The best vegan food: AMAZING easy-swap meat, cheese and treats

The ultimate guide to eating vegan and switching meat for plant-based alternatives. 🌱

The best vegan food: From meat and cheese to delicious treats

by William Lobley |

Making the switch to a vegan lifestyle this year? In that case, you'll be needing tasty meals and delicious snacks to see you through your plant-based challenge. Whether you’re normally a meat-eater, flexitarian or vegetarian, deciding to cut out dairy, meat and other animal products can be a daunting task. Luckily, switching to a vegan diet doesn’t have to be too difficult.

Veganism is hugely popular nowadays and as a result, the availability of plant-based meat substitutes, ready meals, snacks and treats has gone through the roof. While a healthy and balanced vegan diet relies largely on whole foods, the availability of easy-swap products can make the transition to eating plant-based really simple.

Whether you're turning vegan for health reasons, ethical concerns or just to challenge yourself to try something new, there are plenty of products now available to simplify things. Below, you'll see a list of our favourites.

How do we know that the products are good? Well, the team has tested them. Vegan, veggies and meat-eaters have all had a try of the products, meaning you know that when something is good, it can please everyone at the dinner table.

This list includes a mix of individual products, brands and ranges that you can trust to deliver flavourful and nutritious vegan food.

PLUS: We got the chance to talk to everyone's favourite Insta-vegans, Henry and Ian from BOSH!, about their new book BOSH! On A Budget. Head to the bottom of the page to see what they had to say.

Jump to:

The best vegan meat substitutes

Including: Dopsu, Moving Mountains, THIS and Taste & Glory

The best vegan snacks

Including: Nakd, Creative Nature, Eat Real and Lizi's

The best vegan cheese

Including: Applewood and Violife

The best vegan milk

Including: Oatly, Mighty and Alpro

The best vegan supplements

Including: Myvegan and Holland & Barrett

The best vegan substitute ingredients

Including: Chickpea flour, tofu and oat cream

BOSH! Interview

Frequently Asked Questions: Your Vegan Guide

Including: Tips, nutrition, vegan celebs, costs and the environment

PLANT-BASED MEATS: the best vegan meat substitutes

Vegan burgers being cooked in pan with oil
©Getty Images

Dopsu No-Meat Range

PERFECT for meat-eaters looking to go plant-based without losing flavours

Dopsu

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Dopsu closely copies the feel and flavour of different meats. This means you can easily switch out meat products in recipes for a vegan option. The products are great for anyone starting on their plant-based diet looking for quick wins.

We tasted it - here's what we thought: "The Dopsu range is perfect for meat-eaters wanting o to eat vegan easily: the entire range is convincingly meaty in look and taste. The only thing to watch out for is that they might not be great for anyone who has been veggie or vegan for a while - they might not be keen on the animal-like accuracy of the replacement."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Dopsu No-Beef Pieces | Dopsu No-Pork Pieces

Tesco: Dopsu No-Beef Pieces | Dopsu No-Pork Pieces | Dopsu No-Chicken Pieces

Morrisons: Dopsu No-Pork Pieces

Sainsbury's: Dopsu No-Beef Pieces | Dopsu No-Chicken Pieces

HECK Vegan Burgers and Sausages

HECK-in good meat replacements

HECK

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HECK is best known for its premium meat-filled sausages and burgers. Thankfully it has now brought its taste-making skills to plant-based eating. Its new vegan range boasts delicious 'Italia’ sausages and burgers, a 'Veg with Edge’ vegan breakfast sausage, as well as a meat-free chipolata.

We tasted it - here's what we thought: “The HECK vegan sausages are impressive. Packed with veggies and vegan cheese, they are really tasty with loads of flavours. My favourites were the chipolata sausages which were a great addition to a vegan fry up. The highlight of the HECK vegan range is the Italia Burger though - it blows minds. It’s full of protein and doesn’t fall apart like other bean burgers. Super tasty and an impressive alternative."

