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How to replace animal products in your diet

After the new food documentary The Game Changers was released on Netflix last week, the plantbased diet spiked in popularity again. The documentary, based on new research and experiments done in front of the camera(!), gives us more insight into the benefits of a plantbased diet and the powers of the plant kingdom. As a result, more and more people want to start eating a more plantbased diet. Unfortunately, many do not find it so easy. When looking at their current diet, it seems like almost all of it would have to go to make it plantbased. Worry not, if this is you! Transitioning is often easier once you are actually doing it. In this article we will help you get started by offering our favorite plantbased alternatives to each animal product. 

 

Meat

Believe it or not, the meat replaced burgers, nuggets and strips are actually really really good. Not only do they taste like actual meat, they are also enriched with the typical minerals found in meat like iron and B12. Many are also quite high in protein, just like regular meat. This makes them not only taste good but give you everything you need too. If you want to opt for less manufactured meat substitutions, you can pick legumes or tofu. The last one offers you the complete set of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) too, which makes it easiest for your body to absorb.

 

Dairy

From milk to cream, cheese or quark. The plantbased dairy indurstry is booming. With milk you can try everything from oat, almond, cashew, rice, coconut to soy until you have found the one you like most. Cream and cheese exist in almost as many different flavors. Just be curious and try out some. Hummus is also a favorite savory product of us to add to salads or bread instead of cheese! Plantbased quark also exists in regular supermarkets and can easily be mixed with a few tablespoons of plantbased protein to enhance the protein content. To find out which plantbased protein suits you, read our article here

 

Eggs

Replacing eggs is a little more advanced, but it can be done! While boiled, cooked and poached eggs are almost irreplaceable, scrambled eggs can actually be done. Silken tofu and a combination of spices and nutritional yeast make a really good scrambled egg. Omelette can be made by using an omelette mix. Most health stores or big supermarkets with vegan aisles carry a vegan omelette mix nowadays. Eggs are also often used for baking. Within baked goods eggs are replaced far more easily. Ground flax seeds soaked in a few tablespoons of water or just simply a mashed banana are great egg replacements. Google can help you finding the right replacement for each specific thing you want to bake.

 

Fish

This one is a little more difficult. Not only does fish have a meaty texture just like actual meat, it also has a very specific taste. To replace it, we suggest to ask yourself why you eat fish. Is it just for the omega 3’s and because you know they are healthy? Rest assured, ground flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds all got far more omega 3 fatty acids per serving than one serving of salmon. When instead you really prefer the taste of fish, you can still go out for sushi. The seaweed sushi is wrapped in, will still give you that typical salty taste of fish, even if you stick with the veggie options. Afterall, both fish and seaweed come from the ocean! Do your kids love fish sticks? Then vegan fish sticks will actually be a great substitution and taste hardly different than the ones made with fish. 

 

Honey

This one is actually easiest replaced! Strictly, honey is an animal product, though it is of course made from pollen, which come from flowers. Honey also offers some great health benefits. If you want to replace it though, we would advise you to replace it with agave syrup or maple syrup. Both equally sweet but no honey bees involved!

 

We hope our replacement options help you get a grip on the start of your plantbased diet! The best tip we can give you is to just be curious and to dare try out new things. Note that we offer a lot of these plantbased substitutes in our bar. You are welcome to give each one of them a try!

 

Written by Maritza Kolenbrander, Food Psychologist at Plantifulplan

 

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