Do you know what a vegan diet really is all about? Many people have some idea about what following a vegan diet excludes from their plates. However, most do not realize the depths and reasoning behind this way of life. We have over the years listened to many of our Once Again Nut Butter fans requests, and that is why you’ll find a vegan check mark on our Once Again nut butter jars. As a matter of fact, our products are also gluten free, certified kosher, non-GMO and several come in the USDA Organic options.
Vegans can be very much at home at Once Again. “Veganism is an ethical philosophy which begins with the idea that we should not use animals in any way and avoid, to the extent that is possible and practical, all forms of use.” This definition provided by Your Daily Vegan describes in a few words what living a vegan life is all about. It is not only about the food that is consumed, but also resources that are used for your daily activities. Veganism takes great dedication and effort. Excluding animal products from your diet such as meat, cheese, chicken, fish, eggs, butter, cream, milk and even honey, among other things, is only the first step. Vegans also avoid products derived from animals such as wool, silk scarves, leather shoes, bedding that contains goose down or duck feathers, ordinary soap (usually made of animal fat), many cosmetics, and so many other items you may have never realized contain animal products. Vegans pay close attention as well to animal rights: The products they purchase and food they eat must never be tested on laboratory animals. They have great respect for life of all forms on our planet.
Some of you may be wondering about the possible health implications of such a lifestyle. Since vegan diets are based on grains, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and nuts, it is, overall, filled with nutrients! Soybeans are used to create imitation “meats” such as tofu. Because soybeans are a complete protein, meaning they contain all essential amino acids for humans, the myth that vegans do not eat enough or good quality protein is not necessarily true. Veganism could potentially cause a deficiency in vitamins B12, D, zinc and calcium since those nutrients are mostly abundant in animal sources rather than in plants. To address the issue, many vegan products such as tofu are now fortified with those nutrients to guarantee a better intake average of said vitamins and minerals. According to a recent article in February of 2016 from Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, veganism appears to provide health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease.
Veganism is a complex form of the vegetarian diet with which we are more familiar. Vegetarians also do avoid animal products such as red meat, chicken, pork but may sometimes include eggs, fish and other products made with animal derived ingredients, such as milk, for example. The vegetarian diet often includes honey, which is not always the case with vegans. The case for honey is not so black-or-white when it comes to defining if it is vegan- friendly. Honey is technically not vegan since it is produced by bees. However, bees are insects, and there has been a discussion examining potentially negative environmental impacts of honey harvesting. You may find it a bit odd that with our discussion about veganism we will include a recipe that calls for honey, in this case. We respect all choices of lifestyle, especially those who are so in tune with nature and preserving our environmental resources. We do however also recognize the benefits of using honey as a sweetener (see post here on health benefits of honey we published earlier this year). Therefore, you may choose to make this recipe as is, or feel free to substitute maple syrup, which is a vegan- friendly ingredient. Regardless of the route you choose, these Sunflower Seed Buttercups are going to dramatically change the way you look at seed butters! They are sweet treats that will deliver mouthwatering texture and taste, and they are easily made in just a few minutes, too.
And remember, honey is also paleo-diet friendly! That is another diet and lifestyle we will dig into in an upcoming blog. It is so much more than just eating raw meat. You’ll be surprised when you discover its origins and possibilities.
Sunflower Seed Buttercups
½ cup of Once Again Sunflower Seed Butter, lightly sweetened
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of Killer Bee Honey
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of roasted sunflower seeds
Mix Once Again Nut Butter Sunflower Seed Butter with coconut oil. Make sure the coconut oil is liquid at room temperature prior to mixing with sunflower seed butter. Now add honey and mix it well. Pour into molds and sprinkle with chocolate chips and roasted sunflower seeds. Take to freezer for 30 minutes, remove from mold and enjoy! Store leftovers in freezer. These treats melt fast when at room temperature.