Keeping the right snacks on hand is one of the easiest ways to move towards a plant-based diet. And while you might be once again picturing the ol’ celery and carrot stick combination (nothing wrong with that!), ‘plant-based’ doesn’t necessarily mean eating just fruits and vegetables.
“Having a quality snack like a trail mix on hand is an excellent way to increase plant-based foods,” said Calfas.
“It’s filling, loaded with nutrients like thiamine (vitamin B1), essential fatty acids, copper, protein, vitamin E and vitamin A.”
Want to make your own? It’s actually very easy, Calfas explained and could be a good way to curb that 3pm chocolate craving.
“I love to get some almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts, add a few sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, toss a bit of sea salt, turmeric and coconut oil through and roast in the oven for an anti-inflammatory snack that’s high in protein and tastes amazing.
“And you can easily tweak the recipe and put whatever spices you like. Want something sweeter? Swap the turmeric for cinnamon. [It] tastes great, hits that sweet spot, and cinnamon has loads of antioxidants and is great for blood sugar regulation.”
6. CALL UPON CAULIFLOWER
Gone are the days of boiled and bland cauliflower! The humble cruciferous vegetable has had something of a PR makeover in the last few years, and is arguably one of the best plant-based foods to add to your diet, thanks to its ability to take on many forms.
“You can use cauliflower in just about anything. Feel like fried rice? You can easily swap out white rice for cauliflower rice, which you can make or can be bought frozen from the market,” said Calfas.
“Swap out your traditional pizza base for a cauliflower base, which you can make at home if you’re feeling adventurous, or buy from the supermarket, and is loaded with phytonutrients, vitamins C and K. You don’t have to miss out on pizza night—and it’s much better for your waistline!”
You can even get cauliflower gnocchi
7. FIND YOUR FAVOURITE ‘SNEAKY SWAPS’ AND RECIPE ADD-ONS
Working out your favourite sneaky swaps is an excellent tactic for occasionally replacing animal-derived products with plant-based foods.
“Don’t be afraid to make changes to your favourite recipes,” said Calfas.
“If you like to bake, you can swap out eggs for unsweetened applesauce. It tastes great, and adds extra fibre and antioxidants to your muffins.”
Another simple method is to look at your favourite recipes and work out where you can add a vegetable or legume without increasing your effort.
For example, if you have a go-to recipe for risotto, consider adding a can of chickpeas for an instant plant-based protein boost, Calfas explained.
Love Mexican chilli? Cut the mince and go for lentils, mushroom and black beans. Can’t go past a poke bowl? Swap out the salmon or tuna for tofu or tempeh.
While it might seem daunting, making these kinds of switches a few times a week is a huge step in the right direction, and one that’s beneficial to both your health and the environment.
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