Following a vegan diet doesn't have to be difficult or restrictive- there are so many vegan friendly food options that can be used as substitutes for your current non-vegan dishes and foods, which taste just as great. Appreciating how the foods you love can be substituted with vegan alternatives, rather than cutting out these foods, can make becoming vegan more enjoyable and a little less daunting.
If you're thinking about becoming vegan but don't know where to start, first try making a few simple food swaps that will veganise your meals, such as those examples given below.
Milk is one of the easiest products to swap; there is now an immense variety of plant-based milks available, most of which are available in the main supermarkets. Some of the most popular plant-based milks include soya milk, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, hazelnut milk and coconut milk. These can be used as a direct swap for cow's milk, and can be used in your coffee, cereal, and all types of baking.
Using plant based margarine instead of butter is another easy swap. Almost all supermarkets will stock a variety of dairy free spreads made from soya, sunflower oil, or olive oil. These can be used exactly the same way as butter, great on toast or in cooking and baking. Some margarine can still contain dairy, so it is always best to check any labelling on the packaging.
Soya mince or lentils make a great substitute for minced meat, especially in favourite recipes such as bolognese, chilli and shepherds pie. For some people, the slight difference in texture might be something to get used to but most won't even notice the difference. Cutting out red minced meat will be a lot better for health and likely help lower the food bill.
Hummus is a delicious and healthy substitute for mayonnaise which has a creamy taste and smooth texture. It can be used in sandwiches, salads, or as a dip for veggies and breadsticks. Hummus is a great addition to any vegan diet, even if not a mayo fan and it is now widely available in a range of different flavours such as red pepper, piri-piri and garlic and herb.
The name might sound unappetising but nutritional yeast is actually really tasty and a great substitute for cheese lovers. Nutritional yeast can be used to sprinkle over pasta or pizza, or used to make cheese sauces for dishes such as mac and cheese. Adding nutritional yeast to a vegan diet can be highly beneficial nutritionally, as it is a good source of both vitamin B12 and protein.