Julie Green and Keen: vegetarian proteins
Showing posts with label vegetarian proteins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian proteins. Show all posts
Walking through the grocery store it is hard not to miss the milk section.  With countless varieties including animal milk, plant milk, nut milk, soy milk, and grain milk; how do you know what to choose and what is the best for your family. 

I have always been lactose intolerant so I have drank plant based milks since I was a child.  With all the recent hype about antibiotics and pesticides that are said to be in animal milk, many people are turning to alternatives.  Milk substitutes are often consumed by people with intolerants, people concerned with the environment, vegetarians, and vegans. 

I have never known anything but plant based milks and have always had an interest in the various types.  Here are a few plant based milks I consume and their pros and cons.

  • Almond milk is a safe milk option for people with food allergies or a lactose intolerance like me.  It does not contain any dairy, lactose, soy, eggs, cholesterol, gluten, MSG, or whey (milk proteins).

Almond milk has less protein than traditional dairy milk, one cup of almond milk has 1 gram of protein and one cup of dairy milk has 8 grams.  When I drink almond milk I make sure that I am getting protein from other sources in my diet.

Over all Almond milk is very healthy.  It is heart-healthy, low calorie, nutrient dense dairy milk alternative.  

  • Soy milk is my favorite non-dairy alternative.  It has the best source of protein compared to other substitutes.  It has about 7 grams of protein and has a similar fat content to dairy milk.  Most of the fat in soy milk is unsaturated, providing the body with healthy fats.

It is the milk is produced by soaking soybeans and grinding them with water.

It is a good alternative to dairy milk.  The only concern I have is that many soybeans that are grown today are genetically modified.  I make sure to read the labels and buy soy milk that is organic and “non-GMO.”

  • I don’t often use Hemp milk, but it is also another alternative.  Hemp seeds are high in plant based omega-3 fatty acids which help keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control.  It also has 10 essential amino acids making it a good source of protein. 

I like hemp milk in smoothies because it has a thick and creamy texture.  It also has a little bit of a nutty flavor that is really delicious in banana smoothies.

If you are looking to switch to a plant based milk for health reasons it is important to read the ingredients and understand the products nutritional value.  Many substitutes can be high in sugar and have little to no difference in their nutritional values.  I drink plant milks because of my intolerance and because I am a vegetarian.  If you are thin thinking about switching for environmental reasons, know that you will not have a lack of nutrients.  
Hummus, hummus, hummus; I have been obsessed with this delicious dip for the past couple weeks and can’t get enough.  My husband was laughing at me earlier today because we have FIVE different kinds of hummus in the fridge.  I love it and it is packed with protein.  Recently, I have been making different mixtures to try different flavors.  My favorite is still the classic; Chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

Since my obsession started I have been putting hummus on everything.  To me, it is not just a dip for pitas or pretzels, it’s my secret weapon to spice up ordinary food.  Here are four of my favorite ways to incorporate hummus into everything I eat. J
·         Sandwiches with hummus up the ante to all other “regular” sandwiches.  I am a testament that nobody likes a dry sandwich; but instead of drenching it with some unhealthy sauce or dressing add hummus.  It adds the perfect amount of saucy taste.  There are so many kinds of hummus, I mix and match to pick out the perfect flavor for that sandwich.
·         I am have always love potatoes, but hummus mashed potatoes are even more creamy and delicious.  I just make mashed potatoes like I would any other time, and add the hummus while it is mixing.  I usually use garlic flavored or red pepper depending on the meal.  It adds a rich and savory flavor that makes the mash potatoes even better than they already are.
·         Hummus pizza…don’t crunch up your nose just yet.  Think savory and healthy pizza.  When I am making a homemade pizza, I use the hummus instead of pizza sauce.  It is so delicious and adds a little more zest and richness to your pizza.
·         After trying hummus salad dressing there is no going back to any other dressing.  I mix a tub of hummus with 1/3 cup of olive oil, 3 tbsp. of white wine vinegar, and 1 tbsp. of sesame oil.  It makes the most incredible dressing. 
·         Topping grilled and roasted veggies with thinned hummus is even better than you might believe.  I thin down hummus by mixing it with some water to make it into a more saucy consistency and toss my veggies in it.  I usually even add a little more to my plate to dip it in.

I am sure that I will get sick of hummus on everything, but until that day I am going to continue embracing this obsession.  Right now, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who love hummus…and everyone else.  J Happy Hummusing!

Go Green and Stay Keen, 

Hummus Obsession

by on 4/06/2015
Hummus, hummus, hummus; I have been obsessed with this delicious dip for the past couple weeks and can’t get enough.  My husband was laugh...
Getting enough protein in a vegetarian diet doesn’t have to be as hard as people assume.  Many of my friends and family questioned how I was going to get enough when I first became vegetarian, but I knew there were many different was to get an adequate amount.  Here are a few foods I love that are high in protein and delicious.

1.    Lentils are my one of my favorite protein packed foods.  I use them all the time in recipes for soups and many other dishes.

2.    Using Almond Butter instead of peanut creates an entirely new protein filled PB&J.  I use almond butter on sandwiches, on bananas and everything in between.

3.    Chick Peas are a good addition to a vegetarian diet to keep protein content high.  If you don’t like them by themselves, they make a delish hummus.

4.    Muesli is great with soy milk in the morning, image rich and hearty cereal. Muesli is typically made from rolled oats with fruits and nuts.

5.    Edamame are soybeans still in their pods.  They are commonly served with sushi but are also a great snack.

6.    Miso is originally from Japan.  It is made from soybeans and turned into a paste.  Miso is high in protein and makes a great soup base. 

7.    Tempeh is from Indonesia but has become very popular in the US.  It is made from fermented soybeans.  I like to slice it and bake it or fry it like you would meat.  It is a great substitute in almost any dish.

8.    Quinoa has become very popular in recent years.  This grain is one of the few that has complete proteins.  It can be cooked many different ways, I like using it in soups and as a salad topper

9.    If you are having problems getting enough protein in your diet try adding Spirulina.  It is actually an algae that is sold in flakes or powder.  I add it to smoothies, oatmeal, and granola bar recipes.

10.    Chia seeds aren’t just for growing on clay heads….cha cha cha chia pets :)… they are high in protein and have omega-3 fatty acids and contain more fiber than flax seeds or nuts.  I add them to thicken smoothie and to my pancakes.

Greatlist.com has a list of complete vegetarian proteins and a wonderful infographic that highlights some of the good protein sources I did not mention. 

It isn’t difficult consuming enough protein with a vegetarian diet when you am aware of what you are eating and consciously making sure to get enough nutrients.  Plant proteins are healthy and help maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Being a vegetarian has made me appreciate the nutrients in food and how it provides for the body.

Go Green and Stay Keen,


10 Protein Packed Foods

by on 3/31/2015
Getting enough protein in a vegetarian diet doesn’t have to be as hard as people assume.  Many of my friends and family questioned how I was...