Vegan Alternatives To Meat, Dairy Products and Eggs – Introduction

If you decide to switch your diet to a plant-based one or go even further and become vegan, meat, dairy and eggs will no longer be a part of your diet.

Vegan versions of traditional animal foods are available in most grocery stores and supermarkets. Vegan meat is available in a number of varieties and in the places where it is sold. These include ready meals, kebab kebabs, sausages, soy chips and granules and veggie burgers. We are quite lucky as nowadays there are vegan options in almost every store out there. I remember when I started eating plant-based about three years ago and there was almost nothing vegan on the shelves – one type of plant milk, one type of cheese in the rare supermarkets and you had to walk all the way across town to stumble upon nutritional yeast or be forced to order it online yourself.

Vegan alternatives to meat

Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash

If you want your food to have a similar flavor and texture to meat, you’re in luck, because there are nowadays companies that make vegan meat substitutes. There are products on the market that replace vegetables with meat, such as ham, turkey, vegetable burgers, meatballs, sausages, patties, bacon, ground beef, chicken and nuggets, and even meatloaf. You can also try to make your own vegan “meat” in many different ways such as this Easy Vegan Meatloaf.

FAQ

  1. What do vegans eat instead of meat?
    Tofu, Soy chunks and mince, tempeh, seitan, green spelt, oat flakes, vegan “meat” alternatives, eggplant and Portobello mushrooms are also often used as substitutes.
  2. What is the healthiest vegan meat substitute?
    There is a lot of debate about what is considered the healthiest meat substitute but many claim that tempeh is the healthiest. Tempeh is a fermented soy-based food that has gut-health advantages.
  3. But a lot of vegan meat is processed?
    Although processed plant-based meat isn’t the healthiest option, it is a better choice than animal meat. Vegan meat allows consumers to enjoy their favorite flavors while avoiding some of the disease concerns. However, it should not be something consumed all the time. I advice not eating processed vegan meat more than 3-4 times a week and focusing on whole foods instead. You can always use mushrooms, lentils, eggplant, tofu and tempeh to replace meat.

Dairy Products

Dairy products, such as cow milk, are now probably the easiest thing to remove from the menu if you decide to transition to a plant-based diet. You can buy ready-made alternative milk made from all kinds of plants such as soybeans, almonds, seeds, rice, oats and more. The same applies to vegan yoghurt, which is produced more and more every year. We used to have only blueberry and natural yoghurt but nowadays I can find pear, banana, strawberry, mango and many other vegan yoghurt flavors.

Vegan butter substitutes have been around for a long time and are an excellent 1: 1 substitute for butter in baking. Apart from that, you can always use coconut oil when baking sweets. Learn more about replacing milk here.

FAQ

  1. What do vegans eat instead of dairy?
    Soy, rice, almond, coconut, hemp milk are the most common vegan alternatives to dairy milk.
  2. Are vegan dairy alternatives healthy?
    Vegan cheese, like conventional cheese, can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation; however, excessively processed alternatives should be avoided. Vegan cheeses, on the other hand, are not all made equal. Some are heavily processed and have lower nutritional value than others, which is why you should keep a close eye on the label to determine which the healthiest options around you are. When it comes to replacing milk – soy and almond milk might be the healthiest options.

Replacing Eggs

Eggs in baking can easily be replaced with flax or chia seeds. To learn more about how to replace eggs for plant-based recipes, check out this article I wrote not so long ago.

Replacing Cheese

Animal-based cheese can be replaced by many alternatives such as soy or rice-based cheese. Be aware that many brands contain casein, a milk protein. Another vegan cheese option is soiled tofu, which is very nutritious. Cheese, just like meat substitutes nowadays has been made by many different brands and you can easily find all kinds of alternatives out there. You can find mozzarella, cheddar, cream cheese and anything else your heart desires. If you can’t find cheese alternatives in your local area, try to join a vegan Facebook group or check on Twitter if someone who lives near may have information on where you can find it.

Worst case, you can always order online! Nowadays there are tons of online vegan stores selling various cheese types – even quite a few particular aged cheese options.

Best of all is that you can always make your own vegan cheese – try these 12 vegan cheese recipes to find the one that suits your needs.

Changing to a plant-based diet is not easy but nowadays it is easier than it has ever been before. Feel free to reach out on our email at mindfulducks@gmail.com and ask any questions you may have.

Find more tips for new vegans right here:

Vegan Spinach and Lentil Cream Soup

Vegan lentil soup is considered by many the ultimate comfort food. It’s rich in flavor, full of warm spices, and contains a healthy dose of fiber. This hearty vegan soup is hearty enough to satisfy even the hungriest of diners. If you want a hearty soup to whip up in no time, this is the one for you.

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