Top 13 Vegan Condiments

Top 13 Vegan Condiments

Becoming a vegan comes with quite a few challenges that you may not expect and quite frankly can really throw you off the vegan train, one such problem for vegans are condiments. Now as a vegan, yes the simple issue of condiments on your meal might be something you never really considered before becoming a vegan, especially since you had your normal diet, you would just about put mayonnaise on just about anything, as a vegan however that is a big no-no. Do not fret however, I have a list of 13 vegan condiments that would go perfect with most meals and it goes well above vegan salad dressing and vegan dip mind you, there are a lot of choices out there that really cater to the vegan diet and I’m happy to share them with you.

1.Ketchup – Yes this simple tomato based condiment still falls under vegan condiments, I can hear a collective sigh of relief across the board. I’m well aware that a lot of people love, love, love ketchup and what’s not to love? It goes with just about any meal you can make and can also be used as an ingredient for recipes such as barbecue sauce. The beauty of this vegan dip if you will, you can easily purchase it in a store, ideally an organic bottle of ketchup, or if you have the time you can make it on your own as well.

2.Mustard – I know you love your mustard with that vegan hotdog, who doesn’t? And thankfully mustard falls under vegan condiments as well. A little Dijon goes a long way for me and quite frankly there is so much versatility in mustard that you can include it in a lot of recipes or just simply place it on the side.

3.Vegan mayonnaise – Regular mayonnaise as I mentioned is not part of the list for vegan condiments, I’m sure I don’t have to go into it any deeper. However there is a vegan option for this or a swap actually. From my knowledge vegan mayonnaise is made of soy milk, lemon juice and mustard, making it a viable vegan dip and could be part of any vegan salad dressing concoction you may think of.

tahini vegan condiments
Tahini sauce is one of the best sources of calcium and a good source of methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.

4.Soy sauce – This wonderful vegan dip, can be used in so many ways that I can’t even begin to account what would be great with this. Among the vegan condiments of the list, I think soy sauce can really be used in multiple levels of cooking, from being an ingredient, to being an add on after it is cooked, or even as a garnish. I love to have it as a side to some stir fried vegetables and make it into a little vegan dip in a small saucer, yummy!

5.Tahini sauce – This dense paste made of crushed sesame seeds definitely falls into our list of vegan condiments. As multi purposed as it can be, tahini can range from becoming a vegan salad dressing to the topping of fries, there is so much you can do with it that it really does deserve its place on the vegan condiments count down.

6.Hot sauce – There are a ton of people who like it hot, and who can blame them? To add spice to the vegan condiments list, hot sauce will not fail to make an appearance considering how much it can really boost up a vegan dip or even make that tempeh have a little more oomph. You can’t discount hot sauce to the list of vegan condiments, no sir, you definitely cannot.

7.Sriracha – This is a rather unique condiment in the vegan condiments list, however I thought to add it considering how useful it is to add into a number of recipes or even as a vegan dip. This wonderfully sweet and spicy condiment can really up the level of some food, however I cannot necessarily say it is a hot sauce but I can’t exactly say it isn’t. So in the end I opted to include it into the vegan condiments list.

8.Barbecue sauce – One of the easiest to make at home, you won’t even have to buy an organic store-made one, considering how many recipes of wonderful vegan barbecue sauce is available out there. This is one of the many vegan condiments that you can easily find a recipe for, quite frankly I have my own recipe tucked away in my personal cook book that works well with just about anything. I use it as a rub or a vegan dip when I serve some grilled vegetables or tempeh.

9.Horseradish – There is nothing more satisfying than having a nice vegan dip of horseradish on the side or adding it to a sandwich for an extra zing. There is a lot to be said about horseradish being part of the vegan condiments list, considering there is a lot you can do with it. You can even mix it in as part of your vegan salad dressing or add it to some vegan mayonnaise and watch as your sandwich just gets you to a whole new level of delicious.

10.Pickle relish – Well, I’ll admit not a lot of people like pickle relish but I honestly believe it deserves a spot in the vegan condiments countdown. The flexibility of pickle relish really drives its place among the other condiments considering you can really do a lot with it. As a garnish or as a topping, again it is great as an ingredient to a number of recipes as well, in fact I have one that must have it for a vegan salad dressing.

