From Oreos to Zagnuts: Ten Foods Vegans Eat to Scrape By
Or, "How to Succeed at Veganism Without Really Trying."
Vegans are humans too. Like most Americans, we have only so much time to dedicate to food preparation. So it is an error when outsiders ponder the vegan lifestyle and automatically throw up their hands in mock exhaustion, shouting "I'd never have time to do that!"
The truth is, if we went full-throttle vegan every day, baking quinoa loaves, peeling spaghetti squash, and hunting down wild dandelions for hippie soups, we would probably not have time for things like jobs and families. So many of us vegans truly do it "right" maybe 20% of the time, filling up the rest of our diets with vegan convenience foods like microwavable Boca Burgers, soy "chik'n," hummus, oatmeal, soymilk, trail mix, salads and fruit.
Doesn't sound too bad, right? Well, it gets worse. Do not count on the following list to help you lose 11 pounds like Oprah Winfrey's staffer did during her recent week-long vegan challenge. But for the days when a vegan seriously loses sight of concern for his health, though his karmic convictions still remain strong, there are these ten food-like products to help him just scrape by till the next Hare Krishna potluck.
Oreos are the epitome of vegan junk food.
It may seem impossible that America's favorite "cookie" could be made without any typical cookie ingredients... eggs and butter, for example... but indeed they are. So what's in them? See for yourself:
Mmmmmmm, I love me some thiamine mononitrate and high oleic canola oil with my soy milk! Incidentally, several Famous Amos sandwich cookie varieties and Keebler Vienna fingers also pass the vegan test.
Getting drunk is vegan.
folks, beer, wine, and all of the more potent spirits are completely
plant-based. So if you get really sick of being vegan, you can just
drink your way through the rough spots. Just be careful not to eat a Big
Mac in a blackout or anything!
8. Sugar Cereals
Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes and Frosted Mini Wheats all contain animal-based gelatin in their marshmallows or
frostings, while Honey Bunches of Oats and a few Special K varieties
include milk-based ingredients. Other than that, the majority of
cereals, from Bran Flakes to Cap'n Crunch, are in fact vegan-friendly,
and I for one must admit that if they weren't, I would FREAK. Cereal and
soy milk are major scrape-by necessities in my kitchen.
Cap'n Crunch is artificial enough to be vegan.
7. Clif Bars
may argue that these are not really junk foods. I contend that unless
you are actually climbing a cliff, then they are. They're relatively
high in sugar, with 41 grams of carbohydrates... a bit much, regardless
of whether the ingredients come from "70% organic" sources. Of course,
they look like fossilized turds, but little will you care once you take
your first bite.
These things are scandalously good, and because of their portability,
definitely among the everyday vegan's best friends.
6. French fries and other fast food
Most good vegans avoid fast
food chains MOST of the time. I mean, part of the point of veganism is
to use your money to support sustainable food production, not chains
that regularly raze rainforest to feed cattle in Brazil. But once in a
while, even a vegan will put on her dark sunglasses and head through a
drive-thru. Wendy's "Natural-cut French fries with sea salt," Taco
Chips, and applesauce are examples of vegan fast food options.
5. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate for a vegan's darker days.
have to check each label, because even some of the 70%-plus cacao
chocolates out there contain milk ingredients. But mainstream
"chocolatiers" like Ghirardelli and Lindt offer milk-free chocolates you
can buy at Wal-Mart or Publix for as little as $2 to $3 a pop. Good
thing, because even vegans need a chocolate fix on our off days.
Soy Delicious or Tofutti "ice cream"
Vegans scrape out a few spoonfuls of this when they're scraping by.
sugar, and in the case of the Tofutti ice cream, 11 grams of fat in a
1/2 cup serving (the Soy Delicious, on the other hand, contains only 3
grams), these are life savers for a vegan who is just scraping by and
in need of a not-so-good for you dessert. Tofutti now makes these as
Mind blowing vegan junk, Yours Truly cones by Tofutti
not easy to find, but if for a vegan on his last legs, they're worth
3. Microwave popcorn
number of these salty-fatty convenience food snacks are vegan. What, did
you think they were all made with real butter? When food companies cut
corners to make things non-perishable and cheap, they often accidentally
make them vegan as well. Here's my favorite, which happens to be made
without a bunch of junk and still tastes good:
Jell-O boxed pudding.
would think this would be made with powdered milk, but apparently they
leave it up to you to add the dairy --- or not to, in the case of the
downtrodden vegan. Just whip it up with some soy milk (in my experience,
it seems to come out a little lumpier than regular pudding, but no big
whoop), refrigerate, and enjoy. And if you're not feeling that
ambitious, there are now ready-made pudding snacks for vegans too.
bars, Skittles, Twizzlers, and other candies
Zagnuts are the zenith of the slumdog vegan experience.
don't know where you can buy Zagnut bars anymore, but when they were
more prevalent, they were the ultimate dirty vegan treat. The peanut
butter, toasted coconut, and veritable brick of sugar they were embedded
in made for a naughty vegan mouth explosion I have regretfully not
experienced in years.
If your local gas
station doesn't stock these babies, however, there is still an abundance
of sugary vegan shit available.
Skittles, Twizzlers, Dots, Fireballs, Laffy Taffy, Sour Patch Kids, Mike
and Ikes and Swedish Fish are all examples of common candies that don't
contain gelatin or other animal ingredients.
so it is. Vegans sometimes fall from their nutrient-rich and
organically-grown vegetable patches in the sky. But when they do, they
are lucky enough to land in a country that uses enough artificial
ingredients to get them through till they're ready to ascend to vegan
splendor once again.
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