You don’t normally associate veganism with junk food but vegans have appetites for this stuff, just like anyone else. We’ll be covering some of the best junk food options for vegans below so read on if you’re looking for something tasty – some of these might even surprise you!
Before we get started though, let’s define what the term ‘junk food’ means to us. We generally consider a food to be ‘junk’ if it’s been heavily processed. If it contains high levels of salt or sugar. Or finally, if it has less nutritional value than freshly prepared, or traditionally healthy, food.
It’s important to note that not all junk foods are equal. Some are detrimental to your health, while others can be safely enjoyed in moderation. We’ve tried to stick to the latter where possible, but at-the-end-of-the-day this is an article about junk food so you can expect a bit from both camps.
Anyway, without further delay here are our favourites:
You’re probably thinking that chocolate contains dairy products, right? Well you’re mostly correct. Not all chocolate does though. A prime example being Lindt’s dark chocolate ranges:
While our white and milk chocolate products contain the most, our 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% bars do not have milk products in them.
We recommend the 70% product as it’s not too bitter. In fact for a dark chocolate it’s actually quite sweet. Unfortunately, Lindt do use butter products in their other ranges such as the ‘Touch of sea salt’, or the ‘Rosted Hazelnut’ bars. Be careful to avoid those.
If there’s only one comfort food for vegans, it’s probably got to be hummus. Hailing from the Middle East originally, it has become a staple of supermarkets and fridges around the UK. Hummus is generally seen as a fairly healthy, fast food option. It can be eaten on its own with a bit of lightly toasted pitta bread or added to meals.
Shop bought products can, unfortunately, be a little high in salt and a lot of brands also contain preservatives such as Potassium sorbate. Try to avoid those if possible. Having to read the labels is a pain at first, but once you find a good brand you can just stick to it.
You should also know that making your own hummus is not that difficult. If you want all the taste of a junk food without all the additives, try this simple recipe from Oh She Glows.
3. Crisps (Potato chips)
Sometimes you just want to crack open a packet of crisps and have a good crunch. Vegans often get duped into believing that a particular packet is not suitable and to be fair, many brands do contain some meat products so you’ve got to be careful.
The good news is that many crisp manufacturers nowadays, from Walkers to Doritos, have vegan friendly options. Just make sure to check the back of the packet. Here’s a list of vegan friendly options to get you started:
McCoy’s – Salt & Malt Vinegar, Ultimate Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Good vegan cheese
is hard to find. If you’ve recently swapped to a vegan lifestyle,
and previously loved your brie or cheddar, you’ll have already
discovered this. Of course, there are vegan cheeses out there but on
the whole they tend to be a little grainy and not quite the same as
bubbling pizza topping.
exceptions if you want all that taste and texture back. Companies
Sheese in Scotland have make some really good vegan cheeses, for
instance, but you really do need to shop around to find what works.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Violife are all about producing foods that are tasty and free of animal products. They produce a wide range of cheeses and as such have something for everyone. Having tried their produce, I can personally vouch for quality of their cheese. Check out their site for further information.
I’ve not tried their cheese personally but I hear good things. Apparently it’s used in Zizzi too, so it can’t be too bad. Check out their site for further information.
Naturally Vegan Food Company Smoked Vegan Cheeze Ball
The Naturally Vegan Food company is a family run business focused on creating beautiful hand-made cheeses. They use the best ingredients and their products are generally 100% organic. I’m not even sure these count as junk food to be honest – they sure taste that good though.
5. Ice Cream
With and oat milk becoming a good dairy replacement in the last couple of decades, vegan ice cream is no longer just a pipe dream. If your idea of a great night in, includes sitting down in front of the TV with a pot of ice cream, there are plenty of options to choose from. Again, the big players like Ben & Jerry’s and Alpro all have their own makes.
If you want a
really tasty vegan ice cream, however, you might want to make up a
few batches of your own. Here are a few great recipes you can try at
home from Good
Perhaps the biggest bugbear of veganism (dramatic, i know). The prospect of never having a quality biscuit again. Fortunately many well-known brands are suitable for vegans. That includes McVitie’s Hobnobs and even Oreos. As usual, it’s always best to check the back of the packet before you indulge.
Oreo’s – FYI, there’s a bit of controversy around Oero’s to be aware of. Although their products don’t contain any animal products they do have the potential to come into contact with milk based products during production. A lot of people still qualify them as vegan, whereas others are more strict. And they do contain refined sugar.
Traidcraft – Double Chocolate Chunk
So that’s our top 6 covered. There’s a boat load of other contenders too though. We’ve listed some below.
Most french fries are actually vegan. It’s just potato at the end of the day, right? There are some exceptions however, such as McDonald’s fries. They actually use Beef flavouring or fat on the fries, which is a shame. If you’re not making your own, always check with the restaurant before ordering or the packaging before buying.
McCormick’s Bac’n Pieces
Yep – these bacon flavoured pieces are actually vegan. If you’ve not had these before they are simply wonderful on a salad, or on an otherwise plain sandwich. We’ve not checked any other brands, so again be sure to check the label if you’re shopping around. Or if you’re at restaurant/take out you could always ask at the counter.
Hopefully your takeaway from this article is that finding vegan junk foods isn’t all that difficult. There are many products on the market for general consumption that don’t use any meat or dairy products. And the options are always growing. Vegans, like anyone else, can enjoy a good snack every once and while.