11.Salsa – The recipes for one of my favorite vegan condiments is pretty limitless, pretty much everyone has their own version of their favorite salsa and most of them are just delicious. I love having some salsa as a vegan dip on the side with other fresh vegetables, simple and yet so satisfying.

salsa vegan condiment
You can never go wrong with a perfectly homemade salsa dip!

12.Pico de gallo – While there are similarities to salsa and pico de gallo, the texture really separates the two and gives it a place in the vegan condiments list in my opinion. Pico de gallo, really works well as a vegan dip for a lot of foods and can be added as a topping for a lot of dishes. The taste really elevates a ton of recipes and meals thus giving a strong spot on the vegan condiments list in my humble opinion.

13.Peanut satay sauce – Admittedly this entry may be more of a personal bias for vegan condiments but I just can’t get enough of the stuff. It works really well with grilled foods and is just a wonderful add on to stir fried vegetables as well. I have even tried it as a vegan salad dressing and loved it, next up is to try it as a vegan dip but I can already tell I will love it.

As you can see there are quite a number of vegan condiments on my list, in fact I am sure there are a lot more but these are by far my favorites. I personally use them as a vegan dip or as part of, if not as a stand-alone vegan salad dressing, but for sure most of my cooking is complimented by these wonderful vegan condiments. I’m sure you have recipes that will benefit from these vegan condiments and I suggest making it a culinary adventure to find which would be the best for you. Happy eating and stay healthy!

Vegan Lifestyle Versus Plant-based Diet, The Difference Between

Vegan Lifestyle Versus Plant-based Diet, The Difference Between

Alright, I realize the topic is a little confusing and maybe a lot of people are saying the vegan lifestyle and the plant-based diet are pretty much the same, with no difference. Well truth is, there is a very big similarity but if you really go into it, there is quite a difference for these clean eating lifestyles, quite a few that I would like to share and clarify for those who are still confused between the two.

Let’s start off with that similarity so that it can be seen why they are often mixed and matched together and again to be fair, the vegan lifestyle and the plant-based diet really does have quite an astounding stand on something that makes it easy to mix them both.

For both lifestyles you really do avoid meats of any kind. Yes, there is no fish, beef, pork, chicken and so forth, this is pretty apparent for both vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet all around, otherwise I’d assume if you have meat in your diet, well it’s a pretty standard diet don’t you think? However I say avoid in terms of plant-based diet, as technically speaking you could have some meats but predominantly eat more plants, it technically falls under plant-based diet. This is where it gets muddled really, since both clean eating habits pretty much sing the praises of no or little meat – a lot of people tend to say: “It’s one and the same,” when in reality that’s about the only similarity between them.

The difference of the two begin to show after that major resemblance and here are a number of reasons why:

vegan lifestyle
Tempeh, tofu and whole wheat are other food options in a vegan lifestyle.

The vegan belifestyle is said to be a lifestyle and not a diet for a lot of reasons. One is because it is a choice, an active choice that a lot of people have made in order to avoid using animal by products in any way. They don’t have to do this, vegans choose to do this that is why it is a vegan lifestyle. Two, the vegan lifestyle is something of a view if you will, it is deeply rooted in the belief that no animals should suffer, so even if you aren’t physically consuming animal food, you could be doing so by using animal products like a leather wallet, a fur coat and so on. Vegans believe that even products tested on animals should not be used and continue to remove that from their daily lives. 

A plant-based diet on the other hand is exactly what it sounds to be like, it is a person who primarily focuses on consuming products that are based on plants. These include but are not limited to vegetables, fruits, nuts and so forth. This is a wonderful clean eating habit and is a great way to cleanse the body plus it’s a highly sustainable diet that everyone should do, after all the world’s resources are finite and a plant-based diet is one of the answers. Additionally since you can add a little meat product in your meals from time to time, again this is almost a miniscule add on, it definitely differs in leaps from a vegan.

