#FridayFive: five tips on living vegan
Vegan living is not as difficult as many think, Katleen Haefele knows. She’s currently head up the Catering department at Germany’s Vegetarian Society, a body representing vegetarians and vegans in Germany. We asked her for advice on leading a vegan lifestyle. Here are her five top tips!
5 tips on living vegan
1. Pizza doesn’t need cheese
Top yours with lots of fresh vegetables instead. Oh, and good olive oil is just as important for the dough as it is on top. But if you can’t go without, there’s also a vegan alternative to cheese made from cashew nuts.
2. Start the day with a vegan breakfast
Breakfast for me is still the most important meal of the day. Whether porridge, Chia seed pudding, a green smoothie or freshly baked bread rolls with hummus and avocado – eating vegan can be incredibly diverse.
3. Rediscover flavours from the past.
Once I decided to live a vegan lifestyle, I rediscovered “old” vegetables I hadn’t eaten for years, like beetroot, artichokes and green cabbage. What also surprised me was how many plant-based alternatives there are to egg for binding sauces or baking. Apple purée, linseed or soya milk all work well. Nowadays, vegan baking is child’s play.
4. Answer the familiar questions about vitamin deficiencies
A balanced vegan diet is suitable for every stage of life and gives the body all the nutrients and vitamins it requires. Fortified foods or even a special B12 toothpaste provide ample supplies of vitamin B12.
5. Dine out as a vegan
The growing number or vegans in our society means that there are usually a range of options for vegan dining in larger towns and cities. From Michelin star cuisine to traditional fare or a fast-food joint – there’s something for everyone. In Berlin alone there are currently around forty vegan restaurants. Make sure the ingredients are always fresh and don’t be afraid to ask for a vegan option if there’s nothing on the menu. An alternative can often be made by simply substituting or omitting a single ingredient.
Thanks Katleen! One more question about dining out as a vegan. How can you tell if wine or other drinks are vegan too?
A number of juices and wines are clarified using gelatine. Look out for alternatives with a “V” on the label. The “V” label is an internationally recognised quality seal that shows a product is vegetarian or vegan. The “vegan” seal means that as well as containing no animal products, the food or drink has not come into contact with any either.
BTW – Germany’s Vegetarian Society recently tested Germany’s fast food restaurants to see how they fare when it comes to veggie and vegan options. And its huge range of vegetarian and vegan dishes (all specially labelled as such too!) saw Vapiano being awarded first place! Find out more on the VEBU website.