Plant-powered protein is (finally) having its moment – and we couldn’t be happier. Though it’s great to see a boom in faux vegan meat and cheese products, we choose to shy away from processed foods, opting for whole, plant-based, nutrient dense sources of protein. We have a roster of functional ingredients, high in protein, that we build into our bowls, salads, smoothies and soups.
When crafting our menu, we are drawn to the micronutrient content of ingredients, this is what makes our menu so healing. In turn each whole ingredient will support our daily macronutrient needs, hence the functional nature of our food. The magic of looking at plant foods under this microscope and preparing each ingredient to support its maximum health potential makes all of our creations low in calories yet packed with nutrients. This means the majority of our bowls and salads have 30-40g of protein for just 350-450 calories and are either low-glycemic or sugar-free to boot!
A huge added benefit of plant proteins is the economics of growing vegetables over livestock – it is more cost effective, environmentally sustainable, the water footprint is considerably lower. And you get way more bang for your buck when it comes to the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from plants.
Below are our go-to sources of plant-based protein.
Perhaps the most well-known source of plant-based protein, we purchase our chickpeas dried and soak them overnight (no can openers here!) and cook them to perfection. A ½ cup of chickpeas boasts 7g of protein. These complex-carbs don’t spike blood glucose levels the same way simple carbs do (think white potatoes, muffins), which aids in satiety and prevents you from those mid-afternoon energy slumps. They’re also a great source of fibre, which aids in pulling toxins and waste out of your body, keeps your digestion regular and promotes a healthy gut environment. A great source of zinc – a key player in building up that immune system! Source
Quinoa is a great complete-protein source for those with gluten sensitivities, with one cup boasting 8g of protein. It’s also a high source of manganese, which plays a role in hormone balance and digestive health. We love quinoa for its subtle nutty taste and texture – it makes a great base for flavourful vegetables and dressings. Finally, quinoa is a good source of fat – the healthy kind – which is especially important for maintaining a healthy heart and hormones. Source
Organic Black Rice
You’ll find black rice in some of our favourite bowls (including the Chuck), a rice variety that has the highest amount of antioxidants (evident in its rich, dark colour). Interestingly, it has the highest amount of anthocyanin than any other food – an antioxidant that supports brain function, reduces inflammation among a host of other benefits. One cup of black rice boasts 5g of protein and just 160 calories, the highest amount of protein of all rice varieties. Finally, similar to our friends chickpeas and quinoa, it’s a good source of fibre and is gluten-free. Source
Organic Green Peas
Small but mighty, green peas boast an impressive 8g of protein in a single cup (for just 118 calories! Though low in fat, they contain alpha-linoleic-acid (ALA), an omega 3 fatty acid that promotes heart health, hormone health and glowing skin. Their vibrant green colour, caused by chlorophyll, gives them anti-inflammatory benefits, and 1 cup gives you 44% of your daily recommended Vitamin K – a vitamin that plays a large role in bone health. You’ll find green peas in some of our favourite bowls and salads, including the Chuck and Shades of Green, and our DuWest Chili. Source
Edamame, another complete protein, is similar to peas in that it boasts high protein content while being light in calories – 17g of protein and 189 calories per cup! One cup boasts 121% of your recommended folate intake, a mineral that plays a major role in women’s reproductive health, and is a good source of iron, which supports energy levels. Like green peas, edamame is a high source of ALA. Source
We incorporate spinach as a base for lots of our salads and smoothies. 1 cup boasts 3g of protein and just 7 calories, along with an impressive lineup of minerals, nutrients, and phytonutrients – including vitamin K, C, A & B12, calcium, iron, lutein, folate, potassium, and beta-carotene. Fun fact: it belongs to the same family as other nutritional powerhouses beets, chard and quinoa.
Organic Mung Beans
Mung beans have had a place in traditional Ayurvedic diets for centuries. We take pride in sprouting our mung beans from scratch – it’s the sprouting that brings out their full nutrient potential. 1 cup of sprouted mung beans boasts 3g of protein and just 30 calories, and we like to sprinkle a few tablespoons into our salads (Chuck and Tricky Tahini, for example) for a nutty flavour and added crunch. They are a complete protein, packed with folate (great for mamas-to-be!), magnesium (great for managing PMS), and a host of other vitamins. Source