Protein is one of our essential macronutrients and its benefits include preventing frailty, improving sports performance, boosting the immune system and aiding fat loss!
Most people in the UK get plenty of protein to meet the recommended intake (0.8g/Kg body weight/day), but this is probably due to our relatively high meat consumption. Of course we can get enough protein from a plant based diet to meet our needs, you just have to eat a lot more food. Also, those with increased needs such as athletes and those recovering from injuries may struggle to get all they need from a plant based diet.
Now I have nothing against including a moderate amount of high quality, welfare meat and fish in the diet, but most people would benefit from including more plant foods in the diet and decreasing their meat intake. Step up, vegan protein powders, a perfect way to increase the nutrient quantity of a meal without affecting taste or texture. Pea protein in particular is high in branched chain amino acids which may have benefits for those involved in lots of exercise/activity.
Some of you may be familiar with the PULSIN brand of snack bars and brownies, but they also do protein powders which can be added to a variety of foods. They are based in Gloucestershire just up the road from me, and I can really get behind their ethos and mission .
15 minute falafel burgers and extras
2 tins of chickpeas
2 tins of green lentils (steamed)
1 cooked parsnip
1/3 cup of sesame seeds
2 big spoons of pea protein
Method: Throw it all in a bowl, season, then mash together either with a fork, potato masher or electric mixer. Pan fry or grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
To serve: What ever extras you feel like. In this meal we used balsamic red onion, humous, guacamole, sweet potato wedges and carrot and beetroot salad.
This is the perfect sharing meal, quick to rustle up, can be made in advance and can be adapted to suit people's tastes.
High in protein
High in fibre
High in micronutrients
This meal has so much going for it and there is also the added benefit of being meat free. whether it is for your health or for ethical, sustainability reasons, try going meat free for a couple of days each week and see what new foods you can try out.