Buy it online:

HECK: Vegan Italia Burger | HECK Italia Chipolatas | HECK Breakfast Sausages

Tesco: HECK Meat Free Vegan Italia Sausages 10 Pack | Heck Vegan Italia Burgers

Moving Mountains Burger

A tasty treat

Moving Mountains Burger

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If you have managed to eat out over the past two years, then you've probably seen these burgers in restaurants. They get everywhere because they are delicious. They have a convincing meaty taste that pleases plant-eating newcomers, but that isn't too overpowering for long-time veggie eaters. Perfecto.

We tasted it - here's what we thought: "A real treat. The burger doesn't go too hard into the meatiness but has enough juicy umami flavour to convince plant-based newcomers. A really easy swap."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Moving Mountains 2 Plant-Based 1/4lb Burgers

Waitrose: Moving Mountains 2 Plant-Based 1/4lb Burgers

Ocado: Moving Mountains 2 Plant-Based 1/4lb Burgers

THIS Isn't Bacon

For the perfect plant-based fry-up

THIS Isn't Bacon

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THIS' fake bacon delivers, big time. It's got rich, smoky and salty flavours and a lovely breakable, flakeable texture. Ideal for a Saturday morning breakfast bagel.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Super delish and excellent for breakfast, lunch or dinner - a solid bacon replacement."

Buy it online:

Amazon: This Isn't Bacon Rashers

Tesco: This Isn't Bacon Rashers

Morrisons: This Isn't Bacon Rashers

Taste & Glory Meat Free Vegan Burgers

Full of glorious taste

Taste & Glory Meat Free Vegan Burgers

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High in protein and free of meat, Taste & Glory burgers are delicious. They are generously portioned and have a satisfying bite. They aren't too salty, either, which can be an issue with some vegan options. Perfect for barbecues.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Taste & Glory burgers are so good that even meat-eaters reach for more over animal-based options. As soon as it's warm enough, these will be on the barbecue every weekend for sure."

Buy it online:

Tesco: Taste & Glory Quarter Pounders

Ocado: Taste & Glory Quarter Pounders

Sainsbury’s: Taste & Glory Quarter Pounders

SNACKS: the best vegan snacks

Woman holding a bowl of fruit and granola with vegan yoghurt
©Getty Images

Nakd Wholefood Snack Bars

Perfect plant-based snacking

Nakd Wholefood Snack Bars

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Harnessing the delicious flavours of natural, unprocessed ingredients, Nakd wholefood bars give you a nice snacking boost in those mid-afternoon lulls. Our favourite is the Cashew Cookie, made from only dates for sweetness and cashew nuts for creaminess.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Nakd bars are proof that eating plant-based whole foods can be nutritious and easy."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Nakd 44 Bar 11 Flavour Selection

Tesco: (Four Packs) Nakd Cashew Cookie | Nakd Peanut Delight | Nakd Cocoa Delight | Nakd Lemon Drizzle | Nakd Blueberry Muffin | View all flavours here

Holland & Barrett: Pick and mix individual single flavours

LoveRaw M:LK Choc Bars

Better than dairy picks

LoveRaw M:LK Choc Bars

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LoveRaw is a vegan snack master, offering a host of choc bars to please even the most fastidious of treat-connoisseurs. It turns out if you remove milk, palm oil and gluten from the process, you leave extra room for flavour. Available in three flavours: Smooth Choc, Caramel and Orange. LoveRaw also offers Butter Cups and Cre&m Wafers.

We tried it - here's what we thought: “These bars are delicious and feel really indulgent; they have a really silky texture full of rich flavours. The extra flavour options are really high quality, with the caramel adding real luxury and the orange adding a natural, fruity kick.”

Buy it online:

Amazon: LoveRaw M:LK Choc Bar - All flavours

The Vegan Kind: LoveRaw M:LK Choc Smooth Choc | LoveRaw M:LK Choc Orange | LoveRaw M:LK Choc Salted Caramel

Mani-Life Peanut Butter

Full of peanuts, full of flavour

ManiLife Peanut Butter

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Mani-Life has a sustainable, palm oil-free line packed with different flavours of peanut butter made for every taste. Whether you like your peanut butter crunchy, smooth or deep roast, there's something for you here. There's even a Rich Cocoa special edition peanut butter for that chocolate fix. The best part? They're all vegan.

