Fast food, snacks and treats that are surprisingly vegan

August 3, 2020 by  
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People often equate vegan food with healthy and organic. While it’s true that many vegans are health-conscious and that organic food is probably better for your body and definitely better for farmers, there are times when healthy and conscious aren’t the primary drivers of our eating decisions. So if you find yourself famished on a long road trip and have only a convenience store at which to shop, or if you’re attending a family gathering that’s not receptive to your usual vegan potluck offerings, here are a few things you might be able to eat without breaking your vegan commitment. Note: This article covers U.S.-based products. Ingredients may differ around the world. It’s always wise to scan the ingredient list before purchase — formulations occasionally change. Related: 12 surprising things that aren’t vegan Vegan savory snacks So you’re driving through the middle of Texas when you run out of organic carob energy bites. Now you must resupply from a truck stop snack aisle. What do you do? The ordinary vegan will head for plain tortilla chips, salted peanuts and cashews and hope for a desiccated apple or a brown banana by the checkout. But the savvy vegan who’s not afraid of the junkiest of junk food can branch out. How about a bag of Cheetos Twisted Flamin’ Hot? You didn’t think “Cheetos” meant cheese, did you? If you don’t mind some MSG, this snack will still fit within vegan confines. The same goes for many potato chips, including Lay’s BBQ, Pringles Texas BBQ and several Kettle Brand Chip flavors: Backyard Barbeque, Country Style Barbeque, Korean Barbeque and Maple Bacon. Grab some crackers, too. Both Keebler Club and Ritz are made without animal products; that butter taste is an illusion. Plant-based sweets While you’re in a convenience store, cruise the cookie aisle. Many ordinary cookies are also vegan. Oreos are easy to find — and vegan — as are Nutter Butters and Nabisco animal crackers. Famous Amos sandwich cookies in chocolate , oatmeal macaroon, peanut butter and vanilla are also fair game. Check for vegan pies, too, like Krispy Kreme fruit pies in cherry, apple and peach. If you’re fortunate enough to be at a Trader Joe’s instead of a truck stop, you’ll have lots of vegan cookies to choose from, including Joe Joe’s (similar to Oreos) maple leaf, cinnamon schoolbook and speculoos cookies. Of course, if you’re in a Trader Joe’s , you’ll have lots of quality and healthy vegan snacks to choose from and probably won’t need this article. In the candy section, best bets for vegans include Jolly Ranchers, Skittles Chewies, Red Vines and most of the Twizzler line-up. If you need some jokes to liven up the car trip, vegans can safely eat Mini Laffy Taffy (okay, maybe not safely, as it’s mostly made of corn syrup, sugar, palm oil, hydrogenated oil and chemicals). However, Laffy Taffy Stretchy & Tangy and Laffy Taffy jelly beans contain animal products, like beeswax and egg albumen. Ironically, one of the best vegan candies was made to look like meat. The Texas-based Atkinson Candy Company manufactured Chicken Bones, a candy made primarily of peanut butter and toasted coconut . But in 1955, they changed the name to Chick-o-Sticks because another candy company had the rights to the name Chicken Bones. Chick-o-Sticks aren’t so common these days, but they are one of the tastier vegan candies and contain more easily understandable ingredients than Skittles or Laffy Taffy. Now, keep in mind that some vegans won’t eat white sugar because it is sometimes processed with animal bones. If this is you, double-check that you’ve packed enough organic kale chips before you leave home, or skip the convenience-store sweets and opt for savory instead. Celebratory desserts Now let’s switch our focus to another potential vegan minefield: family gatherings. Is your family still mocking you for that tofu-based pumpkin pie you brought to Thanksgiving 10 years ago? Or the Stevia-sweetened brownies with the consistency of asphalt? If your relatives are suspicious of anything you bake , consider bringing something you made from a mix. Yes, it lacks your special touch. But that’s the point, at least from your family’s perspective. Duncan Hines is your friend when it comes to a birthday cake your non-vegan family will love. The mixes are vegan-friendly and come in a wide variety of flavors, including dark chocolate fudge, carrot, pineapple supreme, German chocolate, classic yellow, fudge marble and strawberry supreme. All you need to do is swap out the butter or eggs for oil. If you want to cut calories, you can use sparkling water instead of oil. Top your cake with Duncan Hines frosting. Again, there are lots of vegan flavors to choose from, including butter cream, vanilla, coconut pecan, strawberry cream and dark chocolate fudge. Frozen pies are an even better choice for the skeptical family. Bring a Sara Lee apple or cherry frozen pie or a Marie Callender’s apple pie and heat it up at the gathering. If your family is eating sundaes, you’ll need to bring your own non-dairy ice cream . But you all can share the Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Vegan fast food Vegans also occasionally find themselves faced with the need to eat something at a fast food joint. Contemplating Mac, Jack, Carl or the King can lead to a vegan meltdown. But don’t worry. A few chains can reliably feed you. Taco Bell is probably the best choice, with a highly customizable veg menu. Right now, your veg source will be beans , beans and more beans, but next year when the chain plans to add plant-based meat, you’ll have even more options. Chipotle is another reliable fast-casual chain with lots of things for a vegan to eat. It’s also a healthier option. Subway has more than just salads for vegan folks. You can order the Beyond Meatball Marinara on Italian bread. Just be sure to tell them to leave off the provolone and Parmesan. Panda Express resisted vegans for a long time. But after pressure from PETA , the fast food chain finally introduced a few things for vegans: chow mein and eggplant tofu, vegan spring rolls and Super Greens. Fast food dining has come a long way for vegans. Nowadays, you might even find a delicious vegan dessert while on a road trip. DQ offers the tri-colored Starkiss, which looks like a patriotic ice pop. Better yet, Baskin-Robbins has introduced some vegan flavors, including Chocolate Extreme and Coffee Caramel Chunk. But remember, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Think twice before making truck stops and fast food joints a regular way of life. Pack plenty of healthful snacks before you leave home, lest you reap the health consequences later. Images via Robert Sebastian Gusoi , Thomas B. , Stock Snap , Jodie Walton and William Brinson / Chipotle

