January 24, 2013

Shopping: My Favourite Vegan Food Products

As part of a healthy diet, I try to avoid all processed foods.  However, there are some basic staples that we use in our house.  Sometimes people ask what I think the best vegan cheeses, mayos, fake meats, and other processed foods are.  Here are some of my favourites:

1. Eat Pastry's Vegan Cookie doughBet you didn't think I would start with a cookie dough - not much of a staple, but it is divine!  No eggs, you can eat this straight out of the container (we did!).  I don't think we made a single baked cookie, but I hear they are delicious.  The downside: you can only buy it in the US.

2. Daiya Cheese
Melts like the real thing, and doesn't have that "tinny" taste that other vegan cheese has.  We use it on pizza, in burritos, wraps, on veggie burgers.  It also comes in brick form, which I have heard makes a fantastic mac and cheese.

3.  Vegenaise
The best vegan mayo, tastes like the real thing.  Good on sandwiches, pasta salad, dips, whatever.  And you can get it soy free also.   

4.  Gardein
Gardein makes the best fake meat products, hands down.  Their beefless burgers are so delicious, a vegetarian food truck in Vancouver uses them as their basic burger patty.  Their chicken strips have great texture and taste.  I have heard the beef strips are good too, although I haven't tasted them.

5. Earth Balance
The best vegan butter, substitutes perfectly for butter and tastes like the real thing.  I have even tried it in pie pastry, and it turned out great.  I go for the "soy free" variety because being vegan it is easy to overdo the soy.  They also make a fantastic coconut butter. 

6. So Delicious Coconut Milk
I rarely buy non-dairy milk anymore.  I usually make it using almonds and water.  But if I do buy it, I go for this type.  It doesn't taste like coconut.  Works great in smoothies, on cereal or granola, or in baking.

7.  Vega protein powder
Its pricy, but it packs in protein and is one of the few vegan protein powders out there that I have been able to find.  Also, I am told it is more consistent/reliable than some of the others.  Tastes great with banana, almonds, water, peanut butter and ice.

8.  Lara Bars
A great energy bar with only 2 or 3 ingredients.  Dates are supposed to be an excellent source of energy as the sugar from dates is easily converted into usable energy.  I love them and so does my 2 year old son. Pin It Now!

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