Looking after the environment is something we are all becoming more aware of.
Forward thinkers, environmental carers and conscious businesses are all taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the Earth. When it comes to impact on the environment, commonly thrown into the spotlight is agriculture, particularly farming livestock and their produce.
In recent years, multiple studies have reported that farming for animals and animal goods are providing a considerable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, water use, and several other vital environmental issues.
For this reason, many of us are choosing to cut down on the animal products we consume or deciding to eliminate them from our diets altogether.
Vegan food, has, therefore, become increasingly popular and at Esquires Coffee shops in the UK, we are proud to serve several vegan options on our menu. Eating vegan food all, or some, of the time does not mean you have to compromise on protein. We’ve put together our top list of plant-based foods that are packed full of it.
What is Protein?
Simply put, protein is one of the basic food groups recommended by professionals to be essential for a healthy balanced diet. Proteins are vital for several important functions in the body, including:
· Aiding thousands of biochemical reactions, including digestion and energy production.
· Creating structural proteins such as keratin and collagen.
· Boosting the immune system.
· Helping to grow and maintain cells.
High Protein Vegan Foods
The widespread belief is that protein can only be found in meat and animal products such as cheese and chicken, but there are a vast number of plant-based alternatives.
Derived from soybeans which are a high protein source, tofu is made from bean curds that are pressed together in a process not dissimilar to cheesemaking. Tofu doesn’t have a great deal of flavour on its own but is well known for its ability to absorb the flavours it is cooked with.
Found in salads, soups and dahls, lentils are also rich in manganese, folate and iron. In addition, Lentils are high in antioxidants making them somewhat of a nutritional powerhouse.
Chickpeas and Beans
The varieties of beans with some of the highest levels of protein in them include kidney, black and pinto. Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are also a fantastic source of protein. Furthermore, studies suggest that a diet rich in legumes and beans may help to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Chickpeas can be eaten in salads or curries and are commonly pulsed into hummus.
These little peas can pack a big nutritional punch. While high in protein, green peas are also a great source of fibre, vitamin A, C and K, manganese, folate, thiamine, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Phew!
Amaranth and Quinoa
Something of a ‘pseudocereal’ due to their relation to classic grains, amaranth and quinoa can be eaten as they are with salads or processed into flours. Both are gluten-free, so the flours can be used to make pancakes, biscuits and other items that are suitable for those with a wheat intolerance.
Oats are higher in protein than other common wheat and grains. Porridge is a fantastic way to start the day with plenty of protein. Our menu at Esquires Coffee has the option to make your porridge vegan.
Protein-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
While all fruits and vegetables provide protein, for most, the levels are relatively small. The best vegetables for providing you with a good amount are broccoli, spinach, artichokes, asparagus, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Fruits that contain a good source include blackberries, nectarines, bananas and guava. Eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables provides your body with a multitude of essential vitamins and minerals.
Are you passionate about food? A coffee franchise opportunity with Esquires Coffee gives you the chance to proudly serve dishes that suit all diets, made from fresh and ethically-sourced ingredients. Paired with our Fair-Trade coffee and sustainable business objectives, it gives you the chance to be part of a forward-thinking future.