What are you actually craving? Replacing animal products in a vegan diet

What are you actually craving? Replacing animal products in a vegan diet | Get the FREE 30-Day Guide to Going Vegan at VeganYogaLife.com

Before I went vegan, I was vegetarian for years. I remember relying heavily on cheese and eggs for flavor and richness in a lot of my meals. A slice of cheese was an absolute requirement for a veggie sandwich. Eggs became my go-to breakfast.

When I decided to nix the dairy and eggs, I had to get a little creative. I’ve always loved to cook and creating my own recipes. So I took this new dietary change in stride – I considered it a creative challenge which I gladly accepted.

If I had a desire for cheese or eggs or bacon… I started to ask myself “what am I actually craving?” Because I knew for certain it wasn’t the flesh of a dead animal I was longing for… There was something else that was attracting me to those items.

I started to realize that my cravings were really always for certain textures and flavors.

For example:

  • Cheese is salty, creamy and sometimes a little tangy or funky.
  • Bacon is smoky, fatty, salty, chewy with crispy and slightly burnt edges
  • ice cream is smooth, cold and sweet

A lot of times the most important aspects of delicious flavorful foods are fat and salt.

In order to satisfy our cravings for familiar foods on a vegan diet, it’s important to break down what we’re actually wanting into simpler descriptive terms such as: Salty. Crunchy. Creamy. Chewy. Smokey.

Once we do that, we can figure out the appropriate ingredients required to create a plant-based version of the food that will be just as delicious and satisfying – for the same reasons.

A lot of vegan cheeses, like my cashew nacho cheese, use nuts like cashews to provide a rich, creamy texture and flavor. Combined with salt, nutritional yeast and a little lemon juice, we get a finished product that provides all of the same textures and flavors that draws us to cheese. Check out some of my favorite vegan dairy products here.

My tempeh bacon recipe uses a marinade of liquid smoke(miracle product!) with maple syrup and soy sauce to replicate the exact flavors that make bacon taste so great. Baking it in the oven gives it a crunchy texture with a slight char on the edges and makes it perfect for BLT sandwiches or paired with tofu scramble for breakfast.

These are just a couple of ideas for how to replace animal products in a vegan diet. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

And next time you find yourself craving something, ask yourself, “what am I actually craving?” Then try and find a plant-based food that will satisfy that craving. (Click here to tweet this!)

Like what you've read?

Receive inspiration, tips and more direct to your inbox

PLUS a FREE Vegan Meal Planning Essentials Checklist

This is a vegan site. No spam ever! Powered by ConvertKit
Working on Jemmaโ€™s first Christmas stocking while she naps. ๐Ÿ’•๐ŸŽ„โœจโ›„๏ธ #babys1stchristmas #sewingprojects #momlife (Being careful not to accidentally throw away important pieces of it like her halloween costume! ๐Ÿ˜‚)
Exploring the snow before it melts! Who would have known Jemma would see snow for the second time her first year and in Austin of all places?! โ„๏ธโ˜๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’– #babyssecondsnow #snowinaustin
Roasted veggies on spring mix with homemade dressing made of tahini, garlic, liquid aminos and black pepper. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป #whatveganseat
Vegan #ThanksLiving meal. Mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac n cheese, two kinds of stuffing, creamed corn, sauerkraut carrots, mustard glazed cauliflower and cranberry relish. #veganthanksgiving #thanksliving
Reward beers at the top of the mountain #happythanksgiving #craftbeerhike
Down dog on the Evergreen Mountain Trail! #happythanksliving #happythanksgivingday
Babyโ€™s first snow! #9mo #babysfirstsnow #thanksliving
Tofu soyrizo scramble with @followyourheart provolone, scallions and greens. Wrap it in a tortilla with avocado and you have a legit breakfast burrito! #whatveganseat #twigsandleaves
Having fun exploring Evergreen. #cutesthat #9mo
Got take out from @watercoursefoods and brought it to pair with some amazing beers at @crookedstave. Our selection included their burger with crispy onions, the Cuban sandwich with a side of Mac n cheese and the Korean bbq cauliflower wings with peanut dipping sauce. LEGIT. Denverโ€™s vegan food game is on point ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป The Trellis Buster DIPA from @crookedstave was #amazeballsAF! #veganfood #denvervegan #denvercraftbeer
Love this view of father and daughter watching the sunrise in our cozy mountain house in Evergreen! (Having a baby while on vacation means no sleeping in!) Gorgeous views of endless pine trees, peaks and valleys bathed in peach and coral tones as the sun makes its first appearance for the day. So grateful for my beautiful family and to be enjoying this serene environment for the whole week! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’– #halosleepsack #9mo
Vegan biscuits and gravy with coffee - amazing! #denvervegan #homecookin #veganbreakfast #veganonvacation
Homemade minestrone #vegansoup #soupweather
Pigging out on the best vegan cheese ever from @miyokoschinner. The double cream chive is amazing - I could just eat it by the spoonful ๐Ÿ˜‚ If youโ€™re looking for a good #dairyfreecheese then this is a must try! Every non vegan Iโ€™ve introduced it to also raves about it! #veganonvacation #vegancheese #veganfoodshare
Bomb AF tempeh bacon hash from @cityocity with crispy potato slices, sautรฉed veggies, tofu scramble and topped with cashew ricotta and.... GRAVY - what?! So delish and I canโ€™t wait to go back. Good thing weโ€™re in Denver for a week. Thereโ€™s too many things on the menu I could barely decide what to get. This proved to be a legit choice. Well done ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿปโœจ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ #veganfood #denvervegan