The nights are getting darker and December is finally here, which means one thing: Christmas is very nearly upon us.
In the past, being plant-based at Christmas could be fraught with difficulty, from navigating party food to finding vegan alcoholic options for a festive tipple and buying cruelty-free gifts for vegan friends and family.
But in 2019, having a vegan Christmas has never been easier; as retailers stock up with plant-based Christmas food and luxury vegan gifts.
So, whether you’ve been vegan for years or if you’re planning a plant-based Christmas for the very first time, we’ve got plenty of hints and tips for the perfect vegan Christmas. As well as answering the age-old question “what do vegans eat at Christmas?”, we’ll be sharing our top picks for vegan Christmas presents for friends and family.
We'll cover the below FAQs:
- What Can Vegans Eat?
- What Can't Vegans Eat?
- What do Vegans Eat for Christmas?
- What do Vegans Use Instead of Eggs?
- Can Vegans Eat Pastry?
- What Alcohol Can Vegans Drink?
- What to Get a Vegan for Christmas?
1. What Can Vegans Eat?
One of the most common questions that non-vegans tend to ask is “what can vegans eat?”. This question only seems to intensify around Christmas, as many classic Christmas dishes contain either meat or dairy.
The truth is that vegan diets can be incredibly varied, and the sheer number of plant-based options out there means that a vegan diet is anything but boring.
Of course, everyone is different, but some of the main food groups that vegans can enjoy as part of a plant-based diet are:
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Nuts and legumes.
- Meat alternatives (made from tofu, soy, seitan, the list goes on...).
- Dairy alternatives.
- Whole grains such as bread, rice, bulgar, oats, and quinoa.
2. What Can't Vegans Eat?
A vegan diet is one that doesn’t contain any animal products. This means that vegans do not eat foods such as:
- Dairy products including yoghurt, cheese, milk and cream.
- Meat products.
- Fish and shellfish.
- Bee products such as honey and bee pollen.
Although products such as meat, dairy and eggs may seem more obvious, animal products and derivatives can be found in a number of surprising places. Because of this, it’s always worth checking the label of products. Some foods you might not expect to contain animal products include:
- Sweets and marshmallows - they often contain gelatine as a binding ingredient, making many popular brands unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
- Worcester sauce, olive tapenade and Ceaser salad dressing all sometimes contain anchovies in their ingredient list.
- Pesto is often made with parmesan cheese, which can make it unsuitable for vegans and as well as vegetarians.
- Some types of pasta, especially fresh pasta, may contain eggs.
3. What do Vegans Eat for Christmas?
Many delicious Christmas dinner staples such as roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and even cranberry sauce are all vegan - as long as you cook your veggies in a plant oil rather than goose fat.
Nuts and dried fruit
Many of us enjoy tucking into traditional Christmas snacks such as roasted chestnuts, nuts and dried fruits. Thankfully, vegans can a diet rich in nuts and legumes and that’s why a nut roast is a staple choice for a vegan Christmas dinner.
Anyone who thinks a Christmas dinner needs to include meat definitely hasn’t tried the countless delicious vegan options on offer in supermarkets. From plant-based pigs-in-blankets to cauliflower cheese, vegan stuffing and even vegan turkey, the options are endless.
Carbs, carbs and more carbs
Nothing says winter like plenty of comforting carbs. Vegans can enjoy many of the carby delights of Christmas, including mashed potatoes, and bread with a (vegan) cheeseboard.
Love them or hate them, Brussel sprouts are a quintessential part of a Christmas dinner. At Christmas, vegans can tuck into sprouts at their heart’s content, and you can update this classic dish by including tofu or coconut bacon.
A post-dinner cheese board is always a winner at Christmas, and vegans don’t need to miss out on a savoury treat thanks to the wide range of vegan cheeses available, made from ingredients such as cashews, coconut, soybeans, and many other ingredients.
As vegans don’t eat animal products such as eggs, milk or butter, some might think that vegans can’t enjoy tucking into a dessert.
As well as some sweet treats that happen to be ‘accidentally’ vegan, such as Oreos and dark chocolate, there are plenty of ways to substitute animal products to produce delicious vegan desserts.
4. What do Vegans Use Instead of Eggs?
If you’re planning on whipping up a vegan dessert or making a cooked breakfast on Christmas Day, you may be wondering: what do vegans use instead of eggs?
There are plenty of different vegan egg alternatives depending on your desired result: chickpea water (known as aquafaba) makes an excellent alternative for egg whites in meringue, or you can use potato or tapioca flour.
For a convincing scrambled egg alternative, you can whip up a Tofu scramble by frying the tofu in a pan with a little oil and adding turmeric and nutritional yeast. Serve with vegan sausages and sauteed vegetables for a satisfying, high-protein breakfast.
5. Can Vegans Eat Pastry?
From shortcrust pastry mince pies to a puff pastry vol-au-vents, delicious pastry treats are a wonderfully indulgent part of Christmas.
