Over the last few months, my family and I have gradually shifted towards a more plant-based diet. We aren’t going completely vegan (we all love cheese WAY too much to ever consider doing something like that!) but we are making more of an effort to get our protein via plant. Though we aren’t super far into our new diet, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we feel so much better! It’s incredible what eating right can do for you! If you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just someone looking to get more plant-based protein, try growing these protein-rich plants. It will feel amazing knowing that you grew them yourself and your body will love you for it! Check out these easy to grow protein-rich plants.
Soybeans(18 grams of protein per 1 cup cooked)
Soybeans will grow pretty much anywhere, just as long as the soil is well-draining and well-composted. Sow seeds when soil temperatures reach at least 60 degrees and plant seeds in an area that receives full sun. Make sure they are getting 1-2 inches of water per week! Harvest your Edamame plants when the pods start to swell. This is one of my favorite protein-rich plants!
Lentils (9 grams of protein per 1/2 cup cooked)
Did you know that Lentils are a cool-weather crop? Seriously! Lentils are often referred to as a “cool season legume” and should be planted when soil temperatures hit 68 degrees (usually 2-3 weeks after your LAST frost!) They grow best in full sun, in loose, well-drained soil with a PH between 6.0 and 6.5. Support your Lentils with a Trellis, and only water when the soil feels dry. Lentils should be ready to harvest in 80-110 days of growing time!
Black Beans (7.6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup cooked)
Black Beans are one of my FAVORITE veggies! They taste incredible in everything from salads to nachos and they’re packed full of protein! To grow, plant towards the end of May in an area of the garden that receives full sun. Plants should be watered every so often but don’t require much other care. Black Beans, like Lentils, will be ready in approximately 100 days of growing time. Pick the beans when the plant turns brown and falls over!
Wild Rice (6.5 grams of protein per 1 cup cooked)
Okay, Wild Rice isn’t the easiest plant on this list to grow, given that it needs TONS of water to actually grow. But, you can grow Wild Rice in a container or a bucket! Simply fill a plastic bucket with 4-6 inches of potting soil, and 2 inches full of water (increasing this to 6 inches of water as the stalks grow). Place your bucket in an area of full sun and keep an eye on the water levels, making sure that water doesn’t get below 2 inches. Learn more about the process here!
Chickpeas (6 grams of protein per 1/2 cup )
Another one of my favorite protein-rich plants, Chickpeas are another surprisingly easy veggie to grow! Plant seeds in an area of full sun with loose, well-draining soil. Space seeds 3-6 inches apart and keeps planting beds moist as the plants grow. Chickpeas (like everything else on this list!) have a long growing period and require at least 100 days of growing time. Harvest as soon as the seed pods split for a tasty and delicious protein rich plant.
Spinach (3 grams of protein per 1/3 cup cooked)
My kids dislike this protein-rich plant, I try to incorporate it into a few meals every week! Spinach is relatively simple to grow and seeds can be planted just as soon as soil can be worked in the Spring. Spinach plants love the cool weather, so they actually do better when planted early on in the spring season, or in mid-September for a Fall harvest. In fact, seeds will not germinate if soil temperatures are above 70 degrees! This is one of the tastiest protein rich plants!