Surprising Vegan Foods
When people think of vegan food, they often picture a bowl of plain salad and not much more. This often gives the impression that vegan diets are dull, boring, and tasteless.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Because there are many surprising vegan foods
As a vegan, you can enjoy an incredible varied diet – including many of your favorite sweets and snacks.
What Is a Vegan Diet?
Before we go on, it’s probably a good idea that we define what a vegan diet is.
Essentially, vegans only consume plant-based foods. This means no meat, fish, dairy, or any other produce that comes from animals.
Instead, vegan meals contain things like beans, spices, pasta, and peas.
There are also hundreds of other types of foods that people don’t always realize are vegan friendly – which is what this article hopes to get to the bottom of.
Why Become Vegan?
We’ve covered the benefits of becoming vegan in other articles, but I’ll quickly summarize it here as well:
While many people become vegan for the massive benefit it has at combating animal cruelty, there are also other ethical and health reasons for following a vegan diet too (and hopefully some of these surprising vegan foods will help you to take the plunge).
Plant-based foods require more than 60% less energy to produce than meat & dairy, as well as using up much less physical room to grow. With animal produce, there’s also a staggering amount of food and water that goes into feeding the animals while they grow.
The extra land saved by moving away from a carnivorous diet can be used to help solve the crippling overpopulation crisis, as well as making food more available.
Vegan diets can also improve your health, with a number of studies indicating that you may have a reduced chance of developing cancer, as well as making it easier for you to lose weight, and also reducing your chances of kidney failure and type two diabetes.
Are There Any Risks?
As with all diets, it is technically possible to eat unhealthily while following a vegan diet – missing out on important vitamins and nutrients, however, when following a proper balanced vegan diet, the risks are generally fairly low.
Common Vegan Foods
When looking through a vegan cookbook, you may come across these ingredients most often and they’ll probably be on your shopping list all of the time:
- Pasta – The vast majority of pastas are 100% vegan, coming from a mixture of wheat and water. However, it’s important to look out for some pastas that contain “eggs”. This is particularly common with noodles.
- Bread – Just like pasta, the bulk of breads available at the supermarket are 100% vegan friendly. Bread is typically made from water, wheat, sugar, yeast, etc. Some breads, like naan bread (containing eggs) and honey bread (containing honey – duh!) aren’t vegan friendly, but it’s easy to avoid these.
- Nuts – Found in most vegan recipes (in one form or another), nuts are great for protein and iron, and can be made into tasty butters.
- Fruit & Veg – While fruit and vegetables should be part of any diet, they are especially important for vegans. As well as tasting delicious, they also contain a wide variety of important nutrients. They can also be good substitutes for dairy products in recipes – such as bananas, in the place of eggs.
Surprising Vegan Foods
While you probably already knew that the above foods formed part of the vegan diet, there are many more delicious vegan treats that most people don’t know about.
- Doritos – Select flavors of Doritos (Lightly Salted, Spicy Sweet Chill & Chill Heatwave – my favorite) are actually vegan!
- Oreos are also fully vegan, containing no actual dairy products.
- Jelly Tots – Possibly my favorite on the list, Jelly Tots are now completely vegan. Great for a nostalgic snack.
- Hot Chocolate – What’s better than a cup of hot cocoa in the winter? NOTHING! Thankfully, many hot chocolate mixes are fully vegan friendly.
- Walkers (Lays) Crisps – Almost all flavors of walkers crisps (even prawn cocktail!!) are completely vegan.
- Hot Dog Rolls – When you think of a hot dog, you’re probably imagining the massive sausage in the middle. The bread bun is, of course, 100% vegan friendly, and goes great with things like tofu.
- (Some) Marshmallow Toppings – While marshmallows themselves often aren’t vegan (as they contain gelatin) some brands of marshmallow ice cream toppings are perfectly acceptable vegan snacks!
As well as a whole host of foods that people don’t always realize are vegan, there are also a number of surprising vegan drinks, such as:
- Chocolate (soy) milk
Hopefully you’ve discovered one of your favorite treats on this list – making the idea of becoming vegan a lot more appealing.
After becoming a vegan myself, there were only a handful of foods that I actually noticed myself missing, but over time (and with the development of many meat substitutes) I’ve completely lost all craving for them.
More and more snacks and sweets are becoming vegan, which is great for anyone with a sweet tooth.
If you would like to read more about the benefits and risks of a vegan diet, we have written a comprehensive guide on the subject.