Veganism is on the rise in the UK, and there has been an increasing need in recent years for information on how to become a vegan. One of the main questions has been around what vegans can eat, and the best way to make the transition from eating meat and fish to a plant-based diet.
The stereotypical image of veganism in the recent past has conjured-up images of anaemic-looking, tofu and lentil-eating simple people, who love to wear Birkenstocks. But today, thanks to a significant number of celebrity vegans and vegan super-bloggers, veganism has suddenly become far more glamorous.
This is not just a celebrity trend. The Vegan Society has reported that the number of vegans in the UK has doubled in the last nine years, from 150,000 to around 500,000. In addition, the market research company, Mintel, has reported that the non-dairy milk market dramatically increased from 36 million litres in 2011 to 92 million in 2013, making it worth over £150 million.
There’s no doubt that a vegan diet can be great for your health. With the popularity of health food stores, and the fact that many people are looking to improve their health, this means it’s easier than ever to enjoy a satisfying vegan diet.
So what are some of the benefits of a vegan diet? There are many nutritional benefits that come from a vegan diet full of foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and beans. This includes the following:
- Reduced saturated fats. Dairy products and meats contain a large amount of saturated fats. By reducing the amount of saturated fats from your diet, you’ll improve your health tremendously, especially when it comes to cardiovascular health.
- Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for your body. When you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body will burn muscle tissue.
- Fibre. A diet high in fibre (as vegan-eating usually is) leads to healthier bowel movements. High-fibre diets help fight against colon cancer.
- Magnesium. Aiding in the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an often overlooked vitamin in its importance to a healthy diet. Nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium.
- Potassium. Potassium balances water and acidity in your body, and stimulates the kidneys to eliminate toxins. Diets high in potassium have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Vegan food is as tasty as you make it, so the same seasonings you would use for meat or fish, use the same for your vegan recipes. This will make your vegan dishes more enjoyable. There are good and bad cooks for all kinds of food, so if you have tried vegan food and not liked it… well… it could be the cook and not the actual food itself! Veganism is also a mindset, so why not make a decision to judge vegan food for yourself, by trying out some dishes you have cooked personally.
Kirly-Sue (aka Susanne Kirlew) is a vegan social media influencer, food writer, radio and TV presenter and published author. Kirly-Sue writes about vegan food and lifestyle, and was named as one of the Top 100 in the Lift Effects Star Awards. She is an Instagram and YouTube influencer, with a total of 35,000 followers across her social media.
Kirly-Sue’s expertise has afforded her the opportunity to work with companies in the UK and the USA. This includes being an international keynote speaker in the USA, Singapore, Dubai, Norway, etc., and a TV presenter on a vegan cooking show in the USA for four seasons.
For more information, visit: http://kirlysueskitchen.co.uk
Twitter – https://twitter.com/KirlySueKitchen
YouTube – https://m.youtube.com/c/KirlySuesKitchen
Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/KirlySue/
Baked Banana, Cinnamon & Raisin Pancakes
These pancakes are so quick and easy to make. They can also be made the night before and gently heated when you are ready to eat them. Try out different toppings, and add the fruit or sauce of your choice. My favourite toppings are blueberries and maple syrup or chopped mango, pineapple and banana.
Prep time: 5-10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 20-25 min
- 1 cup of oats (finely ground into a flour-type mixture, by blending for about 30secs)
- 1/4 cup spelt or wholegrain flour
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large ripe banana, finely mashed
- 1 & 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 180c, 350f or gas mark 4
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper or greaseproof paper
- Combine together the oat flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
- Stir well
- Add banana to the dry ingredients
- Add the almond milk and raisins
- Stir well
- Place 1/4 of the mixture onto the baking trays to form pancakes
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes
- Allow to cool slightly, and serve topped with fruit or sauce of your choice
Sweet Potato Burgers
I love sweet potato, and I just created this recipe that makes it into a great burger. I also added a little Jamaican seasoning to put a little sunshine into the recipe. These can be served in a burger bun with fries. It can also be served with salad in a wrap or roti.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 – 30 min
Total time: 35 – 40 min
- 1 medium sweet potato, boiled and mashed (approx 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups wheatgerm
- 1 cup of quick oats (instant oats)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1-2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning (season all)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons Bragg Aminos or soy sauce
all ingredients together and mix well
- Use two tablespoons of the mixture to form burgers (use a medium cookie cutter to help you)
- Place burgers onto greased baking tray
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180c. 350f or gas mark 4
- Turn burgers over half way through cooking time
- Allow to cool and then serve
Easy Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese
A culinary revolution has been going on – the mac ‘n’ cheese revolution. Appearing on high-end restaurant menus, stuffed into burgers, teamed up with vegetables, jazzed up with vegan blue cheese and taking on a life of its own. From a popular, economical boxed kid’s lunch, this comfort food has morphed into a new designer cuisine
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 30 min
- 3 cups cooked wholewheat pasta (any type of small pasta shape will work)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 small tomato, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup cooked sweet potato (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat up the cooked pasta in a large saucepan
- Add the vegan butter, nutritional yeast and almond milk
- Stir until well combined
- Add the tomato and stir (You can also use cooked sweet potato, or any other vegetable that you want)
- Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!