Veganuary Tips: How to Replace Animal Protein in Your Daily Meals
30 Mar 2022 by Jenny Edwards

A vegan diet means cutting out everything that’s derived from animals–that means honey, dairy, and eggs, too. Many people are interested in a vegan diet for both health and ethical reasons. Not only can a shift to veganism save billions of animals per year, but it can also save humans. According to a study from 2016, a global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050. 

If this diet piques your interest, Veganuary is the best time to experiment. You have an entire month to try it out, and you can even tackle the challenge with friends to give it an element of competition. Even once January is over, and you decide that it’s not working for you, you can still maintain some habits, e.g. eating plant-based meats or having oat milk with your morning coffee. And if you don’t feel ready to take on the challenge this year, there’s always next year!

The topic of veganism often stirs up debates on protein. Many people believe that you cannot get enough protein on a vegan diet; however, it’s actually much easier than you think.

Why plant protein?

Raised cholesterol is estimated to cause millions of deaths each year. The worst foods for boosting cholesterol levels are animal products, such as eggs, cheese, and processed meats. Plants have the opposite effect: they are free from cholesterol and rich in soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Therefore, if cholesterol is a concern for you, switching to plant protein is one of the greatest decisions you can make. It’s excellent for weight management, too.
Many studies have shown that a high intake of red meat and processed meat can be linked to a higher risk of diseases, such as heart disease and certain cancers, whereas a plant-rich diet has been found to lower this risk

Try vegan protein shakes

There are many vegan protein powders on the market, such as Pulsin and Vivolife. Rather than whey, these products are made from plant-based alternatives like soy, pea, rice, or hemp. 

Learn how to use tofu and tempeh

Trust me when I say that tofu and tempeh are two of the best secret weapons a vegan can have in the kitchen. They are versatile, high in nutrients (yes, protein, too), and they’re easy to use once you’ve put in some practice. Preparing raw meat takes a lot of effort and care, and tofu and tempeh are no different. Tempeh can be slightly easier to cook because you don’t have to press the liquid out beforehand, like tofu. You can make all sorts of delicious foods using these soy-derived ingredients, from crispy bacon to creamy egg whites. 

Fill your kitchen with umami flavours

The natural umami flavour in animal products is one of the main reasons they’re so appealing to the tastebuds--it’s complex, savoury and delicious. Fortunately, it’s possible to replicate the umami flavour by using soy sauce, marmite, mushrooms, and miso paste. You can also increase umami flavours by using particular cooking techniques, such as roasting and caramelising. 

Embrace the versatility of veggies

I believe that people who claim not to like vegetables just haven’t eaten enough varieties. Every vegetable is hugely versatile, meaning they can be cooked in different ways, prepared in different ways, with different spices and seasonings, and served with different food combinations. Cauliflower is the perfect example; you can boil it, fry it, roast it, and so on. You can make cauliflower into hot wings, steak, pizza crusts, blend it into soup, and so on! All vegetables have protein, but those higher in protein include Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, spinach and sweet potato.

Create meat-free versions of your comfort meals

If your favourite high protein meal is a loaded burger, then look into how you can veganize a burger with all the trimmings. You can find replacements for most things, so it shouldn’t be difficult. Making meals familiar to you but omitting the meat is a simple way of making veganism as easy and delicious as possible. Don’t feel as if you have to eat falafels and salads all of the time. You can enjoy spaghetti bolognese, jacket potatoes, burrito bowls, and so much more even when you’re plant-based.

Protein-packed vegan recipes

30 Mar 2022
Jenny Edwards

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