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Fast food, snacks and treats that are surprisingly vegan

How one company is planning to Redefine Meat

July 27, 2020 by  
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Veggie burgers have been around for years. If you have any vegetarian or vegan friends, you’ve seen them eating their sprouts or maybe even tasted some of their flavored soy. If you hated it, you’re not alone. Lots of people have tasted those frozen veggie burgers and gagged, especially the ones made years ago. But changes are coming. The meatless market has exploded recently, and big changes have rocked this trend. Meat alternatives taste so good these days, you can even get them at restaurants and fast food chains. What’s the next step in this revolution? Steaks. One company is hoping to Redefine Meat…and it may just succeed. Is beef bad? Many people are turning to meatless options, because beef is incredibly bad for the environment. The huge cattle farms, slaughterhouses and related meat industry businesses create big problems for our planet. That’s why Redefine Meat hopes to change the game. Related: What do Americans think about fake meat products There are about 1 billion cows being raised for beef and dairy on the planet right at this moment. These cows drink more water than all the humans on the planet combined and produce more pollution than all of the cars on the roads. To gain 1 pound of meat, cows must consume about 7 pounds of feed — grains that could be used to feed humans. That’s not a very efficient use of food, is it? When you start to think about the environmental impact of the meat market, plant-based options are probably starting to look a whole lot better. Thanks to companies like Redefine Meat, those plant-based options are starting to taste much better, too. Redefining a favorite Redefine Meat is using 3D-printing to create plant-based “Alt-Steaks” that look and taste just as amazing as the real thing. It’s an ambitious undertaking. Mimicking the texture and taste of beef is so difficult, companies have only recently mastered the process well enough to get meatless options into fast food chains. Any meat-eater knows that there’s a world of difference between the taste and texture of steak as compared to ground beef. It’s way easier to fake ground beef than it is to fake a juicy steak — isn’t it? Steak is marbled with fat, which gives it that wonderful texture that meat-eaters love. It’s an entirely different texture and flavor profile than what you’ll get with a standard burger. But Redefine Meat is using 3D-printer technology to copy the texture and flavor of real, marbled meat. The company’s goal is to perfect and speed up the process of creating plant-based steaks so they will be even cheaper than real meat. The 3D-printing revolution 3D-printing is starting to be applied to all sorts of industries in amazing ways that were unthinkable just 10 years ago. This technology is already being used to manufacture athletic shoes, airplane parts and medical devices. Redefine Meat is using 3D-printing to recreate the muscles and fat found in real meats to give plant-based meats the same texture and taste as beef without all of the environmental problems that are associated with the meat industry. Redefine Meat’s Alt-Steak has no cholesterol and a 95% smaller environmental impact than the exact same amount of meat. “The importance of using precision 3D printing technology to achieve texture, color and flavor — and the combinations between them — cannot be overstated,” said Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and co-founder of Redefine Meat. “By using separate formulations for muscle, fat and blood, we can focus on each individual aspect of creating the perfect Alt-Steak product. This is unique to our 3D printing technology and lets us achieve unprecedented control of what happens inside the matrix of alt-meat. Collaborating with an industry-leader like Givaudan has led to the creation of an Alt-Steak product that is not only healthy and sustainable, but also offers the satisfying flavors, textures and aromas of eating actual meat.” Transforming plants into steak might sound like science-fiction, but it is an innovative approach to shaking up the meat industry. Companies like Redefine Meat are hoping to change the way people think about meat. Because when a steak from a plant can taste just as good as a steak from a cow, why not choose the option that is better for the planet? As the meatless revolution continues, options like this will become more and more available. Perhaps soon, the “meat” industry will be completely plant-based. + Redefine Meat Via Core77 Images via Redefine Meat , René Schindler and Lutz Peter