We tasted it - here's what we thought: "This peanut butter tastes like pure premium goods. It's got a lovely sticky texture and big pieces of peanut in the chunky options. I like that there’s a cocoa option for a sweeter taste, as well as a deep roast alongside the smooth and crunchy options. There’s no messing around here - it’s definitely a great option for both vegan peanut butter lovers."

Buy it online:

Ocado: Deep Roast Crunchy | Original Roast Crunchy | Original Roast Smooth | Deep Roast Smooth | Rich Cocoa Peanut

Amazon: Deep Roast Crunchy (1KG) | Original Roast Crunchy (1KG) | Original Roast Smooth (1 KG) | Deep Roast Smooth (1KG)

Holland & Barrett: Deep Roast Crunchy | Original Roast Crunchy

Creative Nature Bars

Post-gym vegan proteins

Creative Nature Bars

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Creative Nature makes super delish flapjack bars and protein bars. Both are free from dairy, gluten, wheat, and nut, and high in protein and full of flavour. Creative Nature Protein Bars are the ideal post-workout pick-me-up, and the Creative Nature Flapjacks deliver fruity and chocolatey goods for any sweet tooth.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Who relies on whey protein bars after trying these? Tasty and full of whole food ingredients, it's nature at its best. Good for you, good for the planet."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Creative Nature Protein Bars | Creative Nature Flapjacks

Ocado: View all Creative Nature products

Creative Nature Gnawbles

A chocolate hit for vegans

Creative Nature Gnawbles

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Good chocolatey snacks are not the easiest thing to find for anyone eating plant-based. Luckily, these Gnawbles fit the bill. The chocolate coating is rich, and the crunchy centres are super satisfying. Some flavours are even boosted with extra protein, which is good news for fitness addicts.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Yes - they 100% look like Maltesers, but the chocolate is much richer and deeper, and the centre is nutty and crunchy. The HazelNOT Gnawbles taste just like Ferrero Rocher."

Buy it online:

Amazon: (Six Packs) Salted Caramel Protein Gnawbles | Chocolate Orange Protein Gnawbles | HazelNOT Gnawbles | Mylk Chocolate Gnawbles

Ocado: View all Creative Nature products

Eat Real Hummus Crisps

Perfect for when you're carb-snacky

Eat Real Hummus Crisps

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The power of chickpea never ceases to amaze. Eat Real Hummus Crips do away with starchy potatoes and offer up baked slices of hummus for your snacking delight. They are lower in fat than traditional crisps, and they are free from loads of allergens, which means they can be enjoyed by pretty much everyone.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "An alternative to potatoes and vegetable crisps that does away with the grease and keeps the satisfying snap, crunch and flavour. It's a win-win!"

Buy it online:

Amazon: (Multipacks) Eat Real Sea Salt | Eat Real Tomato and Basil

Holland & Barrett: Eat Real Tomato and Basil | Eat Real Chilli and Lemon

The Vegan Kind: Eat Real Sour Cream & Chives | Eat Real Sea Salt

The Coconut Collaborative Dairy-Free Natural Yoghurt

Better than the real thing?

The Coconut Collaborative Dairy-Free Natural Yoghurt

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A super flexible food to have ready in your fridge. It uses coconut to mimic the texture of natural yoghurt and is good for having over fruit at lunch, in overnight breakfast pots or as the base for a tasty dressing.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "An instant go-to product for plant-based yoghurt. The subtle coconut flavour adds a nice edge to lots of dishes and goes really well with granola. But at the same time, it can easily be hidden in more flavourful recipes when needed."

Buy it online:

Tesco: Coconut Collaborative Dairy Free Natural Coconut Yogurt

Ocado: Coconut Collaborative Dairy Free Natural Coconut Yogurt

The Vegan Kind: Coconut Collaborative Dairy Free Natural Coconut Yogurt

The Skinny Food Co Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Flavoured Spread

For Nutella fans

The Skinny Food Co Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Flavoured Spread

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This delicious blend of chocolate and hazelnut is a luxurious treat, and contains zero palm oil for peace of mind.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "This stuff is DELICIOUS. So rich, velvety and perfect on toast, it's perfect for those craving Nutella and I love that it contains no palm oil."

