If you’re a vegan, it’s because you’ve done a lot of research on the health benefits of food. These health benefits include reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and macular degeneration. You may also have become a vegan for spiritual reasons: you want to do your part to improve the environment against degradation; and you want all beings to be happy, including traditional farm animals.
If you’re transitioning from a vegetarian to a vegan, you only need to make a few adjustments, cutting out the dairy foods you’ve been eating. However, if you’re transitioning from a carnivorous diet, you might be wondering what on earth you can eat. Fortunately, the road you are now on has been walked on by many before you who have not only asked the same question you’ve asked, but have also found ingenious answers.
Let’s take a quick look at healthy vegan alternatives to common food and drinks, including coffee, soups, meal replacement shakes, and more.
Wake Up To The Smell Of Coffee
You’ve just ordered more espresso supplies for your machine, but now you might be in a state of mild panic—does going vegan mean you have to forfeit your favourite beverage? Absolutely not.
Having the best home coffee machine is important, but let’s also consider the bean, and then we’ll go on to cover everything else that goes with it, namely, milk, cream, and sugar. Our perspective, of course, will be to follow a philosophy that respects the earth in every way possible.
Here are some basics:
- Prefer shade-grown coffee over sun-grown coffee. Coffee naturally grows best at high altitude under tree canopies in tropical areas, but in order to speed things up and make more money plantations are now growing the beans in sunnier areas at the cost of loss of biodiversity and deforestation.
- Prefer USDA organic coffee vs. regular coffee. Regular or conventional coffee has been exposed to fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. In other words, it’s not friendly to humans, animals, or plants.
So the labels to look for when buying coffee beans are USDA organic, Rainforest Alliance, and Bird-friendly coffee beans, or Shade-Grown. You may find more than one on labels, too!
Stuff To Add For A Great Cup Of Coffee
Wait a minute! What about stuff that makes a cup of coffee delicious? No problem!
- If you like milk, you can get vegan milk, ranging from nutty flavors like almond milk to nut-free alternatives like flax or rice milk.
- If you like creamers, there are alternative vegan coffee creamers that are low in sugar, kosher, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO like So Delicious Coconut Milk Dairy Free Creamer, Coconut Cloud Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer, and Nutpods Unsweetened Dairy-Free Creamer.
- If you like sugar, some healthier alternatives are Billington’s Natural Dark Brown Molasses Sugar, ONE ORGANIC Stevia Powder, and Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Cane Sugar.
Enjoy Your Favorite Soup Flavors
For the most part, your soups will be vegetables, but if you are looking for an alternative to chicken soup, then use vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon cubes.
Cook Your Favorite Meals
You don’t have to restrict yourself to vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You can find substitutes for almost anything that you would use in a recipe or eat by itself. Here are 10 ideas to round out your shopping list.
Here are 10 ideas:
- Substitute cow’s milk with nut, oat, rice, or soy milk.
- Substitute eggs with tofu scramble, Ener-G egg, or pureed soft tofu.
- Substitute gelatin in recipes with agar flakes.
- Substitute butter with vegan margarine or olive, sunflower, or corn substitutes from Earth Balance.
- Substitute cheese with vegan cheese and ricotta cheese with crumbled tofu.
- Substitute sugar (which may have refined bone char and unhealthy sweeteners) with maple crystals, Turbinado sugar, or date sugar.
- Substitute yogurt with coconut or soy yogurts.
- Substitute mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise.
- Substitute sour cream with vegan sour creams.
- Substitute honey with liquid FruitSource or maple syrup.
Healthier Alternatives To Meat
Never before have so many companies created products that have the taste, texture, and high protein value of meats. Your supermarket will carry most of the following veggie meats: deli slices, burgers, meatballs, chicken patties, chicken nuggets, meatloaf, sausage links, sausage patties, bacon, ground beef, Salisbury steak, and jerky.
A Versatile Lifestyle
You don’t have to feel deprived when you go vegan. Many restaurants are now adding vegan choices. Doing a backyard barbecue? Throw on some delicious veggie burgers. And on Thanksgiving, too, you don’t have to stick to the sweet potatoes and salads. You can have a veggie whole turkey.