While faux-meats and processed vegan foods should have a very limited place in a healthy vegan diet, every once in awhile, we all get nostalgic for the tastes we grew up with. Consumed in moderation, a veggie burger or vegan "ice cream" can satisfy those cravings and help you maintain your vegan lifestyle.
Here are some vegan alternatives to the classic junk food that I loved growing up; maybe they’ll tickle your taste buds too.
1. Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk I’ve tried several versions of non-dairy chocolate milk, and Silk’s dark chocolate almond milk is the hands down winner for rich chocolatey taste and creamy texture. And at 100 calories and 5 grams of fat less than a serving of chocolate milk made from whole dairy milk, you can feel pretty good about indulging.
2. Primal Strips Vegan Seitan Jerky When I first heard of the existence of vegan jerky in an online camping community, I was dubious. How closely could it really capture the taste and texture of meat jerky? Really closely, as it turns out! Plus it’s fairly healthy and, of course, cholesterol-free. Now, I’m totally addicted to the teriyaki flavor, and my omnivore husband swears the lime mesquite flavor is the best jerky he’s ever tasted.
3. Earth Balance Mindful Mayo with Olive Oil The first time I tried Mindful Mayo, I emailed the company to thank them for giving me back the gift of the classic Southern staple - the tomato sandwich. I’ve tried the other brands of vegan mayo, and to me, none really capture the taste and texture like Mindful Mayo. Challenge your omnivore friends to see if they can tell the difference!
4. Koyo Lemongrass & Ginger Ramen Half the calories of conventional ramen, made with organic ingredients, lower in sodium, and vegan too? I was sold before I even tasted it! Thankfully, it’s truly tasty too!
5. Amy’s Organic Brown Rice, Black-Eyed Peas, and Veggie Bowl One of my earliest food memories is unwrapping the aluminum foil from my Swanson TV dinner while watching television with my older sister. Frozen food has always been comfort food for me. But for someone who is not only vegan but soy-sensitive, good frozen food options are hard to come by. This Amy’s Organic bowl is hearty, delicious, and definitely comfort food. When I make it for lunch at work, people always stop by to find out what smells so wonderful!
Photo credit: Primal Strips