Being a vegan today is really pretty easy. Even in an area with no Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, I can find vegan versions of the things I need. Food Lion seems to be way behind in the trends (although I hope veganism is on a permanent upswing), but Martin’s usually keeps me stocked. Here are my favorite substitutes!
Milk: I greatly prefer almond milk to soymilk. It’s rich and creamy, and doesn’t have to be shaken 72 times because of weird particulate matter before pouring it over cereal. All almond milks are not alike though. Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is where it’s at! I stock up on Original Reduced Sugar but the Vanilla flavor is delicious for cereal and baking.
Butter: Earth Balance makes the best vegan butter, hands down. I use both the tub butter and the sticks. I like the regular more than the whipped because oddly, it spreads better (Shouldn’t it be the other way around?)
Mayonnaise: Earth Balance is also the best of the best for veganaise. If you like the flavor of mayo, which I do, you can literally eat this stuff by the spoonful. The other brands I’ve tried taste and smell a bit like cardboard, but still seem to do fine when used in potato salad and other recipes.
Cheese: None of us can deny that cheese makes everything taste better, so this is often the hardest thing for people to give up. But Daiya has you covered. You can have your grilled cheese and eat it to with their cheddar slices and your vegan tacos will feel complete with a healthy topping of their shredded cheese.
( BEWARE! There is an imposter out there. Go! Veggie cheese is NOT veggie. It is made of dairy products. Therefore, it is not a vegan cheese or a good non-vegan cheese so I have no idea why anyone would buy this…yes, I do…because of false advertising! Don’t make the mistake I did, people.)
Chocolate: I always keep a stash of Endangered Species chocolate in my house. They are NOT all vegan, so be sure to check the ingredients, but several flavors are. My favorite is sea salt and almonds. And I just found out there is a new one: Dark chocolate with cinnamon, cayenne, and cherries- yes, please! With each bar you purchase, you are donating to, you guessed it, endangered species conservation.
Hot Dogs: That’s right, hot dogs. I like hot dogs more now than I ever did when I actually ate real hot dogs. I always bring some LightLife Smart Dogs with me to BBQs.
Deli Meat: As someone who never liked turkey lunchmeat as a kid, I stick with the ham flavor of Lightlife Smart Deli and stay away from Tofurkey…because it actually does taste like turkey lunchmeat. So if you like turkey lunchmeat, eat that. If not, eat Smart Deli ham.
Burger: There’s a reason Boca burger is a household name. Don’t skimp…go for the Boca. I use the crumbles in tacos and chili.
I have yet to find any acceptable-tasting sausage or bacon substitutes…but I really don’t care for sausage and bacon, so I’m not personally motivated to keep trying.
What meat or dairy substitute products have the rest of you found that you can’t live without?
Acknowledgements: All images are from the companies’ websites.