January is the month of Veganuary; an annual challenge where participants challenge themselves to become vegan for a month. Despite Veganuary seeming like a daunting experience, veganism is becoming easier as vegan substitutes become more widespread.
The Vegan Society reports that 56% of Brits have adopted vegan buying habits, including buying vegan products and checking if their household items are cruelty-free. Regardless of whether you plan to become vegan, or want to reduce the number of animal products in your diet, this article should help you choose vegan substitutes!
is easier to transition into a vegan diet with vegan meats that recreate the look, texture and taste of meat
First off, let’s start with the most obvious swap for Veganuary- meat. If this is your first time going meatless, it is easier to transition into a vegan diet with vegan meats that recreate the look, texture and taste of meat. I would recommend starting with Naked Glory, Quorn, Meatless Farm, and Linda McCartney. More and more supermarkets are also becoming vegan-friendly by developing their vegan meats, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.
If you are feeling adventurous, don’t confine yourself to pre-made vegan meats- make your own, or use legumes! If you are feeling up to the challenge, you can explore creating meat alternatives with tofu or jackfruit, or get your five-a-day with recipes containing chickpeas(perfect for curries and burgers) or beans( perfect for chillis).
soy milk, known for its creaminess, sweetness and consistency, and I would recommend soy milk when directly substituting cow milk
Luckily, there isn’t a shortage of milk substitutes. Since about 65% of the population is lactose intolerant, there is a plethora of dairy-free milk. The most popular alternative is soy milk, known for its creaminess, sweetness and consistency, and I would recommend soy milk when directly substituting cow milk.
Other kinds of milk are becoming more popular. Particularly, oat milk has been popularised for its taste in coffee, tea, and hot drinks. Oat milk is also a great alternative for baking because of its sweetness. Coconut milk can also be a great alternative due to its thickness (especially for replacing single or double cream). Coconut milk can also be a very overwhelming flavour so use with caution!
tofu is the perfect substitute because of it’s ‘eggy’ texture when broken down
Eggs, are harder to substitute. Egg replacement depends on what you are planning to cook. Because tofu is a highly versatile food, if you are planning to make an egg scramble or omelette, tofu is the perfect substitute because of it’s ‘eggy’ texture when broken down. Baking can be a bit more complicated since there isn’t a ‘clear’ alternative. To find the perfect substitute for a delicious bake, Gemma Stafford outlines egg alternatives and how to use them in her baking blog.
Another key replacement is cheese. The most notable vegan cheese brands are Applewood, Violife, and Vitalite, yet many supermarkets are starting their own, including Tesco, Asda, and Sainsbury’s. A secret treasure amongst vegan cheese products is Engevita Yeast Flakes. Yeast Flakes help add a cheesy, nutty flavour to dishes. Highly adaptable, yeast flakes can be used to make cheese sauces, added to soups or tofu as a seasoning, or on toast or sandwiches. They also have B12 vitamins in something many vegans find harder to substitute.
If you participated in Veganuary or are thinking of just going more plant-based, you don’t have to strive for perfection.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different alternatives! Despite vegan options being seen as more expensive, since more supermarkets are coming out with their vegan ranges, vegan products are becoming cheaper and more accessible! If you participated in Veganuary or are thinking of just going more plant-based, you don’t have to strive for perfection. Try your best, and hopefully, the products outlined in this article will help you transition.
Featured image courtesy of Alice Nott
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