Happy New Year! Goodbye 2020, hello 2021, thank goodness that year is over. In the spirit of focusing on a healthy lifestyle, we have compiled a list with a few of our favourite vegan things. With Lifestyle challenges such as Veganuary or dry January as well as a focus on all things health and wellness, especially given what’s going on in the world right now, our January’s Top Picks – Vegan Edition, will hopefully help give any reader a little inspiration.
In recent years, Veganuary (going vegan for the month of January) has gained in popularity and fortunately it is now easier than ever to swap your diet to a plant based one. When I first participated in Veganuary, in 2015, I found it so hard to know what to buy and where to buy it. Labels weren’t clear, there were little to no specific vegan ranges in supermarkets and I really wasn’t educated enough about how to go vegan… cold turkey! However, thankfully, many supermarkets now have their own range of plant based food and there are some awesome vegan meal choices out there, such as Wicked Healthy and Naked Glory – have you tried their vegan sausages, they are delicious. So, we thought we’d help by sharing a few of our favourite vegan things, to help you have a healthy veganuary.
January’s Top Picks – Vegan Edition
Vegan Snacks –
There are so many choices available out there now, but here are a few of our favourites…
- Sankofa Plantain Chips
Sankofa’s plantain chips are delicious and incredibly moreish. Paired with guacamole, plantain chips are a yummy snack or starter. Plantain has lots of health benefits; it is rich in vitamins A, C, B6 and potassium and is also high in fibre and antioxidants. Most of their flavours are vegan, yes, even the chill beef flavour! However, not the chicken with ginger as this flavour includes milk.
Find out more at sankofasnacks.com
- Nākd Bars
These have been a firm favourite of mine since I first tried Veganuary and rivals popcorn as my favourite go-to snack! Made with 100% natural ingredients, these handy pocket sized bars are packed with nutritional fruit and nuts making a delicious and healthy treat. They are dairy free, gluten free and wheat free. I love the salted caramel flavour, it’s so delicious and I can’t believe it’s a healthy snack! Yum.
Find out more at eatnakd.com
- MyVitamins Beauty Bites
MyVitamins has a range of vitamins and supplements, some of which are vegan, and they have recently introduced their ‘bites’ range. The ‘Beauty’ Bites in particular are vegan (the energy and bio bites contain milk). These yummy bites are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals so you can support your general wellbeing anywhere, anytime. Packed with protein and fibre, the beauty bites are the perfect pre workout for that boost of energy or a post workout snack.
Find out more at myvitamins.com
Vegan Meals –
Cooking from fresh is best, then you know exactly what goes into your food. If you are new to a vegan diet and about to hit the supermarket, our advice is to be prepared; do your research, especially before scanning the aisles! It will make for a much easier shopping trip! If all else fails, there are now plenty of vegan restaurants available for delivery…phew!
- Vegan Recipe Books
There are loads of free recipes and inspiration on Veganuary’s website; my favourite is the sweet potato quesadilla, it’s yummy. However, if you prefer a cookbook, there are plenty of vegan cookbooks out there, packed with variety – contrary to popular belief, a vegan diet is not bland. Check out our favourite chef and Healthylivinglondon writer GourmetGlow and her recipes. She caters for many diets, but we love her vegan range, especially her jackfruit concoctions.
Find out more at gourmetglow.co.uk
- M&S Plant Kitchen
One of my favourite ranges is the Plant Kitchen at M&S. I especially love their sweet potato katsu curry, it’s hearty, filling and yummy. They also introduced a Christmas range, which was just lovely. The plant kitchen is a handy ready meal range that is now available on Ocado too… now, if we can only just get a delivery slot.
Find out more at M&S Plant Kitchen.
- Huel’s Nutritionally Complete Food
Huel’s range of nutritional complete food is vegan, lactose-free, GMO-free, and it’s approved by registered nutritionists. I like it because it’s so easy to make, plus it’s full of protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals. It’s a great kickstart to a new year cleanse and detox, after a rather indulgent Christmas, again! I have recently enjoyed their Thai green curry meal, made with rice, quinoa, vegetables, herbs and spices, plus hot water. So simple to make, I then decided to try other flavours. The Tomato and Herb meal is hearty and warming. I also love their grab and go, ready to drink shakes, though I’m not actually going anywhere!!! I just received their Salted Caramel and Banana flavours too, which I’m looking forward to trying. I recommend Huel as a nutritious, easy to make meal, that will set you on the right path to a healthy 2021.
