Transitioning to a plant-based diet may feel a little daunting at first. Your shopping list, pantry, and refrigerator will all start to change (for the better!), but it can take some getting used to. Here are 5 tips/tricks/facts for every plant-based eater…
1. Legumes are loaded with protein
Beans and lentils are often known as great sources of fiber, but did you know they also boast high levels of protein? One cup of cooked lentils is equal to 18 grams of protein! One cup of cooked black beans contains 16 grams of protein! Legumes are also great sources of antioxidants, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium and can easily supplement any meal. Add them to soups, salads, rice dishes, or let them shine as complementary sides.
2. Chia makes a great egg substitute
Eggs can easily be replaced for plant-based recipes. To substitute one egg, simply mix 1 Tbsp. of chia with ⅓ cup of water and let it sit for 15 minutes. This will produce a gooey egg-like texture that you can use in many recipes (No Meat Athlete). Ground flaxseed is also an excellent egg substitute.
3. Keep your produce fresher, longer
It’s a fight to keep produce from spoiling after a big grocery run, but there are simple tricks that will help them last longer.
- Store your herbs and greens in water to keep them fresh longer. Cilantro, parsley, basil, green onion, celery, and even asparagus can last longer when their ends or roots are submerged in water. Wash off your herbs/greens and after a quick shake to remove excess water, trim the ends and put them in a small glass of water.
- Add a clean dish towel or paper towel on the top of your packaged lettuce and store upside down to help absorb extra moisture and keep your greens fresh.
- Store your potatoes in a cool, dark spot on your counter or in your pantry and keep them away from onions.
- Tomatoes should be stored on the counter, not in the refrigerator.
- Store your avocados in the refrigerator to delay ripening. Store on the countertop for quicker ripening.
- Store cut celery and carrots in glass jars submerged in water with a lid to keep them crisp.
4. Save your vegetable scraps to make homemade vegetable broth
Don’t let all those veggie scraps go to waste! Collect the tops, bottoms, skins, or scraps of your vegetables—think celery, onions, peppers, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, herbs, and more. Once you have around 2 cups of saved scraps, boil in a large pot and strain the veggies to get a savory batch of vegetable broth.
Check out Sweet Simple Vegan’s homemade vegetable broth recipe here.
5. Bananas make delicious ice cream
That’s right. Only one ingredient required: Frozen bananas. Simply toss a few frozen bananas into a blender and you have a delicious vegan ice cream. Of course don’t forget your favorite toppings—nuts, nut butter, protein powder or frozen fruits.
Whether you’re a beginner or veteran plant-based eater, these are just a few of the many plant-based tricks and tips that can help you in the kitchen! Remember that transitioning to a new way of eating takes time. Keep it simple and have fun with the process as you discover more ways to enhance your plant-based lifestyle!