Veganuary – Tips, Recipes, and Products - Everyday Easier Ideas | Blog

Veganuary – Tips, Recipes, and Products

With more interest in animal welfare, becoming vegan is an increasingly popular choice. Celebrities are taking the plunge as are people who find that by ditching certain foods and products, their health and mood improves significantly. But what is the concept all about and how can you get through Veganuary if you’ve always eaten animal products before?

What is veganism?

The term vegan was invented in 1944 when a group of vegetarians broke decided to ditch animal products from their diet. It is a movement that is growing in numbers, with people deciding to remove dairy, eggs and other products of animal origin, including meat and fish.

Turning vegan can be hard especially when you consider that many of these products are ingredients in a range of products. A quick glance of the ingredient list of your favourite snack could reveal everything from egg to milk powder, to flavourings such as honey.

But like all dietary changes, once you’ve got used to what you can and can’t eat, being vegan will become second nature. And Veganuary, held throughout January each year, is the ideal way to get you to start or experiment with the vegan way of life.

Veganuary-friendly recipes

The range of vegan products and foods is increasing all the time. Many respected and renowned chefs are creating more tasty vegan dishes. Better still, many of these dishes are super easy to create too.

  • Vegan pancakes

Pancakes are not just for Pancake Day. Great for breakfast and as a snack, these vegan pancakes are very easy to make and a perfect treat for Veganuary.

In a bowl, mix together 125g of self-raising flour, two tablespoons of vegan sugar, one teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of sea salt. Add almond milk (unsweetened or sweetened depending on your sweet tooth!) and whisk to a smooth batter.

Heat a frying pan until hot and carefully wipe around with oil. Pour a small amount of the pancake mix into the pan, flipping it over after a few minutes. Pile the cooked pancakes onto a plate and pop into the oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the mixture. Serve with sliced fruits and a little maple syrup.

  • Toad-in-the-Hole

This is the ultimate comfort food, especially on a grey, chilly winter’s day. Your local supermarket and health store with offer a range of vegan sausage products. For this recipe to work, use frozen vegan sausages.

Like non-vegan toad-in-the-hole, the key to a puffy Yorkshire pudding is hot tin in a hot oven. Start by heating your oven to 200C and pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a generously sized tin. Let it heat as you prepare the rest of the dish.

Mix 125g strong bread flour with one teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of baking powder. Add 200ml of soya milk, whisking to a smooth batter, add the frozen sausages to the tin and return to the oven for two to three minutes. Then, pour the batter into the tin and return it to the oven. Shut the door and do not open again until the Yorkshire pudding has risen – it takes between 25 and 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add a thinly sliced red onion. (Red onion tends to be sweeter than white or brown onion). Gently fry until soft and then add 250ml of vegan stock cube to the pan. Add a tablespoon of tomato ketchup and a splash of soy sauce. Allow the mixture to simmer, checking the seasoning after a few minutes. For an extra kick add a teaspoon of yeast extract, such as Marmite, and stir.

Now mix one and a half teaspoons of cornflour with a little water and pour into the gravy, stirring continuously. This will thicken your gravy. If you like a thicker gravy, add more cornflour and water but allow the gravy to simmer gently for a minute or two.

When ready, serve up the toad-in-the-hole with a generous helping of red onion gravy and some chopped and steamed veg (use the Nicer Dicer for speed).

Is it hard to find vegan products?

The truth is, you probably already buy and consume many vegan-friendly products without realising it.

Take these products, for example:

  • Sainsbury’s bourbon biscuits. Most biscuits will have milk or milk products in them but Sainsbury’s bourbon biscuits are completely vegan friendly. That means you don’t have to kick your biscuit habit to the kerb. Take a look at Jammie Dodgers and McVitie’s Ginger Biscuits too.
  • Crumpets – bread will often contain milk, but crumpets don’t usually contain any animal products. Always check the label, however, as some cheaper products may contain milk or milk powder.
  • Sainsbury’s chicken flavoured noodles. It may say chicken on the packet but there aren’t any animal products in this store cupboard. You’ll find that with most noodle instant products, the flavouring is not an animal product but synthetic.
  • Pre-packed pastry products. From flaky pastry to ready-to-bake vol au vents cases, many of the pastry products in the chiller aisle are not made with butter but a synthetic version making them vegan friendly.

Many other products are vegan friendly too, such as gravy granules, high-quality peanut butters and some chocolate spreads. Creating a list of vegan-friendly products that you already eat will make Veganuary a lot easier.

Tips for conquering Veganuary

Veganuary is a great event that many people use to kickstart their new vegan lifestyle. The Vegan Society suggest:

  • Taking it slowly. Don’t beat yourself up if you inadvertently find yourself eating a product or meal with animal products in it.
  • Eat a varied diet. With veganism, you minimise or completely omit food groups that your body is used to, such as dairy or meat. There are plenty of vegan alternatives, so you’ll still get the nutrients you need from a range of food types.
  • Experiment. Being vegan means you have the chance to try lots of different, exciting foods. By experimenting and trying new things, you maintain a varied and interesting diet.

Being vegan is a choice many people are making, for health and other reasons, and with all the recipes online and vegan friendly products it doesn’t have to be difficult. Is Veganuary a choice that you’re considering this year?

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

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