Buy it online:

The Skinny Food Co: Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Lizi’s Granola

Nutritious and delicious

Liziu2019s Granola

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Looking for a sweet and crunchy fibre fix? Lizi's granola range is brimming with nuts, grains and seeds that provide some valuable nutrients, all while feeling like a treat. Several mixes are available, including Nuts & Seeds, Maple & Pecan, Mango & Macadamia and Passion Fruit & Pistachio. Low Sugar and High Protein mixes are also on offer.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Good flavours, lots of texture and sweet crunch. Plus, plenty of nutrients from the mix of seeds and nuts. It's really useful having a wide choice too, especially if you're trying to watch how much sugar you're having."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Lizi's Low Sugar Granola 1Kg Value Pack | View all Lizi’s Granola

Tesco: Lizi's Low Sugar Granola 500G | Lizi's Original Granola 500G

Waitrose: Lizi's Low Sugar Nuts & Seeds Granola 500G

Cauldron Falafel

Essential and flexible

Cauldron Falafel

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It's chickpeas to the rescue once again. This time, they are smashed up and mixed with Middle Eastern spices for added flavour and warmth. You can eat them cold from the fridge, with a salad, or warm them up and pop them in a wrap.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "100%, these are essential for any vegan fridge. They are great as a snack, on the side of a salad or in a wrap with greens, hummus and chillis. The only issue is making sure that you don't munch them all on day one."

Buy it online:

Ocado: Cauldron Middle Eastern Falafel | Cauldron Moroccan Spiced Falafel

Tesco: Cauldron Middle Eastern Falafel

Waitrose: Cauldron Middle Eastern Falafel

Sainsbury’s: Cauldron Middle Eastern Falafel

Morrisons: Cauldron Middle Eastern Falafel

CHEESY: the best vegan cheese

Vegan cheese on a plate with tomatoes
©Getty Images

Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative

Perfect for burgers

Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative

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Smokey, creamy, meltable and dairy-free, Applewood has worked out a secret vegan formula with delicious results. For burgers, there's nothing better.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Finding decent cheese has always been a major challenge in eating vegan. Thankfully, Applewood has nailed it here."

Buy it online:

Tesco: Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative

Ocado: Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative

The Vegan Kind: Applewood Vegan Smoky Cheese Alternative

Violife Cheese

Lots of cheese, if you please

Violife Cheese

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While Applewood has nailed the perfect vegan burger cheese, Violife has taken care of everything else. Its impressive range includes sliceable mature cheddar-like blocks, grate-able parmesan-style wedges and pizza-ready grated vegan mozzarellas.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "FINALLY! A brand goes all-in on vegan cheese. The huge range of Violife products means that you can really enjoy plant-based cooking and experimenting with cheese."

Buy it online:

Tesco: View the full range

Ocado: View the full range

The Vegan Kind: View the full range

Sacla Vegan Cheese Sauce

Because cheese

Sacla Vegan Cheese Sauce

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Comfort food alert drool. Sacla Vegan Cheese Sauce makes awesome mac and cheese, cauliflower cheese and lasagnas. It might even be better than the real deal.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "It's so well made and convincing that no one could tell the difference when it replaced the non-veggie pre-mix. I think they actually enjoyed it more."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Sacla Vegan Cheese Sauce

The Skinny Food Co High Protein Vegan Cheese Shaker

For those who really miss Parmesan

The Skinny Food Co High Protein Vegan Cheese Shaker

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This Parmesan dupe, made from soya flour and potato starch, is ideal if you're searching for a cheesy addition to your pasta and sauces.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "Nothing finishes off a pasta dish like a sprinkling of Parmesan, and this is a really good fake for the real, dried stuff you find in supermarkets. It's also low calorie, so you don't feel an ounce of guilt when you forget to say 'when'."

