Vegan Treats We Love
Posted by NEOM Organics
You might not know but it is said that Veganuary will surpass the trend for ‘dry January’ – apparently more than 250,000 of us are expected to sign up to the challenge!
Google has also revealed that a third of search queries point to an interest in becoming vegan with one in ten searches linked to the health benefits.
Let’s be honest, unless you’ve spent the last 12 months avoiding supermarkets, restaurants and café’s you’ll have noticed the surge of vegan fare on offer. From meat alternatives to innovative ways to up your fruit and veg intake, dairy-free and meat-free menus are everywhere. And it isn’t just limited to main meals. Treats and desserts are taking centre stage with egg-free cakes and milk-free chocolate working their way onto shelves all over the country.
“We are seeing increasing demand year or year for our vegan-friendly chocolate items and I think it will continue to expand as more and more consumers rethink their eating habits and even if they’re not fully vegan, will eat and drink a greater proportion of plant-based foods,” says Claire Burnet, co-founder of chocolate brand, Chococo.
Not sure what to swap your Dairy Milk for this festive season? No problem - we’ve taken one for the team and done the taste tests for you and can guarantee that the below will satisfy your sweet tooth and then some – because who wants to do meat-free Mondays without pudding? Plus, if you’ve got any vegan friends and family to buy for this season, it’s a surefire way to get them on side. Oh, and one other thing - recent research found that eating dark chocolate can help lower stress levels*…like we needed an excuse!
From their infamous slabs to their giant buttons to the new Rare & Vintage collection that features the divine Honduras bars, Hotel Chocolat is a vegan paradise. That said, up until now it’s all been dark chocolate but in January they’ll be revealing Nutmilk – their first vegan milk chocolate that’s been five years in the making. Milk-free and using finely milled hazelnuts, it won’t just be vegans going mad for it when it arrives. Until then, count down the days with one of their free from advent calendars!
These artisan chocolatiers launched in 2002 and while they’ve always catered for vegans there’s now a whopping 43 treats to choose from on their website, including their vegan milk chocolate version that’s made from cashews. Dedicated to ethical and sustainable practises, most of the packaging is made from cardboard or compostable woodpulp too so it’s good vibes all round. Our top picks include the ginormous festive chocolate salami (how ironic) and the Hot Chocolate Flakes.
Now a B certified company, Doisy & Dam source their cocoa from Columbia and have a tight-knit relationship with the farmers there which is always nice to know. Set up by two businessmen on a mission to spread the word about the benefits of dark chocolate, unusual flavours like the lemon, poppy seed and baobab and maple toasted rice and pink salt shouldn’t be missed. Neither should the new nut butter cups. Filled with hazelnut or almond butter, they quite literally melt in your mouth.
Raw chocolate that uses cacao not cocoa, it means these bars are basically a superfood! Different in texture to traditional chocolate, they have solid bars that come in flavours like Mandarin, Coconut and Goji Berry as well as original and ‘centres’ bars that are next level delicious, especially the pistachio or raspberry & coconut. Be warned – they’re addictive and if you go for a big bar there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to ‘save some for later’. Extra bonus points because the packaging is all compostable.
Another raw chocolate brand that’s new on the scene and landing in Holland & Barratt right about now, Enjoy! blends organic raw cacao powder, organic cacao butter and organic coconut sugar to make it’s creamy base. From here they’ve gone all out and produced a range that includes fudge, mint and coconut flavours as well as the UK’s first ever caramel-filled chocolate button for vegans. We were sold from the start! All accredited by the Soil Association and Vegan Society, no (chocolate) box has been left unticked.
Not only are these delicious bite-sized nuggets dairy-free, they’re date-free as well – a big opinion divider when it comes to healthy snacks. Using dried plums instead that are high in antioxidants but low in sugar, they also contain pea protein making them perfect for those mid-morning or mid-afternoon lulls. Plus they’re packaged in snack-size bags (ideal for portion control!). If you’re a chocaholic go for the choc orange brownie flavour or if you like lighter, fruitier flavours, the Lemon with coconut is a must.
Wanting to tap into those cake-loving vegans, new brand Bells & Whistles has produced a range of cake slices that hope to take on Mr Kipling. Except they contain no gluten, dairy or wheat. In Berry & Cashew, Ginger & Apricot and Nut Truffle, they don’t have the light, fluffy sponge appeal but they are flavoursome and have a yummy biscuity-textured base that’s made up of dried fruit, nuts and cocoa butter. With four in a pack, we haven’t been able to stop at just one slice yet! Available at Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Waitrose.