As my first official vegan product related blog I thought it only fair to tell you my top 10 all time favourite vegan food products.
This is a bit like those blogs when you see when girls show you the contents of their handbag, except this is the content of my stomach, and a bit of my soul too!
These products aren’t all specifically made vegan, some just happen to be – and I think thats a more realistic approach than naming my top 5 health-shop products half of you will never get your hands on, so here it goes….
P.s Click on the titles to go through to the official website or page I’m talking about.
1. Hummus –
This delicious Middle Eastern dip can be substituted for butter, salad dressing, sandwich filler and is perfect staple to keep in your fridge.
Best of all its cheap and healthily, as its made of only chick peas, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini sauce and sometimes paprika.
You can get it in a vast variety of flavours (My favourite is Roasted Red Pepper from Tesco UK) and as its becoming a staple for posh sandwich chains – Starbucks, Costa, Pret a Manger etc – so you tend to find a lot more accidentally vegan friendly sandwiches are available thanks to its popularity.
Plus its freaking delicious.
My top tip for telling when its gone off (as trust me, you don’t want to eat it when its on the turn!) is to keep an eye on the bubbles in the hummus pot. If the hummus has more than half the pot with air pockets in it – its time to chuck that bad boy away! Most hummus pots will keep for around 4 days, but fresh or deli hummus only keeps for 2 days max.
2. Linda McCartney Sausages –
Linda McCartney Sausages taste like luxury. Thats the only way I can describe them to you.
They’re a little more pricey than some vegan sausages on the market, but when you shallow fry them and add a big dollop of ketchup – I swear, its the closest thing I’ve come to a sausage sandwich in 14 years.
The trick is to add an extra bit of fat when cooking them, which sounds disgusting, but its not. So many vegan meat substitutes are dry and tasteless, these are moist and flavourful, and as long as you don’t cremate them in the oven, 99.9% of the time they turn out perfectly.
I’ve even microwaved them from frozen once, obviously the pack said not to do that! But I figured theres nothing in it that can harm me and after a 5 minute blast they were ready to go!
Linda McCartney also make a range of yummy vegan pies – Mushroom & Ale and Country Pies which are worth a try.
Unfortunately not all Linda McCartney goods are vegan, so make sure you check the back of the pack when shopping.
3. Corona –
I have a particular love for chilli and Mexican food (see #4!) and so Corona Extra beers are a perfect match.
Not many beers or wines are Vegan friendly due to products like gelatine and fish guts used in the production methods.
My advice is to check if your favourite beverage is vegan HERE, or stick to Corona or Dutch/ German beers as they tend to use more traditional brewing methods which exclude the use of animal products.
4. Refried Beans –
Refried Beans are a hungry a vegans best friend.
They bulk, texture and flavour every meal, and can make a big difference between turning a bland dish into a warm, tasty, belly filling treat.
Refried Beans go great in Enchiladas, Tortila’s, Nacho’s, with Crisps as a dip, in Chilli, as burger topping, on toast, and when I was at Uni – in pasta. (Please note, I’ve recently retested this recipe and I think it was all the Corona that made me think this tasted ok!)
You can get normal, mild and spicy beans – I personally like the brand Old El Paso, but you can get plenty of shops own brands if you’re on a budget.
Make sure you check the label though, as some brands use lard – or pigs fat – in the recipe. In the UK Old El Paso ingredients are: Cooked Pinto Beans (60%),Water ,Salt ,Sunflower Oil ,Onion Powder.
But it might change country to country.
5. Coke –
I know its not the most healthy thing to like in the world (in fact this top 10 list is painting a very unhealthy picture of me!) but as we all know vegans can lack in the sweet treat department.
Yes I know you can buy fruit. Yes I know you can make vegan cookies/brownies/snapple bars or whatever, but realistically, when you’ve had no time to make this and you’re at work (please note I don’t drink tea or coffee) and you need a pick me up…. I reach for the Coke. I’m sorry but I do.
Once again Coke is a product that is vegan in the UK – click on the Coke title to go to the official page – but it might change per country.
6. Oreo’s –
Oreo’s are delicious biscuits that…. Why am I even beginning to telling you about Oreos? You know what Oreos are!
I would like to point out though, that even though these are on my list – and I have been enjoying this tasty treat for around a year, I am currently unsure of their vegan credentials and have stopped buying them.
In the UK the ingredients state they use ‘vegetable oils’ yet in other countries (I currently live in the Middle East) the ingredients show ‘Palm Oil’
Although Palm Oil is a vegan product, lots of vegans (myself included) do not eat products with Palm Oil in unless it has been reliably sourced due to deforestation and animal extinction issues. (link for info HERE)
This issue will be discussed on another blog, but I have emailed Oreo to confirm wether it is Vegetable or Palm oil used, and will update you in due course.
I really hope it is Vegetable oil in western countries!
7. Alpro Soya Milk Original
Its milk. Without the bit with the pain, and the suffering, and the teets.
Say ‘why hello there!’ to porridge, welcome back cereal and bake delicious cakes for everyone you know with Alpro Soya.
I even make a vegan roux sauce that can be passed off as a cheese spread – or brilliant lasagne sauce with it! (*Disclaimer by me, I mean my husband*)
Recipes using the product will be up and online here soon, but all soy milk works for me, apart from V-Soy Multi grain, that sh*t is NASTY.
Its just down to personal opinion. You may prefer Rice Milk (though I don’t know why or how!)
8. Vitalite Dairy Free Spread
Its butter, or margarine. You bake with it, put it on toast, fry mushrooms in it, add it to pasta sauce to make it creamy.
Its just another basic to put in your fridge and take for granted. The fact a product like this exists and is readily available all over the world, blows my mind.
It lasts for ages, can be left outside the fridge if you prefer your butter soft (not in too hot conditions though or it melts) and if you add crushed garlic to it, it makes the BEST garlic bread.
Plus I think it doesn’t have the sticky and coated texture that Pure does. It taste less manufactured, which is funny considering the competitor is called pure!
9. Moo Free Chocolates
Ok this chocolate actually taste like chocolate. Even my husband (who has the biggest sweet tooth in the world!) says that it tastes like advent calendar chocolate.
And! It comes in a nice big bar, with lots of different flavours to choose from (my favourite is the caramelised hazelnut chocolate bar… *Drools*) and it doesn’t cost a bloody fortune!
The link is in the title so go have a look. I recommend them, especially as they make vegan Easter eggs and christmas calendars – perfect if you have a child who’s lactose intolerant or if you’re just a big child!
10. Swedish Glacé Vegan Ice cream
Number 10 was hard, as it came down to this or Alpro Vegan Custard (But I decided we could make that with the Soy milk so this won!)
Swedish Glacé vanilla Ice Cream is the creamiest, softest thing I have ever put in my mouth.
It will make your rubbish home made apple pie taste like Gordon Ramsey just hand made it for you….by candle light.
So! Maybe not the healthiest, but the most honest top 10 I can think of.
Let me know you’re top 10 in the comments! X