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Cooking vegan without substitutes: Advantages, dogmatism and tips

Eat vegan without substitutes - Tips

You want to cook vegan without substitutes more often and are looking for helpful tips? Then you are guaranteed to find it here! There are now many vegan substitutes, such as Meat substitute based on soy and peas, or vegetable cheese made from roasted walnuts and coconut oil. These industrially produced foods certainly have their advantages. For example, they make the Change from meat eater to vegan much easier. But unfortunately, they often bring some disadvantages.

In this article, I'll introduce you to these criticisms, as well as valuable tips for a conscious, plant-based diet free of processed products.

Here is another short table of contents for your reference:

  1. Advantages
  2. Dogmatism?
  3. Tips
  4. Closing words

Why eat vegan without substitute products?

Eat vegan without processed substitute products

The benefits of a vegan diet without substitute products are many and varied. Because a wholefood diet with unprocessed foods is not only extremely positive for you and your health, but also for the environment and your wallet. Here I present you the essential reasons for the best possible renunciation of vegan convenience goods in detail.

Notice: These arguments are fundamentally directed against the consumption of convenience foods - and not just against purely plant-based substitute products.


When you cook plant-based without substitutes, you eat healthier than with vegan substitutes. Because foods that are as unprocessed as possible contain no chemistry, no flavor enhancers or flavors and only as much sugar as you want.

Substitute products continue to often have too High salt content and a poor ratio of Omega 3- and Omega 6 fatty acids. Often arise abdominal pain, headache, fatigue or skin blemishes, as well as more serious diet-related diseases due to an unhealthy diet. Fresh food, on the other hand, often contains more Nutrients and are easier to digest.

More favorable

Unprocessed foods are also pretty nice for your wallet. Surely you have asked yourself the question "Why are vegan substitutes so expensive? If you consciously eat without substitutes, you won't have this problem. Because cheap staples such as potatoes, pasta, couscous or legumes are much cheaper compared to vegan substitutes. They are even the cheapest foods in the supermarket. These staples are therefore a basis of healthy and sustainable vegan cuisine without substitute products.

Environmentally friendly

The environment will also thank you if you cook vegan without processed foods whenever possible, since this will less packaging waste and you will feel much lighter regional supply. With substitute products, you often have no choice about where the raw materials come from. If you buy fresh vegetables instead, you can consciously choose a local option.

Lower processing also requires Less energy and thus saves resources, since frozen products in particular are real power guzzlers. A plant-based diet without substitute products is therefore a good basis for a really sustainable nutrition.


Another advantage that many people find uncomfortable at first is the opportunity to discover new and to try out, because us People often find changes very difficult. And admittedly: at first, plant-based cooking without substitute products also seems time-consuming. But the extra effort is worth it.

Over time you develop Fun with home cooking with fresh ingredients like Fruit and vegetables and the pleasure of a home-cooked meal surpasses any ready-made product. This makes your diet more varied, you get to know new foods and discover new taste creations.

Do we have to dogmatically avoid plant-based substitutes?

Of course not. After all, vegetable substitutes also have many advantages. Because these are often still healthier than the corresponding animal productsbecause they contain less saturated fat, cholesterol, antibiotics and hormones. For many people, substitute products make it easier to Conversion to vegan diet and they bring back the old familiar taste.

Sometimes you just have Fancy a bratwurst or a vegan barbecuebut I still don't want an animal to die for it. That's why I think you shouldn't dogmatically eat a vegan diet without substitute products, but can definitely make an exception now and then when you feel like having "vegan chicken" or a ready-made burger patty made of pea protein.

7 tips for a vegan diet without substitutes

Inspiration for eco-friendly cooking without ready-made products
In our book "Kochen fürs Klima" (Cooking for the climate) you will find countless inspiring vegan recipes with natural foods.

Now you already know the WHY - and know that exceptions are okay, of course. But how can you make it as easy as possible to keep processed foods out of your own plant-based diet? Just use the following tips around for a healthy, whole food vegan diet.

1. look for inspiration

With the right ideas, vegan cuisine without substitute products becomes diverse and tasty. You can, for example, in a Cookbook look at new recipes or cook with friends and discover new ideas there. Also shopping in an Arabic or asian supermarket can become an adventure where you get to know new foods. Every now and then can also be a Restaurant visit broaden the horizon. With enough new ideas, plant-based cooking without processed foods will definitely not be boring.

Tip: For a climate-friendly cuisine I recommend you the cookbook pictured above Cooking for the climatethat Christoph and I wrote for you. You can get it for example here*.

2. gratin food

Whether you're in the mood for vegetable lasagna, potato gratin, or pizza, you'll need a good substitute for cheese to top everything. My favorite variation is a Cashew Yeast Melt. For this, you use a few cashews that you soak in water and then puree with water, yeast flakes, olive oil and a pinch each of Kala Namak and black pepper. If you have a powerful blender, you can even save the soaking time.

If you're in a hurry, you can make an almond paste with almond paste, yeast flakes, a little water and a pinch of salt or Kala Namak. quick homemade cheese substitute prepare. With this you are ready in any case and can already bake the next pizza or lasagna vegan without substitute products.

3. make vegetable patties yourself

Fritters are great if you ever need to make Desire for a really hearty meal have. They are for me a real enrichment in my full, vegan kitchen. Vegetable patties always remind me of meatballs, which I used to be really incredibly fond of. Luckily, you can easily make a plant-based alternative yourself.

