Everything you need to Know about Vegan Coffee

vegan coffee

Is coffee a vegan beverage?  Technically, yes. However, the way it is processed nowadays makes vegan philosophers argue over it. Don’t worry though, because the following article aims to clarify everything you should know about vegan coffee. If you especially believe that food should be processed in a way that the environment is not hurt, this article is for you. Read on also because we have a recipe of making the best coffee as a vegan.

Controversy about Sun-Grown Coffee

vegan coffeeUsually, coffee grows underneath small trees commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas. However, there is a new development in coffee production that has been a source of controversy in recent days. Some companies nowadays grow and harvest their coffee during the summer to speed its production. And to increase their revenues, these plantations add lots of chemical inputs every year to produce good coffee. In the long run, too many chemicals render landscape unusable. With this in mind, you can decide on your own whether you would consider taking sun-grown coffee or not.

Organic Coffee vs. Conventional Coffee

Another controversy about vegan coffee has often arisen from the labels used in coffee products. Conventional for instance represents coffee where farmers stayed for some time without spraying pesticides or using fertilizers on their coffee. Organic coffee on the other hand is a byproduct of coffee berries that were treated with few chemical spills or no contamination to the environment at all. Most vegans tend to dismiss coffee that was processed with the help of excess of chemical inputs but instead promote the use of organic coffee.

Rainforest Alliance Coffee

As a college vegan you probably don’t care much about these labels, but they have a big meaning. The Rainforest Alliance coffee for instance comes from areas where coffee was grown and processed in environmental friendly places.  Vegans who care about environmental protection mostly prefer coffee with this label.

So what coffee is good for a vegan?

Basically, any coffee whose processing supports your vegan philosophy is good for you. After all, remember that all coffee is vegan, unless when you add dairy products that don’t suit your philosophy. All the same, here are some ideas for your college vegan morning coffee, and how to make it good tasting.

Adding a Splash of Milk

While adding cow milk to your coffee can make it delicious, there are still alternatives for someone who’s totally given up animal products. Take Almond milk for instance and use it as your substitute. If you don’t have a preference for nut taste however, think of flax milk. You can also think of cashew, hemp milk, rice milk and soy milk just but to mention a few.

Add Vegan Creamers

Vegan creamers are tasty and good for your health. They are also good alternatives for someone who fancies coffee and all its variants. They include nut pods, coconut milk creamers, almond milk and Coconut nondairy coffee creamer. If you have always taken your coffee with sugar, these creamers will make your vegan coffee even more enjoyable. Someone who dislikes sugar can however substitute it with natural sweeteners like organic nectar, organic sugar cane and natural dark brown molasses sugar.

Vegan Coffee at the Restaurants

Nowadays, many restaurants, including college restaurants also sell vegan alternatives. With coffee it is even easier, because you just have to order coffee that lacks dairy products or additives you dislike. In most cases, basic coffee is usually vegan.  You can take basic iced or hot coffee anytime with no worries at a restaurant. But if you want to add some milk tastes to it, order for coffee with soy or coconut milk. It may cost you a little bit more, but it is good for your vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Coffee Variants

So you love latte but you want to go vegan? Don’t worry. Nowadays you can get a vegan based latte in standard restaurants in multiple cities across the country. You have to be nice while asking for a vegan Frappuccino or crema however. If you are rude, most attendants won’t follow your requests, and you will end up taking the dairy products you were probably avoiding. Some of the non-vegan additives found in latte and Frappuccino include whipped cream, Java chips and Caramel drizzle. Without the dairy products however, you Frappuccino will still be good and healthy for you

Another way to tackle latte the vegan way is by including the following ingredients the next time.

  • Soya mocha for your Frappuccino
  • Iced vanilla soy for latte
  • Coconut mocha for latte
  • Soy milk for cappuccino

Finally, preparing college vegan coffee is no different than preparing any other type of coffee. As such, any average coffee maker, though it’s always better to choose the best, and the right ingredients will be good to go.