Buy it online:

The Skinny Food Co: High Protein Vegan Cheese Shaker

BOSH! NOOCH!

WAY better than it looks

BOSH! NOOCH!

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NOOCH! isn't directly trying to be cheese. It's a natural foodstuff that adds a deep, cheesy flavour to vegan dishes. Add this to some homemade mac and cheese and prepare to be impressed. The technical name is Nutritional Yeast, and there are loads of brands offering delicious little flakes, but most vegans call it 'Nooch' because the real name sounds gross. As a nice little bonus, it's fortified with vitamins, so it's an easy source of Vitamin B12 for plant-based dieters.

We tried it - here's what we thought: "The stuff looks like flakey fish food. But the taste is the bomb - it adds a huge amount of cheesy flavouring and deep moreishness. A staple ingredient in any cheesy pasta dish."

Buy it online:

Ocado: 100g BOSH! NOOCH!

Morrisons: 100g BOSH! SMOKY NOOCH!

The Vegan Kind: 100g BOSH! NOOCH!

NON-DAIRY: the best vegan milk

Pouring vegan milk onto a bowl of breakfast cereal
©Getty Images

Oatly Oat Drinks

Tasty and full of good stuff

Oatly Oat Drinks

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Who knew that liquid oats were so good? Oat Drink is the brand's basic offering and is full of healthy goodness, including proteins, healthy fats and B12. For fans of fancy coffees, the Barista blend of Oat Drink will keep your cappuccinos frothy and dairy-free, while Chocolate and Vanilla flavours for a tasty treat. For anyone wanting to be pure as can be, the Organic option has three ingredients: oats, water and a pinch of salt.

Buy it online:

Tesco: Oatly Original | Oatly Barista | Oatly Skinny | Oatly Organic

Ocado: Oatly Original | Oatly Barista | Oatly Skinny | Oatly Organic

Mighty M.LK

Mighty nutritious, mighty delicious

Mighty M.LK

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Using pea protein and other low-water, environmentally friendly ingredients, M.LK is a dairy milk alternative that's delicious and good for the planet. Its creamy taste and smooth texture make it an easy swap for cereals, smoothies and baking. In terms of nutrition, M.LK has plenty of Vitamin D, B-12 and protein, and more calcium than cow's milk.

Buy it online:

Mighty Drinks: Mighty M.LK Original | Mighty M.LK Protein Oat | Mighty M.LK Unsweetened | Mighty M.LK Barista

Tesco: Mighty M.LK Original | Mighty M.LK Unsweetened

Ocado: Mighty M.LK Original | Mighty M.LK Unsweetened

Holland & Barrett: Mighty M.LK Original | Mighty M.LK Unsweetened

Alpro No-Sugars Soya Milk

An easy-switch from dairy milks

Alpro No-Sugars Soya Milk

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Soya milk is a hugely popular option for anyone stepping away from dairy milk, and Alpro is among the best options. It's good on cereal and in hot drinks. We recommended the unsweetened version to keep your sugary intake to a minimum.

Buy it online:

Tesco: Alpro Soya No Sugar Chilled Drink 1 Litre

The Vegan Kind: Alpro Soya No Sugars Long Life Milk

Panther Milk Original Bottled Cocktail

View offer

This isn't a vegan milk alternative that you'd put in your morning cuppa, but it definitely deserves a mention. Panther Milk is a vegan, pre-mixed cocktail made with oat milk, and it's a delicious, unique treat. Available in standard, chocolate, mint and strawberry flavours, it's delectable over ice with a dash of cinnamon.

We tasted it - here's what we thought: "Oh wow, this is something special. With all the creaminess of Baileys but the booziness of a hot toddy, this quirky drink is perfect for summer or winter."

Buy it online:

Amazon: Panther Milk Original Bottled Cocktail, 750ml

Panther Milk: Panther Milk Alcoholic Oat Milk

HEALTHY: the best vegan supplements

Vegan supplement in focus with more at rear, all orange
©Unsplash

Myvegan Pea Protein Powder

Plant-powered gains

Myvegan Pea Protein Powder

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There's plenty of protein to be had naturally through a balanced vegan diet. However, if you're chasing those gains, a little pea-powered boost might be in order. This all-plant powder delivers 21g of protein per serving, and is low in sugar and high in fibre. Available in four flavours and two sizes; 1kg and 2.5kg.

