Soybeans are the best source of plant-based protein. Cooked soybeans contain 18-20g of protein per 100 grams (source nutritionvalue.org)
They are also high in iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium. The healthiest way to eat soybeans is by cooking edamame (fresh or frozen). Other soy products include soy milk, tofu and tempeh.
Tempeh is a traditional food staple originally from Indonesia. It's made from cooked, fermented soybeans. It can be cooked, marinated, covered in crumbs, fried, or roasted, which means it t can be used to replace meat in everyday meals. It is a compact product and contains a lot of protein -
19 g per 100 grams. The protein in tempeh includes nine essential amino acids. It is also a source of fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Tempeh helps promote gut health and bone health.
Check labels, as the nutritional profile of tempeh from different brands may vary.
Tofu is another amazing product made with fermented soybeans milk, specifically soybean curds pressed together. It contains 8 grams of protein per 100 grams. Tofu is also a great source of calcium, iron and magnesium.
Tofu doesn't have much flavour, but it can be quickly marinated and cooked with different herbs and spices. It can be incorporated into many traditional recipes to replace meat, from curries to burgers.
Seitan is made from wheat gluten, and it is one of the best protein sources. It is a popular meat alternative for many vegans and vegetarians. It resembles meat in its look and texture and can be cooked similarly (fried, roasted, grilled). It contains 25 grams of protein per 100 grams. It also has some selenium, iron and calcium.
As it is made with gluten, it should be avoided by those who have gluten intolerance.
Lentils are high in protein! They contain 9 grams of protein per cooked 100 grams. Lentils are also packed with dietary fibre. Just 200 g of cooked lentils will provide you with half of your daily fibre intake.
They are also rich in iron, folate, manganese and antioxidants. Lentils feed the good bacteria in your gut and keep you away from some diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
You can use lentils in different plant-based dishes, including soups, stews, curries and salads.
Cooked quinoa contains 4 g of protein per 100 g. The protein found in quinoa is known as a complete protein as it features all 22 amino acids. With its high protein content, quinoa is a great option for those who want to cut carbohydrates and replace pasta and rice.