Things to Know before Switching to a Vegan Diet

things to know before switching to a vegan diet

So, you want to go vegan? Congratulations! Like millions of other people, this is probably your first step towards living a healthy lifestyle. Maybe you are probably doing to suit your ideologies about religion or animal cruelty.  Whichever the case, going vegan can be a great decision. After all, Beyoncé, Bill Clinton and other celebrities have also gone vegan in recent years. But here is what they probably don’t tell you.

Take it Slow

things to know before switching to a vegan dietYou don’t have to go vegan overnight. In fact, research suggest otherwise. A recent study shows that people who transition to vegetarian dishes gradually are more likely to succeed than people who rush into it. If you already dislike meat and animal products however, you r transition is probably going to be easy. Unfortunately we can’t say the same for someone who takes meat, eggs, milk and cheese on a day to day basis. You can still do it however; but only if you accept to transition gradually.

There is Plenty of Vegan Protein Sources

The biggest challenge for new college vegan fans is identifying protein sources. It is probably because most of us are introduced to meat and animal products while at a young age.  However, you really don’t have to eat a meat burger or excess cheese to get proteins. Take legumes for instance. Beans and peas all are good sources of protein. Soy and nuts are also protein sources you could replace for animal products

You can Substitute your Favorite Meat Recipe

vegan substitute for meatSo you are afraid of quitting that delicious meat pizza? How about I tell you can make a vegan pizza. You can also make a vegan burger, began burrito or vegan soup. You see, you can replace almost every type of meal you love with a vegan recipe. And that way, you never get tempted to go back to your meat eating habits. Note however that as you adopt the alternative vegan diets, avoid the junk. Most people adopt a vegan lifestyle to improve their health after all. And if that is also your case, avoid any junk that can deter you from achieving great health.

Eat Smaller Amounts of Animal Products until you Switch to Vegan

If you are really struggling to quit meat and other animal products, don’t lose hope. In fact, most people who couldn’t do without meat have adopted vegan dishes through easy to do tricks. For instance, take less amounts of red meat every week until you can comfortably do without it. Make it like you are trying to quit smoking. Less puffs gradually and you finally quit. But to really succeed in your process, combine vegan dishes alongside less amounts of the meat you love. As time moves on, and as long as you have the passion, you will finally get rid of the meat and adopt vegan.

Experiment with What Works for you

One problem why people fail to totally go vegan is because they cling on to things that probably don’t work for them. This is especially a major problem for people who switch vegan to try and lose weight. Some good advice here is that every person can have their own strategy of changing things. With switching to vegan, experiment with several tactics, but only stick to the one that worked with you. If giving up sausages for instance seems too difficult, focus on other meat products first. Then learn how to replace the meat sausages with other vegan foods you love.

Going Vegan doesn’t Guarantee Weight Loss

vegan doesn't guarantee weight lossIf you are switching vegan because you want to have a slimmer body; know that it is not guaranteed that you will get it. Yes, statistics show that vegan people are slimmer and sometimes healthier, but not always. If you only drop meat for instance but continue taking cheese and other dairy products you will probably not lose any weight. And even if you drop all animal products but continue taking high amounts of sugar based foods, you won’t lose weight either. As such, understand that gaining weight and losing it is contributed by plenty of factors and not just animal products. If you want to lose weight therefore, consult an expert and adopt healthier physical and eating habits.

Slip Ups are Common

Few college vegans admit to never have slipped up while amongst their friends. To people who are not vegans for religious or humanitarian concerns, slipping up is almost unavoidable. Don’t be harsh to yourself when it happens. Instead, simply jump back to your routine and avoid anything that may tempt you to taking animal products in the future.

Finally, maintain a well-balanced diet at all times. You don’t want people to start making fun of you because you look sickly for being vegan. Show your friends and everyone else how healthy and happy you are for switching to vegan through your great health and energy instead.