For this, cook millet, green spelt meal or lentils until the lentils are cooked and the water has evaporated. Then you thicken the mass with a little soy, chickpea or flax flour, mix in some fried onion, spices and herbs of your choice and then form the mass to Vegetable meatballs. Then you just have to fry the vegetable patties in a pan until they are nice and golden brown.

4. make delicious spreads yourself

Hummus - Self-righteous vegan spread without substitute product

After the Christmas season, together with my girlfriend, I made a "No Sugar Challenge" We did not use any other sweeteners besides sugar, such as coconut blossom sugar, maple syrup or agave syrup. We noticed how many spreads contain sugar or agave syrup.

You can, however, countless, versatile spreads quite simply yourself and sugar free make. Many of them even with only three or four ingredients, which you grind in the blender until they become a thick paste. Here are some examples for you:

  • Cashew bell pepper spread: 80 g cashews, 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 tsp smoked paprika, pinch of salt
  • Tomato Hummus: 200 g chickpeas, 80 g tahini, 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, some lemon juice
  • Bean paste: 200 g black beans, 3 tablespoons olive oil, pinch of chili, pinch of salt

5. find fresh alternatives for finished products

Many familiar ready-made products can be quickly and easily replaced. A pizza dough, for example, is quickly homemade - you will also find many recipes for it on the Internet. Instead of pre-fried ready-made pommes, you can easily prepare potatoes, parsnips or beet in the oven. A lot of things are really easy to substitute. Just search the internet for how to make certain things yourself and you'll find lots of recipes and ideas that make it even easier to cook vegan without substitutes.

The flavor Umami is described as savory, spicy or even meaty and is often associated with meat. You can also bring umami into your dishes with plant foods such as dried tomatoes, mushrooms or miso.

6. cover protein needs vegan without substitute products

Seitan sausages and soy cutlets often cover a large portion of the daily protein requirements on a vegan diet. Proteins are an important nutrient, provide among other things for a functioning Immune system, muscle building and the formation of enzymes and hormones. In addition, proteins have a satiating effect, which is also an important factor of a balanced, healthy and not least satisfying diet. Because cooking plant-based without substitutes should also be tasty and satisfying.

Tip: Good Protein sources are for example Legumes, nuts and nut puree, seeds, whole grain products or sprouts.

7. satisfy cravings for sweets without vegan substitutes

Vegan banana bread unprocessed alternative

When you have a craving for sweets, it's easy to reach for a candy bar or those plant-based gummy bears. If you're looking for a healthier and more sustainable alternative to snacking, then once again, "do it yourself" is the way to go. Here are some ideas for healthy snacking:

Banana bread is for me an absolute classic in a healthy, vegan diet without substitute products. Because with the sweet bread can be super satisfy the now and then emerging desire for sweet.

You can also use your Chocolate nut cream very easy to make yourself. Take some ground hazelnuts, dates, cocoa powder and some oat drink and puree all ingredients in a blender. This way you can easily eliminate palm oil and refined sugar from your diet.

Quick JamThis is a classic breakfast dish for me. Grab some fruit of your choice, cut it into small pieces and boil it for about 15 minutes with some water, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sweetener of your choice. You can also add spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves.

Enjoy with vegan diet without substitute products

So cooking vegan without substitutes is not only healthier for you, it's also kinder to the environment and even your wallet. Less packaging waste, fewer additives, less sugar, but more nutrients, a targeted Health Promotion and variety - that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

It's important that you don't dogmatically eat a diet free of processed foods and thereby suppress your needs, because then your emotional satisfaction suffers. Go for the soy sausage if you really feel like it.

I welcome comments, questions and criticism about this article on vegan cooking without substitutes!

All the best,

Julian from CareElite

P.S.: If you're interested in healthy eating, you might also like the articles on vegan food supplement or Vitamin B12 interesting for you!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Julian Hölzer

Julian Hölzer

Hi, my name is Julian and I am a trained vegan nutritionist. In 2016 I started to get involved with veganism and quickly learned how big an impact our diet has on the environment and how diverse plant-based diets can be. That's why I want to inspire you to get involved with veganism too.

2 thoughts on “Vegan ohne Ersatzprodukte kochen: Vorteile, Dogmatismus und Tipps”

  1. Hello dear Julian, thank you for your , in my eyes, extremely important article!
    I agree with all your points.
    What also bothers me extremely about most substitute products is the idea that theoretically "next door" products from the animal are processed. It feels to me like I'm visiting a pacifist and there's a torture chamber in the same house.
    In addition, I find it extremely questionable to put our (vegan) future in the hands of certain corporations. In my eyes, products produced recklessly towards nature should at best be called "purely plant-based" but certainly not "vegan".
    It goes against my basic concept of "vegan".
    Not infrequently I have clashed with "taste slaves" of those ubiquitous favorite products.
    greetings from the Wurzelsepp

    1. Hey Wurzelsepp,
      thank you for your lovely comment! Your criticism of substitute products I can well understand and many things I agree. I think big corporations act mainly for profit and if these corporations notice that there is money to be made with sustainable and vegan products as well, then that's good if these companies change their portfolio. From there I think that you should differentiate in substitute products depending on where and how these products were produced.
      Warm regards

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