Supermarket Essentials for Veganuary 2022
January 6, 2022
It’s that time of year again, ProVeggies – Veganuary is here! Across the globe, curious and conscious consumers decide to ditch animal-based products and embrace vegan living for an entire month. At ProVeg, we strongly encourage the adoption of a plant-based diet to make the world a better place for people, planet and animals alike. We were delighted to see over half a million people across the world sign up for Veganuary last year, committing to eating vegan for the month of January and beyond! Our Veggie Challenge was incredibly successful too, with over 130,000 new subscribers in 2021. With so much public interest, delicious products and helpful resources, there’s never been a better time to go vegan!
To get you off to a flying start, we’ve compiled a list of must-have items to ensure that you ace Veganuary this year, and continue to lead a plant-based lifestyle wherever possible.
Every flexitarian has a favourite kind of meat that they’ll struggle to give up entirely. But the good news is that you don’t have to wave goodbye to your favourite meaty flavours and textures when you switch to a vegan diet. There are so many delicious, plant-based meat alternatives available across UK supermarkets that can taste just as good (if not better) than the real deal. And the best part? You can enjoy them with the knowledge that they are better for the planet, animals, and often your own health!
Here are some of our favourite meat alternatives readily available in most UK stores:
- This Isn’t Bacon (for those bacon-lovers who can’t live without it)
- Meatless Farm Mince (tastier than animal-based mince and equally as versatile)
- Richmond Meat Free Sausages (top tier of vegan sausages)
- Beyond Meat Burger (the meatiest meat-free burger you’ll ever taste)
- Vivera Plant Chicken Breast (it’s just like chicken, but made from plants!)
- Vbites Vegan Plant-Based Ham Slices (perfect for a sandwich or toastie)
- Tofoo Extra Firm Tofu (a delicious and healthy source of protein made from bean curd)
COW’S MILK ALTERNATIVES
Did you know that most people cannot actually digest cow’s milk? Around 75% of the entire world’s population struggle to digest cow’s milk past infancy. But it’s not just about lactose intolerance – people choose plant milks over cow’s milk for a variety of reasons, whether it is for their nutritional value, animal welfare, lower environmental impact, to avoid dairy-milk allergens, or simply out of personal preference.
A healthier, animal and planet-friendly alternative to traditional cow’s milk is fortified plant milk. Here are some our our favourites:
- For lattes/cappuccinos: Oatly Oat Drink Barista Edition (so creamy, and perfect for fancy coffees)
- For cereal: Alpro Soya or Alpro Rice Drink (delicious & packed full of protein)
- For tea: Minor Figures Barista Oat Light (a great semi-skimmed alternative)
- For smoothies: ASDA Free From Coconut Drink (affordable, delicious, and full of vitamins)
For many new vegans, it can be quite difficult to find a butter substitute that you like. We know there are a lot of butter enthusiasts here in the UK who need to get their butter fix on a daily basis. To help you navigate the world of plant-based butter, here’s some of our favourite vegan butters and how we like to use them:
- For baking: Pure Sunflower Spread or VitaLite Dairy Free Spread (light and fluffy)
- For toast and scones: Naturli Organic Spreadable (indistinguishable from dairy butter)
- For sandwiches: Flora Lighter (yep, many Flora butters are vegan!)
- For garlic lovers: Food Heaven Vegan Garlic Spreadable (try not to eat the whole tub…)
Now, we aren’t going to lie, most vegan cheese does not taste the same as dairy-based cheese, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. You may also find it doesn’t melt as well as its animal-based counterpart, but be patient – you will find the right plant-based cheese for you. You can also enjoy plant-based cheese with the satisfaction of knowing that it’s better for animals, our health and our planet! Our cruelty-free favourites include:
- I Am Nut Ok (their dairy-free cheddar and mozzarella are worth investing in!)
