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To Vegan or Not To Vegan...That is the Question

Updated on January 18, 2012

Let me just start this post with a big, clear statement: I am NOT vegan. I have no issues devouring a steak the size of my head...on special occasions. However, I have a set of amazing friends that are vegan. Through this friendship, I have picked up some products that are absolutely delicious and are better for me. I am all about replacing unhealthy things for a healthier substitute- as long as I can’t taste a major difference. So, I would like to introduce you to a list of four vegan products that have completely changed my life.

Half and Half

Everybody, and I mean everybody, knows that half and half is not exactly a good choice for keeping your triglyceride count down. Yet, I’ve never met someone that said to me, “Know what I hate? Half and half. That rich, creamy goodness is just gross.” I love the way half and half feels in my mouth. I need it for my coffee, for making chocolate ganache, and in my pancakes. I’ve tried the fat-free version. It’s just wrong. My mouth isn’t coated with the deliciousness that I crave from the fat in the half and half. So, what to do? Never have delicious coffee again?? Have the half and half and tell my triglyceride level that I sincerely don’t care about it??

Nom nom nom...
Nom nom nom...

Enter So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer. This is the best thing to ever happen to my coffee. It’s thick and delicious, like half and half. I know, I know, I was worried that my coffee would taste like coconuts...but nope. It just tastes perfect. I have made chocolate sauce with this stuff and the results were utterly divine! For the final test, I made my pancakes. I have never had better results, even with real half and half. So, this product gets my whole hearted endorsement. I’ll definitely be trying the other options this company offers (like ice cream!!)

Bread

I grew up in an environment that was taught to never judge anything by its color. You should love everything based on what is on the inside. I completely and utterly agree. Except with bread. I have been in the camp of only eating white bread for a VERY long time. The more egg-y and full of milk, the better, in my book. My ideal bread looks like this:

Oh man...just looking at that bread basket is making me hungry.
Oh man...just looking at that bread basket is making me hungry. | Source

Not this:

Ick.
Ick. | Source

Until I met this:

Hey!  Not bad!
Hey! Not bad!

The best part of this is the fact that my mother eats this bread all the time. I refused to try it because it looked like it was full of wheat and was possibly the most disgusting bread on the market. However, when I spend the night with some vegans and they say, “I’d like to make you breakfast” I say, “Sounds great!” I then receive a sandwich made with this bread. I would like to confirm that this bread is not disgusting. Quite the contrary, it’s soft and tastes like it was baked with love. This bread is made with canola oil; no milk or eggs are added. It is definitely a more heart healthy choice.

Sausage

I heart breakfast meats. I do. In no place in this article will you see me suggest tofu bacon or such ridiculousness, because bacon is straight from heaven. However, sausage is an interesting mix of meat and spices anyway. Why not replace part of that with something a bit healthier? I mean, if I don’t know what’s in it in the first place, it’s probably ok to try to change it up a bit.

Well, what do you know?  Not gross!
Well, what do you know? Not gross!

Primm Springs Soysage is, in one word, yum. I get that spicy flavor that I want so badly from sausage. I will warn you that the texture is a bit different. Somehow, those sausage patties always have to be cooked to near death to be safe, so they are always a bit tough. Soysage has a much softer, more palatable bite to it. So, this change is a do-able way to keep my heart a bit happier.

Hamburgers

I am a fan of all things coming off of a grill. I like grilled veggies, and ribs, and steaks, and chicken, and on and on and on. I tend to want my burgers to taste like burgers...and the thought of vegan ribs is just terrible. BUT...I accidentally ordered one at my cafeteria. I thought “GardenBurger” just meant meat with a lot of vegetables piled on top. As I munched on this burger, a kernel of corn popped out. Wait... what just happened here? Turns out this tasty treat is a burger actually made of vegetables. Underneath all the other junk I put on a burger, I couldn’t taste the difference at all! Holy cow, Batman, I just saved a cow!

Wait...is that a bean in my burger???
Wait...is that a bean in my burger???

So, basically, I’m not thinking I will be converting to a life of veganism any time soon, but if I can make little changes that my taste buds don’t mind, then why not give it a go? Try them out. Let me know what you think!

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    • amberbartlett profile image
      Author

      amberbartlett 5 years ago

      Hi Donna! I will definitely give the veggie links a try. Currently I have only had the slab version, but I like sausage links better than patties- so I'm betting I'll love the veggie version too!

    • amberbartlett profile image
      Author

      amberbartlett 5 years ago

      I will give them a try in February, scout's honor! Thanks for reading my blog!!

    • profile image

      Glenda 5 years ago

      I fell in love with the coconut milk creamer 6 months ago, I prefer the hazelnut, which is strange because I detest all things/smells hazelnut. I accidentally picked it up and did not realize it was hazelnut until I went to replace the empty one! Bocca burgers are a favorite at this house, plus we have discovered Dominex eggplant meatballs...wonderful. Have you tried kale smoothies yet? If not, you just don't know what you are missing....sounds like you might be ready to take the plunge...Kellsey loves them!!!

    • Donna Huebsch profile image

      Donna Fairley Huebsch 5 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Loved this hub! Good info and enjoyed your humorous writing style. I think we will have to try to coconut cream for coffee! Also, a sausage comment - my daughter doesn't like real sausage ever since she saw Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie attempting to make sausage on their reality show - it WAS gross! However, she likes Morningstar's Veggie Sausage Links and I have to admit, they're pretty tasty. A little spicy, like the real thing, but yes, you're right, the texture takes a little getting used to.

    • amberbartlett profile image
      Author

      amberbartlett 5 years ago

      Thanks, Chaplin! Let me know if you ever find that hot dog...because meat hot dogs are a little gross but I love them!

    • ChaplinSpeaks profile image

      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      I love this article! It really is so trial and error with finding good vegan or vegetarian foods. I have yet to find a good veggie hot dog that tastes good and stays together on the grill!

      One goody I recently found was Veggie Patch meatballs - not frozen, but refrigerated. Tastes good to me!

      Thanks for sharing an awesome hub!