Aside from all the roasties, mulled wine and mince pies, Christmas is the time to indulge in all the sweet treats, right? Which, if you’re avoiding dairy like me, can often be a little bit of a minefield!
But this year something magical has happened. 2017 really has been the year dairy-free and vegan diets began to hit the mainstream, and there has been a wealth of new animal-friendly brands popping up all over the place, and existing ones beginning to add vegan options to their product offering too. So, when I started researching a few dairy-free sweet treats I could indulge in over the festive season I was more than a little impressed with what I found.
Here are a few of my faves I’ve been taste-testing over the past month..
With a name like Fudge Kitchen you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m slightly bonkers, starting with a brand whose products are so obviously going to be laden with dairy. But, alongside their classic all-butter fudge products, the luxury artisan fudge company have recently launched a fully vegan fudge collection in a variety of delectable flavours, including vanilla coconut, sea salted caramel and classic chocolate. There is even a special mince pie version for christmas, laden with plump juicy raisons and flavoured with mixed spice. Made using soya milk or creamed coconut, the crumbly texture is fairly similar to that of traditional butter fudge slabs, and the taste just as intensely sweet as I remember!
As well as vegan fudge slabs, fudge kitchen also have a selection of dairy-free drinking fudge available. Drinking fudge, you say? Yes, I was equally intrigued! Fudge Kitchen’s ingenius invention offers a smooth fudgy take on traditional hot chocolate, with creamy liquid fudge packaged in sachets to be added to your choice of hot plant-based milk (or normal dairy, if you’re that way inclined).
I taste-tested options from the dairy-free selection pack**, which included cinnamon spice, chocolate hazelnut heaven and gorgeous ginger, but my favourite had to be dreamy coconut chocolate – pure heaven. If you’re looking for an indulgent wintery hug-in-a-mug, then look no further!
Bean & Pod
Launched this September, Manchester-based Bean & Pod offer a wonderful selection of milk, white and dairy-free dark chocolate delights, each handcrafted in the UK. It’s this time of year that the chocolate variety boxes usually come out in full force, but not being able to eat dairy usually means I’m having to second-guess which chocolate I might be able to have.. but not any more!
Bean & Pod’s vegan options includes dark chocolate signature triangles, turkish delicacies, velvet caramel moments, strawberry cream hearts and dark chocolate honeycomb, so you can order the boxes you know you’ll want to eat and create your very own pick ‘n’ mix selection!
There are also dark chocolate peanut butter bites (be still my heart!) which are incredibly moreish and definitely not to be shared, as well as dark chocolate cocoa dusted salt & pepper almonds (hello!), cashew nuts with chilli, and dark chocolate coated salted pumpkin seeds, which may sound a little crazy but totally work! They’re great on their own of course, but also amazing drizzled on almond milk ice cream or added to your morning muesli to pep breakfast up a little..
Adam’s organic cold pressed chocolate** is perfect if you prefer your chocolate as a superfood. Where traditional roasting at high temperatures destroys the precious goodness of the criollo beans, preparing them at under 42 degrees helps protect the minerals and micro-nutrients and maintain the cacao’s complex flavour layers, rich aroma and smooth velvety texture. adam’s then add colourful superfoods such as goji berry, pistachio and blackcurrant to the mix to create distinctive blends that serve up health benefits with every delicious bite. not usually being a fan of banana flavoured products I was surprised to discover my favourites were the coconut and banana bites – a “wonderful taste of the tropics” as Adam’s say themselves..
Have you discovered any wonderful dairy-free or vegan sweet treats recently? Do let me know, my sweet tooth is always excited to discover more delectable bites..