Because protein is so important, one of the most commonly-voiced concerns about diets that exclude animal products is that they can make it difficult to consume sufficient levels of this vital nutrient. To make the argument otherwise, I challenged three prominent vegan chefs to come up with protein-packed recipes you can make to grab on the go.
Yes, these yummy snacks were created by expert hands, but don’t worry: They’re quick and easy to create no matter your skill level in the kitchen. (Seriously—two of the three recipes require no cooking whatsoever.)
Keep reading for 3 protein-packed vegan recipes from world-class chefs.
Curried White Bean Hemp Hummus by chef Lauren Kretzer of by CHLOE
This high-protein twist on traditional hummus swaps chickpeas for a combo of cannellini beans and hemp seeds and packs a major flavor punch with the addition of curry powder, spicy cayenne, and tart lime juice. It makes a healthy mid-day snack, can be spread onto sandwiches and wraps, or even used as a salad dressing.
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup shelled hemp seeds
1 large clove garlic
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Blend all ingredients until smooth and completely combined, which could take about one to two minutes.
2. Season to taste with additional salt and lime juice, if necessary. Serve drizzled with olive oil on seeded crackers, warm pita bread, or crudité.
Plant Protein Bliss Bites by chef Anne Thornton
These semi-sweet (and salty, if you so choose) treats are powered by flax, chia, and hemp seeds as well as by vegan protein powder. The hint of CBD oil doesn’t hurt its healthy factor either—being it’s an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce anxiety (without getting you high in the process).
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
5 Tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp seeds
½ tsp spirulina
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp vegan protein powder (such as hemp protein)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 eyedropper (0.05 ml) of CBD oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
Extra hemp seeds for rolling at the end (optional)
Flake sea salt to sprinkle on top to finish (optional)
1. You can either buy ground almonds (AKA almond meal) and ground flaxseeds (AKA flaxseed meal) or you can DIY and grind each with a nut mill or a high-powered food processor.
2. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together until they are fully incorporated and the texture of clay. If the mixture is too dry, add more coconut oil; if it’s too wet, add more protein powder.
3. Divide into six rounded heaping spoonfuls, roll them into balls, and then roll into extra hemp seeds and sprinkle with flake sea salt to finish.
4. Next, put these little super food plant-powered protein bliss bites into the refrigerator and let them chill out and firm up for a least and hour. Store extras in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Harissa Roasted Chickpeas by chef Laura Louise Oates of Little Pine
Satisfy your need for a crunchy treat with these simple yet flavorful protein-packed snacks.
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas and spices together until the beans are fully coated.
3. Place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove, let cool, and enjoy.
If you can believe it, high-protein, vegan-friendly ice cream also exists, and you can buy it ready-made. Also, holiday treats don’t have to be naughty—find the best of the best (and most beautiful) in vegan desserts here.