My wife and I have been eating a (mostly) plant-based diet for the last 4 years, and in that time we have seen a lot of changes. In this blog post, I am going to be sharing some of our favourite plant-based products to help you on your own plant-based journey!
If you’re totally new to this you might not even know what plant-based products are. Basically, it’s spelt out in the name: plant-based products are food products that only use plants in their ingredients. The nutritional and flavour profile of your favourite animal products are now being re-invented using plants like soybeans, nuts like almonds and cashews, and grains like oats!
I remember the first Beyond Burger in a fast food restaurant in Canada. A&W released their Beyond Meat burger to massive fanfare across the country and sold out of the new meat alternative within weeks. If you want to check out the video I made about the initial release you can check that out here.
Since then we have seen an explosion of plant-based food companies and products in Canada, with new options across the board. In terms of where to buy plant-based products, today they’re pretty easy to find at most major grocery stores and even on the menu of your favourite restaurants. Here are some of our favourites.
Oat Milk (Earth’s Own)
Early in the plant-based food revolution, the most common milk alternatives were soy and almond. Then came the oat milk era.
I’m not sure what kind of sorcery goes into making oat milk, but it has quickly become my favourite in the plant-based milk world. Smoothness, creaminess, and flavour are all agreeable while still being distinctly different from dairy. Here in Canada, my favourite is the Unsweetened Vanilla Oat from Earth’s Own.
If you ate plant-based cheeses back in the day I’m sure you’ve eaten some and suffered an involuntary reaction that was unfavourable. That’s because the bar was remarkably low for most cheeze options. Lactose intolerance was the main reason companies were creating these products and so anyone who came up with something edible kind of got a free pass. Since then, we have found some great options.
Violife is made in Greece with potato starch and the smoked provolone style is a near perfect gouda imitation. We recently had it on burgers and were thoroughly impressed.
If soft cheeses are more your style, we have been really digging Spread Em products. They have soft and “semi-soft” styled cheeze products that go great on a charcuterie board and they use fermented cashews and almonds to make their stuff. Highly recommend the smoked gouda style.
I mentioned them at the beginning but I have to say that this plant-based meat brand changed the freaking game. Before the mainstream acceptance of this product, the industry was still pandering to the so-called “hippy types”. Beyond Meat targeted the everyday person looking for an easy way to eat more sustainably and make a difference, and have gone on to be one of the biggest (if not the biggest) brands in the business.
Full disclosure, I don’t know if they’re the best. The Impossible Foods burger was absolutely remarkable when I tried it but the benefit of Beyond Meat is their accessibility. The best plant-based meat option is only as good as it is available, and so far Beyond Meat has been my go to simply because it’s easier to find.
*Pro tip – Buy the ground beef version to avoid the extra packaging that goes into their premade patties.
These are our top three plant-based products, hopefully, this helps you on your plant-based journey!