If you’re interested in going vegan, or have recently adopted the lifestyle, one of the most common questions is how to replace meat and dairy items in your diet, which are a staple of most non-vegan diets. It is also important to choose foods that are protein rich, and make up for the nutrients that one misses when they ditch animal products. Fortunately, with the rise of veganism globally, there are many different options for cruelty-free substitutes.
Beef Replacement Products
- The Impossible Burger: This burger is made with soy and potato proteins that deliver a whopping 19 grams of protein per serving. It also provides 25% of the daily value of iron, a key nutrient that many vegans need to be aware of when going meat-free. The brand also makes ground “beef”, sausages, “chicken” nuggets, and meatballs. It has even been adopted by fast food chains such as Burger King, making it easier to eat vegan on the go.
- The Beyond Burger: This burger is made from a variety of plant based proteins, including pea, rice, mung beans, which when combined, create a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids. It provides 20 grams of protein per serving, and has been steadily gaining popularity and appearing in many fast food chains such as Carl’s Jr, Bareburger, and many more. Beyond also offers products such as sausage, “meat” crumbles and balls, and “chicken”.
- The Boca Vegan Burger: This burger, while not as close to real meat in taste as the two above options, still has a seat at our table of favorites because of its high protein to calorie ratio, which is 13 grams for each 70 calorie patty. Just be sure to choose the vegan option, as Boca makes other patties that are made with eggs and dairy for vegetarians.
Chicken Replacement Products
- Quorn: One of our favorite tasty chicken-like snacks, Quorn really nails the texture and flavoring without the animal. They have a ton of options that can help complete different types of meals, such as meatless fillets, spicy meatless patties, meatless pieces, and more, with all having nearly 17 grams of protein per serving.
- Gardien: Gardien is another brand that has a vast variety of products, and some complete with sauces for easy dinners. Teriyaki chicken, chicken strips, chicken patties, and more make tasty and simple meals, and these options have an average of 15 grams of protein per serving.
There are so many different types of milk that it seems almost every plant and nut can be turned into milk. Here are some great options:
- Oat milk: This substitute is the highest in calories of plant based milks, and is popular due to its creamy and subtle flavor. This milk is not gluten free, however, so those with celiac or gluten intolerance need to avoid it.
- Soy milk: Soy milk is the oldest and most common substitute for cow’s milk, and has the highest protein content out of the plant based options. It has many health benefits, such as improving brain and heart health.
- Almond milk: A very popular option, almond milk has more calcium than cow’s milk, while also having less fat, sugar, and calories. It can be used for most recipes with little taste difference if you get unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. It is also available in many flavored varieties.
As we have mentioned previously, one of the biggest concerns for new vegans is making sure that they are getting enough of the vitamins and nutrients that they are missing out on by taking out meat and dairy products. A great way to combat this is to take a vegan multivitamin, and to also take nutritional supplements. Here is a list of supplements that vegans most commonly lack.
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
- Vegan long-chain omega-3s
We wish you the best of luck on your journey to greener living! Be sure to look out for more tips in future articles, and feel free to contact us if there is a topic you would be interested to learn about; chances are people in the Flourish community are looking for the same information, and we’ll give you a shout-out for your participation!