Protein-Packed Vegan Meals | VeganMoFo 2017 Day Three

VeganMoFo 2017

Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
But where do you get your protein? Make a protein-packed meal.

This prompt gave me a chuckle: I devoted all of VeganMoFo 2014 to sharing meals that are high in some of the nutrients vegans get grilled about: calcium, iron, and — duh — protein. (Side note… gosh, that photo of Luna in the link above is squeezing my heart. My little baby girl. I miss her so much.)

So, protein. Although I briefly considered developing a brand-new, protein-centric recipe for today’s prompt, I decided instead to plumb the depths of the ol’ blog and share some older recipes that fit the bill. Let’s call it recycling. ;)

First, a few words about protein. (I’m also recycling (and retooling) these from a 2014 post).

Marinated Tofu Sandwich

Where do vegans get their protein?

The “But where do you get your protein?!” has a pretty simple answer: From nearly everything I eat. Here’s what the American Heart Association has to say on the matter:

“You don’t need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs.” (1)

Still, protein-related myths abound. One oft-cited “fact” is that plant proteins are inferior to their animal-derived counterparts because they don’t provide all essential amino acids in a single source (and are thus called “incomplete” proteins). Based on this belief, some sources will say that you must consume all of your complementary proteins in a single meal to derive the full protein benefit, but that’s been disproven. Instead, as long as you eat a variety of proteins throughout the day, your body can take care of combining them. (2)

(For a further, more in-depth read, I highly recommend The Vegan RD’s primer on plant-based protein. Ginny Messina is a vegan treasure!)

How much protein do vegans need?

So — how much protein do you need? Not as much as lots of people think. Unless you’re very active, 10-30% of your calories should come from protein. (3) The USDA has tool for tailored nutrient recommendations here. I’ve done a few calculations, and I should be getting between 50 and 70 grams per day. What does that mean in real-world food terms? Well, half a block of tofu has around 18 grams, half a cup of tempeh has 15 grams, and half a cup of black beans has 20 grams. And those are just the protein powerhouses! Most of the incidental foods we eat contain at least a little protein, and those grams add up. For example, bagels often contain around 10 grams of protein. A small handful of almonds gives you around 4 grams. Eat a balanced, whole-food-heavy diet, and you should have little trouble meeting your needs.

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com

What are some protein-heavy vegan recipes?

Glad you asked! Why not try one of these?

Sources cited:

(1) http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp 
(2) http://www.theveganrd.com/vegan-nutrition-101/vegan-nutrition-primers/plant-protein-a-vegan-nutrition-primer/http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html
(3) https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

Note:

I’m neither a doctor nor a dietitian; please don’t treat my posts as medical advice! Consult a medical practitioner for specific medical or nutritional recommendations.

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Soft-Batch Tahini Snickerdoodles

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Day 11: Focus on a nutrient

Today’s prompt was my theme for last year’s VeganMoFo! I focused on the nutrients that omnivores enjoy grilling us vegans about, like protein, calcium, and iron. I’ve got a lot of great, nutrient-rich recipes in that tag, so you should check ’em out!

So given my near-expertise (heh) in matters of vegan nutrition, would it surprise you that I’m sharing a cookie recipe today? It shouldn’t! As I learned last year when I investigated protein and where to get it, my conclusion was that protein is in lots of unexpected places. Like cookies. Especially cookies made with chickpeas and tahini! Enter these dreamy soft-batch Tahini Snickerdoodles. With 4 grams of protein per cookie, they’re a modest but not insubstantial source of natural protein. Each cookie also contains 2 grams of fiber, and since the RDV is 15 grams, you can fulfill nearly 1/3 your daily requirement just by eating two cookies! :D

If you’re worried about putting chickpeas in cookies, here’s what Steven said when I told him about this unexpected ingredient: “Really?! Holy sh*t! You can’t taste it at all!” And Steven is quite discriminating when it comes to “healthy” ingredients in desserts.

