Easy Vegan Recipes You Can Prepare Right Away

By on January 26, 2016
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Vegan

Vegan is someone who does not eat fish, meat or poultry. Rather they do not eat or use anything made from animal products or processed foods like wool, leather, fur, silk, cosmetics and so on.

Why is this necessary to some
Well people choose a way of life for different reasons, but for vegans, i could say its because of health, environmental and maybe ethical reasons. Some believe by being vegans they are living and promoting a lifestyle that cares about humanity and animals

Overview of Vegan Nutrition
A vegan nutrition consists of fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and lots of leafy green vegetables.

Here are 12 things you need to know before choosing to become a vegan

 

Vegan Diet vegan diet

Vegan diet consists of only plants and it’s derivatives like vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.

Animal products like dairy products and eggs are a no no for Vegans

How do you eat and live healthy as a Vegan?
To eat and live healthy as a vegan you need to get bulk of your nutrients from eating a variety of well balanced vegan diet. To eat healthy

Drink lots of fluids as recommended 6-8 glasses a day

Opt for unsaturated oils or good fat oils and spreads and make sure to eat in small amounts

Eat more proteins

Switch to some dairy alternatives like yogurts and soya drinks, choose lower sugar and fat options

Center your food on starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and wholegrains if possible

Make sure you eat a minimum of five portions of fruits and veggies each day.

Getting the right quantity and quality of nutrients from your diet as a vegan

With a proper guideline and understanding of what makes up a healthy vegan diet, you can get the most essential nutrients your body needs. You should know that if you do not plan your diet properly you caould lack important nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12

For Pregnant and breastfeeding Vegans
Be sure you get enough vitamins and minerals to support your child’s development.

For more information check out vegetarian and vegan mums to be

Sources of Calcium and Vitamin D for Vegans
Calcium is important for bone formation and management as well as for teeth health, some good sources includes

  • Dried fruits like apricots, prunes, figs and raisins
  • Brown and white bread because as per UK law calcium is to be added to white and brown flour
  • Sesame seeds and flax seeds
  • Tofus rich in calcium
  • Nourished and fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oats
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The body also needs Vitamin D to thrive and regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D also help keep teeth, bones and muscles healthy and in shape. Some sources of Vitamin D for Vegans include

Sunshine, but always remember to protect your skin before it begins to turn red or burn

Nourished and fortified oils and spreads, unsweetened soya drinks and breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin D

Vitamin D supplements
Sources of Iron for Vegan
Iron is very much needed for the formation of red blood cells, vegan diet can be iron rich, but most iron from plant based food is absorbed by the body less than derived from meat

Here are some sources

  • Wholemeal bread and flours
  • Dried fruits like figs, prunes and apricots
  • Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, watercress and the likes
  • Cereals fortified with iron

Sources of Vitamin B12 for Vegans

Vitamin B12 is needed by the body to maintain a healthy blood and nervous system. This vitamin is found naturally in foods that are derived from animals. So therefore, vegans are somewhat limited and an alternative will be to use supplements to augument

Some sources may include

  • Yeast extracts
  • Unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12
  • Cereals fortified with B12

Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Vegans

Omega 3 fatty acids is basically derived from oily fish and it aids the proper functioning of a healthy heart as well as reduce the risk of heart disease when added to your diet

Some sources include

  • Walnuts
  • Soya oil and soya derived foods like tofu
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Sadly omega 3 fatty acids derived from plant sources may not have the same benefits in heart health as compared to those in oily fish

Vegan Proteinvegan protein

Am sure you must be wondering if vegans do get proteins required, be at rest because vegans do get enough protein easily.

Protein Overview
Protein is a combination of amino acids which play specific roles in our bodies from muscle development to metabolism, there are 9 essential proteins our bodies need to function optimally.

What’s the required amount of protein needed by the body?

According to the U.S health body, the dietary reference intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8grams per kilogram of body weight. To calculate and get more insight please use the USDA DRI Calculator

Is animal protein of higher quality than plant protein?
Hell yes, animal protein contains all the amino acids needed by the body, if you eat just beef alone for a long period, yes you won’t suffer protein deficiency, but you will suffer other deficiencies. The point here is, you can’t eat just one particular food, we eat a variety of foods most of which have some form of protein or the other, at the end of the day we get all the essential amino acids needed. I hope this makes sense.

