The DapperDame Contemplates Vegetables

I love cheese.  I also like a challenge.  Although I’ve lived the last 10 years as a more-or-less vegetarian I’ve always resisted going the “whole hog” har har.  And, thanks primarily to my hearting of fermented dairy products and buttery baked goods veganism always seemed way too out there.  A life without hamburgers does not a sacrifice for me make.  A life without cheese curds and croissants is another thing entirely.  Of course, because I think that I couldn’t do it now I find myself wanting to try; it is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now but it would need to be a finite period of time.  A month, perhaps.  Long enough to see if it makes a difference in how I feel and how I eat but short enough that I don’t become a vegzilla.

Instead of jumping right in I’ve started to trial some animal-free alternatives to some of my favourites.  Yesterday I brought home three things:  coconut milk-drink, almond milk and creamy cultured almond aka almond yogurt.  I needed to know if some of my favourite things could be adapted or would need to be entirely replaced.  Verdict?  Coffee is great with coconut creamer.  Better, in fact.  Vegans 1.  Oatmeal with almond milk instead of cow’s milk?  I could transition for sure.  Vegans 2.  Almond-yogurt surprise?  It looks like a translucent yogurt and tastes pretty good.  The texture of regular yogurt has always bothered me so it wasn’t exactly a dietary staple to begin with but I could definitely stand a little Amande with berries and granola for a quick breakfast.  Vegans 2.5.

Could I do without milk?  Probably.

After doing a bit more research, though, I discovered that my diet will require more adjustments and label reading than I thought.  Aside of the obvious no meat, eggs, milk, cheese or gelatin there are a few others.  No casein or whey which is added to quite a few processed products including bread.  No honey.  Watch out for omega-3 products because it was likely added via fish oils.  AND no refined white sugar.  At least not without researching which companies use bone char (ew?) to help get sugar than white colour.

I haven’t been scared off yet.  In fact, my next goals are:  try agave and/or stevia as a sweetener; learn how to cook with tempeh.

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3 thoughts on “The DapperDame Contemplates Vegetables

  1. For sugar alternatives, I recommend coconut sugar or raw cane sugar… and MAPLE to replace honey. YEAH, MAPLE!

  2. I’m not sure where you are located, but Roger’s sugar (here in Canada) has a website where they identify which of their plants use bone char to refine the cane sugar. Beet sugar is NOT refined using bone char, so it is vegan. Also, as Beth says, coconut sugar is quite good. And maple and agave are great sweeteners, too.

    I really admire you for stepping up and challenging yourself. As you’ve already seen, being vegan doesn’t mean depriving yourself of anything. I certainly never have. Quite the contrary–I eat a wider variety of foods than I ever did as a non-vegan.

    Tempeh is pretty darn good–I think you’ll like it 🙂

  3. DapperDame says:

    Thanks ladies – I’ll have to try coconut sugar. That one has not been in my repertoire. I saw a few reports about Rogers but I don’t think there is any way to know for sure on their packaging which plant it came from – perhaps I”ll have to go look again. I think it is their Vancouver plant that is clear.

    This whole process is making food exciting again!

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