Vegan VS Vegetarian – What Is the Difference?

vegan vs vegeterian

Vegan and vegetarian sounds related, right? People who identify with either type of lifestyles also share certain things in life. For instance, both vegans and vegetarians don’t eat meat. Most vegetarians also share vegans’ beliefs that animals shouldn’t be subjected to the cruelty they face before getting slaughtered. But while they share certain things in common, both vegans and vegetarians have their own differences. Read below however to learn everything you need to know as about vegan and vegetarians.

Who eats what?

diffenerence between vegan and vegetarianVegetarians do not eat poultry, fish and meat. However, most of them don’t shy away from animal products like eggs, dairy products and clothes made from animal products. It is also common to find a partial vegetarian. Some partial vegetarians for instance are referred to as lacto-vegetarians, because they eat dairy products and not any other meat products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians on the other hand eat both eggs and dairy products. There is still a group of vegetarians though who avoid both eggs and dairy products, but instead consume fish related products.

A typical vegan, on the other hand, is a stricter vegetarian. She or he not only does not eat meat, but also avoids all types of animal products, edibles or wearable. As such, a vegan avoids any animal product, including honey or fish oils. When it comes to clothing, vegans don’t wear woolen, leather or perfume processed with animal oils. So what does a vegan eat? Fruits, vegetables, and edible plant products are good sources of food for a vegan.

Differences in Philosophy

For many vegetarians, nutritional concerns, religious or political beliefs are their reasons behind switching to vegetarianism. Vegans however base their decisions on moral and political decisions. For many of them, commercialization of animals and their products is inhumane and unjust by any standards. Besides morals, there are people who are vegetarians due to religious beliefs. Catholics for instance are discouraged from taking meat during lent. Some Japanese and Hindu cultures also encourage vegetarianism. Still, there are people who base their decisions on environmental grounds. Such people believe that switching to vegetarianism is good for the environment.

Benefits of Going Vegan or Vegetarian

vegan vs vegeterianContrary to popular belief, both vegans and vegetarians are healthy people. In fact, studies show that these people are as healthy as their meat-eating counterparts. Vegan diets are especially praised because they have no allergens or products that may cause obesity. This is not the case for vegetarians though, as dairy products and eggs depending on level of consumption can cause increased cholesterol levels and potential attack by heart diseases. According to numerous studies however, both vegans and vegetarians live longer, healthier lives than their meat-eating counterparts.

In one study published on the Wall Street Journal for instance, vegetarian lived longer and experienced fewer heart conditions by up to 19%. The report was without rebuttal however, as many anti-vegans argued that correlation between meat-eating people and more deaths didn’t imply people died because they ate meat. They argued that because vegetarians are generally the affluent people, they probably lived longer because they could exercise; avoid anything that diminished their health and such.

Weakness of a Vegan Diet

The biggest debate between vegans and people who don’t eat meat is about the diet’s overall health benefits. A few studies for instance show that vegans don’t get 100 percent of the nutrients meat eaters get. Legumes for instance, which are the biggest protein sources for a vegan do not contain all amino acids needed in your body. For a child especially, a lack of these amino acids can impact on their growth. Another mineral that misses from a vegan dish is B12. Most vegans therefore opt to B12 supplements to help get the vitamin.

Is Vegetarianism good or Bad for the Environment?

Scientists believe that the world becomes greener with more people switching to vegetarian diets. But if you wonder how this happens; listen carefully. With millions of cattle bred and killed every year to feed human beings, lots of lands are cleared for animal feeds. Despite this though, only 4% of what cattle consumers go towards producing dairy products. That is to say that nearly 96% of what animals consume is released as greenhouse gases like Methane. While not a perfect solution for protecting the environment however, scientists believe than vegetarian plays a role in protecting the environment.

Demographics for Vegetarians

If you are worried that you are the only vegan, you shouldn’t. In fact, studies show that vegetarianism increases in the developed world day by day. One study by Gallup poll for instance shows that about 5% of the American population is currently vegetarians. In the less developed world, there are even more vegetarians; although most of such people are vegan for reasons other than political philosophies.

