Many individuals who are not vegans, or those who abstain from consuming products whose manufacture involved the exploitation of animals, believe that vegan food choices are severely restricted or even boring. Most practicing vegans find, however, that with a bit of creativity it is possible to enjoy a diverse range of foods during both meals and snack time. Beyond the obvious fruits and vegetables, there are sweet and savory vegan treats available to suit nearly every palate and satisfy almost any craving. These treats may include “normal” foods which happen to be vegan, or snacks which are sold by specialty food manufacturers or shops. Home cooks can also make their own vegan treats by following vegan recipes, or by adapting non-vegan recipes.
Among the most accessible vegan treats are so-called “normal” foods which happen to be vegan. Many of the crackers, pretzels, cookies, and so forth sold in supermarkets contain no animal or animal-derived substances. These products are readily available and are often inexpensive. Those who live in countries which require manufacturers to include a vegan symbol on applicable labels need only scan product packaging to find out whether or not a particular treat is vegan-friendly. In countries where such labeling is not required, consumers usually must read a product’s ingredient list to determine its vegan status.
A number of specialty shops, bakeries, and food manufacturers are dedicated to producing vegan treats which simulate non-vegan favorites in both taste and appearance. These specialty producers may sell anything from vegan ice cream, cakes, and candy bars to vegan nachos and mini corndogs. The fact that such products are immediately identifiable as vegan-friendly eliminates the need to read long ingredient lists to confirm that a food is truly vegan. On the downside, however, specialty stores often tend to charge higher prices than mainstream supermarkets.
Home cooks can make their own vegan treats. Diverse collections of vegan snack recipes can be found at many bookstores as well as on the Internet. In some cases, it may also be possible to adapt non-vegan recipes so that they are vegan friendly. For instance, it might be possible to substitute vegan carob chips for milk chocolate in a favorite cookie recipe or to use silken tofu instead of milk when preparing pudding. A brief Internet search can turn up a wealth of sites which provide information about substituting vegan ingredients for non-vegan ones while cooking.