A vegan lifestyle on the other hand also allows consumption of somewhat processed foods and aren’t 100% plant-based. Yes that is confusing let me clarify.  A slice of whole-wheat bread is something that is agreeable to vegans however it isn’t necessarily part of the plant-based diet since it isn’t primarily a plant. While still part of clean eating, this slice of whole-wheat bread meets the criteria of no meat and animal by product thus fitting into the vegan lifestyle, however since it isn’t necessarily all from a plant, it does not fall under the plant-based diet.

Now comes another confusing part, if you are fully on the plant-based diet, it still doesn’t mean you are also a vegan however the products you are eating in your diet are considered both clean eating and part of the vegan lifestyle, it still does not make you a vegan. You could in fact have a leather wallet in your pocket as you enjoy a salad or maybe you have a wool coat on as you take a bite into that apple.

And on the other end of the spectrum just because you are vegan does not mean you are also into a plant-based lifestyle, in fact in the vegan lifestyle you could pretty much spend your life away from plant-based foods, however I do find that unlikely. In the vegan lifestyle there are options such as faux meat, tempeh and soy products too, so technically it is possible but I’m not necessarily sure I’ve met a vegan with such a lifestyle, I mean who doesn’t enjoy vegetables and then actively chooses the vegan lifestyle? It seems a little strange but again not impossible, plus I’d honestly say I would be interested to meet someone who focuses on that part of the vegan diet without consuming plant-based products, but I digress from my point.

plant-based diet
A plant-based diet is mainly concentrated on clean eating by consuming usually unprocessed plant food.

Of course there is also the option of being both a plant-based vegan, which is an option for a lot of people, in fact I know quite a few. This falls under a rather extreme lifestyle but it seems more likely considering there are a lot of clean eating aficionados out there nowadays. Being of both the vegan lifestyle and the plant-based diet, means that not only do you consume plant-based food, you also have chosen to strike out products that have anything to do with harming animals. This is a very difficult thing to do together but oh my gosh I salute those who tread this path, it is honorable and takes a bit of research especially for the vegan lifestyle part. Additionally this may pretty much fall under the raw vegan lifestyle that quite a few extreme vegans have opted to do.

There has been a debate that you can be a vegan in fact and still be unhealthy, as there are products that often fall under the vegan lifestyle but aren’t always good for you such as French fries, some cookie products and so forth however this seems very unlikely like I said I haven’t met another vegan who doesn’t like vegetables yet. On the other hand I have yet to research anything about an unhealthy plant-based diet or lifestyle, even with the minimum consumption of meat, with all the whole products of plants, it seems that for the most part it is a super clean eating habit, however due to the animal in the diet, I really much prefer the vegan lifestyle but that is a personal choice.

As you can see there is quite a difference between the two and it would be best for you to see them for yourselves, after all it is a lifestyle choice of either being part of the vegan lifestyle or the plant-based diet, but either or I am sure if you take the time and see which best fits your life, you’ll enjoy a longer, healthier life altogether. Stay healthy!

Annette Larkins, A Shining Example To Healthy Eating And Living

Annette Larkins, A Shining Example To Healthy Eating And Living

It is no secret that I am a very, very strong advocate for vegans, clean eating and even vegetarians. I firmly believe that by choosing to eat properly and actively opting for the healthier alternative to meat, you will not only live a better life, you’ll live a longer and happier one too. With that said, I am happy to introduce to everyone a pillar of health and an amazing example: Annette Larkins.

Annette Larkins is a 74-year-old as of 2016, yes count and say it with me, 74-year-old grandmother who in my honest opinion does not look a day over 40 at all. She is an amazing testament to healthy living and should be an aspiration to all of us who wish to lead a healthy life.

As I read through the countless interviews she had, I am further strengthened in my resolve to continue my advocacy of healthy living. Annette Larkins continues to defy the years as she powers through by continuing to eat raw, unprocessed foods. She shares on her website: “One does not have to to go the distance that I have with my diet. I am an extremist. I just want to uplift people and motivate people and encourage them to find the steps for their goals. We can all change our eating habits. I am sick and tired of seeing people sick and tired,” .

