Veganism is surely the most significant food trend so far in the 21st century. Once a niche subculture, the practice of consuming no animal products whatsoever has become mainstream, with thousands participating in Veganuary each year and growing numbers making the switch permanently.
The Vegan Society says, ‘one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey.’1
If you think that seems to cover most food groups, think again! A vegan diet can be one of the most richly diverse ways of eating. You just need to be armed with the right information, and a bit of forward planning.
“So, what do you actually eat on a vegan diet?”
If you’re vegan, or planning to be, this is a question you will have to get used to hearing. Luckily, there are many ways to answer this question!
Vegetables, fruits and leaves
All our diets, whether vegan or non-vegan, should have more vegetables and fruit than anything else. Vegans can get really adventurous when it comes to this food group. There are hundreds of different types of vegetable out there just waiting to be fried, baked, sautéed, grilled, steamed, and roasted.
Going vegan can be the perfect opportunity to build on your cooking skills, whatever stage they are currently at.
Of course, vegetables are incredibly rich in the nutrients and antioxidants which keep us healthy. The fact that vegans tend to eat more vegetables than non-vegans could explain why they have less chance of developing diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.1
Did someone say carbs? All the yummy grains – rice, wheat (this means bread and pasta!), couscous, quinoa and bulgur, are naturally vegan. Grains form the basis of countless dishes, and when added together with vegetables, an unsaturated fat such as olive oil, and a source of vegan protein such as tofu, you have a complete meal.
Try these protein-packed vegan meals
Hearty, filling and robust. Three words you wouldn’t necessarily associate with vegan food, but with the addition of legumes, you can add real bulk and substance to your food meaning you’ll never go hungry.
One concern people have when they are considering making the switch to a vegan diet is that they won’t get enough iron, or protein. Legumes are rich in both of these, as well as fibre, making them an absolute must in a vegan’s daily diet.
Burgers, stews, meatless meatloaf can all be made by being clever with legumes.
Try our Black Bean Burger with Guacamole & Chipotle Mayo recipe
Nuts and seeds
If you’re becoming vegan, there’s never been a better time to embrace nuts and seeds. These absolute powerhouses of nutrition will become your secret weapon for healthy snacking and to add to dishes.
Offering essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and more, a handful of your favourite nuts along with a piece of fruit is the perfect vegan snack.
Did you know that nuts can also help with creating a creamy sauce for both sweet and savoury dishes? Cashews are especially good as a substitute for dairy cream. Simply soak cashews in water for an hour then blitz in a blender until creamy and smooth.
Shop Food & Drink
Last updated: 24 April 2020