Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Some people consider protein sources to come from animals, which are only a portion of what is available.
Animal and plant-based protein sources, such as peas, brown rice, and chickpeas, are available to Canadian shoppers.
The affordability of groceries and other cost-of-living expenses in Canada have forced people to seek alternative ways to enjoy protein.
Meat prices, among other products, have increased in price, and for many Canadians, unless it’s on sale or discounted on the Flashfood app, it’s not feasible to purchase.
Protein is an essential part of the human diet as it keeps us satiated to help us from overeating and supports a healthy body weight.
Eating protein also helps repair body tissues and is a valuable energy source.
Animal protein sources come in many forms, such as meat, yogurt, eggs, poultry, fish, nuts, cheese, and milk.
Today, I will discuss plant-based protein sources, which I feel take the back seat to their sister animal protein sources.
You may also find that adding plant-based protein sources to your diet will reduce your grocery costs.
How To Calculate Adult Protein Needs
According to Health BC, planning your meals around the Canada Food Guide is essential.
How much protein does an adult need daily?
If you are over 19, you need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
You would use the following calculation to determine how much protein you need daily.
Step 1: Weight in pounds (lbs) ÷ 2.2 = weight in kg
Step 2: Weight in kg × 0.8 = Average Daily Protein Need (g)
Finding Deals On Protein And Dairy
Many delicious protein sources are underrated, and that’s because not everyone thinks outside of the meat patty.
Meatless meals have taken on a bigger role in meal planning because it’s a way to cut costs.
Although I’ve come up with simple ways to save money buying meat and dairy at the grocery store, it’s not always easy to find.
Not everyone wants meat or fish, so alternative protein sources are the only way to enjoy their nutritious values.
Protein Sources For Picky Eaters
It’s not just kids who are picky eaters because I know a few adults who have quirks about various foods.
A survey by Chickapea found that 55% of people and 63.6% of parents feel their children are not eating enough protein.
Our son, for example, has sensory processing disorder and struggles with food textures and smells.
It’s not that he’s being picky, as it’s a sensory problem for him where he experiences pleasure on an entirely different level.
If it doesn’t look, feel, or smell right, it’s not going into his mouth.
We’ve had to hide protein sources in home-baked muffins, cookies, and vegetables he refuses to eat.
For example, I hid grated zucchini in these moist, gooey chocolate zucchini muffins.
I add oatmeal to the coffee grinder to make chocolate chip cookies to make it flour.
Oatmeal is an excellent protein source and can be hidden along with yogurt in recipes such as banana loaf.
Although oatmeal is carb-rich, it does offer 5 grams of protein per 1 cup to a balanced diet.
Are Canadians Eating Enough Protein?
I’ve learned that we can’t compare animal and plant-based protein sources with the same nutritional value.
The best protein will always come from animal sources.
However, a study from 2015 found that Canadian intake was lacking.
The percent of total energy intake from protein averaged 17% for Canadian adults in 2015 (Statistics Canada 2017b).
Animal- and plant-based foods differ in their quantity and quality of protein and content of other essential nutrients.
Animal protein is deemed high quality because it provides all 9 essential amino acids and is more bioavailable compared with plants (Institute of Medicine 2006; Lonnie et al. 2018).
Consuming plant-based protein sources with complementary amino acid profiles (Arentson-Lantz et al. 2015; Gardner et al. 2019) is encouraged to ensure adequate intake of all essential amino acids, particularly for vegetarians (Institute of Medicine 2006).
Protein Rich Plant-Based and Vegetarian Recipes
Italian white bean soup is made with a golden chicken broth and packed with kidney beans, Acini de Pepe, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
My keto-baked frittata with mozzarella and fennel greens, also known as fennel fronds, is protein-packed, flavourful, and cheesy.
12 Plant-Based and Vegetarian Protein Sources
All of the protein sources below, with the nutrition calculation, assume they are cooked products and not raw.
Initially, I would share only 12 plant-based and vegetarian protein sources, but I lost control and continued.
I hope the information is educational for everyone.
If you’re vegetarian, you’ll want to avoid gelatin-based yogurts and opt for Greek, oat, or soy-based yogurts.
175 mL (¾ cup) = 14 grams protein
Seitan is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is also known as miànjīn, fu, milgogi, wheat meat, gluten meat, vital wheat gluten, or simply gluten. -Wikipedia
100 grams = 75 grams of protein
The lentil is an edible legume. It is an annual plant known for its lens-shaped seeds.
It is about 40 cm tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.
As a food crop, Canada and India are the largest producers, producing 29% and 27% of the world’s total lentils in 2021. -Wikipedia
175 mL (¾ cup) = 12 grams of protein
Delicious Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sold commercially as a food product.
Nutritional Yeast is sold as yellow flakes, granules, or powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. – Wikipedia
Two tablespoons = 8 grams of protein
Oatmeal is a preparation of oats that have been de-husked, steamed, and flattened, or a coarse flour of hulled oat grains that have either been milled, rolled, or steel-cut.
Ground oats are also called white oats. Steel-cut oats are coarse oatmeal, Irish oatmeal, or pinhead oats. – Wikipedia
11 grams of protein per 100 grams
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and Western Asia. It is of the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae.
