Monday, 4 July 2016

Vegan Food Shopping Made Easy

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be daunting and plagued with excuses 'it's inconvenient', 'I can only eat lettuce'. I'm going to show you some of my favourite vegan products and where to get them from.
Dorset Cereals Simply Nutty Muesli, this is my favourite muesli, made up of oats, nuts and delicious dates! Ever since I'd started to eat this it made me think 'why do people put raisins in cereal when you can put dates in them'. Dorset Cereals have a pleather of different cereals to offer and many of them are vegan friendly, just make sure that you check on the back before you buy.

Another breakfast alternative are the Jus Rol Ready To Bake Croissants, they don't contain eggs or dairy. I haven't tried these but thought they might be good for a pastry fiend trying to transition to veganism.
Given that it's summer, everyone in the UK is jumping on the BBQ bandwagon but don't worry, you can join it too. These Gosh! Mushroom, Butter Bean and Lentil Burgers are delicious. They are relatively new and I'm so glad that they are readily available. The mushroom makes the burgers taste really meaty and the lentils and beans mean that they fill you up. If you were looking for an easy and quick lunch or dinner, these would be so convenient and a reliable product to have in the fridge for those days when you just want to put something in the oven and not have to cook. They also do  Sweetcorn and Quinoa bites and Chickpea and Courgette Moroccan Bakes. All three of these products are naturally gluten, egg, dairy, soya and nut free and so affordable at £2.50 per pack

Most supermarkets will do their own Bean burgers, which should all be vegan but here are two of my favourites. Tesco Mexican Bean Burgers are delicious, you get four burgers per pack and I think they retail at £2.50. Tesco also do other vegan friendly products that are frozen but they will all have a vegan 'stamp' on the packaging. Waitrose stock these Goodlife Spicy Chipotle Bean Burgers that are filling, easy to cook, flavoursome and affordable.
Tesco do a super affordable Meat Free Mince, it is virtually undetectable as 'fake meat' when used in a meal and so much cheaper than real mince. If you are someone that really misses the taste of meat, try this Granovita Mock Duck it's great in stir-fries and available at Holland and Barrett.
For lunch I like to have soup, most of the time and what I have found, is that there aren't many vegan friendly soups, which are a bit strange. They either have milk, meat or cheese in! Luckily I have found these delicious soups by Amy's Kitchen, my favourites are the Lentil soup and the Split Pea soup. Amy's Kitchen produces a vast range of organic, gluten free and vegan soups and frozen meals such as burritos, vegan lasagne and macaroni 'cheese'. Many of their products are available uk supermarkets and they are well worth a try.
Instead of butter there are two spreads that I like to use on toast, or in a jacket potato, Vitality Dairy Free Spread  which is available at Tesco and Pure Dairy Free Spread both of these spreads are very similar, great to us and affordable. 
Most jams or marmalades will be vegan and spreads like peanut butter. The Whole Earth 100% Peanut Butter is the best! It taste so much better than their normal peanut butter and it's great as a dip for carrot sticks, it makes such a delicious snack and it's great for kids.
Nowadays there are so many milk alternatives to choose from almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, hemp milk and rice milk. If you prefer creamy tasting milks then I would go for coconut milk or rice milk but all of these milks are readily available in health food shops and most supermarkets.

On to snacks, on a whim, I was seeing if Smokey Bacon Pringles would be vegan and they are! Along with original, salt and vinegar, paprika and texas bbq. For the most part salted or salt and vinegar crisps will be vegan friendly but it is always next to check on the back. The only draw back to the pringles revelation is that I am now addicted to the smokey bacon variety. 
A huge suprise were these Fox's Dark Chocolate Chunky CookiesNairns Gluten Free Datk Chocolate BiscuitsOreo Vanilla Cookies and Pink Panther Wafers these are both widely available at supermarkets and delicious. They are perfect alternative to have from non-vegan biscuits or treats. Waitrose stock Moo Free 'Milk' Chocolate,it tastes milky and chocolatey and I honestly don't think I can tell the difference between this an ordinary milk chocolate. Montezuma's dark chocolate is also worth a mention, most dark chocolate is vegan but this has cocoa butter in, which gives it a sweeter and creamier consistency than most dark chocolate. Holland and Barrett is a great website to search for vegan chocolate bars as well as which sell a brand called Go Max, they make vegan alternatives to thinks like Twix bars and Milky Ways.
I couldn't go through the sweets section without mentioning the Booja-Booja Hunky Chunky Chocolate Ice Cream or the Almond Dream Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Personally I would pick both of theses options over any non-vegan ice cream, although if anyone knows of a vegan friendly pistachio ice creams, please, help a girl out!
Raw, wholefood bars are the perfect snack for hungry vegans as they naturally contain unprocessed, whole ingredients mainly consisting of fruits and nuts. Here are a few of my favourite brands: Nakd (available at most supermarkets and health stores), Pulsin (available via their website), The Primal Pantry (available on website and Waitrose) and Bounce Foods (available in Waitrose, Tesco and Holland and Barrett, only 'Cashew & Pecan' and 'Spirulina & Ginseng' are vegan). My favourites of these tend to be the nut and cocoa bars such as the Cocoa Crunch or Cashew Cookie by Nakd, and the Pulsin brownie. Nakd also do a Bakewell Tart bar that literally tastes like a Bakewell tart.
I hope this post has been helpful and shown you how easy it can be to have a vegan diet when you don't have time to cook. Obviously it is important to have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, as well as plenty of water.
Please comment below if you have found this useful or want to share your favourite vegan treats or meals.

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