Just because you’re vegan, your diet now doesn’t have to be restrictive and boring. I was concerned about this when turning to veganism but quickly realised it isn’t as difficult as people who aren’t vegan make it out to be.
One of my favourite things about being vegan is the creativity that has to come with it. You’re now thinking about everything you’re consuming, with an aim to become fully aware of what you’re putting into your body. You can no longer go for the standard sandwich from the shop, but instead are now creating your own concoctions.
Below is a list of items not suitable for vegans and ideas of what substitutes can be made. I am aiming to make this list expand as I myself am growing and learning about veganism, adding new products and ideas along the way. Any ideas of products I should be trying and adding to this list? Let me know!
What butter can I have as a vegan?
In my head, a not so tricky one – This creamy goodness can be found elsewhere. The only issue being your own personal stance on palm oil in foods (these have been noted in the list below)
- Vitalite – Contains palm oil
- Pure Free From – Contains palm oil
- Most standard margarines are vegan
- Avocados are a good butter substitute in sandwiches
How can I still have eggs as a vegan?
A more tricky one. With the versatile consistency of egg, one of the easiest ways to veganise it is to create a scramble.
- Tofu scramble – Here are a few recipes by Hot for Food & The Vegan Society
- Terra Vegane Egg Free Omelette Mix – If I’m honest I wasn’t a huge fan of this due to the strong egg like smell when cooking but hey, I guess this makes it more realistic and I’m sure others will be fine with this. The texture is slightly less fluffy than a regular scrambled egg but definitely worth a go!
- VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart – Similar to Terra Vegane’s product I have mentioned above. I am yet to try this one, but have heard that it’s good.
What are the best vegan milks?
SO EASY! Soy, oat, almond, coconut and cashew to name a few (check out the rhyming) Try them all, find the perfect one for tipping in your cuppa or sipping straight up. My all time favourite is Alpro Roasted Unsweetened Almond as it’s so versatile, good in tea/coffee, baking, making creamy cheese sauces with…The list is endless!
It’s also easy to get your hands on flavoured milks/milkshakes that are vegan too! Below are a list of some of my favourite brands for milk alternatives:
- Alpro: Almond Original, Unroasted Unsweetened & Roasted Unsweetened, Soya Original, Unsweetened & Growing Up Milk, Hazelnut, Coconut, Rice, Oat, Cashew. Alpro sell Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavoured milks too
- Oatly: Oat Original Style & Barista Style. Oatly also sell Chocolate, Chai, Orange/Mango flavoured milks
- Blue Diamond Almond Breeze: Almond Original & Unsweetened. Almond Breeze do also have other products such as Barista Style, but I am yet to see these in UK supermarkets
- Provamel: Soya Original & Unsweetened, Almond Original & Unsweetened, Coconut, Rice, Oat and various infusions such as Rice With Almond and Rice with Coconut & Pineapple
- Pip & Nut: Unsweetened Almond and Almond with Coconut
- Califia Farms: Original and Unsweetened Almond. Califia also have coffee creamers which look AMAZING but I’m unsure if they’ve made it over to the UK yet
How can I still have cheese as a vegan?
As the biggest fan of cheese, this was my biggest hurdle. Once you find the perfect vegan cheese for you, it will all be okay… Just bear in mind that it will be trial and error. Here are some of my favourites:
- Violife: Original, Creamy and For Pizza which is my FAVE!! SO good for melting. They also do Blue, After Dinner and Greek Style to name a few which I am yet to try but look delicious!
- Bute Island Scheese: My favourites are Creamy Original and Chives. They remind me of Philadelphia which was always a go-to for me back in the day – Perfect for stirring into warm pasta as a quick dinner
- Sainsbury’s: Coconut based soft cheese and grated cheddar-style
- Kinda Co: Faux Lox and Dill, Farmhouse Cheddar, Nacho Dip
Along with vegan cheeses from supermarkets and online, there’s nutritional yeast, a lovely, cheesy/nutty flavoured product… AKA the most addictive thing known to vegans. Get your hands on some with added B12. At first, you will think “What the hell is this fish food looking stuff?“ but soon you’ll be adding it to EVERYTHING like your life depends on it.
If you’re looking for a creamy cheese sauce for mac & cheese and other dishes, click here and take a look at my quick and simple recipe.
I need some vegan sweet treats! What can I have?
I have a major sweet tooth, so this part is so important. When changing my diet to vegan, I didn’t want to give up all the good stuff, I wanted to carry on being able to have some junk food now and again. Below are some quick links of products/brands where you can find vegan sweet treats for yourselves!
I’m a lover of dark chocolate so this was easy for me, but I understand people’s dislike for its bitter taste. Here are a few brands that do vegan milk and white chocolate products:
- Booja Booja Chocolate Truffles
- Pana Chocolate
- Conscious Chocolate
- Oatly Vanilla Custard
- Alpro Vanilla Soya Custard
- Booja Booja
- Swedish Glace
- Almond Dream
- Ben & Jerry’s Dairy Free
Looking to avoid sugar as a vegan? Have a read of this PETA article to see why some people are. Below are a list of some alternatives which are worth trying either way, as they’re delicious:
- Agave nectars/syrups: Groovy Food, Biona
- Date nectars/syrups: Beloved, Biona
- Coconut sugar
What are the best meat substitutes for vegans?
Beef / Pork
- Seitan: LoveSeitan
- Vegetarian mince: Tesco, Sainsburys
- Tofu with different marinades – A great guide on marinades can be found here
- Linda McCartney: Sausages, rolls, etc.
- There are vegan bacon alternatives (which I am yet to try) such as VBites Cheatin’ Streaky Style Rashers
- Bacon flavour crumbles are accidentally vegan
- Quorn Hot & Spicy burgers
- Tesco Meat Free Chicken Style Pieces
- Asda Meat Free Chicken Popcorn
- Quorn Fishless Fingers (Lush!)
- VBites Fish-Free Fingers
- VBites Fishless Steaks
Do I have to substitute everything as a vegan?
Maybe not! Some of the products you are readily consuming are accidentally vegan. I’m soon to produce a blog post on this, but it’s worth checking out @AccidentallyVeganUK on Instagram for some ideas.