Dairy-free diets are now in vogue. Soya yoghurts, almond milk, coconut ice cream, and tofu are widely sold in supermarkets. Vegan cafés and restaurants are popping up everywhere. And there's plenty going on in the media too: as celebrities ditch the white stuff, scientists debate the impact of veganism on climate change.
It wasn't always like this. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, eating a plant-only diet was seen as a far more radical and counter-culture choice than it is today. At that time, even lacto-vegetarians—those who eat dairy and honey but no meat or fish—were on the fringes ("It felt like we were a different sect of people," said Mary McCartney, Paul McCartney's daughter, of her vegetarian family in the 1970s.)
Vegans were ahead of their time. They were inventive, resourceful and creative. They squeezed vegetable juices, creamed cashew nuts into 'cheeses,' poured tofu into blocks (you couldn't nip out to the grocers to buy a pack), mashed lentils into rissoles and stirred up everything from sugar-free puddings to soups and goulashes. What they came up with was an affordable way to eat healthy dairy alternatives, without the added chemicals, sugar, and salt, which are now so often added to the processed versions produced by major food manufacturers.
This book is a collection of recipes from this time and gives them a proper context, referring to the communities and households who created the recipes and what it was like for vegans back then.
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