Between 2014 and 2019, the number of vegans in the UK quadrupled - with a record 500,000 people pledging to take part in Veganuary in 2021. If you're looking to join them, you'll want to be as prepared as possible before making that switch, and you might be asking yourself, "what can I eat if I go vegan?" What you CAN'T eat is simple: any food made from animals, including meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, mayonnaise and honey. It may sound daunting, but there ARE alternatives to all of these should you want them. Like these...
What can I eat if I go vegan?
1. Plenty of plants
There's a good reason why veganism is often referred to as eating a plant-based diet! Anything plant-based is your friend: fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, oils, vinegars, fermented foods - there's a huge variety to choose from, and you'll find that a good mix of these will meet all of your nutritional needs.
2. Alternatives to dairy and cheese
If you worry that you'll miss dairy products, you'll find plenty of substitutes. You'll be able to buy (or make) milk alternatives made with nuts, coconut, soya, oats, rice, hemp, even peas - and there are plenty of coconut, oat and soya-based yoghurts out there too. Vegan butters and spreads are readily available, as are vegan cheeses, some of which even melt like the real thing.
3. Meat and fish substitutes
While some vegans embrace vegan burgers that "bleed", meat-free sausages and soya or vegetable protein-based "chicken", "mince" and more, others prefer to get their protein elsewhere. Tofu, seitan (made from wheat flour), pulses and nuts are often used as the star of the show in a vegan meal.
4. Egg substitutes
What you choose to use instead of eggs depends on the recipe you're cooking - while you won't find a vegan alternative to a fried, poached or boiled egg, there are some great substitutes for baking and breakfasts. Tofu is often used to create a vegan "scramble", while a combination of ground flaxseeds and water can be used in recipes that would normally use egg as a binding agent. Aquafaba (the liquid from tinned pulses) can be whipped up to peaks to make meringues, while cornflour can help hold a batter together. Alternatively, just ditch the recipes that use eggs and stick to vegan-specific recipes to make things easier! Going vegan doesn't have to be a daunting prospect. There are so many foods to choose from - if seitan or tofu doesn't appeal, there's still plenty that you can eat and enjoy! Looking for vegan snacks, vitamin blends and protein products? Save money on starting your vegan lifestyle with our MyVegan voucher codes!