Making Vegan Easy
The new year is upon us, so here are some tips to help you kick-off 2017 in the healthiest possible way.
Being a healthy, happy vegan can be simple - especially with the help of some fantastic kitchen essentials. Here are some of the foods and gadgets I keep in my kitchen. They all play a part in my daily routine and help me to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Nutribullet (or powerful blender)
The Nutribullet is a multi-purpose blender that is perfect for creating healthy morning smoothies, helping you kick-start your day. It is extremely powerful and capable of processing frozen fruit such as bananas and blueberries. It is easy to make delicious healthy food such as banana ice cream (or ‘Nice Cream’ as it is more affectionately known). There are loads of great Nice Cream recipes out there - including chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry flavours. Containing a fraction of the calories found in traditional dairy ice cream it makes it a delicious, guilt free alternative. It is also great for blending up sauces such as ‘No cheese Mac ‘n’ Cheese’ and various healthy vegetable soups. Get yours here.
Nuts and Dried Fruit
Keeping small snack pots of nuts and dried fruit around the house means you always have something healthy and delicious readily available. Having the pots prepared in advance can help steer you away from unhealthy foods, as the pots are quick and easy to eat. If you are new to veganism and your body is struggling with meat cravings such a beef it is likely that you’re lacking Zinc. Dried fruit, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of zinc and will help keep you away from meat.
Tofu is a fantastic addition to any dish as it is high in protein and helps to provide you with a balanced diet. You can crumble it up, fry it and serve it on toast for breakfast (a fantastic scrambled egg alternative), marinate it in chilli sauce and add to a healthy stir fry for lunch or include it in a delicious curry for dinner. There are different types of Tofu available, which one is best is really down to personal preference. My advice would be to give a few of them a try and see which one suits your cooking style the most - firm tofu is a good place to start!
Spiralizers became particularly popular in 2016 with people keen to make their own ‘courgetti spaghetti’ at home as a healthy alternative to pasta, and why not? Spiralizers are simple to use, clean and enable you to switch out some starchy foods for something a little fresher. There are so many different veggies out there - such as cucumber, butternut squash, carrot and sweet potato. These can all be used with a sauce and topping of your choice, either hot or cold, as a great pasta replacement. You’re cutting the calories and retaining the nutrients, for example 100g of cooked spaghetti is 158 calories, where as 100g of courgette is only 17 calories! Get yours here.
Lentils have recently become a permanent additional to my kitchen cupboard. I find that they are an amazing replacement to soya mince substitutes. Now of course there is nothing wrong with enjoying meat substitutes if that is what you prefer. However, if you are looking for healthier, more nutritional options then lentils are a great alternative. You can buy them dry or pre-cooked and there are lots of different types. They are great sources of iron and protein, they also contain vitamin B1 and B6. Red Lentils are ideal for curries, dhals and soups. Green Lentils, if bought dried take a little longer to cook than the red so I usually buy these tinned and they’re great in a spaghetti bolognese instead of vegan mince.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Water - It’s a simple one, but it can easily be forgotten. It’s something our bodies need a lot of and it can also help keep you from overeating. When you are dehydrated, your body thinks it needs food to replenish its energy, when it might just be that you are not consuming enough water on a daily basis. Having an environmentally friendly, stainless steel water bottle (I really like the bottles by One Green Bottle) filled and with you at all times is a small reminder to keep drinking. If you still need an extra nudge to keep you drinking your water, why not set a reminder on your phone every hour or so to keep you going! Get your One Green Bottle here.
If you have any food products or gadgets that help you live a healthy vegan life, be sure to let us know in the comments below. We are always looking for new and exciting products to test and review.