- Violife Epic Mature (great on a sandwich or just on its own)
- Violife Creamy (perfect for cheesecakes)
- Boursin Plant-based Garlic & Herb (we were so excited when this came out last month!)
- Mexicana Vegan Block (for spice lovers)
- Bute Island Sheese Greek Style Block (delicious feta substitute)
It’s also worth mentioning that you can make your own vegan cheese if you have some time on your hands. Tofu, nutritional yeast and soaked cashew nuts can be blended together to make delicious cheese alternatives perfect for lasagnas and other pasta-based dishes. Here’s one of our favourite recipes for a homemade ricotta.
There are so many plant-based chocolates available now across the UK that can satisfy your cravings for Veganuary and beyond. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, it’s worth remembering that there is a good chance your favourite products may already be vegan (those with higher cocoa concentrations in particular). We encourage a healthy lifestyle here at ProVeg, but we think we all need some chocolatey-goodness in moderation. And when no animals are suffering for our sweet-tooth? Well, it would be rude not to treat yourself for all your hard work, wouldn’t it?
Here’s our top picks for vegan chocolate:
- Doisy and Dam Chocolate Ballers (that’s right, there are vegan maltesers!)
- Vego Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Bar (smooth, creamy and full of delicious hazelnuts)
- Nomo Creamy Chocolate Bar (delicious milk chocolate alternative)
- LoveRaw Vegan White Chocolate Cream Wafer Bar (if you’re a fan of kinder buenos)
- Rhythm 108 Hazelnut Truffle (when you need to treat yourself)
- M&S Fairtrade 72% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (a must-have for dark chocolate enthusiasts)
KITCHEN CUPBOARD ESSENTIALS
We know that changing your diet can seem daunting, and that the idea of a vegan diet can seem restrictive in many ways. However, the world of vegan cooking opens your eyes to a whole new world of flavours and foods that can develop your cooking skills and make you fall in love with plant-based cuisine. We recommend stocking up your cupboards with the following ingredients which are commonly used in many vegan recipes:
- Nutritional yeast: a cheesy and nutritious seasoning perfect for bechamel sauces and cheese-based dishes
- Liquid smoke: a liquid flavouring to help you recreate smoky BBQ flavours without any animal products
- Vital Wheat Gluten: if you fancy making your own plant-based “meat”, you can make protein-rich seitan from wheat gluten and a choice of your own flavourings/spices
- Fresh and frozen vegetables: experiment with different vitamin-rich veggies. Vegetables are so good for you and packed full of flavour!
- Spices and stock cubes: lots of vegan cooking involves a range of spices to help bring out the best flavours in plant-based dishes. If you miss meaty-flavours, we recommend getting a hold of some Oxo Meat-Free stock cubes.
- Agave syrup: for all those honey-lovers who need a vegan-friendly syrup for pancakes, smoothie bowls, or baking
- Legumes: lentils, beans and chickpeas are full of protein and fibre, and are a staple for many vegan dishes
CHANGING YOUR DIET FOR VEGANUARY
There are of course many other delicious vegan products available to help you smash Veganuary this year, but we wanted to share some of our supermarket favourites with you to point you in the right direction. One of the greatest things about transitioning to a plant-based diet is experimenting with different products, flavours and recipes to make delicious food for all to enjoy, whether you’re vegan, veggie or flexitarian. If you’re in need of some recipe inspiration, head over to our website and browse our School Plates Recipe Book, filled with low-cost, healthy recipes made entirely from plants.
It’s important to note that many of these foods will taste a little bit different to their animal-based counterparts, but your tastebuds will soon adapt. Did you know your tastebuds even replace themselves every two weeks or so? With a whole new world of plant-based flavour waiting for you, you’ll quickly start to crave these new foods instead of meat and dairy products.
A huge well done from ProVeg UK to everyone taking part in Veganuary this year. Changing your diet may seem like a small endeavour in the grand scheme of things, but it’s one of the most impactful things we can all do to make a difference – for our people, planet, and animals.