In recent years, January has become the month to try eating a vegan diet and avoid meat, dairy and eggs. If you’re up for the Veganuary challenge, Co-op’s here to help.
Did you know moving towards a more plant based diet can have benefits for your personal health and the health of the planet too? The lower the meat, fish and dairy content, the lower the environmental impacts. But making the change and finding vegan food conveniently can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, so with the help of Aoife McKernan, Co-op’s Assistant Diet and Health Manager, we’ve pulled together some pointers on what you can find in our stores.
“It’s not just hummus and carrot sticks, you can find so much more at the Co-op, including vegan wines, new ready meals, doughnuts and dairy-free milk. So look out for the ‘V’ symbol on Co-op products which indicates they’re vegan or vegetarian.”
If you do try to go vegan this month, it’s really important your reduced meat intake is replaced with loads of different whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses. Aoife says we need to make sure we keep a balanced intake of all our key food groups:
“The Government’s Eat Well guide shows you what your breakdown should be and encourages you to eat more beans, pulses and nuts – these are great ways to get protein and fibre.”
For lunch, Aoife says check out some of our delicious Co-op food-to-go salads: “We’ve really got a fantastic selection nowadays – top of the list from me would be our Co-op Vegan Cauliflower and Coconut Meal Pot – it’s got mixed grains with cauliflower, coconut milk, broccoli, lentils, red pepper, roasted sweet potato and mango chutney with a blend of spices. It’s so delicious and recently won a Good Choice Q award! If you’re looking for something with more of a kick, try our Vegan Onion Bhaji Sandwich – it’s just mouth-wateringly good.” For dinner, check out our website www.dinner4tonight.com for inspiration.
If you’re looking for a quick tea, then why not try one of our delicious ready meals or soups? Aoife recommends our Co-op Balance Mushroom Risotto, our Co-op Vegetable Jalfrezi, or our Co-op Irresistible Tuscan Tomato and Lentil Soup. Aoife also told us: “Or grab yourself a bag of your favourite pasta and have it with one of our tasty chilled pasta sauces such as Tomato and Basil, Arrabbiata or Chunky.”
If you want to find out a bit more about some of the environmental and health benefits of reducing meat intake check out the Eating Better Coalition website. You can also calculate your carbon footprint and see how you match up against the UK average.
For information on following a vegan diet, you can also check out these websites: