Açaí

The acai berry looks like a grape and has a tasty tropical naturally sweet taste and grows on the acai palm tree, which is native to Brazilian rainforests.

Due to the berry having a short shelf life, acai fruit puree can be found in the freezer section of some grocery stores or at online retailers. This makes a great alternative to the fresh berry.

 

Ackee

Although native to West Africa, ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and a popular ingredient in a lot of Jamaican dishes. The pear-shaped fruit turns a yellow-orange colour when ripe and has a spongy and soft flesh inside which is said to be of the same consistency and texture as scrambled eggs.

Top Tips

Add Kala Namak (black salt) and vegan butter to ackee to give it a scrambled egg flavour.

Activated Almonds

Activated almond nuts are nuts that have been soaked in salt and water for a period of time, this starts the germination process, the nuts are then dehydrated at a cool temperature. Soaking the nuts elevates there nutrient value as well as breaks down compounds that help enhance the nuts digestibility.

Top Tips

Eat activated almonds as a snack (but chew well to benefit from them most) or grind them up over cereal or porridge.

Activated Cashew Nuts

Activated cashew nuts are nuts that have been soaked in salt and water for a period of time, this starts the germination process, the nuts are then dehydrated at a cool temperature. Soaking the nuts elevates there nutrient value as well as breaks down compounds that help enhance the nuts digestibility.

Top Tips

Eat activated cashews as a snack (but chew well to benefit from them most) or grind them up over cereal or porridge.

Activated Charcoal Powder

Charcoal has recently been making its way into lattes and juices, but what exactly is it? Well, activated charcoal is a fine, black powder that is odorless, tasteless, and nontoxic. It is believed to absorb organic toxins and chemicals before they can harm the body, so it’s being added to a lot of edible things like every other superfood because of its digestive health benefits.

Top Tips

Use as a natural tooth whitener; grind up 1-2 teaspoons and mix with water or coconut oil to form a paste, then brush your teeth with it!

Activated Macadamia Nuts

Activated macadamia nuts are nuts that have been soaked in salt and water for a period of time, this starts the germination process, the nuts are then dehydrated at a cool temperature. Soaking the nuts elevates there nutrient value as well as breaks down compounds that help enhance the nuts digestibility.

Top Tips

Eat activated macadamia nuts as a snack (but chew well to benefit from them most) or grind them up over cereal or porridge.

Activated Walnuts

Activated walnuts nuts are nuts that have been soaked in salt and water for a period of time, this starts the germination process, the nuts are then dehydrated at a cool temperature. Soaking the nuts elevates there nutrient value as well as breaks down compounds that help enhance the nuts digestibility.

Top Tips

Eat activated  walnuts as a snack (but chew well to benefit from them most) or grind them up over cereal or porridge.

Activoats Protein

This is a brand of oats produced by White’s. They are developed to be high in protein and contain all nine essential amino acids to help with muscle repair and growth. Available in boxes contain six 40g sachets.

Top Tips

Use activoats to make overnight oats for a quick and easy on-the-go breakfast.

Adobo Sauce

Adobo sauce is a traditional Spanish seasoning marinade made from paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar to preserve and enhance its flavour.

Top Tips

Use adobo sauce as a marinade or add to a stew for extra flavour.

Adobo Seasoning

This Latino spice mixture used in various countries including Mexico typically contains garlic, oregano, black pepper and turmeric. Adobo is incredibly versatile and can be used to enhance a whole variety of dishes.

Top Tips

To make adobo seasoning, mix together the following in a bowl:

2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric

Use adobo seasoning in rice dishes to give them a tasty kick.

Agar Agar

This jelly like dairy-free substitute for gelatine is made by boiling seaweed. Sold in flakes or powdered form, agar agar is first dissolved in liquid then simmered to thicken. It has no taste, odour or colours and sets more firmly than gelatine.  Use in any recipes in place of gelatine.

Top Tips

Use as a way to thicken and set homemade vegan cheeses.

Agave

Available in light, amber, dark and raw varieties, this syrup which is made from the agave succulent plant is a great alternative to other artificial sweeteners.

Top Tips

Use in tea as a substitute for honey, maybe with a slice of lemon to balance out the sweetness.

Akebi

This flowering plant is as amazing to look at as it is to eat. Indigenous to the north of Japan, it has only been cultivated for availability in Japanese shops in recent decades. This delicacy is only in season for around two weeks in early autumn.  It is filled with translucent white flesh covering shiny black seeds. While it is enjoyed raw like a fruit, it is often used in savoury recipes when cooked.

Top Tips

Sautee akebi and use as a savoury vegetable as a side dish or add to stir fries. Alternatively, eat it as a fruit.

Aleppo Pepper Flakes

These bright, fruity chilli flakes are moderately hot and typically used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Also known as Halaby pepper, it starts as pods, which ripen to a burgundy colour, and then are semi-dried, de-seeded, then crushed or coarsely ground.

Top Tips

Add to recipes like you would any chilli flake for a spicy kick.

