Updated: Jul 21, 2020
If you are considering a transition to a plant based diet / vegan diet but you don't know where to start, then this post might help. Here are my top 5 easy vegan transition foods for a healthier, energetic transition onto a plant based diet:
1 - Oat Milk replaces cows milk
If you're passionate about changing your diet for your health and to reduce your impact on animal agriculture / environmental damage then milk is an easy thing to stop having.
After trying all the different types of plant milks that are available; I would recommend 'oat milk unsweetened' as a good starter option for transitioning off dairy onto a plant based alternative. It only takes a few drinks or bowls of cereal to get used to plant milk. I recommend trying oat milk in a bowl of wholegrain cereal mixed with berries, nuts and seeds so that all the tasty flavours take over.
My favourite plant milk is probably cashew milk. There is also almond milk which is similiar to oat milk, rice milk, soy milk and more.
2 - Nuts & Berries replace chocolate & crisps
Instead of having regular milk chocolate or crisps which are full of oil and often milk; here are a few great energy boosting alternatives:
Mixed nuts: Plain not flavoured as they are more natural and not loaded with salt, oil or been cooked in any way. Mixed nuts actually taste really nice together. Try cashews, almonds, walnuts and a few brazil nuts, as a small handful.
Seeds: Why not mix some nuts with variety of seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add flaxseeds and chia seeds to cereal or smoothies.
Dried berries: Such as goji berries, dried mango and dried pinapple. All these berries combined with nuts and seeds adds a delicious variation and provide lots of vitamins and energy. Goji berries are really high in vitamin c, protein and fibre.
Coconut pieces: Lastly, fresh coconut pieces are really healthy and so tasty. No wonder hot climates love eating and drinking coconut in their diet on a daily basis, because it is extremely good for you!
Just a note that there are many chocolate and crisps that are vegan if you do fancy a vegan 'junk' treat and not so worried about the health aspect, just check the packet.
3 - Dates replace sweets made from pork
Dates are a fantastic replacement food instead of unhealthy, sugary sweets and treats. Medjool dates are my favourite dates and although they may not be the cheapest treat, they are so tasty and caramel-like; you will wonder how you have lived so long without trying them! Even put peanut butter or a similar nut butter inside the dates and you'll get an energy boosting treat! Just remember to take out the seed if there is one.
*You can also put dates in smoothies. A great smoothie to try would combine a couple of dates, two bananas, oat milk, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, desert spoon of cacao powder and some vanilla extract. My favourite easy smoothie!
4 - Jackfruit replaces meat
Jackfruit is a fantastic transition food to replace things like pulled pork or tuna as it has a similar texture when mixing it. You can buy jackfruit in tins from supermarkets or online. Jackfruit is one of the largest tree fruits in the world. I was fortunate to see jackfruit growing in Sri Lanka which is where the photo is from.
Try jackfruit heated up in a pan mixed with a bbq sauce flavour, spices and add it to a wrap with salad and things like pepper and kidney beans. This is a popular 'pulled pork' variation, which I highly recommend.
5 - Lentils provide protein & replace mince
An obvious go to meal for many families is spaghetti bolognese or cottage pie. A fantastic vegan alternative to this would be to use red lentils instead of the mince. Not only are red lentils tasty but they are also much healthier then the oily and fatty meat.
Lentils are a legume and they are a great source of protein and fibre, give it a go and try lentils, just cook them until they are nice and soft. Once you've tried lentils in a vegan bolognese, try all the other amazing lentil recipes out there. Also become familiar with all of the other legumes available, such as mung beans, chickpeas and cannellini beans as these will start to become your friend!
Other vegan alternatives
These are just a few vegan transition food options, there are many other foods to help swap out such as:
Crispy tofu instead of fish or meat
Agarve or maple syrup instead of honey
beans and mixed veg in a curry instead of chicken
nut roast instead of meat
hummus instead of cheese or great vegan cheese like applewoodcheese.co.uk
Nutritional yeast (super tasty) instead of grated cheese
I hope you liked the top 5 easy vegan transition foods onto a plant based diet. Feel free to leave a comment and share this post...