It’s that time of year again…it seems as if the whole world is gearing up for the latter part of this epic month of December, preparing to indulge themselves in all the classic foods and drinks that we traditionally associate with Christmas. Many people however, have taken their health and environmental impact into their own hands this year, meaning that Christmas 2019 may be their first ever vegan or vegetarian Christmas.
It can be a little dispiriting and perhaps exclusionary to seem like you are only half-heartedly partaking in the festivities since so many of them seem to revolve around non-vegan foods and drinks – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! You can still enjoy Christmas to the full without compromising on your health and morals. Read on to find out more in We Wish You a Dairy (free) Christmas! – 6 Delicious Food & Drink Treats!
One of the first Christmas items to be flying off of the shelves this festive season is the beloved advent calendar. Adored by children and adults alike, advent calendars have historically contained milk chocolate shapes behind each door – but vegans can enjoy them too! There are some fantastic dairy-free alternatives available this year, with options to cover every budget and preference.
On one end of the scale is the Holland & Barrett vegan advent calendar, which is just £2.49
And if you really want to treat yourself, Holland & Barratt are selling the Nomo Advent Calendar, containing an assortment of Creamy Choc discs, caramel and sea salt discs, and a Creamy Choc bar, for £9.99.
As those advent calendar doors start to get opened one by one, edging nearer and nearer to the big day, you’ll be starting to plan for Christmas Day itself. Traditionally, roast turkey has been the centrepiece of a Christmas dinner, usually accompanied by pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, stuffing, an assortment of roasted vegetables, and a good glug of gravy and cranberry sauce. The good news is, only a couple of these components of the classic Christmas dinner aren’t vegan. It’s easy to find vegan gravy, since a lot of granule gravies are ‘accidentally vegan’ anyway, and roast potatoes are just as crispy and delicious using vegetable or sunflower oil as they are with goose fat. The roast turkey and pigs in blankets do pose more of a problem, granted, but there are still some fantastic alternatives – and you might even find you like them more!
Vegetarian Plus makes a delicious imitation turkey with a cranberry glaze to brush over the top. The turkey roll is made with non-GMO soy and slices up just like a real turkey.
Alternatively, why not take a look at Sainsbury’s No Beef Wellington? This delicious seitan, mushroom and parsnip loaf is wrapped up in a crisp, vegan puff pastry, and is ready to cook for 45 minutes in the oven. This Wellington has a meaty texture, complimented by a layer of finely chopped spinach and mushroom along with a splash of port.
If you’re worried about missing out on pigs in blankets, head to Morrisons and try their No-Pigs in Blankets, which are being sold in packs of 10 for £2.50. This vegan alternative to the classic favourite is made using a blend of jackfruit and chickpeas for that meaty texture, and each one is covered with a streaky pastry blanket.
As for desert, there are tons of recipes for a perfect vegan Christmas pudding, so you don’t have to miss out on the fun of making (and eating) one. Check out websites like BBC Good Food, The Vegan Society, The Veg Space and The Happy Pear if you want some easy but tasty recipes to follow.
6. Tesco – Mulled Wine
Make sure to wash it all down with the quintessentially Christmassy drink, mulled wine. While many wines are not vegan due to the filtration techniques, which use gelatin or isinglass, (a substance that comes from the dried swim bladders of fish, a collagen used often for the fining of beer and wine) there are some vegan ones available. Tesco is your best bet this Christmas, with a sweet and fruity vegan mulled wine, blended with clove and cinnamon, for just £3.50. (Note: This product is 8% alcohol – please drink responsibly.)