If I had a nickel for every time I've been asked this, I'd still want to pull my hair out. Since becoming vegan, I've become much more focused on nutrition and have done a lot of research on clean eating. Even experts disagree on how much protein you need. Some say you should calculate your weight in kilograms (2.2 lbs per kg) and eat 1 gram protein for each kilogram of body weight. I'm of a slightly different camp. Having completed a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell via Dr. Campbell's program, I really don't think we need so much protein. If you divide your body weight in pounds by three, you should eat that many grams of protein.
For example, if you weight 150 lbs, you should eat 50 grams of protein daily.
I spent a couple weeks tracking my protein intake with a handy iPhone app. Despite avoiding animal products I'm somehow (shockingly!) getting more than enough protein. (Also of note: we don't eat processed, protein-heavy, "mock meat" products.) These scrumptious little muffins are one of my favorite protein-friendly baked goods. I have adapted my own recipe from Bittersweet Vegan. My version is a bit lower fat, since I'm also of the opinion that we really don't need so many lipids in our lives. This is a good breakfast recipe, very nutritionally dense and not overly sweet.
Quinoa Spice Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup soy/almond milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, optional (if you like sweeter muffins)
- 1 cup berries (blueberries, or rehydrated dried fruit like cherries or cranberries)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease muffin pan or 12 muffin cups.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- In a separate smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients and stir to well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. I recommend tasting before adding the brown sugar to assess whether you want this recipe sweeter or not.
- Scoop into prepared muffin vessels.
- Bake for 20 minutes. They're done when a toothpick inserted to the center is dry.
Notes: You can certainly add other nuts, like 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.
Bonus! I plugged this in for a nutritional breakdown of each muffin: 167 calories, 5 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrate, 4.3 grams fiber