As an increasing number of people ditch animal products in favor of plant-based options, the availability of innovative new vegan products also grows. Trumping stereotypes that vegans miss out on their favorite eats, meat-free diners can now enjoy anything they desire – plant-based burgers, hotdogs, ice cream, and seafood are still on the table for the veg or the veg-curious.
However, due to its versatility and health benefits, many of these items are made with soy. This is not ideal for those who are trying to eat fewer animal products but suffer from a soy allergy. It means items like miso, tempeh, soybeans, and tofu, as well as soy-based dairy, are off the cards.
Thankfully, there are plenty of a vegan soy-free options out there that are just as nutrient-rich and don’t compromise on taste.
What to Eat When You’re Vegan But Allergic to Soy
Protein-packed meat substitute Seitan is a popular choice for many meat-free diners. Made from wheat gluten (so avoid if you’re coeliac), it can closely replicate the texture of meat and is often used to make vegan foods like burger patties, deli slices, and steak. It can also be included in kebabs, curries, and stir-fries.
If you’re looking to replace the protein that soy delivers, legumes may be your solution. Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and lentils are filling and nutrient-rich ingredients that can be incorporated into salads, soups, or into mains like burritos and nachos. Peanuts, also technically a legume, can also be a great choice for salads, curries, or just as a snack.
3. Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Booja-Booja makes its Hunky Punky Chocolate ice cream with cashews and cocoa. Perfect World offers Mint Choc Chip Low Calorie ice cream that’s made with coconut milk and nuts, and you can purchase Almond Salted Caramel ice cream from dairy-free brand Alpro. And a hot (or cool) tip: most sorbets are automatically vegan and soy-free (but check the label just in case).
4. Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are great sources of protein and iron. Walnuts, also protein-rich, offer good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, too. Most nuts can be purchased in butter form, ideal for sprucing up crackers and bread or for eating with slices of vegetables and fruit.
Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed raw, cooked, roasted as a snack or added to meals. Hemp seeds, ground linseed, and chia seeds also pack plenty of protein and can be easily added to smoothies.
5. Plant Milks
Whilst soy is arguably the most common dairy-free milk, there are plenty of others to enjoy. Almond, oat, and coconut are popular choices but plant-based milk can be made with all kinds of ingredients, like peas and tiger nuts.
Soy-based condiments can provide a savory, umami flavor to many kinds of dishes. For an alternative to soy sauce, you can try Coconut Aminos – it is organic, gluten-free and soy-free, and contains 17 amino acids, making it a healthy swap-out. If you’re feeling creative, you could make your own soy and gluten-free vegan soy sauce with this recipe.
7. Dairy-Free Cheese
Many ingredients are overtaking soy in the non-dairy sector, especially in plant-based cheese production. Radix Foods makes vegan garlic and herb cream cheese with cashews, while UK supermarket ASDA’s plant-based cheese is made with coconut oil.
Rivaling tofu, jackfruit is growing in popularity. It’s a good source of fiber and can be low in calories, but many are drawn to it for its ability to mimic meat. You can buy pre-packaged jackfruit at supermarkets – from brands like Upton’s Naturals – purchase it in tins, and find it in various meals (even on pizza).
9. Soy-Free Vegan Meats
Those with a soy allergy certainly don’t need to miss out on vegan meats.
The ever-popular Beyond Burger, crafted by vegan meat brand Beyond Meat, is free from soy and gluten (and still delivers 20 grams of protein). Field Roast’s products, which include frankfurters and deli slices, are soy-free and made with vital wheat gluten. Vegan brand The Very Good Butchers uses jackfruit to make “Rybs,” and Quorn’s vegan nuggets are made with mycoprotein and wheat flour.
Image Credit: Pizza Express | Beyond Meat