For vegan gluten-free folk like myself, substituting and replacing foods can take some getting used to. Since going vegan and gluten-free, I’ve found lots of easy substitutes for food and drinks, many of which are so good I don’t even give a second thought to the original or pay much attention to what I can’t have anymore.
Some things I couldn’t even imagine replacing though. The original ingredients seem so vital to the taste and texture, I’d rather remember them as they were rather than attempt to imitate them.
When I’m wrong though, I admit it. I held out for a really long time on some things and now I only have myself to blame. At least I caved eventually, because it’s nice to get reacquainted with some old friends.
Before I tried gluten-free beer at Churchkey recently, I had pretty much sworn off the stuff. It had been years (literally, about 5) since I had a nice cold one, and this was going to be a huge first sip (as Anna put it, while she sat next to me eagerly awaiting my reaction…)
I was floored. It tasted exactly as I remembered and I was in complete heaven. The first one I tried, pictured above, is called Estrella Damm Daura and it’s from Spain. Next up was Redbridge, from good old USA, but I hate to say it just wasn’t as good. Beer #3 I went right back to Daura.
Follow Your Heart Sour Cream
I’ve actually sent back this vegan sour cream at a restaurant before because I was convinced they screwed up. Nope, it’s just that good.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Soy and rice ice creams can be a little weak in my opinion. Some of the vegan soft serves out there, like Kyotofu in Hells Kitchen, are amazing, but not available in your local grocery store (or even on Mondays altogether, which I learned the hard way). For a while I was okay with sorbet, but then I tried coconut ice cream. The added fat from the coconut milk really gives it the right texture and thickness that a good ice cream needs. There are several brands on the market now, but I’ve stayed pretty loyal to the So Delicious brand.
And here’s one specifically for the holidays: rice or soy nog. Sure, regular egg nog is so bad for you it seems like skipping it altogether wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but it’s nice to be able to indulge this time of year. When the holiday season rolled around this year, it seemed as if every single alternative milk company had come out with a version. The fact that Rice Nog was on sale made the choice a little bit easier.
It’s super sweet and definitely a treat, just like the original. It’s not as thick as the original though, but considering how successful the flavor was, I think I’ll give a soy brand a shot.
Any other “just as good as the original” vegan and gluten free products I should try?