Find out more at uk.huel.com
If you’re struggling to get out to the supermarkets now or are isolating, there are several food delivery companies that can bring vegan food straight to your door. One of my favourite takeout restaurants is Mildreds and Deliveroo will bring your dinner straight to you. Not only that, but Mildred’s has recently launched their at home boxes which start from £25, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you can cook it yourself! I have the Mildred’s cookbook and it’s packed with yummy recipes.
Find out more at mildreds.co.uk
Vegan Desserts –
So many to choose from, but what we’re addicted to at the moment…
- Coconut Collaborative
I’ve recently become hooked on the Coconut Collaborative plain coconut yogurt. I’ve been heaping it on fruit, mince pies and even in my dahls to make them extra creamy. It is so delicious, tart and creamy that I can’t get enough! And the yogurt is just the tip of the Coconut Collaborative iceberg. They also offer desert pots – including banoffee and salted caramel chocolate – as well as ice cream, both by the tub and by the salted caramel, chocolate dipped ice cream stick! I was also really excited to discover on their site that they work with Pur Project to plant thousands of coconut trees to support Southeast Asian farmers in Bali and that they use bioplastic to make their pots.
Find out more at coconutco.co.uk
~ Lizzy Silverton
- Luminary Bakery’s Vegan Chocolate
My other guilty pleasure is the Luminary Bakery’s Vegan Chocolate, Coconut and Cherry Brownies. The Luminary Bakery has locations in Stoke Newington and Camden, although you can also order products online. Aside from the cakes being truly delicious, the ethos behind the bakery is close to my heart. It is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for disadvantaged women to build a future for themselves. They offer a safe and professional environment where women can grow holistically: encouraging ambition, restoration and second chances.
We use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferrable skills for the working world. We offer courses, work experience and paid employment within our bakery, empowering women to build their career. By investing in and releasing them to realise their dreams – through training, employment and community – we aim to break cycles of poverty, violence and disadvantage once and for all.Luminary Bakery
Find out more at luminarybakery.com
~ Lizzy Silverton
Vegan Drinks –
It seems obvious that most drinks are vegan, but it would shock you to discover that some are not even vegetarian! Did you know that some wines, for example, are made using animal-derived fining agents in the production process… ugh! Check out Virgin Wines article here.
- Rude Health
There are now many alternatives to milk, such as almond milk or oat milk and my favourite, coconut milk – makes a delicious hot chocolate. Rude Health has a variety of milks that are delicious, plus, they have a free online recipe section here.
Find out more at rudehealth.com
- Heartsease Farm Presse
I received a surprise gift from Heartsease Farm just in time for Christmas. My auntie is a nondrinker and she was delighted at the selection of presses on offer. Heartsease Farm create premium presses that are perfect for dry January. They are sweet, sparkling, made with fresh fruits and they taste delicious. For those not participating in dry January, they can also be used as a cocktail ingredient; add rum to the Ginger Beer for a delicious Moscow Mule, yum!
Find out more about Heartsease Farm here.
- Jin Jin Enzyme Cordial
These are possibly the cutest ‘shot’ bottles I’ve ever come across! Each 20ml bottle contains an ‘enzyme cordial’ of 35 fruits, vegetables and gut-healthy bacteria. I loved the story of how it came about – founder, Sohn Supradya Aursudkij’s husband suffered terribly from eczema on his hands (just like me!) and so her father sent her an enzyme cordial all the way from Thailand. Essentially, this cordial relieved his hands and Sohn decided to introduce it to the UK in order to help others suffering similar issues. I’ve been enjoying these mixed with fizzy water and a squeeze of lime – it’s refreshing and a great way to start the day.
Find out more at drinkjinjin.com
~ Eliza Flynn
Further Vegan Reading Inspiration From Healthylivinglondon –
Got something you think we’d love? Send Healthy Living London an email to find out more.