Vegan is a word that’s been thrown around a lot more in the past few years. Even while a myriad of individuals have shaken up their diets in the name of veganism, it’s still largely misunderstood. So, this begs the question, “What’s it all about?”
What is a vegan?
According to PETA, a vegan is someone who “does not consume any meat, dairy products, eggs, honey or any product derived from an animal.” A vegan is a strict vegetarian whose diet can (and should) be full of a variety of delicious and nutritious foods such as vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and fruits. Vegans also usually refuse to wear leather, fur, silk or wool, and many do not wear any products that have been made using animal ingredients, products that have been tested on animals or products that have been filtered using animal parts (such as some wines, beers and white sugars.)
Anything that’s ever had a mother is no-go territory if you’re wanting to embrace a vegan lifestyle. Vegan certified products can be anything from food to shampoo – even the seats in your car!
Why go vegan?
Compassion for and preventing the exploitation of animals is one reason why many choose to go vegan. While it’s not the only reason (others factors include personal dietary choices, health and ethics) it’s one of the main factors that ground followers in the vegan lifestyle. As the Vegan Society states, “many believe that all sentient creatures have a right to life and freedom.” Therefore, choosing a lifestyle and diet that doesn’t compromise the safety or freedom of an animal characterizes the vegan movement.
Is it healthy for me to go vegan?
It depends! As frustrating an answer as this is, it completely depends on what and how much you’re eating. For example, you could be living purely on salted chips and be technically following a vegan diet as Mary Lynch writing for Jamie Oliver states, but in no way would this be healthy. However, research has indicated that there are potential benefits to following a vegan diet, such as evidence that it’s higher in vitamin C and fiber, and lower in saturated fat than a diet that contains meat. Additionally, vegans have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than meat eaters.
Having a diet without meat or dairy products means that you’re likely to have much less saturated fat, related to increased cholesterol levels and heart disease. Not to mention that vegans may consume fewer calories as a result of cutting out dairy and meat products from their diets. A vegan diet is also generally believed to have more cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds than a non-vegan diet.
However, that’s not the full story. A vegan diet is generally nutritionally poor as it’s low in calcium, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. So, going vegan also means ensuring you receive enough nutrients from specific vegan foods. You may also need to take additional supplements.
What can I eat on a vegan diet?
We at Massel pride ourselves on creating recipes that anyone can enjoy, whether you’re gluten-free, vegan or none of the above. We’ve gathered a couple of our favorite vegan dishes below that you can cook up now.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots
We know what you’re thinking, but trust us, this is one dish you have to try! Although the image pictured above also uses onions and potatoes, they’re by no means a requirement to the dish. A recipe created by one of our customers Linda from New Jersey, this is a perfect example of how simple veggies can be enhanced with Massel bouillon for a natural flavor boost. Check out the recipe here.
Vegan Scalloped Potato Bake by Tess Masters
The Blender Girl Tess Masters is an expert when it comes to making delicious vegan meals! Made with cashews, yellow potatoes, lemon juice, ground pepper and more, it’s a filling dish that’s perfect to share with family and friends. “The sauce in this potato bake is also fabulous with other vegetables like sweet potato, green beans, eggplant and zucchini.” says Tess. You can enjoy these scalloped potatoes alongside steamed broccoli and carrots too!
Find out how to make this fabulous recipe here.
Tomato and Eggplant Pasta by Tess Masters
Mmmmm! We adore Tess Masters and her recipes so much, we’ve thrown in another meal for your cooking pleasure. Just sauté the eggplant, toss in some homemade tomato sauce and voila! Your next dinner is served. Check out how to make it here.
We’re loving this vegan take on the classic greasy wedge that’s not only more flavorful with Massel, but it’s healthier for you too! Who would have thought you could eat wedges without feeling guilty?
And that’s all for our vegan spotlight! What do you think about the lifestyle and diet? Share your opinions with us on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to show us what delicious vegan recipes you’ve created.