Written by Melanie Kozlan
Vegan diets tend to be viewed negatively or as a great mystery. This is generally for one of two reasons:
- They willingly don’t eat cheese and
- 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 or 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 char, whereas gelatin is made of collagen derived from boiled animal bones. 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!
B12 – Did you know that in addition to its other health benefits, this vitamin boosts your libido? You can find good sources of it in spirulina, cereals and milk alternatives.
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 & hemp milk! (It contains 10 essential amino acids!)
Indian cream of spinach soup and other delicious Vegan soups.
Jalapeno poppers or vegetable jambalaya
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 since 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 (any seeds really)- 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 (Substitute some ingredients for Vegan versions).
Rice, in all of its available forms! (rice cakes, chips, milk & vegan sushi)
Superfoods spinach, swisschard and spirulina
Tofu, tempah – They are so versatile that depending on the recipe you can make it taste like anything!
Ultra thick chocolate shake, or how about unbelievably rich chocolate truffles?
Vegetables, 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 watermelonesque 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.
For more information regarding sugar, visit Vegsource.com
Note* Some recipes may require minor Vegan substitutions.