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Discover vegan dishes in Spanish cuisine that are sure to amaze

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"Are there many vegan restaurants in Spain?" Is this question on your mind before you start your journey through the country? This may not be the answer you were expecting but in Spain you won't have to worry about this, because many traditional Spanish dishes are vegan. That's the thing about visiting a country famous for its healthy Mediterranean diet (rich in fruits, nuts, vegetables and the ever-popular olive oil). What's more, Spaniards have gone the extra mile in their kitchens to ensure that some popular Spanish recipes that contain eggs, dairy products or animal fats can have a vegan version!

Southern Spain is the place of origin of many recipes for cold soups to combat the intense heat of this region. Most of them are light and very nutritious, made mostly from vegetables! When summer arrives, Spanish bars serve ajoblanco (cold cream of garlic, almonds and bread), gazpacho andaluz or salmorejo cordobés. Gazpacho is very easy to make and with basic ingredients in every fridge, such as tomato, cucumber, pepper, garlic and onion. Eggs and ham are usually added as garnish to salmorejo, although you can always warn the waiter not to add any accompaniment to the soup!

Detailed view of a dish of ajoblanco

Do you want to know other dishes that are perfect for the summer? You can try the traditional pisto de verduras (ratatouille), or its Mallorcan version the tumbet mallorquín, made from ingredients such as aubergine, courgette, red pepper, potato and tomato. Escalivada is also a traditional vegan Spanish dish. It is a salad of Catalan origin in which roast tomatoes, onions, red peppers and aubergines are combined with a touch of olive oil, garlic and salt! It's often served on toast, so it's a good choice for a healthy lunch!

Dish of escalivada

But what if you want to enjoy a good Spanish omelette? Don't worry, because an omelette can taste just as good without eggs! Chickpea flour can be used instead. The taste of this legume will hardly be noticeable in the omelette, but as it is a rather dense ingredient, you can compensate by adding cassava starch and water. And you can always add onion to make your omelette tastier!If you want to cook a traditional Spanish dish, you can make homemade meatballs and replace the animal ingredients. There are many recipes for vegan meatballs, for example, based on textured soya (in tomato sauces, or with wine, etc.). 

Detail of a Spanish omelette

Oh, and the popular paella can also be made vegan! Only with vegetables, a dish that can be found in a large number of restaurants. And, if you like Valencian cuisine, hervido is a vegan dish made with potatoes and green beans.

Fancy some dessert? In Spain, there are vegan desserts, such as baked apples, and others that can be enjoyed in their vegan form: polvorón and Roscón de Reyes Magos, very typical Christmas sweets in Spanish homes. Did you know that it is said that the original recipe for polvorones did not contain any animal fat? Even so, those found in most supermarkets are not vegan. But, as Christmas is an ideal time to share moments with the family, what could be better than trying some traditional seasonal home baking! Try making your own polvorones with oil, flour, cinnamon, almonds, sugar and a good splash of syrup!

Polvorones
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