Eating “Clean” – Easy Ways to Go “Plant-Based"

Did you know that plant-based foods are generally healthier for you than eating red meat and other animal foods? While plant-based foods with many awesome recipes can taste delicious on their own, many people seem addicted to the taste of meat, thus making the switch to a plant-based diet more difficult. Have you considered making the transition to a plant-based diet yet?

Veganism was officially created in the 1940s, when a group of vegetarians decided to form the Vegan Society. Their name was taken from selecting the first and last letters of the word “vegetarian.” Many vegans choose to avoid all animal products, not just food. Clothing, furniture, or household items are also avoided if they are made using the skin of animals or other animal parts. A recent study found that a plant-based diet can reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes as well as numerous cancers. A plant-based diet is also famous for helping people to maintain healthy blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels.  

If you’re struggling with the transition, you can try a few tips to help make all the difference. 

Easy Meat Substitutes 

Going plant-based requires finding healthy substitutes for meat products such as beef, pork, and chicken. One of the best options is to swap meat for beans in recipes such as burgers, soups, and salads. You can also stock up on mushrooms or lentils as a substitute for ground beef in recipes such as burgers, sausages, or meatballs.  

Delicious Non-Dairy Milk 

One of the simplest and most delicious transitions you can make is switching to the use of plant-based milk, such as oat milk, cashew milk, or almond milk. Most plant-based milks can be swapped for regular dairy milk on a one-to-one basis. If a recipe calls for whole milk or heavy cream, cashew milk might be the best substitute because it is richer and creamier than other plant-based milks. Similarly, the creamy taste of coconut cream or coconut milk might make a great substitute in soups or stews! 

The Perfect Egg Substitute 

In most recipes, you can easily swap out a raw egg by using a flax “egg”. Just mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of purified water. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes prior to adding it to the mixture (it will turn gelatinous and gooey). Then use it just as a normal egg. In baking, a mashed banana or pureed silken tofu can be substituted for eggs, but baked goods are generally not recommended at all. Cooking food at temperatures over boiling (over 212° F) can damage the food’s structure and create toxic by-products.  

Versatile Chickpea Flour 

As an amazing substitute for eggs, chickpea flour has a naturally savory flavor. When turned into a batter, the flour has an eggy texture that can be easily turned into a delicious vegan omelet with some fresh vegetables. A versatile breakfast made vegan, what more could you ask for? 

“Beyond Delicious” Cheese Alternatives 

A more difficult plant-based substitution is cheese. Replicating the creamy, cheesy flavor of regular cheese can be tricky, but a few simple ingredients can make a simple and delicious vegan “cheese”. Mixing your nut of choice (almonds, cashews, and macadamias are all perfect for this) with nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder can create a delicious, shredded cheese substitute that is perfect for pastas, soups, and salads. Also, rich, creamy, plant-based “cheeses” are readily available in health food stores.  

The Bottom Line 

Transitioning to a plant-based diet might take a little bit more work in the kitchen, but many people end up even preferring the plant-based versions! Tons of options are available that can provide you with a similar taste and consistency as your current foods. Enjoy making your health and wellness a top priority by choosing a plant-based diet filled with fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and many awesome kitchen creations!