“But where do you get your protein?” …it’s a question as old as the hills, often asked by non-vegans even today. It’s common knowledge that all protein comes from plants yet most people still think vegans lack protein. Well today we’re looking at the highest protein vegan foods per 100g serving. Let’s put the protein thing to bed shall we?
The 7 Highest Protein Vegan Foods Per 100gBelieve it or not the vegan food with the highest protein ratio has quite a bit more protein than beef, pound for pound. Although I don’t recommend eating a bowl of soy protein isolate for dinner. Below we’ve listed the top 7 protein rich vegan foods according to the USDA, based on the ratio of a 100g serving.
|Vegan Food||Protein Content per 100g||Check Latest Prices|
|1 – Soy Protein Isolate||88.3g||Amazon Best Price|
|2 – Seitan||75.2g||Amazon Best Price|
|3 – Spirulina (dried)||57.5g||Amazon Best Price|
|4 – Tofu||52.5g||Amazon Best Price|
|5 – Peanut Flour||52.2g||Amazon Best Price|
|6 – Sesame Seed Flour||50.1g||Amazon Best Price|
|7 – Sunflower Seed Flour||48.1g||Amazon Best Price|
We didn’t include other plant based protein powders in the list because there are so many of them you can use to add a protein hit to your smoothies. A whole post could easily be devoted to the world of high protein vegan powders.
Have a look at our Vedge Nutrition Plant Protein Powder Review for the lowdown on one of the top rated vegan protein powders out there. We’ve personally tried this one and we love it.
Now, we do realise you’re not going to make much of a tasty meal using the ingredients above.
We could do a ‘Liver King’ breakfast, vegan style, and just chuck a load of seitan in a bowl of oat milk, sprinkling on soy protein isolate and peanut flour. Those who’ve seen his video will know what I’m wanging on about.
If you haven’t heard of the ‘Liver King’ … best not to ask. His vids should come with a public health warning 🙂
Watch: High-protein vegan meals from Sweet Simple Vegan!
(a quick 7 minutes of vegan delights from Chris & Jasmine)
But yeah, if you’re looking for a list of high protein vegetables we’ve got you covered on that one too. Before that, let’s elaborate on the list above and provide some ideas to incorporate those high protein vegan foods into your day to day routine.
Soy Protein Isolate
There is some debate about the safety of soy protein isolate (SPI) but a consensus has certainly not been reached. For patients with a hormone sensitive cancer, many doctors will recommend minimising the intake of SPI.
Everyone seems to be concerned about phytoestrogens. Yet it should be said that the phytoestrogens in soy are much weaker than the estrogen in cow’s milk, for example. Further, they do not convert to estrogen when consumed , contrary to what some will tell you.
Most people will simply add SPI to their smoothie and this is a great way to add a high protein hit to your day … but you can also cook with it.
It can be used in place of flour for baking. Just start by subbing in a little soy protein isolate powder and work up to larger amounts as you become more confident.
Homemade protein bars are also a great way to use SPI. There are lots of recipes online but you pretty much just mix up your favourite ingredients, blend to your desired consistency, spread onto a tray and chill overnight … job done.
In Bed With Seitan
No, this has nothing to do with the devil … although many anti-vegans might disagree 🙂
Seitan is a great vegan meat substitute made from hydrated wheat gluten. It is made by simply kneading wheat flour and water together and then washing away the starch, leaving strips of gluten.
Seitan is Japanese in origin and has been widely used as a meat substitute for centuries in the far East. It is very high in protein and has a chewy texture similar to chicken or beef.
For those vegans who have a soy allergy, seitan is an excellent protein source and can be used in a wide array of dishes. Again, there are plenty of recipes online. Here’s one or two of our favourites.
Spirulina: Embrace The Algae
Here’s another one for your smoothies which packs a protein power punch!
Spirulina is a blue-green algae which grows best in warm, alkaline waters exposed to high levels of sunlight. Conditions where temperature variations are minimal favour the production of this common ‘superfood’ supplement.
It has been used as a foodstuff for centuries and the very high nutritional value was recognised as far back as the 14th century when the Aztec civilisation was becoming dominant in what is now South America.
It has a slightly bitter taste so adding it to a fruit smoothie is definitely the way to go, unless you’re like my wife … she just mixes it with water and down the hatch it goes!
Tofu: The Wokerati’s Favourite!
You’ll have to indulge me for a moment here, because if you’ve not had the pleasure of being exposed to the utterings of the greatest home secretary the UK has ever known then you’re really missing out.
I’m talking, of course, about the least honourable Suella Braverman. She belongs to an iteration of politician that shall be consigned to history as some of the most divisive and ineffectual public servants the world has ever known.