MORE PLANT PROTEIN: Read more about the best vegan and plant-based protein powders here.

Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral Tablets

Keep topped up as you switch the plant-based

Holland & Barrett Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral Tablets

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If you're new to a vegan diet and struggling to work out the nutritional recipes that work for you, some supplements can help give you what your body needs in the meantime. Holland & Barret Vegan Multivitamin supplements include Vitamin B12, calcium, iron, zinc and folic acid.

GYM BUNNY SUPPLEMENTS: The best pre-workout supplements to make the most of your gym session

EASY-SWAPS: the best vegan substitute ingredients

Vegan ingredients out on table, including tempeh/tofu
©Pexels

Amisa Chickpea Flour

For more than just baking

Amisa Chickpea Flour

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Chickpea flour is a versatile gluten-free ingredient used to thicken sauces, batter food or bind homemade burgers. It's ideal for making Indian cuisine staples, like flatbread, and as an ingredient in vegan omelettes.

Buy it online:

Holland & Barrett: Amisa Gluten Free & Organic Chick Pea Flour 400g

CRACKD The No-Egg Egg Replacer

Rise without the eggs

CRACKD The No-Egg Egg Replacer

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A whole load of natural ingredients get blended to create an egg replacement that helps mixtures thicken and rise - perfect for cakes, pancakes and Yorkshire puddings.

Buy it online:

Morrisons: Crackd The No-Egg Egg

The Vegan Kind: Crackd The No-Egg Egg

The Tofoo Co. Tofu

Be impressed, get it pressed

The Tofoo Co. Tofu

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At its best, tofu is the main star of a meal and you should definitely hunt down some good tofu recipes. However, it's also handy as a substitute for scrambled eggs and chicken pieces in stir-fries. Just remember to get it pressed ahead of cooking.

Buy it online:

Tesco: The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu | The Tofoo Co. Organic Tofu Teriyaki

Waitrose: The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu | The Tofoo Co. Organic Tofu Smoked

Morrison: The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu

Ocado: The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu | The Tofoo Co. Naked Tofu XL | The Tofoo Co. Tofu Teriyaki

Oatly Creamy Oat

Perfect for sauces

Oatly Creamy Oat

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Oatly Creamy Oat is the ideal replacement for cream in recipes. It's silky and thick, which is just what you need for sauces and curries.

Buy it online:

Amazon: (Multipack) Oatly Creamy Oat

Tesco: Oatly Creamy Oat | Oatly Whippable Creamy Oat

Waitrose: Oatly Creamy Oat | Oatly Whippable Creamy Oat

The Vegan Kind: Oatly Creamy Oat

Flora Plant Butter

Perfect for toast, great for baking

Flora Plant Butter

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Creamy, mellow and moreish, Flora Plant Butter should be a staple of any vegan cooks and bakers. Available in Salted and Unsalted, it's even great on some crumpets.

Buy it online:

Tesco: Flora Plant Butter Salted | Flora Plant Butter Unsalted

Morrisons: Flora Plant Butter Salted | Flora Plant Butter Unsalted

The Vegan Kind: Flora Plant Butter Salted

The Skinny Food Co Vegan Honey

We tried it - here's what we thought: "I love a bit of honey on toast or in vegan yoghurt, and this definitely scratches the itch. It tastes similar to honey but it does have an aftertaste of artificial sweetener. Mixed in to other things, it mellows it out."

Buy it online:

The Skinny Food Co: Vegan Honey

INTERVIEW: Ian & Henry from BOSH! 🌱

Ian and Henry, and their new book BOSH! On A Budget

To celebrate their latest recipe book, BOSH! On A Budget, we chatted with Henry Firth and Ian Theasby to find out a little more about vegan cooking and what makes them tick. Here's what we found out:

So, the new books BOSH! On A Budget shows that eating vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. Do you have any other money-saving life hacks around preparing vegan food and finding ingredients?

