The Ins-and-Outs of Plant-Based Eating

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Health

Plant-based meals are the latest trend in the health-food industry. More and more people are opting for vegetarian or vegan (or somewhere in the middle) eating habits to promote a balanced and healthy life. Plant-based diets aren’t just fruits and vegetables. Harvard Medical School says, “This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.”

Whether it’s #meatlessmondays on Instagram™ or a full-on life change, there are massive benefits to eating more plants. Here are a few reasons to give it a try, plus some recipes to get you started! 

Why Try a Plant-Based Diet? 

Abstaining from meat is not a new concept. Hinduism, a 4,000-year-old religion, has been promoting a vegetarian way of life far longer than the influencers on your phone, and for good reason. Science has proven time and again that eating more whole fruits, veggies, and fiber-filled grains can lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes, help you live longer, and maintain good brain function into your later years

Plant-based eating used to be a struggle … especially if you love a good hamburger. Luckily, meat substitutions, hacks, and swap recipes have become more readily available. More and more supermarkets are adding sections to support plant-based eating, so there’s less to worry about when you’re standing in the middle of the aisle. Let’s dive into some recipes to try out, no matter what time of day! 

Breakfast 

For a lot of people, breakfast may be a naturally plant-based meal already! Fruit smoothies, oatmeal, and even Cheerios® can all be vegan and plant-based in the blink of an eye. Just try subbing almond or cashew milk for your regular dairy milk to stay consistent. 

Two big bowls of chia seed pudding with berries and kiwi sit on a white cloth.

 

Looking for a new spin on breakfast? Try chia pudding! Chia seeds are nutrient dense and an excellent source of protein and fiber packed with vitamins.  When soaked in liquid, they expand up to 10 times their size to make their pudding-like consistency. Mix with your choice of fruits, nuts, and spices for your perfect on-the-go breakfast.  

Find a simple recipe here!

An image of several jackfruit piles up together.

Lunch—Jackfruit Tacos  

Jackfruit is a favorite among many plant-based and vegan chefs. Grown in tropical southern Asian countries like Southern India and Malaysia, jackfruit is a fruit unlike anything seen in North America. It has a hard spiked outer shell that opens to reveal seeds covered in a fibrous pulp (the part you eat). Full of protein, calcium, and vitamin A, jackfruit takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, much like tofu. This makes it great when you are craving a meaty flavor and texture. Not everyone loves it, though. It’s one of those foods that you either love or hate, so proceed with cautious optimism. 

While it can be purchased whole, many jackfruit enthusiasts prefer to buy it canned, just to make life easier. 

Try this simple recipe to swap out your beef or chicken tacos with jackfruit (or tofu if you don’t want to branch out too-too much yet)!

A bowl of delicious yellow soup!

Dinner—Garden Vegetable & Herb Soup 

Soups make for a really yummy dinner after a long day out and about. They usually don’t take a lot of fancy culinary skills, and this recipe is no different. This soup is packed with carrots, tomatoes, and two types of squash, to really pack those vegetables into your dinner (and you’ll hardly notice). It uses potatoes to give it a thick and creamy texture plus an army of spices you probably have in your kitchen already. Cook everything so it’s tender when stabbed with a fork, and then puree in your blender. It’s fool-proof! 

Looking to add a little more protein to keep you full? Try chickpeas or cannellini beans to puree with your soup (or just toss in after for some texture). Both will make a smooth addition to any soup. 

View the recipe here!

Whether you want to start a new lifestyle, or just incorporate plant-based meals into your current diet, you will definitely benefit from more fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-dense whole foods in your life.  

Hoping to learn more cooking skills and make some of these recipes? Read our blog, “Four Cool Hacks to Learn New Skills Faster.”