Once upon a time, being vegan meant sacrificing some of life’s little pleasures to uphold principles. A sweet treat was a bourbon biscuit or some bitter cooking-style chocolate that would keep you awake at night if you ate more than one square of it after 9am.
Today, though, we don’t have to choose between being cruelty-free and being just a little bit indulgent. As the number of vegans has sky-rocketed, the provision of vegan foods has kept pace and this is seen in the number of vegan biscuits, cakes and puddings available on high streets.
If ice cream is your thing, Swedish Glace and Alpro’s ranges are available in many supermarkets, offering vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, chocolate & hazelnut and coconut flavours. If you need something more exotic, check out Almond Dream’s Salted Caramel or Mint Choc Chip flavours, available in Waitrose and Asda, and online at Ocado. Desperate for a choc ice? Try the Tesco own-brand version, the 4U Free From one available from Morrisons, or the strawberry Swedish Glace one, which you can find in Sainsbury’s. And for those who love an ice-cream cornet, Tesco stocks strawberry and toffee flavours, while Morrisons has a Free From Chocolate and vanilla cone. And yes, they do have chocolate in the bottom of the cone, just as they should.
There are many wonderful recipe books dedicated to vegan cakes now, but it is still great to see the finished product sitting on the supermarket shelves. Sainsbury’s stocks Free From flapjack and granola slices as well as Mrs Crimbles Stem Ginger cake, which is lovely served warm with some dairy-free ice cream. But for those who love a rich, sweet satisfying treat with their cuppa, the Lazy Days range – Belgian Dark Tiffin, Ginger Tiffin, Millionaire’s Shortbread, and Rocky Road Slice – is hard to beat. Find them in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose. The Co-op’s jam and custard doughnuts are vegan, too. We recommend you invite a friend over so you don’t eat all five.
Need Custard on that? Try Alpro’s or Oatly’s ready-made, or use Bird’s powder with your choice of plant milk – all widely available. Or cream? Again, most supermarkets stock soya or oat cream, or both. Alpro also makes a range of soya desserts – chocolate, caramel, vanilla – and these can be found in most supermarkets.
As a tea-dunking treat, it’s hard to beat Lotus Biscoff, Oreos, McVitie’s Fruit Shortcake, Ginger Nuts and Hobnobs. Lots of old favourites – including rich tea, digestives and bourbons – are vegan, too.
Pudology makes a range of rich, delicious desserts – Banoffee Pud, Millionaires’ Pud, Chocolate Orange Pud – and these can be found in Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and on Ocado. And look out for Food Heaven’s lemon cheesecake, available in Asda and Waitrose.
Of course, treating yourself doesn’t have to mean high-fat, processed foods with heaps of added sugar. Our top tip to satisfy sweet cravings is to try Snack Organisation’s freeze-dried pineapple or strawberries, which pack a massive flavour punch, and are utterly delicious (available in Tesco). Or try Trek or Nak’d bars and nibbles – a range of tasty fruit and nut products with no added sugar that are sweet and satisfying.
This is just a flavour of what is out there, and your local healthfood shop will, no doubt, surprise you with even more options. And as for sweeties, chocolates and seasonal treats … well, that’s a whole other blog post.