The main issue with becoming vegan or vegetarian – vegan being no intake of animal products whatsoever, and vegetarian meaning dairy products like milk, eggs and cheeses are still eaten, is the taste. And lets be honest, vegan cheese does not taste anything like dairy cheese- but- at least an innocent animal did not die from providing you with the cheese, or the milk. And you may not think anything dies to make milk production, but yes, unfortunately , Bobby or commonly known as baby cows are unfortunately killed for the benefit of milk production. Cow must be pregnant to produce milk for their offspring, thus they’re continuously pregnant, then giving birth to provide the milk for us to consume instead of their babies.
Some easy swaps for dairy are readily available at the supermarket or if you have the time you can also make your own.
To begin with there are a variety of different plant and nut-based milk options that can be bought in long life or fresh cartons.
Almond Milk – Almond milk is one of the most popular dairy-free options and is incredibly versatile. Try it on cereal, with cookies, or by the glassful! While it packs a decent punch when it comes to calcium, almond milk isn’t a great source of protein or fibre.
Pea Milk – May be the most nutritious of all vegan milks. It’s an excellent source of protein, calcium, and omega-3s, and it’s low in calories.
Flax Milk – Naturally free of cholesterol (like all dairy-free milk), flax milk contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for cognitive function. Flax milk is also a good source of calcium but contains no protein. It tends to be thinner than other varieties, such as soy and cashew.
Coconut Milk – This milk is super rich and creamy, loaded with healthy fats, and perfect in desserts and curries. You can even use it to make your own vegan ice cream! But coconut milk typically has a stronger flavour so be aware when using in recipes you will more than likely taste this milk.
Oat Milk – Void of saturated fat, oat milk contains five grams of protein per cup and is loaded with fibre. Oat milk is naturally sweet, making it great for baked goods like cakes and cookies.
Soy Milk – The most widely available vegan milk, soy milk is packed with protein—seven grams per cup! Soy milk is great when you need some extra creaminess in lattes, but it can really be used in nearly any recipe that calls for cow’s milk
Hemp Milk – Creamy and packed with calcium, hemp milk is great in many dishes or in your favourite smoothie. Hemp milk is typically on the thinner side and has a flavour that goes better in savory recipes than in sweet ones
Rice Milk – Light and refreshing, rice milk is a great alternative for those avoiding soy or nuts. It is low in calories and best enjoyed with cereal or by the glassful. Note that it isn’t great for adding creaminess to recipes, as it’s so light.
Quinoa Milk – While most plant products contain only some of the essential amino acids, quinoa is one of the only complete vegetarian proteins. One hundred grams of quinoa provide 14.1 grams of protein, making it a high-protein, gluten-free vegan treasure.
Cashew Milk – Cashew milk has recently gained popularity, and for good reason: Like soy milk, it’s super creamy and rich in protein! Cashew milk is great for most recipes, including savory ones, but tends to be a little pricier than other choices.
Vegan Cheese swaps are in abundance and multiple varieties can be found at your local supermarket refrigerated health section and a wider variety will be found at health food stores. Mixing a dairy free milk with savoury yeast flakes creates a cheesy sauce that can be used in place of a sauce in a pasts or even as part of a lasagne.
Pizza stores are now providing vegan cheese options for their pizzas an places like Crust and Dominos not only make great pizzas but great tasting vegan options, and not just a vegetable pizza topped with cheese but choices such as jack fruit and vegan meats.
Vegan cheeses come in a variety of styles and preparations, including both shredded and sliced varieties, and is a fairly good substitute for most people. There are plenty of nut cheeses available at speciality stores made with cashews and other nuts. These tend to be okay, but I do find them an acquired taste and my favourite range of vegan cheese is Bio Cheese which is made with a coconut oil. This is the closest to real cheese I have come across and melts when cooking too.
Have you made any vegan or vegetarian changes to your eating this year?
What’s your favourite take out recommendation for vegans?
What’s your favourite plant based milk?