In a world where many of us consume meat on a daily basis, it can be something of a relief to find that there are plenty of alternatives to our favourite, protein-packed animal products. Meat, eggs, and dairy products provide important proteins to people across the globe, but healthier and more ethical options are also at our disposal. Allow Dr. Foodle to make a few suggestions.
For centuries a staple in East Asia but somewhat stigmatised elsewhere, tofu is a super-healthy and at times delicious plant-based protein. No longer a glutinous, unappetising afterthought, foodies across the world are waking up not only to its health benefits, but also to the wonderful flavours of tofu. A classic of Szechuan cuisine, Ma Po Tofu combines chunks of the soy protein with lashings of Szechuan peppercorns and chili, with the result a riot of textures and flavours unlike anything else. Alternatively, try replacing meat or eggs with tofu in a noodle soup for an altogether more nourishing, gentle dish. If the product’s delicate texture is a turn-off, don’t worry. Firm tofu can be marinated and grilled much like meat can, resulting in a dryer, more complex dish that will be sure to surprise even the most devoted of carnivores. Try a basic marinade of soy, chili, and ginger for a delicious alternative to grilled chicken or beef.
Moving away from meats, another of the globe’s most beloved protein sources are dairy products. Cheese, milk, yoghurt, and much more are consumed the world over, yet many believe that it’s not always healthy to consume these on a daily basis. Instead, experts have found that swapping cow’s milk for soy or nut-based milks can lead to lower cholesterol. On top of that, they’re delicious. Try a splash of soy on your cereal or a glug of almond milk in the next smoothie you make. There will be all the creaminess of before, but an altogether more complex flavour profile presents itself, too, leaving the possibilities for combinations endless. A classic dairy-free beverage that’s popular among foodies across the globe is a soy latte or cappuccino, which makes a wonderfully light yet nutritious breakfast.
For decades, those who follow a vegan diet have used nuts as a vital source of protein. Today, a huge range of nut butters such as almond, hazelnut, and the classic peanut are available across the globe. If you’re looking to keep things light, try a handful of almond or brazil nuts as dessert after a meat-free and dairy-free meal. They provide all the protein and healthy fats you will need.