Discover the Best Vegetarian Cooking Classes Online
People that follow a vegetarian diet avoid consuming meat, poultry, and seafood. This dietary practice has been around for centuries. A vegetarian lifestyle is recommended by major religions like Hinduism and Buddhism and was encouraged by Greek philosophers like Pythagoras. Moral justifications were and continue to be used by those advocating for this dietary lifestyle. Today, however, nutritional scientists have recognized vegetarianism as a healthy eating alternative.
The number of vegetarians in the US and around the world continues to grow. Roughly 10-15% of Americans are estimated to be vegetarian or vegan (the practice of abstaining from the consumption of both animals and animal by-products like milk and eggs). People around the world follow vegetarianism out of either choice or necessity. Difficulty accessing meat and animal by-products in regions where fruits, vegetables, grains, and/or legumes are more abundant has caused people to follow a vegetarian lifestyle to survive.
Vegetarian meals have become popular options at established restaurants and fast-food chains. It’s also become easier to find vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly recipes online. Whether you follow a strict vegetarian diet or not, learning how to cook vegetarian meals is a great opportunity to try out new cooking techniques and taste dishes you may be unfamiliar with.
Why You Should Learn Vegetarian Cooking Online
As health scientists began studying the effects of vegetarianism on the human body, they found several benefits to avoiding the consumption of meat. Although vegetarian food can also be unhealthy, especially if it contains large amounts of sugar and saturated fats, following a vegetarian diet that adheres to recommended nutritional guidelines can improve your health in a few ways.
Vegetarian diets are lower in saturated fats and cholesterol than meat-heavy diets. There’s a link between high cholesterol and overconsumption of saturated fats with heart disease and cardiac events. Conversely, many fruits and vegetables frequently consumed by vegetarians are high in HDL (“good” cholesterol) and low in LDL (“bad” cholesterol). This, in combination with the high amounts of fiber present in many vegetables and legumes, make many vegetarian dishes beneficial in lowering your risk of heart disease. Researchers have also noted that vegetarians typically have a lower blood pressure than non-vegetarians, likely because of the high concentration of potassium in many fruits and vegetables, which is known to lower blood pressure.
Cooking vegetarian meals can also improve your mental health. Cooking more generally is useful in improving your mood, self-esteem, and mental health. Cooking requires focus, as you chop and slice ingredients, watch over and frequently stir sauces, and as you oversee the entire cooking process. The constant focus that you’re putting yourself through can keep your mind calm and work to eliminate stress. Cooking is also a creative activity, as you experiment with different ingredients and combine flavors.
Virtual Vegetarian Cooking Classes
Virtual vegetarian cooking classes are available for anyone looking to cook from the comfort of their own home but would like helpful instruction. These classes are taught by expert instructors in real-time who can provide you with clear directions and offer demonstrations through a live video platform. Many virtual vegetarian cooking classes will provide you with a kit that comes with several ingredients and utensils that you’ll need to take the class; however, you’ll likely need to procure some ingredients and cookware on your own. CourseHorse offers several online vegetarian cooking classes that you can sign-up for.
If you’d like to learn how to make flavorful vegetarian dinners to impress your friends at your next dinner party, you might be interested in Home Cooking New York’s Persian Dinner class. This beginner-friendly class will teach you how to make two vegetarian dishes and one chicken dish that can be altered for a vegetarian palate. Fresh herbs along with sour and sweet ingredients are characteristic of Persian food. In this class, you’ll learn all about the flavors of Persian cooking as you and your fellow participants watch and follow along with the professional chef instructing you.
Sushi is a versatile dish that can be accommodated to vegetarian diets. If you’re interested in learning how to make vegetarian sushi rolls, sign up for Food Craft’s virtual Vegetable Sushi Rolling class. Your instructor will spend an hour demonstrating how to season sushi rice, prepare sushi fillings, make spicy mayonnaise to accompany your sushi, and roll and cut sushi. By the time you’re done following along in this demonstration-style class, you’ll be able to make uramaki rolls, spicy mayo, and miso soup.
Vegetarian food also extends to baked goods. Food Craft hosts a virtual truffle-making class that teaches the basics of no-bake chocolate truffle making. If you’re interested in vegan baking, the three truffle varieties you make in this class will qualify as vegan with just one ingredient swap.
Private Online Group Vegetarian Cooking Classes
Are you and a group of long-distance friends interested in taking a vegetarian cooking class together? CourseHorse offers private group vegetarian cooking classes that they can deliver to you and your friends remotely.
For any friend group that enjoys cocktail hour, CourseHorse offers a virtual guacamole and margarita-making class. This class accommodates large groups and will provide all participants with a majority of the required ingredients and materials. You and your friends can spend this interactive class relaxing as you follow along with a professional chef and instructor who will teach you the steps to a perfect margarita and excellent guacamole.
If your group is looking to make something a little more filling, CourseHorse also offers a virtual Sushi Making Workshop. Over the course of 90 minutes, your instructor will demonstrate to your group how to season your sushi rice, as well as how to fill, roll, and cut your sushi. If not everyone in your group is interested in vegetarian sushi, they can opt to fill their sushi with seafood instead.
CourseHorse offers a variety of cooking classes for vegetarians. If you see a cooking class on their website that is not advertised as vegetarian, feel free to reach out to them and ask if vegetarian substitutes will be provided. You can also use the form on CourseHorse’s website to contact them for assistance in determining what type of cooking class would best suit your group's needs and interests.
CourseHorse will supply your group with most of the ingredients they’ll need when taking a vegetarian cooking class. They may also provide you with a gift card to cover the cost of additional ingredients that you must procure on your own. Specialized tools may be included in your materials kit, but general tools like knives and bowls will need to be supplied by participants.
CourseHorse doesn’t charge booking fees and allows free cancellations up to two weeks before the date of your class. A variety of online video platforms may be used by your group to take a CourseHorse class, but Zoom is the recommended platform.
Online vs. In-Person Vegetarian Cooking Classes
If you’re unsure about whether to take an in-person or online vegetarian cooking class, you should evaluate the advantages of each and consider your own needs and interests. In-person classes will provide more hands-on instruction than online classes. Although both will provide you with demonstrations, you may find in-person classes easier to follow along with. These classes also provide a great space for socializing with others that have an interest in vegetarian cooking.
Online classes are more accessible than in-person classes. You don’t need to commute to an online class or worry about whether one is offered in your area. Additionally, they tend to be offered more frequently than in-person classes. However, online classes won’t usually provide cooking utensils or cookware to participants whereas in-person classes usually do. If you don’t have an item that is needed to take an online class, you’ll need to consider that added expense.
All aspects of learning vegetarian cooking in-person versus online should be considered before deciding which one you’d like to take. You’ll first need to assess if any vegetarian cooking classes are being taught in your area before determining which learning style is best for you, and which course delivery fits your schedule.
Can I Learn Vegetarian Cooking for Free Online?
You can get started cooking vegetarian dishes using free resources on the internet, like cookbooks and published recipes. If you choose to learn how to cook vegetarian meals online for free, the only expenses you’ll have to cover will be the cost of ingredients and any tools or utensils you don’t already have. If you’d like additional instruction or access to someone who can answer your questions in real-time, taking an in-person class taught by an expert instructor is an efficient and in-depth way to learn vegetarian cooking.