It’s a misconception that being vegan is expensive. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need exotic ingredients to replace the non-vegan ones. So it is a myth that it is difficult to travel as a vegan. It is not.
On this blog, Indiahikes vegans provide the best way to do it by sharing tips, tricks, recipes, and ingredients that are readily available, easy to use, and delicious to consume.
Is It Really Difficult to Travel as a Vegan?
It’s easy to be vegan in India. You will find many dishes that do not contain any animal products. But what about dishes that do that?
“The problem is finding vegan alternatives to non-vegan foods. Outside of metropolitan areas, especially on the way to a remote Himalayan base camp, You may not find alternatives to your vegan menu. In that case you have to prepare your vegan products and take them with you, ”says Venkat Ganesh, trainer at Indiahikes.
This is where the experience and creativity of vegans come into play.
Vegans at Indiahikes have traveled within the country and even internationally. Here they share recipes of their favorite vegan snacks that are delicious and easy to prepare. We’ll come back to that in a moment. Let’s start with the travel hacks that vegans at Indiahikes swear by.
A vegan’s travel kit. Image shared by Lakshmi Selvakumaran
5 great travel hacks for vegan travelers
1. Carry vegan snacks – Have homemade snacks ready if your stomach starts growling between meals. This can be done before a hike, on the way to base camp, or even between campsites when out and about.
For such times, pack snacks like nuts, fruit, bread, seeds, granola bars, and cookies.
2. Know the local phrases – If you are traveling in the same country that you live in, you may not have any problems communicating with the locals. However, when traveling abroad you need to be familiar with the local vernacular when asking about the local vegan menu.
“Most restaurants veganize their menu on request. However, it would be important to ask if the items contain dairy products and ask them to swap these for non-vegan ingredients. This can be done for items where the dairy item is applied topically – like aloo paratha, no cheese in a burger, no cheese in pasta, etc.
In India, in places like Rishikesh and Manali, there are many restaurants that offer a full vegan menu. “Says Lakshmi Selvakumaran, Head of Experience at Indiahikes.
3. Pack vegan toiletries – Toiletries are just as necessary as groceries. Therefore, you need to pack your vegan toiletries beforehand. In a country like India you don’t have to worry, but in some countries (like China) you need to be careful before buying the toiletries from a local store.
4. Find the fruit market – It is most common in all places. Even if you travel to base camp, you can quickly find a local fruit store and enjoy a quick, healthy vegan snack.
5. Check mobile apps – This is where technology offers you a helping hand to maintain your vegan diet. Install the apps such as HappyCow (Android / iOS), goVegn (iOS), or Vegman (iOS) on your phone. All you have to do is update your current location and you will be able to find the vegan restaurant locations near you.
Hacks are good, and the best thing is to make your own snacks. “I think it’s the best way to ensure a healthy meal on the go. Especially during a hike, because wherever you bring your own cutlery, this is easy to do, ”says Lakshmi.
In fact, Lakshmi has a quick one Recipe for delicious vegan millet cookies. It only takes 25 minutes to prepare! They are easy to make and very easy to carry when traveling.
Listen to Lakshmi’s instructions on how to make these vegan cookies in this audio.
As a vegan traveler, preparation is key. It ensures your snacks will hold up throughout the trip.
Preparation also helps in minimizing plastic waste. As a responsible outdoor enthusiast, you should avoid packing plastic-wrapped food in the mountains.
That brings us to the main question every vegan asks:
What to Pack for Your Vegan Meals?
Let’s share that vegan menu in wide categories of proteins, carbohydrates, grains, fats and fibers.
Your packaging plan should balance all of these ingredients in the food. A plan that leans on one type of nutrient and away from another is not going to meet your body’s nutritional needs. This can affect your strength and immunity if you are traveling and hiking.
From time to time, observe what your body needs in order to receive instructions.
“Since we need the right nutrients from the food, I’m looking for alternative homemade vegan recipes. I have dry fruits ready to nibble on. I consider some jaggery to be sweet to satisfy sweet cravings, ”says Senior Trek Leader Dushyant Sharma.
Dushyant has a favorite vegan, High energy mix that he wears everywhere. It’s super easy to do. In this audio, he walks you through the whole process.
Protip Pack them in a reusable container to avoid plastic. Reduce your carbon footprint.
If you go back to the menu and are not careful, you may end up eating the same thing every day. It will be monotonous. Therefore, you have to confuse the variety. To do this, it is important to have a rough idea of it What falls under nutritional categories which are given below.
Note: If you are open to food dehydration, you can dehydrate and take the following sources of protein. They can be combined perfectly and prevent your menu from becoming monotonous.
1. Dehydrated beans: Dehydrated beans are high in protein, fiber, and calories. This is a ubiquitous camp recipe. Try arranging dehydrated chilled beans – pinto or black beans – depending on your needs and the length of your trip.
2. Gojjus / Chutneys: You can enjoy these with rice, whole grain crackers, sandwich thins or chapatis. It’s easy to cook, tasty, and lasts a long time.
3. Bean flakes and split lentils: They can bring both carbohydrates and protein benefits. You can pack pre-cooked dehydrated lentils or faster cooked red split lentils. They take less time to cook in your outdoor camp.
1. Semolina flour (rawa): This is an excellent source of protein and can be used as a basis in a wide variety of dishes. Everything you need
2. Oatmeal: Oats are a combination of high protein and fiber. With the oatmeal texture, oatmeal is inexpensive and convenient for backpacking.
3. Fried wheat: Simply fry the wheat grains until they are crispy. You can have them as a snack when traveling. They are tasty and very nutritious.
Fats and fiber
1. Peanut butter: It is the alternative to milk butter and you can eat it in oatmeal, on a flatbread, or directly. If you are on the outskirts, you may not find the right milk butter alternative. Hence, it is advisable to wear peanut butter. If you’re allergic to peanuts, find almond, sunflower, or cashew butter options. These are the sources of high calories and fat to satisfy your heavy meal.
2. Fruits, nuts and vegetables: Cashews, raisins, apricots, etc. are good for backpacking. For DIY weekend tours, you can use these as a trail mix. They are good to eat and a high source of calories. Nuts are low on the glycemic index and are high in antioxidants, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. They are very resourceful for creating your energy.
│ Note: Avoid classic vegan crutches: It is always advisable to avoid a vegan diet that includes simple starches or sugary foods. You need to treat your body well to cope with the exhaustion from hiking. You can save some oreo to recharge your batteries at the end of the day.
Quick fixes for vegan travelers
1. Banana chips: If you’re looking for high-starch and fiber snacks, try some banana chips for outdoor evening snacks.
2. Homemade energy bars: Energy bars are relatively easy to prepare at home. You need to grind peanuts, almonds, chia, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, flax seeds and make bars of liquid chocolates. This is a quick source of energy.
Izzat Yaganagi, head of the experience program at Indiahikes, has a nice recipe for an energy bar with a very interesting name. It’s sweet, vegan, and easy to make. Listen to this audio from Izzat to know how to do it.
That brings us to the end of this blog. Does it still feel difficult to be vegan? If you face challenges in designing a menu for your vegan trips, drop your problem in the comments and vegans at Indiahikes will be on hand to help you right away.
Have fun trekking! And have a nice World Vegan Day!