Today is world vegan day – a day celebrating (and raising awareness about) a lifestyle that’s promotes looking after our bodies, animals and planet. Cutting out – or limiting – animal products is an easy way to eat healthily, reduce carbon footprint and help to end the suffering of millions of farmed animals. Win win!
But taking those first steps and switching to a new diet can seem daunting to begin with, especially when animal products appear to be in everything! But I’m sure people once thought going vegetarian was near impossible in a meat dominated world, and now vegetarian options are absolutely everywhere.
Whether you’re thinking about going completely vegan, or simply want to reduce your impact by cutting down on animal products, these great substitutes will help make it even easier:
Easy Animal-Free Food Swaps
This one is the easiest of all, as dairy-free milk is available in most shops, cafes and restaurants these days. In fact there’s so much choice, you can try out a selection to find your favourite. This handy wheel gives you the low down on what to expect from vegan milks:
You can also now get soy whipped, double and even spray cream!
Think going vegan means never having another slice of pizza or bowl of cheesy chilli again? Think again!! The vegan cheese market is on the rise, and alternatives are getting better and better. A few options include:
- Vegusto have a large range of vegan cheeses, from cheddar and mozzarella to walnut and stilton. They even have starter packs so you can try a couple out and find which ones you like the most.
- Bute Island is another great vegan cheese supplier, with the amazing Sheese (Soy-cheese). At first you won’t think they resemble the creaminess of cow cheese, but after a while you’ll be hooked! Their melty version is by far the best and great on toast 😛
- Make your own! Experiment and have the pleasure of making your own cheeses. Get inspired by these 10 great vegan cheese recipes or try my spicy cashew cheese.
A staple for most cooking (regardless of how naughty it is) butter isn’t as hard to replace as you’d think. Vegetable and soy based spreads are readily available and some Olive spreads are vegan too. Just check the label before buying, I’ve been caught out in the past by a soy spread which contained milk!
I’ve also found experimenting with using coconut oil in my cooking has meant I didn’t need to use processed fats at all.
Veganism isn’t all about kale, tofu and seeds; even cruelty free food has it’s treats! There’s a whole host of dairy free ice creams out there, from Bessant and Drurys and Booja Booja, to my favorite naughty treat; Swedish Glace.
But having that cool creamy treat does’t have to be costly. Here are a couple of foods which can easily be frozen and transformed into easy dairy free ice cream:
- Coconut Milk
- Pumpkin (try its its crazy good with cinnamon!)
- Cashew cream (cashews soaked overnight and whizzed up)
- Soy or Almond Milk
The above make amazing bases for home made vegan ice cream, you simply whizz them up with your flavour of choice (chocolate, peanut butter, raspberry etc) and freeze. Feast your eyes on these delicious vegan Ice cream recipes for inspiration.
These days you can buy packets of “no egg” powder which can easily substitute eggs when baking; they even make a mean pavlova! But I like to use natural ingredients where possible; swapping and changing depending on what tastes best with the recipe.
The below chart is an awesome resource to stick on your fridge to use less eggs!
You can even swap your scrambled egg for tofu, its surprisingly yummy and a great source of protein.
12 thoughts on “Dairy & Egg Alternatives for Easy Vegan Living”
Awesome post! Super informative for newbies 🙂
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I see many alternatives to ‘dairy’ involve nuts or soy. As nuts are our out for me, do you mind me asking how you check the credentials of the soy based products, not just to avoid GMO (which is rife in the soy industry) but also for other environmental considerations (pesticide use and deforestation) and social justice for workers. Is it possible to scrutinise the supply chain for soy based products? Thanks
Hi Meg, very good point and actually something I’m investigating at the moment. As I mentioned in my contradiction in ethics blog, I am aware that vegan products don’t automatically mean 100% planet and health friendly – especially as demand for soy increases. That said I made a personal choice too support the soy industry than (what i see as..) the unethical industry of dairy farming. That said, I am slowly weaning myself off dairy products (as in their alternatives) as they really aren’t needed a lot of the time. Pizza tastes great without cheese and banana based ice cream is amazing! But having these alternatives to get me in the swing of things certainly helped me change my diet to animal free after nearly 30 yr of having them everyday.
so in short, I agree that soy and nut based products need investigation, and I am slowly sifting through the massive job of finding stuff out, and I believe as a whole these products should only be consumed in moderation anyway. I’ll keep you posted with what I find 🙂
Yes environmentally-kind-and-ethically-gentle living is a fraught with dilemmas and there are so many variations along the spectrum and we all have to find our way making informed trade-offs, as you say. I’d be interested to see how you phase soy out or limit it to occasional consumption. Generally I find that vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free… foods work best when they don’t try to emulate the food group that is supposed to be cut out.
Could you advise me on the best dairy free milk to use in tea and coffee? evey one I have tried has curdled (yuk)
Oh I used to get this all the time and it was gross! Basically, soy curdles if the coffee or tea is too hot when you pour it in. Black coffee in particular is more acidic than soy milk and can act like a coagulant. A few things I now do to stop this from happening is:
1) don’t poor cold milk into boiling hot coffee
2) put the milk in he cup first
3) Shake the carton first
4) Make sure its not been open for too long (as soy milk doesn’t smell stale like cows milk and you can forget it still goes off)
I prefer almond milk though as I find (while its not as “creamy” as soy) it doesn’t curdle.
Reblogged this on Travels with Mary and commented:
Fabulous post! Very informative!
Fabulous post! Very informative! Double Thanks 🙂
Thanks for a great post! 🙂
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I like your posts, however I would like to say that vegan in our climate part of the world is the first world luxury. Nut milk, soy products, vegan cheese or any procesed vegan products are things out of reach of most. I think it is important to remember the privilage we have here that we can make all these choices.
I completely agree Martina, and I appreciate that many of our “easy swaps” are not available worldwide. For me, I use this as validation that if these options are available for me, I should take them. The chances are that communities which don’t have access to processed products are more likely to live more sustainable lives anyway as I’m guessing they purchase more locally and have more respect for their resources.