How to Shop for Veganuary

Veganuary is upon us. A charity campaign focused on supporting veganism which promotes the reduced consumption of animal products such as dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, fish and honey. While eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains is simple — substituting ingredients in our favourite dishes may be more of a challenge. Read on for our in-house nutritionist’s top vegan shopping tips:

Swap milk for plant-based milks
Who hasn’t tried a plant-based milk in their latte these days? Whether you prefer almond or oat, soya or coconut, make sure you choose one that is unsweetened and opt for a choice with less additives and preservatives. We like Plenish’s plant based options that only contain three ingredients, and their almond milk froths the best.

Swap honey for maple syrup or date syrup
Love a swirl of honey on your morning yogurt? Think again this January. Honey is not classified as vegan as it is a by-product from bees. Swap this with maple syrup or date syrup – both unrefined sweeteners made from plant sources. MEDA wellness drinks and MEDA mixers use maple syrup as a sweetener so they are suitable for vegans.

Swap butter for plant-based spreads
If marmite and butter on toast is your thing, then try out a plant-based spread instead. I like Pure Dairy Free Olive Oil spread as it is free from artificial flavours, colours, preservatives and additives and contains healthy monounsaturated fats. Plus, it spreads well!

Swap cheese for cashew alternatives
Cheese can be a hard vegan swap. There are a number of products on the market however many of them can be rubbery, tasteless or filled with preservatives and additives. The healthiest option — try some nut cheese. We like Mouse’s Favourite cashew brie or the Kinda Co almond feta.

Swap chicken for tofu or tempeh
2020 saw the exponential rise of vegan/vegetarian meat substitutes. Whilst some of these are on the healthier side there are others that are packed with ingredients you can’t pronounce, and they can be highly processed. Tofu and Tempeh on the other hand tend to be less processed and packed with plant-protein. Try adding these into a stir fry, thai green curry or in a salad instead of chicken. We love the Tofoo company Tempeh and tofu nuggets.

Swap beef for lentils/beans
Burgers, chilli and lasagne are not entirely off the card’s friends! Make simple swaps. Use lentils instead of mince in your lasagne/bolognaise, kidney beans in your chilli con carne or black beans as the meat substitute in a burger. The added plus? Pulses are filled with fibre, plant-protein, and good for your wallet too.

Swap eggs in baking with chia eggs
Eggs act as a rising agent and binder in cakes and baking, so with vegan baking we can often find cakes can turn out to be crumbly or flat. Try chia eggs which can help act as a binder in recipes that don’t need to rise i.e waffles, pancakes, breads and cookies. Simply mix 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 2.5 tbsp of water. Leave for 15 minutes and then mix again. You will notice that they form a gloopy consistency, and there you have it, a chia egg!

Make sure you are covering your nutrients
If you are intending to follow a vegan diet for longer than Veganuary, make sure you cover your intake of B12 (only found in animal foods), Vitamin D (very difficult to obtain in the winter and on a vegan diet), Calcium (can be low to reduce calcium from dairy) and Iodine (found in fish and dairy). Consider fortified plant options or supplements.