It’s been a little while since my last Beginner Vegan post, but it’s a series I really want to continue! And it’s not just for those who want to be fully vegan. If you are a curious omni, feel free to try some of these swaps! You might find you prefer them to the “real thing” and there are so many benefits to choosing plant based options.
Cow’s Milk > Plant Milk
The easiest and most obvious way to cut down on animal products is to swap out your milk for a plant based option. There are SO many options for plant milk, so it’s just a matter of finding one that you like most! My personal favourites are oat milk and soy milk, but there is also cashew milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, even hazelnut milk! If you are worried about plant milk’s not having the right nutritional value, here is a comprehensive guide to find that suits your needs!
Dairy Yoghurt > Coconut Yoghurt
I am new on the coconut yoghurt bandwagon, and I am appalled at myself for waiting so long. I was always a fan of yoghurt, but found that a lot of the yoghurts I loved were filled with a tonne of sugar and sweetener. Coconut yoghurt in general (always check your nutritional info) is much less sugary, and has a higher good fat content (think the same fats as like an avocado). My personal favourite coconut yoghurt is Nakula Coconut Yoghurt – the mango flavour is delicious – but the Natural flavour is also a great option. Also, just like dairy yoghurt, it’s full of awesome probiotics, so great for gut health.
Mince > TVP
If you are a fan of family favourites like shepard’s pie, meat pies, spaghetti bolognese, Taco Tuesday or lasagne, listen up! I recently discovered the joys of Textured Vegetable Protein, or TVP. Now Textured Vegetable Protein might sound scary, and a little bit too 1984 for your taste, but it is LEGIT amazing. In laymen’s terms, TVP is defatted soy flour. It’s high in protein – even higher than meat per gram – and low in carbohydrates and fat. You can buy TVP for so cheap as well. 1 cup of TVP creates about 2 meals worth. A 500g bag of TVP equals about 12 meals, and it costs about $5. Even the cheapest beef mince cannot compete with this. You can find TVP at most health food, asian supermarkets and vegan specialty grocery stores. If you are allergic to soy, never fear! Grab some lentils, just as good and protein packed!
Butter/Margarine > Nut Butter
I actually swapped out my butter and margarine options YEARS ago for the healthier olive oil options available. But there aren’t just olive oil butters, there are sunflower, canola, coconut, and so many more. My favourite brand is Nuttelex, which has heaps of options, even a “buttery” option that tastes more like real butter. This is probably the easiest thing to swap out in your kitchen for sure.
Eggs (in cooking) > Flaxseed Meal
Eggs (in general) > Tofu
Something that I always get asked about is how to bind things together in cooking without using egg. Do you need to buy expensive vegan egg replacement? No way josé! Using flaxseed meal to make “flax egg” is so easy. 1 TBSP flaxmeal + 2.5 TBSP water. Let it sit for 5 mins and voila! Egg replacement. As an added bonus, flax meal is rich in omega 3, manganese, vitamin B1 and dietary fibre. Boom!
As for eggs in a general sense, you don’t have to give up having a nice hot breakfast in the morning. Tofu Scramble has a similar consistency to scrambled eggs and has higher protein than it’s eggy brother. I love this recipe by Minimalist Baker, and it was a staple meal for me when I first went vegan.
If you are interested in learning more about the meat industry, click here.
If you are interested in learning more about the dairy industry, click here.
If you want to learn more about the free range egg industry in Australia, click here.
Could you make these easy changes to incorporate more plant based options in your diet?
Comment below if you already do some of these!