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Vegan Recipes With Plant-based Substitutions for Eggs & Dairy

February 11, 2020 by  
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Perhaps you’re eating healthier. Or you’re shifting to plant-forward foods … The post Vegan Recipes With Plant-based Substitutions for Eggs & Dairy appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Study shows how plant-based catering can greatly reduce events’ carbon footprints

December 5, 2019 by  
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A recent analysis published by the Center for Biological Diversity’s Catering to the Climate report finds that replacing meat with plant-based menu offerings at conferences, corporate gatherings and holiday parties can greatly reduce the impact of these events. Production of meat and dairy contributes to nearly 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which play a drastic role in the planet’s current climate crisis . The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly warned that reducing meat consumption and its accompanying emissions can help countries meet their climate goals. In the U.S. alone, half of all consumed water goes toward meat production. Did you know that 80 percent of agricultural land is set aside for raising animals and feed crops? As a result, there is a vital need to improve current agricultural, food and environmental practices. One such initiative is to address the catering sector. Related: IPCC landmark report warns about the state of the oceans, polar ice content and the climate crisis Last year, revenues for catering surpassed $11 billion, with industry growth in the past three years accelerating toward an annual 10 percent climb. By shifting the catering sector away from meat-dominant menus and toward more plant-based items, there’s likely to be a noticeable dent in accompanying emissions. “Avoiding meat-heavy menus at holiday parties and conferences can make a surprisingly big difference for our planet,” explained Jennifer Molidor, the Center for Biological Diversity’s senior food campaigner. “With Earth-friendly catering that focuses on low-carbon, plant-based choices, we can save wildlife habitats and avoid a lot of climate pollution.” Through plant-based catering, a 500-person event could minimize its carbon footprint by 10 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the amount emitted by a car driving 22,000 miles. The move will also conserve 100,000 gallons of water from food processing and irrigation, save 5 acres of habitat from animal agriculture and prevent 17 tons of manure pollution . “Public demand for plant-based, low-carbon menus is growing quickly,” Molidor said. “Even small changes in purchasing, like replacing dairy with plant-based milks and cheeses, can bring substantial benefits to suppliers and their clients. When the event and catering industry serves plant-based menus, it’s an environmental and culinary success.” + Center for Biological Diversity Image via Pixabay