Although the buttery taste of pastry might suggest that it wouldn’t be suitable for vegans, it is a surprisingly vegan-friendly option.
Many of your favourite brands of ready-made pastry, such as Jus Rol, are actually made with vegetable oil rather than butter and are therefore suitable for vegans. Result!
6. What Alcohol Can Vegans Drink?
Many of us love to toast to the festive season by enjoying a festive tipple or two. Although it might seem obvious that certain foods might be off the menu for vegans, you may be shocked to discover that not all alcohol is actually suitable for vegans, and even vegetarians, thanks to the manufacturing process of some wines and beers.
Although it is easy to find vegan alcohol, almost all distilled spirits are vegan, some beer and wine manufacturers use products such as casein, gelatin and egg whites in the purification process. Some wine manufacturers also use isinglass (a substance derived from fish bladders) to purify the final product.
Frustratingly, many alcohol brands do not disclose the use of animal products in the manufacturing process, so you should check out this up to date list of vegan alcohol brands before stocking up your drinks cabinet.
Finally, vegans of the world can rejoice as Baileys, the iconic Christmas liqueur, is now available in an almond milk version, making it suitable for vegans.
7. What to Get a Vegan for Christmas?
There’s no better feeling than giving someone a gift you know that they’ll love.
If you’re looking vegan present ideas and in need of some inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. At Paguro Upcycle, our range of products made from upcycled materials are wonderful gifts for vegan friends and family, and are also great for the planet too.
Whether you’re after vegan Christmas gift ideas for that special someone, or for the office Secret Santa, take a look at our guide of the best gifts for vegans, all wrapped up.
From statement jewellery to bags and wallets, our range of luxury vegan gifts makes present buying a pleasure.
Angel Recycled Rubber Feather Earrings
These striking and elegant Angel earrings are intricately hand-cut by our skilled artisans and are made from the recycled inner tubes of rubber tyres.
Not only are these earrings eco-friendly, but they are also a fantastic vegan alternative to leather, making them good gifts for vegans and ethically conscious fashionistas.
Reina Vegan Handbag
Simple yet sophisticated, the Reina Vegan Handbag is the perfect partner for any outfit. Made from recycled rubber, this handbag is the perfect present for any ethically conscious fashionista.
Ness Multi-Purpose Vegan Travel Pouch
Available in 6 colours, this sturdy vegan travel pouch is the ultimate multitasker. With a slip in pocket, this multipurpose travel pouch can be used as a makeup bag, electronics case, or a place to store stationery, this is one of the best presents for vegans on the go.
To see more of our gifts made from recycled materials, take a look at our PETA-approved Vegan luxury vegan gifts for her.
Ben Recycled Vegan Wallet
Our Ben wallet has a classic button bi-fold design, but the material is anything but traditional. Our recycled rubber material is a sturdy substitute for leather that is perfect for the ups and downs of everyday life, as has a colourful lining available in 8 colours.
Recycled Rubber Motorbike Tyre Vegan Belt
Having started life as a motorbike tyre, this hardwearing recycled rubber belt is designed to go the distance. This belt is a perfect gift for bikers or for anyone looking for a vegan alternative to leather.
If the person you have in mind is more keen on cycling than biking, then they’re bound to love this vegan leather belt made from tyres salvaged from bike repair shops in Nottingham, UK. Fun fact: the vibrant colours sewn into the belt pay homage to cycling’s rainbow world champion jersey, and are also the colours that appear in the Olympic rings.
Platoon Recycled Canvas Fanny Pack
Ideal for festivals, travelling, or outdoor activities, this fanny pack is made from two different reclaimed vegan materials: army canvas and recycled rubber inner tubes, making it waterproof and hard-wearing.
This useful fanny pack can be worn around the waist or cross-body and has a secure inner pocket to keep your belongings safe, making our fanny packs a good gift for vegans who love the great outdoors.
To view more of our collection, check at our eco-friendly vegan gifts for him.
If you’re searching for inexpensive vegan secret Santa gifts for friends or colleagues, we’ve got you covered.
Vegan Gift Vouchers
One of the best gifts for vegans, or anyone else, is the gift of choice. Why not pick up one of our vegan gift vouchers, ranging from £5- £100, so that your secret Santa can choose their perfect present from our range of cruelty-free and ethical gifts.
Bubba Recycled Rubber Dog Vegan Keyring
Our adorable hand-cut vegan leather keyring is the perfect guard dog for any valuables. Made from the salvaged inner tubes of rubber tyres, our eco-friendly and ethically made keyrings are available in a range of designs.
Recycled Skateboard Bottle Opener
Crafted from recycled skateboards by one of our talented designers, this eco-friendly keyring is great for opening bottles on the go.
As each piece is made from discarded skateboards, they are all unique, making them an ideal vegan secret Santa gift or stocking fillers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all about vegan food, gifts and more. From all of us at Paguro HQ, we’d like to wish you a Very Merry Vegan Christmas and a Happy New Year!