Alternative Protein Ingredients & Recipes

February 9, 2023

* Has more protein than a 3 ounce steak


Per 3 ounces:

Pinto Beans have 23.4 grams of protein*

Kidney Beans have 20 grams of protein

Adzuki Beans have 17 grams of protein

Black Beans have 6 grams of protein

Lima Beans have 6.5 grams of protein

Great Northern Beans have 7.2 grams of protein



Per 3 ounces:

Lupini Beans have 31 grams of protein*

Soybeans have 31 grams of protein*

Lentils have 22 grams of protein*

Peanuts have 22.2 grams of protein*

Chickpeas have 16.3 grams of protein

Green Peas have 5 grams of protein

Lima Beans have 6.5 grams of protein



Per 3 ounces:

Black Walnuts have 20.4 grams of protein

Almonds have 18.1 grams of protein

Pistachios 17.4 grams of protein

Walnuts have 13 grams of protein

Hazel Nuts have 12.9 grams of protein

Brazil Nuts have 12 grams of protein

Hickory Nuts have 10.8 grams of protein

Pine Nuts have 9.9 grams of protein

Pili Nuts have 9 grams of protein

Acorns have 6.9 grams of protein



Per 3 ounces:

Hemp Hearts have 26.4 grams of protein*

Pumpkin seeds have 19.8 grams of protein

Sunflower seeds have 17.4 grams of protein

Flax seeds have 15.6 grams of protein

Sesame seeds have 15 grams of protein

Chia seeds have 14.1 grams of protein

Buckwheat has 11.4 grams of protein


Pseudocereals & Grains

Per 3 ounces:

Whole Oats have 14.4 grams of protein

Teff has 12 grams of protein

Spelt has 12 grams of protein

Amaranth has 11.4 grams of protein

Quinoa has 10.8 grams of protein

Millet has 10 grams of protein

Wheat flour has 9 grams of protein


Mushrooms & Vegetables

Per 3 ounces:

Oyster mushrooms have 2.7 grams of protein

Broccoli has 2.4 grams of protein

Spinach has 2.4 grams of protein

Shiitake has 1.8 grams of protein

Morels have 1.8 grams of protein


Bugs & Worms

Per 3 ounces:

Crickets have 48 grams of protein*

Worms have 20 grams of protein*

Beetles have 19 grams of protein

Ants have 12 grams of protein

Meal Worms have 17 grams of protein



Add 3 ounces each of Quinoa and Amaranth, adding the juice of a half lemon. Top off with enough boiling water to just cover the grains. This will soften them. Chop a handful or so of mint. Chop 1 or 2 bunches of parsley. Slice diagonally, then deseed and finely cube a cucumber. Cube 1 large tomato. Some people deseed them, but I don’t bother. I can’t tell the difference in a salad. Chop at least 2 scallions, more if you like a little more bite to the salad. I’ll also add about a dozen chopped black olives. Returning to my Amaranth and Quinoa, it has absorbed almost all of the liquid, cooked, and softened a bit. To this, I am going to add 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then the juice of the other half of the lemon and one more. You can pass on the second lemon if you don’t like it too lemony. I find that the lemon absorbs right in and incorporates pretty well. To this, you will add all your chopped vegetables. Then mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated and mixed. You will want to refrigerate this overnight to let the flavors come together and to let the grains continue to soften. Serve chilled with crackers or pita bread and enjoy. The whole salad has about 26 grams of plant protein in it. You could throw in some lupini beans and give it an even bigger protein kick. There really aren’t too many rules with Tabouli.



Chop and saute one large onion, three garlic cloves, and maybe a hot pepper in a tablespoon of olive oil or the fat of your choice. To this add a few tablespoons of tomato paste and stir. Add a little water if needed to keep the contents from sticking. To this, I will add 3 ounces each of black beans, lima beans, white beans, lentils, and pinto beans. Stir those in until all ingredients are well incorporated. As that cooks, I’ll add two large pinches of sea salt. After a few minutes, I add 24 ounces of chicken stock and 16 ounces of water. Finally, I will add 2 tablespoons of taco mix chile powder and a ¼ teaspoon of cumin as my seasonings. On a stovetop or fire, you would bring this to a boil, cover, then lower it to a simmer for a few hours until the beans are soft, adding water as needed. In my pressure cooker, I just set it on high for 30 minutes, and that’s it. This makes about 2-3 quarts of chili that has about 66 grams of protein, but I wouldn’t suggest you try and eat all that chili in one sitting.



Cream together ¾ cup softened or melted butter with 1 cup brown sugar and a ½ cup white sugar. Add 4 teaspoons vanilla and continue to mix until all is incorporated. Add two eggs and stir. When that is all incorporated, add 1 teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, and 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix until well incorporated. To this, I am going to add an ounce and a half each of flax seeds and sesame seeds and one-ounce chia seeds, but to make the protein in those hard seeds more bioavailable I am going to pulse them in the blender. Mix until incorporated. I’m also going to add 3 ounces of shaved almonds. Finally, add 2 cups whole oats and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Roll these into 1 ½ balls onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and allow an inch or two between cookies. Cook for 12-15 minutes in a 375-degree, 190 celsius, oven. Place on a wire rack to cool. I think these cookies taste better after they have cooled. This will make roughly 2 dozen cookies. The entire batch I estimate to have about 114 grams of protein, which is 4.75 grams per cookie.

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9 months ago

A lot of very good information, thank you very much.

9 months ago

Darling if I ain’t starving, then I ain’t eating no dang bugs..

Linda Seay
Linda Seay
9 months ago

No bugs for me! When you were making the Tabbouleh, is 1 cup of oil standard? That seems a lot.

8 months ago
Reply to  Linda Seay

most recipes use about 1/4 cup olive oil depending on amount of ingredients used (and taste)


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