Instagram has amassed over 61 million posts with “#vegan” – even your local eatery is embracing plant-based food. The diet and/or lifestyle is increasingly hard to cast a blind eye to.
But what is a vegan diet? In short, this means eschewing animal products in favor of plant-based foods. Despite some lingering misconceptions that veganism is restrictive – it’s rather the opposite. That means those partial to cooking up a hearty meal in the kitchen can expand their horizons. To accelerate your vegan cooking journey here are 11 reasons why home cooks and chefs alike will fall pots over pans for plant-based food.
Here’s Why People Who Love Cooking Will Love a Vegan Diet
1. There’s an Abundance of Edible Plants
Forget grass and twigs, vegan food means literally any edible plants (well, maybe except unsustainable palm). There are more than 20,000 different known species of edible plants, whereas only a handful of animals are regularly consumed. For passionate cooks, this means there are hundreds-of-thousands of combinations that will make a downright delicious dish. From veggie dogs to seitan on pizza completed with cashew mozzarella, or a quinoa mixed vegetable stir-fry with thick satay sauce, think again if tofu and bliss balls are the most original vegan foods that come to mind. Plus, once you start using plants to make the best-ever dishes, you’ll quickly become hooked.
2. You Can Eat Guilt-Free
Vegan food is guilt-free in more ways than one. First, there’s the lack of doom and gloom hanging over your head knowing animals were sent to slaughter and were confined in fear while watching their fellow kind die in front of them. Just for the sake of a steak. But thankfully, vegan food is made from plants that unlike animals, do not talk, nor have sentience and feelings. Perfect for a clean conscience. Vegan food’s clean nature goes deeper than just the animals saved, too. Plant-based food can be enjoyed as a treat for the unhealthy kind, but plants at their core are reasonably healthy. A plant-based diet has no cholesterol, and typically boasts a lower calorie content than animal foods. For all those food fanatics, this means eating becomes a true joy and is a holistically guilt-free way to obtain essential nutrition.
3. It’s Fun to Bond Over Compassionate Food
It’s cool to be kind. Compassion is the perfect way to bond with anyone. People are likely to warm to your kindness, which is further enriched with the shared experience of cooking kind food. If you’re an avid socialite, partial to entertaining, or want to become a more well-rounded individual with a tight-knit group of friends, fire up the oven an invite people over to roast a cauliflower or grill up some seitan ribs.
4. Your Kitchen Will Smell Aromatic
It’s actually often the smell of the spices and seasoning that meat-eaters are enticed by when cooking, not the meat itself. This makes the wafting aroma of a good ole’ vegan meal all the more attractive and even familiar. Boil a pot of soup and let the combination of natural plants act as a de facto comfort candle!
5. You Aren’t Likely to Get Food Poisoning
Eating meat sets you up for a bout of food poisoning. From bacteria to traces of pus, most people are unaware that their diet is making them sick. On the other hand, vegan diets drastically reduce the chance of developing food poisoning. If good health and longevity aren’t enough to push you into going vegan, getting sick less often – or not at all – means you can cook more and for longer!
6. It’s Cheaper to Buy Plants
Contrary to popular misconception, eating a simple vegan diet may also save you money. While some gourmet foods will burn a bigger hole in your wallet, it’s easy to save money with plants. When talking about cheap foods for people on a budget, it’s rice, greens, and baked beans that come up in conversation – not meat and cheese. There’s a reason for this, and it all connects back to the affordability of plant-based foods. Fewer production costs from forgoing livestock = lower price tag for the consumer.
7. The Internet’s Vegan Recipes Have You Covered
Have you ever browsed the Internet for vegan recipes? You’ll fall down the rabbit hole. There’s a wealthy abundance of recipes from sweet, to salty, savory, light, and filling. There’s no need to purchase a new recipe book every month when you desire a culinary change up – but if that’s your jam there are a plethora of recipe books available – because bloggers and recipe creators are generous with sharing their tasty dishes online, for free.
8. You Can Still Eat Your Favourite Foods
Meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey, you think you could never live without them, right? The good news is that even vegans can enjoy these social staple dietary items. Plant-based meat comes in many shapes and forms from stores or it can be made at home. There’s even vegan meat that “bleeds..!” As for milk, take a walk down any dairy aisle nowadays and there’s bound to be dairy-free options – limiting yourself to a soy latte doesn’t have to be the way if you’re more of an almond or oat milk person. Similar to meat and dairy, Vegan Eggs and Bee-Free Honee are taking over the sustainable food sector,too. Check out online retailers or hop on down to your local food store (looking at you Whole Foods, Target, Waitrose, and Vons) and open your mind to filling your trolley with vegan food!
9. Your Social Media Game Levels Up
Ever scrolled through Instagram and Tumblr and gazed in awe of the decadent desserts, nosh-able raw food, heavenly smoothie bowls? While it’s inspiring, it can also be disappointing that you’re just viewing the drool-worthy creations through the veil of a screen. Thankfully, you can enjoy all the foods you gaze upon (maybe you even save them) from the comfort of your own home (or local plant-savvy eatery). Sometimes the perfect Instagram photo game may need a bit more filtering in comparison to the professionals, but fret not as any dish showcasing a range of colors and plant-based ingredients married in a harmonious power meal is guaranteed to take your social media game to the next level.
10. You Can Feed Everyone
Lactose (only found in dairy milk), eggs, and shellfish are some of the top eight allergens in the world. If you’re serving guests with allergies or want to ensure food safety is employed by cooking with clean pots and pans, there’s nothing better than making your kitchen animal product-free. But it’s not only those with allergies who will benefit from your meal. A recent report said plant-based diets can erase world hunger. Selflessness is admirable. So, if you’ve heard of eating for the planet, eat for those on it – animals, future generations and those without the freedom of accessible food.
11. You Can Cleanse Your Palate With Chocolate
As any cook may be well partial to, a good dose of kitchen therapy is not complete without savoring some chocolate. To cleanse the palate before dessert, of course. The types of vegan chocolate are oh-so-decadent and numerous. Plus, cacao is packed with iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and more! That pretty much makes chocolate an essential food, right? Whether you’re into cooking with vegan chocolate, or noshing on it because you deserve something sweet, look no further than your nearest confectionery shop.
Image Credit: Beyond Meat