What’s your favorite plant-based product?
The statistics are undeniable: the consumption of plant-based proteins has increased dramatically in recent years. Now it’s time to revisit your classics and make them plant-based! To do so, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, tempeh and legumes are your best allies.
What are the main plant-based foods?
A “plant-based” diet is one that consists of all types of plants. In this type of diet, the goal is to reduce (or even eliminate!) your consumption of animal foods. To achieve this goal, you must therefore give priority to foods that are not or only slightly processed. The best examples are fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, flours/meals and so on!
However, it can be difficult to change your habits overnight. It is therefore essential that you start gradually! This way, you will also be able to adjust and take the time to discover new products.
Many plant-based proteins are great substitutes for meat, so don’t worry about your muscles going flat. It won’t happen!
What are plant-based proteins?
When you decide to cut out meat from your diet, you’ll have to find interesting alternatives to make up for the possible lack of protein. Meat contains 20-30 % protein, which provides your body with valuable amino acids.
And when we say meat, we also say “complete proteins”. This term is used because all the essential amino acids your body needs are found in animal proteins.
In plant-based proteins, not all the essential amino acids are found in the same food, which is why it is important to diversify your diet even more on a daily basis. A very routine and repetitive diet would put you at risk of deficiencies.
Fortunately for you, there is now a ton of meat substitutes and delicious recipes to incorporate them skillfully.
Tons of plant-based protein options!
Sure, there are the classics you’ve probably heard of: tofu, legumes and nuts. But have you ever tried nutritional yeast, spirulina, edamame or quinoa? These are all great options!
Why eat plant-based?
Plant-based products are often much less expensive than animal-based products. In addition, eating a plant-based diet has many health benefits!
Also, compared to a diet rich in processed products, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is lower. This type of diet can even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Finally, other than the physical benefits, there are also environmental benefits. Indeed, by choosing a plant-based diet, you will greatly reduce your ecological footprint!
How to go vegan?
So, now you’re convinced and you want to introduce plant-based eating into your life? But how do you start?
The gradual reduction
The first step in successfully going plant-based is to replace at least half the amount of meat in your recipes with a plant-based protein substitute.
We love tofu!
One of the most versatile and easy to cook substitutes is tofu. You can cube it, slice it, crumble it or even grate it! Its neutral taste and texture are generally suitable for all chicken-based recipes.
Probably the best recipe to introduce yourself to tofu is General Tao with tofu! A great classic. Then, once you get used to it, you can use it everywhere:
- Mixed with grated cheese on homemade pizzas and lasagnas;
- Crumbled into a ground meat mixture for burritos/tacos or a spaghetti sauce;
- Chopped into small breaded nuggets;
- Thinly sliced to veggie bacon!
Another great find is textured vegetable protein (TVP). You’ll love it, because once rehydrated, the texture is very similar to that of ground meat. It is often found in the organic section and sometimes even in bulk. It is also possible to rehydrate it in chicken, vegetable or beef broth, but also in milk or various vegetable drinks to make desserts.
In the end, remember that the integration of plant-based products should be done gradually and in a fun way. Try different recipes and discover a new world of possibilities! Eventually, it will become automatic and you’ll know what to substitute!