Vegetarianism is widespread in India, so most mums (even those who do eat meat), are no strangers to meat-free dishes like saag aloo and eggless biscuits.
But some people choose to avoid all animal products, including dairy – say goodbye to ghee, paneer, and yoghurt-based naan bread! So what do you serve if your child brings a vegan friend along to dinner, or if he or she chooses to adopt a vegan diet?
What Is Veganism?
Simply put, vegans try to avoid all animal products, from foodstuffs like meat, eggs, dairy, and honey, to materials like leather, silk, and wool. Vegan recipes, therefore, contain lots of fruit and veg, grains, pulses, and nuts. It is entirely possible to follow a healthy, vegan diet that contains all the nutrition your kids need , but – as with all diets – it’s important to take certain things into account.
Vegan Diet Tips
First of all, don't worry! Our national cuisine is easily adapted to suit a vegan-friendly diet, and here are some useful tips:
- Ghee is easily replaced by vegetable oil.
- Naan bread often contains milk or yoghurt, but rice, papadums, dosas, and chapatis are all good bases for a vegan meal.
- Pulses are a great source of fibre and protein, so give your guests a generous helping of chickpea sundal or dal.
- Soya is also very popular as an alternative to meat. * Milk substitutes like soya milk, oat milk, rice milk, and almond milk are widely available in supermarkets, or you can find recipes online to make your own.
- If you’re not sure what is vegan food, you can check the ingredients – look out for lactose, bee’s wax, and food colouring E120 (which is made of the scales from insects!)
- If you or your child follows a vegan diet, it's important to pay extra attention to the intake of iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 – it might be a good idea to take a supplement or buy fortified cereal or milk substitutes.
The trickier part is when you want to offer a special treat – ice cream, cream cake, and pastries are out of the question, of course! Or are they? Did you know that it's very easy to make a delicious vegan ice cream? Read on for a vegan ice cream recipe that is easy to make and, of course, 100 percent animal friendly!
Vegan Ice Cream Recipe: Coconut & Banana Ice Cream
Vegan food is not only easy to prepare, it’s often healthier than traditional recipes! Cooking vegan recipes with your kids is also a great opportunity to introduce them to different diets, and teach them about where our food comes from. This vegan ice cream recipe is a delicious introduction to vegan treats!
Ingredients and tools
- 3 bananas
- One tin of coconut milk
- 125 grams of sugar
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Fresh fruit and/or vegan chocolate chips
- A blender or food processor
- And a freezer, of course!
- Peel the bananas and cut them into pieces of 1-2 inch. Your kids can do this with a blunt knife or a spoon – don’t forget to supervise them when they use knives!
- Put the banana pieces in the freezer for about 3 hours. * Chill the tin of coconut milk in the fridge – it will turn into a thick, creamy substance.
- Now this is very simple! Just put the frozen banana pieces, coconut milk, sugar, and cinnamon in your blender, and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture in a tub and put in the freezer to let it set. * Take the ice cream out of the freezer an hour before serving.
- Let your kids decorate their vegan ice cream with fresh fruit and dairy-free chocolate chips. Don’t worry if they get ice cream or fruit juice on their clothes – Surf excel is here to help! Check out the Stain Gang for useful stain removal tips.
- Enjoy your delicious ice cream!