Vegan: Putting Its Stamp On Healthy Living
| 25th August 2016
A growing interest in helping the planet and being environmentally friendly mixed with the trend for healthy living, the vegan lifestyle just got popular.
Whether you eat vegan full time or invest in vegan alternatives for a healthier lifestyle, there is no denying that this diet is starting to make its way into the limelight. With more and more people opting for veganism, it comes as no surprise that the demand is rapidly rising for vegan products. The vegan sign is showing up on classic snacks such as Pringles and Kettle chips and the rumour states that Oreo’s are vegan too! Costa has recently included a vegan gluten free fruity crumble bar on their counter stand and vegan specific restaurants are opening up in the smallest of towns.
Here at VIVA, we had found the best vegan alternatives to everything from food and drinks to chocolate bars and protein snacks, all so you don’t have to. Regardless of whether you follow the lifestyle or not, these vegan products are a must have for your kitchen cupboards.
Pack some protein: Fitness
After a strenuous gym session, it’s often too easy to be distracted by the vending machine on the way out, so pre pack snacks and eat clean to make the most of your workout.
Small Palms offer a portion controlled pack of energy balls in 3 sensational flavours, Apple Pie, Vanilla and Chocolate Orange. Filled with a simple concoction of raw ingredients, such as dates, cashew nuts, flaxseeds and desiccated coconut, these balls are designed to kick your sweet tooth cravings whilst providing countless health benefits. Their texture takes some getting used to, a mix of chewy and crunchy with a delightful aftertaste to finish.
Alternatively, if you are used to your traditional protein bars, opt for a raw, bake free Body Me bar that comes in Cacao mint, Cacao Orange and Chia Vanilla. With the consistency of a cake crossed with a cookie, the refreshing taste of the mint bar is sure to give you that coolness you need after working up a sweat. A blend of plant proteins, sprouted brown rice and a mix of nuts, seeds and dates make these bars an ultimate superfood in itself.
Thirsty: Vegan drinks
Smoothies and shakes are great for on the go and perfect for lunch boxes and handbags for when you are out and about, but most brands use milk in their products, making them no longer suitable vegans. Luckily, Rebel Kitchen offer dairy free shakes that come in four flavours, Chia, Coffee, Matcha Tea and for something sweet, their Chocolate shake is the perfect alternative to a classic milkshake. Surprisingly, with no hint of coconut, this is great for those who miss their pre-vegan drinks!
For something fruity, opt for The Living Kitchen Almond shakes. If you dislike almond milk, these are great as it is completely undetectable and blended with exotic flavours that are refreshing on hot summer days. Pineapple and Coconut has the essence of a Pina Colada, whilst the Blueberry and Acai and Mango and Goji are invigorating and perfect for an afternoon pick me up.
Well aren’t you sweet: Indulgent Desserts
On a vegan diet, yummy desserts are no longer readily available. However, The Living Food Kitchen has introduced a selection of old school classics that are made using raw ingredients. These little pots of delight are perfect for those with a sweet tooth and although their Chocolate Mousse pot is extremely rich, it hits the spot and curbs cravings.
A Vegan Rise and Shine: Breakfast
Hassle free and ultimately delicious, the Living Food Kitchen’s Blueberry and Banana Buckwheat granola is the ultimate vegan breakfast. Sprinkled on top of dairy free yoghurt and drizzled with agave nectar, this makes for the perfect light meal to start the day. However, if you find yourself always dashing out of the door, grab a Hangry Food bar to eat on route, the Berry the Rage bar is great for that fruity zing.
Momentarily Blissful: Chocolate
One thing that vegans always hear is, “But don’t you miss chocolate?!”. Well the truth is, vegans don’t have to miss out on the best treat around. Raw Halo is company that specialises in artisan raw chocolate and they sell the most delightful looking bars, perfect for gifting and incredibly Instagram worthy!
The Pure Mylk bar is great for melting with strawberries, as the bitterness of the chocolate compliments the fruit, whereas the Mylk and Pink Himalayan Salt bar is great for those who love a savoury twist.
For chocolate with an added health benefit, Themptation have the tastiest dark chocolate bars: Plain, Orange and Cranberry. Perfect for eating as a bar or used in baking, these really are the epitome of guilt free chocolate!
Grab and Go: Vegan Snacks
Snacking is inevitable, whether be a chocolate bar or a handful of nuts, we all do it at the best of times. Vegan snacks are easy to find, with the majority of health food stores and supermarkets catering for healthier alternatives. Snacks are always best when they can fit into handbags and pockets easily and Creative Nature Superfoods flapjacks are perfect for just that. The Ginger Teatox bar packs a punch of refreshing zing, great for the morning or after a work-out, whereas the Goji Goodness and Raw Cacao flavours make for a sweet afternoon snack.
Crisps are also a traditional snack, but finding a vegan dip can be hard. The Living Food Kitchen has a tasty selection of Hummus: Raw, Pea and Mint and Beetroot. They make for a fab crisp dip and are compliment sticks of carrot, celery or pepper.
Add a Sprinkle or Spoonful: Seasonings and Sauces
Seasonings are important for any dish, and although vegan food is naturally delicious on its own, it’s always good to mix in an array of flavours to spice things up. The Cheeky Food Co. offer a selection of chutney’s, pickles and sprinkles that compliment plenty of dishes. The Silly Sesame seasoning adds a kick to stir fires whereas the Nutter Coconut is great mixed with oil and drizzled on a salad.
Get Your Bake On: Vegan Baking
Baking gets adventurous when you opt for the vegan lifestyle, you start experiementing with an array of egg replacers and start to use raw and unusual ingredients such as sweet potatoes and avocados. When you crave something quick and delicious, a quick mix is what you need, and Creative Nature Superfoods have introduced a Chia and Cocao brownie mix that makes fudgey brownies in just 15 minutes. Delightfully gooey and ridiculously indulgent, these go down a treat with dairy free ice cream in the evening or as an afternoon snack during the day.
Baking doesn’t always have to be sweet, and savoury foods such as bread is always good to work with. Many brands are vegan anyway but nothing beats a home-baked loaf. Rana’s Artisan Bakery caters for a variety of bread mixes, from Flatbreads to Sourdough and Rye to Italian. Gluten free and free from 14 major allergens as well as refined sugar, these are the best bread mixes you can find on the market! The Flatbread mix makes a killer pizza base and the loaves and rolls are perfectly moist on the inside and have crunchy crusts.
As you can see, being vegan doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on all the tasty things you ate before, now you can enjoy them knowing they are naturally better for you and haven’t harmed any animals nor the planet in its process.
Now there is no such thing as guilty eating!