26 September 2012

The best prepared vegan food products

Before I was vegan, I didn’t really have a “favorite” product because everything I ate made me sick with horrible stomachaches, so it was hard to find a product that I could rave about. Thankfully, being vegan has changed my views about food all together and I love to eat now. I love to eat so much that I actually have favorite products and I am convinced they are the best out there! Not only are my favorite products my favorite because they don’t make me sick, but they taste awesome too!

Milk: Almond Breeze Almond Milk is my absolute favorite milk. I have a glass every day, which is more than I drank in the past when I drank cow’s milk. I use it in my cereal and in any recipe that calls for a non-dairy milk. It’s always stocked in my refrigerator, and you can buy it just about anywhere so that’s a plus. I typically get the unsweetened, but the sweetened is great for an occasional snack!

Shredded: My favorite shredded cheese is Daiya cheddar or mozzarella style shreds. It’s absolutely delicious and it melts. I use Daiya in any recipe that would call for dairy cheese, or I add it to recipes that don’t call for cheese at all, just because I love it so much.
Slices: I am yet to try Daiya wedges, but they look amazing and I’m sure I’ll fall in love with them. Since I haven’t tried them yet, but favorite cheese slices are Tofutti American Soy-Cheese Slices. The cheddar is amazing, and I can’t wait to try Mozzarella! Not only does it look the exact same as dairy cheese slices, but it tastes amazing too. I put it on veggie burgers and chick’n sandwiches, and it makes one awesome grilled cheese sandwich!

Butter: Since butter used to make me sick, (it’s crazy it took me so long to figure out that I was always meant to be vegan) I usually went without butter or margarine and ate everything dry. Now, I don’t have to do that, thanks to Earth Balance! Earth Balance buttery sticks or whipped spread is an awesome product to try. I always encourage non-vegans to use it simply because it’s so much better for a person. I love the buttery sticks when I’m baking, and I use the whipped spread for everything else where butter or margarine would come in. I love melting some of the buttery spread and pouring it over my popcorn.

Sour Cream: You can easily make your own mayo with silken tofu, but I love the taste and the convenience of using Tofutti non-hydrogenated Better Than Sour Cream. I use it on all of my Mexican favorites, and more.

Cream Cheese: Once again, Tofutti wins. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese is absolutely amazing. It makes for one tasty bagel.

Mayo: I love both Follow Your Heart brand Vegenaise and Nasoya brand Nayonaise. They both taste amazing and do the trick. I use them on veggie burgers, sandwiches, in salads, and just about any other thing you can think of. Plus, they both come in several tasty flavors so they make great dip and spreads.

Ice Cream: Almond Dream brand or Tofutti brand frozen desserts are my favorite. They are both so delicious and they always serve my need for a sweet treat. I was a die-hard ice cream eater for my whole life as a non-vegan, so I thought that ice cream would be a tough one for me. Thankfully, it’s not. These ice creams are amazing. There are so many options for vegan ice creams, but many popular names sell vegan treats too. Haagen-Dazs sells Sorbets, and they are also a go-to for me. There are options everywhere.

Veggie Dogs: Lightlife Smart Dogs are my favorite veggie dogs. They taste great, especially on the grill.

Frozen Veggie Burgers: I normally make veggie burgers homemade, but it’s great to be able to buy something frozen and heat it up when I’m in a rush. I love Sol brand burgers! They definitely have the best flavor for a frozen veggie burger.

Chick’n: I love Gardein products. The Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n and the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders are absolutely amazing. I am still working on trying the other products, and I can’t wait to. They make a great lunch or even a quick and tasty dinner.

Ground Crumbles: I always enjoy the Boca ground crumbles. They are so versatile, whether you want to add them to your spaghetti sauce, make a mock meat loaf, or roll up meatless balls. These are my go-to, especially if I’m having guests over. They are always shocked to learn they are vegetarian!

Best Quick Dinners: Fantastic World Foods makes the most fantastic and the quickest meals out there. I swear! I have gotten plenty of omnivores to eat these products and they even loved them and couldn’t tell it was vegetarian. I am big on the Taco Filling Mix, Sloppy Joe Mix, and the Nature’s Burger Original. I haven’t tried the others yet, but I’m sure they are just as amazing. These have got to be about the easiest dinners ever that are still healthy at the same time.

When you’re in a rush or want a little extra something to go with your meal, these products are a must! While my absolute favorite things to eat are healthier and less processed, (like beans, vegetables, and rice) I love being able to have these products too, because life is just more fun that way. I just can’t wait to see what other products come out in the future as veganism continues to grow. Try these products in the meantime, and you will not regret it.

Alexandra Beane | Facebook | Twitter | Blog
Minnesota Alex is an animal-loving vegan, animal rights activist, writer, and blogger. She believes that compassion is key and that life is about doing the best that you can personally do to make the world a better place. Alex works as a Copy Writer/ Marketing Assistant for a non-profit that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In her spare time, Alex enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and spending time with her husband and their rabbit, a Holland Lop/ Jersey Wooly mix. She also writes for her own blog, The Weekly Paws, where she shares recipes, reviews, and endless photos of her rabbit -- her absolute favorite vegetarian.

Photo credit: Daiya