The word ?vegan? can often scare many people away, but that?s often a reaction you?ll find from people who haven?t tried very many vegan foods. As those who are vegan or who enjoy eating vegan foods know, vegan isn?t a scary word. In fact, the vegan diet and vegan foods continue to grow in popularity as more people discover the various benefits vegan foods provide.
A common misconception is that if you?re not vegan, you should avoid making vegan foods, and nothing could be further from the truth. The benefits you enjoy from vegan foods can be taken advantage of whether or not you?re on a full vegan diet. Some also go on the vegan diet as a point of morality. The thought process behind the morality debate is that we don?t need meat to survive and so to kill animals for the pleasure of eating meat is immoral and unethical. That takes you to vegetarianism, but why choose veganism? Another problem with modern practices when dealing with animals is the practice of factory farming. Even companies in the USA that claim to raise their animals free range and claim their animals are grass fed can use the terms without any legal repercussions. There are no regulations by the FDA or any government agency when it comes to those terms, which means that any eggs, dairy, or any other animal product can be labelled grass fed or free range even if the animals are being factory farmed. That is why, for many, veganism makes sense as a lifestyle choice and not just a diet plan.
Another piece that can really help in your quest to make vegan recipes is to use your freezer when appropriate. Stored and frozen properly, vegan foods are a natural ally to the freezer simply because there?s longer life to the meals compared to dishes that contain meat or dairy. Freezing doesn?t also always have to be full meals. Snacks, breakfasts, and drinks can all be frozen just as meals can. What?s important is that you have freezing and reheating instructions. This book provides freezing instructions for each recipe and reheating instructions if necessary.
The benefits of vegan recipes are many and varied, and they?re not just limited to your health. For one, environmentally, vegan recipes are much more efficient and much more environmentally friendly than meals that contain meats. Animals that are fed on vegetables and grains that you?re able to eat as well need food that will help the animal grow healthy and strong for eventual consumption. The amount of vegetables and grains that it takes to grow these animals is overwhelmingly larger in serving size than the amount of food you would get from consuming the animal. Not only that, but the nutrition taken from all that food is also more efficiently used by your body rather than going through another animal?s digestive system first. Vegan benefits are more than just avoiding meats and animal products. The vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and other foods you?ll be eating will contain more than enough nutrition to keep you going on a daily basis. For instance, are you concerned you won?t be getting enough calcium if you cut dairy out of your diet or recipes? Kale is a resource that contains enough calcium for your body while providing a whole set of other benefits as well. Is protein a concern if you won?t be eating any more meat or fish? Soy, beans, nuts, quinoa, and legumes are just a few sources of protein that you?ll be able to include in your recipes and meals that will more than make up for the missing protein in your diet. Since quite a few foods that you might have thought of eating from a store or restaurant will contain ingredients that aren?t vegan, you?ll also be making a lot more of your own meals which will result in a healthier and less costly meal plan. Some people have a concern that freezing your food could destroy some of the nutrients contained in your meals. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Although some flavor may be lost with extended freezing, freezing your recipes is a great way to store the nutrients in your meal for a later time in the week.
There are some areas of concern when going on the vegan diet. Mainly, they have to do with certain nutritional deficiencies that are unable to be made up with any sources available to you on the vegan diet. For one, vitamin B12 is a necessary vitamin that is needed for nerve function and the creation of red blood cells. B12 is carried through the animal which is why it is unavailable for vegans. The best way for someone who?s fully on the vegan diet to get their recommended dose of B12 is to take a supplement or to eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified soy milk. Calcium is another concern, but there?s enough sources of calcium, such as kale, bok choi, almonds, broccoli, cabbage, and fortified soy milk, that this shouldn?t be too much of a concern. Another area of concern is that like any diet, consult with your doctor before shifting to a vegan diet. It?s important to not make hasty decisions when it comes to your health, so talking to your doctor and slowly shifting to a vegan diet is advised. When freezing your meals, make sure to use containers that are air tight and seal properly, since allowing too much exposure to the air can damage the food you intend on freezing.