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If you eat enough food to sustain your activity level and you also eat a wide variety of whole foods, you will get all the essential protein you need without having to use any supplements

Table – protein content of selected vegan foods

Table 1: Sample Menus Showing How Easy It Is To Meet Protein Needs
Protein (grams)
Breakfast: 1 cup Oatmeal 6
1 cup Soy Milk 7
1 medium Bagel 10
Lunch: 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread 7
1 cup Vegetarian Baked Beans 12
Dinner: 5 oz firm Tofu 12
1 cup cooked Broccoli 4
1 cup cooked Brown Rice 5
2 Tbsp Almonds 4
Snack: 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8
6 Crackers 2
TOTAL 77 grams
Protein Recommendation for Male Vegan 63 grams
[based on 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 70 kilogram (154 pound) male]
Breakfast: 2 slices Whole Wheat Toast 7
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 8
Lunch: 6 oz Soy Yogurt 6
2 Tbsp Almonds 4
1 medium Baked Potato 3
Dinner: 1 cup cooked Lentils 18
1 cup cooked Bulgur 6
Snack: 1 cup Soy Milk 7
TOTAL 59 grams
Protein Recommendation for Female Vegan 52 grams
[based on 0.9 gram of protein per kilogram body weight for 57.5 kilogram (126 pound) female]
Additional food should be added to these menus to provide adequate calories and to meet requirements for nutrients besides protein.

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Vegan Foods

It’s certain that on average, vegan’s diets weighs less and has a lower risk of causing heart diseases or any form of cancer. And there are lots of nutricious foods to choose from fruits and veggies to legumes, whole grains and healthy fats. A list or guide of healthy vegan food plan would be handy and useful

Fruits and veggies is one of the main foods of vegans, it helps control weight and also reduces the risk of heart diseases and osteorathritis. They are sources of dietary fiber, potassium and anti-oxidants, to get over 1000 calories from vegan diet , you should include at least 2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day. To spice your breakfast up, add some fruits to your cereals and yogurts or as a snack add some veggies like kale, parsley, asparagus and spinach to your sandwishes and soups.

Vegan food list

Whole grains are rich in bran, endosperm and germ which compounds of grain kernel and is a natural source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants and iron. Fortified grains also provide folic acid, always choose enriched grains over refined grains, as the latter is lower in natural nutrients. Preferably choose whole wheat bread, brown rice over white. Other whole grain options you can consider include

  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Popcorn
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain cereals

Nuts & Seeds
These are good for a healthy heart as they contain good saturated fats which is good for lowering cholesterol. They also contain essential nutrients like protein, vitamin E and protein.

Cheat nutrient-dense combo

Try some peanut butter with baby carrots or celery sticks with a little mix of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

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Also you can add walnuts to oatmeal.

Warning: Nuts and seeds are high in calories, so consuming to much of it can lead to weight gain

Soy Foods are a vegans delight because they are plant based sources of protein and amino acids which are required by the body. Other nutrients present in soy foods are iron, fiber and zinc.

Lentils, Peas & Bean
These foods combination gives complete protein, legumes on it’s own has incomplete protein. Adding these foods to other vegan foods like salad, whole grain pasta provides a complete protein profile

Check this out for a well put together and comprehensive vegan food list  you can add to your grocery list

Vegan Food Resources
The Ultimate Vegan Grocery Shopping List

Vegan Cheesevegan cheese

Cheese is a dairy product made from animal milk which is a taboo for vegans, but that vegans can’t always be denied the luxuries of life, so cheese made from non animal products is an alternative.

The make up of vegan cheese
Normal cheese is made from casein, a type of milk protein extracted from animal milk. Vegan cheese is made from plant based derivatives by combining the proteins from different plants with lactic bacteria added for acidity. Emulsifiers, thickeners and oils are added to make it firm.

 

Vegan Cheese Ingredients

Vegan cheese are made differently, some are made from soy protein, vegetable oils like coconut and palm to solidify, nutritional yeast, thickening flases, nuts, natural enzymes, assorted bacterial cultures, vegetable glycerin and some made from pea protein.

But you need to watch it as some vegan cheese are highly processed to get flavours and feel right. Some vegan cheese may have even been through as much processing as standard American cheese slice or vegetable burgers
How does Vegan Cheese taste?
Well it does not taste like real cheese because real cheese goes through a process where the proteins used physically bond with each other which is why so many variety of flavours and textures can be gotten as a result of the aging of the cheese

Vegan cheese does not go through such a process so it cannot deliver the type of sophisticated flavours that is obtained as a result of the coagulation, acidification, pasteurized and aging the milk goes throuugh

These 25 Vegan Cheeses Will Make You Quit Dairy Forever

16 LIFE CHANGING VEGAN CHEESE RECIPES

Vegan Recipes

I bet you never thought or imagined that there would be lots of mouth watering recipes for vegans, well rejoice! Here is a comprehensive list of vegan recipes

Vegan Recipes from Foodnetwork
Vegan Recipes from PeTA
BBC Good Food Vegan Recipes
The Vegan Society Recipes

Easy Vegan Recipes you can prepare right away

Here is a list of special vegan recipe you can make yourself

Jamie Oliver Vegan Recipe

Resource
The Vegan Kit

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