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What are vegetable proteins

What are vegetable proteins

Plant proteins are proteins that come from plant sources, such as legumes, grains, nuts, seeds and some vegetables. They are an important source of nutrition for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, but can also be part of the diet of people who eat meat.

Some examples of vegetable proteins are:

  1. Legumes: Beans (such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils), peas and soybeans are rich in protein.

  2. Grains: Wheat, oats, quinoa, rice and barley all contain protein, albeit in different amounts.

  3. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds are good sources of protein.

  4. Soy products: Tofu, tempeh and edamame are popular soy products that are rich in protein.

  5. Vegetables: Although most vegetables do not contain large amounts of protein, some, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach, do contribute to your total protein intake.

Combining different plant protein sources can help to obtain a complete amino acid profile, as plant proteins sometimes do not contain all the essential amino acids in the correct proportions. It is important to follow a varied diet to get enough protein and other nutrients.

A list of vegetable proteins from food

Here is a list of different plant-based protein sources:

  1. Legumes:

    • Black beans
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Kidney beans
    • Split peas
  2. Cereals:

    • Quinoa
    • Oatmeal
    • Whole wheat
    • Brown rice
    • Barley
  3. Nuts and seeds:

    • Almonds
    • Walnuts
    • Peanuts
    • Chia seeds
    • Flax seed
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
  4. Soy products:

    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Edamame (young soybeans)
    • Soy milk
    • Soy yogurt
  5. Seitan (wheat protein)

  6. Green vegetables:

    • Spinach
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Kale
  7. Seaweed:

    • Spirulina
    • Chlorella
    • Nori
  8. Plant-based meat substitutes:

    • Vegan burgers
    • Vegetarian sausages
    • Vegetarian minced meat

This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of ​​different plant-based protein sources that you can include in your diet. Remember to eat a varied diet to get all the essential amino acids and nutrients.

Vegetable proteins vs animal proteins

Plant proteins and animal proteins differ in several ways, including their source, nutritional profile and environmental impacts. Here are some key differences between plant and animal proteins:


  • Vegetable proteins come from plants, such as legumes, grains, nuts and seeds, while animal proteins come from animal sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs.

Nutritional profile:

  • Vegetable proteins generally contain less saturated fat and cholesterol than animal proteins. They also often contain fiber, antioxidants and several micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, folic acid and magnesium.
  • Animal proteins usually have a complete amino acid profile, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids in the correct proportions. Plant proteins can sometimes be lower in certain essential amino acids, but this can be compensated for by combining different plant protein sources.

Environmental effects:

  • Animal protein production generally has a larger ecological footprint than plant protein production. It requires more land, water and energy, and contributes to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Plant-based protein sources generally have a lower impact on the environment, especially if they are produced locally and sustainably.

Dietary Choices:

  • Plant proteins are an important part of vegetarian and vegan diets because they serve as alternative sources of protein for people who do not consume animal products.
  • Animal protein can be part of a balanced diet, but it's important to choose lean and healthier sources, such as skinless poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products, and consume them in moderation.

It is important to note that achieving adequate protein and a balanced diet is possible with both plant and animal protein sources. The choice between plant and animal proteins depends on individual preferences, dietary restrictions, health goals and ethical beliefs.

Plant-based protein recipes and nutrition

Here are some delicious recipes that use plant-based protein sources:

  1. Vegetarian chili:
  • Ingredients: kidney beans, black beans, onion, pepper, diced tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper.
  • Preparation: Fry the onion and pepper in a pan until soft. Add the beans, diced tomatoes, corn and herbs. Simmer until the flavors are well blended. Serve with rice or tortilla chips.
  1. Quinoa salad with roasted vegetables:
  • Ingredients: quinoa, sweet potato, broccoli, bell pepper, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh herbs (such as parsley or coriander), salt, pepper.
  • Preparation: Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Cut the vegetables into pieces and roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix the roasted vegetables with the cooked quinoa, add lemon juice and fresh herbs. Serve as a side dish or as a main meal.
  1. Tofu stir fry with vegetables:
  • Ingredients: firm tofu, mixed vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrot, pepper, mushrooms), soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, cornstarch, rice.
  • Preparation: Cut the tofu into cubes and squeeze out the moisture. Fry the tofu in a pan with a little oil until golden brown. Add the chopped vegetables, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until crispy. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch in a small bowl and add to the pan to make a sauce. Serve with steamed rice.
  1. Vegan lentil burgers:
  • Ingredients: lentils, onion, garlic, oatmeal, bread crumbs, spices (such as paprika powder, cumin, oregano), salt, pepper, vegetable oil.
  • Preparation: Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package. Fry the onion and garlic in a pan until soft. Mix the cooked lentils, fried onion and garlic, oatmeal, breadcrumbs and spices in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into patties and fry them in a little oil until crispy on both sides. Serve on a bun with lettuce, tomato and other desired toppings.
  1. Vegan Mexican Quinoa Bowl:
  • Ingredients: quinoa, black beans, corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper.
  • Preparation: Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Mix the cooked quinoa with black beans, corn, diced avocado, halved cherry tomatoes and chopped red onion. Make a dressing of lime juice, chopped coriander, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the quinoa bowl and mix well. Garnish with extra coriander and serve.
  1. Lentil soup with vegetables:
  • Ingredients: red lentils, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, cumin, turmeric, paprika powder, salt, pepper.
  • Preparation: Rinse the lentils and cook them in a large pan with water until soft. Finely chop the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and add them to the pan. Add the tomato cubes, vegetable stock and spices. Let the soup simmer until the vegetables are tender and the flavors are well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
  1. Vegan Quinoa and Black Bean Burritos:
  • Ingredients: quinoa, black beans, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika powder, chili powder, tortilla wraps, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, fresh coriander.
  • Preparation: Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. Fry the pepper, onion and garlic in a pan until soft. Add the black beans and spices and cook for a few more minutes. Mix the cooked quinoa with the bean mixture. Heat the tortilla wraps and fill them with the quinoa-bean mixture. Add guacamole, salsa, lettuce and fresh cilantro. Fold the wraps and serve.
  1. Vegan Chickpea Curry:
  • Ingredients: chickpeas, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger, curry paste, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper.
  • Preparation: Fry the onion, garlic and ginger in a pan until soft. Add the curry paste, turmeric, cumin and coriander and fry for another minute. Add the chickpeas, diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Let the curry simmer until the flavors are well blended and the sauce has thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice or naan bread.

Examples list of vegetable protein recipes

These are just a few examples of plant-based protein-rich recipes. There are countless other options available, ranging from curries and stews to salads and buddha bowls. You can also experiment with different flavors, herbs and spices to make the dishes to your liking.