These days, plant-based diets are on the rise, and vegetarian and vegan options are becoming more and more widely available in a lot of shops and restaurants. But setting healthy eating goals and changing up your entire diet can seem like a daunting task. Would you like to incorporate more plant-based foods in your routine, but don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
1. Have a Veggie Smoothie in the Morning
If you find it hard to add fruits and vegetables to your diet, why not have a nice, fresh smoothie in the morning? Start off with a liquid base: plant-based milk, green tea, or simply water. Lots of vegetables taste great in a smoothie, for example spinach, kale, celery, carrots, cucumber, beets, and many more. Add some fruits to the mix, like bananas, berries (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry…), mango, pineapple, or any other, and you’ll have a healthy, tasty cocktail of vitamins. Healthy eating has never been so easy! You can even add a teaspoon of chia or flaxseeds to the mix for extra health benefits, or a scoop of your favourite plant-based protein powder. For example, our new Choco Hazelnut plant-based protein would be the perfect match for your morning smoothie.
Here’s our recipe for a delicious high protein 3 layers smoothie to start your day off right!
2. Try Vegan Baking
Next time you feel a craving for some sweet cookies or a moist chocolate cake, why not try to bake one yourself using only plant-based ingredients? Nowadays, plant-based milk is really easy to find in most shops and can easily replace dairy milk in any recipe, especially soy and oat milk. You can even give a flavour boost to your preparation by using vanilla soy milk or hazelnut milk, for example. As for butter, you can use coconut oil for its nice texture and delicate flavour. There are also numerous ways to substitute eggs: ground flaxseed, chia seeds, applesauce, mashed bananas, peanut butter… As a bonus, most of these alternatives are actually super healthy. And you will know exactly what is in your homemade baked good. Nobody will even notice it’s plant-based!
Need some inspiration? You could try our easy blueberry and banana muffin vegan recipe to get started.
3. Opt for the Vegetarian Meal at Your Favourite Food Place
Next time you go out for food or have it delivered to your door, why not try something new and choose a vegan or vegetarian meal? A lot of restaurants are constantly coming up with new creative and innovative plant-based options. Chances are, you are going to love that vegan burger or those vegetable spring rolls, maybe even better than the meals you are used to. And it can inspire you to recreate these dishes at home.
4. Try Plant-Based Protein Sources
Plant proteins are very versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Chickpeas? You can turn them into delicious falafels for your main meal, healthy hummus dip as a snack during the day, or use them in a Mediterranean salad as starters.
Lentils? Have them with tomato sauce, as a substitute for ground meat in a shepherd’s pie, or in a spicy Indian dahl. There are a variety of lentils that you can try out to decide which ones are your favourite: green, red, beluga, brown, yellow… They can bring colour and texture to your dishes too.
And what about beans? There are so many of them: kidney, adzuki, cannellini, pinto, and many more. You can use them in chilis, to make vegan burger patties, add them to soups, tacos, etc. Other plant-based protein sources include seitan, tofu, tempeh, edamame, peas, quinoa, seeds and nuts… The possibilities are endless!
5. Have One Plant-Based Day in Your Week
You can decide on a day in the week when you’ll only eat plant-based foods, and see how you feel at the end of the day. This will allow you to try out new recipes every week, experiment with a vegan diet and find out what you love the most! For example, you could start the day with a vegetable smoothie and some healthy, vegan oatmeal. For lunch and dinner, there are so many different recipes you could try depending on your taste and your appetite. And if you feel a bit hungry during the day, there are plenty of tasty, nutritious nuts or fruits you can snack on. So if you enjoy it, why not extend this to several days a week, or incorporate these new vegetarian or vegan recipes into your daily routine?
If you crave chocolate, you could enjoy these delicious vegan chocolate-hazelnut pots as a dessert on your plant-based day.
These are just five easy steps that you can follow to diversify your diet and eat more plant-based foods. Plant-based meals do not have to be boring and bland, you can get creative. Try new spices, new textures, add colours to your plate. And no, we promise you won’t have to eat salad (or ice cubes) every day. There is so much more for you to explore in the world of plant-based foods!