Vegan diets tend to be viewed negatively or as a great mystery. This is generally for one of two reasons:
1. They willingly don’t eat cheese.
2. Too many people temporarily go on fad ‘vegan’ diets consisting of gummy bears and french fries.
The first may be hard to believe, but the second is annoying in a multitude of ways. Obviously candy and junk food is not a sustainable diet and doesn’t have much to offer in regards to nutrition.
Worse: Candy is not vegan unless it is specifically vegan candy! Sugar (unless beet, or specified) is often processed using animal bone marrow, and gelatin is made of concealed animal fats and skin. This means gummy bears aren’t even vegetarian, let alone vegan. Even Kosher gelatin is only made from fish instead of cows or pigs. Also be sure to avoid these surprisingly non-vegan ingredients: albumin, lactic acid and whey.
Going vegan has many fabulous benefits but can seem intimidating and sometimes impossible. Generally the hardest part is knowing what you can eat. The more vegan recipes you research the easier the transition will be.
The following is a go-to survival guide for anyone interested in trying a healthier, environmentally-sustainable diet.
Avocados. When you give up cheese, they will become your best friend and favourite condiment!
Cereals, grains, oats. Also try: Coconut water! It has more electrolytes than artificially flavoured sports drinks.
Dates, raisins and other dried fruits. They are the perfect snack for anyone on-the-go.
Egg-substitutes. You can use a banana or 2 tbs of mashed tofu. (Or 2 tbs cornstarch/ potato starch).
Fruit. We recommend antioxidant-filled blueberries and superfood (and closet-fruit) rhubarb.
Goji berries. They contain more vitamin C than oranges.
Hemp seeds and hemp milk. Hemp contains 10 essential amino acids!
Indian cream of spinach soup and other delicious Vegan soups.
Kiwis and vegetable kabobs. Tasty Vegan-friendly alternative for barbecues!
Lentils and other legumes. Inexpensive snacks filled with iron and fiber.
Mangos, melons and macaroni salads.
Nuts. Delicious sources of protein, omega3, fiber and vitamin E.
Olive oil. It’s filled with both a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants- in addition to reducing heart disease.
Pumpkin seeds. Or any seeds really. Also: Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, and pie.
Quinoa. A grain-like, energizing superfood that is part of the spinach family and very versatile to cook with. Try it in this delicious Ginger Quinoa muffin recipe (You’ll have to substitute some ingredients for Vegan versions in that recipe).
Rice. Rice cakes, chips, milk and vegan sushi.
Superfoods, Spinach, Swiss chard and spirulina.
Tofu and tempeh. They are so versatile that depending on the recipe you can make them taste like anything!
Vegetables. Maybe a vegan chili? This recipe is incredible, whether you’re vegan or not.
Xigua. (If you can find it- It’s hard to think of food that starts with X…) A watermelon-esque melon.
Yams. As well as all other members of the potato family. Just be sure they are prepared using vegan-friendly oils.
Zucchini. Filled with vitamin C, it is known to prevent a wide variety of diseases.
Vegan Lunch. Creative Commons photo by avlxyz
Apple Logo Fruit Salad. Creative Commons photo by richardthomas78
Lentils. Creative Commons photo by photobunny_earl
Pumpkin Seeds. Creative Commons photo by wiserbailey
Chocolate Truffles. Creative Commons photo by queen_of_subtle