Do Vegans Have to Compromise?
Here’s a secret… no! Just because you’re eating vegan food, doesn’t mean you need to compromise and miss out on the flavours and what you were eating before the switch. In fact, when looking at all the vegan options for meat replacements, there is arguably more choice compared to the restrictions from relying on the flavour of the meat.
1. The Rise of the Substitutes
You can’t go into a shop now without seeing something branded vegan – whether that’s an ‘accidentally vegan’ product, or a specific vegan product. Anything from milk to ice cream; croissants to a pain au chocolat; brioche bread to garlic bread; ‘chicken’ nuggets to burgers and sausages; you will be able to continue eating the same style, flavours and meals you were before the switch… well, mostly!
When it comes to substitute foods like burgers, sausages and chicken for example, there are plenty of familiar flavours and textures. Some people may not want the taste and texture of meat, whilst others might, so there is a lot of choice to suit all preferences.
There has been a recent surge in the number of vegan substitutes and alternatives on the market, due to the increase in the number of vegan brands as well as supermarket own brand vegan ranges. So if you are someone that doesn’t want to stop having burgers, yoghurt or ice cream, then fear not… you don’t have to!
2. Meat-Free Doesn’t Mean ‘Meatless’
Just because you’re removing the meat from your meal, doesn’t mean you need to remove the meat element. Cheese, milk and butter can easily be replaced without any taste difference in a meal, but the meat element may need more thought. Shop bought direct vegan substitutes and alternatives are full of flavour and some are like-for-like with texture, but you can make your own without losing flavour or texture.
With simply water, flour and a bit of time, you can make your very own chicken substitute; marinate some tofu with whatever spices and flavouring you prefer for a meat replacement; dried soya mince or chunks, lentils or minced mushrooms make for a great mince alternative. There are lots of options, it’s just about finding your favourite.
3. Unnecessary Dairy
When we think about what we use dairy for, there isn’t really much of a need to stick to the dairy. There isn’t much of a difference in taste when it’s used in meals and baking, so there’s no compromises there!
Cheese is always a talking point with veganism, but there are so many types of vegan cheeses to choose from, you’re bound to find one that you like. The same goes for milk – different brands and different nuts (or oat) gives different thickness and consistencies, whilst butter on toast is still butter on toast, no difference at all!
Cream and yoghurt are just as thick and flavourful as the dairy options and what’s better, cream can be made at home with only three ingredients you’re bound to have in your cupboard.
4. Egg-ception to the Rule
There are some compromises to be made with egg, but only if you like a boiled or poached egg. Scrambled egg, omelettes, frittatas, pancakes, cookies and cakes are all taken care of! With so many egg options, you can get your desired flavour, texture and look without a worry.
Not only can you use a literal egg substitute that looks just like egg, but you can use ground flaxseeds to bake, applesauce or milk and vinegar. You could also always use tofu as a replacement for scramble, it just needs flavouring as such.
There are so many options available to us now, that adopting a vegan lifestyle is not about compromise, it’s about expansion.