Saturday, 25 November 2017

World Vegan Month: Our vegan (and dairy-free) favourites

Earlier this year we wrote a blog post about the rise in veganism. Although some people still seem to be surprised at how many choose to avoid all animal products in their diet, from meat, fish and eggs, to dairy and honey, it’s a movement which shows no sign of slowing. In fact, the number of vegans has risen over 350% in the last 10 years.

Apparently even Google Trends has seen evidence of a boom – search terms linked to vegan lifestyles in the UK were up 90% last year on the year before, and were significantly higher than those looking for information about the paleo diet, gluten-free or even vegetarianism.

The great thing for Vegans now, as opposed to a decade – or even just a few years ago – is the choice of food available. Gone are the days when you were limited to a boring plain salad or tomato-based pasta. Vegan restaurants and cafes are popping up in towns and cities across the country, which is no surprise given there’s well over half a million British vegans out there looking for somewhere interesting to eat!

Another good thing about vegan products is they’re always suitable for those with a dairy intolerance – making them doubly popular in our experience.

So, this World Vegan Month, we’ve scoured the streets (not literally, we found these products everywhere from a food show to a friend’s kitchen) for what we think are some of the tastiest Vegan (and therefore dairy-free) foods out there.

·        Granny’s Secret Ajvar pepper and tomato spreads - We are a little bit addicted to this in the store – which means we always over-order so the stock doesn’t run out! We’ve noticed that once you try this, you can’t go back, and so the same customers keep returning for more. It comes in classic or spicy varieties and is great as a dip or spread. Has to be tasted to be believed – it will revolutionise your sandwich!
·        Vegan chocolate – Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up all chocolate – you might just need to go darker! Yum! Booja Booja luxury chocolate truffles are amazing – from champagne or almond and sea salt to rhubarb and vanilla fool, you’d be a fool not to give them a try. King Monty uses creamy rice milk to create a delicious dairy-free bar and the So Free range uses plant alternatives to create a variety of different flavours, including a milk chocolate – perfect if you’re actually not keen on the more bitter dark choc.
·        Anila’s Indian sauces, pickles and chutneys – For an easy to make dinner idea, that tastes authentic (and much nicer than any takeaway), the Anila’s sauces take some beating. We particularly lovely the flavoursome Spicy Korma (which, as it suggests, is a spicier version of the usual Korma) and the mouth-watering Aubergine Pickle. Perfect with poppadoms!
·        Nut butters – Nut butters are all the rage, and we can see why. They’re so versatile (from spreading it on your morning toast, to adding it to recipes), they’re good for you and deliciously more-ish! We love Natural World’s Pecan and Fig or Hazelnut and Cacao varieties, as well as Meridian’s Almond or Cashew Butter.

So, if you fancy giving them a try, why not pop in? Or if you don’t live locally, we’re happy to arrange to send things out – so give us a call on 01439 771 307.