Soft-Batch Tahini Snickerdoodles

Soft-Batch Tahini Snickerdoodles
Makes 16 cookies

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, shelled/skinned if you’re so inclined (save the liquid!)
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 aquafaba (chickpea liquid), whisked briskly for 30 seconds or shaken in an airtight jar for 10 seconds
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 T melted coconut oil
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For rolling

  • 1 1/2 T white or turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 T ground cinnamon
  • 1 T sesame seeds, white or black

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Prepare a cookie pan by oiling it or lining it with parchment paper.

Using a blender, combine the chickpeas, tahini, aquafaba, liquid sweetener, coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend for about 30 seconds or until everything is smooth.

Add the remaining dry ingredients (excluding the rolling sugar) to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the wet ingredients and use a wooden spoon or plastic spatula to mix. The dough will be very thick, so use that elbow grease to get it all incorporated.

Next, stir the rolling sugar mixture together in a small bowl. Use your hands to roll 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoon balls of dough, then roll them in the sugar. Flatten them slightly and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 14 minutes and allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.

Notes

  • I’ve become a chickpea-skinning convert. It makes hummus SO much creamier, since the chickpeas are more easily blended without those pesky skins. So now I always skin my chickpeas. It takes a few extra minutes, but it’s an oddly satisfying feeling to have those little skins slip right off in your fingers.
  • Aquafaba! Have you tried it? It’s probably not strictly necessary in this recipe, but it provides a great texture.
  • These are not particularly sweet cookies, so if you have a bigger sweet tooth than I do, add a few tablespoons more brown sugar.

Kale and White Bean Soup

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Years and years before kale was thrust into the spotlight by foodies in search of the next food superstar, my mama started making a kale soup that my entire family loved. I thought of that soup today, the first chilly day of the year, and knew I needed to make it. Kale soup, of course, is nothing new, and I do feel silly posting a recipe for something that’s as simple as simple can be. But if you have yet to discover the combination of kale and white beans, this soup is for you.

Kale and White Bean Soup

Kale and White Bean Soup
Serves six

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, diced
  • 3 medium-sized yellow potatoes, diced (about 1/4″ cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • Dash cloves
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 10-12 oz. curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 cups navy beans (or other white beans)
  • 4-5 cups water (or additional vegetable broth)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes and spices and give everything a big stir. Add the vegetable broth and turn up the heat to medium. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the water or additional broth Add a big scoop of kale and stir it in; after it wilts a bit, add another big scoop. Repeat until you’ve added all the kale. (Or you can just add it all in at once if your stockpot is big enough!). Add the beans and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the kale is as tender as you like it. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

Kale and White Bean Soup

My version of Mom’s kale soup uses a spice blend similar to that you’d find in chorizo, giving it a smoky, spicy flavor. But you can switch up the spices based your tastes. Like most soups, this one is endlessly versatile. You can also add and remove many of the ancillary ingredients. No celery? No problem. Feel like adding some bulk? Throw in some orzo or quinoa. In a rush? Use Trader Joe’s bagged kale; just pull off the larger stem bits. You could even reduce the spices and add some soyrizo.

Mom’s kale soup is, unsurprisingly, ridiculously healthy. A serving gives you 17 grams of protein, 18% of your recommended daily value of calcium, and 29% of your RDV of iron. You’ll also get lots of vitamin A and vitamin C. Thanks, Mom!

What’s your favorite soup?

BBQ Baked Black-Eyed Peas

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Every family has staple dishes that make an appearance without fail on specific special occasions. S’s mom always makes creamy, buttery, onion-y mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without date balls from my aunt. And a backyard cookout would have seemed empty without a big pot of baked beans during the summers of my childhood.

This take on baked beans is a divergence from the recipe I grew up eating. Iron-rich black-eyed peas stand in for the more traditional legumes, and a thick barbecue sauce lends tang. I highly recommend using the tempeh bacon bits, but they’re not strictly necessary.

BBQ Baked Black-Eyed Peas

BBQ Baked Black-Eyed Peas
Serves four

For the tempeh bacon bits:

  • 1/2 package tempeh, crumbled into pieces about 1/2″ thick
  • 2 T low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 T canola or vegetable oil + 1/2 T maple syrup (for cooking)

Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke in a container with an airtight lid. Add tempeh bits, close the container, and shake until all tempeh bits are coated in the marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. (If you’re cooking your black-eyed peas from scratch instead of using canned, let the tempeh marinate while the peas cook.)

