It’s no secret that Veganism is on the rise, with the number of those following a plant-based lifestyle doubling twice over the past two years. Those taking the pledge are deciding to do so for a variety of reasons, from preventing animal cruelty, to improving health and the benefitting the environment.
Veganuary is a charity that is inspiring people to try vegan for the month of January, and, as the UK’s leading manufacturer of environmentally responsible, ethically sound, hypoallergenic, vegan cleaning products, we’re helping those looking to try it by revealing the top ‘accidentally vegan’ foods that you’d never suspect were free of animal by-products…
1. Walkers crisps
Treat yourself to the flavours of Prawn Cocktail, without breaking the rules of Veganuary. A classic ‘accidental vegan’ product, Walkers use alternate flavourings that don’t contain any animal products, meaning you can snack to your heart’s delight! Other vegan-friendly Walkers flavours include Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar and Worcester Sauce.
Though commonly thought to include dairy, classic Oreos are indeed vegan friendly! There is no mention of milk, eggs or butter in the ingredients list. However, there’s no dunking allowed – unless with a glass of oat or soy milk of course.
3. McVitie’s Chocolate Chip Hob Nobs
As one of the nation’s favourite biscuits, McVitie’s chocolate chip version of the classic Hob Nob is vegan, with the chocolate chips consisting of sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa powder, cocoa butter and natural flavouring. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any hot drink.
4. Jelly Tots, Starbursts and Skittles
Usually out of bounds, the confectionery world is slowly becoming animal product free, substituting gelatine and animal-based ingredients with vegan-friendly alternatives.
At present, a wide range of beer is currently unsuitable for vegans, as it uses a gelatine filter made from fish organs to make beer clear and attractive to drinkers (who knew?). However, after protests from vegetarians and vegans alike, many breweries are picking up on the problem and altering the process – using silica, Irish Moss or types of seaweed to assist the clearing process. Go-to beers during Veganuary include Carlsberg, Peroni, Budweiser, Corona and Guinness.
6. Tomato ketchup
Often many Brit’s sauce of choice, tomato ketchup is a food of few ingredients, the majority of which are plant-based. However, the strictest vegans may want to stick to organic ketchup to ensure the sugar is processed without charcoal – which for those less clued up on veganism can be made from animal bone fragments.
If you’re worried you can’t make the month without a glass of the good stuff then fear not, there are vegan-friendly wines available on the high street. Much the same as beer, vineyards can use animal products to filter the alcohol, but some have embraced vegan living. Just look out for the words ‘unfined’ or ‘unfiltered’ on the label.
8. Peanut butter
Contrary to its name, peanut butter doesn’t include butter of any sorts. With wholefood varieties like WholeEarth and Meridian consisting of just peanuts, oil and salt, the spread is a great, healthy snack to keep you energised during January.
A classic side to any dish, chips are vegan – as long as they are fried in vegetable oil. A go-to if you’re struggling for ideas during Veganuary.
10. Baked beans
If baked beans are the one thing you’d miss when going vegan for a month, Heinz Beanz in tomato sauce are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. Baked beans are high in protein too – making them a great addition when foregoing meat for the month.