Tuesday 14 February 2012
Here is a list of plant-based proteins that contain all essential amino acids that are not found in other plant foods. Make an effort to include a large variety of these proteins in your daily diet, as they are very beneficial for fueling and recovery. They are also gluten free and easily digested.
Quinoa - Quinoa is very easy to make, and goes great with any dish. You can usually get quinoa in the bulk section at grocery stores and health food stores for a decent price. To prepare this, you can soak it in water in the refrigerator overnight (not necessary), and then mix it with soup, pasta, salads or taco's just to name a few. You can also cook it like you would rice. Just put 1 cup of quinoa into a pot, with 1 ½ cup water or vegetable broth, boil quinoa until soft, and all liquid is absorbed.
Chia Seeds - Another good one, these are best sprouted in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, rinsed, then blended into smoothies, oatmeal, salads, or dressings. You can also use non-sprouted chia as a valuable source of protein and omega 3. The Aztecs and Tarahumara tribes used to use this superfood before battles and races.
Hemp Seeds - A very delicious and nutritionally dense seed. Can be eaten in many different ways such as raw, cooked, hemp milk, added to smoothies, salads, cookies, and bread. They also contain a very high amount of essential fatty-acids, which are crucial to the human diet.
Spirulina & Chlorella (Blue-Green Algae) – These are plants that are found in the sea and fresh water. You can purchase them in tablet or powder form, and add them into your smoothies or take as a green “shot” mixed in water.
Amaranth - This grain contains no gluten, and is often referred to as "the crop of the future". This seed along with quinoa, make a very good Tabouli salad. It can also be consumed as a breakfast cereal.
Sprouted Lentils - Dried lentils are incomplete proteins. However, lentils can be sprouted which changes their nutritional components. Sprouted lentils have an increase in all nine amino acids. To sprout your lentils, soak the seeds in cool water for eight to 12 hours. Rinse the lentils and store in a jar (with mesh) in a cool place for a few days, rinsing every eight hours. They are delicious! You can add them to sandwiches, salads, rice and even soaps and shakes.
Buckwheat - This grain is cheap, hearty, and makes wonderful pancakes. It can be used as a breakfast cereal or as an alternative to rice, either sprouted or cooked.
*Soybean - A complete protein, however, I advise to limit this from your diet as much as possible. Soy may do more harm than good when consumed in excess. Consume only fermented soy products such as tamari, miso, natto and tempeh, as well as edamame (young, live green soybeans) in moderation.
For other sources, there's a brand named Ezekiel that sells complete protein bread, English muffins, pasta and cereal found in most health food stores and some grocery stores.