If you’re a diabetic and popping a festive goody is a long-term goal, look no further. We’ve listed five vegan recipes that you will love. Why vegan? Because research says that a vegan diet may do a better job of managing diabetes. Go on, indulge!
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Veganism is on the rise and so are some notoriously cliched ideas about vegans. But a vegan diet is not only popular among animal activists or planet warriors. New research suggests that a vegan diet does a better job of reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among diabetics. Given that people with diabetes have a very high chance of developing heart disease, a vegan diet is a good bet to live a long and healthy life. It also has several other health benefits and is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and some types of cancer, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A vegan diet comprises plant-derived foods—not only is meat out, all animal produce including eggs, dairy and honey is also not used. Here are some healthy vegan recipes for you to try and enjoy.

Peanut and Brown Rice Curd

⅓ cup whole brown rice soaked overnight

½ cup whole peanuts soaked overnight

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Blend both peanuts and brown rice separately with fresh water (4-5 times the quantity of the ingredient) in a blender. Strain and blend both ingredients three times to draw out get maximum milk. Now boil peanut milk on slow flame. Gradually add rice milk, one spoonful at a time and stir gently; boil for 10 minutes. This will make around one litre of milk. Let cool. Now it is ready for adding the culture. Add 1 tsp curd (use a ready culture tablet bought from shop or rejuvelac found in stores). Cover and leave outside for eight hours in warm climate and for 10 hours in cold weather. Your curd is ready. For next batch, use culture from this curd. The first few batches of curd may be watery but you will start getting firm and thick curd after using this method a few times. This curd stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week and can be used to make any curd dish, from buttermilk and dhokla to paneer, lassi and kadhi.

(Recipe by Meenu Nageshwaran)

Rice Milk

1 cup brown/white rice, boiled

4 cup water

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2 tsp sugar/jaggery

A pinch of cocoa powder (optional)

Place boiled rice with water in blender. Blend for 2 minutes. Pour in a container and add sugar or jaggery. Mix well and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth. Add cocoa powder or any other vegan flavouring of your choice.

Casein-free Pineapple Cake

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1 cup almond milk (Silk almond milk is available in select stores)

1 tsp vanilla powder

150 gram wholewheat flour

1/3 c brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup crushed pineapple fruit

½ cup fresh pineapple juice

1 tsp almonds, sliced

1 Tbsp ricebran oil, for greasing

Drain crushed pineapple. Place in blender with pineapple juice and rest of the ingredients. Blend for 2-3 minutes. Grease 8x8-inch pan with ricebran oil. Pour the contents in the greased pan. Sprinkle cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 inches. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Vegan Gajar Halwa

3 cup carrot, grated

2 ½ cup almond milk (Silk almond milk is available in select stores)

1/3 cup brown or white sugar

5 cardamoms, crushed

5-7 cashewnuts, sliced finely

10 whole raisins

1 Tbsp oil

Heat a pan and grease with oil. Place grated carrot and add almond milk. Mix well and let it simmer for around 20 minutes (keep stirring every 5 minutes). Add cardamom powder and stir for 2-3 minutes. Once it starts thickening, add sugar and ghee. Cook until there is no watery residue and the consistency is thick and dry. Add sliced almonds, cashewnuts and raisins. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Serve fresh or after refrigerating (stays fresh for 5 days in fridge).

Rice Vermicilli Salad

200 gm rice vermicilli

1 medium yellow capsicum, English cucumber and orange carrot, sliced finely

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp flaxseed oil

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

Salt to taste

Tabasco sauce to taste

Place rice vermicilli in a bowl. Cover with boiling water for around 10 minutes or until soft. Drain water. Transfer vermicilli to a big bowl. Add all the sliced veggies. Toss well. Add flaxseed oil, lemon juice, sauce and salt. Toss and serve fresh.

Know your vitamins - 7 easy-to-do tips for new vegans

1. Get your calcium from dark green veggies such as spinach, kale and broccoli. Soya products are also a good source of calcium.

2. For iron, eat lentils, whole cereals and green veggies and pair it with vitamin C rich foods such as lemon, orange and kiwi to enhance the absorption of iron.

3. Get omega-3 fatty acids from canola oil, soya oil, walnuts, ground flaxseeds and soyabean.

4. Good sources of vitamin B12 are fortified soy products and supplements.

6. To get your share of vitamin D, have fortified soya milk and rice milk.

7. Best sources of zinc are wholegrains, soya products, legumes, nuts and wheatgerm

(By Ritika Samaddar, dietician, Max healthcare, Delhi)

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