Happy World Vegan Day! (Tuesday 1st November) You are forgiven if this is not a date highlighted in your annual diary but the topic of veganism is something that has shaped gastronomy massively over the past couple of years. It is estimated that there has been a 350% rise in veganism in the UK alone where people have opted to go animal and animal product free. That’s why we have rounded up some of the most interesting trends in vegan food and some of our destinations that cater to it.
Before writing this blog I thought that being vegan was strictly nuts and greens, but I was pleasantly mistaken; but not entirely converted. If like me, you are not partial to a zoodle or boodle and that food fermentation and faux bacon doesn’t get you dashing to the local supermarket, then read on and become inspired by the amazing vegan gastronomy, because 2017 is about to see a lot more of it!
Boodles & Zoodles
You may have seen a lot of advertising around spiralizers that simply turn food (usually vegetables) into spirals, this is great for replacing high carb foods like pasta. Boodles and Zoodles are basically butternut squash and zucchini in noodle form but there are more developments happening that will include spirals of asparagus, beets and sweet potatoes that will allow vegetables to become a prominent part of every meal without you or your family even realising.
You will also notice more meals such as curries will pack more cauliflower than rice. No longer does the cauliflower hide at the bottom amongst the family cheese bake but now sits proudly amongst many household dishes. The fluffy rice alternative comes with great dietary benefits and having cauliflower rice instead of normal rice also reduces your carb and calorie intake, packs plenty of vitamins including Vitamin C and is an excellent source of natural minerals.
This year in Turin the mayor made it a priority to promote vegetarianism and veganism as fundamentally important in protecting the environment, health and welfare of animals and is encouraging schools to teach the importance of good nutrition. Making this a priority has brought about a lot of vegan and vegetarian resturants opening recently.
This will be seen more in the next year and is made of vegetal charcoal which will be used in burger buns, tacos and sandwiches. The charchol buns are very popular in Eastern Asia due to their striking and intriguing appearence and they are said to be becoming more mainstream by 2017 in the UK.
Often people that were not brought up vegan say that they often miss the taste of bacon. This has encouraged people to find vegan alternatives by using lots of different animal free products that are cooked to create similar texture and smoky tastes. This can be made of strips of tempeh (deep fried fermented soya bean), tofu (condensed soy milk) and now plant based bacon could be created out of mushroom, carrots and coconut all of which are high in protein, fibre yet low in fat and cholesterol.
Ingredients and meals will start to involve the jackfruit more. Many vegans use jackfruit in meals such as burgers as the fruit lends itself to mocking meat textures like pulled pork and absorbs sauces well. Seiten (high protein gluten) is known as ‘wheat meat’ , this is known to be a great substite for things like chicken.
Fermented Food & Drink
There has been a lot of focus around our gut bacteria and ways to create balance in our diets. Some of the ingredients such as sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), kefir (fermented milk) and miso paste will be included into many drinks and meals. Kombucha, a sparkling drink made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria and yeast is fast-replacing coconut water.
Many yoghurts will become dairy free and will use a lot of nut-based products such as cashew and coconut which will suit a range of peoples dietary requirements. Cashew cheese will begin to be stocked on more super market shelves offering spiced and seasoned spreads.
Israel is another great destination for hosting rich vegan foods. Hummus and falafel are common amongst many meals and many of their sweet dishes will have kosher vegan honey and are nut and fruit based.
Kale was in everything this year but 2017 will see a lot of seaweed. The unsung hero is full of calcium and micro nutrients, this can be expected to be seen in many dishes, as garnishes and turned into fun snacks.
Let us know below some of your favourite vegan recipes and resturants!