5 Best Plant-Based Food Alternatives
Anybody who has tried vegan/vegetarian alternatives to the tasty staples you know and love, quickly realizes that the options tend to be hit or miss. However with a recent explosion in the plant-based movement, the number of alternatives available on grocery store shelves are quickly increasing. As of 2017, a study found that nearly 20 percent of all store food and beverage dollars came from plant-based sources.
With consumers ranging from the lifelong vegans to the occasional “plant curious” customer, how do you know what’s worth it and what’s not?
Well, here’s a list of the top 5 plant-based products that Eco Four Twenty Co-Owner and long-time vegetarian, Andrea, swears by.
1. Not Milk.
Not Milk was created by NotCo, a Chilean food-tech company producing plant-based alternatives to animal-based food products. NotCo was founded in 2015 by Matias Muchnick, Pablo Zamora and Karim Pichara and utilizes AI to replicate dairy products in plant-based forms. Your typical plant-based milk selection in a grocery store is as long as time itself. From cashew to almond, rice to coconut, I’ve tried it all, and the hardest aspect to replicate is the texture (nut milk is far too watery in my opinion). Not Milk has totally reinvented the non-dairy dairy game with a smooth, slightly sweet and creamy milk substitute that honestly blows all other competitors out of the water. It’s great on cereal, with cookies, and even works just the same as typical milk when it comes to using it to cook/bake with.
2. Beyond Meat Burgers.
Beyond Meat, Inc. is a Los Angeles–based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown. One of the OG’s in the plant-based game, Beyond Meat has become a cookout essential with their burger patties. Virtually indistinguishable from a classic beef burger patty and made with a fraction of the resources typically required, Beyond Meat burgers always have a space in my fridge and are a great addition to any backyard BBQ!
3. Yves Mexican Veggie Ground
One of the harder products to simulate is ground meat. The texture has to be crumbly and toasty but also moist and tasty, a hard feat to accomplish with just vegetables. However, a tried and true favourite of mine is Yves Mexican Veggie Ground. Yves Veggie Cuisine was founded in Canada in 1985 and has become an essential on every grocery store shelf. I have been reaching for this veggie ground for as long as I can remember- it comes pre-seasoned and is totally killer in some tacos or on some salad with cheese and tomatoes.
4. Dairy Queen
Dairy Queen, but without the dairy! Dairy Queen is an American fast food chain of soft serve ice cream and fast food restaurants. Recently, Dairy Queen took a crack at plant-based ice cream products and came out with the Non-Dairy Dilly bar. The bars are gluten free, dairy-free, and plant-based, made with coconut cream based protein and finished with a delicious crunchy chocolatey coating. A perfect treat for anyone who eats plant based or is dairy avoidant, that hits the way ice cream should.
5. Riviera Vegan Delight
Maison Riviera is a company of dairy workers that stretches as far back as the 1920s. You might have seen them in your yogurt aisle in cute little glass jars, but Riviera doesn’t just stop at fancy yogurt. They have come out with a line of plant-based yogurts that honestly compete with some of the milk-based yogurts on the market. An oat-based Greek style yogurt that ranges in flavors from strawberry raspberry to peach and wild berries, Riviera is stepping up the plant-based yogurt game. I recommend their oat-based vanilla yogurt with frozen blueberries, your choice of granola and agave syrup for a quick on-the-go breakfast.
Eating plant-based does not have to be stressful or expensive. With more and more consumers switching to plant-based alternatives, whether that be full time or just occasionally, the options are becoming endless! Make the leap and try to substitute one of your weekly meals with a plant-based substitute - the environment will thank you!