Plant Proteins

Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, paleo, lacto-vegetarians… there are so many different diets out there that people will choose to live by for a variety of reasons. These could be a lifestyle choice or for ethical reasons or to benefit our environment. Whatever food choice you decide to make for whatever reason, I do not judge. As a nutritionist I am here to educate you on how to achieve and maintain the best version of you and to help guide you to ensure you are getting all the right nutrients your body needs regardless of your dietary preferences.

I don’t particularly like ‘labelling’ and I support any decisions people make about why they may want to go ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ however, a concern of mine is that some people make the decision to become ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ and forget to consider the nutrients that they may have lost from cutting out certain food groups. To address some- vitamin D, omega 3, calcium and vitamin B12, all need to be found from alternative sources.

On the other hand, you may eat meat but just want to increase the variety in your diet and perhaps lower your meat consumption by switching in some plant proteins which is great. Here I will tell you what you need to know about plant proteins and give you some examples too.

In short, protein is extremely important for building and repairing the body’s tissue. Proteins are used to make hormones and enzymes, and are essential for building muscles, cartilage, bones, skin and blood cells.

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein and essential amino acids must be derived from food as they cannot be made by the body (unlike non-essential amino acids). ‘Complete protein’ means that it contains all of the essential amino acids; animal proteins are complete proteins and these include- meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. There are also a few non animal complete proteins which are -soy, hempseed, quinoa and buckwheat, however you are also able to pair different plant based proteins together, in order to achieve ‘complete proteins’….

  • Red beans with rice
  • Black beans and polenta
  • hummus and seed crackers
  • Chickpeas and quinoa
  • Peanut butter and wholegrain bread

Making an effort to consume a variety of plant based foods (variety being the key word), like wholegrain, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, should see that you’re getting enough of the nutrients that you need.

I have a listed a few specific plant based proteins below-

Quinoa- 1 cup contains more than 8 grams of protein and includes all nine of the essential amino acids that our body needs for growth and repair. Quinoa is great of either lunch or dinner, and is flavoursome mixed with different herbs or spices and vegetables.

Beans- Black, white, soy, kidney beans etc. all contain high amounts of protein. 2 cups of kidney beans will provide us with around 26 grams of protein. I regularly have kidney beans with my dinner- mixing them with rice, lentils and plenty of veg.

Nuts and nut butter (such as peanut butter)- They are great sources of protein, and contain essential fats.  I LOVE peanut butter paired with apple, or just snacking on a handful of raw almonds.

 

Tofu- Contains around 10 grams of protein per 100g. You can either bake of make into a stir fry with veg and noodles. Soy is also a complete protein.

 

Green peas- legumes are sources of plant based proteins. Green peas provide 8 grams of protein per 1 cup.

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For a high protein veggie dish, check out my vegetable pasta bake and follow my instagram page for daily recipes!

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The best matcha bread

Hi Guys! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Now I know I have promised more savoury recipes for your lunch and dinners (they are to come) but I HAD to share this matcha bread recipe that I have developed, because it is just delicious! It really is the best matcha bread! Sweetened with bananas and honey and topped with creamy cashew matcha icing, if you love matcha you’ll love this bread! To make up the base of the recipe I used ground almonds and oat flour as well as a scoop of banana protein powder so it is a good source of slow releasing carbs and protein. A healthy way of snacking is to snack on foods that are good sources of carbs and protein so bake this bread at the start of the week and you’ve got your healthy snack covered!

Ingredients used…

Matcha- extremely rich in antioxidants which fight against free radicals. It may also enhance your mood with its caffeine release.

Almonds– good source of vitamin E, magnesium, copper and high quality protein. They are also a good source of healthy fats.

Bananas– great source of essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, manganese, niacin, folate, iron, riboflavin and vitamin B6.

Ghee butter– rich in vitamins A, D and E. The one I use is also a good source of omega 3.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (can use flaxseed eggs for vegan option)
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 scoop of banana protein powder
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee butter

Icing

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil 
  • tbsp of raw honey
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 tsp of matcha powder

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a bread tin tray with baking paper or grease with coconut oil or butter.
  • In a bowl, combine the oat flour, ground almonds, protein powder and baking powder.
  • Mash your bananas and add them to the bowl. Then add the eggs, milk, honey, vanilla and melted ghee butter. Mix with a spoon until the mixture is combined.
  • Separate the mixture evenly into two separate bowls.
  • Add your matcha powder to one of the mixtures only and mix well until the mix is a green tea colour.
  • Transfer the mixture from each bowl in turn, building up a marble like pattern.
  • Continue to layer the tin in this way until you have used up both mixtures.
  • Bake in the oven for around 35 minutes (until knife comes out clean).
  • Allow to cool completely before icing your bread.

To make the icing

  • Combine all ingredients and blend in a food processor or vitamix until smooth.
  • Allow to cool in freezer for at least one hour in order for it to thicken.
  • Spread the icing evenly over the bread and enjoy!
  • (I finished the bread off by sprinkling some icing sugar over the icing to make it look pretty).

Enjoy! If you love this matcha bread recipe you may also enjoy my marble bread recipe.

You can see more of my sweet and savoury recipes that are uploaded daily to my instagram page!

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