Following from the previous post about Dairy Hacks for a stress-free and enjoyable Veganuary, I am now sharing top tips to replace other dairy products.
We are fortunate enough today that the supermarket shelves are well stocked with delicious and nutritious alternatives to your usual dairy products like cheese, yoghurts, butters, spreads and pastries.
- Pastry: Jus Roll pastry is actually vegan! Keep rolling away…
- Yoghurt: I love coconut yoghurt (of which there are many brands and flavours e.g. Coyo, Coconut Collaborative, Rebel, Koko), soya yoghurt (there are lots of flavours and brands available e.g. Alpro), almond and cashew milk yoghurts (these come in different flavours but are often quite expensive e.g. Nush). Don’t forget about own-brand yoghurt – Tesco Dairy Free unsweetened soya yoghurt is a simple swap.
- Dessert Pots: Alpro have a range of mousse desserts, Coconut Collaborative have great chocolate pots, Pudology, Get Norty Puds, Freaks of Nature (the strawberry lemonade is dreamy), The Chia Co. are just some of the desserts on offer.
- Ice cream: fear not – the vegan ice cream scene is growing quicker than I can try all the brands! Booja-Booja are creamy and indulgent, Coconut Collaborative are great, Ben & Jerry’s have your favourite flavours in vegan-friendly versions (still loaded with sugar but without the dairy), Alpro have soya based frozen treats, Swedish Glace tastes exactly like your classic Cornish Cream ice cream, Frill are amazing for a healthier yet delicious choice, Almond Dream… If you’re looking for a magnum replacement then try MiiRO for delicious coconut-based chocolate-covered treats.
- Cheese: ‘I could never go vegan – I could never give up cheese’ and you don’t have to. Whether you make your own cashew or macadamia-based cheeses (very simple and you can make everything from ‘mozzarella’ to ‘parmesan’ and ‘blue cheese’) or buy it from the store, you won’t have to miss out. Most supermarkets have their own brand of cheese – at Christmas I tried Sainsbury’s coconut-based cranberry wensleydale and it was so creamy. Violife is a big name in the vegan-cheese market stocking everything from mozzarella to cheddar styles, as well as Vegusto, Sheese who have delicious cream cheeses, Nutcrafter, Kinda Co. (these are amazing), Tyne Chease who offer cashew truffle cheese rounds… the list is endless. I haven’t tried them all but I have heard from friends that they are indeed delicious. At the moment I am enjoying Tesco free-from cream cheese on toasts, in sandwiches and as a dip for crudités and Bonsan Garlic Cream Cheese. Moreover, one visit to any vegan market or food festival, and you will be full to the brim with local, homemade and small start-up cheese company samples so I urge you to try give them a go.
- On the cheese note, the amazing variety means traditional dairy-heavy dishes like pizzas, pasta with creamy sauce, arancini balls etc are widely available. Most high-street Italian restaurants now offer vegan cheeses (Zizzi’s have a great choice, even Pizza Hut has joined in) and there are many fully vegan pizzerias – Picky Wops and Purezza are my favourites where I opt for their vegan parmesans.
- Chocolate: I could write a whole post just on dairy-free, vegan chocolate alone. Ranging from the super indulgent, sugar-laden bars to the raw, refined-sugar free and dark varieties, you can rest assured that your chocolate needs will be covered. Here are a few of my favourite brands:
- Octo chocolate – raw, coconut blossom sugar based, delicious and exotic flavours. They even have amazing white chocolate.
- Booja Booja – the only place for indulgent yet ‘healthy’ chocolate truffles.
- NuCao – delicious superfood packed chocolate bars in a range of flavours plus for each bar sold, they plant a tree.
- Leitchy Creates – my friend and true inspiration sells her delicious vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free raw chocolates online and is also stocked in shops in the North of the UK.
- Raw Halo – beautifully packaged raw, artisan, refined sugar free and delicious chocolate bars with great flavours like dark, ginger and pecan.
- The Raw Chocolate Company – my go-to for anything chocolate covered, as well as having great dark chocolate bars, too.
- Rhythm108 chocolate bars – gluten free, organic, vegan chocolate bars with less sugar. Try the chocolate coconut bar for a bounty-experience.
- Ombar – raw, refined sugar free yet tastes like milk chocolate?!
- The Slabb – the most incredibly designed bars I have ever seen. They are building up a fully vegan core range which may include their amazing Vegan Party One – dark chocolate topped with party rings, marshmallows and sprinkles.
- Pana Chocolate – delicious and unique flavour combinations, these raw, refined sugar free chocolate bars are quite expensive but worth it.
- Conscious Chocolate – beautiful chocolate bars that are raw and a healthy alternative.
- Vego – a sugary chocolate bar reminiscent of childhood treats.
- Your familiar brands also stock vegan chocolate:
- Hotel chocolat dark chocolate range is dairy-free – I love the dark ginger.
- Cadbury Bourneville is vegan friendly.
- Green & Blacks – dark chocolate indulgent range is delicious.
- Marks & Spencers – the gianduja chocolate bar caused a storm on social media and I can confirm it is amazing (very sweet and tastes indulgent!).
- Lindt dark chocolate is usually vegan – the excellence range with flavours are sadly not due to milk powders. But, dark Lindt bunny anyone?
- Don’t’ forget about own-brand bars. Supermarkets dark chocolate bars tend to be vegan, just watch out for milk powders and proteins.
While you’re here, why not try out a few of my simple dairy-free recipes for a delicious Veganuary? From Date Oat and Coconut Brownies to Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles and from Butternut Squash Mac n Cheezy Greens to Tofu Cream Cheese – let me know what you think.
All of the brands mentioned above are from my own personal experience and research. All opinions are my own and this post is not sponsored – I have not included links to all companies as there would be far too many but do copy and paste into your search engine for more information. If you have any questions, please leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer.