With restaurants being closed for several weeks, we are seeing a surge of new, local food related vlogs being posted on the internet. However, most of these food recipes may not meet the dietary requirement of our vegan population.
Though our vegan population may be small, increasingly more people are choosing a vegan diet for ethical, environmental or health reasons.
The vegan diet excludes all meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, eggs and animal by-products. This diet is made up of foods that are completely plant based.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet:
Research findings show that vegans have:
Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
A reduced risk of Type II Diabetes
Lower blood cholesterol levels
Normal blood pressure
Lower rate of heart disease in men among other benefits
Learn more here: Benefits of a vegan diet according to research
Challenges of a Vegan Diet
Research findings show that vegans are often challenged with meeting some nutritional needs.
Some vitamins and minerals tend to be lower in vegans.
To achieve the full benefits of a Vegan Diet, meals must include staples (oats, ground provisions, quinoa, brown rice etc), fresh or frozen vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, peas, beans, nuts, seeds and healthy oils and fats.
Meeting protein and amino acids needs are often a concern in the vegan diet, vegans should therefore consume two to three servings of legumes daily.
Legumes include dried peas/beans (cooked), soy milk, tofu, unsalted nuts and healthy nut butters.
There is often a misconception that plant based ingredients are difficult to find or expensive to purchase.
In Trinidad and Tobago our local markets and groceries are filled with affordable ingredients to create affordable and delicious plant based recipes.
1) Mango-Oat Breakfast Smoothie
1/4 cup rolled oats (soaked overnight)
½ cup ripe mango or any other fruit
½ cup almond milk
1 tablespoon flaxseeds/chia seeds
2 seedless dates
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
1 1/2 cups boiled channa (shelled)
1/3 cup tahini
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of ground geera
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Place ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour into a serving bowl and garnish. Serve with vegetables and crackers.
3) Asian Vegan Balls
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated cabbage
1 cup grated cauliflower
½ cup cooked beans (minced)
½ cup oat flour
1 medium onion chopped
1/8 cup chopped chive
2 pimento chopped
2 tbsp garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ tbsp grated ginger
½ tbsp five spice powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1. Squeeze the excess water from the grated cabbage, carrots, cauliflower separately before adding to the mixing bowl.
2. Combine all ingredients and roll into 1 ½ to 2 inch balls.
3. Place balls in a baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes in a 350 Degree oven.
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of potato starch/flour
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan except potato starch and slowly bring to a boil.
2. Dissolve potato starch in a tablespoon of cold water and add to the sauce.
3. On medium heat cook for three minutes and baste over vegan- balls.
Garnish with sesame seeds and chive and service with veggies and brown rice.
Farah Ali-Islam, RD, is a registered dietitian and the founder of Restore Nutrition.
Restore Nutrition offers virtual nutrition consultations to help individuals and families achieve healthier lifestyles. The goal is to utilize evidence-based nutrition for the control and prevention of non- communicable diseases.
Whatsapp: 732-7605 Each client or family receives nutritional consultations tailored to their nutritional requirements.
The aim for each consultation is to educate, motivate and empower clients to: - Achieve a healthy weight - Manage Diabetes - Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Levels - Achieve Healthy Eating Goals - Strengthen your Immune System
Learn more: https://www.virtualwellnesstt.com/ttandi
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.