When it comes to January restrictions, UK nonprofits have a lot of big ideas. Dry January, for example, was started by Alcohol Change UK back in 2013. Dry January is when people stop drinking booze for the month of January. And the UK is also responsible for Veganuary, which popped up in 2014 as another mindful health campaign. What is Veganuary? It’s when you go vegan for the month of January. But what the heck are you actually supposed to eat? More than just salad, we assure you. To help make your Veganuary as tasty as possible, we rounded up all of our vegan food rankings.
Quick sidebar before we dive in: This is primarily a guide to vegan meat and dairy product substitutes, but, obviously, a vegan diet shouldn’t be all about finding replacements for foods that you’re used to. Once you understand what veganism is, you can explore and experiment with recipes on your own. In the meantime, we’ll be here, reminding you that all of your favorite foods do still exist on a plant-based diet.
Chicken nuggets are everyone’s comfort food, right? Or is it just me? I’m going to assume that loving chicken nuggets, real or plant-based, is a universal experience. I actually switched to vegan chicken nuggets to eat them guilt-free on the regular, and boy do I remember the struggle of not knowing what the heck to buy. Well, here’s what to buy.
Okay, maybe frozen pizza is your actual comfort food. In which case, good news: They’ve come quite a long way in recent years.
Oh, vegan cheese. Can’t live with you, can’t live without you. Bad vegan cheese leaves an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth, like a mild existential crisis. You wonder, “How did I get here, eating cheese that tastes like play-doh? What poor childhood life choices led to this moment?” But good vegan cheese? Good vegan cheese will make you believe in love and art and all that is holy (get it, hole-y) again. Lucky for you, we already did the leg work. (And if you’re looking for pasta or pizza toppings, we found the best vegan shredded cheese, too.)
Can’t imagine a healthy work/life balance without a deli sandwich at lunch? Or maybe your office fridge is perpetually low on vegan options? Either way, we’d recommend throwing any of these sammie slices in there to have on hand, just in case. And if you’re trying to craft perfection in sandwich form, we can’t forget the best vegan mayo.
They can take my alcohol, they can take my fried chicken, but Britain will have to pry late night snacks from my cold, dead hands. We’ve dumped all your tea in the harbor once, we’ll do it again. Leave my Oreos alone (yep, Oreos are kinda vegan). (Anyway, here are some top tier vegan snacks from our taste tests.)
Speaking of snacks, one particular challenge of Veganuary we don’t talk about enough happens outside of typical meal hours. We prep the pantry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but what about that 3 p.m. energy lag? The early morning, pre-workout protein hunt? Perhaps a protein bar will do the trick. (We especially recommend #1.)
You heard that right: vegan eggs. I’m going to lose some of you here. If you’re starting to dissociate (I get it, trauma response), first you should know, we found the three vegan egg substitutes that actually taste good. Specifically, these are scrambled eggs substitutes, because we just haven’t “cracked” vegan sunny-side up eggs yet, if you get my “yolk.” Haha… I’ll see myself out.
Plant-based bacon has made some amazing strides over the past few years, and I’m confident these top picks will undo any trauma I may have inflicted a minute ago, when I brought up vegan eggs… and then made a really bad pun about them. Again, sorry about that. (The pun, not the vegan eggs—I stand by the vegan eggs.)
The vegan sausage game is bursting with flavor. Brat-bursting with flavor, if you will. They are yummy, unique, and healthier than traditional sausages. Out of many vegan options here, these are some I know you’ll be adding to your shopping carts long after February 1st.
Don’t be too skeptical of plant-based hot dogs. In fact, be more skeptical of what they put in real hot dogs, because that stuff is frightening. We’re particularly proud of our number one pick—you could sneak them into a Southern cookout and your uncle won’t even yell at you to go back to California! He’d be none the wiser.
From spreads on morning toast to rich blends you can cook savory meals with, the best vegan butter mimics the flavor and texture of real butter. Personally, I made the switch to Country Crock last Veganuary, and I haven’t gone back to normal butter since.
Fruity, savory, or plain, cream cheese is a fridge necessity we take very seriously here at Sporked. Why? Because where would we be, as a society, without bagels? I shudder at the thought. Luckily, there’s a shocking amount of delicious plant-based cream cheeses that make the cut.
We’ve tried a lot of salads and salad dressings at Sporked, alright. We are 50% leaf at this point. We know that one vegan salad dressing brand does not fit all. Whether you’re looking for ranch, caesar, vinaigrettes, etc., these are the best of the best options.
There are four (count ‘em, four) taco Tuesdays in Veganuary. That’s four chances to do vegan tacos right—whether you want to use plant-based meat or get a little creative on the main filling (black beans, anyone?), here are some ingredients we loved!
Craving the fiery tang of Buffalo wings? Good, because if there’s one flavor that will mask the taste of fake meat, it’s Buffalo sauce. You can never go wrong with Buffalo sauce.
And for Dessert: Best Vegan Ice Cream
When we say you can have everything on a vegan diet, we do mean everything. You don’t have to give up your ice cream dreams just yet. And hey… whatever you choose, consider topping it with the best vegan whipped cream while you’re at it.