Tips for Vegan Living
I have listed some helpful tips below based on the most common questions I get about transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
Replacing Eggs in Baking
Eggs have traditionally been used in baking to bind ingredients together. Chia and Flax Eggs are a much better way to keep everything from falling apart. These seeds are both superfoods and their health benefits are a mile long. Not only do they have the omega 3’s our body crave but they are rich in health promoting fiber. Next time you are making cookies, muffins or cake replace your eggs with Chia or Flax Eggs for perfect nutrient dense results.
1 Chia or Flax Egg = 1 Tablespoon Chia or Flax Seeds (ground) + 3 Tablespoons Water. Mix and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Use as you would one egg in baking.
Note: Flax seeds must be ground if you want to get the omega 3 benefits. Chia seeds can be used whole or ground. To grind your seeds use a coffee grinder, blender or food processor.
Storing open Tofu
Once you open a package of firm tofu you can store whatever portion you do not use by placing it in a bowl, covering with water and storing in the fridge. You must change the water every day and the tofu will be good for a week.
Healthy Snacking Ideas
Cut up Fruit and Veggies – the original fast food
Trail mix – make your own using the nuts, seeds and dried fruit that you like (eg raisins, gogi berries, almonds, cranberries, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
Whole grain crackers with slathered with nut butter or hummus
Medjool dates stuffed with almonds, pecans or nut butter
Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast
Tortillas with almond butter and banana
Coconut Water for a quick pick me up on the go
Guacamole (1 avocado mashed with 1/2 lemon juiced, pinch sea salt, 1 clove garlic minced) served with crackers, veggies, rice cakes, in a wrap or on lettuce leaves.
Adding in some Tempeh
Tempeh is a nice alternative to tofu because it is fermented first and easier to digest. It is also extremely high in protein and has a nice chewy texture. Adding tempeh into your diet a couple of times a week is wonderful. Crumbled up in stews or chili, grilled on the BBQ in a nice BBQ sauce or cut into thin slices and marinaded in a blend of your favourite vinegar, garlic and maple syrup and pan fried. When not crumbling the tempeh it is a good idea to steam it for 20 minutes either in the whole block form or sliced to reduce the bitter taste and then continue with cooking it for a short period of time on the BBQ or in a frying pan.
Nutritional Yeast and where to find it
Nutritional yeast is a tasty non-active yeast that has a flaky texture and some and a cheesy, nutty flavour. It is amazing on popcorn, as the base for a wicked cheese sauce or sprinkled on rice or quinoa. Depending on the manufacturer it is often incredibly high in B12 as well making it a tasty vitamin superstar. Find it in health food stores and in bulk food stores.
To make a fabulous batch of parmesan mix 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast with 2 Tablespoons of hemp hearts or sesame seeds along with a little pinch of salt (optional) in a food processor or coffee grinder and grind for about 20 seconds. Voila you have a healthy, kind and delicious parmesan. Spoon liberally over pasta, pizza, noodles, popcorn or anything needing some cheesy love.
How to Build your Vegan Pantry
Start buying some of this stuff
Poultry Seasoning (more innocent than it sounds)
Grains & Flours
Brown Rice Flour
Legumes and Legume Products
Tofu – Firm or Extra Firm
Brown (green) Lentils
Chickpeas (canned or dry)
Black Beans (canned or dry)
Better than Dairy
Daiya Shreds (mozzarella, cheddar or pepperjack)
Egg-Free Mayonnaise (eg. Vegenaise)
Plant Based Milks (soy, rice, almond etc)
Soy or Coconut Yougurt
Dairy Free Ice Cream (soy, coconut, almond)
Oils & Vinegars
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Vegetable Oil (safflower, sunflower)
Toasted Sesame Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Nuts & Seeds
Hemp Seeds (Hearts)
Sweeteners & Dried Fruit & Chocolate
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free)
Unrefined Sugar (eg. Sucanet, coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice)
Cacao Powder (raw, unprocessed cocoa)
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Spices, Seasoning & Condiments
Braggs Soy Seasoning (also called Liquid Aminos)
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Things in Cans and Jars
See the beans in the legumes section
Canned Whole Tomatoes
Canned Chopped Tomatoes
Whole grain pizza shells
Whole grain flour tortillas or rice tortillas