Chakra Living

Alternatives for Vegans

by Niscala dasi

Posted March 16, 2008

I used to think it was very hard to go vegan, as I was particularly addicted to creamy tastes and especially ice cream, as well as curd, etc. Then I discovered what a humble banana could do when it was blended with soy milk, as well as how much better tasting than milk are some of the soy milks you can get. I must confess I got totally addicted to soy milk and started drinking massive quantities of it, which caused me some health problems, so don't go that route! Rice milk is much safer if you happen to be a huge milk-alternative consumer, like me. I don't think you could overdose on it at all, as it is just rice and water and vegetable oil, basically. Soy milk is the one for taste though. For Australian devotees, try the Soy Milky brand, you will get addicted instantly, I can guarantee it. Or if it is available in your area, almond milk is both delicious and very nutritious. For the healthiest, yummiest, cheapest, and easiest ice cream recipe, just blend over-ripe (really, really over-ripe) bananas- with soy milk for a super creamy effect, or rice milk for a lighter snack. They should be the Cavendish (long-fingered) type, not the Lady Finger (short-fingered) type. Freeze them first for 2 days or so, taking the skins off first, and have the soy or rice milk cold too, then it will be actually icecream. Then try adding peaches or pears, fresh or from the can, but if they are fresh they should be over-ripe and squishy. It's a great way to use up all that fruit you have in the fridge that is almost ready to throw out.

Instead of curd, tofu is the way, with the firm stuff perfect for frying and the soft stuff perfect for crumbling. Olive oil is a very healthy alternative to ghee. Instead of butter on bread, try nut butters or tahini- bought in bulk they are cheaper too.

For a huge range of fantastic cheap recipes I recommend Vegan with a Vengeance. Actually there are so many good books out there, but if you are on a shoe-string and short of time, this one is great.