The benefits of a plant-based diet continue to become more widespread with each passing year, which means more growth for accessible, vegan-friendly foods. While this is great news for those new to an animal-free diet, there are still a few obstacles to overcome – namely, navigating the holidays.
Tempting baked goods and skeptical family members may throw a fork in the road, but these five tips will help keep you on track this holiday season:
Stuff your pantry with the essentials
A well-stocked pantry is essential in order for you to fully embrace a plant-based diet without having to rely on animal ingredients. The most popular plant-based products include quinoa, seeds and dairy-free dark chocolate. No vegan shopping list is complete without a little something sweet to add to baked goods, pancakes or a to-go snack pack.
While some may not understand the benefits of plant-based eating (hello, Grandma!), it never hurts to educate and share why you’ve decided to adopt the dietary preference. Lead with research from the World Health Organization. They recently announced that there’s a link between processed meats and increased cancer risk. Other benefits of a vegan diet include potential weight loss and reduced carbon footprint.
Host a holiday meal
There’s endless creativity when it comes to vegan recipes. To make a classic macaroni and cheese recipe, simply sub in nutritional yeast to get that same “cheesy” flavor. Enjoy Life Garlic & Parmesan Lentil Chips are a great vegan-friendly snack to enjoy before the main course. They go great with hummus. For bigger crowds, there are thousands of ways to make vegan pizza. Start with a thin, plant-based crust and put out an array of toppings for guests to customize their own. They won’t miss the dairy cheese or egg-based dough for one minute!
Of course, brunch is the most important meal of the day. So why not serve up a light, fluffy stack of banana pancakes (which you can make the day before!)? Round out your plant-based breakfast with a festive holiday smoothie bowl.
Make milk angels
There’s been debate on whether plant-based beverages should be called something other than“milk.” But even if you follow a plant-based diet, it doesn’t matter what they’re called. Milk alternatives taste great and provide healthy doses of fat and protein. With so many forms and flavors to choose from, you’re sure to find one that makes you feel like a kid again – just add vegan cookies!
Do a cookie exchange
A cookie exchange is an easy way to introduce your plant-based eating to others. But if you’re pressed for time or baking isn’t an option, order pre-made cookies to bring to the party. Seasonal favorites, like a soft-baked snickerdoodle, is always a hit. You can put your own stamp on them with vegan icing and sprinkles. Of course, if you love baking, learn to substitute for eggs and make a batch of banana-rum blondies.