It seems like vegans have their own vocabulary. Help!

When you enter the vegan world you will be introduced to a variety of new ingredients that you have never heard before. I am still learning new fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. There are also a lot of nutrients and products you may have never heard of.

Agar: Agar is used instead of gelatin for thickening. It is made from sea vegetables.

Agave Syrup: Sweetener commercially produced in South Africa and Mexico from several species of agave. Agave nectar is 1.4-1.6 times sweeter than sugar.

Arame: Arame is a sea vegetable which has been cooked, sliced and dried. After soaking to rehydrate, it can be used in soups, stews, salads, or with vegetables.

Bouillion: You may have used chicken bouillion in the past. They make vegetable bouillion that can be used as a flavor enhancer in soups or stews. You can also dissolve a cube in a couple cups of water and use it to cook your brown rice.

Bragg Lquid Aminos: A liquid protein derived from soybeans. It is used like soy sauce and has lower sodium.

Bulgur: Cracked hulled and parboiled wheat.

Cacao Nibs: Nibs are broken up cacao beans and are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids.  Cacao nibs can be added to smoothies, trail mix or mixed into your favorite cookie recipe.  There is not sugar in these nibs!

Carob: Used like cocoa powder in baked goods, but does not contain caffeine, and is lower in fat.

Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are loaded with omega 3’s and fiber. You can sprinkle them on your cereal or use them as an egg replacer.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the meat of matured coconuts. It is very heat-stable, which makes it suited to methods of cooking at high temperatures. However, it does have high levels of saturated fat.

Dulse: Dulse is an alga harvested along the North Atlantic coast and is used to add flavor and texture to soups, stews, or on salads. It is high in Vitamin B, has lots of fiber and is also a source of protein.

Edamame: green vegetable soybeans

Flax seeds: Flax seeds come in two basic varieties: brown and yellow or golden. It is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Goji Berries: Goji berries have been termed a superfruit due to its nutrient value and antioxidant content. They are usually sold in dried form.

Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and are a good source of protein. Sprinkle on salads, cereals or into baked goods.

Hummus: Pureed, mashed garbanzo beans spread that contains garlic, lemon juice, and tahini (sesame seed butter).

Kale: Kale is a form of cabbage. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and is reasonably rich in calcium.

Kombu: Kombu is a brownish kelp used to flavor broth, enhance sauces, and sometimes when cooking beans to add nutrients, increase tenderness and aid in digestion.

Lentils: Lentils are part of the legume family and are a good source of protein and iron.

Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke is all-natural. It is made from water, hickory smoke, vinegar, molasses and a little bit of caramel coloring. It adds a nice smokiness to to soups, chili, and stews.

Miso: White miso is made from fermented soybeans and rice. It is used in salad dressings and soup. Red miso is also made from fermented soybeans along with barley or some other grain. It is fermented longer than white miso and has a richer flavor. It is used in soups and stews.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast and is often used as a substitute for cheese. You can also use it in salad dressings. It’s a source of B12.

Quinoa: Quinoa is a grain that contains essential amino acids and contains good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

Seitan: Seitan is made from water and vital wheat gluten. When kneaded, it becomes a soft dough which can be formed into patties. After resting, it is simmered in broth. The final product is chewy, flavorful and very meat-like. It can be chopped and added to stews. It can also be sliced, sauteed or browned. Add herbs, garbanzo bean flour, garlic, ginger, soy sauce or toasted wheatgerm.

Stevia: Stevia is a great sugar substitute. It is low-carbohydrate and low-sugar.

Tahini: A thick nut butter paste made of ground sesame seeds.

Tamari: This is made from fermented soybeans along with water and salt. Tamari is a little thicker than regular soy sauce.

Tempeh: Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. It has a nutty flavor and crumbly texture that is good in stews, salads and can be used as a substitute for bacon.

Tofu: Soybean curd made by curdling and then pressing out the liquid in soy milk making a solid block. It is high in protein, low in sodium, and is a good source of B-vitamins and iron.

TSP and TVP: TSP is made from soy flour and other flours and textured vegetable protein is made from soy beans. This is a useful ingredient when looking to achieve a meaty texture in stews, chili, sloppy joe’s or burgers. It is a good source of protein.

Vital Wheat Gluten: This ingredient is often used when making 100% whole grain breads and is the essential ingredient for making seitan.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods. This obviously is a problem for vegans. Vegan sources of vitamin B12 include some brands of fortified cereals, some soy-based products and vegan foods that are made to resemble meat. You can also take a supplement.

Vitamix: A powerful blender that many vegans and raw vegans use.

*Information from anunrefinedvegan.com, Wikepedia

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