Is your goal this year to go more plant-based but you’re worried about lack of protein? Good for you on going plant-based: the USDA’s guidelines are recommending less animal protein – but don’t worry, there are SO many fabulous ways to get plant-based superfood protein!
A great commitment for your health is to decide to pack your own lunch – and I don’t mean PB & J. You are what you eat. Yet lunch tends to be our most ignored and under-appreciated meal. We eat at our desk, get greasy take-out, or munch on a bag of chips. Any wonder we enter a food coma and are ready for a nap (or a triple espresso) around 2pm?
Here are some quick and easy ways to pack a superfood protein punch into your (or your kids’) lunchbag so you can be healthier and more energized throughout the day. Plus, these foods won’t clog up your lymph system (for more on lymph, see my article here).
Here are some key 100% plant-based superfood protein-rich foods to enjoy every week:
Sweet potatoes pack a punch of protein. They are also high in beta-carotene, are low glycemic so won’t mess with your blood sugar, and are packed with vitamins A, B and more! Bake ‘em whole or as “fries” with just a tad of coconut oil and some water. Add salt, rosemary, olive oil, and all your favorite toppings! My family even gobbles them cold!
Sweet Potato Chip Recipe
- Sweet potatoes
- Aquafaba or tiny amount of oil*
- Himalayan salt, dulse flakes or celery salt
- Preheat oven to 250 and cover a baking sheet with non-toxic parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Slice the sweet potatoes very thin, using a mandolin or carefully with a knife. Toss with aquafaba or a tiny amount of oil if you are not avoiding oil in your diet.
- Arrange sweet potatoes on the baking sheet, preferably in one layer.
- Bake for about 2 hours, flipping once after 1 hour. Sprinkle with Himalayan salt, dulse or celery salt.
- Enjoy plain or dip in salsa or guacamole!
*Note: If avoiding oil, as it can be burdensome on the liver, simply omit.
QUINOA AND MILLET
These two have all 9 essential amino acids! A great superfood alternative to tortillas and crêpes and cookies – here’s my family’s favorite recipes:
Superfood tortilla recipe:
- 2-3 cups quinoa (or half quinoa/millet)
- 2 cloves garlic
- Himalayan salt/pepper + whatever herbs you like for flavor (basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, etc.)
- ~1 tsp oil, plus more for cooking*
- Soak the quinoa (or quinoa/millet) for 2-6 hours.
- Rinse and blend together.
- Add garlic cloves, salt/pepper and herbs and blend.
- Add less than 1 teaspoon of oil to blender & just enough water to cover the quinoa in the blender. Blend.
- Throw the mixture onto the skillet with oil, water, or broth to make a really thin pancake
Note: For a superfood “taco meat,” sautée onion, cauliflower, pumpkin seeds & cabbage.
*If avoiding oil, simply omit and use a little water or vegetable broth to cook the tortillas.
Optional: Add shredded carrot and cabbage or lettuce, cilantro and cashew cream or smother in tahini with shredded squash/zucchini and sprouts for a delicious protein-packed meal rich in healing vitamins and minerals!
Superfood sweet crêpe recipe:
You can use this same quinoa recipe to make sweet crêpes – instead of garlic and herbs, use cinnamon and a little cardamom, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup and blend. Add organic strawberries, raspberries, pear, apple, etc. and cinnamon and roll it it up. You can make sweet cashew cream by taking out the garlic and adding strawberries & maple syrup. If you want to take it to the next level, dust your crepe with powdered sugar made by blasting raw sugarcane sugar in a high-speed blender. Voila!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or applesauce
- 1/2 cup rapadura sugar
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 chia eggs (2 Tbsp chia seeds + 6 Tbsp warm water; let sit for 5 min to thicken)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 4 drops vanilla essential oil)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 1/4 cups buckwheat or millet flour (store-bought is available, but you can make your own for much cheaper by blasting buckwheat groats or millet in a high-speed blender)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
- 2-3 cups Sunspire Chocolate chips 65%
- 1 cup chopped raw nuts or seeds
- 1 cup gluten free oats
- Preheat oven to 375 and prepare a baking sheet with non-toxic parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Cream oil, sugar, chia and vanilla.
- Stir together flour, baking soda, and Himalayan sea salt, then blend into creamed mixture.
- Fold in chips, nuts and oats.
- Bake on organic parchment paper for 9-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
RAW PUMPKIN/SUNFLOWER SEEDS
These powerhouse seeds are loaded not only with protein, but also with zinc, which is essential for healing and immunity, cell reproduction, recovery from any injury, B vitamins, and vitamin E (which really helps children when they’re growing). Sprinkle on fruit, salads, or any veggies! Make sure to get them raw or sprouted.
Brazil nuts are rich in protein and essential selenium to help repair damaged cells, they are also loaded with protein. I always pack 3 of them into my kids’ lunch boxes.
Hemp seeds are packed with protein and omega-3s. Sprinkle these on a salad, throw them in a wrap, or even add to a smoothie. Children in particular need their omega-3s. You can also make a seed milk with hemp seeds (see the recipe here and use hemp seeds). You can also roll these into a date ball (see recipe below).
These are great snacks to have because they pack a ton of protein and energy into a small space! In a food processor, combine fresh dates and other creative add-ins (coconut, sunflower seeds, nuts, dried fruit, etc.) and roll into balls. Enjoy them plain or roll them in hemp seeds, shredded coconut, or chia seeds. This quick, easy, healthy snack stays fresh for a long time and is perfect for being on-the-go!
These foods can make a transition to eating plant-based easier for those looking to make a healthy shift. Better yet, they will invite more energy and power into your life with their protein-packed, mineral-rich and healing properties! Want to know more about protein? Read more here.
Here’s to YOUR year (and many more to come) of health!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no cost to you, I may earn a small commission from the sale of these products. This assists my work in supporting others on their healing journey to health.