Vegan life hacks you need to know about
The words “vegan” and “easy” are not usually used in the sentence, but with so many health benefits having been associated with a vegan lifestyle, more and more people are thinking about cutting out meat and all other animal products from their diet. There is no doubt that going vegan does add some complication to your life, but once you have learned some of tricks that long time vegans already know, it’s nowhere near as difficult as you might have thought. If you are thinking about going vegan, but you are being put off by people telling you how difficult it is, read these ten vegan lifestyle hacks that will help make going vegan much easier.
1. Try new dishes instead of making old ones vegan
Food stores seem to be very fond of creating vegan substitutes, rather than creating new vegan dishes. There really is no point in trying to create a vegan sausage or a vegan burger; you’d be much better off looking up recipes for vegan dishes that you’ve never tried before. There are thousands of ways you can prepare a really tasty vegan dish and it will be a much more interesting option to do, than cooking a vegetable substitute for a meat dish.
2. Plan ahead when dining out
While not all restaurants have vegan options on their menus, it is something that is certainly improving. If you are planning a night out, do some online research first and see what outlets will be able to accommodate you. Even if there isn’t a vegan option on the standard menu, it’s always worth telephoning a restaurant to see if they can cook a vegan meal for you. If more people do that, more chefs will come to realise that there is a demand for vegan food.
3. Check out your local Asian stores
Asian stores and markets are full of wonderful spices and unusual fruits and vegetables that you may have not tried before and you will also find vegetarian dishes that could well be vegan. You will need to check the labels carefully, just to make sure that there are no animal products in the food, but you will find a lot of exciting and delicious new vegan possibilities in Asian stores.
4. Add fat to dishes to give them more flavour
One of the things that you might miss when you first go vegan is fat in your food and you may even get cravings for fat. You don’t have to go fat free to be vegan, though, you can always add ingredients like avocados and nut butters to your dishes to add some flavour. This comes back to doing your research. Take a look at some of the popular vegan lifestyle websites and you will find thousands of ideas for tasty vegan food.
5. Don’t wait until you are famished before you eat
It can be a challenge to find vegan food when you are out, so don’t leave it until you are really hungry before you eat. Plan your meals in advance, at home and when you are out, and then you won’t be forced to eat something you don’t really want to. If you do get hunger pangs, eat a piece of fruit or drink a glass of water and that will take away the hunger until you can find a proper vegan meal.
6. Learn the food swaps
One of the challenges of following a vegan diet is that many common recipes don’t account for a person being vegan. You can easily overcome this by learning the common vegan food swaps. One example is that, when a recipe calls for butter, you can replace the butter with avocado. In this case, you may be able to taste the avocado, so you will need to bear that in mind when you do use it as a substitute for butter. Here are some more common food swaps:
7. Easy egg replacements
There are lots of different ways to replace eggs in a recipe, so have a few of them in your vegan food swap armoury and then you will be able to use the one that will best compliment the food that you are cooking. One of the most common egg replacements is apple sauce. When you see an egg in a recipe, try replacing it with a quarter cup of apple sauce. Flax seeds or chia seeds can also be used to replace eggs. In this case, soak three tablespoons of the seeds in warm water for ten minutes and then use that to replace one egg.
8. Use bananas to make ice cream
The simplest way to make great tasting vegan ice cream is to use frozen bananas and plant milk. For example, you could just use a frozen a banana, coconut milk and cocoa powder to make a deliciously creamy chocolate ice cream.
9. Make your own vegan buttermilk
Vegan buttermilk is easy to make. Just take a cup of non-dairy milk, stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and then leave the milk to curdle. You can use that as a vegan substitute in any recipe that includes buttermilk.
10. Don’t give up trying
Following a vegan diet is a more ethical and much healthier way of eating, but it does have its challenges. When you first start out on your vegan diet, it is quite likely that you will have some slips and eat some animal products by accident, because they are often hidden in store bought products. Don’t let that put you off, though. Persevere, and you will soon find that the life of a vegan is nowhere near as difficult, as some people would have you believe.