Benefits of Going Vegan

vegan food is easy to prepare

Vegan is a lifestyle, but a complicated lifestyle to millions of people. The interpretation of vegan and its closely related cousin, vegetarianism, is often a source of great debates. In simple terms however, a vegetarian is someone who consumes plant products and sometimes animal based products like milk and eggs. By contrast, a vegan is a stricter vegetarian. In some societies, a true vegan not only does not use animal products, but they also don’t use products such as wool and leather. Below we discuss the benefits of going vegan however.

Nutrition Benefits

nutritional benefits of going veganVegan foods can give you all the elements of a balanced diet you need to survive in life. To start with, vegan foods are good sources of carbohydrates and minerals. In fact, vegan foods are the biggest source of healthy, carbohydrate sources. Foods with whole grains for instance help provide the necessary energy needed in your body. When it comes to providing vitamins, almost all vegan dishes can provide some vitamins. Nuts and all green vegetables for instance provide you with the potassium, magnesium and vitamins needed to fight diseases in your body. When you switch to vegan therefore, you get to experiment with a wide variety of vitamin giving foods that provide you with all the vitamins you need in life.

Health Benefits

Vegan people are without doubt some of the healthiest in the world. Don’t get confused though. Health is complex.  However, eating healthy vegan foods as already mentioned provide you with cholesterol free, healthy proteins, vitamins from fruits and minerals that help prevent or fight diseases. Maintaining a high level of healthy vegan foods therefore reduces your chances of getting affected by following: stroke, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and type ii diabetes. Nuts for instance and whole grains according to a British study helps reduce multiple types of heart diseases. Whole grains are also known to reduce blood pressure. As a male college vegan, you may also want to go vegan for the sake of preventing prostate cancer. Research actually shows that men with an early stage prostate cancer have a higher chance of stopping its progress if they switch to vegan.

Physical Benefits

physical benefitsVegan foods help lower your body mass index. That translates to a body less on fats and better on healthier weight. Again, a well-balanced college vegan diet can actively help you eliminate a substantial amount of weight from your body. On the other hand, fruits and other veggies generally help better the state of your skin. The vitamins deduced from nuts and spinach for instance helps heal lesions and small skin issues to give it a smooth, beautiful look. Still, many vegan foods help reduce bad odors and allergies. This is mainly because some odors and allergies come from animal products like eggs and milk.

Animal Welfare

Vegans are true animal lovers. Most of them believe in the fact commercialization of animals is cruel to animals, and should therefore be stopped. And true, animals are bred and reared in cruel places for the sole benefit of making more profits. Most factories for instance don’t provide proper health for sick animals. Instead, they mostly kill or abandon the animals to live in pain until it is slaughtered. Bulls are often slaughtered in inhumane and disturbing methods. Cockerels on the other hand are often killed in chicken layer farms because they are not valued. However, going vegan reduces the number of animals that go suffering. It also helps raise awareness about animal cruelty.

Additional Benefits

Generally, growing plants ask for far much fewer resources than maintaining animals. By going vegan, you help save on resources that could be used for other causes. Besides that, there are dozens other benefits you get as a vegan. For instance, the leading cause of bloody diarrhea is red meat. The disease is especially common among the elderly and young children whose immune systems are compromised. Salmonella, the disease, is also caused by coming into contact with contaminated raw eggs and chicken. When vegan however, your risk of getting such diseases is lower.

Easier to Prepare

vegan food is easy to prepareAn average vegan meal takes less than one hour to prepare and cook. That means you never have to skip a meal again in your life. Simply learn a dozen or so dishes and you will forever love your vegan dish. After all, you can replace almost any meat related dish with a vegan recipe counterpart. You can switch meat pizza with vegan pizza for instance.

Less weight in your body

Struggling to lose weight with no avail? Try vegan dishes. Most vegan dishes do not contain the dairy products and fats known to cause obesity. When you especially accompany your vegan dishes with healthy lifestyle habits, you can never get overweight.

Finally, vegan is a fun lifestyle. You will always be less stressed for instance, healthy and physically active at all times.