• Batch cook, freeze and save for later.

• Buy in bulk

• Don’t buy too much packaged vegan food like burgers and chicken

• Buy fresh veggies - they’re actually pretty cheap

• Buy frozen veggies - they’re really cheap

Top tip each on switching to, and maintaining, a plant-based diet?

Henry: Watch a few documentaries on veganism like Cowspiracy. The information in those films will definitely legitimise and reinforce your decision to go plant-based.

Ian: Gorge on plant-based recipe videos on the internet - a couple of hours of those will make you realise you never have to miss out on a plant-based diet!

What international cuisine is your favourite to adapt into a vegan version?

We’re big fans of curry. The flavours and textures are amazing and there are SO many varieties. We’ve got a fair few curries in our new book - all of which are super delicious and actually pretty healthy!

Favourite meal each from any of the BOSH books?

Henry: The Tofu Madras in BOSH! On a Budget! is the stuff dreams made of.

Ian: The Mushroom Wellington from our first book has a special place in my heart as it’s become the go-to option for vegans at Christmas. It’s really lovely to know that people are tucking into our grub with their nearest and dearest on the special day.

Would you rather live in a world with no chillies OR no garlic?

Henry: No garlic, I LOVE chillies.

Ian: No chillies, I like chillies but garlic gets my vote!

Is there an ingredient either of you just can’t stomach?

Henry: I was never a big fan of eggs and to be honest I’m not that keen on vegan egg replacements either!

Ian: Meat – ha!

BOSH! on a Budget by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ, HarperCollins) is available for £16.99. Head to their website now www.Bosh.TV

Also available: BOSH! Cookbook | BISH BASH BOSH! | BOSH! Healthy Vegan | Speedy BOSH! | BOSH! How to Live Vegan

QUESTIONS: your vegan and plant-based questions answered

Plant based text
©Pexels

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary is the name of a charity and the month-long campaign it runs, which “encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond.”

Veganuary has a mission: it wants a world free of animal farming and slaughter, emissions and land damage, and to help improve health.

As with similar month-long campaigns like Movember, Dry January and Stoptober, Veganuary has grown in popularity as an event to get involved in for all people.

For example, many see the doubling-up of Veganuary and Dry January as the perfect excuse to detox after Christmas and New Year, all while being supported by others doing the same.

Tips from the team:

We asked around the office for some advice from vegans on switching to a plant-based diet. Here are their top tips:

• Stock up on cookbooks and recipes, and don’t be afraid to experiment

• Follow vegan pages on social media for handy hacks, recipes and tips

• Just give everything a go - every new recipe could be your new favourite meal

• Cook fresh and you'll fall in love with cooking - plus, cooking is quicker when there's no meat involved

• Learn to cook tofu - it makes life very easy

• Going vegan doesn't have to happen overnight - take your time and enjoy the process.

• If you like milk in your coffee and tea, give the plant-based milk a chance. They taste different, but you soon come around to the new flavour

• Don't be afraid to try new flavours, spice and ingredients

• Use substitute ingredients make your old favourites - there are loads of clever ingredients that still let you have omelettes, cakes and more

Did you know these celebs are vegan?

Beyoncé - in January 2019, she announced via Instagram that any fans who took the plunge to follow a plant-based diet would be in with the chance of winning concert tickets for life.

Ariana Grande - In an interview with The Mirror, the U.S singer revealed, "I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding. I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length and make you an all-around happier person."

Meghan Markle - Veganism has even had an impact on the royals, too. According to reports, Prince Harry received a diet overhaul by vegan wife, Meghan.

Will.I.AM - Not one to do things quietly, Will.I.AM announced his new vegan diet on Instagram in 2018, declaring himself a part of the '#VGang'.

Who else? - Billie Eilish, Elliot Page, Lewis Hamilton, Lizzo, Russell Brand, Fearne Cotton and many, many more...

What are the health benefits of eating plant-based foods?

