When it comes to vegan products, there’s an increasingly high amount of options available today. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find exactly what will work best for you without trying a few brands first. I wanted to share a list of products that are delicious alternatives to their not so friendly competitors. You can now enjoy cruelty-free options to products otherwise known for being animal-based.
Switching to a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean ridding yourself of foods you once loved. I promise these ten items are top notch replacements that not only taste better but make you feel better too! I’m not saying these are healthy per say, but having a cruelty-free indulgence from time to time is totally acceptable. We all deserve to indulge once in awhile. Why not make it a kinder choice?
Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips
Chocolate is something I crave at least 4-5 times a week. While I consume cacao or carob powder in different things to curb that craving, it’s nice to have chocolate on hand for baking treats. Most dark chocolates are vegan, but finding a milk chocolate that’s dairy-free is a challenge. I really love the chocolate chunks & mini chips from Vitacost. Both are perfect for cookies, melting or eating as is. They even have dark chocolate bars that are dairy-free too!
Organic Gummy Candy
Since gelatin is the number one ingredient in today’s gummy-based candies, it’s challenging to find a vegan option, until now. The lovely folks at Surf Sweets are kicking out animal-free candies for all the gummies you could ever want. Tons of flavors to choose from, I love the watermelon and peach flavors!
Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheezy Mac
A life without mac n’ cheese is one I can’t imagine living. After trying out every single boxed option available, I always go back to Daiya’s. If you’re a fan of the classic cheese + shells over the tube noodles + powder – then this is worth a taste. While the ingredients aren’t exactly screaming healthy, it is a gluten-free, vegan alternative that’s perfect for a lazy dinner. I’m a huge fan of adding kimchi, frozen peas and/or coconut bacon. You can really bulk it up and add anything you like.
It’s almost impossible to find a cereal brand that doesn’t pump their products full of artificial dyes, high fructose corn syrup and other fillers that serve no nutritional purpose. Most actually contain “vitamin D3” which is actually animal based and not suitable for vegans. Luckily there is a brand that makes an incredibly delicious option you can feel good about buying for you and/or your family. One Degree Organic Foods offers a line of sprouted cereals that aren’t heavily processed and most are just 6 ingredients – like the brown rice cacao crisps. You can also check out the brand Love Grown Foods for a chocolate power o’s cereal made from beans!
I grew up on Chicken Ramen, like most people I know did. Surprisingly enough, they all contain milk powder, even the mushroom packs. You can always use the noodles and omit the powder packs, but there are actually quite a few completely vegan options that taste even better. I personally love the King Soba Brown Rice Ramen and if you’re looking for another gluten-free alternative, the Lotus Foods Jade Pearl Ramen is a winner too. You can buy your preferred ramen noodles and use a vegan beef or chicken bouillon cube to season it. Like the ones I mentioned below.
Beef & Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Speaking of ramen, as I said most packs contain milk, you can find vegan seasoning cubes to flavor soups as you please. Essentially they’re sodium bombs, but I have no issue using them when I’m craving salty + savory noodle bowls. I’ve also used them to flavor my beefless chili.
Again, lots of brands to choose from with this. I personally love the packs from Edward & Sons, such a great brand. They offer a lower sodium garden veggie option as well.
Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
Sometimes you miss that buttery flavor and I get that. I actually like to use this coconut oil when I pop popcorn at home, it makes it even better than theater popcorn! I usually stay clear of added oils, but I will use coconut oil for certain recipes and topically as a moisturizer. No you should not use this coconut oil for your skin, this is a food only coconut oil blend.
Vegan Egg Substitute
If you’re needing a binder to replace eggs in cooking or baking, Neat Foods offers a great substitute thats ready to go – just add water. I personally like to use ground flax and chia seeds with aquafaba, but this method works perfectly and you don’t have to grind up your own seeds to make it.
Meatless Vegan Jerky
Not everyone wants to eat mock-meat when they become vegan, which I can completely understand. If you’re having a hard time giving up meat or you find meatless alternatives to benefit you on your path – I would definitely check out Primal Strips. You can find a few brands that offer meatless jerky (soy-based), I’m quite fond of this one. Specifically the Thai Peanut & Hickory Smoked flavored strips.
A lot of powders are whey-based. I will never understand the need or desire to consume a whey powder, the plant-based options taste better and have cleaner ingredients – while still offering the essential nutrients needed for proper absorption. Not everyone takes a protein supplement, but if you’re in the market for a post-workout shake or you’re looking to add a boost to smoothies and baked goods. I highly recommend Naturade’s VeganSmart, specifically the Chocolate flavor. I’ve been taking it for about a year now and really love it. It’s not chalky, you can drink it straight up with water and it’s so satisfying.
Coming up soon will be a complete list of my Vitacost pantry staples. Products that I repurchase every month in bulk and absolutely swear by. Can’t wait to share all about my food storage and pantry favs!
This post is sponsored by Vitacost. All opinions are my own, all products were purchased with my own money.