For the baked black-eyed peas:

  • 4 cups cooked black-eyed peas (if using canned, rinse very thoroughly; if cooking from scratch, reserve the cooking liquid)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2-2 C reserved cooking liquid or water
  • 2 T blackstrap molasses
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 T prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 T vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice

Preheat the oven to 350˚.

In a small pan, heat the tablespoon of canola oil. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add the diced onion. Sauté for another 5 minutes until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the crumbled marinated tempeh (marinade and all) to the pan. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the tempeh is browned and a bit caramelized. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In an 8-cup glass baking dish, whisk together the remaining ingredients (tomato paste through allspice). Add the black-eyed peas and stir into the sauce mixture, coating all the peas. If necessary, add additional cooking liquid/water to the sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Note: If you don’t have tomato paste, you could probably substitute a 15 oz. can of plain tomato sauce and reduce the amount of cooking liquid/water you use.

BBQ Baked Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas, tomato paste, and our old friend blackstrap molasses are all chock-full of iron—each serving of this dish offers 29% of the recommended daily value. (Most ingredient lists don’t measure iron in grams, so I’ll be going by percentages from here on out.) And you’ll also get 28% of your daily value of calcium, along with 7.5 grams of protein and whole lot of potassium. Not bad for a cookout dish!

What staple dishes does your family serve? 

Lazy Sunday I: Protein-Heavy Recipes You Should Totally Make

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Sunday, Sunday. Before we switch gears tomorrow and start talking about iron, let’s take a swing around the internet to find some protein-laden recipes to fill your tummies.

And that’s just the tip of the protein iceberg. Check out my food-related Pinterest boards for lots of other ideas, and remember: you can find protein in the most unlikely sources, not just tofu! Vegetables and legumes are treasure troves of protein. If you’ve learned anything from my week of protein-y recipes, let it be that little nugget of info.

What are your favorite protein-heavy recipes?

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

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The keen-eyed among you might be noticing a trend in this week’s round of protein-rich eats: two of the three recipes I’ve featured so far have featured beans. Kidney beans and mung beans, to be precise. Today we’ll focus on another bean, a true mainstay of the vegan diet: the humble black bean. A staple of many cuisines, they’re the workhorse of the legume world. And I do mean workhorse. Because not only are black beans the star of many savory dishes, but they work in sweet ones as well.

Like brownies.

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Black bean brownies took the healthy-eating blogworld by storm a few years ago, but I never really got into them. It wasn’t a purposeful lack of interest; I wasn’t rebelliously bucking a trend and I didn’t have some idealogical opposition to beany brownies. They just weren’t my thing.

Now, though, maybe they will become my thing. Because I really like these brownies. They offer a potent dose of chocolate without a huge sugar rush or that nasty tummy-ache I get from oily desserts. As long as you don’t go into the experience expecting a super rich, sweet, buttery brownie, they’ll probably hit the spot for you too. And, oh yeah—each square will give you 7 grams of protein, 13% of your daily dose of iron, and 9% of your recommended dose of calcium. Thanks, beans!

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Makes 9 brownies

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • Heaping 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C + 2 T coconut sugar (brown sugar would likely work as well)
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 C black beans (if using canned, be sure to rinse well)
  • 1/2 C full-fat coconut milk (another nondairy milk would likely work just fine)
  • 1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C chocolate chips

Prepare an 8″ x 8″ square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or oiling it lightly. Preheat the oven to 350˚.

Combine the coconut oil, chocolate chips (the heaping 1/4 cup), coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small pot and heat on low until the chocolate and coconut oil have melted. Stir frequently to ensure that nothing burns. Once everything is melted and combined, turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heated burner.

Add the black beans, coconut milk, and the melted chocolate mixture to a blender and blend until the black beans are pureed. It should only take a few minutes.

Pour the wet mixture into a large bowl, then sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are combined, then add the remaining chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to the baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

How do you feel about bean-based desserts? What’s your favorite recipe?

