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Vegan Christmas Food Shopping

Welcome to Viva!'s guide to animal-free Christmas foods and where you can buy them – a great starting point! However, new vegan products are rushing into the stores every week it seems, so do check out some of the websites at the end.

Cooking from scratch (or thereabouts)?

Click here for lots of lovely Christmas recipes - starters, party food, mains, sides, gravies, desserts…

Ready-made?

 See below for what’s on offer in street-based supermarkets, health food shops or internet food sites.   

Vegan meat alternatives

V-Bites
Festive roasts, available direct (click on the link above) or else health stores including Holland & Barrett and Goodness Direct

  • Cheatin’ Turkey-style Roast
  • Cheatin’ Celebration Roast – Turkey-style roast with rasher-wrapped sausages and gravy
  • Cheatin’ Beef-style Roast
  • Cheatin’ Gammon-style Roast

And more…

Fry’s
Tasty meat alternatives which can be served up in starters or main courses with a good dose of festive cheer! Available in health food shops including Holland and Barrett and Goodness Direct
- Fry’s Vegetarian Traditional Sausages
- Fry’s Vegetarian Chicken Style Strips – good for a Boxing Day meal
- Veg Express Vegetarian Sausage Rolls
- and many more
Available from Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Goodness Direct

Veggie World
sells an amazing range! Click here to see their vegan food, which is particularly good for Chinese, Thai and other Oriental-style meals – but some of which would work in hearty winter stews and the like

Products include:

  • Duck-style
  • Chicken-style
  • Salmon-style

And many more

Sweet Stuff

This is just a brief guide but it shows you just how much there is out there.

Vegan Mince Pies

Yes you can buy mince pies which are suitable for vegans!  However, check with the manufacturer, as ingredients do get changed without warning

  • Aldi Deep Fill Mince PIes
  • ASDA Chosen By You Mince Pies
  • Sainsbury's Freefrom Deep Filled Mince Pies; Sainsbury's Mince Puffs, Basics

It’s also easy to make your own using

  • ready-made shortcrust or puff pastry (JusRol and many other supermarket brands are vegan)
  • bought mincemeat – most brands are inherently vegan, just check no animal suet!
  • soya or almond milk to glaze

Vegan Christmas Cake

Unless you get a local vegan cake maker to bake you one, it’s a DIY job as currently there are no ready-mades in the shop. Another alternative is Aldi stollen cake, which is delicious –but read the labels to ensure they haven’t snuck in egg/butter!
However, it’s a fun and cosy thing to do one weekend if have a couple of hours.  Neither of these recipes are difficult, but you need to keep an eye on the oven from time to time… just follow the recipe.

Big Boozy Yule Cake
and adaptation of Rose Elliot’s classic, this is lighter than the dark, classic cake

Hillside Xmas Cake – my friends swear by this one. It’s darker and fruitier – no sugar because it’s so sweet with all that lovely dried fruit. Scroll down the page to find it (below the Chocolate Cake!)

Icing – Dr Oetker’s Ready-rolled and  Sainsbury’s  are vegan. Alternatively, use regular icing sugar to make your own (not Royal Icing, as that contains egg).

Vegan Desserts

Vegan Christmas Pudding

Many traditional Xmas puds are inherently vegan

  • Aldi, as Lidl
  • Co-op – some of their range is vegan and very nice
  • Lidl – vegan last we heard, but always check the ingredients
  • M&S Classic Xmas Pudding
  • Sainsbury’s: By Sainsbury's Christmas pudding;  BGTY Christmas Pudding; Basics Christmas pudding

Other vegan desserts

  • Almond Dream – vegan ice cream: Waitrose
  • Bessant & Dury – vegan ice cream: health food shops and Ocado
  • Booja Booja –  vegan ice cream: good health food shops and Ocado
  • CoYo – vegan ice cream: health food shops, Ocado
  • Food Heaven – vegan and gluten-free cheesecake: selected Waitrose and Asda
  • Mamma Cucina – vegan and gluten-free cheesecake: Holland and Barrett
  • Pudology – vegan and gluten-free desserts:  Waitrose and Ocado
  • Swedish Glace – vegan ice cream: health food shops and larger supermarkets

Vegan Chocolate and Sweet Treats

Visit the Viva!Shop for a great range of dairy-free delicious chocolates and sweets!