As she was making a meal for her family, a plate of pork chops, she realized that the dead flesh was no longer appealing to her and eventually decided to part ways with meat on that day. She decided to quit meat on that night and kept going since. After more research she moved on to removing sugar and flour from her diet in 1971 due to it being processed. Dairy products followed a mere 5 years after, in 1976. Finally 9 years later, in 1985, she reached the decision to stop eating cooked food albeit the fact that she still enjoyed it.

A great example is further shared on Annette Larkinswebsite where she took two carrots, cut both tops, boiled one and then submerged both in water. While the boiled carrot began to rot, the uncooked one continued to sprout and grow once more. This powerful example really struck me as a great way to show the difference between the two. Another great sample to show how healthy living really differs from regular diet and lifestyle, doesn’t that just inspire you?

As I read up on her more recent interview, she continues to share on her website the information with New York Times News in an interview with Camille Lamb – how Annette Larkins continues to grow most of her needs in her own backyard, even indoors she continues to grow a virtual buffet of vegetables using the hydroponics method. From meals to juices, Annette Larkins pretty much has it all. Let’s not forget that her juicers range in abilities from masticating to a hydraulic press, now if that isn’t dedication to a diet I don’t know what is. The healthy living lifestyle is really something that Annette Larkins continues to embody to this day.

Annette Larkins youthful at 70+
Annette Larkins during her TV guesting at The Steve Harvey Show in 2014.

I watched up some videos on YouTube as well in order to gather more information about Annette Larkins and I was happy to find a video where she answered some questions from fans. One asked what she does for exercise and she happily shared that for mental exercise, she does a lot of chess or board games, while for physical exercise dancing is one of her favorites, otherwise she walks on her spiral stair machine to achieve 50 – 100 floors everyday. This is something everyone who aspires to walk down the path of healthy living should take as an example. Annette Larkins shares that the average recommended steps is 10,000 and with her various exercises she usually gets around 18,000 – 20,000 steps on a daily basis. Wow, just wow!

Annette Larkins continued on saying that there is more to a healthy lifestyle than eating healthy and exercise, you need to have a positive outlook, which continually affects your healthy lifestyle.  This just says so much in my opinion, that you need to have a great outlook in order to keep improving your life. It is something that I completely agree with.

When asked about her source for protein, she answered that she gets it from fruits, nuts and legumes. All fairly grown in the back of her house and she harvests the vegetables and fruits happily and without any problems for daily consumption.

An interview with New Channel 5, shows how Annette Larkins continues her healthy living by growing everything she needs in her outdoor and indoor garden, even to the extent of collecting rainwater for watering her plants, additionally in a separate interview she even mentioned that she doesn’t exactly drink the rain water but she does not see a problem with it as long as you filter it properly. As the interview went on, they introduced Amos Larkins, Annette Larkins’ husband. He has always been supportive of her choice however had decided to stay with his old diet. Amos continues to say how he wishes that he did what she did and he laughs as many people think that they are not married but rather Annette Larkins is his granddaughter, he chides himself.

Further down the interview with Annette Larkins, she tells how many friends and family members ask her so many questions, that she came up with a couple of booklets known as: The Journey to Health.

When asked about genes, as some people who meet her assume that Annette Larkins had been bestowed with good genes, she continued to share how it is not based on that at all. Her grandmother died at a young age of 47 due to breast cancer, who in turn had her mother die at the age of 36 due to breast cancer as well. Sadly two sisters of her grandmother also died of the same illness. To top things off, diabetes also has a grip on their family tree but Annette Larkins is happy to report, at the age of 74, she has escaped all of it thus far and hopes to continue doing so.

Again as an outspoken advocate and aficionado of vegans everywhere, anyone who needs a concrete example and shining light to work on clean eating, look towards Annette Larkins and her healthy living lifestyle. I am awe-stricken and very inspired thanks to Annette Larkins. I am hoping and believe that when my age does reach hers, I will look as vibrant and as healthy as she does to this day. Who knows, maybe when she hits 90 years-old she will look like she just entered her 50’s and that my friends is a great way to grow older. Stay healthy!