Blueberry muffins have got to be one of the most underrated sweet treats of all time. What could be better than a perfectly soft muffin dotted with deliciously tangy and tart blueberries? A vegan version!
Many thanks to Wheybox for this recipe.
Serves: 6 | Baking time: 35 minutes
100g ground almonds
2x blueberry flavour No Whey sachets
250ml dairy-free milk (oat, soy, almond)
3 tbsp maple syrup
Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth
Spoon into muffin cases
Bake for 35 minutes at 180 degrees/Gas Mark 4
Top with coconut for an extra indulgent treat!
Especially after the popularity of Veganuary, veganism is hugely on the rise. Another term that is now floating around is 'plant based' which is used heavily in the groundbreaking new Netflix documentary The Game Changers. We take a look at the important distinctions between 'vegan' and 'plant based'.
Is Vegan the same as plant based?
The simplest answer to this is that no, vegan and plant based are not the same thing. All people who are plant based are vegan, but not all vegans are plant based. By extension, being plant-based is a sub-division of veganism.
It's important to remember that eating a vegan diet is not always intrinsically healthy, and that is where veganism and plant based differ the most. As a vegan, you are not eating any animal products or foods made with animal derivatives. This means no red meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs and is often done for ethical and environmental reasons rather than health reasons.
However, this means that a vegan could still eat unhealthy foods like potato chips, fries, and white bread. In fact, it would be easy for a vegan to be deficient in important vitamins and nutrients and to be more unhealthy than a meat-eater. As a vegan, you might try very hard to replicate all of your old favourites like cheese and meat but in doing so you could harm your health.
A lot of processed vegan alternatives like 'vegan cheese' and 'vegan burgers' contain a lot of chemicals and although they're better for animal welfare and the environment than eating meat, that's not beneficial to you. Always, the more natural the better. If you're a vegan, it's important to try and maintain a healthy diet and not just focus on eliminating entire food groups and replacing them with chemically-enhanced franken-burgers and sugary carbs.
On the contrary, those who are plant-based only eat foods that are, you guessed it, plant based. This means foods like beans, legumes, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. All of these foods are inherently healthy and therefore a plant-based vegan would expect to be more healthy than a non plant based vegan. Some plant-based eaters go one step further and follow a completely raw food diet, which means eating solely uncooked foods.
What do you eat on a plant based diet?
A plant-based diet is sometimes thought of as being restrictive, but it's absolutely not and if you try transitioning from being an omnivore to being plant-based, you may well discover a lot of new foods you've never tried before. On a plant-based diet, you only eat foods that are whole and natural such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains, and legumes. Of course, any plant based diet is open to interpretation and what works best for you.
It's important for vegans and those on a plant-based diet to get enough protein and vitamin B3, as these are the macro- and micro-nutrients that can be difficult to get enough of on a meat-free diet. There are plenty of plant-based protein sources that those on a vegan diet can enjoy, mostly from beans, whole grains, pulses, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
Read more: Healthy Vegan Brownie Recipe
Vegan grocery shopping list
This is what a typical vegan grocery shopping list might look like in order to enjoy a varied and balanced diet that is healthy and provides enough of the right nutrients.
- Black beans
- Wholewheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Almond/soy milk
- Coconut milk/coconut cream
- Green beans
- Kidney beans
- Vegan protein powder
From these ingredients there are lots of delicious and healthy recipes you can create, from homemade vegan beanie burgers to vegan protein mousse and tasty salads.
Thinking about going vegan? Check out our tips for going vegan
Want to try more vegan recipes? Try this vegan blueberry muffin recipe or this vegan ice cream sundae recipe.
Two of the most popular diet and lifestyle choices at the moment are following the keto diet and being vegan. Generally, a vegan or plant-based diet is very high in carbohydrates whereas the keto diet by definition is very low in carbs. So can you be a vegan on the keto diet? What can you eat as a keto vegan? We answer all your questions in our vegan keto guide.
What can you eat on a vegan keto diet?
Let's start with the basics. A vegan diet is one which omits any animal foods or foods derived from animals. This means no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy. Some people believe a vegan diet is restrictive, but this isn't the case. Instead, what this leaves is an abundance of plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, lentils, and beans. All of these foods are intrinsically healthy as they contain high amounts of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and even protein, which can be a divisive subject for vegans.
The keto diet is a recently trending super low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet which promises followers rapid weight loss and health benefits. It is a somewhat controversial diet as there can be side effects such as keto flu and bad breath, however a lot of people swear by this diet for improving their lifestyle and losing weight.
In general, people following a keto diet eat a lot of animal products as these are naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Foods like steak, eggs and dairy fit the keto diet easily, however they are not vegan.
So what can you eat on a vegan keto diet? In fact, you have lots of options! Some of the tastiest vegan foods are naturally high in fat, such as coconut products, avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds. These days there are lots of coconut-derived products which have been developed as the vegan lifestyle becomes more popular. You can now buy coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour... the list goes on. This one ingredient will be the staple of your vegan keto diet.
Other foods suitable for the vegan keto diet include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, and oils. Most of these foods are whole plant-based foods and are therefore very healthy.
Is vegan low carb possible?
Yes, a vegan low carb diet is definitely possible. While a traditional vegan or plant-based diet is naturally high in carbohydrates, it is still possible to follow a low carb vegan diet. If you are careful with what you eat, plan your meals, and keep an eye on your calories and macros, you have plenty of options of things you can eat on a vegan keto diet.
A vegan keto diet can be very healthy as some of the healthiest fats are vegan, such as oils, olives, nuts, seeds, and avocado. You can supplement these foods with coconut products to round out your options and create delicious vegan keto recipes.