Vegan, dairy-free cheese

From cheddar, to mozzarella and soft cheese, there are many vegan varieties including:

- Cheezly from V-Bites

- Bute Island Sheese – hard and creamy varieties. Health food shops (and Tesco’s own is made by them). We particularly like the smoked variety

- Jeezini  (Santi) – new favourite from the Vegan Shop, Vegan Cross

- Tesco – see Bute Island

- Tofutti  Cream Cheese, assorted flavours. Original great for making cheesecake! creamy smooth – health food shops, including Goodness Direct – melting slices also available

- Veganic
– grated packs, good for pizza etc. Health food shops and online, see above

- Vegusto – delicious. Online or selected health food shops

- Violife – large Tesco, health food shops on the street and online – slabs and slices

- www.vegancheese.co.uk – is a great one-stop shop for all your vegan cheesy needs!

Vegan creams and custards

These dairy-free alternatives are available in most large supermarkets or health food stores

  • Alpro or Provamel Single Soya Cream
  • Alpro Soya Alternative to Custard
  • Oatly single cream alternative
  • Soyatoo – cartons of whipping cream (needs an electric whisk or blender) in three varieties: soya; coconut; rice.
  • Whiptop – soya-based whipping cream in a can from Tesco

Vegan gravy

How do you get that ‘meaty’ but kind rich taste?

Home-made
vegan gravy isn’t difficult. See our recipes here

Ready-made options
  • Bisto Original Gravy powder (red tub), Bisto Onion Gravy Granules (NOT Bisto complete Gravy Mix).
  • Oxo Onion or Vegetable Gravy Granules are all veggie/vegan
  • Co-op Gravy Mix is another good one
  • Marigold Vegetarian Organic Gravy Powder
  • Naturally Good Vegetable Gravy Powder
  • VBites Gourmet Gravy Powder (use extra for a thicker gravy)

Make gravy the day before if possible. Like curries and stews, the flavours get a chance to party and will be all the better for it. Plus one or two of the following will add flavour to home-made or ready-made versions.

Gravy Flavours

Miso – medium or dark. A Japanese paste from large supermarkets or health food shops. Look for brands such as Sanchi, Clearspring or Sainsbury’s. Rich and strong, add a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired flavour

Tamari or shoyu soya sauce – supermarkets or health food shops. Brands include Clearspring, Essential, Sanchi or Kikoman. Not to be confused with cheaper varieties, this the soya sauce equivalent of balsamic vinegar! Rich, fermented and no additives, it adds depth of flavour to all sorts of dishes

Yeast extract – Marmite or supermarket own-brands are cheaper but Meridian and Essential also sell excellent versions.

Red wine, sherry or port – a splash of booze makes all the difference. Even if you’re teetotal, alcohol is burned off in cooking, just make sure the gravy comes to the boil then simmers for a while

Vegan and Veggie Wines

The good news is that there is plenty of delicious and animal-friendly booze out there!

Visit the Viva! Wine Club for a great selection.

www.barnivore.com is the most comprehensive guide to all vegan booze.

The Co-op labels its own wines clearly and many are vegan

Sainsbury’s – as with the Co-op

Other chains have an online list, including Majestic and Tesco (check it’s an up-to-date list)

Asda labels some but not all and doesn’t have a vegan list at all

Waitrose
– click on this link to phone, email. Alternatively, ask in-store –  they have a regularly updated vegan food list but not alcohol

Finally…

Veganoo and Vegan Womble have reviewed a huge selection of vegan goodies with special Xmas sections. www.veganchristmas.co.uk is also a very useful site.  

And here is our list of independent online stores.

Viva! Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, UK
T: 0117 944 1000 F: 0117 924 4646 E: info@viva.org.uk