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21 October, 2016

Vegan Cooking Substitutes- Easy and Effective Tips By Mandy

Comments : 11 Posted in : Guest Posts, Hot Topics on Health, Tips to make daily food healthy on by : apsara Tags: , ,

Gosh, it has been a while since I wrote a post. (again!) 
While I gather some stuff and work on a recipe, here is a guest post by Mandy Wang, a health blogger at I Keep Healthy. A traditional Chinese medicine doctor by training, she shares her recipes and home remedies in her website.
Some of my favorite posts in Mandy’s website are:
Here are some of the tips she shares for newbies to Vegan Cooking. Here we go, in her own words:
So you’ve either gone vegan, or you’re going to. It can be a seemingly intimidating lifestyle choice and many joke that you just have to eat ‘rabbit food’. Don’t be put off or afraid. Chances are you’ve already had a vegan meal, and just don’t know about it. Vegan cooking can be (and is!) fun, easy, and delicious. Not to mention that it comes with quite a few health benefits! Here are some quick and easy tips to get you started cooking vegan today!

1 – Meat Substitutes

All too often, people think that going vegan means that you have to swap all your meaty foods for faux meats. While this can be tasty and novel at first – it can get a little boring after a while.
Tofu and textured vegetable proteins can really only take a dish so far. I shared a great Tofu recipe on my website, you can check that out.
So what’s something I can suggest that’s not only a great and tasty alternative to pre-made meat substitutes, but also a little cheaper if you’re cooking on a budget? You guessed it – mushrooms! There are a huge variety of mushrooms, with lots of different textures and tastes. It’s nearly impossible to not find a mushroom that will compliment and suit a dish that you make. From mushroom bacon (made from portabella slices) to mushroom tacos (using diced white mushrooms), mushrooms are versatile and easy to work with.

2 – Vegan-friendly Sweeteners

Most times when someone chooses to replace sugar in their diets with a healthier alternative, honey is a no-brainer. But honey is not a vegan food, as it is derived from bees. Some other excellent sweetener choices are agave, date, maple, and golden syrups. Play around and find out what tastes you like best and what works for your cooking needs.
If you’re going for desserts, I recommend 100% pure maple syrup. The taste isn’t overpowering and it’s incredibly sweet. Just be sure to check out alternative measuring guides as 1 cup of sugar does not necessarily mean 1 cup of syrup. If you want a heartier, “meatier” taste, I’ve found that agave works really well as it has a naturally more rich flavor.

3 – Milk Alternatives

Now this can be, for many, the trickiest part to get right. There’s such a wide variety of ‘milks’ out there now, that it can be a little intimidating for the vegan newbie.
My preferred milk substitute is coconut milk. It’s thick, hearty, and has a wonderful, light flavor. It’s perfect for curries and soups. However, there’s rice milk, soy milk, almond milk – and the list does go on! All of these have different cooking temperatures and are better suited for different things.
Be adventurous with it. Find the tastes you like and read over guides for cooking with the milks you like best. There are tons of guides around and lots of helpful advice. You merely need to seek it!

4 – Avoid Malnutrition

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth with this particular topic. People say the vegan lifestyle is healthier, but then someone else comes along and says that you have to take a bunch of vitamins just to stay alive. This is not entirely true. Yes, it can be easier to become malnourished if you suddenly cut all meat and animal products from your diet.
However, it does not mean that you’re going to die or that you have to spend the rest of your life popping dozens of vitamins a day. Variety is the key to getting all the nutrients you need. And who doesn’t like variety? There’s a reason there are so many vegan dishes out there to try.
Yes, you should absolutely talk to your doctor and make sure that you don’t need to take any extra vitamins, but most people who go vegan end up just taking one or two ‘normal’ daily vitamins. It’s hardly any different from people who choose to eat meat and other animal products. Just be sure that you have a varied, colorful, and full diet and you shouldn’t have
anything to worry about.

 5 – Read Labels

Lastly, and this shouldn’t surprise you too much, check all labels. Tortillas may seem like a vegan-friendly way to eat your sandwiches now, but a lot of them are still made with animal products such as lard or butter.
As with any ‘restricted’ diet, you’ll have to be vigilant. If you don’t know what something is – look it up on your phone before you buy the item in question. You’d be surprised how many companies manage to sneak in animal products by using something derived from animal and calling it something else. (Like some food dyes being made from beetle shells –
ewe)! But by simply educating yourself and reading labels, you’ll be just
Hopefully, I’ve been able to help you in your quest to cook vegan-friendly at home. It’s not hard or scary or boring. It’s tons of fun. I had a hard time narrowing down this list because the possibilities are endless! Give it a try, be brave, and have fun doing it!
Linking this at Deborah’s Plant Based Potluck Party #107. Also linking this post at Fiesta Friday #142 co-hosted by Elaine @ Foodbod and Michelle @ O Blog Off. Sorry for my late entry ladies, and thank you for co-hosting the party!


11 thoughts on : Vegan Cooking Substitutes- Easy and Effective Tips By Mandy

    • apsara
      October 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

      Thanks, Jovina. I agree with you. I like these too!

  • October 25, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Interesting post, Apsara, and very timely as choosing a vegan lifestyle is gaining huge popularity, in the U.K. and elsewhere. Thank you for sharing these tips with everyone at Fiesta Friday xx

    • apsara
      October 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      So glad you liked this post, Elaine. I love these tips too!

  • October 26, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Very interesting! I’ve recently started incorporating more plant-based dishes into my diet. Thanks for all the tips!

    • apsara
      October 28, 2016 at 7:41 am

      Thank you, Angie. I liked these tips too. Simple and sensible.

  • Pingback: Share Vegan Food & Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #108

  • October 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing these healthy and helpful vegan cooking substitutes and effective tips at the Plant-based Potluck Party. I’m pinning and sharing.

    • apsara
      October 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you, Deborah!

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