A Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions
Whether you’re thinking of doing Veganuary or fully committing to going plant-based, following a vegan diet has never been easier thanks to an ever-increasing range of inspiring vegan products.
Rapidly growing in popularity, it’s a diet that continues to be followed for health, environmental and ethical reasons. With our mouth-watering selection of recipes and thousands of vegan products to choose from, there’s never a reason for the vegan diet to be dull.
Vegan food excludes all animal products including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and honey. It focuses on obtaining nutrition from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses, as well as processed products such as firm or silken tofu which can be a great source of protein.
If you’re gluten intolerant and wondering whether the vegan diet is possible to follow without consuming gluten then the answer is yes. Gluten-free wheat alternatives such as chickpea flour, or gram flour, are popular choices in Indian cuisine as it contains healthy nutrients, and almond or buckwheat flour are great options too. Many vegan products are also certified gluten-free.
With meat and dairy out of bounds, following the vegan diet can be a great way to kick off the new year and break those decadent Christmas habits that can be ever-so tempting to continue into the colder months of the year. Instead, why not try creating an array of colourful and satisfying dishes that are also easy to make?
Add a bit of sunshine to the winter months with this hearty BBQ Pulled Jackfruit with Sweetcorn Salsa. Originating in India and Southeast Asia, jackfruit has a rich and textured flesh that can be shredded, with subtle flavours of pineapple, mango and banana that make it a fantastic alternative to pulled pork.
Served in bread buns and topped with a piquant sweetcorn salsa, this vegan-friendly recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare meaning it’s also the perfect tasty mid-week dinner for the whole family.
Or try ready-pulled and flavoured jackfruit as a substitute in these pulled pork baps with sweet potato fries. Rocket salad and fresh lime juice add a wonderful freshness to this recipe that uses just six ingredients.
This celeriac steak with miso mushrooms, bean mash and herb oil offers a seriously ‘meaty’ alternative that is full of flavour with a moreish umami flavour from the roasted miso mushrooms. Rich and warming, it makes a great choice for a chilly winter evening.
If Italian dishes such as lasagne are what you love to cook, then plant-based mince such as this one from Vivera means there’s no need to say arrivederci. Choose egg-free pasta for a vegan version of your favourite Italian dish.
Or if you’re crazy about cheese, there’s a whole range of delicious vegan cheeses from melty mozzarella perfect for a pasta bake to camembert for pairing with crackers. As an alternative to Parmesan cheese, these nutritious yeast flakes have become a vegan staple due to their ‘cheesy’ flavour and are a fantastic addition generously scattered over a vegan bolognese.
There’s also no need to miss out on milk in your coffee or that (well-deserved) Sunday afternoon tea and cake, with milk alternatives including oat, almond, rice, hazelnut, soya and coconut.
Try substituting the butter and eggs in your favourite cake for vegan ingredients. Instead of butter, most vegan cakes use a non-dairy fat such as a nut butter, margarine or coconut oil while egg replacements include aquafaba (chickpea water), mashed banana and flax seeds.
Try cashew butter instead of dairy butter and coconut oil as a vegan egg replacement in a cake or dessert. Smooth nut butters also make a wonderful alternative to butter icing or a great afternoon snack spread on rice cakes. Or, if you’re not sure what chocolate is vegan, pick a dark chocolate bar or box that specifically states it’s vegan-friendly such as these award-winning chocolate truffles from Booja Booja.
For a quick and luxurious dessert, try this vegan recipe for Instant Avo Choccy Mousse made from avocados and maple syrup. Naturally creamy and thick, avocado has a neutral flavour that enables the chocolate to sing. Add a sprinkling of sea salt or some crunchy (vegan) salted caramel pieces for added decadence. It’s also delicious paired with fresh seasonal berries.
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Following a vegan diet can be a fantastic way to reach your health goals in the New Year, without sacrificing on flavour. With a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to choose from and thousands of delicious vegan-friendly products, there’s always a new ingredient or combination to try. Whether it’s choosing the best vegan egg substitutes, what to sprinkle your chia seeds on, or how to approach vegan baking, we’ve got a wealth of vegan recipes you’ll love.
Head on over to the vegan aisle or explore our vegan recipe collection for inspiration.
Before dramatically changing your diet, it’s always worth speaking to a health official such as your local GP.