Let us talk about Beans!
Beans are excellent sources of vegan protein. But, which ones contain the most of this essential macronutrient?
Also called navy beans, these mild white beans contain eight grams of protein. They’re also high in manganese—an essential nutrient that helps regulate everything from metabolism to brain function. They play well with other ingredients and add sustenance to stews and texture to salads.
Great Northern beans
Similar in taste and texture to Cannellini beans, this slightly larger white bean variety packs in nine grams of protein. They also contain more potassium than a medium banana—an electrolyte that supports proper nerve function (translation: less muscle cramping!). Try blending these beans into a creamy pizza sauce by adding a bit of garlic, sage, and vegetable broth to the mix.
This go-to appetizer is full of plant-based protein. These immature soybeans provide just over eight grams of protein and a solid amount of iron, magnesium, and even some calcium. Go ahead and snack away—you could hit your protein needs before the main course arrives.
The choice between black and pinto beans is always tough. While similar in protein content, black beans edge out pinto by a few tenths of a gram. Black beans provide 7.6 grams of protein while pintos contain 7.2 grams. Fun fact: pintos may be the default choice for refried beans, but you can find vegan refried black beans at most supermarkets.
Pinto bean loyalists are doing just fine. With a little over seven grams of protein per serving, go ahead and enjoy your pinto bean burritos, seven-layer refried bean dip, and basic beans and rice topped liberally with salsa and guac.
Kidney beans are right on par with pinto beans in terms of protein—both contain 7.2 grams. Opt for these deep red beans if you’re looking for a protein and iron one-two punch. No standard vegan chili is complete without a healthy dose of kidney beans.
As much as we love hummus, enjoying chickpeas as they come is a more efficient way to source your protein. Chickpeas provide just over six grams of protein. Toss them in soups, over salads, or make nutrient-dense baked goods by blending a handful of chickpeas into the batter.