In general, the keto diet requires getting up to 90% of your calories from fat. As there are so many healthy fats which are vegan, this shouldn't be a problem.
Vegan Keto Recipes
There are plenty of delicious vegan keto recipes available online which can keep your diet healthy, varied, and tasty. Try some of these vegan keto recipes to find out for yourself!
Vegan Keto Avocado Pops
Chocolate Keto Protein Smoothie
There are lots of bold flavours in this hearty lentil dish: fragrant chermoula and soft aubergine strips rubbed in black garlic. Served with sweet Romano pepper, rocket, crunchy cashews and a lemony tahini drizzle. Recipe courtesy of Mindful Chef.
Ingredients - Serves 2
- 1/2 lemon
- 180g cherry tomatoes
- 1 aubergine
- 1 red onion
- 1 romano red pepper
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 240g lentils in water (drained)
- 2 tbsp Belazu chermoula
- 2 tbsp oil
- 30g cashew nuts
- 40g rocket
- 4 black garlic cloves
- Medium handful of flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
- Cut the red onion and Romano red pepper into small bite-sized pieces. Slice the aubergine horizontally into 3 pieces, then again into long 1-2 cm wide wedges. Place the black garlic cloves into a small bowl, add 1/2 tbsp oil and mash with a fork until a thick paste forms. Spread evenly over the aubergine wedges to form a thin coating (you may have to do this with your hands!).
- Place the black garlic coated aubergine, onion and red pepper on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place in the oven for 20 mins until turning golden, turning halfway through.
- Drain the lentils and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Heat a pan with 1/2 tbsp oil on a medium heat and add the lentils, cherry tomatoes, parsley and the chermoula, cook for 5 mins. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Place the rocket in a large bowl and add the chermoula lentils, onion and red pepper. In a small bowl, mix the tahini paste with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2 tsp cold water to form a smooth sauce.
- Spoon the lentil and vegetable mix onto two warm plates, top with the black garlic aubergine wedges and sprinkle over the cashew nuts. Drizzle over the tahini sauce.
514 calories • 43g carbs • 30g fat • 20g protein
Not suitable for nut or sesame allergy sufferers
Want the ease and convenience of these ingredients being delivered to your door, already weighed out and ready to cook? Sign up to Mindful Chef today using code SUNDRIED for £10 off your first two boxes. This recipe is available to order now!
Veganism is on the rise and shows no signs of stopping. In fact, this January, many people are pledging to go vegan for Veganuary. But what are the benefits?
Is it healthy to be a vegan?
In 2016, a survey found that over half a million people in the UK over the age of 15 are vegan. This has increased from only 150,000 ten years previously. A vegan diet omits any products derived from animals, including meat and dairy. There are various different levels of veganism as some people choose to adhere to it differently to others. Some vegans extend their philosophy into everyday life by refusing to wear fur and leather while others will only follow the diet. Depending on a person's reason for being vegan, it can be quite a varying lifestyle.
Many people follow a vegan diet purely for the health benefits. While it has been proven that eating meat can contribute to heart disease, a lot of vegan diets lack in protein and essential nutrients. In order to be a healthy vegan, you need to do your research first and make sure you are eating enough of the right nutrients while limiting your carbohydrate intake.
What are the benefits of a vegan diet?
Aside from the animal welfare and environmental benefits of following a vegan diet, it can be very beneficial for your health. Eating natural, whole foods is better for our digestion and blood sugar levels and can even improve your energy levels. By following a vegan diet, you are more likely to eat natural foods that are low in sugar and contain 'healthy' fats rather than hydrogenated oils.
How is veganism good for the environment?
Livestock globally contributes to a whopping 7.1 Gigatonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Sundried is an ethical activewear brand and as such we care deeply about the environment. Several of Sundried's brand ambassadors are proudly vegan and love sharing their vegan lifestyle and tips with others in order to help them live a healthier, more responsible life.
Farming livestock and producing animal products uses a lot of water and produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. By following a plant-based or vegan diet, you are helping the ecosystem to stay more natural and are contributing to a natural, healthy environment.
Tips for going vegan
Track your food intake
Tracking your food intake doesn't only mean making a note of everything you eat in a day, you can also use it to plan your meals and figure out what you need to eat each day in order to achieve your calorie and macronutrient goals. In order to be healthy, you should have at least a rough idea of how many calories you should be eating each day as well as how many grams of protein, fat, and carbs you need each day. You can use an app like myfitnesspal to track your food so that you know your diet is healthy. A vegan diet can be very high in carbohydrates so it's important to keep an eye on your ratios and make sure you're having enough fat and protein too.
Don't be afraid to try new foods
It's a complete myth that vegan diets have to be restrictive. There are endless exciting and delicious foods you can enjoy while following a vegan diet and you should never feel limited otherwise you won't be able to sustain it. If you are newly vegan, you may find that there are lots of new foods that you need to try, so don't be afraid! Go into this experience with an open mind and you will most certainly find a whole host of new foods that you never knew even existed.
Avoid processed vegan foods and fake foods
As previously mentioned, there are many different types of veganism. Those who follow a 'plant-based' diet eat only foods which are derived from plants, such as fruits and vegetables. it is very easy to get sucked into the fake vegan foods on offer, such as fake chicken and fake cheese. These vegan substitutes are often full of chemicals and are no healthier for you than a non-vegan diet. A vegan diet can be unhealthy! If you eat just chips, crisps, and fake vegan foods, you will not be healthy at all. it's definitely better to stick to a plant-based diet and don't try to recreate your old favourite omnivorous foods. As mentioned above, try new things and discover amazing flavours you haven't tried before. There are so many options, you don't need to be eating fake chicken and fake cheese just because you're vegan.