Limiting or reducing our intake of animal foods is a hot topic right now, but as with all trends, it’s essential to nourish the body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. For those opting for a meat-free diet, it’s essential to consume the four essential macronutrients: healthy fats, fibre, complex carbs and protein. In addition, I encourage everyone to eat plenty of whole foods including veggies, legumes, grains, fruits, nuts and seeds. To help you along, I’ve outlined some of my top tips for vegans and vegetarians and provided one of my favourite winter soups!
Eat plenty of iron-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, lentils, tahini and nuts.
Consume a combination of legumes, beans, quinoa, seeds, nuts and pea or rice protein.
Some of my favourite options include avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and extra-virgin olive oil. These foods are easy to add to your main meals and add an extra boost of flavour.
At each meal, try to fill half of your plate with seasonal vegetables. I love roasting and sautéing veggies with spices, as they add a beautifully warm, nourishing texture to my dishes.
I love adding some hummus, a drizzle of tahini or a handful of nuts and seeds. Oh, and a squeezed of lemon add a nice tang and is great for digestion.
Eliminating dairy for a few days each month is a great way to cleanse and give your digestive system a break. When it comes to my one-a-day coffee, I love having a piccolo latte with almond milk. I opt for Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond Milk and use it in my smoothies, overnight bircher muesli, porridge, creamy soup and even healthy desserts.
Cauliflower is an excellent addition to soups because it’s nutritious, filled with fibre and gives a lovely creamy texture. Serve it in small bowls as a light starter, or plate up a bigger portion for a wholesome lunch or dinner.
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 leek or brown onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
salt, to taste
1 L vegetable stock
1 large head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup Califia Farms Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 cup hazelnuts nuts, roughly chopped, plus some for topping
handful of sage leaves
black pepper, to taste
1. Melt the coconut oil or olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the leeks or brown onion and a pinch of salt and cook gently for 8–10 minutes, or until they’ve softened and turned golden.
3. Add the stock and cauliflower. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
4. Add the Califia almond milk and hazelnuts, then blend with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.
5. In a small frying pan, add 1 tsp coconut oil and then gently place the sage leaves into the pan. Fry each side until crispy. Once crispy. Set aside and allow to cool.
6. Serve the soup between bowls and top with the crispy sage and chopped hazelnuts. Enjoy!
Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, best-selling author, international health blogger and the beloved voice behind JSHealth and @jshealth. She is passionate about helping people overcome fad dieting and disordered eating, having gone through her own struggles with food. Her philosophy is focused around balance, rest and building a healthy relationship with food. She recently launched the JSHealth App, which features a world-first nutrition clinic, hundreds of healthy recipes, a daily meal planner, health guides, body love support and much more.