Veganism is one of those diet lifestyles that promise a lot of health benefits, from weight loss to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Veganism also looks into the relationship between man, animals, and our responsibility to the environment around us as humans.
Sometimes venturing into veganism can become overwhelming when you are starting because there are people who take it to the extreme and say everybody who eats meat or meat products are bad people. Some are more balanced and understand that life is not black and white.
Whichever group of people you experience, it is okay, as long as you are choosing this lifestyle because you want to and it brings you joy, then you will be fine.
It is also wise to not get caught up into eating just vegan fast food because you don’t know what to buy at the supermarket, so here is a list of essential foods to stock up your pantry with if you are starting the vegan lifestyle:
Here are foods that should be part of a healthful vegan diet.
This grain is rich in carbohydrates and can be prepared in so many ways. It is an excellent food item to try out. There are several types of rice, from brown rice, white rice, basmati to red rice. As different as they are, so are their flavors, and they are very delicious. Some ways to prepare rice are:
- Plain white, black or brown rice
- Fried rice with fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, green beans, and any other vegetables of your choice, with soy sauce for flavor
- Add cooked rice to soups
- Rice, freshly sliced mangoes and any veggies of your choice
There are also a lot of vegan rice recipes on the internet to try, google some, and experiment until you find the ones you love and can prepare very well.
Beans Is an excellent source of protein and are rich in fiber. They are incredibly filling, and if you want to lose weight, beans are an excellent option to add to your meals.
Beans are also known for making some people gassy and also take a longer time to cook. In order to shorten cooking time, you can soak them for a little while, then cook as needed, or you can buy a pressure cooker (instant pot), and that will shorten the cooking time as well.
The instant cooker is also suitable for rice and so many other things so you will definitely get your money’s worth. Some of the things to eat beans with are:
- Beans and rice.
- Beans and bread of your choice
- Tacos (Tortillas, beans, avocados, vegan taco meat, salsa, top with tahini sauce). The goal is to experiment until you find a recipe you genuinely love.
- Beans with coriander sweet potato salads
There are so numerous ways to prepare beans, don’t be scared to try out new recipes.
There are so many vegan bread options such as sourdoughs, pita bread, Ezekiel bread e.t.c.
Tofu and tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are rich in protein, iron, and calcium.
- Tofu can be scrambled and eaten in place of eggs.
- It can be fried and grilled.
If you miss fish, tempeh is a delicious alternative.
Lentil is similar to beans because they are both legumes. There are different types of lentils. Try them out and figure out the one you prefer.
You can bake, cooked, or even fried sweet potatoes. They are very delicious. They can be eaten with your favorite sauce, added to a Buddha bowl, or even a recipe of black bean stuffed sweet potatoes.
Plant kinds of milk contain fiber and lots of nutrients, which is vital to good health. You can try almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, oat milk e.t.c.
It is impossible to doubt the benefits of chickpeas. They are beneficial, which include vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of this can improve and strengthen your immunity.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy proteins and macronutrients, which are well known for regulating blood pressure, cholesterol, and improving heart health. You can try almonds, cashew nuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, groundnuts e.t.c.).
Nut butter (peanut and almond butter)
As you know, nuts are very healthy. Peanut and almond butter is an excellent and energizing add to your diet.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
You can experiment with different types of fruits and vegetables you have never tried before.
For sweet treats
- Banana ice cream (freeze sliced bananas and blend)
- Peanut butter bites (put peanut butter and confectioner sugar or other sugar replacement of your choice in a mixer or beat with whist, after mixing well, roll the mixture into balls and put on parchment paper, then freeze for a minimum of 1 hour. You can add vegan chocolate chips when rolling the balls if you want).
There are vitamins in oats (many B and K vitamins), carotene, iodine, iron, zinc, and potassium. All these play an essential role in the well-built functioning of the body. You can try:
- Cooked oats + sugar alone
- Cooked oats + frozen berries
- Cooked oats + fruits of your choice + almond milk
- Cooked oats + peanut butter + banana
- Overnight soaked oats with fruits of your choice
- Oats can be blended to be used as flour for baking
There are so many ways to eat oats. Oats are very good for weight loss and for going for a long period of time without meals if you busy because they are filling. They regulate G.I. tract movements and prevent constipation.
Don’t forget to add certain vitamin supplements, for example, B12 to your diet because certain vitamins and minerals are lacking or are in small quantities in plant foods. And for a regular meat-eater, they can get those nutrients from meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and fish, but for a vegan lifestyle to be healthy and active, looking into replacing those missing nutrients will be of value to you and your health overall.
For sweet craving, check out vegan popsicle recipe online, chocolate cakes, and muffins. There are so many vegan recipes all over the internet to satisfy your sugary cravings.
Fruits such as banana, mangos, strawberries, and nectarines are a natural source of sweetness to satisfy your sugary cravings without baking anything.