Top 10 Reasons to Go Vegan in the New Year

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“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.”

- Linda McCartney, Linda's Kitchen: Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meals Without Meat

Easy Substitutions

Now that vegetarianism and veganism have become so popular, there are tons of amazing products out there that serve as a healthier alternative to some of the things you use on a daily basis. Below are just a few!

1. Vegenaise: Vegan mayonnaise. I swear by this stuff. I make potato and pasta salad with it weekly, and use it on sandwiches practically daily. I make dressings with it, and use it for every purpose I used mayo for before I was vegan. There are other substitutes for mayo out there, but this stuff is so close to mayo, I could barely tell the difference when I started using it.

2. Earth Balance: Vegan butter. Vegans swear by this stuff. It’s the perfect replacement for butter spoon for spoon and has a wonderful buttery taste without tasting like it’s fake. It’s great for baking or just spreading on toast!

3. Ener-G Egg Replacer: This is a powdered, potato starch based egg replacer. You whisk it with a couple tablespoons of water to use when baking something that uses an egg as a binding agent.

4. Non-dairy milk: The choices now are endless for this category. The main three are soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk, but there is also hemp milk and flax milk and probably some others that I haven’t heard of. They all have different characteristics but all serve as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk. Rice milk is a bit thinner, like 2% milk. Almond milk is thicker, as is flax milk. Soy milk is a perfect in between. Try them one by one and see which one is your favorite! Almond milk used to be our favorite, but we get flax milk now!

5. Vegan cheese: There are a ton of brands out there making dairy free cheese now. Daiya is the most popular brand; they offer cheddar and mozzarella in shreds and blocks. Other brands that offer different varieties are Teese, Follow Your Heart (makers of Vegenaise), Galaxy, Sheese, etc. Tofutti makes a great cream cheese alternative, but I find it’s better to use in baking than to eat by itself on a bagel (Tofutti also makes a vegan sour cream). Just be careful; if you’re looking to completely cut dairy out, there are some cheeses that aren’t completely vegan. Veggie Slices is the only one I can think of, but they contain casein, which is derived from cow’s milk.

6. Meat alternatives: I know I mentioned tofu, tempeh, and seitan before, but I wanted to list some brands that are good. Tofurky and Field Roast are by far my favorite and two of the most well known. Yves is one as well. They all make vegan sausage, sandwich slices, loaves, and hot dogs. Gardein has a whole line of various meals that are all amazing, from turkey cutlets with gravy to sliders, and of course there are Boca Burgers as well (avoid Morningstar meats if you’re cutting out dairy completely, as most contain dairy of some sort).

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