Steve Buscemi, via Album of Random @ Tumblr
When Life Calls For Vegan Junk Food: Online Shopping Options in New Zealand & Beyond
Despite the awesome power of homemade vegan sweet treats, sometimes life doesn’t give you the time or energy to be your own personal Willie Wonka. This post is in honour of those times.
The majority of the time pre-made vegan munchie foods are off my menu, because my body feels a lot cleaner since I stopped eating super-processed food, and I want to make that permanent. I’m not military-style strict, though, and every now and then I am liable be found sprawled out on the couch surrounded by Oreo crumbs. My favourite store-bought vegan junk food is actually not junk food at all – Little Bird’s raw chocolate macaroons are made from organic wholefoods and are one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, period. Mmmm. Light years ahead of Oreos, that’s for sure.
(Little Bird are one of my new business crushes; I recently found out about their Unbakery and have had an overwhelming urge to fly to Auckland just to eat $85 worth of raw cheesecake in Kingsland ever since.)
This post isn’t about organic wholefoods, though, so let’s movie right on down to selections less wholesome… the world of vegan supermarket snacks.
The options aren’t exactly non-existent but they are very, very thin on the ground in a lot of places, and I live in one of those places. There are a lot of things I love about Wellington, but it’s inability to provide meat & dairy free snacks is not one of them. Enter the internet, where a couple of Auckland-based online stores come to the rescue.
I haven’t ordered from either of these stores yet, but I feel a splurge on vegan Milky Way bars coming on…
The Cruelty Free Shop is the winner in NZ when it comes to a wide range of vegan munchies, with animal-free versions of almost any traditional munchie food you could possibly ask for.
The savory snack selection is huge, including: vegan chicken nuggets, pepperoni deli slices, chicken burgers, popcorn chicken, quarter pounder burgers, fish fingers, sausage rolls; vegan steak style pie, faux chicken noodle soup, streaky bacon, hot dogs, Tofutti cheese slices and vegan jerky in a whole bunch of flavours.
They also stock a pretty impressive list of sweet treats including, among other confections vegan coconut ice, russian fudge, sour snakes, gummy bears, cola bottles, macaroons, white chocolate, milk chocolate, creme-centred dark chocolates. There is also something called a Bucanneer bar, which is like a vegan version of a Milky Way, and Cleo peanut butter cups, which are a vegan version of Reese’s Pieces ♥
The runner up for online vegan snack shopping in NZ is Huckleberry Farms. Their selection isn’t nearly as large, but there are a bunch of goodies to be had, such as vegan chocolate mousse, custard powder, marshmallow mix, jelly crystals, gummy bears, sour worms, sour gummy bears; vegan hot dogs, chorizo, vegan mince pies, sausage rolls, chicken-style pie and various vegan cookies.
Vegan essentials in particular stocks a LOT of pre-made treats, including vegan gummy candy party mix, chocolate covered gummy bears, caramel popcorn, marshmallows, chocolate covered pretzels, nougat; Holy Cow dark chocolate beans (a vegan version of M&Ms), Oskri dark chocolate covered coconut bar (a vegan version of a Bounty, omg), Sweet & Sara s’mores and mini s’mores (vegan versions of Mallowpuffs, NZers. Pow!), Newman-O’s (like Oreos but with a peanut butter center); vegan chocolate caramel shortbread, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, espresso chip cookies, lemon poppyseed cookies, pumpkin spice cookies, chocolate brownie and cookie dough.
Finally, if all of the badass wholefood cooking you have been doing lately has left you feeling as though you really just don’t have enough artificial colours and flavours in your life, Candy Favorites are US-based wholesalers that have a selection of over 100 vegan candies available. You have to buy them in bulk, though. Lick, suck and chew your way into a sugar coma with the gelatin-free likes of pink lemonade taffy, jolly ranchers, jujubes, runts, sour patch kids and various other brands of sugary confections that rarely make it to NZ shores.
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Healthier goodies can be scored from Commonsense Organics, who have a bunch of wholesome, yummy vegan baked things, sweets, savoury snacks and pastries online and in store. Naturally Organic are another NZ-based option for times when you have a snack attack and can’t heed the call of the kitchen, but want to keep it clean.
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