Submitted by bordentown on

With a few more weeks of winter still ahead, you may be looking forward to spring and summer weather and anticipating tasty fruits and vegetables coming back into season! If so, now is a great time to check out some plant-based cookbooks and get ready to enjoy fresh produce in the warmer seasons.

Plant-based, vegan, vegetarian…What does it all mean?

Foods derived from plants (such as vegetables, nuts, fruits, whole grains).
Includes little to no animal products.

Vegetarians often still eat some animal products and byproducts (such as dairy and eggs).

Meat-free except for fish and seafood.
No animal-based products or byproducts (such as milk, eggs, honey). Vegan lifestyles extend beyond food to ethical choices, such as clothing and everyday items with animal-derived ingredients (such as leather belts, fur fabrics).

What are the differences between plant-based and vegan?

While vegans have made their dietary and lifestyle choices based on animal rights concerns, plant-based diets are primarily based on health and fitness concerns.
While plant-based diets often stay away from some processed foods (such as oils and refined sugars), veganism does not necessarily restrict foods based on nutritional value.

You can check out the cookbook Whole Grain Vegan Baking for recipes such as Coconut Zucchini Muffins or Lemon Ginger Rolls. Gluten free? Check out the many gluten-free cookbooks, such as Gluten-free Vegan Comfort Food, Decadent Gluten-free Vegan Baking and Rawsome Vegan Baking.

There are unlimited ways to add more plants into your meals. You can “veganize” nearly any recipe imaginable, such as spaghetti and meat(less) balls, macaroni and “cheeze” and endless variations of pizza. Try some White Wild Mushroom Pizza from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen or a Raw Vegan Pizza, found in Raw Organic Goodness. You can even DIY your own “mylk,” such as almond, cashew, oat, and rice (check out The New Milks).

BCLS also has a great collection of documentaries about many topics within plant-based diets and lifestyles. From health and nutrition (What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Vegucated), to food agriculture and the environment (Sustainable, Food Inc., GMO OMG), to animal rights (Blackfish, Earthlings), you can learn about any part that interests you!

If you’re interested in learning more about plant-based and vegan diets and lifestyle, or are just interested in gaining some new cooking skills or recipes, explore the BCLS catalog and discover what works best for you!