Hi guys! Having a break from writing this week so I've got more of a lifestyle blog for you all. Some of you may or may not know that during lockdown, I decided to adopt a vegan/plant based lifestyle. The reason I have used a '/' there is because whilst protecting animals is a motivator, and I'd eventually like to omit animal based products throughout my daily life, it is not my sole reason. Now, I'll probably detail this with some research in another post at another time; it is something I'm becoming quite passionate about but only just learning. When I explain more about this and my journey, I want to be informative to others. I definitely do not want to come across as one of those preachy 'holier-than-thou' vegans we've all come across before! That is not my intention at all.
So I know one of my concerns was 'but what do I eat?!' and let's not pretend that we don't all think about our comfort/junk foods! Well, I'm sharing my 5 favourite junk foods since adopting a vegan lifestyle! Perhaps you've even had some of these products without realising they were in fact vegan!
Before we begin, some of these products may not specifically say 'vegan' on the back. My journey so far has shown that a lot of products are made on the same lines and factories as those that produce milk products and so for legal, allergen purposes, many products say 'may contain milk' but do not list it in the ingredients. Obviously, if you have an allergy then this needs to be taken seriously and you should always follow the advice of medical professionals. If you are like me, and cutting dairy out through choice, then you may be okay with these products. I joined a few vegan Facebook groups to support my journey and the consensus seems to be the same: you do what you feel comfortable with. As long as it is not listed as a main ingredient, I am personally okay with some products because there are far too many companies out there that don't run separate lines and produce multiple products in the same factory. Contamination risk is small.
Finally, this list is not in any particular order: it depends what I fancy as to what is my go to that week!
1. Chicago Town stuffed crust BBQ jackfruit pizza
I'll admit that I was the biggest fan of pizza before this diet change, like, obsessed would be an appropriate word! OF course this meant that I had to find a suitable alternative! Now, vegan cheese is not the same as animal sourced cheese. It's not. I'm very picky and not the biggest fan of most the alternatives I've tried. So you need to get out of your head that 'traditional' cheesiness you might be used to. However, this is by far my favourite pizza since adopting a vegan diet! It's flavoursome and feels naughty! We have this on our cheat nights; we share the pizza and I'll do some chips or onion rings. Would love to say we have salad with it but it's on cheat night so - nope.
2. Dark chocolate
If I'm being honest, I started with dark chocolate thinking it would be something I would tolerate to get me through chocolate cravings. But. I. Am. Hooked. I absolutely love the stuff and don't think I could go back to 'milk' chocolate ever. There is so much flavour in dark chocolate; it's rich and feels 'real'. Milk chocolate was always very sugary and too sweet at times. Personal favourites include Bournville and Tesco's mint and orange dark chocolate bars. Also, the packaging is so pretty from Tesco's!
YUP! Crisps! So many crisps are actually vegan (or have no dairy ingredients listed). Favourites include chilli heatwave Doritos, Skips, NikNaks, some flavours of Pringles such as Texan BBQ, Lime and Coriander Poppadums from Walkers, and many, many more. Some of these were favourites before I made the switch so this was an exciting discovery!
In addition to the above, Kettle Chips now do a specific vegan bag 'Sheese and red onion' - they are gorgeous and give me that real cheese and onion feel.
Ice cream anyone?
Ben and Jerry's do amazing vegan ice cream, as do Alpro. I've tried the vegan cornetto's but despite the price, they tasted cheap - if that makes sense? With Ben and Jerry's, I've tried the fudge brownie one and could not tell it was vegan! I quite like both the flavours I've tried from the Alpro 360 range: velvety chocolate, and, passionate mango swirl.
5. Last, but not least: Biscuits!
There you have it! 5 comfort/junk foods to show that a vegan/plant based diet isn't all vegetables and lentils (although I do actually like lentils!). Eating a balanced and healthy diet is the most important thing to remember with whatever diet you follow but, if like me, you like a treat or a cheat night, these products may come in handy!
What do you think? Have you had some of these products without realising? Are there any products you like that you know are vegan?