When I posted about taking part in Veganuary, lots of people commented on social media to see if I had any tips. Unfortunately, I am totally winging it so I had nothing. Instead, I turned to fellow bloggers and experienced vegans to share their wisdom. Here are 8 top tips for Veganuary from those in the know.
1. Find a Veganuary milk alternative that you enjoy
I haven’t been using ordinary milk since I completely went off it during my second pregnancy. Finding an alternative that you like can be a bit of a nightmare. I love hemp milk including this from Good Hemp, but I know it’s not for everyone and it can also be difficult to get hold of.
Another brilliant alternative is oat milk. My favourite is Oatly Barista, which is really creamy and great in a latte. However, most supermarkets sell oat milk of some description and it’s a good replacement for milk on cereal and in drinks. If you are feeling really brave, you could even make your own using Deb’s Oat Milk Recipe.
2. Veganuary doesn’t have to be expensive
Being vegan can seem a little daunting, especially since many meat replacements and vegan snacks are expensive. But if you cook from scratch and look out for bargains, a vegan diet could actually work out cheaper. If you need some shopping and meal planning inspiration, check out Laura’s budget vegan grocery list. She lists her meal plan for the whole week and tells you what you’ll need to buy to make it all, as well as the price for each item.
3. Start the day the right way
I don’t know about you, but my willpower is always at an all time low when I’m hungry. If you enjoy a cooked breakfast, Sophie recommends her chef husband Nick’s vegan breakfasts and they’ve been kind enough to share a recipe for the ‘Old Boy’ smashed avocado.
White wine Vinegar
Toast a slice of sourdough. Smash the avocado with a fork and a splash of rapeseed oil (optional) and a dash of white wine vinegar. Serve on the toast and decorate with the remaining ingredients. Add a drizzle of olive oil if required.
4. Love a Veganuary pudding
A vegan diet doesn’t have to be dull. But when you finish dinner and realise there’s nothing sweet around the house that’s vegan, you’ll feel like you’re missing out. So, find a favourite pudding or sweet snack that you can either buy or make easily. Alice’s vegan chocolate and coconut fudge is ideal for all scenarios. Grab some after dinner, take it out with you or even make some as a gift for someone else taking part in Veganuary.
One thing I have felt like I’ve been missing out on a bit is cake. I hadn’t even really noticed how frequently we were having coffee and cake on days out until I couldn’t have one. But Rachel’s vegan cupcakes are a great solution. They’re so simple, children can help to make them. A great way to get them involved in Veganuary.
5. Up your vegan snack game
If your usual go-to snack isn’t vegan, it’s really useful to make sure you’ve got an alternative on hand during Veganuary. Ben recommends making raw vegan date balls with cacao. Soak the dates in hot water for 30 minutes then blend in a food processor. Add a handful of cacao nibs, blended almonds and selection of seeds. Add a spoon of agave syrup and blend in the food processor until nice and thick. Then roll into balls and place in the fridge for an hour. Finally, roll the balls in some cacao powder when they’re cold.
6. Make the most of Veganuary resources
Have you signed up to receive emails from the Veganuary website? It doesn’t matter if you’ve missed the start of the month, you’re free to sign up any time. They send through some great meal plans and recipes for high, medium and low calorie diets. Even if you don’t want to follow them to the letter, there are some interesting suggestions for inspiration. Vegan essentials and cupboard staples are listed too, so you don’t have to worry whether you’ve got everything you need to cook up a healthy vegan meal.
As expected, a few adverts are contained in the email but some are quite useful. I’ve signed up to a vegan subscription box. Within the Veganuary email, there’s a discount code for £7 off your first box. For me, this is a good way to discover vegan snacks that I love. I’ll probably cancel after the first box because with the discount it works out at £6.15. After that, it goes up to £13.15 if you pay monthly, although there are discounts for paying annually or quarterly.
7. Look around for other resources
The number of people going vegan is steadily rising at present, with many people adopting the lifestyle for both ethical and health reasons. To succeed at Veganuary, Jennie suggests immersing yourself in some of the fabulous vegan cookbooks, magazines and blogs that are around. Seeing all the amazing recipes and ideas will really inspire you to try lots of unique and interesting vegan food.
8. Know which foods are accidentally vegan
This is a revelation. Quite a large number of good things happen to be vegan. Take biscuits for example. Oreos and most Bourbons are vegan, as are many others. Personally I try to avoid palm oil and many vegan things do use palm oil. That said, always check the labels because you might be surprised that you can still eat some old favourites.
Doughnuts are another surprise. All Co-Op jam and custard doughnuts are vegan and they’re not the only store whose doughnuts are accidentally vegan. Live Kindly have a full list of 99 vegan snacks. Many are somewhat unexpected.