On the premise that a vegan lifestyle does not allow for adequate protein sources, I bring to you my own additional sources of protein. I too was under the impression that plant based foods don’t contain enough protein. Since I’ve been tracking my macros for the last year and learned that as long as I eat enough calories, I am getting enough protein.
Although the majority of my 140g of protein a day comes from the food I eat, I do like to supplement with protein for days when I’ve done an intense workout or want a nutrient dense treat as opposed to a pack of biscuits. A variety of beans, greens, grains and wholefoods are the basis of my protein intake, I don’t believe drinking protein shakes is necessary but it’s good to have options available.
Having tried my fair share of protein shakes, and not being able to keep them down due to texture and taste. I opt for protein smoothies instead, personally I find this tastes better and by adding fruit and greens the texture of protein powder is less obvious. My current favourite protein powders are Pulsin Soya or Pea protein and Nua Natural’s Pea Protein Isolate. These are unflavoured powders that can be added to pretty much anything. These protein powders come in Hemp, Soy and Pea and the 250g pouch costs between €8.99 – €11 depending on where you shop. Nua protein also comes in berry flavour.
Unflavoured protein is versatile in that it can be added to brownies, flapjacks and other sweet treats as well as soups and even mash! I add 3 heaped dessert spoons to my smoothie. This provides 24g of protein, with the following recipe the protein count comes to 30g with the benefit of a heap of nutrient dense food thrown in. This smoothie is a meal in itself at 555 calories but since plant based food digests faster, you won’t be left bloat either!
Protein smoothie recipe:
- 30g (3 heaped dessert spoons) Protein powder
- 3 medium bananas
- 40g pineapple
- 50g mango
- 12g chia seeds
- 1 large handful of Kale / Spinach
- Sprig of mint
- 250ml of water
If I’m on the go or want a post workout snack, my three favourite protein bars are
Cliff Builder’s Bar – 20g Protein
These bars have the highest amount of protein I have found so far. Cliff Builder’s bars come in a variety of flavours from Chocolate Mint to Vanilla Almond. In terms of texture they are rich but not super heavy as many protein bars seem to be. The protein powder is definitely there but it doesn’t comprimise the flavour or get super chalky.
This bar retails for €2.39 at most Super Valu’s.They can be purchased online in bulk if you’d rather a discounted supply!
Cliff Mountain Bar – 12g protein
These bars are delicious! Both chewy and crunchy, with no sign of protein powder texture. If you’re looking for some extra protein that still feels like a treat, give these a try. With 11g of protein and a wide range of flavours, I highly recommend these. A little pricey for the size but sometimes you gotta treat yourself!
Trek bars are great options too, these have 10-11g of protein depending on which bar. Available in Health stores and many supermarkets. Pulsin also have a range of protein bars, however these are very powdery and small.
Lara Bars are another great option. All of their range is fully raw, both nutritious and full of flavour these are great to have in your bag for a quick snack. If you’re lucky they’ll be on sale for €1, that’s when I stock up. Each bar has roughly 6.8g of protein and since the ingredient list is so small these will most likely suit those looking for Gluten Free snacks too.
Other vegan protein flavoured powders (available online):
- Sunwarrior (Vanilla, Chocolate)
- Vega Sport (Chocolate)
- Vega One (Vanilla Chai)
- SAN Raw Fusion (Vanilla Bean)
- NLA Raw Protein (GF – Chocolate Cacao)