If youre considering opting for a vegan lifestyle but concerned you might miss out on the advent calendar fun, let us set your mind at ease.
With one in eight Brits now vegan or vegetarian, many companies are responding by introducing vegan alternatives to munch on during the festive season.
While most of these contain dark and bitter chocolate, there are some hidden gems too – such as gin, tea and whisky, as well as the odd beauty calendar.
Heres our pick of the best vegan advent calendars this Christmas.
Packaging: Its big, red and the doors are very easy to open. Like the tagline says: Less sprouts, more sweets.
Whats inside: Our favourite of the lot. Made from natural juices with no added colourings, the calendar contains four flavours of sweets including blueberry bliss, peach fizz, sour watermelon and wild strawberry. Warning, once you start eating these you might find yourself having eaten all of them within an hour (its worth getting a second one, just in case).
Festive joy: On the back of each door the kittens have scribbled a cute little note.
Best for: Anyone who is vegan but loathes dark chocolate, cat lovers and people who like Made in Chelseas Jamie Laing, the owner of the brand.
When and where you can buy it: Exclusive to Waitrose in store, but you can also order it from Candy Kittens.
Packaging: Does what it says on the tin – your average chocolate advent calendar with 24 doors and a cute, albeit boring, snowman design.
Whats inside: If you prefer to savour your treats, youll enjoy this one. The organic pieces are very, very thick and will last longer than most other calendar chocolates. Extra tip: pop it into your morning coffee to get a delicious mocha flavour. Downside, windows are a bit tricky to open.
Festive joy: Extra large chocolates, and were always down for that.
Best for: Yourself or greedy people who always nag that the chocolate never lasts.
When and where you can buy it: Available now from the Vegan Kind supermarket.
Packaging: Branded Magical Snowfall, the packaging resembles a dark winters night with a glittering tree on the front thatll give you the festive feels.
Whats inside: The tasty chocolate inside isnt just plant-based and vegan, its also gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, and free of GMO ingredients and palm oil. But it could taste a little bitter for some palates, as it only contains 4% sugar.
Festive joy: Youd be supporting a small family business, rather than the big retailers.
Best for: Anyone who doesnt need the layers of sugar to enjoy a nice piece of chocolate.
When and where you can buy it: Buy it online from Yumbles.
Drinks by the Dram Whiskey
Packaging: Heavy and red, made from a sturdy cardboard material to neatly hold the treasures inside.
Whats inside: It might seem a bit pricey, but not when you consider the contents – 24 whisky flavours from all over the world including France, England, Scotland, Japan, America and Ireland. Each wax-sealed bottle contains 30ml of whisky with distilleries such as Cotswolds, That Boutique-y Whisky Company and The Blended Whisky Company (a very strong blend of 52.3% ABV) and more.
Festive joy: Whisky instead of chocolate? Yes, please.
Best for: Whisky connoisseurs or beginners who want to expand their knowledge of the spirit.
Packaging: Rather than open doors, you pop off the lid, and inside are handmade chocolates with dates painted on top.
Whats inside: This ones actually not vegan but vegetarian, and a good choice for those who with gluten allergies. It also doesnt contain any eggs, yeast or artificial ingredients.
Festive joy: The lid works as a 3D Santa, which is fairly festive.
Best for: People who like free from products and appreciate quirky sweets.
When and where you can buy it: Order it from Yumbles, here.
Packaging: Very pretty, in a seasonal gold and red design, featuring a Bambi-style illustration.
Whats inside: Hmm, were in two minds about this one. The 70% dark chocolate is nice, but having to peel away the foil after opening the door was a let-down.
Festive joy: In support of the Woodland Trust, each chocolate is made in the shape of a woodland creature and a good deed is always festive.
Best for: Possibly one for the kids (thanks to the animal shapes), if your little ones like dark, bitter chocolate. Otherwise, adults who enjoy a decent chocolate at a decent price.
When and where you can buy it: Available now, order it from the Vegan Kind supermarket.
Packaging: Minimalistic design in the brands traditional style, opens like a book. But once again, the foil appears when you open the door (though we suspect thats to maintain the quality of the treat).
Whats inside: Oh, the bitterness. Its 100% Ecuadorian dark chocolate, made with cocoa nibs and nothing else. If you know someone who is very particular about their chocolate, this is the one. Or if you want to play a prank on a sibling or colleague who keeps eating your daily treat, offer them one of these – and watch their expression.
Festive joy: A special chocolate, for a special season.
Best for: Not for the faint-hearted.
When and where you can buy it: Buy it online or in a Hotel Chocolat store.
Price: £59.00. You need to spend a minimum of £60 to order it, so you have £1 left over to spend on biscuits.
Packaging: Beautiful and well-organised. No doors to rip off here; instead, you can pull out delicate drawers from your new tea closet. Shaped like a home and stands up on its own.
Whats inside: This Christmas, treat yourself to more than your usual morning brew. Each of the 24 drawers contains four tea bags, so technically you get 96 days worth of goodies. Some of the flavours include green Sencha, peppermint, Darjeeling black tea, Rosehip and Hibiscus, and Masala Chai.
Festive joy: 96 treats, remember.
Best for: Tea lovers, your nan or your parents.
When and where you can buy it: Sold at Ocado and swiftly delivered to your door.
First 4 Hampers Gin
Packaging: Its a humongous Christmas cracker – were in love. However, it was rather fiddly getting the bottles out of the doors.
