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What is a Vegan? A Very Short Explanation

What is a Vegan? A Very Short Explanation

“Does “Vegan” mean there is no dairy in these cookies?” A little girl with chocolate-colored hair is looking at her shoes while her mother asks about my cookies. I am selling them at a local farmer’s market and my signs are marked clearly “Vegan.” I can tell she is not expecting to get to have any cookies today. I guess it has been a while since she was allowed a cookie, since her mother has obviously not done much research on baking without dairy.

“YEP!” I see the girl’s head pop up and she looks hopefully at her mother. Apparently the little girl has recently been diagnosed with a milk allergy. I hope it was VERY recently, because the story the mother tells me breaks my heart for this little girl. She says “she can’t have milk” and “it’s really hard for her because we all eat it at home all the time.”

Two things are painfully clear to me now. One, this little girl needs help, and two, so does her insensitive and ignorant mother. Personally, if my child was suddenly allergic to anything, that thing would never find its way under my roof ever again. Period. I would not torture a young child, forcing her to watch as everyone else enjoyed a full-dairy diet while she had to make do with substitutes.

Eating Dairy-free is just one of the aspects of eating a vegan diet. But it is, next to eating no meat, typically the most well-known aspect of a vegan diet. And yet, here I had a woman who presumably had begun her research into a dairy-free lifestyle (I hope) and had not heard of the term “vegan.”

With the fast growing green movement, and more and more people choosing a veggie-based diet, I am always surprised when I encounter anyone that is not familiar with at least the basic tenants of a vegan diet.

So what is a vegan? A vegan is a person that endeavors not to consume animal products of any kind. This includes flesh of all kinds, beef, chicken, pork and fish, animal-produced foods such as eggs, dairy, and gelatin, as well as most refined sugars, many wines, and many beers. A vegan will typically also not wear clothing or consume other such non-edibles that were made with animal products, such as leather or woolen goods, feather products (with the exception of humane-harvest feathers which are simply collected after the bird naturally molts) or silk.…

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The Vegan Diet – New to the Kitchen?

The Vegan Diet – New to the Kitchen?

So you have decided to become a vegan and have commit yourself to be successful at this. After all. you want a better quality of life, don’t you?

As a vegan, you will face many different challenges, such as learning about nutrition, adapting to this new lifestyle, how to stay vegan in social situations, but the most scary one could be, what to cook. If you are new to the kitchen then this might be a horrifying thought, I mean you haven’t cook at all but now that you are a vegan, things in the kitchen get even more complicated. The good thing about this is that you are definitely out of your comfort zone, which means you will only grow from now.

Let me start by telling you that you are not alone on this. Many people face the same challenge regarding what to eat. I faced it too, when I was just starting my vegan journey and let me tell you that I have become a pretty good cook. Knowing where to start is not always easy, but with patience and proper planning, you will find that the kitchen monster is not as big as you think it is, you will learn how to cook the most amazing, cruelty free dishes.

OK so before you get started, you need to know where you are regarding your cooking skills. If your idea of a meal is going to the local take out and put that food on a dish, then you will need to ask your mom or friends for some help. Don’t get me wrong, you can still eat out as a vegan but it is not as healthy as cooking your own food and you will have plenty more choices if you prepare your meals.

Now take time to learn a few recipes and master them. Practice makes perfect and starting with a few dishes is a good starting point. This will also help you when you are in a hurry and need to prepare something fast. When you know what dishes to prepare, you can do them in record time. Also make sure you learn some recipes that include ingredients common in your household. It would be useless to learn recipes when you don’t have the ingredients on hand.

Finally look for some cooking classes around your neighborhood. This will really help you in mastering vegan dishes or get you started in the kitchen with help from professionals or people with experience. Just look at this as a great adventure and have fun with it.

I hope you have found this article to be useful in your quest for a better quality of life.…

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Vegan Pizza: Tasty Facts, Wide Options

Vegan Pizza: Tasty Facts, Wide Options

Many new vegans (persons who do not eat meat, eggs or dairy products), or hosts who are serving vegan guests for the first time, may have a hard time coming up with creative, tasty dishes. Vegan pizza is often a simple and easy choice. However, after solving the puzzle up to that point, many people get in a rut and things start to get a little stale.

But there are many facts about vegan pizza that many people — including long-time vegans — do not know.

For instance, did you know that the original, authentic, Italian pizza is traditionally vegan, i.e. no meat and no cheese? It is called the Marinara, and because of the simple but special ingredients used, and the cooking method, many pizza connoisseurs choose this pure version as their favourite pizza.

