It’s official: veganism is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you’d like to make the change, but don’t know where to begin, we’ve put together a how-to of easy vegan swaps and kitchen hacks you can make to reduce your impact on the planet.
Plant made milks
Dairy farming is responsible for a huge percentage of carbon emissions globally, and it’s a practice that’s dogged by its bad reputation with regards to animal welfare. The good news is, consumption of dairy milk has been dropping steadily since the 1970s, and part of that must be to do with the host of alternatives on the market. However, though their impact isn’t as great as dairy, due to deforestation and water usage, stalwart soya and delicious nut milks aren’t as sustainable as we once thought, either. Oat milk is a leader in terms of sustainable vegan milk options; and you can make a mean, velvety latte with it, too.
Love baking? We do too, and we know that ditching eggs can be daunting if your favourite Sunday pastime is whipping up a tray of brownies or tucking into some homemade muffins. Did you know, however, that the humble banana acts as a pretty great substitute? Mashed and mixed through your mixture, it acts as a binder in the same way an egg does, although it can take a few experiments to get it right. Flaxseed, on the other hand, is a foolproof egg replacement that doesn’t need any getting used to. Simply mix it with water and wait for it to thicken up and you’ve got a cruelty-free egg alternative, good to go. Some recipes, like these pancakes, call for flaxseed anyway, and can be a great introduction if you’re nervous to try one of your old favourites to start with. You can find flax in health food shops, or in the ‘free-from’ aisle at larger supermarkets.
Whether you like yours mixed through mash or spread thickly on toast, tossed through pasta or fried with garlic, butter is an essential kitchen ingredient. You can get hold of great alternatives in shops now, but there’s nothing quite like making your own, particularly as it ensures there are no nasty chemicals in there. This recipe is really easy, although if you’re planning on sautéeing, leave out the almond flour.
If you’re worried about your family getting all the nutrition they need from a meat-free diet, the facts will probably set your mind at ease. Adding pulses to bolognese or chilli adds delicious meaty texture, but that’s not all; there’s 9g of protein in every 100g of lentils, which is pretty close to meat, only there’s infinitely less saturated fat in lentils.
Once you’ve made that big pan of lentil bolognese, try swapping out the cheese on top for nutritional yeast. A store cupboard essential amongst vegans, it has a strong, salty flavour, quite like cheese. If you find yourself missing a great big grating of parmesan on top, try this cashew alternative for that rich umami hit.
What are your thoughts on ‘root to shoot’? Have you got a fantastic waste-free recipe we have to try? Tell us on Twitter! @YourPrestige