Last year, a quarter of a million people went Vegan for January. This year, that number looks to be even higher, with people across Britain welcoming in the new decade with good intentions of living a cleaner, leaner life. Whether you’ve chosen lettuce and legumes because of environmental concerns, animal rights or for your own health reasons, there are a few ways to inject maximum flavour into your diet without turning to meat and dairy. With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with George’s Kitchen, a West London catering company, to bring you these; our 5 IDEAL tips for making your Veganuary 2020 extra delicious.
We all know the transformative powers of butter in a dish. But a small to generous splash of rapeseed oil can work just as many wonders, helping to unlock a series of flavours that you didn’t even know your dish could have, vegan or otherwise. From pasta and hummus to vegan-friendly cakes, rapeseed oil is a highly versatile, hugely delicious fat. Harness its complex flavour this Veganuary.
You rarely want to taste pure, unadulterated salt in the food you eat, but a liberal sprinkling of the good stuff will activate so many mouth-watering flavours in any savoury (and occasionally sweet) dish you create. And the best thing about sea salt? It’s all natural and totally vegan. Use the flakey stuff as a ‘finishing’ seasoning just before you serve up for best results.
PICKLES, PRESERVES & FERMENTS
This obviously requires a little foresight and planning, but the results are worth the effort. By preserving various fruits and vegetables, you can extract new, exciting and deeply delicious flavours from them. You also create new textures from familiar ingredients that you may have gotten bored with. It’s a practice beloved of top restaurants and one which any good home cook should have in their armoury (and fridge). Suddenly, vegan food is very, very interesting indeed. Check out world class restaurant Noma’s Guide to Fermentation for top tips on getting started.
ADAPT THE DISHES YOU LOVE
Just because your favourite meals consist of a variety of meat and dairy products doesn’t mean you have to cut them out all together and live off a diet of seeds and veggies. With a little research and creativity, there’s almost always a delicious way to keep everything, from burgers and pizzas to cheesecake and ice cream, safely within the boundaries of your vegan diet. You can replace egg yolks with aquafaba (that liquid you find in a tin of chickpeas) to make mayonnaise; cream can be traded for coconut cream; soy milk can enrichen your coffee…the list goes on.
SEASONAL & LOCAL
Let’s face it, a spear of asparagus picked thousands of miles away and then flown over to your plate…it’s not only going to be lacking freshness (you’ll have to wait until April for local varieties) but it’s also going to be racking up some serious air miles in the process.
Instead, use what’s abundant and around you at this time of year; the product will taste more delicious and it won’t have travelled so far. Right now, beetroot, sprouts, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks and turnips are all at their best. Oh, and British apples and pears are looking great, too. Delicious, healthy and environmentally friendly? That’s what you’re here for, right?