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10 vegan myths, debunked

November 18, 2019 by  
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Vegans and vegetarians are often the target of jokes, scorn, concern and/or fear by a majority culture that routinely consumes animals. The upcoming holidays are a prime time for omnivorous family members and friends to heckle a loved one who is vegan while brandishing a turkey leg or Christmas pudding. So, just in time for those awkward holiday encounters with family, here are 10 vegan myths, debunked. Tucson-based Alison Ozgur , registered dietitian at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa and an instructor for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies , kindly assisted with her solid nutritional knowledge. Vegans don’t get enough protein. Every vegetarian and vegan has heard this approximately a gazillion times. “This is a common myth that needs to be eliminated,” Ozgur said. “Here in the United States, we have never had a protein shortage, and the sad truth is, protein is being unnecessarily added to many foods. Vegetables, fruits and grains all have ample amounts of protein for optimal health and achieving a healthy body weight.” If you’re consuming enough calories, she said, you’re getting enough protein. Vegans can’t get calcium without dairy. The dairy industry has long campaigned to convince Americans we will keel over if we don’t guzzle milk. Not true, said Ozgur. “Yes, dairy products contain calcium, but they can also contain artery-clogging saturated fat, cholesterol and contaminants. Fortunately, plant-based foods are a healthier option.” She recommends leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, collard greens and Swiss chard as well as legumes, broccoli, organic soy foods — such as tempeh and tofu — almonds and calcium-fortified plant-based milks. It’s too expensive to be vegan. Those turmeric smoothies, packaged organic kale chips and meals in upscale vegan restaurants can certainly break the bank. “Eating vegan can be expensive,” Ozgur explained. “However, the cost of treatment for chronic disease is far more expensive. A diet rich in nutrient-dense, whole plant foods is our first line of defense for disease prevention and reversal.” That said, if you forego the prepackaged options and buy staple dry foods like bulk beans, lentils and oats, you’ll save money. Many vegetables, such as carrots and cabbage, are also inexpensive. All vegans are white. If this were true, you wouldn’t find websites like Black Vegans Rock or celebrations like the Vegan SoulFest . Activist Aph Ko, founder of Black Vegans Rock , raised awareness about the many vegans of color by publishing a list of 100 prominent black vegans in 2015. Vegans of color also own vegan restaurants and write vegan cookbooks, just like white vegans, but with roots of their own. Non-white vegan traditions include Rastafarians in Jamaica, Jainism in India and the part-time veganism of Ethiopia ’s fasting season. All vegans are hippies. Depending on who you ask, being called a hippie could be an insult or a compliment. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers a more objective definition, “a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society (as by dressing unconventionally or favoring communal living) and advocates a nonviolent ethic. Broadly: a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person.” So, if we’re talking about vegans in a society dominated by meat -eaters, there’s some truth in this myth. Vegans are rejecting mores of the established society and advocating nonviolence, at least against farm animals. As for being young, dressing unconventionally, living communally, having long hair or, as found in other online definitions of hippies, taking hallucinogenic drugs, we’d need to evaluate vegans on a case-by-case basis. Vegans are weak. You’d better not say that to Bryant Jennings, pro boxer, or karate expert Tammy Fry Kelly — they just might take you out. Then, there are the vegan charismatic megafauna, like gorillas and elephants . “There is no shortage of athletes and fitness enthusiasts who thrive on a vegan diet,” Ozgur said. “Plant-based foods can speed up muscle recovery time and decrease inflammation due to their high amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients.” She recommends the documentary movie Game Changers to see just how strong vegans can be. If I went vegan, I’d always be hungry/tired/sick. Not true, as long as you’re eating enough. “ If you decrease your daily calorie intake to below your body’s requirement, indeed you will be hungry, tired, sick and eventually dead,” Ozgur explained. “Choosing a colorful variety of whole plant foods nourishes your body and cells, thus increasing your immunity and longevity. Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of diseases, and numerous studies have confirmed that a plant-rich diet high in fiber is beneficial for disease prevention.” If everybody went vegan, cows and pigs would go extinct. What would happen if every paddock door was opened — if all the chickens pecking each other’s eyes out in tiny cages were freed; if farmed fish were tossed into rivers? Would sheep starve? Would hogs take over the world? “Billions of farm animals would no longer be destined for our dinner plates, and if we couldn’t return them to the wild, they might be slaughtered, abandoned or taken care of in sanctuaries,” journalist Paul Allen wrote on BBC’s Good Food website. “Or, more realistically, farmers might slow down breeding as demand for meat falls.” Allen theorized that the number of returned animal populations would fluctuate, then eventually reach a balance, depending on predators and available resources. “It’s worth noting that not all animals could simply ‘go free.’ Some farm breeds, such as broiler chickens, are now so far removed from their ancestors that they couldn’t survive in the wild. Others, like pigs and sheep, could feasibly return to woodlands and grazing pastures and find their own natural population levels.” Plants feel pain, too, so it’s just as bad to eat them. According to Jack C. Schultz, professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, plants “are just very slow animals.” They fight for territory, seek food, trap prey and evade predators, he said. It’s possible they feel pain, too, despite lacking a central nervous system, nerves or a brain. However, is it as unkind to eat a tomato as a cow? Everybody draws the line somewhere. For some people, all non-human animals are fair game. Many others think it’s okay to eat a cow but not a dog or cat. Vegans just draw that line even higher. As the PETA website points out, “We have to eat — it’s a matter of survival. And eating plants directly — rather than feeding them to animals and then killing those animals for their flesh — requires far fewer plants and doesn’t hurt animals, who, we already know for sure , feel pain.” If men eat tofu, they’ll grow breasts. Ozgur assured this won’t happen. “There is no valid medical evidence supporting men increasing breast size from eating soy foods,” she said. “This myth surfaced over 10 years ago when a man was diagnosed with gynecomastia from drinking three quarts of soy milk per day. Upon discontinuing his soy milk intake, his breast tenderness resolved. Asian men consume soy daily, yet do not experience gynecomastia.” Ozgur recommends choosing organic whole soy foods and avoiding soy protein isolates or fractionated soy ingredients. Images via Shutterstock and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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Beyond’s ‘Meatless Marinara’ sub coming to Subway