Eating a balanced vegan diet can be very healthy and provide your body with all the nutrients it needs. Here are a few areas where studies show the benefits of a vegan diet:

Increased intake of nutrientsStudies have shown that eating a healthy plant-based diet can increase your intake of vitamin A, C and E, fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and folate.

Weight management– First things first: we do not advocate counting calories. However, it’s a fact that a healthy and balanced vegan diet delivers the same (or more) nutritional value as a meat-based diet in fewer calories. With correctly portioned and nutritionally balanced meals, a vegan will typically consume considerably fewer calories than other diet types (up to 600 fewer, according to some studies). This, coupled with healthy exercise, quality rest and general wellbeing, could help manage weight.

Lower risks of type 2 diabetes – According to studies, vegans have lower blood sugar levels and have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, you can undo this benefit out if you have too many carbohydrates, sweetened plant milk, fruit juices and ready-made meals.

Reduced risk of certain cancers – The World Health Organisation notes that maintaining a healthy weight and following a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables are two methods of lessening the risk of developing cancer. Some research has also shown that lowering meat intake and regularly eating legumes (beans, lentils, soybeans, etc) can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 18 per cent.

Are there any health risks when going vegan?

Nutrition: Vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fats

Meats, eggs and dairy products are reliable protein, calcium, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12 sources. Happily, so long as you eat a balanced and varied diet, a vegan diet can fulfil all your dietary and nutritional requirements.

In a plant-based diet, a main source of protein is legumes (beans, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, etc). Calcium and iron are also in legumes, as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, and tofu. Omega-3 fatty acids are easy to get too, thanks to walnuts, seeds like flax, hemp and chia, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin B-12 is a little harder to come by naturally without eating meat, but vegan supplements and fortified vegan milk are readily available. It's also found in Marmite.

While vitamin B-12 is hugely important, only small amounts are required, so fortified foods do the trick. For example, women need around 1.5 micrograms of B-12 per day, but 600 micrograms of Vitamin A.

Be careful of increased sugar consumption

Overdoing your sugar consumption is a really easy mistake to make when switching to a plant-based diet.

Vegan desserts are often loaded with added sugar, so treat yourself to them in moderation. Sweetened nut and oat milk are also high in added sugars, and eating more fruit and drinking more fruit juices can also have a huge effect on your daily sugar intake.

Being mindful of your diet, picking unsweetened milks and balancing your fruit intake are really easy ways of making sure that your sugar levels are controlled.

The NHS has a reliable guide on what vegans need to have a nutrient-rich and well-rounded diet, which you can read here.

It seems like a lot to think about...

It can seem overwhelming when first transitioning to veganism and plant-based eating to consider all these nutritional requirements and learn new recipes. But, so long as you’re maintaining a varied and balanced vegan diet, you’ll regularly be seeing these nutrient-rich ingredients in your meals.

If you have any ongoing health issues or medical conditions affected by diet, you may want to consult your GP before going vegan.

What are the environmental benefits of eating vegan?

Reducing your consumption of meat and dairy lowers your carbon footprint significantly. This is because the farming of livestock produces a large proportion of the globe’s carbon emissions. Many experts and researchers consider the widespread adoption of plant-based eating is essential to protecting the planet from the effects of global warming.

According to research from the UN, global livestock accounts for 14.5 per cent of all human-created emissions. In this, 65 per cent is from raising cattle for meat and dairy products. Beef and cattle milk production lead in emissions created, followed closely by pig-based foods.

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Is being vegan expensive?

No, being a vegan and eating a plant-based diet is not expensive. The whole foods needed for vegan eating are cheaper than those of vegetarian, flexitarian and meat-based diets.

According to research by Oxford University, vegan diets are the "most affordable and reduced food costs by up to one third”.

BUT this study only talks about vegan shopping that uses whole foods. If you rely heavily on ready-meals, takeaways and meat replacements, you are unlikely to see much of a change in your food bill.

If you’re looking to go vegan and take full advantage of cheaper shopping bills, we recommend cooking delicious and healthy vegan meals from fresh using whole ingredients wherever possible.

Our sister site What's The Best has a list of the best vegan cookbooks. Any one of these books will get you cooking exciting meals in no time.

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