Back to the “Vegan” 1940s


I’ve been watching the 1940s House to get me focused…. click above!

Tomorrow I am stepping back 100% into the 1940s…

As if turning “Vegan” wasn’t hard enough, 30 days into our 60 Day Fitness Challenge at work, the next 30 days will be trying to live on the rationing a Vegan would have had during WWII on the British home front.

This means no longer will I have bananas, granola/museli, ground meat substitute or any of the non-authentic extras that have made the last 30 day journey into Veganism a little easier..

I’ve given this a huge amount of thought… it has been really hard to find any 100% conclusive evidence of what substitutes “Vegans” would have received during WWII. I do know that vegetarians and vegans were given “special” ration books..

Vegetarians were given extra cheese instead of meat but as vegans would not have eaten cheese, meat, eggs or meat I can only conclude from the snippets of information I am reading on the web and in books, that “vegans” would have had extra rations such as nuts, dried fruit, lentils, split peas, dried beans etc to replace dairy, eggs and meat.

I am a busy working mum, financially and time challenged, so I have adapted the rationing allowance to something I feel was fairly accurate making one or two concessions to make things very slightly easier..

Rations + Vegan Rations (adult per week)

Bacon & Ham 4 0z (100g) – Vegan (dried fruit 4 0z)

Meat to the value of 1s and 2d – Vegan ( 1/2 lb of raw nuts + 1/2 lb split peas or lentils)

Butter 2 0z, Margarine 2 0z, Cooking fat 4 oz, cheese 2 oz – Vegan (concession- I will use a soy based vegan spread which tastes just like margarine and hopefully will work in cooking)

Milk 3 pints- Vegan (almond milk- this has been made since the middle ages as a milk substitute. I am presuming vegans would have made almond milk from nut rations they would have received instead of milk. My concession is that I will just buy the almond milk instead of making it)

Sugar 8 oz – Vegan (unrefined raw sugar cane)

Preserves 1lb every 2 months – Vegan no change

Tea 2 0z- Vegan no change

Eggs 1 shell egg a week or 1 packet of dried eggs every 4 weeks- Vegan (no eggs)

Sweets/Candy 12 oz each 4 weeks – Vegan no change

Todays preparation has mostly been reading and making sure I have fresh rations in the fridge and cupboard or at least on a list I can pick up from the store tomorrow… I also am making an eggless fruitcake as we speak. But everything seems to have gone wrong (but I’ll write about that tomorrow)

I will say that in proper 1940s fashion, the top of the cake which attached itself to the mini-cooker heating filament was hacked off with a spoon and served with a cuppa tea… I know this NEVER would have been wasted…

C xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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11 thoughts on “Back to the “Vegan” 1940s

  1. They probably did get something…I just haven’t found any reference to it so as it was just 1 egg a week I’ve just not converted it to anything extra…the rest has absorbed it.

    I’ve just made a very god eggless fruitcake! 🙂

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      • I hope you dont mind me replying, but seeds act as nuts and there are many subs for all the allergies, see one green planet, pininterest etc. Hope it helps

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  2. No nuts in my fruitcake! I’ll post the recipe tomorrow…. I have yet to taste it properly yet though!!! LOL

    Photo and recipe tomorrow

    Fatally allergic to nuts- wow that sounds terrible xxxx

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    • It’s not good, but luckily I have a husband that enjoys cooking so we find new recipes to try at home 🙂

      Oh have your tried the Oatmeal Pudding from “Good Eating”? if you leave the bacon out and pack it with fresh herbs it is really tasty (and filling!)

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  3. I tablespoon of soya flour and one tablespoon of water can be used to replace an egg in baking. I’m pretty sure soya flour was available then as I seem to remember it being used to replace something else to make a ‘mock’ something or other. Also in baking that uses baking powder, or bicarbonate of soda, mixing in a tablespoon of vinegar just before it’s put into the oven produces a chemical reaction making bubbles of carbon dioxide that leads to better rising of baking that would normally have eggs, but is eggless.

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  4. Dear Carolyn, The family who took part in the 1940’s house programme is a neighbour of my daughter. They live in Otley Yorkshire. The lady of the house lost weight by the time the programme ended and it did apparantly change her life afterwards.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge. Margaret

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