If you decide to go on a vegan diet for health or for compassionate reasons, you need to know the list of vegan foods that you can eat. But you also need to be aware of the list of foods that you can no longer eat because they use animal products, even in a minute fashion. Please be sure to talk to your doctor before switching to eating only a list of vegan foods.
In order to eat a vegan diet, you can no longer eat anything made with honey or dairy products. You also can’t eat anything made with eggs or powdered bone or powdered animal organs. This means that you have to check the ingredients of everything you plan on putting into your mouth.
Even gelatin is no longer allowed. It’s made from the bones, skins and tendons of animals (usually cows). There are some products marketed as “vegan gelatin”, but they are made with other products, like seaweed, that mimics gelatin. Kosher gelatin does not count as vegan gelatin.
For example, milk chocolate is no longer allowed. But dark chocolate is allowed on the list of vegan foods as long as eggs or butter haven’t been added. Cocoa butter isn’t the same as butter from cow’s milk. It’s made entirely from oils of the cacao bean.
The list of vegan foods that you are allowed to eat is a lot longer than the list of foods that you can no longer eat. It might not seem that way at first because you have been in the habit of only eating certain kinds of foods. You can eat any kind of nut, bean, grain, fruit and vegetable. That’s a whole lot!
You can use vegetable oils and spices to make new flavour combinations. Beans and grains come in a surprising array of textures. If you have a food processor, you can combine vegetables, grains, nuts and beans to make a meatloaf-like dish. By draining tofu well and marinating it before cooking, you can get a very tasty alternative to crumbled hamburger.
There are two products that are approved for vegans that you can find at any American supermarket. These are Bac-O’s, which aren’t made with any bacon or meat. They are actually made of soy. Another vegan American kitchen pantry staple is Manwich, a sauce traditionally for sloppy joes, that doesn’t have any trace of animal products in it.
There are more and more foods made with vegetable-based ingredients that mimic the textures and flavours of foods made with dairy products. For example, it’s very hard to tell the difference between vegan cheese and the usual cheese. You can also freeze bananas and mash them up to make a substitute for ice cream.
Because more and more people are switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet, large manufacturers are paying attention to this lucrative new market. You no longer need to hunt a speciality health food store in order to get quality vegan food. Vegan burgers and frozen entrees can be easily found in any supermarket chain.