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  • Pulses + Sunflower Seeds = Complete Protein

    During the cold & snowy Midwinter months, it is hard to just run to the grocery store, so I do a lot of dipping into what I call our staples or our "Pantry Foods" that we always have on hand: dried beans, pulses ( e.g. lentils, chickpeas, and beans ), legumes, bulgur, farro, quinoa, rice, nuts, and dried fruits. These provide ingredients for a cozy, warm winter soup or stew, but these same fixings also make wonderful ingredients for delicious, crunchy, and hearty Winter Pantry Salads. These salads are full of the right combos of grains, legumes, and nuts to give you the complete proteins you need to keep you warm and charged. 

    Whether you are a Meatless Monday devotee, a flexitarian, a vegetarian, or a full-on vegan, our pantry salad recipes will show you easy ways to combine your plant-based pantry foods to make nutritious, healthy, Winter Pantry Salads full of protein. 







    Why is making sure that you are eating enough protein so important? Protein is one of the most important components of every cell in the bodyYour body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. First off, amino acids (AAs) are the building blocks of protein. There are nine essential and 11 non-essential amino acids; essential AAs must be obtained from food sources while non-essential AAs can be made in the body. So, when it comes to complete proteins, it is the food source that contains all nine of the essential amino acids.
    Complete proteins are mostly found in animal sources and their byproducts including meat, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt, though can also be found in a few plant-based sources of protein.
    Incomplete proteins, on the other hand, do not contain all nine essential amino acids. However, pairing certain plants with limiting amino acids with another plant with different limiting AA can equate to a complete protein.
    Recognized as complementary proteins, a combination of nuts and seeds, legumes, grains, or some veggies together can produce a complete protein, so check out the combos below & get creative with your proteins!

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