Eat your protein.

Everyone keeps saying it. Everyone from the health reporter on the 5 o’clock news to your marathon running sister-in-law is telling you to eat your protein. A magazine cover shouts it at you in the grocery check out line. Your favorite coffee shop has just added a protein smoothie to its menu.

You probably should listen but you’ve never really been a big meat eater. You love snacking on berries and apple slices for an afternoon snack. You would gladly take a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup over chili any day. You like eggs but you’re not sure if it’s really a good idea to eat them all day long.

Here’s a thought from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for American:

Legumes (beans and peas) may also be considered part of the protein foods group as well as the vegetables group…

Beans! Now there is a protein option with some possibility, you think.

Plant based protein is where it’s at if you’ve never been much of a carnivore. Beans are an economical and versatile way to add a protein punch to any meal. It can be as simple as a side of refried beans with your chips and salsa or you can go all out with homemade veggie burgers.

With 8 g of protein and 6 g of fiber per half a cup, the humble chickpea is one of my favorite beans. You mash them for hummus or a vegan breakfast scramble. You can add them to chili or crumble them in a food processor to make a “chicken” salad. Perhaps the most multi-purpose way enjoy them the roasted chickpea.

Check out this segment I recently did for Fit Life on Ozarks Today on flavorful ways to enjoy roasted chickpeas

Here are three sensational ways to flavor roasted chickpeas. Snack on them, add to soup, top a salad or try a unique new way for each recipe:

1 tbsp peanut or sesame oil + 1 tbsp soy sauce + 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder – amazing in a stirfry!

1 tbsp canola oil + 2 tsp Cajun spice – add to roasted potatoes.

1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese + 1-2 tsp garlic salt – add to pasta with roasted or sundried tomatoes.

How do you use beans to get your plant protein? What’s your favorite roasted chickpea flavor?





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