Hello and welcome to second part of my plant-based A-Z!
I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for the past few months now and I feel much healthier and have a lot more energy. So I’m sharing a few more of my go-to foods with you!
Nutrient-dense, full of ‘good fats’ and a great source of protein, nuts are great for snacking and also form the basis of a lot of vegan desserts! And if you love peanut butter, you should try branching out into the world of other nut butters, like almond butter, cashew butter and pecan butter!
Oats are full of goodness, particularly fibre! Porridge is a great way to start the day (made with almond milk), but if you have a really early start, overnight oats always save the day! As the name suggests, the oats are prepared the night before, so you have a healthy breakfast ready and waiting in the morning. You can find plenty of recipes for overnight oats online!
Seeding a pomegranate is one of the most tedious tasks in the world, but it’s worth it! They’re nutrient-dense and full of antioxidants, plus they’re a great source of fibre. You can sprinkle the seeds in fruit salads, or drink pomegranate juice, but pomegranate seeds also go really well with Moroccan style dishes.
Packed with fibre, magnesium, iron, calcium, B vitamins and vitamin E, quinoa also has twice the protein content of rice or barley, containing all nine essential amino acids. It is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
I’ve been growing runner beans in my back garden and it’s kept me in good supply! They’re a great source of vitamin A and fibre, plus a number of other vitamins and minerals. Runner bean chutney is one of my favourite things, but my runner beans were so lovingly-grown that I wanted to eat them in their most natural state, so I tended to just cook them in garlic and chilli or serve them with pesto. Apparently, you can also make runner bean soup!
Seeds are full of ‘good fats’, vitamins and minerals! Chia and flax seeds are great added to overnight oats and smoothies and you can add hemp seeds to houmous for a bit of extra goodness. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be added to pestos or toasted and added to salads for texture.
Tomatoes contain high concentrations of lycopene; a vital antioxidant with a number of reported health benefits. I grew my own tomatoes this year in my back garden. I ended up with a few odd-looking ones, but they tasted great!
Unbelievable Amounts of Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of potassium and are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. They’re amazing roasted, mashed, baked or (my personal favourite) made into sweet potato cakes!
It’s the spice of life, so I’ve heard. Eat the rainbow!
High in antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C, watercress is also thought to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Obviously, it’s great in salads, but you can also use it to make pesto and there’s always watercress soup!
X… XTRA CHILLI?!
Chilli! Chilli on everything! In Part 1, I mentioned that jalapenos contain capsaicin, which is thought to have a number of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and that’s true of all chillies.
Coconut milk yoghurts… where have you been all my life!? They’re nutritious and delicious and a great alternative to dairy!
Probably my discovery of the year! Zoodles – an alternative to noodles or spaghetti made with courgette (or zucchini, hence the ‘z’). If you’re fancy, you can make them using a spiralizer, but a julienne peeler works just as well! You can warm them through if you want, but they’re just as good raw!