3 Delicious Vegan Rice Recipes

vegan rice recipes

Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates.  For billions of people around the world, rice is a staple food. But while cheap and easy to cook, it can also be a boring if you only have one method of cooking it. Fortunately, there are several types of rice and several ways to cook them. Below we have chosen three easy to prepare but yummy recipes you could do anytime you feel like taking rice.

Simple Brown Rice

vegan rice recipesBrown rice is a whole grain meal. The name ‘brown rice’ comes from the fact that the grains still contain an outer layer of bran. When cooked properly, brown rice can be delicious and perfect for any meal. Below we shall focus on a college vegan recipe for one or two people.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of brown rice
  • ½ liter of water

Preparation in Steps

Measure out the rice with a cup to ensure it is enough for you or for the guests you have. Pour the rice in a bowl, and add water to rinse it. Pour the rice into a cooking pot with about 1.5 liters of water. Put the pot on your cooking stove and heat it till it boils. After that, lower the heating temperatures to a simmer for an extra twenty minutes. Turn of the stove and let it steam for another few minutes before you serve. You don’t have to take rice alone however. Add some stuffed veggies to it and you get a perfect meal. You can also alternative veggies with a thick plant-based soup like chili.

Thai Coconut Rice: Basmati-inspired Rice

Thai Coconut RiceThis rice dish is flavorful, spicy and easy to cook. You can prepare it with whatever type with rice you have, but below we have a vegan edition of Basmati rice.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of Basmati white rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 15 ounces of coconut milk-one can
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 peeled carrots
  • 2 tea spoons of toasted sesame
  • 2 table spoons of cilantro
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • Chopped green and red pepper

Preparation

In a small bowl, rinse the rice for any debris. Add water to your cooking stove and pour the coconut milk, rice, ginger and garlic. Cook on low heat for about half an hour, but make sure to stir so that your rice doesn’t stick. Once cooked, turn the stove off and keep it covered. In another pan, cook your mixture of peppers, onions, carrots and tomatoes in the sesame oil. Keep the temperature low however and remove the pan after ten minutes. Add everything you have now cooked with the rice and serve. If you had cilantro or peanuts, you can also add them on top of the rice before serving. Enjoy!

Scrambled Tofu-Inspired rice

Scrambled Tofu-Inspired riceDo you love spicy food? Where else can you add all your favorite spices and still have a delicious meal? Try cooking tofu rice as a college vegan. It is easy, sweet and suitable for almost any meal. When you especially have leftover rice in your fridge, don’t throw it. You can use it in the scrambled tofu instead of cooking more rice.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams tofu crumbled
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ table spoon of onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric
  • 1 cup of rice
  • ½ large onion sliced
  • ½ cup of frozen peas

Sauce

  • 1 table spoon rice vinegar
  • 2 table spoon coconut amino
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ table spoon ground black pepper
  • 1 table spoon of miso paste
  • 1 table spoon of coconut sugar
  • Chili flakes

Preparation

Add the chopped onion into a deep pan to brown. Add water to loosen if onions stick. Add your crumbled tofu and stir. Add the scrambled spices and mix through. It should only take ten minutes for this preparation before you cook the rice.

Preparation for Vegetables and Rice

Add your frozen peas and carrots in a hot pan to cook. Stir them until they are properly done. Next, lower the heat level of your cooking stove and add rice. Most people prefer to boil the rice separately, or simply add leftover rice.  Once done, stir properly and then add your scrambled tofu. Make sure to however stir to combine all ingredients properly. After about thirty minutes, the food should be ready for serving.

All in all, cooking rice should be fun. In fact, you should never the same type of rice every time when there are dozens of rice recipes you can choose from. If you have a lot of time, try the more complex tomato rice patties or veggie sushi with smoked tempeh. But while you read for more ideas, take note that you can always change ingredients to suit your tastes. If you don’t like something therefore, you don’t have to include it in your meal.

