Even though we started eating plant-based in 2011, we wanted to push ourselves to be healthier than ever this year. We found these plant-based foods to embrace this year. Some of these foods were added because we learned about their health benefits, others were added because we learned to love them and they worked well in our family’s routine.
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I credit Dr. Bulsiewicz and Dr. Gregor for opening my eyes to to a few of these foods. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Fiber Fueled, How Not to Die and How Not to Diet to anyone wanting to learn more about plant-based eating and eating for health.
This summer we bought some sauerkraut but it wasn’t anything special. After learning more about fermented foods we decided to try again and found a delicious sauerkraut that we love.
We add it to salads and soups more than anything else but that’s because we have those almost every day. You could also add it to sandwiches, wraps or veggie burgers.
We haven’t started fermenting our on food yet but I’m thinking of trying it.
I plan to start growing our own sprouts soon but we’ve been buying them at our local Sprouts Market (it’s like a specialty grocery store if you aren’t familiar). We add them to salads but they are also good in sandwiches. I started by adding about a tablespoon of them to my salads and worked my way up.
We just and seeds so we can make our own. I think we will find a good routine so we always have some but don’t let them go to waste.
We have really jumped on the oats bandwagon. We make steel cut oats in the Instant Pot, and make Baked Oatmeal and Overnight Oats with rolled oats. We love the versatility of oats. We all have our favorites.
Potatoes aren’t new to our diet but we have embraced them more than ever. We usually make diced, roasted sweet potatoes every Sunday and eat them all week long.
They reheat well and we enjoy them as a side dish or in salads. We make a lot of fries and potatoes wedges, baked potatoes and occasionally mashed potatoes. I even bought bigger baking pans so I’d have room for more potatoes!
I have another post planned to share all the ways we reheat potatoes!
Variety of Greens
We aren’t going too crazy with greens but since we eat salads most days, instead of only buying one kind of lettuce, we’ve been buying several kinds and blends. We eat more spinach, mixed greens, and I love baby lettuces.
A Soup a Week
I think it was last spring when we started incorporating a new soup every week into our meal plan. We usually rotate through the flavors. One week it may be Hearty Veggie Soup, the next week Taco Soup, the next week Chickpea Rice Soup, followed by Vegan Chili.
Each soup will make between 4-8 servings so we eat it 2-4 times. Our kids won’t even think about the spicy soups. Often we will stretch the soups even further by adding extra beans, veggies or potatoes. A toasted piece of sourdough bread is a great side.
We prefer soups without noodles or grains because they absorb all the broth. They turn into a casserole which is still good but not the same.
We love having a soup each week for a few reasons. First, we cook it once and it feeds us over and over. Second, we get a lot of variety of plants since most of our soups will have between 8-12 ingredients (veggies and spices). This helps us get closer to Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. More plants are better! Third, most of our soups have veggies and beans so they keep us full longer.
Nuts and Seeds
For a long time, we didn’t eat many nuts or seeds. Earlier this year we added more seeds. I was blown away learning all the benefits of ground flax seed and was determined to add it to my routine.
Then we started buying more nuts. I know a lot of people are divided on adding nuts to a plant-based diet. Our household has excellent cholesterol and heart health so we weren’t concerned from that stand point.
We started buying different kinds of nuts and adding them to salads, eating them with fruit, baked oatmeal, etc. I noticed something, I had a lot more energy when I added just a couple of tablespoons of nuts to my day.
We already eat a lot of beans, whole grains, veggies and fruit but we are always trying to get more variety! If you are new to eating plant-based and haven’t embraced beans, whole grains and trying new fruit and veggies, I recommend you start there first.
Do you eat all of these? I wonder what my next food to embrace will be?