There are many vegan products we tried, tested and fell in love with throughout the years. We know that going vegan is not always easy, especially when you are not sure what are the best vegan products to replace the usual items you are accustomed to.
Can you ever indulge in steak again? Is there even such a thing as a vegan streak or vegan burger? Can you still eat chocolate? How about making your favourite cakes which contain egg and milk?
The good news is that we live in a time when many entrepreneurs see the benefits (and trends) of veganism so more and more companies seem to come up with innovative ideas on vegan products. Starting from the renowned Beyond Meat, a company which attracted the investment of celebrities and tycoons, to fun Swedish brands like Oatly, we now have many vegan products on the market to satisfy every craving. Here are our favourite vegan products, ranging from dairy replacements, through vegan meats, to day to day products we cannot live without. Plus, this guide will tell you which non-branded vegan products you can use to make your life a little easier.
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Dairy replacement vegan products
Let's face it, we all grew up with ads selling milk as this incredible liquid which helps our bones and turns us into baby Hulks. How can you even begin to replace it? What vegan products can possibly taste like (or better) than milk? Well, for a long time, lactose-intolerant people knew exactly how to bypass dairy. From plant-based drinks, to lactose-free milk. Thanks to more and more people turning vegan, we can now enjoy a vast range of plant-based drinks which not only are healthy but incredibly delicious, smooth and creamy.
Our number one favourite vegan product is....Oatly! We discovered Oatly far before we turned vegan. It was an idle Tuesday when we saw this super fun "oat drink" on the shelf of a supermarket in England. Well, out of curiosity, we bought a carton of oat drink and WOW. Life-changing! This milk replacement was smooth and creamy, with an earthy and subtly sweet flavour. One sip and we were hooked.
Only just started seeing Oatly on the shelves? It's weird and here's why. Oatly was founded back in the 1990s and it's what we like to call the best-kept secret. How I wish I would have grown up with this instead of cow's milk. Oatly is a Swedish company and here's the cute part: according to their website, Oatly is based on Swedish research from Lund University. I think Oatly is the result of pure science.
Nowadays, Oatly offers a range of products, from the original oat drink, through chocolate oat drink, to incredibly Oatly spreads and cooking products. Give it a try, you'll love it.
I'm not going to lie, I do love Oatly a lot, but sometimes it's hard to come by. Alpro, on the other hands, seems to be well established in pretty much any supermarkets and corner shops. For dairy replacements, Alpro is a fantastic option and it's usually what you will find in our fridge.
We absolutely adore their Alpro Oat Barista which is a version of oat drink that creates a gorgeous frothy look over our morning coffee. As the name suggests, this beverage is ideal for all types of coffee.
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But unlike Oatly, Alpro did not niche out quite as much to create oat based products only. Alpro has a vast range of vegan products including cashew drink, almond drinks, coconut drink and even rice drink.
Although these are all plant-based milk products, thanks to some nut jobs (pun intended) we cannot call them as such anymore as they argued that "Almonds don’t lactate, so that’s no reason to start calling almond milk juice". Hence, you will find them under "almond drink" or "oat drink".
Speaking of dairy replacements, Alpro also established itself in the yoghurt section. You will find an array of epic vegan products like coconut yoghurt, oat yoghurt, Skyre (my favourite) and even awesome sugar-free all-natural soy yoghurt which is, by the way, ideas for cooking things like vegan cakes and vegan naan bread.
Since we are all perfectly honest about vegan products, I want to let you in a secret: I'm obsessed with cheese. So, naturally, when I went vegan, cheese was the most missed product for me. I couldn't see past the faults: no pizza, no cheesy pasta, no cheese boards. That was super difficult... until one day, I stumbled upon Violife mozzarella cheese. And vegan cheddar (seriously, VEGAN CHEDDAR).
Well thanks to Violife vegan cheese products I managed to get over my own cheesy hurdle. All of a sudden, I could have all those products I used to crave before. Nowadays, I don't particularly consume vegan cheese from supermarkets anymore, as it is widely based on coconut fat which I don't love due to its high saturates content which is not healthy. However, every now and then I can always add it to a morning vegan sandwich.