Alfalfa Sprouts

These sprouts are the shoots of the alfalfa plant, harvested before they become the full-grown plant. Although adult alfalfa plants are too coarse and bitter to eat, alfalfa sprouts are tender and appropriate for use in salads, sandwiches and soups. On top of being a delicious nutty tasting vegetable, alfalfa sprouts also have a myriad of health-enhancing benefits.

Top Tips

You can easily sprout alfalfa seeds in a jar at home. The sprouts can then be used as a salad topper, in sandwiches and in soups. Also suitable for those following a raw vegan/plant based diet.

All Purpose Seasoning

All purpose seasoning is usually a mix of salt, black pepper, white pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, oregano, basil, bay leaves and thyme.

Top Tips

To make all purpose seasoning, mix the following together in a bowl:

1 tablespoon ground sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander (Cilantro)
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

Use as a go to seasoning – an easy way to make dishes taste delicious.

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is otherwise known as plain flour and is a blend of hard and soft wheat. You can buy it bleached or unbleached.

Top Tips

You can use all purpose flour, not just for cake making and bread, but also as a thickener for sauces. For example: mix with a little water and add to stews to thicken them.

Allspice

Allspice is the dried berry of the West Indian allspice tree that looks like a pea sized smooth peppercorn. Allspice, when ground up, is used in both savoury and sweet dishes including Jamaican jerk chicken, Christmas pudding, mulled drinks, marinades and pickles. Allspice tastes similar  to a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper so if you don’t have any to hand try using the top tip alternative.

Top Tips

To make all spice alternative simply combine an equal  quantity of the following three spices, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.
To make a small quantity use teaspoon measure, for larger quantity use tablespoon.

Almond Butter

Almond butter, is made of almonds that have been roasted and then crushed into a smooth creamy texture, much like peanut butter and cashew butter. Almond butter is great for baking, eating with porridge, and even putting in smoothies.

Top Tips

Use almond butter as a peanut butter substitute. It is great smothered over toast or drizzled over porridge.

Almond Extract

A concentrated liquid that can be used to add an almond flavour to different foods.

Top Tips

A great way to subtly flavour coffee, stewed fruit, baked apples, rice pudding and porridge.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is created from ground sweet almonds, normally made with blanched almonds (no skin). Almond flour is totally gluten free and un processed.

Top Tips

Use almond flour as a gluten-free flour substitute.

 

Almond Milk

This is made from soaked and pressed almonds to produce a liquid. It is sometimes fortified with extra vitamins as some plant based milks offer little nutritional value.

Top Tips

Almond milk is easy to make at home simply by blending water, almonds and a little sweetener together.

Almond Oil

Almond oil is the liquid fat obtained from almond nuts. Almond oil is normally found in two different forms: refined and cold pressed.

Top Tips

Almond oil is very versatile and can not only be used as a cooking oil but also in skin care routines, to cleanse and moisturise.

Almonds

Almonds are the seed from the fruit of an almond tree. They are native to the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

Top Tips

Grind whole raw almonds in a high speed blender to make almond meal/flour – a great gluten free flour substitute and can be used in raw vegan recipes.

Aluminium-Free Baking Powder

Aluminum is a common added in addition to many processed foods (especially some baking mixes), certain studies have linked the it to neurological disorders and even Alzheimers disease. Aluminium is added to baking powder to act as an acidifying agent meaning that you dont have to add extra acid to your recipes. Not all baking powder contains aluminium luckily! There are many aluminum free baking powders available in health shops and many supermarkets.

Top Tips

Baking powder is used as a baking powder in cooking and aluminium free baking powder is the same as regular baking powder.

Annatto

A natural dye which is made from the ground up seed pods of the annatto tree, which grows in Central and South America. It often used to impart a yellow or orange colour to foods, but sometimes also for its flavour and aroma.

Top Tips

Use as a natural colorant for homemade vegan cheese sauces, vegan cheese and other sauces to give them a yellow appearance.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made by squeezing out the juice from apples, adding bacteria and yeast to create alcoholic fermentation and then then alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is commonly used in vinaigrette’s, salad dressing, chutneys, food preservatives and marinades.

Top Tips

Apple cider vinegar is a great ingredient when making vegan cheese and cheese sauces to give it that ‘acidic’ cheesy taste you find with non vegan cheese.

Apple Juice Concentrate

Apple juice from concentrate means that all the excess water from the apples is removed, creating a product more concentrated than the initial juice. Compressing and then freezing the apple juice allows a more productive method of packaging and transportation. Water is then added to the juice again before it is sold.

Top Tips

Drink apple juice concentrate but only after adding water as its sugary and more intense than regular apple juice.

Apples

Apples are the fruit produced by an Malus Pumila (apple tree). The tree originates from Central Asia. There are many different types of apples but the most commly used ones for cooking and baking are: bramley apples, granny smith apples and red or yellow gravenstein apples.

Top Tips

Use cooking apples to make a delicious dessert or breakfast. Stuff with dried sultanas, dried peel, almond extract then bake.

Apricot Compote

Compote is a dessert originating from medieval Europe, made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup (in this case, apricots). Whole fruits are cooked in water with sugar and spices.

Apricot Jam

Apricot jam is a fruit preservative made by either crushing the fruit or cutting it into pieces and the heating it with water and sugar.