In response to a perfectly legal protest here in the UK, she famously used the phrase “Guardian-reading, tofu-eating wokerati”, somehow believing she was being clever. What a despicable human being. Even just the sight of that woman makes me feel somewhat nauseous.
Anyway … apologies for going off on a bit of a tangent there. I just had to mention that.
Back to the bean curd … Tofu is well known as a vegan staple and is a high protein, legume based product which can be used in a variety of ways.
Embraced by Asian cuisine for centuries, it’s made from soybean curd and its versatility as a meat replacement makes it the #1 go-to for many vegans.
The nutritional profile of tofu and the ease with which it takes on the flavours of what you cook it with has cemented this often stigmatised foodstuff in the vegan hall of fame.
Veganism and tofu have become almost synonymous.
… and just to put minds at rest for my male readers, if you’re worried about your man-boobs, the disinformation around phytoestrogens in soy has now been comprehensively debunked so you can enjoy your daily dose of high-protein tofu without any worries.
No room for recipes here but here’s a great one from “Jessica in the Kitchen” for a deliciously seasoned crispy tofu cooked in an air fryer … and here’s a more traditional pan-fried version from Iosune’s “Simple Vegan Blog”.
Peanut, Sesame Seed & Sunflower Seed Flours
All three of these high protein flours can be at least partially substituted into your baking exploits to increase the nutritional value of homemade bread, cookies, energy bars etc.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can replace regular flour completely with these flours although the lack of gluten may mean you’ll need to use another binding agent.
Peanut flour is great for adding a nutty seasoning to all sorts of dishes. I particularly like it sprinkled on my morning porridge.
Sesame seed flour is high in healthy fats and fibre as well as that all-important protein. We like to add a little to our fruit smoothies but don’t overdo it because you’ll end up with an overly-thick consistency.
Sunflower seed flour is a good option for baking and makes an awesome pancake. We made some delicious chocolate brownies with it recently which went down very well with the family. Highly nutritious and packed with brain-healthy antioxidants 🙂
Into your keto? These flours are all low carb and so are a great complement to your keto regime.
… and just a quick mention on the glycemic index of these flours. They are all classified in the low GI range making them a perfect choice for diabetics.
Peanut, sesame seed and sunflower seed flours are all nutrition powerhouses and a great alternative to regular bread flour … get experimenting!
17 High Protein Vegetables For Day To Day
So what about some vegetables with a good dose of protein? Something you can actually throw in your wok on the daily when you just want to cook up something quick for you and your family.
- Soy nuts (38.6%) – sprinkle into a stir-fry.
- Red Kidney Beans (25.9%) – boss your burritos!
- Flaxseed (18%) – scatter over a salad.
- Buckwheat (11%) – try it with roasted veg.
- Lima Beans (8%) – gorgeous Greek gigantes plaki.
- Soybean Sprouts (13.1%) – 5 star salads.
- Garlic (6.6%) – ward off those vampires!
- Kale (4.3%) – just steamed with a pinch of salt.
- Brussels Sprouts (3.4%) – love ‘em or hate ‘em.
- Mushrooms (3%) – Sunday morning fry up.
- Broccoli (2.6%) – steamed, curried, roasted, yum!
- Leek (3%) – only for Welsh vegans 🙂
- Vine leaf (3.6%) – stuff that.
- Snowpeas (3.6%) – subtly sweet in stir-frys.
- Bok Choy (3.7%) – Sauté with lemon & garlic.
- Spinach (3.7%) – with garlic & coconut, OMG!
- Potato (2%) – we all love a spud.
So … Where Will You Get Your Protein?
I think we can safely say there is no reason to worry about getting enough protein on a vegan diet. If you eat a good varied mix of plants every day, you’re good.
You may want to consider upping it if you’re working out regularly and it’s probably worth looking at supplementing growing children with a little more protein, just to be sure.
Powdered plant protein products are a great choice for adding to a morning smoothie or bowl of porridge. Our daughter likes it on her ultra-processed Cheerios!
Although, we do try to limit our intake of the ubiquitous UPF which means cooking fresh most nights. If you’re vegan, you’re gonna need to know how to cook 🙂
… and remember, tofu is your friend.
I hope today’s burblings have helped to answer your question. Why not let me know what else you’d like to see covered? Your opinion matters so please leave comments below – I always respond. Social shares are always welcome too – use the icons top and bottom.
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Thanks so much for reading and have a peaceful day.
Rohan McAvee is just another vegan blogger trying to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of veganism and plant-based living. Based in the UK, for more than a decade he has been walking the vegan walk, trying to do the right thing for the animals. He’s never really wavered or been tempted to stray from the path and now feels he’s at the point where he can offer advice to new vegans and those considering making the switch. Vegan and loving it!
 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Nutrition services – Soy & Cancer. Is soy safe for cancer patients? Retrieved Monday 25th September 2023. (link).