This is just another photo dump with pithy comments about vegan products available in the UK. I’m hoping again that it might help anyone who’s not sure what’s out there or what vegan product they can buy to replace a non-vegan one and that posting the pictures of them will give you an idea of what you’re looking for when you go shopping.
Pure is the main vegan margarine available in supermarkets. It comes in sunflower, soya or organic and is priced anywhere from 90p to £1.10 depending where you find it and which one you pick (I remember that I used to pay 79p for it when I first went vegan, guess those prices really are rising). I don’t use Pure all that regularly anymore as I find that it doesn’t always work that well in baking and cooking. Once you’ve softened or melted it it will never go back to being solid again which makes it pretty useless for biscuits that you refrigerate before rolling out. I bought it this time as it’s cheaper than the regular marg I use and I was trying to save a few pennies, but I think it’s pretty popular stuff which as it’s so easy to get your hands on.
This is actually the first time I’ve bought the chocolate custard, I normally get the vanilla flavour but decided to give Jim a treat (not sure if Piggle will eat is as he’s not a chocolate fan). The vanilla custard is really thick when it’s cold but goes quite runny when warm which I find annoying as I’m from the ‘slice of custard’ fan club, but it still has a great taste and my kids love it.
I know most peanut butter is vegan but this one contains no palm oil and is organic, and it’s also the best tasting organic peanut butter I’ve tried. I like my pnb crunchy and despite avoiding the types with too much sugar in them I do like a little bit of salt in it, I think it stops it from being too plain. Yes, this type is expensive so I wouldn’t use it for baking anything that called for a cup of pnb, but as it’s just peanuts a little goes a long way and the taste is just lovely.
This is the chocolate spread I found in the organic farm shop. I’m a fan of Plimal egg free mayonnaise so I thought I would probably like the texture of their chocolate spread and I was right. I’m really looking forward to having this on hot toast and Jim was ever so excited when I told him that every now and again he could have chocolate on his sandwiches!
These are Jim’s favourite cheese slices for his lunch. They basically have the rubber texture of all processed cheese but they do have a nice flavour and they also melt well if you should run out of any other cheese to put on top of something. I try to always have these in as they seem easier in the mornings than trying to slice cheese off a block, although with the extra plastic packaging they’re not as eco-friendly.
As I said in my shopping post I normally buy Alpro yogurts (see below) but I do like to mix it up a little and make sure that Piggle isn’t eating the same stuff over and over again. The single yogurts are a bit pricey at 59p each but the flavours are really nice (he particularly likes the guava and apricot one) and it’s a nice thick creamy yogurt. My favourite is the lemon one which is tangy and sweet all at the same time. This plain yogurt is only 79p a tub and the smaller size means that you won’t waste any if you can’t get through the big Alpro one (see below).
Alpro are usually the only soya yogurts that you will find in a supermarket. They’re the same company as Provamel but Provamel are only found in health food shops and all their products are organic. There is more and more organic Alpro about now that the companies have merged though such as these peach and blueberry (not mixed, 2 of each flavour!) yogurts. We go through 1 or 2 yogurts a day in this house and Alpro are usually about £1.49 for 4 organic but they are often on special offer and the expiry dates tend to be quite long (although the date on these isn’t I’ve just noticed from the picture, but he’ll eat them well before then) so I tend to stock up whenever they’re on sale.
I love Mirin and was convinced by my health food shop in Liverpool to try the Clearspring one rather than the synthetic one they had in stock even thought it was more expensive because the taste was better and I’d never buy another brand now. This organic version is even more expensive but I’ve never used more than a tablespoon at a time in a recipe so it lasts a long time.
I couldn’t be without a box of No Egg. I am not the type to happily blend down a few flax seeds for an egg replacer (all that washing up and picking them out of the grinder) and it’s hard to find an unclaimed banana in this house so No Egg always comes to my rescue and has never let me down. It’s not too expensive when you consider that a box will last me over a year, I’ve not tried to make quiche from it like they show on the box, maybe one day I’ll get up the nerve!
This agave nectar is available in most Sainsburys stores . Jim likes this on his plain yogurt when we don’t have any maple syrup and I’ve used it in all kinds of recipes (Dreena Burton seems to use a lot of it in her recipes) to great success. A little goes a long way so I only need one about every six months or so which spreads the cost quite nicely.
I can’t remember now why I bought harissa, I know I saw it in about 3 recipes in a week but now I can’t find any of them. I picked this up from the health food shop for a couple of pounds and I will use it one day!
My household is split on Marmite, as anyone in the UK will know the advert says you’ll either love it or hate it and Piggle is on the love side and Jim most definitely on the hate! I wasn’t a fan until I was pregnant with Piggle and had to get my B12 up as much as I could as my test results came back very low (perhaps that’s why he likes it, I ate a ton of it!). It adds a slightly meaty salty flavour to things and you can bung it in stews and soups or just have it on toast or sandwiches. The jars might be small but they seem to last forever, I buy perhaps 1 a year if that.
I’ve found this soya cream in supermarkets now and again and you can now also get a Provamel organic one from health food shops. Not only is it nice over deserts but it also doesn’t curdle in hot liquids which means you can use it in soups and also in your coffee if you’re so inclined. It’s pretty reasonably priced as well and you don’t have to refrigerate it until it’s open so you can keep it in the cupboard until you need it or find a use for it.
This is the margarine I normally use as it’s fortified and the Pure isn’t. It’s got a really nice taste (I am not a fan of their sunflower marg, it’s got an odd flavour) and will also solidify again after it’s been creamed in biscuits or whatever. I pay about £1.64 for it which isn’t cheap but it’s worth it to me to get the extra vitamins into the boys however I can. The organic one is nice as well but like all organic things they’re not allowed to fortify them.
This is what you want if your recipe says Vegetarian Oyster Sauce. It’s what it used to be called before Trading Standards made them change the name as there was no oysters in it. This is of course great in stir fries but I also just mix some through some noodles for lunch and it’s lovely. I have bought it from health food shops and Chinese supermarkets.
I found these in Asda and had to have some as I make so much Mexican food and had never seen jalapenos in the UK before. They’re pickled so they will last an age in the fridge and they taste really nice, giving that little bit of heat to a dish without blowing your head off or making your eyes water.
This is the usual brand of plain yogurt I buy for Jim and I have also baked with it and made dips and spreads from it and it works well in all things. It usually has a pretty long use by date and you can have it opened in the fridge for quite a while without it going off too which is useful when you have a 5 year old who wants some one day and then won’t touch it again for a week and a half. It’s available in most supermarkets and won’t cost you a ton. They’ve also changed the packaging recently too so you can peel off the cardboard label and recycle it which always amuses Jim!
Anyway, I hope some of that has been useful to someone somewhere and I’ll keep doing posts with new products as and when I find them.