Our Favorite Ingredient Swaps for Vegan Meals
|By Petra Trudell, Managing Editor on Tuesday, January 13, 2015|
|If you're interested in following a vegan diet, you may think it's more about sacrificing your favorite foods that enjoying your meals. In today's post, learn how to substitute plant-based items for animal ones without compromising nutrition or flavor.||
To follow a vegan diet is to omit all animal products and byproducts from your diet. A plant-based diet can have several healthy benefits for the body including lowering cholesterol to for heart health and relieving digestive issues.
If you're making this transition for the first time, it can seem extreme, but we're here to reassure you it's never been easier to go vegan.
Animal Ingredient: Eggs
Vegan Swap: Flax Seeds
You may think eggs are essential for baking, but that's just not the case. Just grind 1 tbsp of whole flax seeds and combine them with 3 tbsp of warm water (makes 1 "egg"). Allow the mixture to sit while you prep the rest of your ingredients and you'll have a substitute with the texture of an egg. Flax seeds are also a wonderful source of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Animal Ingredient: Butter
Vegan Swap: Coconut Oil
Whether you put it on toast or use it for stir-frying veggies, coconut oil is a fantastic solution to removing butter from your diet. Coconut oil also provides medium-chain fatty acids, which can help you manage your weight by supporting thermogenesis, or the body's metabolism.
Animal Ingredient: Meat
Vegan Swap: Chickpeas
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a satisfying meat substitute because they're so rich in protein and fiber. You can roast them for a snack, puree them into hummus or add them to pasta dishes to make them more hearty. Or, try grinding them to make veggie burgers.
Animal Ingredient: Cheese
Vegan Swap: Nutritional Yeast
Cheese is certainly a much craved food and you don't have to miss out when you go vegan. Nutritional yeast, also known as brewer's yeast, has a cheesy taste that lends itself well to making vegan pizza or pasta dishes. You can even put it on popcorn. Best of all, nutritional yeast is a fantastic source of B vitamins, which you can miss out on by not eating animal products.
Animal Ingredient: Dairy Milk
Vegan Swap: Almond Milk
To get calcium, magnesium and protein, make the switch to almond milk when following a vegan diet. You can use it in cereal, smoothies and pancakes. Just make sure to choose an unsweetened variety flavored naturally.
Animal Ingredient: Honey
Vegan Swap: Maple Syrup
Many vegans choose to avoid honey because of how it's commercially harvested. Maple syrup is one of our favorite natural sweeteners because it's so versatile and, obviously, it tastes amazing. Use maple syrup in savory marinades or to make sweet desserts.
Animal Ingredient: Cream
Vegan Swap: Silken Tofu
Decadent, rich dishes always include cream. Get around this by choosing silken tofu, the softest variety available. You can easily blend the tofu with seasonings to create creamy sauces and dressings. You'll also be getting some additional protein.
Animal Ingredient: Gelatin
Vegan Swap: Agar
To thicken sauces, soups or jams, many people turn to gelatin. Agar is a fitting swap because it's made from seaweed instead of animal products. Combining it with fruit juice makes a natural and refreshing dessert in no time.
Animal Ingredient: Mayonnaise
Vegan Swap: Avocados
Avocados are a delicious way to get healthy fats and fiber into your diet while also adding the creamy texture you crave to certain dishes. Use it to make dips or salad dressings by pureeing it or simple smear avocado on bread when making a sandwich.
Animal Ingredient: Ice Cream
Vegan Swap: Bananas
This last one is a fun bonus. Ice cream is a favorite treat and you can still enjoy that taste and texture you love just by blending some frozen bananas. Add in vanilla extract or almond butter -- even cacao nibs -- for an icy delight without any dairy.
Going vegan could be your perfect diet solution to feel your best. We have everything you need to get started at eVitamins.
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