How to enjoy a delicious Mediterranean diet as a vegan

It’s a well-known fact that a Mediterranean diet can offer many health benefits.

From helping you to lose weight through to lowering your blood pressure, there are many ways that this tasty and rich diet could benefit you.

For vegans, adopting a Mediterranean diet can be a challenge. The diet usually revolves around oily fish, lean meats and rich cheeses.

As these ingredients aren’t vegan and are made of animal by-products, you need to find ways around them.

Thankfully, the Mediterranean diet also includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, so there are plenty of options for vegans.

If you’re seeking to adopt a Mediterranean diet in 2021, and also want to remain vegan to help end animal suffering, then we’ve got the ideal guide for you.

Learn more about the mediterranean diet

Before you launch into any new diet, you need to learn about its core components and the main ingredients used, as well as popular recipes. That means more than just knowing how to make a Greek salad. Do your research before you start a Mediterranean diet to see if it’s the right option for you and to start your new eating regime the right way. The Mediterranean covers Greece, Spain and many of their surrounding islands, so there are many different cultures that influence the Mediterranean diet. Learn about them to find inspiration for your new diet and improve your knowledge before you start on this exciting and varied diet.

Choose quality ingredients

When you’re starting a Mediterranean diet as a vegan, you need to make sure that you choose high-quality, nutritious ingredients. Cheaper ingredients might not have the nutrients that you need to ensure that you stay healthy and enjoy indulgent dishes. For example, you might want to consider using cold-pressed olive oil in your meals, as the process preserves more polyphenols. If you’re unsure about buying cold-pressed olive oil, then this guide from Myrolion will help you to find the perfect ingredients for your next Mediterranean feast.

Stock your kitchen with quality equipment

Mediterranean meals often require a lot of fresh ingredients and preparation, so you need to make sure that you have all of the equipment you need, and that it’s able to meet your requirements. Many Mediterranean meals require ingredients such as nuts, which need a robust blender, especially if you’re making your own vegan cheeses. You’ll also need a set of quality kitchen knives to ensure that you can quickly and easily chop your fruits and vegetables for your meals. Check out a selection of quality cooking equipment to make sure that you have everything you need before you embark on a Mediterranean diet.

Find replacements for common animal products

Just like when you first became a vegan, now you’re undertaking the Mediterranean diet, you need to find replacements for animal products that are used in common recipes. For example, feta cheese is a common ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, but since it’s made from sheep’s milk, it isn’t suitable for vegans. Instead, you could consider using marinated tofu or making your own vegan feta from blended cashew nuts. Another popular Mediterranean diet staple is honey, which is often used in desserts. Find a natural sweetener such as agave nectar or maple syrup. Once you have a selection of replacement options for popular Mediterranean ingredients, you can quickly and easily whip up vegan-friendly versions of tasty Mediterranean classics.

Look out for mediterranean dishes that are already vegan

As well as finding replacements for common animal products in Mediterranean dishes, you should also check out the dishes that are already suitable for vegans. Many Mediterranean meals, such as falafel, hummus and salads, are already vegan and can easily be changed if you want to add different flavours or ingredients. Learn how to make these delicious dishes to enrich your new Mediterranean diet. This flexibility is what makes the Mediterranean diet perfect for vegans.

Listen to your body

Changes in your body, such as weight loss or improved skin, could be a sign that your new diet is working. However, other signals could show that your body isn’t taking to your new diet well, or possibly that you are allergic to some of the new ingredients that you’re eating. Whenever you begin a new diet, you should introduce new foods and recipes slowly. If you notice any changes in your health, such as stomach issues or skin conditions, then you should check with your doctor. They can advise you on how to be safe and ensure that you get the benefits of your new diet.

If done right, a vegan Mediterranean diet could be a great way to enjoy delicious meals and improve your health. Use this guide to find inspiration and get started on your journey towards better health and wellness, the Mediterranean way, today!

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.