These 13 Delicious Plant-Based Products Make Vegan Eating Incredibly Easy
Remember the days when vegans—or those simply avoiding meat and/or dairy—were forced to order a sad-looking side salad with a bowl of plain rice and tofu when they ate outside their own home? And half the time, that dismal salad arrived with bacon and buttery croutons on it regardless. Let's never go back there.
For those following a plant-based diet, the number of delicious and satisfying options for outsourcing meals is at an all-time high. Chefs are giving vegetables center stage, and we're seeing dozens of new vegan options pop up on grocery store shelves and freezer aisles every day (shoutout to Trader Joe's)—from alt-milks and meats to packaged foods, frozen meals, chocolate, butter, even wine.
The number-one reason consumers turn to plant-based foods and beverages? Personal health and sustainability. With this rise in consumer interest in nutrition and climate change, many food manufacturers are pivoting towards creating healthier, more environmentally friendly versions of their products. In addition, there are a number of new direct-to-consumer food companies cropping up that offer vegan and/or plant-based meals that are ready to eat. According to the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute, U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods increased 11 percent from last year, hitting a plant-based market value of more than $4.5 billion.
Might I just say, as a food editor, I have seen it all in the "alt-product" department. And while I follow a plant-based diet and consider myself particularly open-minded when it comes to novel vegan foods, I have seen some things (looking at you, spicy chipotle-flavored fake tuna fish). That being said, you will drop when you taste how downright delicious most of these products are—who needs meat and milkshakes when you have jackfruit carnitas and Daily Harvest smoothies? Here, 12 of my favorite new plant-based meal shortcuts on the market. Stock up on them if you want to have a healthy, plant-based dinner—or breakfast or dessert—on the table in zero time.