Wondering how you can incorporate great plant-protein sources like faba beans, lentils, and chickpeas into your favorite snacks? Look no further! In this blog post, we’re exploring the world of legume-based desserts and snacks. In today’s fast-paced world, finding snacks that are both tasty and nutritious can be a challenge. Luckily, we’re here to show you how to find the perfect balance with healthy treats that are bursting with plant protein. 

First, let’s take a moment to consider why opting for plant-protein snacks can be a game-changer for your health. With the world’s population projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there’s a growing need to address the challenges facing our food chain. From meeting rising demand to tackling issues of food insecurity and environmental sustainability, the pressure is on. Fortunately, plant-based proteins offer a solution. Not only are they nutrient-rich and low in saturated fats, but they’re also environmentally sustainable. By incorporating more plant-based snacks into your diet, you’re not just nourishing yourself – you’re also making a positive impact on the health of our planet.

What are these alternative plant-protein snacks and desserts?

Faba bean, Chick pea, Plant protein

Plant protein snacks bring together great taste and nutritional benefits, offering plenty of options to satisfy your cravings and keep you fueled. For instance, Food Navigator recently featured chocolate made from faba bean in an article. Here are more  attractive choices:

Roasted Chickpeas: Seasoned and baked chickpeas make for a crunchy, protein-packed snack.

Hummus with Veggie Sticks: A blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, served with carrot, celery, or cucumber sticks.

Edamame: Steamed young soybeans, often sprinkled with salt, offer a tasty and nutritious snack.

Bean Chips: Chips made from black beans, lentils, or chickpeas boast high protein and fibre content compared to traditional potato chips.

Lentil Crackers: Crunchy crackers made from lentil flour serve as a protein-rich alternative to conventional wheat crackers.

Black Bean Brownies: Brownies made with black beans instead of flour for a delicious and protein-rich treat.

Pea Protein Snacks: Pea protein bars, crisps, and puffs, crafted from yellow peas.

Chickpea Poppers: Baked or roasted chickpeas seasoned with spices like curry, paprika, or cinnamon offer a flavorful snack.

Veggie Burger Sliders: Miniature veggie burgers made from black beans, lentils, or chickpeas, served on whole grain buns with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom “Fries”: Sliced and grilled Portobello mushrooms served with a marinara sauce for dipping provide a savory alternative to traditional fries.

Incorporating these plant protein snacks and desserts satisfies your cravings for quick bites while nourishing your body with wholesome, protein-rich ingredients. For more plant protein snacks, you can explore Healthline’s recommendations.

So many alternative food choices, who is driving this change on the market?

Through the Green Queen blog post, we can explore a summary of FoodTech 500- Plant-Based Companies That Lead the Way in Forward Fooding’s Annual List of Food Innovators. Inspired by the Fortune 500, this annual ranking spotlights the top 500 FoodTech companies and startups globally.

One such pioneer is The Seaweed Company, promoting a shift towards a more flexitarian lifestyle with their revolutionary SeaMeat blend. By harnessing the power of seaweed, they mitigate the environmental impact of meat consumption while tantalizing taste buds with a flavorful solution.

Nature’s Fynd leads the way in microbial innovation, crafting proteins from a fungus discovered in the depths of Yellowstone National Park. Their meat and dairy substitutes offer a sustainable and nutritious alternative, for a more eco-conscious diet.

BlueNalu, with its pioneering work in cell-cultured seafood, showcases a commitment to preserving our oceans while providing consumers with safe and delectable seafood options. Through their efforts, they not only promote sustainability but also ensure the diversity of marine life for generations to come.

MYCORENA’s visionary fungi technology aims to revolutionize the food industry by introducing next-generation ingredients. Their innovative approach promises to reshape the way we think about food, offering sustainable and nutritious alternatives for a healthier future.

BioMilq’s mammary biotechnology opens doors to functional human milk components produced outside the body. Their research holds the potential to revolutionize infant nutrition and lactation science, ensuring that every child receives the nourishment they deserve.

Voyage redefines traditional cuisine boundaries through its fusion of innovative food technology and natural ingredients, such as seeds and grains. From Nut-Free Spreads to Cocoa-Free Chocolate and Bean-Free Coffee, they cater to diverse dietary needs without compromising on taste or quality.

These companies, among others, drive the alternative food movement, reshaping the agrifood value chain and paving the way for a more sustainable and delicious future. As their innovations flourish, so too does the promise of a healthier, more plant-protein rich world. 

How does VALPRO Path fit in?

Plant proteins

At VALPRO Path, the focus revolves around developing innovative products centred on specific plant crops such as chickpeas, peas, soybeans, lentils, and faba beans. Under the VALPRO Path project, the aim is to manufacture a range of products including vegetable burgers, baked goods, and pasta derived from these crops, while being dedicated to optimizing the utilization of bioproducts and adopting circular business models to bolster sustainability efforts.

Pioneering Plant-Based Burgers – Recognizing the immense potential of plant protein in street food, the Innovation Production System 1, spearheaded by the University of Turin, actively fosters partnerships with local SMEs to introduce creative veggie burgers by exploring the potential of chickpea and lentil flour in burger development.

Crafting Innovative Legume-Based Pasta Antignano Prodotto Tipico is set to conduct pasta production trials utilizing lentil, green pea, and chickpea flours, with support from Aarhus University and UNITO. These trials aim to test various flour combinations, striving towards an optimal legume and durum wheat blend for long pasta, targeting a protein percentage of around 20%, akin to egg pasta.

Advancing Variety Selection based on Protein Quality – Aarhus University will evaluate climate challenges through controlled experiments and field testing to understand composition changes in different regions and climate resilience, such as drought and heat stress. Collaboratively, VALPRO Path partners will support regional evaluations and demonstrate strategies to mitigate vulnerabilities in current plant protein systems, identifying up to three high-performing crop varieties per region with significant potential.

Embracing Innovation and Sustainability 

The rise of plant-based protein not only caters to our health needs but also aligns with the growing demand for sustainable and nutritious alternatives. With innovative companies leading the charge in FoodTech, such as The Seaweed Company, Nature’s Fynd, BlueNalu, MYCORENA, BioMilq, and Voyage, alongside projects like VALPRO Path, we’re witnessing a culinary revolution towards a healthier and more plant-protein rich future. Try these delicious alternatives, and pave the way for a better world, one bite at a time. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for more information on the plant protein landscape.

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