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Thinking of going plant based?

by Darryl Grima

Whatever the reason that is inspiring you to make a change to plant based (or eating less meat and dairy), whether it is environmental considerations, health concerns or animal rights, today’s supermarket shelves, fridges and freezers are fully stocked with a variety of products that will keep you taste buds happy. In fact one can say that decreasing you consumption of meat and dairy has never been easier.

Simply browsing in the freezer section you will find an ample choice of meat free meat alternatives. These include burgers, sausages, pulled meat alternatives, mince, nuggets, the lot. There are vegan and vegetarian options to choose from. Just like their meat counterparts, these meat alternatives are rich in protein and most of them even are gluten free (always check the label).

One could state that meat alternative products fall in two categories. The first are those that look, taste and feel just like meat, the only difference being that there is no meat in the product! The other category are products not looking to be similar and offer the consumer a different taste and twist. In both cases one could say that the cooking process is just the same as when cooking meat. For those starting the journey towards reducing their meat consumption, I would suggest starting with the first category.

Plant based milk alternatives

When it comes to alternatives to dairy particularly animal milk, we are seeing a massive growth in plant based drinks, all of which are obviously naturally lactose free. The ranges include plant based drinks based on soya, almond, rice, oat, coconut, hazelnut and more. Some ranges include sweetened and unsweetened versions and vitamin fortified drinks. Soya, almond and rice drinks are probably the obvious choices to start with, but after some time feel free to try out new tastes.

Obviously traditional dairy is not just animal milk. Yet for those who want to reduce or eliminate all dairy because they are lactose intolerant or choosing to go plant based, the fridge section will provide you with plant based alternatives to cheese, yogurts and even spreads.

As a suggestion, try out different brands and different products from the same brand, until you find the products you particularly like. There is a wealth of choice and a variety of tastes so keep an open eye. The key thing is that you do not need to lose out on taste by reducing you meat and dairy consumption. Enjoy!

This article was published in the Smart Supermarket magazine for May 2021.

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