What are some popular vegetarian food combinations

Which vegan foods provide nutrients?

If you eat vegan foods, you avoid all products that are of animal origin and contain animal additives. Many nutrients are absorbed through fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. There are also a variety of plant-based products that can be used to replace animal foods such as meat, milk and cheese. For example, dairy products are vegetarian, but not vegan because they are of animal origin. The same goes for honey. As part of a vegan diet, you should also take dietary supplements to ensure an adequate supply of the vitamin B12 that is only found in animal products.

Vegan staple foods: fruits and vegetables

Regardless of whether they are freshly harvested or frozen: All types of fruit and vegetables are not only naturally vegan, they are also rich in vitamins, fiber and phytochemicals. That is why they are one of the most important staple foods in an animal product-free diet. As for mixed food lovers, the "five a day" recommendation of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) also applies here. Vegans should also enjoy at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day as part of a balanced diet. However, the vital vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed through the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Because the vitamin, also known as cobalamin, is almost exclusively found in animal products, it is recommended that you meet your vitamin B12 requirements with the help of dietary supplements and specially fortified foods if you are vegan.

Fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and fats

In addition to fruit and vegetables, cereal products, especially those made from whole grains, are good sources of fiber. Bread, pasta, rice and bulgur are also rich in carbohydrates and thus provide the body with energy. Potatoes are also high-carbohydrate and vegan fillers. A big advantage: Many foods rich in carbohydrates are naturally vegan - and are therefore available in every supermarket.

Protein is also essential for a balanced diet. Vegan foods with a lot of protein are, in addition to some protein-rich vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli and spinach, especially legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas. In addition, peanuts, pistachio kernels and pumpkin seeds have a high protein content. Grains and pseudo-grains such as spelled, wheat, rye, quinoa and amaranth are also suitable for supporting daily protein intake. The latter, like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, lentils, pistachios, oatmeal and spinach, are vegan foods with iron. Another important factor for a balanced diet.

Eating a vegan diet: important unsaturated fatty acids

Fats should also be on the menu in moderation. High-quality vegetable oils supply the body with important unsaturated fatty acids. If you use linseed or rapeseed oil, you will supply your body with a particularly large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are otherwise mainly found in fish. You can make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients by always combining your vegan foods with some vitamin C. This can be the fruit in the porridge or salad, or a glass of vegan orange juice with a lentil or chickpea dish. By the way: Many international cuisines, for example the Southeast Asian, Indian or those from the Middle East, offer you the opportunity to cook in a sophisticated and varied way without using animal products. Many pasta dishes are also vegan.

Vegan alternatives to meat

Products made from tofu are particularly popular as meat alternatives. Products made from tofu are particularly popular as meat alternatives. This is not least due to the fact that the food made from soy is naturally relatively tasteless. With the help of various spices, oils or herbs, tofu can be given a variety of taste nuances and integrated into a wide variety of dishes, for example our vegan carbonara.

Besides tofu, seitan is also one of the most popular vegan meat alternatives. It has a meat-like consistency and, like tofu, can take on different flavors with the help of different marinades. Because seitan consists of wheat protein, people with gluten intolerance have to forego this meat substitute. Popular vegan foods are also products made from lupins. The legume is suitable in ground form as lupine flour for baking bread, pasta or baked goods. As a quark-like protein concentrate, lupins are also available in block form. This so-called Lopino is made in a similar process to tofu.

Vegan foods: soy and the cultivation

Lupins are just as good protein donors as tofu, but they have one big advantage: In contrast to soy, they can be grown over a large area in Germany. Most of the soy is grown in South American countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay or Argentina. Only a small proportion of soy is produced in Europe. Accordingly, the South American cultivation of soy is often criticized. Because large areas of rainforest are cleared for soy cultivation in South America. This not only affects the flora and fauna, but also the climate. Most of the soy grown in the rainforest, however, is used as animal feed in industrial factory farming. Only about one to two percent of the harvest is processed into tofu, soy milk and other vegan foods.

Vegan foods replace milk and cheese

A large number of vegan alternatives are now available to replace cow's milk. These include, for example, almond drinks, rice drinks, oat drinks or coconut milk products. There are also purely plant-based drinks as ready-to-drink mixes, for example with cocoa or vanilla flavor. Plant-based milk alternatives are often fortified with vitamin B12, calcium or zinc and thus support a balanced vegan diet. Cheese made from cow, goat or sheep's milk can also be easily replaced with vegan alternatives. Cheese substitutes are already available ready-to-use, but you can also make them yourself. Ingredients for this are, for example, potato starch, yeast flakes or cashew nuts. Like animal cheese products, the plant-based alternatives can also be used as a topping on bread, for gratinating or for cooking. If you forego dairy products, you should also use vegan foods with calcium: These include many types of cabbage such as kale and Chinese cabbage, as well as broccoli, white beans, almonds, sesame paste, tahini and dried figs.

Vegan butter substitute: plant butter or margarine

Butter made from cow's milk can also be easily replaced with vegan plant butter or margarine. With the latter, however, caution is advised: margarine is not fundamentally vegan. Some varieties contain animal ingredients such as whey. It is therefore advisable to take a closer look at the list of ingredients or the explicit request from the manufacturer. Like many other vegan foods, you can get the right butter substitute in the supermarket.

You can also find out more about vegan nutrition in our guide for connoisseurs!