5 High Calorie Vegan Protein Sources
Hey there, are you looking to boost your high calorie vegan protein intake but finding yourself still hungry or lacking energy? As vegans, we need to be a bit more health conscious of getting enough protein and calories. The good news is there are plenty of plant-based options that can charge your diet with protein while also providing a hefty dose of energy. In this article, you’ll discover five high calorie vegan protein sources that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your active lifestyle and health. Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or just someone who likes to keep busy, these protein-packed foods are for you. Get ready to take your plant based diet to the next level and never feel hungry again.
High Calorie Vegan Protein Powders: Pea Protein and Hemp Protein
Plant-based protein powders are an easy way to boost your protein intake on a vegan diet. Two of the most popular options are pea protein and hemp protein.
Pea protein powder is made from yellow peas, a legume packed with protein. Just one scoop (about 30 grams) contains 15-20 grams of protein and 100-120 calories. It’s also high in iron and branch chain amino acids which help build muscle. The neutral flavor blends well into smoothies. Look for organic, non-GMO pea protein powder.
Hemp protein powder comes from hemp seeds, a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. Two scoops provide 10-15 grams of protein and 120-170 calories. Hemp powder is high in omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation in the body. The nutty, earthy flavor works great in granola bowls, oatmeal, and plant-based yogurt.
Other options include rice protein powder, pumpkin seed protein powder, and Sacha Inchi protein powder. Mix a few different ones together for extra nutrition and to balance out the flavors.
Whether you add them to your morning smoothie, sprinkle them on coconut yogurt with fresh fruit, or blend them into your recovery smoothie after a workout, plant-based protein powders provide an easy way to boost your protein and calorie intake when eating vegan. Experiment to find ones you enjoy so you can look forward to powering up your day. Your body and mind will thank you for the extra fuel and nourishment.
Nut Butters: Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and Tahini
When it comes to high calorie vegan protein, nut butters are your new best friend. Peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini (sesame seed butter) are all packed with protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied.
Peanut butter is a classic and for good reason. Two tablespoons contain 8 grams of protein and 16 grams of fat. Look for all-natural peanut butter with no added sugar. Almond butter has a milder nutty flavor and the same amount of protein as peanut butter. It does tend to be pricier, so stock up when it’s on sale.
Tahini, made from sesame seeds, is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Two tablespoons pack in 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of fat. Its distinctive bitter flavor takes some getting used to, so you may want to start with a sweeter nut butter. Once you’re hooked, tahini makes a great base for salad dressings, dips and spreads.
The best way to add nut butters to your diet is by spreading them on bread, adding them to smoothies, or just eating them with a spoon. You can also add nut butters to yogurt or oatmeal, use as a dip for fruit, or add to savory dishes like stir fries for a protein boost.
With so many options, there’s a nut butter for every taste. Stock up on a few varieties and you’ll always have a satisfying vegan protein source on hand. Your muscles—and taste buds—will thank you.
Seeds: Pumpkin, Chia and Flax Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses. Just 1/2 cup contains over 10 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat. Roast them yourself or buy pre-roasted, shelled seeds to add to salads, yogurt, or oatmeal. Their earthy, nutty flavor pairs well with cocoa, chili, and maple syrup.
Don’t be fooled by their tiny size—chia seeds pack a high calorie vegan protein punch with 5 grams per 2 tablespoon serving. When soaked in liquid, they swell up and develop a gel-like coating that’s great for thickening smoothies or making chia pudding.
Chia seeds have a mild nutty flavor and crunchy texture, so they work well as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.
Flax seeds provide protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which are antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Grind whole flax seeds to unlock their nutritional benefits and sprinkle over cereal, salads, or blended into smoothies. Two tablespoons contain 3 grams of protein and over 7 grams of healthy fats. Their earthy, nutty flavor pairs nicely with berries, bananas, and nut butters.
To boost your protein intake, aim for a few servings of these powerhouse seeds each day. Add pumpkin, chia or flax seeds to your morning oatmeal or smoothie, sprinkle them on salads or yogurt for lunch, or simply snack on a few tablespoons on their own. When buying seeds, choose raw, organic options and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Seeds offer a convenient plant-based protein source for vegans and anyone looking to improve their diet. By incorporating just a few servings each day, you’ll be well on your way to meeting your protein needs in a nutritious and satisfying way.