Top Tips

Mix with water and heat to make a glaze for a fruit tart.

Apricots

Apricots are a fruit that come from an apricot tree. They have a small stone in the middle of them and can be dried to make dried apricots.

 

Top Tips

Eat apricots as a snack or cut up them up and add to desserts, yoghurt or breakfasts.

Apricots, Dried

Dried Apricots are a great source of potassium and vitamin A, are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index (they normally do not have any sugar added to them).

Top Tips

Apricots are better eaten at meal time to prevent tooth decay and 30g of dried apricot is equivalent to 80g of fresh apricot (1 of your 5 a day).

Aquafaba

This is the liquid that is in tins with chickpeas. Some recipes may call it chickpea water, and it is commonly used as a replacement for egg whites and used to make meringues. There are many recipes on the internet that have different uses for aquafaba.

Top Tips

Use aquafaba to make a delicious home made mayo or meringues.

Aquafaba Mozzarella

This is a type of vegan cheese that is an alternative to mozzarella made from cows milk. It has a different texture, however it looks similar in colour to traditional mozzarella.

Top Tips

Use to top pizzas, lasagnas, mac n’ cheese etc.

Arborio Rice

This Italian short-grain rice is named after the town of Arborio located in the main growing region
Arborio rice is most commonly used for risotto dishes and rice pudding. The grains are rounded in appearance and when cooked feel firm, chewy and creamy because of their higher amylopectin starch content. Arborio rice absorbs liquids and flavours and releases starch far better than other types of rice, giving risotto its characteristic texture.

Top Tips

You can also use Arborio rice to make a quick and easy rice pudding instead of the typically used pudding rice.

Arrowroot

Also known as arrowroot starch or arrowroot powder is derived from a tropical South American plant and similar to corn starch, arrowroot is commonly used as a thickener in recipes. Unlike cornstarch, arrowroot is completely flavourless and will not impart a starchy taste into puddings or other dishes that it is used to thicken. Some of its benefits include improving heart health and digestion as well as boosting energy levels in the body.

Top Tips

Arrowroot is gluten free, so use it as a thickener in sauces instead of flour.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is the same as arrowroot starchArrowroot is a perennial herb found in Rain forest habitats. Arrowroot is cultivated for it’s starch (powder) which used as a thickening agent, it can be used as a replacement for cornstarch. It is an excellent ingredient which is often used in baking gluten free recipes. Arrowroot creates a soft and light texture, it is also very easily digestible, it is not irradiated and does not contain any added sulfates.

Top Tips

Arrowroot is gluten free, so use it as a thickener in sauces instead of flour.

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot is a perennial herb found in rain forest habitats. Arrowroot is cultivated for starch which used as a thickening agent, it can be used as a replacement for cornstarch. It is an excellent ingredient which is often used in baking gluten free recipes. Arrowroot creates a soft and light texture, it is also very easily digestible, it is not irradiated and does not contain any added sulfates.

Top Tips

Arrowroot is gluten free, so use it as a thickener in sauces instead of flour.

Artichoke

Artichokes are a type of thistle, particularly globe artichokes, that are grown and used as a vegetable. It is a round shape head that flowers. There are different types of artichoke. Check your local supermarket for artichokes and there are sometimes artichoke hearts in tins to be included in recipes.

Top Tips

Preserved/jarred artichokes make a great ingredient for mock ‘fish’ cakes due to their flaky texture.

Asafoetida

Also known as hing, this is a crucial ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking. Derived from a species of giant fennel, asafoetida has a unique smell and flavour while raw but mellow and garlicky when cooked. Used primarily with legumes and dishes featuring veggies such as cauliflower.

Top Tips

Add to salad dressings to add a unique flavour.

Asparagus

This is a green vegetable that is referred to as spears due to the tapered shape at the end of the vegetable. It is best when eaten during April to June when it is in season in the UK.

Top Tips

Lightly steamed or griddled, asparagus makes a tasty and healthy salad topping.

Aubergine

Aubergines are otherwise known as eggplant in other countries. It has a creamy coloured flesh and a purple skin.

Top Tips

Roasted in the oven, aubergine makes a tasty salad topping, a sandwich filler, or it can be added to pasta sauces, a vegetable curry or a stew.

Aubergine Pesto

Aubergine pesto is made using Aubergine as the main ingredient along with pinenuts and basil.

It is widely available in UK supermarkets.

Avocado

Avodcado is a fruit due to the large stone in the middle. It has a creamy texture and light green flesh. They are best eaten when they are slightly soft, however once they are ripe there isn’t a lot of time before they become over ripe and inedible.

Top Tips

Mix with cocoa powder and sweetener to make a healthy chocolate moose.

Avocado Oil

The famed fruit, avocado, has made it as a toast topper, cake thickener and burger ‘bun’, so it only makes sense to try drizzling in a frying pan. Produced by pressing the Persea Americana fruit down to an oil consistency, avocado oil contains heart-healthy oleic acid and monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid.

Top Tips

Avocado oil is great at hydrating and softening your skin, and can also be used as an effective treatment for acne and blackheads, eczema and other forms of skin inflammation.

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