First up, why should you consider going meat-free in the first place?
1 Farmed meat is damaging our environment
‘Globally, the consumption of factory-farmed meat products is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it can be a source of water pollution,’ says Beryn Daniel, chef and co-founder of Rawlicious.
2 Some farmed meat contains hormones
‘Antibiotics and bovine growth hormones in mass-farmed beef can cause harm to your body,’ says Daniel.
3 Red meat can be a health risk
Compared to leaner counterparts like white meat, red meat can be high in saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Eek!
So, try replacing meat with one of these protein-heavy (but healthy) alternatives:
1 Hemp seeds and hemp protein
‘Hemp seeds contains all 20 known amino acids, the building blocks of protein, including the nine essential amino acids (EAAs) that our bodies cannot produce,’ says Daniel. ‘Approximately 65% of the protein in hemp seeds is made up of the globulin protein edestin, the most potent protein of any plant source, which is found only in hemp seeds. Edestin aids digestion, is relatively phosphorus-free and is considered to be the backbone of the cell’s DNA.’
2 Chia Seeds
‘Chia seeds are a near-complete source of protein, containing 19 amino acids,’ says Daniel. ‘They contain twice the amount of protein found in almost all other seeds or grains. All essential amino acids, except taurine, are present and appropriately balanced, making chia seeds an excellent protein source for athletes and vegetarians alike.’
Try incorporating these ingredients into these easy recipes:
For breakfast: chia porridge
- 3T chia seeds
Make it: pour the chia seeds into a bowl and cover with water, leaving to stand for 10 minutes. Add milk of your choice and enjoy! (Add flavour by sprinkling with nuts, honey, raisins or cinnamon.)
For a snack: hemp-seed and pumpkin-seed pâté
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
- 1/8 cup almonds or pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2T olive oil
- 2T hemp protein powder
- 1T lemon juice
- 1t salt
- 1t dried mixed herbs
Make it: Mix all the ingredients together in your food processor and, ta-da! It really is that easy, fam! (Add a little water if the pâté is too thick.) Serve over crackers or toasted bread.
Recipes courtesy of Rawlicious, where you can also buy these meat-substitute products.