Avocados: Creamy and Delicious
Avocados are creamy, delicious, and high in healthy fats that can supercharge your vegan diet. ###Loaded with Nutrients
Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and folate. They’re a great source of fiber, with about 13 grams per average-sized fruit. Fiber helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, which can aid weight loss and management.
The majority of calories in avocados come from monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that may help lower cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Avocados also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain and heart health.
Versatile and Delicious
Avocados have a mild flavor and creamy texture, which makes them versatile and complementary ingredients in both sweet and savory recipes. You can spread avocado on toast, add it to salads and sandwiches, blend it into sauces and dressings, or even bake with it by substituting for some of the butter or oil in brownies, cookies, and muffins.
Some tasty ways to enjoy avocados:
Guacamole: Mash 2-3 avocados with lime juice, chili, cilantro, and season with salt. Serve with tortilla chips.
Avocado toast: Mash half an avocado and spread on whole grain toast. Top with lemon juice, salt, and red pepper flakes.
Chocolate pudding: Blend 2 avocados, half cup cocoa powder, , and 1 tsp vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Chill before serving.
Salad: Chop 1 avocado and add to a salad with greens, beans, and a citrus vinaigrette.
Avocados are as delicious as they are nutritious. Add them to your diet and feel good enjoying every creamy, satisfying bite. Your body and taste buds will thank you.
Coconut: Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream and Coconut Oil
Coconut is a nutritional powerhouse for vegans. Its milk, cream and oil provide healthy fats and calories to boost your energy and gain weight.
Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream
Coconut milk and cream are made by blending coconut meat with water. The cream contains more coconut and less water, so it has a thicker texture and richer flavor. Both provide calories, fat and protein.
Use coconut milk and cream as a dairy replacement in curries, smoothies, baked goods, and desserts. A single cup of coconut milk packs 445 calories and 38 grams of fat.
Look for “full-fat” or “regular” coconut milk with no added sugar. Light or reduced-fat versions cut the calories in half but lack nutrition.
Add a few tablespoons of coconut cream to coffee, oatmeal or yogurt for an energy-boosting topping. Two tablespoons provide 130 calories and 14 grams of fat.
Coconut oil is 100% fat, containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are easy for your body to convert into supercharge . MCTs may also boost metabolism and fat burning.
Use coconut oil for high-heat cooking methods like stir-frying. Its high smoke point prevents oxidation. Add a tablespoon to sautéed veggies for 120 extra calories and 14 grams of fat.
Add coconut oil to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal for a creamy texture and burst of energy. One tablespoon adds 13 grams of fat and 117 calories.
Look for virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil. Refined versions lose nutrients and flavor during processing.
Coconut provides healthy fats for weight gain and energy in a sustainable plant-based diet. Add coconut milk, cream and oil to your meals and snacks for a simple way to pack in more protein, calories, and nutrition. Keep experimenting to find your favorite uses for versatile and delicious coconut products.
Tofu and Tempeh: Versatile Soy-Based Options
Tofu and tempeh are two of the most popular meat substitutes for vegans and vegetarians. Made from soybeans, they provide a hearty source of plant-based protein.
Tofu comes in a variety of textures, from soft to extra-firm. The softer varieties work well in Asian-inspired dishes like stir fries, while the firmer types can be grilled, baked, or breaded and fried. Look for tofu that contains “calcium sulfate” or “nigari” as a coagulant, which helps it hold together better during cooking.
To boost the protein in tofu, press out excess moisture before cooking. Place the tofu on a plate lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place another towel on top and weigh it down with books or heavy pots. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes to press out liquid. Then, marinate the tofu to add more flavor before cooking. Baked or grilled, pressed tofu can have over 20 grams of protein per half-cup serving.
Extra-firm tofu: over 10 grams of protein per half cup
Softer tofu (like silken): 6 grams per half cup
Tempeh is made from whole soybeans that have been fermented and pressed into a firm patty. It has an earthy, nutty flavor and chewy, meaty texture. Tempeh contains over 15 grams of protein per half-cup serving.
To prepare tempeh, steam, bake, grill or sauté until browned. It works well in sandwiches, stir fries and chili. Because it’s fermented, tempeh contains probiotics that are good for gut health and digestion. However, the fermentation process can produce a bitter taste, so marinating tempeh before cooking is recommended.
Whether you choose tofu or tempeh, these soy-based protein sources can be a cornerstone of a high-calorie vegan diet. Look for organic, non-GMO options and experiment with different marinades and cooking techniques to keep things interesting.
