What are my favourite vegan alternatives for meat, dairy, etc.? Find out by clicking on the video below where I talked about my favourite vegan alternatives (and scroll down to see a quick list of these products)!
While I always suggest eating a predominantly whole foods plant based diet for your health and your wallet, vegan alternatives or substitutes are a great way to add in more convenience, flavour and variety to your vegan diet. Most people think that going vegan will be especially hard because you’ll be taking out meat, eggs, and dairy products and that you’ll have to give up on all your favourite foods.
This isn’t true at all; nowadays, there are a TON of vegan food products out there that make great substitutes for the food we were used to eating. Vegan mayo, almond milk, Beyond Burger patties?! It is a long list, my friends, but (almost always) there will always be a vegan substitute near you (in the grocery store, of course! :p).
This is NOT to say that you need these products in your diet – in fact, I don’t eat substitutes too often but instead eat meals focused primarily on whole foods. I can’t stress enough the importance of focusing primarily on whole foods while adding a small amount of substitutes and processed foods into your diet. We can’t deny the comfort and convenience of having some awesome vegan alternatives available, after all.
In this blogpost, I list down all my favourite vegan alternatives for dairy, meat, and other types of food that I was used to eating before I went vegan.
Don’t forget to watch the video above for a more detailed walkthrough, but you may also scroll down to quickly see what’s in my favourites list!
Fake meats could be expensive and definitely a hit or a miss. But trust me, we’ve come a LONG way when it comes to vegan meat alternatives!
Here are some of my favourite brands:
- Beyond Meat – has a really good, distinctive taste and in my opinion, carries the best vegan burger patty!
- Yves – a Canadian brand which is cheaper than Beyond Meat but tastes really good, too. I especially love their burger patties (which are not too gigantic) and their veggie dogs (they taste like the classic all American hotdog!).
- Soy Curls – these are dehydrated pieces of soy meat that can easily be rehydrated by soaking them in water. Highly versatile and soaks up a lot of flavour!
- Canadians – you can get these at www.vegansupply.ca
- Gardein – although this brand is pricier, I really think they have tons of great-tasting options! I highly recommend trying out their Turk’y Cutlets, Crabless Cakes and any of their other breaded products!
Some other popular options:
- Impossible Foods – people either prefer this or Beyond Meat. Not my personal favourite but some people love this!
- Lightlife Foods – I’ve tried a few products from Lightlife Foods and I think they have some great options although it can be a hit or a miss.
- Tofurky – again, a hit or a miss but they’ve been around a while and have a large product line.
- Field Roast
For the non-dairy milk category, I usually gravitate toward a brand called Silk However, I don’t really use that much non-dairy milk unless it’s for my recipes (creamy pasta, anyone?). Which is why I don’t buy as much but make some at home using this plant-based milkmaker – Almond Cow (check out this link if you’re interested!).
Some popular non-dairy milk brands:
- Oatly – my favourite oat milk! I used to get this all the time when I lived in London. Sadly I can’t find it in Canada…
- Rice Dream – rice milk.
- So Delicious – wide range of products including coconut milk and almond milk.
- Sproud – pea protein milk!
- Becel Vegan Margarine – this is a vegan margarine brand that I often use for cooking. I like this because it can be easily found in my grocery store and it’s affordable – plus it comes in a huge tub!
Some popular vegan butter options:
- Earth Balance – popular brand that has been around for a long time.
- Miyoko’s – lots of people love this one although I have not tried it. The downside is that this is very expensive.
- Chao Cheese (Field Roast) – it melts really well and tastes great, in my opinion! Not cheap though…
- Follow Your Heart / Earth Island – I love these cheddar slices, they are perfect for grilled cheese!
- Daiya – this is probably the most widely available vegan cheese out there. I used to have a love hate relationship with this brand because it was the only (somewhat decent) vegan cheese brand available at the time I gave up cheese but it had a really strange taste (old school vegans know what I’m talking about). But I think they’ve improved their flavour significantly.
- Miyoko’s Vegan Mozz – this one is almost like yogurt to me as it tastes very cultured, but it’s pretty good. Not amazing, but melts well, tastes pretty good and it works well for what it is intended for.
- Tofu – best egg substitute, in my opinion! I often use tofu as an egg replacement because it’s actually a good source of protein, too! Very versatile and delicious! Check out my Scrambled Tofu Seasoning to make delicious scrambled tofu every time.
- For baking – if you’re looking for a egg substitute to bake with, you can just use apple sauce, ground flax seeds, or chia seeds to replicate the same egg-like consistency.
Other popular egg substitutes:
- Just Egg – I haven’t tried this yet because it isn’t available in Canada, but I heard it functions well as an egg substitute, although it is quite expensive (Let me know what you think if you’ve tried it!)
- VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart – this was the popular “vegan egg” for some time (before Just Egg). It’s not too bad if you are really craving an egg taste, but for me, scrambled tofu does the job better.
- Maison Riviera – I have tried their flavoured ones before and really liked it. I’m not sure if I like the plain version yet, but it’s not too bad.
Some popular brands with vegan yogurt options:
- So Delicious
- Ben & Jerry’s Vegan Ice Creams – they are all quite good!
- Magnum Non-Dairy Ice Cream Bars – super yum
- Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Ice Cream – delicious!!
Chocolate itself is vegan, but most companies make milk chocolates, which makes it not vegan. There are tons of chocolates out there that are 100% vegan — just make sure to check the ingredients list to see that it doesn’t contain milk!
- Lindt 85% Cacao – my favourite! I don’t often eat chocolates but I like having a piece for dessert. I like this because I can easily find it in the grocery store and it’s not overly bitter, sweet enough but not too sweet, and melts nicely.
- Hellmann’s Vegan Mayonnaise – my favourite! Relatively inexpensive and easy to find in grocery stores. It tastes just like mayo from what I remember – my roommate even uses this now instead of regular mayo.
Other popular vegan mayo brands:
- Follow Your Heart Vegenaise
- Nasoya Vegan Nayonaise
- Thrive Market Vegan Mayo
Like chocolate, popcorn itself is vegan but many brands like to add milk products into popcorn which makes it not vegan. Here are a few vegan-friendly brands:
- Orville Redenbacher “Simply Salted” – simply salted popcorn that you can pop in the microwave!
- Boom Chicka Pop – yummy popcorn in a giant bag! What’s not to like!
I’m not an expert in protein powders and I’m always willing to try out and test different protein powders. Let me know if you have a favourite!
- LeanFit Plant Based Protein – sold in Costco. We use this in our vegan cafe, and it adds a really good amount of sweetness and I love it in smoothies. I feel that this makes smoothies taste better without chalkiness.
Some popular vegan protein powder brands:
- Garden of Life Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
- Orgain Simple Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
- Now Sports Pea Protein Powder
- Vega Protein Powders