“Oh you’re a vegan… But where do you get your protein?” Yep, today we’re going to talk about protein. And if you stick around, I will reward you with a delicious Hot Chocolate recipe!
There’s no doubt protein is important to the human body. Protein is the building blocks of body components, helps balance fluids and acids in the body, forms hormones and enzymes, and keeps you feeling fuller longer.
So how much do you need? Hint: it’s not nearly as much as you may think.
The recommended daily value (RDA) of protein is 0.8 g/ kg body weight. Here’s an easy formula to calculate how many grams of protein you need per day…
___lbs. ÷ 2.2lb./kg. = ___ kg (your weight in kg) x 0.8g protein = _____ your RDA
Let’s say you weigh 125 pounds…
125 ÷ 2.2 = 56.8 x 0.8 = 45.4
How can one get to 45 g of protein in one day without any animal products?? Let’s see…
- Breakfast: ½ cup oats cooked in 1 cup almond milk topped with 1 Tbs. almond butter and one small chopped apple = 11 grams
- Lunch: 2 pieces of sprouted bread with 2 Tbs. hummus, slices of tomato & cucumber, lettuce, and some sprouts. Side of baby carrots. = 15 grams
- Dinner: ¾ cup quinoa, ½ cup each edamame, corn, and red peppers on a bed of spinach drizzled with 1 Tbs. tahini = 30 grams (WOW!)
- Snack: Silk vanilla soy yogurt + 1 cup sliced strawberries = 7 grams
That’s 62 grams of delicious pant-based protein, folks! And to be honest, that’s a pretty light day of eating. Add a few handfuls of almonds, a few clementine’s, and a piece of dark chocolate before bed, and that’s another 10 grams!
Here’s a fun little newsflash… The average American gets all the protein they need without added powders or supplements (meat- and plant- eaters alike).
“Well, what about protein powders…?”
A lot of health food purists are opposed to the idea of processed protein powders, and I totally understand why. If you’re trying to live a lifestyle with mostly non-processed, whole foods, protein powders can be a no-no. But, I’ve found that adding the occasional serving as a supplement to my typical plant-based diet helps ensure I’m getting the nutrition I need.
The important thing to look for is that you’re using a high-quality, minimally processed product. Oh, and it has to taste good. I have tried many a “raw”, “superfood”, “all-natural”, “no additives”, “sugar free” powder that tasted like absolute garbage. And I’m not in the business of making trash tea, thank you very much. I switch between Aloha and Vega (not sponsored/affiliated) because I think they’re the best-tasting while still being plant-based with minimal ingredients.
I would encourage anyone, vegan or not, to use a plant-based protein powder, if using a protein supplement. Whey and casein in large doses have been scientifically shown to grow cancer cells, cause kidney & liver problems, damage the heart walls, among other problems. Scary!
Ok now how about some Protein Hot Chocolate?? I know I just said you don’t need protein powder to get a proper daily dose, but using it in this recipe is a fun way to make a decadent treat a bit healthier! For this particular recipe, I use Aloha protein in Chocolate because it’s wholesome and super thick.
I live in a house that’s well over 100 years old. It’s cute and it’s quaint and I adore its exposed brick and hardwood floors. But it’s drafty. And in the evenings after dinner, there’s just nothing better than wrapping up in a blanket on the couch and sipping on some of this warm Protein Hot Chocolate. Enjoy!
While protein powders aren't necessary to maintaining proper nutrition, using protein powder can add a healthy kick to this decadent treat!
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- ½ serving Aloha chocolate protein powder
- Optional: coconut cream to top
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes. To incorporate the protein, you can either whisk it in or quickly blitz in a bullet-type blender. I prefer to blend it for maximum smoothness. Enjoy immediately.
If you’re not into protein powders but still want a yummy treat, sub the protein with 1 Tbs. cocoa powder, 1 Tbs. sugar or maple syrup, and ½ tsp. cornstarch.