Vegan Hack 101: Food Substitutes That’ll Help You Achieve A 100% Vegan Diet
Hey! It’s The World Vegan Day today!
Maintaining a vegan diet was surely a challenge back in the days mainly because the food substitutes for items such as eggs, meat, milk etc. were difficult to source in order to make those perfect recipes.
However, in 2022, the case is not the same anymore. With modernization, benefits of the vegan diet and better trade practices, food alternatives for those following a vegan diet are made available easily in the supermarkets and even in your nearby local stores.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
Veganism is a diet and lifestyle that excludes the use of animal products, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and honey. It also avoids wearing clothes made from animals as well as items tested on animals like cosmetics and toiletries.
There are many health benefits of a vegan diet. These include improved heart health, lower cholesterol and reduced risk of diabetes. This diet is also said to promote weight loss and prevent certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Benefits Of A Vegan Diet
- Improved Heart Health
A vegan diet can reduce the risk of many cardiovascular conditions including heart attack and stroke. This is largely because it significantly lowers your cholesterol levels.
- Reduced Cholesterol Levels
Many studies have shown that a vegan diet can significantly reduce levels of cholesterol in your body. High levels of cholesterol can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
The vegan diet has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 57%. This type of diabetes is caused by the body being resistant to insulin. People who develop type 2 diabetes are at a greater risk of developing other serious health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.
- Boost Your Mood
It’s a fact that you’ll have a clearer conscience when you follow a compassionate lifestyle that avoids harming animals, and studies show that vegans can actually be happier than carnivores. In fact, vegans and vegetarians performed better on depression tests and mood profiles than those who ate fish and meat.
Food & Recipe Alternatives
We cannot deny the fact that some of the best recipes and the tastiest of foods have ingredients that will collide with a vegan diet. So do we stop eating those delicious treats? No, Never!
Where there is a will, there is a way! Here are some of the best known ingredient alternatives that will give you the same results as their original ingredients but will also be a 100% vegan consumable!
Eggs are one of the important ingredients in a lot of baking & cooking recipes mainly due to the texture and binding properties they provide to the dishes.
Many avoid eggs for many reasons: health, culture/religion, dietary restrictions, etc. While adding eggs makes the end product different, that doesn’t mean we can’t do without them.
There may be a change in taste and texture, but for the most part the end result is still pretty much the same.
- Mashed Banana
Bananas work great as a vegan egg replacer due to their abundance of specific starches and sugars. Keep in mind that whatever you put bananas in will undoubtedly turn into banana-whatever-the-name-of-your-recipe-is. This can be great for things like vegan cakes, pancakes and quick breads
- Ground Flax Seed, Soaked in water
There is a gum in the seed coating that becomes thick and gelatinous when the seeds are ground and whisked with water. The basic ratio is one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg. You’ll need to grind the flax seeds into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder (or use 2 1/2 teaspoons pre-ground), and then you simply whisk in the water until it becomes gelatinous.
Aquafaba forms when legumes, such as chickpeas, are soaked or cooked in water for an extended period of time. You’ve likely tossed it out without a second thought, after draining chickpeas from a can, but you can use it to make airy vegan desserts, such as meringues and chocolate mousse, or even a vegan whiskey sour.
How to Make Aquafaba at Home?
Boil chickpeas until tender and strain the water. After removing the chickpeas, boil the water and reduce it to half the quantity. Chill the reduced water in a refrigerator and your homemade aquafaba is ready.
Milk substitutes are not only great for a vegan diet but also a blessing for people suffering from lactose intolerance or allergy from milk and milk products. Here are 2 amazing milk substitutes:
- Soy Milk
Soy milk is a popular alternative to dairy milk. Historians can trace the use of soy milk back to 1365 in China. Many cultures have used soy milk as a diet staple for centuries.
Manufacturers produce soy milk from soybean extract in a process that is similar to the ancient techniques. The milk is available in sweetened, unsweetened, and flavored varieties, such as chocolate and vanilla. There are also options for low fat or full fat varieties.
- Almond Milk
Ground almonds, water, and, in most cases, a sweetener make almond milk, another popular alternative. Manufacturers may also fortify almond milk with vitamins and minerals. It has a creamy texture, similar to that of dairy milk. However, it’s quite easy to make at home.
There are many reasons for wanting to incorporate meat substitutes into your diet, even if you’re not following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Eating less meat is not only better for your health but also for the environment. Here are a few meat substitutes to consume while following a vegan diet:
Seitan, or wheat gluten, is derived from gluten, the protein in wheat. It’s made by adding water to wheat flour and removing the starch.
Seitan is dense and chewy, with little flavor on its own. It’s often flavored with soy sauce or other marinades. Nowadays, It can be found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket in forms such as strips, steak and chunks. Seitan is high in protein, low in carbs and a good source of iron.
- Jackfruit (Kathal)
Most of us have eaten Kathal as a traditional sabzi cooked at home but the same can be used as a tasty meat substitute. It’s a large, tropical fruit with flesh that has a subtle, fruity flavor said to be similar to pineapple.
Jackfruit has a chewy texture and is often used as a substitute for pulled pork in BBQ recipes.
Butter! Not only does it taste amazing raw on the bread, but it also adds flavor to many dishes. From omelets to curry and baked dessert, butter is the base of many foods and sauces.
However, there are a few vegan substitutes that come quite close to the taste and richness butter provides:
- Natural Oils
Oils like sunflower, coconut, olive and peanut are a great vegan butter substitute. From cooking to baking, oil does it all. It works great for cooking, preventing ingredients from sticking to your pan. The number of options vegans have in this field is never ending. Each oil has different abilities, smoke points, and taste-making their uses are different from each other.
- Nutralite Or Margarine
If you’re serious about baking, oils might not be the best option for you to replace butter. That is mainly due to the difference in texture these 2 ingredients provide. However, Margarine or better known as Nutralite here in India, is the closest alternative you can get to replace butter in your baked recipes. It is basically vegetable oil that goes under hydrogenation and the result is a vegetable oil that mimics butter in texture and usage.
Now you know the best substitutes available in the market that can help you follow a vegan diet without compromising on the taste. What’s best is that you can simply order these substitutes on the Milkbasket app and get them delivered to your doorstep by 7AM, the very next morning. That’s one hurdle eliminated in your quest to follow veganism!
World Vegan Day is the best moment for you to adopt a vegan diet for a healthy tomorrow.
All The Best!
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