In addition to the Marinara, there are a number of other vegan pizza choices available.

Vegan pizzas are available at your favourite pizza place, you can buy it frozen, or make it at home. While it is not common to find a pizzeria that serves authentic Marinara pizzas, it is easy to get a cheeseless pizza from any pizza restaurant by just asking to hold the cheese.

Very good frozen vegan pizzas are also becoming more readily available, too, and tastier.

Then there is the home-made pizza option, which may be the best choice if you want a more authentic Italian pizza, if you would like to use cheese and meat vegan substitutes, or if you want to use non-traditional pizza crusts.

With regard to toppings, you can go cheeseless (in traditional Italian or modern vegan style), use vegan cheese substitutes, or nutritional yeast “cheese” sauce (very nutritious, rich in protein and B-vitamins). Vegan Cheese substitutes, it must be noted, have not traditionally been able to reproduce the familiar “stringy” quality of melted mozzarella on vegan pizza, with the exception of one brand which is tapioca- and arrowroot- based rather than soy-based.

That’s not all. While pizza dough is already vegan, not many people know that there are significant differences in types of flour, and not all flour is available everywhere. The fact is that the single most important component of a pizza is the base, not the toppings. Authentic Italian pizza needs “00” flour, not readily available in North America, but this gives a distinctive airy and stretchy texture, and handles perfectly when forming into a circle.

It is perfectly possible to make good (but not authentic Italian) pizza crusts using regularly available baking flour (beer is often a good addition), or whole wheat flour. But outside of that there are tasty gluten-free pizza crusts available, using tapioca and manioc flour (from Brazil), or seeds, vegetables, and legumes (in a modern vegan variation).

In a more traditional European gourmet mode, one can also use puff pastry as the pizza base to make very interesting vegan pizzas. Sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and mustard seeds, mushroom and artichoke, thinly sliced potato with olive oil and rosemary (a traditional European favourite that is virtually unknown in America), all go beautifully on flaky puff pastry.…

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The World Of Vegan Protein Sources

The World Of Vegan Protein Sources

In today’s world, Vegan is getting to be a very popular word. We hear more and more people around us using it, and turning into vegans. This surprises a lot of people, since the vegan lifestyle is very restrictive, and many vegans struggle to get the right amount of protein. With the limited vegan protein sources out there, are vegans able to get all of the nutrients required for a healthy diet?

Vegans are people who do not eat meat, or any other animal byproducts. This includes eggs and dairy. While it can be very difficult, it is possible for vegans to get enough protein in their diet. They just need to find the right combination of foods. The problem is that most sources of vegan protein are not complete proteins. The body requires a variety of amino acids to function properly, and that means that you need to be consuming complete proteins. The opinions out there are mixed, but most nutritionists today are saying that it is OK to get the various amino acids from a variety of sources, spread throughout the day. It is ideal to get them all together, but as long as you are getting them, your body will get what it needs. This is why it is very important to make the right food choices, especially if you have the restrictive diet of a vegan. Some good amounts of protein can be found in certain fruits and vegetables. Be sure that you are consuming a variety of green vegetables, beans, lentils, grains and nuts.

Here are 3 of the most popular foods that are a great vegan protein source, as well as delicious.

1. Bean and Lentils: These foods are an excellent source of vegan protein. Black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, vegetarian chili and lentils can give you grams of protein when eaten in the right amounts. A cup of kidney beans would approximately contain 13 grams of protein.

2. Grains: Whole grains are packed with protein. Many vegans go with brown rice, barley, oats or even whole grain breads, but the one that tops it is quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein, and if included in ones diet makes an excellent vegan protein source. A cup of cooked Quinoa may contain around 18 grams of protein.

3. Soy products: Soy can be consumed in various different ways including, soy milk, soy nuts, soy ice-cream, soy yogurt, soy cheese and the list can go on. Tofu is easily available in grocery stores, is very inexpensive, and is a valuable vegan protein source. Tofu can be eaten just the way it is or incorporated with any seasoning to make a delicious healthy meal. It also contains calcium and iron. Half a cup of tofu might have up to 10 grams of protein and a whole cup of soy milk contains 7 grams.

Even with the various sources of vegan protein out there, many vegans really struggle to create a truly healthy diet. While there are many different vegan protein sources out there, most of them do not provide you with the complete proteins that you need for your body to work it’s best.…