starch

1/4tsp salt

1tsp lemon juice

1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)

Instructions

Soak the cashew nuts in water over night.

Preheat the fan oven to 200C.

Firstly to make the pizza dough, put the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into the food processor and mix. Place the flaxseed, water, vinegar and olive oil into a bowl and mix. Add the liquid into the food processor with the motor running until the dough forms a ball.

Now take out the dough and leave it to rise in a covered bowl in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Next cut the dough in half and put one half aside. Place the dough on a sheet of baking paper. Roll the dough with a rolling pin to form a 2mm thick pizza base. Place onto a baking tray. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Place the pizza base in the bottom of the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

To make the topping, add the olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Slice the onion, pepper and finely slice the mushrooms. Add to the pan along with the finely chopped garlic. Also season with the salt and pepper and stir in. Fry for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are browned, turning them over once.

To make the vegan mozzarella, add the soaked cashews, olive oil and water into a blender. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the mix. Blend on a low speed for 30 seconds.

Now spread the passata onto the pizzas using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on the oregano and basil. Use a teaspoon to drop on splodges of the vegan mozzarella. Also add half the red onion, pepper and mushroom topping onto each pizza. Cut the olives in half and place on the pizza.

Now bake each pizza in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the pizza base is golden and crisp around the edges.

Finally cut into slices and serve warm.

Vegan Pizza Recipe

Yield: 2

Vegan Pizza Recipe

Ingredients

    Pizza Base Ingredients
  • 300g gluten free white bread flour
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 150ml warm water
    Topping Ingredients
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 200g Mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4tsp sea salt
  • 1/4tsp black pepper
  • 8tbsp tomato passata
  • 20g rocket
    Vegan Mozzarella Ingredients
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 1tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 6tbsp water
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  • Soak the cashew nuts in water over night.
  • Preheat the grill to 200C.
  • To make the pizza dough, put the flour, salt and olive oil into the food processor and mix. Add the warm water into the food processor with the motor running until the dough forms a ball.
  • Now take out the dough and put onto a floured surface. Cut in half and put one half aside. Roll half of the dough with a rolling pin to form a 1cm thick pizza base. Place onto a baking tray. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • To make the topping, add the olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Slice the onion and mushrooms and add to the pan along with the finely chopped garlic. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper and stir in. Fry until the mushrooms are browned, turning them over once
  • To make the vegan mozzarella, add the soaked cashews, olive oil and water into a blender. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon into the mix. Blend on a low speed for 30 seconds.
  • Now spread the passata onto the pizzas using the back of a spoon. Using a teaspoon drop on splodges of the vegan mozzarella. Add half the mushroom topping onto each pizza.
  • Now bake each pizza under the grill for 15-20 minutes or until the pizza base is crisp around the edges.
  • To serve sprinkle on some rocket leaves and cut into slices.
  • http://www.katesvegancooking.co.uk/2015/09/28/gluten-free-vegan-pizza-recipe/