Top 5 vegan ingredients
If you’re following a vegan diet, buying key ingredients is crucial and can make cooking your favourite recipes a whole lot easier. Read up on our favourite five vegan essentials
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It’s a common misconception that following a vegan diet is difficult, but if you stock up on storecupboard staples, it can be a breeze. These five ingredients are some of the most useful ones and deserve a place in your pantry. You should be able to find them in health food stores, larger supermarkets and online.
What are the top vegan ingredients?
Known as ‘kanten’ in Japan, this jelly-like vegan substitute for gelatine is made by boiling seaweed. It’s commonly used as a stabiliser and thickener in jellies, preserves and ice cream. Sold in flakes or powdered form, agar agar is first dissolved in liquid then simmered to thicken. Use it in our creamy coconut pudding for a fruity and delicately spiced vegan, dairy, gluten and nut-free dessert, perfect for any dinner party.
Try it it in our chai coconut mango creams.
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Aquafaba is the strained water from a can of chickpeas. It does not immediately sound appetising, but when whipped with electric beaters, it transforms into a thick, fluffy consistency, just like eggs, and can be used to make vegan meringue. Who said vegans can’t eat pavlova?
Give it a go in our vegan Eton mess.
3. Gram flour
Sometimes called besan flour, gram flour is made from ground chickpeas and is commonly used in Indian cookery. It’s higher in protein than regular flours and can be used to whip up savoury vegan omelettes, pancakes, pakoras and flatbreads.
Gram flour is gluten-free and can even be used as a vegan egg substitute in baking. You can often find this in larger supermarkets.
Try it in our rainbow bhajis with coriander cream.
4. Nutritional yeast
These golden yellow flakes are a vegan’s best friend in the kitchen. They’re a source of vitamins and minerals and add a savoury, cheesy, nutty flavour to a dish making them useful in recipes where you’d normally use cheese.
Many varieties are fortified with vitamin B12 which is typically found in animal products so it’s a great way to boost your intake. Use nutritional yeast in a dairy-free mac ‘n’ cheese, in a vegan parmesan or sprinkled over salad, vegetables, soup or pasta.
Use it to make our vegan cashew parmesan.
Pronounced ‘tem-pay’, tempeh is an excellent source of vegan protein made from whole soya beans that have been fermented and shaped into a firm block. It has an earthy, nutty flavour and a firm, meaty texture, similar to mushrooms. Packed with fibre and vitamins, tempeh is a delicious alternative to tofu and can be sliced, marinated and cooked to your liking.
Enjoy it in our colourful tempeh traybake.
Discover the health benefits of tempeh.
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