Plant Based Proteins Shopping Guide

Canned legumes – chickpeas, brown lentils, beans including cannellini, red kidney, pinto, black, butter or even refried beans, baked beans or mixed beans all provide protein

Dried legumes – Puy lentils, yellow or red split lentils, split peas are commonly sold dried rather than canned, but you can also buy any of the canned legume varieties like chickpeas in a dried form also, and soak these yourself 

Frozen legumes – edamame beans (these are immature soybeans), peas and broad beans 

Premade legume options – falafel, bean patties, hummus are all great options for store-bought products, however be sure to always check the ingredient list is pretty recognisable, and there’s not too much added oils, sugars or salt (same goes for any other meat alternative, be sure to opt for minimally processed products)

Tofu – tofu is the curd of soybeans and can come in silken, firm or extra firm. Firm and extra firm are the best to use for pan-frying as they hold their form well

Tempeh – another soybeans product! Tempeh is fermented soybeans pressed into a cake, which can then be sliced, cubed or crumbled before cooking 

Whole grains – Typically known for being a source of complex carbohydrates, whole grains are also a good source of protein. Buckwheat, farro, freekeh, quinoa (although technically a seed!) and amaranth are all protein sources. Rice is another unsuspecting source of protein. 

Flour products – yes believe it or not but flour has protein. Infact, gluten – although sensitivity to gluten has increased of late – is actually a protein within wheat. Chickpea flour or buckwheat flours are also great protein sources

Nuts & seeds – hemp, chia, flaxseeds, peanuts (although these are technically from the legume family!), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, pistachio nuts and many more are all sources of protein. Be sure not to look to nuts as your sole source of protein though, as these are calorie dense due to all the healthy fats they’re rich in. A wee sprinkling on a dish is the perfect protein booster though! 

Veggies – even some veggies have protein! Mushrooms, spinach, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas, asparagus and even potatoes have protein to provide! 

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