Tag Archives: haagafoods

The Swap Squad

Watch out meat, because this squad has it all. I’m talking about the Swap Squad; delicious and healthy alternatives for meat and dairy. Today I will focus on where you can get a good source of protein and other necessary vitamins and minerals leaving out the meat. The biggest concern for most people when trying or practicing a vegan diet is to get the proper amount of the needed protein and iron. To maintain a healthy level of these in your body and diet, when changing from meat to plant based source, you must substitute the same amount you would eat of meat, fish or dairy products to those plant based. Here is a list of many options that provide all the protein you need without missing the meat one bit.

Eggs & Dairy Substitutes:


Milk

  • Rice
  • Almond
  • Soy
  • Potato (normally in powder form)
  • Hazelnut

These alternatives contain almost as much protein as dairy milk, less fat, no cholesterol and can be used anywhere you would use regular milk: baking, sauces, cold/hot cereals, etc.


Cheese
Alternatives from cashew, rice and soy can fool anyone. Here is a recipe from Epicurian Vegan of a hard cashew cheese. Click HERE for an easy recipe to make creamy cashew cheese.


Ice Cream
You can find ready-made vegan ice cream made with rice or soy milk and even made with tofu. Here is a cool recipe for a delicious vegan gluten-free chocolate ice cream from Elena’s Pantry.


Eggs
As a baker I though that it was going to be really difficult to replace eggs in recipes. But it turns out that there are many ways to swap eggs in different recipes.

  • Commercial Egg Replacer(powder): best for baking.
  • Tofu: best for quiche, fritata, egg salad (texture similar to hard boiled egg).
  • Bananas and Applesauce: perfect for baking, also used as an alternative for fat (substitute the same amount when replacing oil).
  • Silken tofu: appropriate for baked goods when blended with liquid ingredients(1/4 cup make 1 egg).


Butter
You can substitute butter when cooking with any vegetable oil; like sunflower seed, grape seed, canola, etc. And the most common swap for butter is her oil-based cousin: margarine.

Meat Substitues:


Tofu
Grilled, pan-fried, stewed, anyway you want it tastes delicious. This meaty substitute contains 7g of protein per ½ cup. The way you season it is key. It comes in hard, medium or soft/silk depending on the use you give it. For grilled or pan-fried hard is better. For sauces or baked goods soft/silk. For everything else there’s mastercard. (This is not a paid advertisement. Sorry, had to do it XD).


Falafel
Look again because these are not meatballs. Falafel is made out of chickpeas and other deliciousness. HERE is a recipe if you want to try it out. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Foods Rich in Protein:

Quinoa stuffed peppers. Yum.
  • Peas
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Tofu (7g per ½ cup)
  • Non-dairy milk
  • All kinds of beans: chickpeas, lentils(9g per ½ cup), black, white, red kidney(7.5g per ½ cup) and more.
  • Quinoa (4g per ½ cup)
  • Dark leafy greens: spinach, kale(4g per cup), collards, broccoli(2g per cup).
  • Seitan (also called gluten)
  • All nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, peanuts, macadamia, walnuts, and much more.
  • Edamame
  • Seeds: hemp, sesame, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia

Here is a summary for iron rich foods:

I hope that sharing this information will give you a new perspective of a vegan diet. Remember that if you want to try this special diet consult your nutritionist or doctor. I’m no expert, just a nutrition fanatic. 🙂
Remember to share, like and comment. Have a great day!

References from: 1, 2, 3, 4

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Wholly Guacamole!

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear avocado is guacamole, right? But thankfully avocado is much more than just salsa. This superfoods has numerous health benefits and is so versatile it will make you beg for more. Of course, everything must be eaten in moderation, even if it’s good. An interesting fact is that the avocado tree belongs to the same family as the cinnamon and bay leaf tree. And an even more interesting fact is that the avocado is a giant berry with a single seed.

It’s smooth texture is used in both, sweet and savory dishes, mostly used raw because if cooked too much it becomes bitter. Caution should be used when cooking with untested cultivars; the flesh of some avocados may be rendered inedible by heat.(1) Maybe we should just eat it raw to prevent unwanted death… just kidding. But seriously, be careful. There are so many recipes, especially vegan and vegetarians, in which the star is this awesome berry. From milkshakes to salads, to ice cream and pasta.

This fatty fruit will make anything pop.

Now, let’s go to the good stuff. Not only is it delicious, it is also nutritious. It’s not called a superfood for nothing. The most common myth that everyone says is that it has too much fat and that it’s not good for certain types of diets. Yes, the avocado does contain a high level of fat, but good fat.

Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. Compared to other fruits it has a really low content of sugar (only 0.2 g). They’re also a great source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas)(2) which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.(3)

Looks down-right delicious!

Get this! A medium sized avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.2 They also contain a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals including vitamins K, B6, E & C. Avocados promote a healthy weight, BMI (body mass index) and waist circumference. This colorful fruit will brighten any plate and one of my favorite ways to eat it is in sushi. Another way to eat it is in a sandwich, a vegan one might I add. I saw this video a while ago and made me want it real bad. This guy, Byron Talbott, made a sandwich so good that you won’t even miss the meat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PtM5INJU8o Avocados have proven to be a worthy superfood. From providing healthy fats that we need to lowering the bad cholesterol. This superfood is standing proud in the hall of fame. Do you like avocados? If not, will you start eating them now? Comment in the section below.

Metabolic syndrome is name for a group of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease. One study, published in the Nutrition Journal assessed the link between avocado consumption and metabolic syndrome. The scientists concluded that avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.(3, 4)

References: (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado (2) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php (3) http://www.undergroundhealth.com/15-amazing-health-benefits-of-eating-avocados/ (4) http://www.nutritionj.com/content/12/1/1