In November 2016 I decided to go vegan, well, technically I decided to go vegan a lot earlier than that, it’s just my will-power and want-power were not on the same page for a while. There were so many reservations and worries I had about veganism, but I will explain that all in another post. Instead, today I am just going to talk about some of my favourite vegan treats…sorry if they are lacking in savory items, but I am a sweet snack gal through and through.
The discovery of nakd bars was one of the events leading up to veganism that made me think, you know what, I think I can do this. I first tried them after buying one from the student union shop after realising I had a long day ahead of me and hardly any snacks. They cost about the price of a chocolate bar on their own (around 70p) or can be bought in boxes of four for around £2.50. My most favourite thing about them is how few ingredients they contain. Although it varies depending on the flavour, typically they all contain dates, cashews, some natural flavouring and perhaps a couple of other ingredients such as raisins or almonds. But don’t let the (very healthy) ingredients fool you, they taste amazing. My particular favourites are gingerbread, which tastes sooo good and cocoa orange. I often have these in my cupboard to have as a morning snack alongside some fruit or nuts. They are my number one vegan snack. (p.s. they are also dairy, gluten and wheat free as well as not containing any added sugar…win win win)Bear Yoyos
Another treat of the lunch box variety are bear yoyos. Definitely more marketed at kids these ones (as they come with stickers in each pack) but also a nice late morning snack. These are not such good value for price in my opinion. On their own they cost about 55p, or you can get boxes of five for around £2.30. They are made from dried pressed fruit, like a fruit leather, if you’ve ever had one of those, and rolled into little ‘yoyo’s’. Think of them as a more pure version of a fruit winder. I love the mango or strawberry flavour best, but due to their diddy size they aren’t very filling. But they also are free from pretty much everything, which is another bonus!
I was introduced to this when visiting my amazing family friends, The Jennings. If you don’t know what biscoff is, it’s a spreadable version of the lotus biscoff biscuits you always get in hairdressers and coffee shops alongside your hot drink, sorta caramelly, cinnamony type taste. Before I went back up to Manchester, my mum got me a jar of the spread to take up with me, and I was delighted to see that it was vegan once I transitioned. I know it’s supposed to be eaten on toast and the like, but I tend to eat it straight out the jar with a spoon. It’s definitely more of a treat than other things I eat, but it’s so beyond delicious, very very addictive and only £2 a jar!
I discovered oreos were vegan when watching a really great documentary called Vegucated (which is on netflix). In it, they go to an american supermarket and show you some surprisingly vegan items. Most of it wasn’t applicable to UK supermarkets however, the oreos are. It’s so weird to me that oreos are vegan, especially as they have ‘cream’ filling and because they always are advertised as being eaten with milk. I have never been mad keen on oreos, they’re fine and all, but then they brought out mint oreos. Game changer. A surprising amount of biscuits are vegan (including ginger nuts, some digestive biscuits, party rings etc) so I am so happy I still have a full biscuit tin.
One of the things I hear a lot (and have said many a time in the past) is ‘but I couldn’t go vegan, I’d miss chocolate too much’. While I will admit I get borderline teary thinking about smarties and crunchie bars, this is a close second. The first brand I tried was moo free, another everything-free-type-brand, but it’s fairly expensive, but comes in all different flavours like orange, minty-moo and bunny-comb. For Christmas my parents (sorry, Father Christmas) got me a whole range of flavours to try which was fun. They’re stocked in health shops like Holland and Barrett or Sainsburys and Waitrose (Waitrose probably has the best selection). However, a cheaper and more readily available option are the own brand free-from choc bars from Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys. I personally have tried all three brands, and have concluded they are all the same exact bar in different packaging, even the pattern imprinted on the bar are the same! They’re cheapest from Tesco, only 40p! You can also get chocolate buttons and white chocolate. While they don’t taste quite like cadburys or galaxy chocolate, they are still really yummy and taste like cheap chocolate. So if you like that, which I do, these are an absolute lifesaver. You can find them in the ‘free from’ section, even in the ‘express’ or smaller, local shops.
Sweet freedom ‘choc shot’
Okay, so I’ll admit that I haven’t actually tried this yet. I picked this up this week in Sainsburys when browsing the free from section. It’s a versatile product that can be squeezed into warm soya milk (or any other milk alternative) to make chocolate or used in pancakes, on vegan ice cream etc. I will admit I was also pulled in by the cute packaging. It’s only £2.50 and is the kind of item that will sit in your cupboard for a while. Other than squeezing it onto my finger to try I have not used it fully, but I am very excited to give it a try!
Before I was vegan, I never really went for starbursts when surveying the sweet shops. However, at the beginning I felt like I couldn’t get anything treat-like when doing my food shop and it was bumming me out. So I googled ‘vegan treats’ and found PETA’s ’44 accidentally vegan foods’ . They have loads of good suggestions and means that no longer need you worry about snacks for movie night.
Okay, so maybe dried fruit doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking about treats but to me, these are up there with any other fruity style treats. My particular favourites are from Lidl. It’s 99p for a bag and they aren’t horribly dried out and stiff, but juicy and big, so still taste and look like they were once a fruit. I have these everyday for a snack along with mixed nuts, so they’re always in the cupboard. They’re particularly handy when you need a sweet treat but want to stay semi healthy.