While it’s commonly known that dairy products contain calcium, a mineral necessary for building and maintaining bone health, it may surprise you to learn that we can also get calcium without consuming dairy. Delicious, readily available and naturally gluten-free, these sources of plant-based calcium should all be added to your grocery list:
- Leafy Greens
Kale, collard greens and bok choy are all good sources of calcium – and so easy to enjoy in a variety of ways. Simply chop and dress them to make a salad, or add them to your next stir-fry.
- Coconut milk
Coconut in any form is popular these days – and real coconut milk (made from blending the coconut flesh with its water) can be a tasty and naturally sweet treat. Blend some into a smoothie, use it to balance the spice of a creamy curry dish, or try fermenting it to make your own dairy-free yogurt.
Roasted as a snack, tossed into a salad, blended into hummus (which provides a double dose of calcium, thanks to the tahini) or packed within a burger patty, calcium-rich chickpeas add tasty nutrition to any meal. Craving something sweet? Try these gluten-free and vegan-friendly Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies from Ambitious Kitchen.
- Chia seeds
They might be tiny, but don’t let their small size fool you – chia seeds offer big nutritional value. Enjoy them in a smoothie bowl, or try making your own overnight chia seed pudding (we love this High Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding by Simply Quinoa.) Alternatively, you may take your calcium-rich chia seeds in jam form, like Fork & Beans’ Blackberry Chia Seed Jam.
- Sesame seeds
Another small yet powerful ingredient, sesame seeds are another source of plant-based calcium. Sprinkle some over sushi, or add them to your salad dressing. Looking to get more creative? Try these Sesame-Ginger and Quinoa Spring Rolls by Naturally Ella.
Did you know that almonds are the tree nuts highest in calcium? Simply pop a small handful in your mouth on the go, or enjoy a tablespoon of almond butter slathered on gluten-free toast. Almond milk is also rising in popularity, and easy to find as a dairy-free alternative to creamer in many coffee shops.
- Sea vegetables
Take your love of sushi a step further and try making veggie wraps with sheets of nori (the dried seaweed that typically wraps your California rolls) for a plant-based, calcium-rich lunch. Seaweed salad and miso soup with seaweed are other delicious ways to enjoy the nutritional benefits of sea vegetables.
As if we needed another reason to look forward to blackberry season. These sweetly tart summer berries provide plant-based calcium and are easy to enjoy in a variety of ways. Simply add a few to your next salad or bowl of yogurt, or try Eating Bird Food’s gorgeous Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie.
It’s easy to find orange juice fortified with calcium these days, but even regular old oranges do the trick when it comes to treating your body to a fresh and zesty dose of plant-based calcium. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier than a simple orange, we definitely recommend this Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (which also contains coconut milk) from Fit Foodie Finds.
Yes, that’s right – our favorite gluten-free ancient grain is not only a delicious source of plant-based protein, but calcium as well! Learn more about quinoa and find a variety of gluten-free recipes using this supergrain over at AncientHarvest.com.