5 easy substitutes for a plant-based diet

5 easy substitutes for a plant-based diet

July 13, 2019

So you’ve heard about the impact eating meat has on the environment, and you’ve decided to reduce the amount of animal products you consume. But where to start? And how can you possibly stick to it?

It can be daunting to change your diet. But thankfully, with a few simple substitutes, it’s actually easier than you think. 

Try these simple swaps to help you make the change to a more plant-based diet.

1. Swap a burger patty for a portobello mushroom

What would life be without burgers? Not one we want to be living. But a burger doesn’t have to be beef to be delicious. Portobello mushrooms are a great substitute for a beef patty. They’re roughly the same size, they have a meaty texture and they taste amazing. 

And mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses. They’re packed with B vitamins, antioxidants, fibre, potassium, vitamin C and Vitamin D, just in case you needed another reason to eat burgers. 

2. Swap pulled pork for pulled jackfruit

Vegan pulled jackfruit burger

Pulled pork is another omnivore favourite that can be hard to give up. The flavours of the sauce and the succulent textures that are the real stars of the show. So what if we told you that you can get both of those from jackfruit? The young green jackfruit takes on a meaty texture similar to pulled pork when cooked, and it takes on any flavour that you put it with so it’s perfect for BBQ marinades with lots of spices to pack a flavour punch.

You can even get ready-made flavoured jackfruit, like Upton’s Naturals Bar-B-Que Jackfruit or The Jackfruit Company BBQ Jackfruit 

Or make your own vegan pulled “pork” sandwich

3. Swap Cheese for Nutritional yeast


Cheese can be a sore point when switching to a plant based diet. But there are a number of vegan cheeses available and their accessibility is growing. 

Most vegan cheeses use nutritional yeast as the key ingredient. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy flavour and is high in protein, fibre and B vitamins, which makes it a wonderful substitute for cheeses and a great addition to a healthy diet. 

There are plenty of ways to use nutritional yeast if you buy some for your home. You can make your own vegan cheese sauce or vegan lasagna, you can sprinkle it onto popcorn for cheesy popcorn, or mix it with fine almond flour (equal parts of each) and use it as parmesan cheese on pasta. 

4. Swap creamy pasta sauce for creamy cashews pasta sauce

Who doesn’t love a creamy pasta sauce to snuggle up with on a winter night? It’s like a big hug from mum. Giving up dairy doesn’t mean giving up this decedent, rich sauce. Soaking and blending cashews creates a rich creamy base for a sauce that will give you that full and satisfied, stick-a-fork-in-me-I’m-done, feeling.

For a big warm pasta hug try this vegan carbonara with creamy cashew sauce.

5. Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate

Vegan dark chocolate

If you think you can’t live without chocolate, you’re in luck! Pure dark chocolate doesn’t contain dairy. And there are numerous delicious vegan chocolates available, even at the supermarket, in a variety of flavours which will satisfy your loudest chocolate cravings. 

Dark chocolate is also great for your health. It has a high concentration of flavonoids, a plant-based antioxidants which helps lower cholesterol, and it’s packed with fibre, magnesium and iron. 

In case you still needed another reason to dig in, dark chocolate has also been found to be a natural stress reliever. Reducing stress, just what the doctor ordered. 

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