5 Simple Vegan Swaps for Veganary
With all of its ups and downs, we’re getting well into January. By now, you might have heard about ‘Veganary’, whether it be on social media or from a friend or family member. But what is Veganary anyway?
Veganary was first launched in 2014, as a way to inspire more people to try veganism. Being vegan means you wouldn’t eat any meat, fish, or animal byproducts like eggs, yogurt, or honey. Being vegan also means that you wouldn’t wear or use any products that contain animals or products that have been tested on animals. For example, you wouldn’t buy a new leather belt, wear a wool jumper, or use makeup that has animal byproducts in it or has been tested on animals.
Switching to a vegan lifestyle has been growing rapidly in popularity over the last decade. The reasons vary, from people simply no longer want to eat animals, to people becoming aware of the unethical and negative environmental practices associated with animal farming.
While I’m not a vegan... In a nutshell, I’m a pescatarian that doesn’t eat a lot of fish and mostly eats plant based (I know it’s complicated lol). Either way, with so much going on in the New Year, I wanted to make things a bit easier for you to try Veganary by sharing a few of my favourite vegan swaps. They’re all simple to swap, easy to find, and I think you might love them so much, you’ll make them a permanent addition to your diet.
Vegan Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Did you know wine, beer, and spirits aren’t always vegan? Because I sure didn’t. Sometimes it’s obvious that a beverage isn’t vegan, for example, a honey ale but many beers contain animal byproducts that you wouldn’t have thought of. Most beers and wine include gelatine and isinglass, these are both animal byproducts called ‘fining agents’, which are used to refine and clarify the final beverage. Wine may also contain other (pretty surprising) fining agents like blood and bone marrow, crustacean shells, and milk proteins. Luckily, sprits are all typically vegan unless it uses honey or is a cream-based liqueur such as Bailey’s, but it never hurts to check first.
With all that said, do not fear! Many beer and wine are making delicious vegan options, and these too can be found widely in your major grocery stores.
Vegan mayo isn’t anything new, but it has gotten a lot better in the last few years. Mayonnaise is made with eggs making it vegetarian but not vegan, but not to worry, many companies have been perfecting their vegan mayo recipes and are easily accessible at your local grocery store. Hellmann’s, BIona, and Vegenaise are all great brands to try and typically offered at major retailers.
After a long day, what’s better than a cuppa tea and some biscuits? Eating vegan during Veganary shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice anything. Luckily, when it comes to vegan biscuit brands, there are some pretty great options. Oreo might arguably be the most popular vegan cookie but did you know that Rich Tea, Hobnobs original, and Bourbons are vegan too? You can also add Jammie Dodgers to the list, as they’ve updated their recipe in 2020 to become completely vegan friendly.
Going plant-based doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a great burger, with ‘cheese’ even! Plant-based ‘meats’ have become better and better within recent years, making them more accessible and affordable to many. With soy-based meat-free products headlining the list, a growing popularity in pea protein and other vegetable-based proteins has been rising, alleviating the need for vegan meats by those adverse to soya products. Famous brands like Linda McCartney, Birds Eye, and Quorn are all great entry points for vegan burgers with many large chain grocers adding to the list from Asda ‘Plant Based’ brand to Sainbury’s ‘Love your Veg’. Want to make it a cheeseburger? Check out Vitalite, Asda’s Free From range, or Violife vegan cheeses.
When you think of January, you probably don’t think of ice cream, but you should be! It’s an all-year treat that can be easily swapped for vegan options. From lollies to churned ice cream, the selections have been expanding! Some of my favourites that are easy to find are Magnums Vegan Classic, Swedish Glace, Ben and Jerry’s, and even Cornetto makes a wonderful vegan option now!
Even if you’re not participating in Veganary, I hope you’ll try some of these delicious vegan swaps. You might not even be able to tell the difference!