It’s great that we’re living in a time where switching over to a vegan diet has made been super easy, in comparison to how it used to be 5 or more years ago. I find in most supermarkets there’s always a ‘free from’ section. This makes it is so easy to find items which are free from dairy as well as gluten.
Here are some super easy vegan switches for all you newbie vegans that need a bit of help along the way.
Vegan Switch 1 – Milk
The demand for non- dairy milk is extremely high as more and more customers are questioning the consumption of cow’s milk. Plant milks aren’t a ‘new’ thing as people have drinking them for years on end, in a number of cultures. A lot of milk alternatives do have added sugars, but unsweetened options are also available.
This was by far my easiest switch as I was happily drinking non diary milk before I turned vegan. There are so many types of milk which are non dairy – almond, soy, hazelnut, cashew, hemp, soy, coconut and the list goes on. My personal favourites are almond milk, oat milk and soy milk. Almond has a slightly nutty taste and I love having it in cereals, however I find it doesn’t work as well in my daily coffee as it is quite flaky. My preference for hot drinks are cashew milk and soy milk.
Vegan Switch 2 – Honey
Finding a replacement for honey is super simple. There are plenty of vegan alternatives to help satisfy that sweet syrup craving you may have. They all come from plants and some are more like honey than others. A couple of the best switches for honey are maple syrup and agave nectar. Anyone that follows me on Instagram, knows how much I love agave nectar. I put it on pretty much everything, including my breakfast tofu scramble at times! I have such a sweet tooth so if you don’t, you probably won’t enjoy it!
Went off on a little tangent, but honestly this is such an easy switch. I find that agave nectar in particular has a very similar taste. You can find vegan honey in health food stores, however it does cost a bit extra. The alternative you decide on, really depends on how much you want to splash the cash.
Vegan Switch 3 – Ice Cream
As spring and summer is now creeping up in London, everyone needs some ice cream in their freezer. There are a number of delicious non-dairy ice creams on the market. My personal favourite at the moment is the Vegan Magnum. It is to die for and it tastes even creamier than the original Magnum!
A few other brands that have dairy free ice cream include booja booja, halo top, swedish glace, northern block, judes, alpro, haagen daaz, ben and jerrys and and more.
Vegan Switch 4 – Mayonnaise
I was never really a fan of mayonnaise and then I found Vegenaise Garlic Aioli which I am obsessed with. I add it to every sandwich and wrap I have. It’s not the healthiest, but nor is mayonnaise! My personal preference is vegan alternatives over mayonnaise. When Nando’s released their Vegan Perinaise, I was SO happy as that was one sauce I missed! Even Hellman’s and marks and spencers have made vegan mayo and it can be found easily in most supermarkets.
A few other brands include Earth Balance, Nasoya, Best Food & Sir Kensingtons
Vegan Switch 5 – Chocolate
Say hello to the biggest chocoholic known to man kind – Me! There’s not one day that goes by where I don’t eat chocolate. When I turned vegan, initially I did struggle as pre-vegan it was so easy just picking up a pack of MnMs at the supermarket, if I needed my chocolate fix.
Now, I do really have to search in a supermarket for vegan chocolate. Saying that, I was over the moon when galaxy released their vegan chocolate in Tesco’s at the start of this year! The Galaxy vegan range are my go to bar of chocolates and they comes in 3 delicious flavours. My personal favourite is the smooth orange.
If you’re feeling a bit more upmarket, hotel chocolat have a vegan chocolate range which is made up of dark chocolate. Bear in mind, they have announced on their website, “We believe our dark chocolate is suitable for vegans, however as it is made in the same environment as our milk chocolate we cannot guarantee it is free from milk traces.” It really depends on your stance as a vegan to whether this does matter or not.
I personally do buy a lot of chocolate from health food shops too, so if you’re a chocoholic like me go check out the vegan chocolate range at planet organic!
Vegan Switch 6 – Cheese
Cheese is another staple in most people’s fridges and vegan substitutes are available in all larger supermarkets.
My favourite brand is Violife, which have a delicious cream cheese spread with garlic and herbs. This tastes amazing on a bagel. As well as violife, other brands include applewood, new roots, happy cashew amongst many others. You can even make a cheese like dish, without substitute cheese. Not convinced, go check out my mac and vegan cheese recipe.
Vegan Switch 7 – Meat
Initially when I switched over to a vegan diet, I used to have a lot of ‘fake meat.’ These days giants like Tesco, Quorn and Linda McCartney have made vegan meat substitutes and they can be found easily in most supermarkets. My personal favourites are the beyond meat burgers as well as the vegetarian chicken box by Linda McCartney.
I am trying to switch over now to less fake meat as a lot of it has additives. Natural ingredients that I use to try substitute meat are subs like tofu, tempeh, mushrooms and even lentils.
Vegan Switch 8 – Butter
There are a lot of ways to enjoy butter on a plant-based diet. You can opt for Earth Balance or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter’s vegan spread, which can be found in most major supermarkets. If you live near a vegan grocery or a health food store, you might even come across varieties made by smaller brands that you won’t find in typical supermarkets. Some of these include Nutiva, FabaButter and Wayfare.
Vegan Switch 9 – Yoghurt
Similarly to alternative milks, there’s an array of plant-based yogurts – perfect for adding to fruits, cereals, or just having on their own as a snack. They can be used for baking and cooking, too. Dairy free yoghurts are mostly loaded with vitamins and filled with probiotic bacteria. You can get pretty get much any flavour vegan yoghurt that you get with dairy yoghurts. Few of the brands include alpro, silk, nush and so delicious.
Vegan Switch 10 – Crisps
Back to the topic of snacks, every vegan needs a delicious packet of vegan crisps. Sure there are healthier snacks around – for instance, a carrot and a handful of sunflower seeds but sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. Many of the crisps that are vegan, are actually accidentally vegan. Here’s a few of my favourites – Pringles Texas BBQ, Kettlechips Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, Doritos Chilli Heatwave Tortilla Chips & Tesco Bacon Rasher Snacks.
Vegan Switches are on the Rise
It’s crazy to think that only about 5 years ago, vegans were so limited to a few options or a small section of odd products in supermarkets. It really is worth exploring what’s available to find the best products for you. The rise in the number of people trying out the vegan lifestyle has driven the increase in new and exciting substitutes. It’s an exciting vegan era we live in and it’s only going to get better and bigger! The more vegans there are, the less meat we’ll see in supermarkets and the more substitutes we’ll find – Win Win!
I hope these easy vegan switches have helped you out! Comment below and let me know if you found this blog useful..
On a side note, it’s April 23rd so Happy Belated Earth Day for yesterday! 🙂