Baked Sweet Potato & Mung Bean Croquettes with Peanutty Coconut Sauce

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As I said to S yesterday, “One of the best parts about Vegan MoFo is that we eat really well.” Spurred on by my desire to offer up high-quality recipes, I force myself to overcome my laziness and get creative. So far this week, I’ve dug deep into my pantry and fridge; I haven’t had to make any special grocery store trips (other than my weekly shopping on Sunday). Today, though, I ran to the store for a red bell pepper, because I knew this particular dish needed it.

Sweet Potato and Mung Bean Croquettes with Peanutty Coconut Sauce

These baked croquettes not only taste amazing, but they feature two nutritional superstars: sweet potatoes and mung beans. The combination offers a one-two punch of protein and iron (and don’t you worry, we’ll be talking about iron soon!). Three of these patties will load you up with 23 grams of protein, 39% of your daily recommended value of iron, 17% of your daily calcium needs, and goodly doses of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. And that’s not even including the coconut-peanut sauce, a creamy topping that’s a breeze to prepare. And did I mention these are gluten-free if you use a GF tamari or soy sauce? Celiac friends, rejoice!

Baked Sweet Potato & Mung Bean Croquettes with Peanutty Coconut Sauce
Makes 15 croquettes and one cup of sauce

  • 2 cups whole mung beans, ideally soaked overnight
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes (about three medium-sized potatoes), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped (measure after chopping)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 2 T toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 to 2 T sambal oelek (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2-3 T coconut flour (or other gluten-free flour of choice)

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 C full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 C unsalted creamy natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Boil the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes or until soft. At the same time, either boil or steam the mung beans. You can boil them right along with the sweet potatoes, or if you have a steamer pot set, steam them right on top of the potatoes. (I have a set like this one and that’s what I did.) When the sweet potatoes are soft, drain the pot and set them and the mung beans aside to cool.

While the mung beans and potatoes are cooking and subsequently cooling, chop the garlic, scallions, and red bell pepper and set aside. Next, make the sauce by whisking all five sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Preheat your oven to 375˚ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil it lightly (coconut oil works great here!).

When the potatoes and mung beans have cooled a bit, add all the sweet potatoes, all the garlic, and about half the mung beans to a food processor and pulse a few times. Add half the remaining mung beans, pulse again, and then add the remaining mung beans. Process until the sweet potatoes are fully mashed and most of the mung beans are incorporated into the mixture. It’s okay if some of the beans are still whole; you want a nice variation.

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the scallions, red bell pepper, sesame seeds, sambal oelek, and soy sauce. Mix until combined using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut flour and mix again. Depending on how much sambal oelek you added, your mixture might need another tablespoon. The mixture should stick together easily but shouldn’t be at all dry—you want it just the tiniest bit sticky.

Using your hands, scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture at a time and flatten it into patties about 3/4″ thick. Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are beginning to brown. At that point, remove from the oven and spray or brush lightly with coconut oil, then broil for another 3-5 minutes, being sure not to burn them. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Top with coconut sauce, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and extra scallions if you have ’em. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Mung Bean Croquettes with Peanutty Coconut Sauce

What’s your favorite use for mung beans or sweet potatoes?

Cajun-Spiced Cabbage ‘n Kidney Beans

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My goodness, y’all. This dinner. I made it in the middle of a thunderstorm after cleaning up unholy amounts of gag-inducing dog mucus, a pee puddle, and a lone hardened turd.* (Related: I will be SO HAPPY when Luna Bug is healthy and can come to work with us!) As I was chopping cabbage, I kept noticing a hint of rotting fruit scent. A short investigation of the nearby fruit bowl revealed a grapefruit that looked whole and healthy from the top, but was green and fuzzy underneath. Delightful.

…my household hygiene issues aside, this meal itself caused me very little heartache. Aside from a decent amount of chopping, it’s a one-pot dish that’s pretty simple to prepare. Cabbage, bell peppers, tomatoes, and kidney beans join forces with a healthy dose of Cajun-inspired spices for a fresh-tasting dish with a kick.

