I went vegan in January 2019 and haven’t missed anything from my former omni lifestyle. It was quite an easy swap for me to make in the end and the biggest change I had was deciding what milk I wanted to use! After a bit of trial and error I finally settled on soya milk for cereal and oat for my teas/coffees. It’s a good day when you find a milk which doesn’t curdle your tea!
Like I said, milk was the biggest hurdle for me to get over but once I did I have to say that it’s once aspect of my routine which doesn’t even phase me anymore! It also helped clear up my skin big time so if you suffer from acne, I would suggest looking into dairy free products as this may just be causing your skin to flare up like it did mine.
I like soya milk for my cereal as it doesn’t impart flavour onto the cereal. It’s easy for me to digest, doesn’t have any effects on my skin and best of all, is relatively cheap to buy! (especially if you buy it in bulk like I do!)
I use oat milk in my teas/coffee as it’s slightly thicker than soya and heats better without splitting. This can be a massive bone of contention within the vegan community as we’re all wanting to find that perfect milk which we can add to our hot drinks instantly, like we used to do with cow’s milk! Thankfully more brands are noticing this and coming up with milks exactly like this, most notably Alpro ‘My Cuppa!’
Plant based yogurts
Another switch which hasn't been too hard (for me at least!) was yogurts. I'm an avid yogurt eater before I went vegan, so knew I wanted to carry this over into my vegan life. Thankfully there are a lot of alternatives on the market for me to get stuck into and I've found that Alpro make the best ones. You can get ones with bits or without, depending on your preference, for me I mix and match.
If you're more of a coconut fan then The Coconut Collaborative make tasty gluten free, dairy free, low sugar ones which can be used in a variety of ways including in smoothie bowls and creamy curries.
Plant based sandwich meat
I'm a big fan of sandwiches so knew I had to find alternatives and thankfully there are quite a few out there! A couple of my favourites are Quorn and Squeaky Bean, they have a wide range to choose from so there's sure to be something to tickle your fancy.
It's just a matter of trial and error with everything so don't be too put off if the first one you choose doesn't quite make your mouth water too much! There are also tasty mayos available which are bound to liven up any sandwich!
Ok, so I've had a year now to trial lots of sausages - it's a tough job but someone's got to do it! Just as tasty as those meaty ones, I promise you'll not notice the difference, especially when you cover them in onion gravy with a side of mash potato!
There are a few good ones to choose from including Richmond, Naked Glory, Moving Mountains so you'll have no problem in finding ones which work best in a sausage sandwich! (Hint the MM ones taste a lot like the sausage sandwiches from Mcdonalds!)
Another easy swap is to Quorn nuggets - I've been told by many non vegans that they're even BETTER than those other well known ones! Coming in two varieties, normal and crispy, these nuggets will satisfy your deepest cravings and keep you coming back for more.
These were one of the first food items I tried back when I first went vegetarian and oh my days were they tasty! I've since had the crispy ones and they're even more delicious than the normal ones, if that's even possible!? Try them yourself and let me know!
Of course, to go with all of these sausages, nuggets and burgers you'll need a good mayonnaise and I can highly recommend this one from Hellman's. Just like with the yogurts, I haven't noticed the swap from the egg mayonnaise to this one, to me it tastes just like the normal one and in fact it has become the staple mayo in my house. Why buy two separate ones when one will do just nicely?
I use mayo all the time, in sandwiches, with fish fingers, salads, burgers...I mean ALL THE TIME! So it was vital that I found one which matched up, not only in taste but consistency too. The supermarket one brands aren't a patch on Hellman's I'm afraid, the only other one which comes close is Veganaise but for ease whilst you're shopping, pick up a jar of Hellman's vegan mayo and see for yourself.
Naked Glory Meat Alternatives
Now if you're looking for meat alternatives that are just as good as the real thing then look no further than Naked Glory. Their range of sausages, burgers, mince and chicken pieces rival *almost* any others on the market. (except maybe Richmond burgers, but that's for another day!)
There are some people (myself included before I went vegan!) who will question why, when you've given up meat, that you'd want to eat something that tastes like meat? But here's my take on it, I want to eat it because I want the meaty taste but without the suffering/meat taste that comes with eating animals!
So, with this in mind I'm constantly on the hunt for the best 'meaty' tasting vegan alternative. Richmond & Moving Mountains have come very close so far and even though I have yet to taste all of the Naked Glory range, the bits I have tried, are delicious and make this vegan very happy!
A few simple swaps which will *hopefully* make your transition to veganism a little easier, or if you're not there yet then perhaps you'll embrace one or two of these swaps and start on your journey to a plant based life.
Please do come chat to me if you have any questions about veganism, or just want a recommendation. I'm always happy to help!