Fall is here, and if you’re gearing up for back-to-school then meal planning is probably on your mind. Planning out your meals ahead of time saves a load of time and stress throughout the week. It’s also a great way to maintain a healthy diet. But sometimes we feel tired of the same old recipes and might get stuck in a rut.
With the changing season also comes new seasonal produce, and your recipes will likely adjust to fit what’s freshest and available in the produce section. Whether you want to get out of your rut, or you just need some more weather-appropriate ideas, we’ve got you covered. This article won’t show you how to plan your meals, but we are going to provide a few unique ideas to help keep things interesting. Let’s dig in!
Use More Spices
Are you ready to warm up that cool autumn breeze? Spices are a great way to heat up your body but they also make food more interesting to your palate. Salty, sweet, smokey, or just plain spicy herbs, chiles, and seasonings can pump up the flavor in your dishes. Plus, they’re easy to use and experiment with. Some spices like turmeric, paprika, and saffron can even change the color of your food. Organic spices like these are a great addition to your vegan meals for a little va-va-voom!
- Allspice adds an earthy and sweet flavor to apples, beets, carrots, cabbage, squash and sweet potatoes.
- Caraway is tangy and sweet. Use it on root vegetables, beets, broccoli, potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage, apples, or even with nuts.
- Cardamom has a sweet and warm flavor, perfect for fall! It tastes great in lentil and rice dishes or sprinkled on carrots, squash, or sweet potatoes.
- Cayenne pepper is obviously spicy but have you ever tried it with chocolate? You can add it to your chocolatey desserts or on beans, eggplant, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes.
- Fennel is sweet and tastes like licorice but it’s oh-so-good when paired with vegan sausages, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, beets and even fruit like oranges.
- Peppercorns are hot but come in a variety of flavors from classic black, to white, green, or even pink varieties. Use peppercorns on greens, tomatoes, potatoes or even strawberries.
- Saffron is slightly bitter but warm and sweet. It adds flavor and color to your dishes and can be used on rice and grains, almonds, cauliflower and onions.
- Star anise is sweet with a strong licorice flavor. Try it in a stir-fry or with apples, beets, carrots, chocolate, coconut, cranberry, peaches, oranges, pumpkin, and root vegetables.
Try New Desserts
If you have a sweet tooth like I do, you know veganism isn’t going to stop you from the occasional indulgence. Luckily, there are lots of sweet vegan options out there. If you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a food prepping rut after summer, mix things up with these fall-inspired vegan dessert ideas:
- Vegan cinnamon rolls with coconut oil in place of butter.
- Vegan vanilla chai cupcakes with a thick, delicious vegan frosting.
- No-bake vegan french silk pie with minimal ingredients.
- Rich and creamy vegan lemon bars that are so healthy you can eat them for breakfast.
- Dairy-free wild blueberry lavender ice cream.
- Vegan molasses cookies (one of my fall and winter favorites).
You can find these vegan dessert recipes here.
Tips for Vegan Students
Your vegan lifestyle should fall to the wayside hustle and bustle of schedules, homework, sports, and more. Whether you’re a student, you sent your grown-up kid to college, or you’ve still got littles running off to catch the bus — here are some healthy eating tips to keep in mind:
- Eat mindfully and avoid multitasking while eating.
- Prep both your meals and snacks ahead of time.
- Eat superfoods and high-fiber foods to keep you full and nourished. Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
- Be mindful of the long-term implications of your current habits.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry. Always have prepared snacks on hand.
- Avoid overdoing it on the caffeine intake.
- Don’t follow food trends, do what’s healthy and right for your body.
Also, check out these vegan sandwiches to pack for school lunch. A new season is a great time to mix up your meal prepping game. Leave a comment below with your own vegan fall-inspired ideas.
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/CwUkXRfjNWo
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