Cajun-Spiced Cabbage & Kidney Beans

And guess what? It’s damn healthy. Each of the five servings offers up about 10 grams of protein, 23% of the recommended daily value of iron, and lots of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Not bad for a bunch of veggies and a can of beans! And if you serve it over brown rice, like we did, you can add a few more grams of protein and fiber to your totals.

Cajun-Spiced Cabbage & Kidney Beans
Serves 4

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups diced tomato in juice
  • 1 cup tomato puree or sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans

Spice blend:

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooked brown rice or your grain of choice to serve.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add minced garlic. Let simmer for about a minute, then add the celery and green bell pepper. Cook until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, diced tomato, tomato puree, and spices. Bring to a low boil then turn down the heat. Cover and cook until the cabbage is softened, about 15-20 minutes. Mix in the kidney beans and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over a bed of brown rice or your favorite grain.

Cajun-Spiced Cabbage & Kidney Beans

She may not be the most beautiful dish, but she sure is tasty. And healthy!

What’s your favorite spice blend or flavor profile? 

* S helped. In fact, he did most of the cleaning. Thanks, darlin’.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Granola (and a brief disquisition on protein needs)

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Snickering at the “But where do you get your protein?!” question is a bit of a shibboleth in vegan circles. It’s a tired question, one that’s inspired lots of great memes. And it has a pretty simple answer: From nearly everything I eat. This quote from the American Heart Association just about sums it up:

“You don’t need to eat foods from animals to have enough protein in your diet. Plant proteins alone can provide enough of the essential and non-essential amino acids, as long as sources of dietary protein are varied and caloric intake is high enough to meet energy needs.” (1)

Bam.

Still, protein-related myths abound. There’s a notion that plant proteins are inferior to their animal-derived counterparts because they don’t provide all essential amino acids in a single source (and are thus called “incomplete” proteins). There’s a commonly held and oft-mentioned misbelief that you must consume all of your complementary proteins in a single meal to derive the full protein benefit, but that’s been disproven. Instead, as long as you eat a variety of proteins in a single day, your body can take care of combining them. (2)

So—how much protein do you need? Turns out, not as much as lots of people think. Unless you’re very active, 10-35% of your calories should come from protein. The CDC has a basic set of guidelines here, and you can get more tailored recommendations here. I’ve done a few calculations, and I should be getting between 50 and 70 grams per day. What does that mean in real-world food terms? Well, half a block of tofu has around 18 grams, half a cup of tempeh has 15 grams, and half a cup of black beans has 20 grams. And those are just the protein powerhouses! Most of the incidental foods we eat contain at least a little protein, and those grams add up. For example, bagels often contain around 10 grams of protein. A small handful of almonds gives you around 4 grams. And you could get a whole 7 grams just from eating granola. Not just any granola—Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Granola.

This granola.

Peanut butter granola spilling from a mason jar onto a wooden cutting board.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Granola

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup creamy unsalted natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325˚ and line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, heating over low so that the oil and peanut butter soften. Once all four ingredients are well mixed, turn off the heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add all the dried ingredients. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a large wooden spoon. Once the dry ingredients are coated with the peanut butter mixture, pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the oats are golden, removing from the oven and stirring every ten minutes or so. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least ten minutes before eating.

pbgranola3

Let’s be real—you’re probably going to eat this stuff by the handful, grabbing a clump every time you walk by the cooling baking sheet. But you could also serve it in a bowl with some cold almond milk or a dollop of soy yogurt, adding a couple extra grams of protein to your day. Yum.

pbgranola2

So, bottom line about protein? Stop worrying about it. Eat a varied, healthy diet and you’ll be just fine. And remember, protein lurks in the most unlikely places—even a bowl of sweet, salty, peanutty granola.

Sources cited:

(1) http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Vegetarian-Diets_UCM_306032_Article.jsp 
(2) http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html

Note:

I’m neither a doctor nor a dietitian; please don’t treat my posts as medical advice! Consult a medical practitioner for specific medical or nutritional recommendations.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies to help cover hosting costs.