This is a funny one for me. When I was young I used to see these funny commercials for Rama, German margarine made entirely from plants. Well, I didn't quite care about these products back then, but it runs out, their commercials really paid off, because now, as a vegan adult I remember them as being the leading brand of plant-based margarine.
You can find Rama in almost all supermarkets but if this brand is not at hands, you can rely on Flora or Becel. In fact, most margarine is vegan. Just make sure to check the labels. You will see many that state "suitable for vegetarian" but a closer look will reveal that the vast majority are actually vegan.
While I don't encourage you to eat margarine for breakfast, we all know that some cakes call for butter. This is your best bet to replace actual butter with a delicious vegan product, powered 100% by plants.
Extra virgin olive oil
Anxious about using margarine due to their saturated fat content? I've got you. I do encourage you to have a mostly wholefood-based diet with as little processed food as possible. Sadly oils are processed but if you must use it, I strongly recommend a good brand of extra virgin olive oil. Whether I bake cakes, make herb bread or use it for frying patties, extra virgin olive oil is my favourite vegan product.
I thought I will never enjoy whipping cream again, but hey, turns out, there are plenty of vegan versions on the market. In fact, I was in a Kaufland the other day and guess what? I found a little caron of vegan whipping cream for like 0.50 Euro. Chances are, your local supermarket has a vegan version too. so make sure to check at the baking section and read the ingredients. No dairy? You are good to go.
Here's a fun thing about vegan whipping cream: it actually whips faster and better and the taste is 10000% better.
I'm going to start by saying that my husband is Hungarian. If you've been to Hungary, chances are you've seen their sour cream section in a supermarket. It's literally massive! And pretty much every Hungarian has a 1kg pot of sour cream in their basket during shopping time.
These people would bathe in sour cream if you'd let them. So going vegan was a huge challenge for my husband. Now, I tried making my own sour cream with this yoghurt, a little acid, a bit of lemon, but nothing really compared to the original. Until, this year, we discovered vegan sour cream from Dr. Oetker. It's called Creme Vega and it's amazing.
It works on top of the traditional Romanian cabbage rolls (sarmale) or with Romanian polenta (mamaliga) as well as all Hungarian traditional dishes which call for sour cream (like langos). So peace was once more restored in my household.
Want to make meringue but not sure how to replace egg white? I've got liquid gold for you: aquafaba. You know when you buy a can of chickpeas and you have to get rid of that brine? Don't! That's aquafaba, the best egg white replacer there is. Furthermore, it helps bond ingredients just like an egg.
I use it for making meringue, for making cakes, for salads, for everything which normally calls for eggs.
Next time you open that can of chickpeas, don't throw away the brine, but save it and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Whisk it until it forms those gorgeous egg white peaks and be amazed.
Fancy scrambled egg? No problem, JUST Egg is a vegan, plant-based alternative to eggs made with turmeric and mung bean protein to create an egg-like texture and flavour.
The problem? I can't seem to find in Europe. So if you live in the US you are super lucky and can now enjoy the most incredible eggy sandwiches yet again. Now that's a vegan product we've been waiting for.
Ice cream is one of those dairy products we all love during the summer. It's cold and creamy and pretty much the perfect dessert for kids and adults alike. That's a difficult one to replace as most vegan ice creams were actually water-based (like a sorbet).
Last year, we've seen serious changes, as new vegan products emerged in the supermarkets. From Vegan Magnum to Ben and Jerry's. Vegan ice cream is taking over the shelves and we couldn't be happier.
Meat replacements vegan products
Giving up meat can be challenging for some, especially when you think of those fun family BBQ with grill and beer. But things don't have to be all gloomy as nowadays we are blessed with such a vast array of meat replacement vegan products. From "bloody" burgers, through delicious "meaty" pizzas and burritos to vegan schnitzels and mince.
