Are you giving Veganuary a go? It can be pretty daunting when you first swap to a vegan diet, and it can feel like you’re going without a lot. That doesn’t have to be the case!
Use Veganuary as a chance to try vegan food swaps, which are often healthier than their non-vegan counterparts. You never know, perhaps you’ll prefer the vegan versions? Here are some top vegan food swaps to get you started off on the right foot:
One of the top excuses for not going vegan? Cheese. It’s a food many refuse to go without despite the myriad of vegan cheeses available. Not all vegan cheese is created equal, we can admit. Some are duds, there’s not a great alternative to every cheese but these are some of the best imitations:
● The launch of Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative sent vegans crazy, with its smoky flavour and amazing melt. Not only is it dairy-free and vegan but it’s also a source of vitamin B12.
● If you love a sprinkling of parmesan on top of your pasta, soup or salad and dread to go without, check out Oh, Grate! from vegan artisan cheese brand I Am Nut Ok. They also have great alternatives to ricotta and fois gras, for when you’re feeling fancy.
● No vegan pantry is complete without a tub of nutritional yeast. It may look like goldfish food, but these yeast flakes bring a cheesy, nutty taste to your recipes. Hunt down the Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes as this is also fortified with vitamin B12 – a vitamin vegans can struggle to get enough of.
Cheese & Onion Crisps
We may have already covered cheese, but finding a vegan-friendly packet of cheese and onion crisps is a whole other challenge. This is a beloved, national favourite but – unless a special effort is made to make a vegan packet – this flavour will contain dairy. Fear not though, there’s a couple of great cheesy vegan options:
● The Story Of When The Cheese Met The Onion from Ten Acre Crisps – You can find these 40g (snack size) crisps in Holland & Barrett for just 89p a bag. These are vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society.
● Vegan Sheese & Red Onion from Kettle Crisps is another great option. Kettle Crisps partnered with vegan duo BOSH to create this faux cheese flavour which is available in big 135g sharing packs. Though no one could blame you if you kept these to yourself.
If it’s not cheese, it’s often bacon that people insist that they cannot live without. It’s not an easy meat to replicate, so you may miss it during your Veganuary month, but the closest imitation is the THIS Isn’t Bacon Plant-Based Rashers. Not only do they taste similar, but they’re high in protein and fortified with iron and B12.
Another simpler and feebler bacon swap is frying the Quorn smoky ham slices – for a thin bacon replacement. This option is cheaper and easier to come by. It may not be great, but it satisfies the craving!
Chocolate and hazelnut is one of the world’s best combinations. For non-vegans, they find this joy in Nutella. It may be hard to believe that this delicious flavour can be made vegan, but the Vego chocolate spread is equally delicious. Not only is this spread vegan, it’s also organic, fair trade and palm oil free too. A much kinder choice all round!
If you love Nutella, it’s not just the Vego chocolate spread you’ll love, but also their classic Vego bar. This chocolate bar is super indulgent and is made with fine hazelnut paste, whole hazelnuts and cocoa cream.
Everyone has a favourite chocolate and, unfortunately, there’s not an easy to find vegan alternative to every chocolate in the corner shop, but there are a few! Even better, each year seems to bring about even more vegan dupes for popular chocolates – so keep your eyes out for new launches!
● Smarties – if you’re a lover of these chocolates in a thin, colourful crunchy case then Doisy and Dam have a great alternative. Their Vegan Dark Chocolate Drops are a dark chocolate, vegan-friendly alternative to Smarties.
● Peanut butter cups – If you love the peanut butter and chocolate combo, fret not! There are actually tonnes of different nut butter cups that are vegan! LoveRaw, Deliciously Ella, Cleo’s, Pip and Nut and Doisy and Dam all have vegan-friendly alternatives. Just be sure to double check the label.
● Wagon Wheels – marshmallow, biscuit and chocolate? Wagon Wheels are uniquely delicious, but going vegan doesn’t mean going without. Check out Ananda’s Classic RoundUps which are available in a variety of flavours and also offer gluten-free options too.
● Kinder Bueno – you’re definitely one for the finer things in life if this is your favourite chocolate bar. Vegans may have had to wait long and hard for this substitute, but it’s here now: the LoveRaw Cre&m Filled Wafer Bars
● Crunchie – many assume crunchies are made with honeycomb but it’s actually vegan-friendly cinder toffee, so the taste is easy to mimic with a bit of dark chocolate a la this Simply Vegan alternative.
● Maltesers – there’s something so delicious about crunchy balls coated in chocolate. Though less sweet, Doisy & Dam’s Ballers make a great, vegan-friendly alternative. Even better, these Ballers are made with ethically sourced cocoa, natural ingredients and are palm oil free.
Foods you don’t need to swap
There are some foods you’ll probably assume aren’t vegan when they actually are! Here are a few surprisingly vegan foods:
● Bisto Original Gravy – this will leave you wondering why they even have the vegetable gravy granules, because the classic Bisto gravy is suitable for vegans! You can check which other Bisto flavours are vegan friendly here.
● Marmite – For some reason many people assume Marmite isn’t vegan. Perhaps it’s often mixed up with Bovril which is a salty meat extract paste (and definitely not vegan). But rest assured, love it or hate it, Marmite is suitable for vegans.
● Oreos – Many struggle to believe that the creamy white Oreo filling is made without milk, but yes! The rumours are true! Oreos are suitable for vegans.