According to a recent survey by comparethemarket.com there are now more than 3.5 million British people who identify as vegan. What was once regarded as a fad that would pass as quickly as fidget-spinners and the revival of flares, it seems that this food revolution is here to stay.
As a pretentiously self-proclaimed ‘flexitarian’ over the past few years, I have stuck to a meat-free diet since the beginning of 2018 and have begun dabbling into veganism. My reasons? With a heart bursting with passion and a head laden with youthful embarrassment, I must admit that the documentary ‘Cowspiricy’ on Netflix was the turning point for me. Add in Simon Amstell’s ‘Carnage’, currently available on BBC iPlayer, and I could never look at a bottle of milk in the same way.
I initially tried to cut out animal produce completely, not using alternative as this felt like cheating. The following is a brief account of what followed:
- I signed up to get a veg box delivered to my house every week, so that I had vegetables in stock from which to build my meals. (I use Oddbox and, for those of you in South London, I cannot recommend it highly enough).
- I made roughly 2 meals that were incredibly delicious, filling and didn’t require me travelling to deepest darkest Peru in search of ingredients.
- I remembered how much I love cheese and gave up.
After much lamenting and hangover-esque disappointment in myself, I decided that the next logical step would be to try and cut out animal produce with the help of meat/dairy alternatives. This proved much more successful, and I wanted to share some of the products I have tried, tested and fallen in or out of love with.
I have always really liked using coconut milk for coffee, cereal etc but have only just realised just how much rubbish most companies put in with their milky coconuts. The best range that I have found belong to Rude Kitchen, but I’m sure there are others. READ THE INGREDIENTS LIST. There shouldn’t be anything unnatural – this applies to oat milk, hazelnut milk… all the non-dairy milks.
Meaty Space Takers to Go With Veg
You know, the sausages, the chicken, the pork chop, etc. The thing that, if all you have is a few stalks of broccoli and some cold boiled potatoes, will transform those unappealing leftovers into a meal. Linda McCartney veggie sausages have always been a staple in my house, however, her new range of veggie products are definitely worth a mention. The most noticeably delicious? Vegetarian chorizo sausages.
Cake, pastries, chocolate, Dairy Milk yoghurts – all my favourite things seemed to have copious amounts of dairy in them. Alpro yoghurts were passable but never the thing I wanted to reach for post-nap on a Sunday afternoon. I had decided that I would just have to live without these goods if I wanted to continue on the vegan path, until I discovered The Coconut Collaborative. Their ‘Little Choc Pots’ are something altogether magical. I cannot describe the dancing joy I feel every time I eat one. And, not that this has ever influenced any choices I make, they are only 100 calories per pot. Wonderful. They also do rice pudding which I am yet to try.
Vegan ice cream is on the rise but I had yet to be converted until very recently. I just couldn’t understand how the desired creaminess would be achieved. However, Coconuts Naturally do an ice cream called ‘Coconut Caramel’ and, as with the choc pots mentioned above, the joy is immeasurable. Definitely worth a try.
The term ‘flexitarian’ is definitely something to raise an eyebrow at, but, with scientists estimating that 20% of all our greenhouse emissions coming from the farm-to-fork process, isn’t it worth switching out at least some of your animal produce? Although very far from being definitive, this list alone shows that vegan products are not only becoming more widely available, they are becoming far more delicious than their carnivorous alternative.
About the author
Hannah Hayward is a primary school teacher who is passionate about all things worldly, healthy, friendly and community. Recently known for dipping my toes into veganism, charity work and holistic healings.
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