Whatever your heart desires, chances are, your local has an alternative vegan product you can't get enough of.
You knew I'm going to talk about Beyond Meat, possibly the best vegan products on the market. Now, we tried them during our trip to Hong Kong and let me tell you: we honestly thought they mixed up our order. There was no way we got a vegan burger. It was juicy, tasted just like a meat burger and it was even bloody and slightly drippy.
I know the guys at Beyond Meat spent a considerable amount of time in the lab trying to replicate a real burger and in my opinion, they succeeded. Once you bite into a Beyond Meat burger, I just can't imagine you ever craving eating the flesh of a dead animal. Just sayin'.
Schnitzels (nuggets and fish fingers)
If you live in Germany as I do, you probably know that everyone lives and breathes schnitzels here. I mean it's what we eat when we go to a local beer garden. Problem is, they are 100% not vegan, of course. Traditionally made with veal, schnitzels are served with a little slice of lemon and the sides of your choice. It is an Austrian traditional food which pretty much the whole world loves.
This is something my husband and I both missed after going vegan. Last year, however, we started noticing a trend in the local supermarkets: vegan schnitzels. The reason why I don't recommend a particular brand is that most supermarkets have their own signature brand as vegan schnitzels. Kaufland here in Germany has a vegan schnitzel made from soy. The result is surprisingly crispy and delicious, much like the meaty original.
So if you fancy schnitzels, chances are, you are going to find it at your local.
While you are at it, look out for vegan fish fingers and vegan chicken nuggets. All made with soy and breaded in a crispy crumb.
When done well, sausages are incredible. You eat them in a bun, with mashed potatoes or with a little side directly from the grill. Again, sausages define summer BBQs so when going vegan it's difficult to imagine not being part of that ritual with family and friends.
Luckily, we now have such a wide variety of vegan sausages on the market, you are spoiled for choice. As just to clarify, some are so good, that even my family (of meat eaters) thought it's "real". Well, buckle up, because vegan sausages are very much real and delicious...and healthy too.
You can go for the soy-based sausages which hold a little better when grilled. You can get the Beyond Meat sausages which are perfect or the Field Roast which taste great thanks to the artisan seasoning they add to the products.
If you ever happen to visit Budapest, there is a special supermarket there called BioABC which sells an array of delicious vegan products. Try their plant sausages as well as the Hungarian sausages from a brand called Vegabond. I just wish they will start selling their vegan products worldwide.
Have you ever heard of the brand Garden Gourmet? It's a brand which has recently been purchased by Nestle. I only just noticed them at my local supermarket. They caught my eye because I thought someone put a mince box in the vegan section. Turns out, Garden Gourmet mince is actually vegan.
We were never hugs fans of mince even when non-vegan but we wanted to try it so we can tell you our verdict. Although slightly oiler when cooked than I would have liked, this is a great mince replacement if you fancy lasagna or bolognese. We tend to use lentil as a replacement for mince which we think it's much better. We used it for this vegan Shepherd's pie for example and the result was outstanding.
Have you ever heard of seitan before? Seitan is essentially wheat gluten is a food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, which is then cooked before being eaten.
It originated from China and it is now a staple in Asian cuisine. What is great about wheat gluten is that it bonds a lot of ingredients together, making it a prime ingredient for replicating things like steak, salami, sausages.
When visiting Asian supermarkets, look for products like "mock duck" made from seitan. The resemblance to duck skin is actually uncanny.
You'll love seitan and start using it in many of your vegan products.
Honey replacement vegan products
Who doesn't love the sweet syrup over pancakes in the morning? Well, there is evidence that honey has been part of our diet for a very long time. In Araña Caves in Spain, there are 8000-year-old cave paintings depicting a Honey seeker. Honey is awesome and this special product is hugely debated by the vegans.
Some find it totally acceptable to eat honey while others believe that honey is detrimental to the bees and the environment. An interesting point of view about honey can be read here, on the Vegan Society blog.
