Five amazing food hacks for a healthy, plant-based diet

Pulses Jar Refills

One of the exciting things about starting to buy your food without any plastic packaging is that it is the ideal opportunity to learn more about different foods you have never tried or perhaps even heard of before. It is also a great chance to discover lots of new recipes and uses of foods. Here are five amazing, vegan-friendly food hacks- perfect for if you wish to try something new and make your diet more varied.

  1. Cashews

Cashews are a fantastic plant-based source of protein. They are commonly enjoyed just as they are, or mixed into a stir fry or curry. When roasted with cinnamon, they are a wonderful festive treat for the Christmas season. But did you know that cashews can also be used to make a spreadable vegan cream cheese or a deliciously creamy cheese sauce? If you soak your raw cashews in water first and then blend them using a food processor, they can form the base of a sauce which mimics the texture and flavour of creamy cheese. Why not try this cashew sauce technique to make a herby spread for crackers or a plant-based mac and cheese?
  1. Chia seeds

You might have heard of chia seeds being used as a popular topping for porridge oats or for adding to smoothies. Yet, chia seeds have another exciting use - as an egg substitute! When added to water for a few minutes, the chia seeds form a kind of gel texture, which can be used as a binder instead of an egg in vegan baking recipes.
  1. Linseed/ flaxseed

On the subject of egg substitutes, linseed (also known by the name flaxseed) can similarly be used to make an egg-free binder for vegan bakes. As well as this fascinating use, linseed is also ideal for adding to soups, breakfast cereals, and salads. Linseed also has many health benefits, as it is a great source of fibre, protein, and omega-3.
  1. Sesame seeds

Moving on to another type of seed: the sesame seed! If you toast and grind up your sesame seeds with some oil, you can make a jar of your own quick and simple tahini, which is well known for giving humous its distinctive flavour. This is great news, as it means you can make your own humous completely from scratch (using chickpeas, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice too) and in the exact quantity you need.
  1. Ground almonds

If you are a keen baker, or are simply looking to try something a little different, ground almonds are a fantastic ingredient to discover. They are very versatile, as they can be used instead of flour to make gluten-free pastry for tarts, quiches, and pies. They can also be used instead of flour in cake recipes, or to add some texture to other baked goods.

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