There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey - as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.
The Vegan Society has been around since 1944 and you can read a little more about their history here.
Veganuary challenges people to try going vegan for the whole month of January, similar to Stoptober (stopping smoking in October). If they get on with being vegan, participants might consider making it a long-term lifestyle change. There are many reasons why people give Veganuary and veganism a go, from animal welfare to personal health to reducing your environmental footprint.
Whether you're vegan (no animal products), vegetarian (no meat), pescatarian (only eat meat from fish), carnivore (meat eater), flexitarian (combination of diets - think Meat Free Monday or going dairy free on weekdays) or just plain om-nom-nomnivore (just loves food!), we've listed some great vegan recipes and resources below which you might like to use for a day, a month or longer.
I mean, yum. Did you know you could use bananas to make pancakes? Go all American with these sweet treats!
2. Eggy bread
"Eggy bread?!" we hear you ask. How can this be? Well, sure, it uses an egg replacer powder, but honestly, it looks amazing. For any vegans out there, you never have to miss out on this camp classic again!
We're keeping up with the classics with this vegan twist on our favourite seaside special.
The perfect recipe to remind you of summertime picnics in the park...
Apart from a couple of substitutions, this recipe is almost exactly the same as the meat variant. Fully vegan and 100% great with vegan gravy!
The humble chickpea: so small and yet so versatile. Pair this with some vegan fries and you've got an amazing meal on your hands.
Sticking with the burgers, this one packs a punch. From the author:
"Please be assured that this is not the breaded sweetcorn and mushroom mush excuse that usually shows up between two white buns. This is a hearty health-packed wonder that makes no apology to anyone."
If that's not enough to give it a go, I don't know what is!
Sounds weird, tastes great. Top with some juicy fruit and it's perfect for any celebration! But does it count as one of your 5 a day?
With Valentine's (and Galentine's!) day just around the corner, these cute and tasty sweet treats could be a great gift or fun joint activity.
Bananas are definitely up there with chickpeas for being the most versatile ingredients in a vegan's toolkit! This would be a great accompaniment for a movie night or even just a healthier alternative to dairy ice cream.
Where do I start?
Researching veganism can seem overwhelming. There's a lot of information out there, but sometimes it can seem expensive, difficult or confusing, as people can disagree on what makes a vegan a vegan. Whether you try one recipe, try using an alternative to dairy milk, decide to do one alternative diet day a week, or want to make a long term commitment, it should be because you want to and on your terms.
As an example of how personal your diet can be, I'm not a vegan but I've cut out cow's milk - after much trial and error, oat milk is my new favourite! Soya reminds me of cornstarch & water. As an aside, cutting dairy out of your diet is great for your skin, and I eat as close to a vegetarian diet as possible. It means I'm pretty much a veggie for most of my day to day life, but if I'm out and about and see something I fancy that's meat-based I won't penalise myself for ordering or buying it. I never considered trying alternatives until I started going out with a veggie. Over time new habits formed (it seemed silly buying meat just for me) and now I love veggie and vegan food as much as I would any meat variant. So essentially I'd call myself a flexitarian.
Dietary choices can of course also be influenced by your tolerances, for example, if you can't have gluten or nuts. That's why being able to choose what works for you is so important.
Whatever you decide, you're guaranteed to dispel any myths about vegans eating bland, boring food with these great recipes! I've made the beetroot chocolate cake and it passed the 'can a kid tell if this has vegetable in it' test so that should give you some clue as to its yumminess!
Looking for more resources?
The Vegan Society has a great blog with tips for trying veganism in the New Year, as well as more information about veganism in general.
Want to know what products in UK shops and restaurants are suitable for vegans? Accidentally Vegan UK on Instagram is the place to go! From favourite brands like Ben & Jerry's and restaurants like Nando's to supermarket finds in ASDA, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and more, this feed is great for finding things you never knew were vegan in the UK. This is how I found out Oreo's are actually vegan!