As parents raising children on a plant-based diet, the question of protein is always present.
At first we question ourselves.
After researching we come to understand how a whole-foods vegan diet provides ample protein, and are (usually!) at ease with the issue. Yet, the question remains, as we are often asked about protein by friends, family, and also new vegetarians and vegans.
I often receive questions from readers about plant-based protein, such as:
What are some protein-rich foods I cam give my kids?
What are protein-packed recipes kids will love? (see Protein Power Balls, below!)
What are recipes rich in protein that your kids like most, Dreena?
So, you will enjoy this special post that I’ve written for Today’s Parent:
Protein-Rich Foods Vegetarian Kids Will Love
I’ve shared 12 kid-tested, mom-approved vegan recipes in this piece – including a couple of new recipes like my Protein Power Balls (recipe follows)!
I ask that you please support this article. Comment on the post, and share it through your social media networks. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to write this piece for Today’s Parent. We can encourage mainstream media to include more vegetarian lifestyle pieces through our support. So, please share this piece through facebook, pinterest, twitter, Google+, etc. Thank you!
Read on at Today’s Parent, and please share your thoughts here, as well as there. Enjoy!
p.s. Special thanks to Sarah Wise for cheerleading my work and helping make this article happen!
Now, on to those Protein Power Balls!
Protein Power Balls
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut flour see note
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1½ cups pitted dates
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2-3 tablespoons chocolate vegan protein powder optional, see note
- 1/4 tsp (scant) sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract ... or, if nuts aren't a concern, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- In a food processor, process the pumpkin seeds, coconut flour, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds until fine and crumbly. Add the dates and process through until they are worked into the mixture and are crumbly. Add the cocoa powder, protein powder (if using), sea salt, and vanilla extract and process again for a minute or two. It will appear as if nothing is happening for a few minutes! The mixture will just be whirring around in crumbs, but soon it will start to become sticky and form a ball on the blade. Stop the machine and remove the dough. Take 1–1½ -tablespoon scoops of the dough and roll in your hand. Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough. Serve, or store in an airtight container to refrigerate.
- Coconut Flour: If you don’t have coconut flour, you can substitute 3/4 cup rolled oats.
- Protein Powder: Protein powders usually have some stevia or other sweetener, so add the powder to taste, depending on the brand. Start with 2 tablespoons, and stop to taste the mixture before it is in a sticky ball. If you’d like to add more, try another 1/2–1 tablespoon. If you have another favorite chocolate protein powder you would like to add—go for it. If you don’t want to use any protein powder, omit it, and make these simple changes: increase the cocoa powder to 1/4 cup total, add another 2 tablespoons of hemp or sunflower seeds, and another 2–4 dates, to taste.
- Idea: You can leave these balls uncoated, or roll in a dusting of coconut sugar, cocoa powder, ground pumpkin seeds, or a combo!
Other photos credit to Nicole Axworthy.