August 8, 2019 by  
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Fast food franchise Subway is jumping on the plant-based meat bandwagon with a meatless meatball sub coming to you soon. Using Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat, which is said to resemble beef in taste and appearance when cooked, Subway will begin selling The Beyond Meatball Marina sub at 685 restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada in September. Beyond Meat and Subway have joined forces to create the forthcoming Meatball Marinara sub, made using the new Beyond Meatball, and it will be exclusive to Subway restaurants. Related: Alternative meats — are they actually healthier than the real thing? The sandwich institution isn’t the only fast food chain experimenting with meat alternatives to attract those who prefer staying off meat for their health and/or for environmental reasons. Dunkin’ Donuts said it’s testing out a Beyond Meat sausage in Manhattan, while Burger King is offering a meatless version of its popular and longstanding menu item, the Whopper. It is comprised of a patty made by Beyond’s competitor, Impossible Foods, and as of August 8 is available nationwide. Other restaurants opting to offer meatless options include White Castle , Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., Tim Hortons and Qdoba. Many fast food chains are trying to attract flexitarian eaters versus just strict vegans. For example, Subway’s Beyond Meatball sub will be sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, while Burger King’s Impossible Whoppers are cooked alongside the restaurant’s meats. Going meatless is big business as U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods have increased 11 percent in the past year, according to a July report from trade group Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit supporting plant-based companies and businesses. Banking institution Barclays is forecasting the alternative meat industry could reach about $140 billion in the next decade. As for Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the two companies have witnessed gigantic increases in demand. Beyond Meat’s revenues reached $67.3 million in the second quarter, up from $17.4 million during the same period last year — a 287 percent jump. + Beyond Meat + Subway Via CNN Image via Beyond Meat

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Tyson’s plant-based nuggets could disrupt and dominate the market

June 17, 2019 by  
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Major meat corporation Tyson Foods is planning to join the alternative meat industry with two new products launching this year. Nuggets and burgers made of pea protein will hit grocery stores in the summer and fall, and more products are in development. With billions of dollars in profits and more factories than any alternative meat competitor, Tyson could potentially disrupt and dominate the growing market. In response to rising concerns about the environmental and ethical impacts of the meat industry, more people are seeking alternative or plant-based protein sources. The so-called ‘ alternative meat ‘ industry is predicted to grow by 78 percent in the next four years, according to one report. By 2023, the industry is expected to be worth $2.5 billion in the U.S. and up to $23 billion globally. Companies like Impossible Foods have a number of products in stores and restaurants around the world. Related: Impossible Burgers are such a success, they might run out Despite dominating the animal-based meat industry and pushing to prohibit plant-based companies from using the term “meat,” Tyson executives saw a huge opportunity to invest in the growing industry. In 2016, Tyson owned 5 percent of Beyond Meat, and this year it is releasing its own products under brand name Raised and Rooted. Tyson’s alternative nuggets are made from peas, eggs, flaxseed, bamboo fiber and other plant-based ingredients. The company is also experimenting with sausages and meatballs that contain less meat products and mix in alternative proteins such as chickpeas and quinoa. “It became apparent we had the capability not only to compete but to lead in this space,” said Justin Whitmore, lead for Tyson’s alternative protein brand. Based on Tyson’s size and profits, many are fearful it will take over the industry. Nestle and Perdue also announced that they will be launching plant-based proteins in the near future, and they are in a position to be potential challengers to Tyson, given their large-scale operations and profit margins. + Raised and Rooted + Tyson Foods Via NBC Image via Shutterstock