Legumes: Beans, Lentils and Peas Galore
Legumes like beans, lentils, and peas should be staples in any vegan diet. They are packed with protein and nutrients to keep you energized and satisfied.
Beans of all kinds—black, pinto, kidney, etc.—are excellent sources of protein. Just one cup of cooked beans provides 15 grams of protein, lots of fiber, iron, and magnesium. Add beans to salads, burritos, chili, and soups. For extra protein, try hummus, bean burgers, or lentil sloppy joes.
Lentils are legumes that cook quickly and provide 18 grams of protein per cooked cup. They work well in Indian curries, Middle Eastern dishes like mujaddara, and pasta sauce. Lentil soup or stew is a hearty, comforting meal. Lentils require no pre-soaking and pair nicely with rice, vegetables, and aromatics like onions and garlic.
Peas, including split peas and chickpeas (garbanzo beans), offer 8-10 grams of protein per half cup. Split pea soup is a protein-packed comfort food. Hummus, made from chickpeas, provides protein and healthy fats. Add peas to pasta, rice, and salad for extra nutrition.
Legumes are very affordable, especially when purchased dried in bulk. Cooking dried beans and lentils yourself is more cost effective than canned versions. Simply rinse, then simmer in broth until tender. Season with herbs and spices to boost flavor.
Legumes contribute to sustainable eating since they require fewer resources to produce compared to meat. By including more beans, lentils, chia and peas in your diet, you’ll save money, improve your health, and benefit the planet. A triple win!
So expand your high calorie vegan protein sources and start loading up on delicious legumes. Your body and budget will thank you.
Nutritional Yeast: Cheesy and Savory
Nutritional yeast is a vegan staple that adds a savory, cheesy flavor to many plant-based dishes. This deactivated yeast is grown on molasses and then harvested and dried to produce yellow flakes with an umami taste.
Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. Two tablespoons has 60% of the recommended daily amount of B12, a nutrient many vegans lack. It also provides folate, selenium, zinc and protein.
Add nutritional yeast to pasta, rice, potatoes or steamed veggies. Its cheesy, savory flavor enhances the dish.
Make dairy-free mac and cheese. Blend quarter cup nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Toss with cooked pasta and veggies.
Add to soups, stews and little bit chilis for extra flavor and nutrition.
Sprinkle on popcorn for cheesy popcorn.
Buying and Storage
Look for nutritional yeast in the bulk section of health food stores or buy it pre-packaged. It comes in both fortified and unfortified versions—choose fortified for the B12. Store an unopened package in a cool, dry place. After opening, keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-6 months.
Nutritional yeast is a versatile ingredient that adds nutrition, flavor and cheesiness to plant-based cooking. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just want to boost nutrition, nutritional yeast is a savory seasoning you’ll want to have on hand. Add it to the foods you already love for an easy nutrition and flavor upgrade. Your taste buds and body will thank you.
High Calorie Vegan Protein FAQs: Common Questions Answered
If you’re new to high calorie vegan protein sources , you probably have some questions. Here are the most common ones answered:
Do I need to eat protein with every meal?
No, you don’t high calorie vegan need protein with every meal to get enough in your diet . Aim for getting protein with most meals, especially breakfast and lunch. Good sources include legumes, nut butters, and meat substitutes. As long as you’re eating a variety of plant-based protein foods and enough calories overall, you’ll be fine.
Do I need protein powder?
Protein powder can be convenient, but it’s not essential. You can absolutely get enough protein from whole foods alone. Some people use vegan protein powder as a supplement, or add it to smoothies and shakes for an extra protein boost. If you do want to use a powder, look for a blend with a complete amino acid profile from sources like pea protein, rice protein, hemp protein, or sacha inchi protein.
What’s a good amount of protein for vegans?
Most vegans should aim for 0.6 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. So if you weigh 150 lbs, that would be 75 to 135 grams of protein total. Focus on eating a variety of plant-based protein foods with each meal, including legumes, nut butters, seeds, and meat substitutes. As long as you’re eating enough calories and a balanced diet, you should be able to get adequate protein from whole plant foods.
Do I need to combine proteins?
No, you do not need to combine proteins within a meal. The idea that plant proteins are “incomplete” and need to be combined is a myth. As long as you eat a variety of protein sources over the course of a day, you’ll get all the amino acids you need. Some good options include:
-Beans and rice
-Hummus and veggies
-Nut butter on whole grain bread
-Tofu stir fry with quinoa
Eating a balanced diet with a variety of nutritious plant-based protein foods is the key to success for vegan protein.