A very common cry from meat eaters to people who announce they are vegan is “Where do you get your protein from?” I am ever grateful my mum asked me this question at the age of sixteen as it sent me on a quest of finding out just what protein was. In my early twenties I had the good fortune of a naturopath telling me to eat protein with every meal and then in recent years another naturopath questioning me about complete protein. I can safely say I have been eating complete protein with every meal for a good many decades (except when I go out as it is not always an option on menus in cafes and restaurants).
Complete protein consists of all nine (or some say twelve) essential amino acids that our body cannot reproduce itself and these amino acids are important for our body to grow, keep strong and regenerate.
In a vegan diet hemp seeds, soy, buckwheat, quinoa and pepitas are complete protein. Then you can combine foods to make a complete protein.
These are the combos
Grain plus nuts/seeds
Grain plus legumes/beans
Nuts/seeds plus legumes/beans
It’s really easy especially if you look at traditional vegetarian/vegan diets they make sure they have a complete protein. My favourite example is dhal and rice.
Going out to eat can be tricky, even at vegan restaurants, I come away not full as the complete protein has been lacking so I’m sharing what I do in order to rectify this. I have a small container that either has hemp seeds in it or one of the following sprinkles. I order a dish that has a grain in it or a legume and then I pop on the sprinkle. I have a good 3 tbsp of the sprinkle and that is plenty.
Here are my three favourite sprinkles.
1 cup pepitas
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
Toast the pepitas in a frying pan, let cool then grind in a spice or coffee grinder. Mix with the salt and nutritional yeast.
1 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp salt
Toast the salt for a small amount of time in a frying pan, remove then toast the sesame seeds for a few minutes or until a little bit brown. Remove from the pan and let cool. Grind the sesame seeds in a spice or coffee grinder and mix with the salt.
½ cup almonds or brazil nuts
½ cup cashews or macadamias
½ cup nutritional yeast
salt to taste
Process everything in the food processor until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Learning About Fine Complete Protein Meals
Come and learn some very fine complete protein meals in the foundation course of The Vegan Chef and Lifestyle Training. Three days of fantastic meal ideas that will wow your family and friends. Learn how to cook like a professional in your own home and be well informed when that family member asks ‘but where do you get your protein?’ All dates and pricing are at on our Modules Dates and Pricing page.
Note: February foundation module is full. Waiting list space only.
Two spaces left for April.
Six spaces left for the module one in May.
Have a wonderful week full of cooking with kindness.
With gratitude Veet