5 Easy Vegan Recipes

chili and stew

I went vegan back in my college years. At the time, finding a good vegan restaurant was a bit of a hassle. But fortunate for me, I knew how to make a few vegan dishes. Not so many dishes though, which is why I decided to widen my knowledge for preparing vegan dishes after college. If you just became a vegan, you can also learn how to make great vegan dishes. And even though you don’t have to reach college vegan chef standards, the following recipes could be helpful for you.

But first, the easiest way to adopt vegan dishes is to learn vegetable alternatives to the meat based products you once loved. Learning how to make a vegetable pizza for instance would be a better starting point for someone who dearly loves pizza. If you don’t know any meat alternatives for now, don’t worry. It takes some time to learn these dishes. But luckily, you can get started with the following recipes.

Chili and Stew

chili and stewIf you love easy to cook meals that taste good, try chili and vegan stews. You can prepare your vegan stew of beans and tempeh in less than thirty minutes. Simply take two pots and fill one of them with your favorite veggies. A good example would be a combination of vegan tofu, beans, chili spices and some greens. Make sure to add soup for some yummy broth. Then add some toppings of vegan cheese shreds, tortilla chips, onions and guacamole. If you cook them right, you will always yearn to have chili and vegan stews. Again, there are plenty of stews and chilies to choose from.

Well Cooked Vegan Burgers

vegan burgerYeah, I know. Most vegan burgers are plainly horrible. They often fall apart, they are a mess and don’t taste nearly as good as the original versions. But well, you don’t need meat to make a yummy burger. Instead, try other alternatives such as lentils, black eyed peas, broccoli, zucchini, beetroots, mushrooms or mashed potatoes. If you noted, none of all the aforementioned plants can fall apart when cooked properly. You can still add other vegetables like carrots, celery, bell pepper and garlic. But ensure you sauté the vegetables. It adds aroma and flavor. Again, season the ingredients and spice them up with some liquids to bring in moisture. Try soy sauce for instance or balsamic vinegar.

Pasta

vegan pastaOne of my favorite meals as a college vegan was pasta. It was easy to cook, yummy and nutritious as well. Today, we almost have got an unlimited variety of pasta ingredients to choose from. You can pick Thai noodles for instance, Chinese lo mien, or Italian. Simply pick your favorite noodles and learn how to correctly cook them.  Yes, preparing pasta isn’t easy as it seem. If you prepare the noodles in a small pot for instance, you may end up with sticky, pasta. If you fail to add enough salt, your pasta won’t be good as well. But to make a complete, delicious vegan pasta meal, add any of the following. Spice up your pasta with spicy peanut sauce, lemon butter sauce or vegan Bolognese sauce.

Vegan Soup

Sometimes back, I was an addict of chicken soup. Today, I have replaced it with Apple butternut squash soup and I love it. Vegan soup goes especially well when you have a main dish like grilled cheese. But that’s only my taste. You can choose creamy or broth-based soup for instance. Some world famous types of soup you should dearly learn to prepare are Indian, Chinese and Eastern Europe soups. And irrespective of which variant you pick, it will always taste good with other vegan main dishes.

Grilled Vegan Cheese

grilled vegan cheeseIf you loved cheese when you were a child, you can also love it now. Today especially you can deepen your love for cheese recipes by adding specialties like vegan bacon, tomatoes and greens. And the good thing is that grilling cheese isn’t hard. Simply heat your skillet. Add a layer of vegan butter on a slice of bread. Add a layer of spinach, tomatoes and add your vegan cheese. Cover the slice of bread with another slice. Add some cheese on the outer layers of the bread slices and press the sandwich onto your skillet. Keep pressing and turning until it is properly browned. It should take less than an hour to make the cheese, and you will simply love it.

That’s all from me, and but it is not the end of college vegan dishes. If anything, there are dozens of recipes out there that could make you cherish vegan foods. Try learning vegetable pizza or tofu for instance. They are easy meals to cook and almost all your guests will love them. But as a secret, vegan recipes are only good as long as you prepare them right. Any mistake and everything could go horribly wrong.