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Tyson’s plant-based nuggets could disrupt and dominate the market

Impossible Burgers are such a success, they might run out

May 3, 2019 by  
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The company behind the Impossible Burger is having trouble meeting a growing demand for its product. On the heels of a new partnership with Burger King, Impossible Foods announced that it has had difficulties producing enough Impossible Burgers to meet its annual goals. By the end of 2019, Impossible Foods plans to make its meat alternative available in all Burger King locations across the United States. The company has already performed a trial run in St. Louis, where owners of the fast food chain said it went “exceedingly well.” With more than 7,300 locations to serve, Impossible Foods is having to double its output to adequately supply the chains. Related: We tried the new Impossible Burger — here’s what we thought To make matters worse, restaurants that already feature the Impossible Burger have witnessed an increase in demand for the product, leading to even greater shortages. This includes theme parks, universities and other restaurants, like White Castle . In light of the increase in demand, Impossible Foods released a statement apologizing for the situation and promising to make things right in the near future. “[Impossible Foods] recognizes the inconvenience that this shortage is causing and sincerely apologizes to all customers, particularly those who have come to depend on the additional foot traffic and revenue that the Impossible Burger has generated,” the company shared. Fortunately, Impossible Foods has not run out of ingredients . Instead, its facilities are simply unable to handle the increase in demand, something it plans to remedy by adding a third shift. The company also plans to install another production line, which should double its current output. It is unclear when these changes will take place, but a spokesperson assured the public that the company is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Until more Impossible Burgers hit the market, the company is telling customers to call ahead before visiting their local Impossible Burger supplier. Hopefully, Impossible Foods is able to increase its capacity in the coming months. After all, it will be great to see the Impossible Burger more available to the wider public. + Impossible Foods Via CNN Image via Impossible Foods

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Impossible Burgers are such a success, they might run out