Its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh or after storage using canning, freezing, or dehydration preservation techniques. – Wikipedia
100 grams of spinach = 2.9 grams of protein
The Brussel sprout is a member of the Gemmifera cultivar group of cabbages, grown for its edible buds.
The leaf vegetables are typically 1.5–4.0 cm in diameter and resemble miniature cabbages.
Brussel sprouts have long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, where they gained their name.- Wikipedia
100 grams = 3.4 grams of protein
Paneer and Cottage Cheese
Paneer and cottage cheese is traditionally made without rennet and is instead coagulated with an acidic ingredient like vinegar or lemon juice.
Artisan cheeses from specific areas may be vegetarian.
125 mL (½ cup)= 13 grams of protein
The chickpea or chick pea is an annual legume of Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae.
Its different types are known as gram or Bengal gram, chana, chana, or channa, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, or Egyptian pea. Chickpea seeds are high in protein. – Wikipedia
19 grams of protein per 100 grams
Eating a diet rich in fiber also is shown to protect against colorectal cancer.
One serving of dried chia seeds is about 2.5 tablespoons.
This has 140 calories, 5 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrate, and 9 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are heart-healthy fats.- Mayo Clinic
Recipe Idea: Chia Seed Pudding
Tempeh or tempe is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans.
It is caused by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.
A fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae, is used in fermentation and is also known as tempeh starter.- Wikipedia
100 grams = 19 grams of protein
Firm tofu is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness: silken, soft, firm, extra firm.
Tofu is also known as bean curd in English. Beyond these broad textural categories, there are many varieties of tofu. – Wikipedia
150 g / 175 mL (¾ cup) = 12 grams of protein
The almond is a species of small tree from the genus Prunus, cultivated worldwide for its seed, a culinary nut.
Along with the peach, it is classified in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by corrugations on the shell surrounding the seed. – Wikipedia
60 mL (¼ cup) = 8 grams of protein
Humans and ancestors have scavenged and eaten animal eggs for millions of years.
Humans in Southeast Asia had domesticated chickens and harvested their eggs for food by 1500 BCE.
The most widely consumed eggs are those of fowl, especially chickens.-Wikipedia
One large egg = 6 grams of protein
Protein-rich Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is an annual herbaceous plant grown primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. – Wikipedia
125 mL (½ cup) = 4 grams of protein
Health Benefits Of Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are a nutritious plant-based protein source that may provide health benefits, including supporting digestion and heart health.
9 grams of protein per 30 grams
A bean is the seed of several plants in the family Fabaceae, which are used as vegetables for human or animal food.
They can be cooked in many different ways, including boiling, frying, and baking, and are used in many traditional dishes worldwide. – Wikipedia
Pinto beans, white kidney beans (cannellini), black beans, red kidney beans, etc.
175 mL (¾ cup) = 12 grams of protein
Buckwheat, or common buckwheat, is a flowering plant in the knotweed family Polygonaceae cultivated for its grain-like seeds and as a cover crop.
The name “buckwheat” is used for several other species, such as Fagopyrum tataricum, a domesticated food plant raised in Asia.- Wikipedia
1 cup/168 grams = 5.68 grams of protein
Recipe Idea- Buckwheat Banana Date Loaf
Soy milk, or soya milk or soymilk, is a plant-based drink produced by soaking and grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out the remaining particulates.
It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein.
Its original form is an intermediate product of the manufacture of tofu.- Wikipedia
250 mL (1 cup)= 7 grams of protein
Natural Peanut Butter
The peanut, also known as the groundnut, goober, pindar, or monkey nut, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds.
Natural peanut butter is the best and most nutritious for your diet.
It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics and is important to small and large commercial producers.
It is classified as a grain legume and an oil crop due to its high oil content.- Wikipedia
30 mL (2 Tbsp) = 8 grams of protein
Recipe – Keto Peanut Butter Cookies
The soybean, soybean, or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.
Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin are made.- Wikipedia
175 mL (¾ cup) = 12 grams of protein
Edamame is a Japanese dish prepared with immature soybeans in the pod.
The pods are boiled or steamed and may be served with salt or other condiments.
The dish has become popular worldwide because it contains vitamins, dietary fiber, and isoflavones. – Wikipedia
100 grams = 11 grams of protein
The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed pod of the flowering plant species Pisum sativum.
Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are fruit since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower. – Wikipedia
175 mL (¾ cup) = 12 grams of protein
Recipe idea: Creamed Green Peas On Toast
Ways To Save Buying Vegetarian and Plant-Based Protein
There are always ways you can save money buying groceries, although you have to think ahead.
Write down recipes that you enjoy eating and the protein source you will need to prepare the meal.
Once you have a list of protein sources, you can shop for deals when they show up.
Use coupon apps such as Checkout51 to save money or the Flashfood app, which offers amazing deals up to 75% off the retail price.
Traditional paper coupons are still popular, so keep an eye out for them at the grocery store or online.
Also, when grocery shopping, have a stockpile fund so if you find reduced food products, you can buy them.
Lastly, consider coupon trading with like-minded savers if you belong to savings groups.
Overall, buy protein sources in bulk when you can, which we do from Costco, Canada, or Amazon for the best prices.
Feel free to comment below if you know of any other protein sources I should add.
Thanks for stopping by,
Sources include USDA and Wikipedia or otherwise linked.
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