As fate would have it, it turns out that yellow peas are actually chock-full o' protein. Because of this, companies are taking the dried peas, milling them into flour, and separating the protein from the starch to create pea protein isolate (quite similar to soy protein isolate). If you're dairy- or soy-free, this is an amazing alternative to whey- or soy-based protein powders and packaged foods.
Pea protein is neutral in flavor, which makes it an excellent source of protein for plant-based milk alternatives. The powder can also be mixed into baking in place of flour to add in a protein punch to your baked goods or blended up into a smoothie or shake (our team really likes Vega's pea-protein-based powders).
Nutrition-wise, we looked at 100 percent pure pea protein powder from NOW Foods. In one serving (scoop), you'll get 120 calories, only two grams of fat, and one gram of carbohydrates, with 24 grams of protein and huge doses of BCAAs.
Registered dietitian Lisa Eberly told POPSUGAR that pea protein is "very comparable to whey" in terms of protein content, despite not using any animal products. If you're averse to including processed foods in your diet, she noted while "there is much more protein per gram in the powder," you can always stick to the natural source. "Why have something that was processed in a factory when you could just eat peas?"
Adding protein from peas into your diet is a simple way to harness the muscle-building, satiating power of one of nature's best foods. Whether you're adding the protein powder or plant milk into your diet or trying new pea recipes (like this vegan soup or split-pea soup), you'll be doing something great for your body.