It is the ‘year of the vegan’, according to The Economist.
That means just about everyone is on the bandwagon, with even fast-food franchises such as McDonald’s joining the list of restaurants now offering vegan meals.
However, while the hype means that there are more places to access vegan-style food, being a vegan is still pretty hard – particularly if you entered the lifestyle fresh out of the transition from eating medium-rare steaks.
Below is a list of five foods that will help to make your transition to ‘veganhood’ that much easier.
From eating them roasted to making them into vegan-cheese, cashew nuts are essential to a vegan lifestyle. Cashew nuts are extremely versatile and if you’re looking for a great way to replace milk in your diet then cashews are your answer.
Drooling to have the taste of cheese again? Cashew paired with a few ingredients is sure to get your saliva going. Not to mention, cashews are packed with minerals and vitamins such as iron, magnesium and zinc and is excellent if you are attempting to manage your weight.
If you’re the type that loves cereal with milk, or are looking for a healthier oil for cooking – coconut is your go-to-alternative.
Coconut milk is derived from the flesh surrounding the shell of the coconut. Once cut from the shell, add a little water and you have coconut milk or save yourself the trouble and grab a carton from the supermarket shelf.
Coconut milk, which has the consistency of regular cow’s milk can be used to replace dairy milk in just about anything including cereals, smoothies and curry dishes.
As for coconut oil, it can be used as you would use vegetable oil, plus the body absorbs it rather easily and has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Yum, yum. Also known as garbanzo beans, these beans are magical in helping former meat-eaters to replicate some of our favourite flesh dishes.
Yup, chickpeas can be fashioned into faux-fish and even vegan meat-less balls. Chickpeas are also good just the way they are, make fantastic curries and stews that can be paired with grains for a complete meal. Did I mention that chickpeas are rich in protein?
It is a staple food of West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America and is a must-have on your journey to veganhood. Plantains can be eaten cooked or uncooked and can be used to add a boost of sweet goodness to any dish or even drink.
Plantains are most popularly eaten fried and are, particularly in the Caribbean, deemed side dishes. However, more and more plantains are being used in vegan dishes to substitute noodles and other dishes that require flour.
One way to make a gluten-free lasagna is to substitute the lasagna noodle with green plantains. Green plantains are also used as a burger bun in some vegan meals. Ripe plantain is also used to make tarts and is a substitute for meat in pot pies.
Texture, texture and more texture – that’s what bulgur wheat has. It is this fabulous texture that makes the wheat good at simulating the look and feel of ground beef, burger patties and even Middle Eastern-style kibbehs.
Low in calories and high in fibre, bulgur wheat is one of those grains that is good at soaking up flavours and makes for a great meat replacement if you’re looking to mimic the taste and texture of beef products.
Bulgur is also fantastic for individuals trying to control their blood sugar levels.
— Story written by Denieca-Alexia Daniels