World Vegan Day: Try These 7 Vegan Meat Alternatives For A Guilt-free Diet

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Nutrition

oi-Amritha K


on November 1, 2020

World Vegan Day is observed on 1 November every year. Established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, the then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the organisation, the day also marks the coining of the term’s “vegan” and “veganism.”

Every year, the Vegan Society observes the World Vegan Day based on specific themes; however, the official theme for the World Vegan Day 2020 event hasn’t been declared yet. Reports point out that people choosing to live a vegan lifestyle are on the rise, owing to the conscious way of living that help not only yourself and your body, but also the world around.

Going vegan also has a plethora of health benefits, from reduced risk of heart diseases to type 2 diabetes, the number goes on. Choosing a vegan lifestyle is not difficult; of course, changing your diet and avoiding your regular foods can be time-consuming, but the benefits you reap are enormous.

On this World Vegan Day, we will introduce you to some of the most healthy and tasty meat substitutes. Choosing the vegan path does not mean compromising on the flavourful dishes, but substituting your meat and dairy products with vegan options, and let me tell you, most times, you will not even realise the difference.

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Read on to know how you can substitute meat with these cruelty-free vegan meat alternatives.

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1. Mushroom

One of the best options instead of meat, mushrooms, are popular in vegan dishes [1]. Mushrooms have a meaty flavour naturally and are rich in umami, a type of savoury taste, and are the only plant source of vitamin D. Portobello mushrooms are one of the best options for vegan meat.

You can add mushrooms to salads, kinds of pasta, burger and stir fry it with other vegetables.

2. Tofu

Tofu is a high-quality protein source and is a popular soy product [2]. A rich source of isoflavones and amino acids, tofu is a common substitute for meat in vegan and vegetarian diet. Tofu may lack in flavour, but the good news is that tofu absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients in a dish.

Tofu can be cubed for use in a stir-fry or crumbled as a replacement for eggs or cheese.

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3. Tempeh

A soy product made from fermented soy is another alternative for vegan meat [3]. Tempeh is made using the whole soybean and contains more protein, fibre, and vitamins than tofu. Tempeh has a more robust flavour and firmer texture than tofu and is best paired with peanut-based sauces.

4. Seitan

Seitan is a plant food (made from hydrated gluten in wheat) that can be used as a substitute for non-vegetarian food products. It provides more than 25 per cent protein in one serving and is a good source of plant protein [4]. Seitan can be used in place of beef or chicken.

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5. Jackfruit

The latest and one of the best substitutes for vegan meat, jackfruit flesh has a subtle, fruity flavour said to be similar to pineapple [5]. Jackfruit has a chewy texture and is commonly used as a substitute for pork. Jackfruit is high in carbohydrates and low in protein, so keep in mind that it may not be the best option to depend on jackfruit as your sole source of protein [6].

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6. Legumes

Legumes are affordable and healthy sources of plant-based protein [7]. You can make use of chickpeas, black beans, lentils etc. and what’s more, these beans and legumes work well in a variety of cuisines. Though beans are a good source of plant-based protein, they do not contain all essential amino acids on their own.

7. Vegetable Protein

Texturised vegetable protein is another vegan meat substitute made with soy flour and has a high-protein, low-fat product [8]. This vegetable protein is flavourless and can add a meaty texture to dishes.

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On A Final Note…

Many people refrain from the vegan lifestyle claiming that it is costly and non-economic. However, you may be surprised to find out that going vegan does not have to burn a hole in your pocket. After all, the Indian diet is heavily inclined to the vegan side, with you only needing to skip on the dairy products and the honey mostly.

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