To replace honey in your diet is actually super easy. You can start by using agave syrup, for example, 100% vegan and made from plants or our favourite: maple syrup.
To be fair, after we visited Canada and tasted everything maple syrup, we just can't imagine ever eating anything else with our cakes or pancakes. Maple syrup is so delicious, we even bought maple syrup cookies, maple syrup chocolates and sweets. Who needs honey when we can have this amazing, 100% natural products, from the maple trees. Thank you, Canada!
Alcoholic vegan products
I know what you are thinking. How can alcoholic products not be vegan products? Well as it happens, not really. For example, some wine manufacturers use fish intestines to filter their products.
What is also difficult, most alcohol manufacturers don't state if their product is vegan or not. A lot of people fall for the "bio" labels but that doesn't mean no animals are involved in the production line. It's a tricky one, and the best way to address this is to check the brand's website or ask them directly on Twitter.
While we don't drink excessively (my mum reads this blog, ok?) we do love to indulge in the occasional glass of gin. Our preferred gin id Hendrick's which is 100% vegan. You can learn how to make your own vegan gin tonic here.
There are also beer manufacturers which use parts of animals in their production line. It's weird, but hey, best thing to do is vote with your wallet. You can rely on Coors and Coors Light and Miller Light to be 100% vegan. They are our favourite beers also.
Bourbon, Canadian Whisky, Gin, Irish Whiskey. Rum, Scotch Whisky, Tequila and Vodka are vegan. But if you want to be super sure, you can always check this list here.
P.S. Don't forget to check the newest Bailey's on the market. It's made with almond milk. Finally, we can enjoy the vegan product of the year.
Day to day awesome vegan products
There are so many incredibly day to day products with are going to make your life much easier. We tried and tested many grains, replacements and brands and we are super excited to share some of our favourites with you.
I don't love chocolate but when I do, I love to indulge in milk chocolate with a tad bit of fruit in it. I never really loved dark chocolate so I can only use naturally vegan dark chocolate for cooking purposes. Luckily, there are some alternatives on the market like Veganz bars of chocolate. I really like their strawberry chocolates and I truly recommend them.
By the way, Veganz is the first supermarket chain in Europe. You can check their official website here.
For those of you looking for a natural boost, we use matcha tea in our cooking a lot. It's full of antioxidants, tastes delicious and can be made into an amazing matcha oat latte or matcha cakes and cookies.
Want another cool egg replacement? How about ground flaxseed? Mix it with a little bit of water until you get that eggy consistency. It works like a charm for bread and cakes.
This one is our favourite vegan product. Nutritional yeast is what makes everything tastes cheesy without the fat. It's amazing. I'm going to make a confession: I sometimes eat on top of my toast in the morning I like it so much.
Do you miss that awesome taste of freshly grilled items? No worries, we've got the perfect replacement for it. Try liquid smoke, an amazing vegan product which brings that smokey taste to all your vegan meat items. We especially love it for when we make burger patties.
It may seem obvious, but there are a lot of spices which can enhance your vegan meals and make them awesome. We especially love turmeric, paprika and ground coriander. They are pretty much included in most of our recipes.
Of course we recommend you eating a wide variety of nuts, but cashew nuts are super important in our diet. Not just because they are delicious, but because they can be soaked and ground to become awesome sauce or even cheeses (when mixed with nutritional yeast). All in all, cashews are super versatile.
Want to do an awesome cheesecake or fancy playing with coconut pudding? Well as a vegan you can't use gelatin but mother nature took care of us with this too. Agar agar is jelly-like substance, obtained from red algae. It replaces gelatin and it works like a wonder. Try it and I promise, you will never go back to using gelatin again.
These are our favourite vegan products which we use on a regular basis. As new vegan products appear on the market, we promise to edit this list and always keep it up to date and comprehensive. We want you to be a happy vegan who knows what to purchase.
We hope you enjoyed our list of vegan products. Feedback is important o make sure to let us know what you think in the comments section below.