Keep your pantry stocked with these staples for a plant-based diet

March 22, 2019 by  
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Switching to a plant-based diet is a lifestyle change that requires a lot of meal prep and planning. In a world of convenient, pre-packaged food, stocking your pantry with healthy, plant-based products isn’t easy. It takes time to figure out the right pantry staples, and it takes even more time to figure out how to use those items when preparing snacks and meals. If you are new to the vegan lifestyle and are looking for some help with setting up your kitchen, here are some pantry staples that everyone needs for a plant-based diet. Legumes When you are eating a plant-based diet, you will need to find ways to get your protein . A great way to do that is from legumes. They also contain fiber, essential fatty acids and complex carbohydrates. You will find recipes from all over the world in every style of cuisine that feature beans. Not only are they incredibly filling, but they are also good for your digestive health. You can buy beans in bulk, or you can opt for canned and dry versions. Here are some legumes that should be part of your pantry: Black beans Butter beans Chickpeas Edamame Black-eyed peas Lentils Lima beans Pinto beans Soy beans Split peas Kidney beans Whole grains You want to keep plenty of minimally processed whole grains on hand, so you can get fiber, B vitamins and good, energizing carbs in your diet. Some of the best products include: Brown rice and wild rice Oats Quinoa Corn (polenta, popcorn kernels) Whole grain bread Whole grain flour Whole grain crackers Whole grain pasta If you want to really dive into plant-based cooking, other great whole grains to have in your kitchen are: Barley Amaranth Buckwheat Rye Millet Whole wheat couscous Sorghum Teff Kamut The most versatile whole grains on this list are brown rice, oats and quinoa, because you can use them in a ton of different recipes. Also, don’t skip the freezer section, because you can find microwavable and steamable whole grain products that you can prepare in just minutes if you don’t have time to cook from scratch. Seeds Seeds are great for sprinkling on salads, soups and sandwiches. Ground seeds are also a great addition to dough when you are baking or when you are making smoothies. Flax and chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants, and hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, fiber and multiple vitamins and minerals. The health benefits of seeds are endless, and you should always have a few kinds in your pantry. Related: Is the flexitarian diet right for you? In addition to flax, chia and hemp seeds, other seeds that are great for a plant-based diet include: Sesame seeds Sunflower seeds Pumpkin seeds Nuts When you are eating a plant-based diet, nuts will be your go-to snack option. They are loaded with healthy fats, protein and fiber; just make sure to pick nuts that are minimally processed and have zero added salt. You want to keep plenty of these nuts in your kitchen: Almonds Cashews Hazelnuts Walnuts Peanuts (technically a legume) Not only can you eat these raw for a snack, but you can also chop them up and add them to salads, cereals, batters and dough. If you want to get really creative, trying making your own nut butter. Oils and fats To make sure you absorb all of the vitamins and minerals in your plant-based foods, some believe that you need to include healthy fats. However, there is some debate about including oils and fats in a plant-based diet, and many recipes will not call for them. Extra-virgin olive oil Coconut oil Earth Balance or other buttery spread You can opt for fats from avocados, nuts, seeds and bananas if you want to keep your plant-based diet oil-free. Seasonings and condiments Load up on the seasonings and condiments, so your plant-based meals have plenty of flavor. This is an important section in the pantry, so you want to make sure your spice rack is fully loaded and your condiment shelf is stocked. Cumin Cinnamon Turmeric Paprika Oregano Thyme Apple cider vinegar Balsamic vinegar Mustard Sriracha Ketchup Barbecue sauce Vegetable stock The one thing that you want to look for when buying seasonings and condiments is salt content. You want to choose the no-salt-added or low-sodium versions. You can also grow fresh herbs at home, or visit your local health food store to get the ground and whole-seed versions of things like cumin, celery and fennel seeds. Miscellaneous Other items that you may want to have on hand include milk alternatives , like soy or almond milk, and sweeteners, like maple syrup or molasses. Nutritional yeast, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla extract, tomato paste and diced tomatoes are also found in many plant-based recipes, so you can’t go wrong when you have those items in your pantry. Images via Monicore , U. Leone , Conger Design , Petra , Piviso ( 1 , 2 ), Steve Buissinne  and  Westerper

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Vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives lets guests harvest their own food

February 25, 2019 by  
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Way out in the Indian Ocean, guests at a luxury Soneva resort are participating in the ultimate farm-to-table experience — and they even get to harvest the ingredients for their own dinners. The Soneva Fushi just opened Shades of Green, its new vegetarian restaurant at the exclusive Maldives resort. The seed for the vegetarian restaurant was planted when Copenhagen-based chef Carsten Kyster visited Soneva Fushi as a guest in March 2018. Kyster has worked at the River Café and The Sugar Club in London as well as traveling and working in Southeast Asia over the last 15 years. After eating a lunch made with ingredients from Soneva Fushi’s organic garden, inspiration struck. A year later, the 20-seat Shades of Green welcomes guests for intimate, plant-based dinners. Related: Peek inside the BIG-designed garden village for one of the world’s best restaurants Before dining at the new vegetarian restaurant, guests take a guided tour of the garden , learning about the herbs, fruits and vegetables while picking dinner ingredients. They gather around a fire pit for an appetizer, then move to tables set beneath fruit trees to enjoy the remaining six courses. Dinner can last late into the night. Shades of Green’s menu will change with the seasons and is based around the colors red, green and yellow. Chef Kyster blends Maldivian and other Southeast Asian cuisines with Nordic culinary techniques, such as salting, smoking, pickling and fermenting. The meal is designed to fulfill six categories: cleanse, raw, crispy, grain, fire and sweet. For example, mangosteen kombucha paired with plums, beetroot vinegar powder and shiso leaves is a cleansing dish. A fire dish contains hotter ingredients, such as leeks and pepper sauce. Soneva Fushi is located within the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve coral reef . Guests in the 61 private villas enjoy amenities like an open-air cinema, a high-tech observatory, a glassblowing studio, private butlers and 500 different wines — and now, a vegetarian restaurant, too. + Shades of Green Photography by Julia Neeson via Shades of Green

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Vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives lets guests harvest their own food

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