It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes…we know Christmas is over and yes we know it’s dry January…but there’s still something to celebrate because it’s Veganuary. Launched in the UK in 2014 as a charity initiative, Veganuary is a month-long pledge to go meat and dairy free, and we think you should try it. (It’s also the only month of the year where vegans are given a free ticket to talk about their lifestyle as much as they want; we think you should let them).
The Best Vegan Replacements for Your Favourite Food
Last year, 50,000 people took part in Veganuary (including our mate Jamie Oliver) with more than 75% reporting an improvement in their health – sleeping better and losing an average of 6 lbs as a result of their changed diet. And with the revelation in 2018 that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact, this year is set to be bigger than ever.
We hope you try Veganuary, but we know it’s not as easy as those Instagrammers make it look. No meat, no milk, no cheese (*gasp*) no haribo (*scream*). So we thought we’d give you a list of the hardest foods to find and the best replacements. Need recipe inspiration, try these eight vegan recipes from our community.
When you consider that the British drink 165 million cups of tea and 70 million cups of coffee daily, no wonder it’s so hard to give up dairy milk. One of the biggest complaints about plant-milks is that they split, curdle and change the taste of your favourite tea or coffee. Luckily for us, hemp milk seems to be the solution. It has a light and subtle taste, a creamy texture and doesn’t split when it hits the heat. (Don’t believe us? Read these reviews from social or some of our favourite customers) The extra bonus? Hemp is one of the best sources of plant-based omega you can get – just one 250ml glass is half of your daily recommended amount.
In the past, cheese has been one of the few things that’s near impossible to replace. Why? Replicating casein –the protein that allows real cheese to spread and melt – is tricky and many of the replacements end up tasting like play-doh or worse. Recently though, vegan cheese has stepped it up a notch. Violife is our go-to with grated mozzarella, cheddar flavoured, and even a blue cheese block! Want to try your hand at making your own? Mad Millie has a vegan cheese making kit for feta, halloumi, ricotta and more.
What am I supposed to eat after a bad day at work? On top of my freshly baked brownies? In front of netflix? Don’t panic. There are so many great vegan ice creams out there nowadays that even Ben and Jerry’s have jumped on the bandwagon. Our personal favourite is making your own ice cream out of hemp milk (see recipe here) but if you want something quick and easy, Booja Booja in hunky punky chocolate, ripple raspberry or caramel pecan praline is absolutely delicious.
Yes, we’re sorry to break it to you, but your favourite starmix Haribo are not vegan. A lot of sweets use gelatine – a protein obtained from cows and pigs – so make sure you check the label. Or get your sweets from Candy Kittens, one of our favourite brands with a gelatine-free recipe. They come in four flavours: wild strawberry, blueberry bliss, peach fizz and sour watermelon.
Quick Food on the Go
Ok, so technically this isn’t that hard to give up. There are vegan options everywhere these days, from veggie Pret to Waitrose’s own vegan line. But we just wanted to give a shout out to Bol – a brand on a mission to make it easy for busy people to eat more plants. Their range of veg pots are easy to make, healthy and delicious. Just pop in the microwave and go.