I decided to try a ‘Veganuary‘ diet this month. It’s been easy, fun, and a great learning experience. As a Brand Consultant, many of my customers and much of my focus is on Natural, Organic, Plant-Based, Health & Well-Being Products. Exploring new items and recipes is a passion and natural extension of my work. So I thought why not try a plant-based diet for 31 days! Since we are cooking more at home due to the pandemic its sure made the trial run even easier. Following recipes as the chef intended and shopping for new, different, and healthy ingredients. I have found many new innovative brands as a member of Startup CPG and its been an opportunity from their Pitch Events to find innovative vegan and plant-based products.
I didn’t realize the hidden benefits of one of my very favorite foods, mushrooms. Mushrooms are loaded with immune-boosting properties, Vitamin B & D, Selenium, even some evidence to lower cholesterol and prevent plaque buildup. Mushroom flatbreads, bourguignon, bolognese, soup, stir-fry, Mushroom tea, dried snacks. I love, love mushrooms and that they support my immune system during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Try cremini, white button, oyster, trumpet, portobello, shiitake, and the list goes on.
Beans, Lentils, and Peas
Everything beans, lentils, and peas! Curries, bolognese, chili, casseroles, soups are always comforting and full of fiber and protein plus a great substitute for meat. Adding some spice and creativity makes a delicious alternative to the usual meat fest. Legumes are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. How about being approached to share “Growing Your Own ChickPeas”.
I made the non-dairy milk switch months ago and have gone with Mooala, Califia, Elmhurst 1925, Forager Project, and/or Oatly Oat milk, sometimes blended with Almond or Coconut milk and a great substitute for milk and cream. There are fabulous new options in non-dairy creamers, low calories, and fat and they are so good it’s tough to decide. Miyoko’s Butter, cream cheese, mozzarella tops off my non-dairy needs and Miyoko’s butter is so good, I need to watch it!
How about all the grain options, my shelf has farro, bulgur, couscous, polenta, brown rice, quinoa, and now an assortment of pasta from alternative sources. I always check for fiber and protein and with so many delicious recipes to try worth exploring. I have especially found recipes with bulgur, couscous, and farro lately that especially work during these chilly days.
Vegan Snacks and Beverages
Vegan snacking and beverages are easy, watching for added honey, milk or eggs is important. Products to choose from young startups are the most fun. Just to name a few – Coconut Whisk Cookie Mixes, Vegan Rob’s, Kate Percy‘s Go Bites(UK Brand) Green Mustache Munchies, Brami Snacking Lupini Beans plus so many more. The go-to beverage is kombucha, sparkling probiotics, and even a non-dairy coffee treat!
Add fresh fruits and veggies to all the above and it feels like a healthy and responsible way to live.