Whats inside: Flavour, flavour, flavour. Gin flavour, that is. Indulge in Yorkshire Tea, Raspberry Jam, Strawberries & Cream and Mulled Winter Fruit, alongside Sloe gin, Rhubarb and Rosehip, Orange, Lavender and Cucumber gin. Theres more, but we dont want to spoil the surprise.
Festive joy: Like the creators of the cracker say: Gin-gle all the way.
Best for: Yourself. Or get an extra one and share it at the dinner table on Christmas Day.
When and where you can buy it: Sold at First 4 Hampers, Amazon and Master of Malt, among others.
Packaging: Each window reveals a little white pouch with a message like some secrets are best kept concealed.
Whats inside: Vegan skin treats in a tropical theme; fruit peel, wild mint, lime and pineapple wash, a bamboo face cloth and a velvet coconut cream in a tantalising whipped texture.
Festive joy: Red and gold, and youre supporting animals everywhere, since its vegan.
Best for: Vegans, animal-lovers and people who miss the summer sun.
When and where you can buy it: It was released on 19 October, buy it here.
Say goodbye to the Toffee Deluxe as its once again axed from Quality Street
Goodbye, Toffee Deluxe (Picture: Twitter/@KevsSnackReview)
Percy Pigs isnt the only classic British ..
Percy Pigs isnt the only classic British treat getting a makeover this year.
Fans of the pig-shaped sweet were left outraged as M&S announced the arrival of a vegetarian version – which, coincidentally, was today announced as a permanent change – and now, Quality Street will be mixing things up too.
The traditional confectionery box is a regular feature in most British households during Christmas, but this coming December youll notice theres one treat missing.
Nestlé, which owns Quality Street, has decided to remove the Toffee Deluxe from its offering and replace it with a brand new flavour: Chocolate Caramel Brownie.
Its a controversial move, especially given the brand tried to kill off the treat nearly three years ago but opted to to bring it back after a social media campaign was started by fans of the flavour.
Unfortunately, this is truly the end.
While you mourn the loss of the delicious, chewy goodness and frantically search stores for a box that still contains the Toffee Deluxe, heres some info on its replacement.
The Chocolate Caramel Brownie features a milk chocolate exterior, with a gooey chocolate and caramel-flavoured centre.
But dont get too attached to this flavour either, as its not a permanent addition (meaning Nestlé could potentially bring back the Toffee Deluxe, again).
As expected, people arent thrilled about this new development.
This is a travesty!!
— Carrie Hards (@itscarriehards) May 17, 2019
Quality Street axing the toffee deluxe is not the news I wanted today, that's one of the best!
— Imogen (@ImogenCWrites) May 16, 2019
One Twitter user, Josh Handscomb, doesnt seem too bothered though, and instead questioned if its necessary to have so many toffee options in Quality Street products.
He and his Read More – Source
Co-op launches £1 bags of halloumi fries crisps – and theyre vegetarian
The new halloumi crisps cost £1 (Picture: Co-op)
Co-op has released a bag of halloumi fries crisps –..
Co-op has released a bag of halloumi fries crisps – so you can now eat your favourite side dish on the go.
The potato tube-shaped crisps feature the flavour of halloumi cheese, they also have a hint of chilli.
Oh, and the best news? Theyre vegetarian.
The crisps cost £1 for a 100g bag and theyre currently limited edition.
According to Pretty52, the retailer wanted to jump on the halloumi trend and thought crisps were a great way to do so.
Ursula Artjoki, Co-op crisps, snacks and nuts developer, said: Weve seen halloumi fries pop-up on many a restaurant menu over the past year.
So, we wanted to put our Co-op spin on this trend and give our customers the chance to enjoy the popular flavour conveniently in a crisp offering.
Co-op Halloumi Fries are a really moreish crowd-pleaser that wont last long once the bag gets opened.
Halloumi fries arent the only new crisps on the shelves – Co-op has also released coconut and chargrilled pineapple tortilla chips, and aromatic crispy duck and hoisin crisps, both priced at £1.70.
Alongside this, theyve also launched lamb kofta and halloumi flatbread crisps, again at £1.50 for a 150g bag.
Back to the cheese though, if youre wanting actual halloumi fries, Aldi has relaunched its fries for £2.29.
The cheesy fries were first released last May, after the supermarket spotted how popular they were at Nandos.
Aldis Specially Selected Golden & Crispy Specially Selected Halloumi Fries are available in stores already and can be found in the frozen foods aisle.
Aldi says: Inspired by a similar offering from popular Portuguese chicken eateryRead More – Source
Frankie & Bennys is offering 50% off food for Instagramming your meal
Photograph your food and get 50% off (Picture: Frankie & Bennys)
If you are one of those people who ..
If you are one of those people who cant eat a meal without putting it on Instagram first, it could finally be about to pay off.
Italian-American chain Frankie & Bennys is offering customers the chance to pay with pics.
Youll be given 50% off a main meal if you post a picture tagged with the name of the restaurant on Instagram.
The deal runs from now until the end of the month.
The discount is being launched to celebrate their new menu.
Apparently customers thought it was too child-like so theyve replaced it with more grown-up options.
Theres 26 new options, including seven vegan options.
We love the sound of the Toblerone cheesecake.
What's on the menu at Frankie and Benny's?
- Vegan Fry Up £6.29
- Breakfast Pizza £9.99
- Vegan Scrambled Eggs £5.59
- Mini Basil Bread Sticks £1.99
- Meatballs Al Forno £5.99
- Mozzarella & Tomato Salad £4.99
- Vegan Loaded Skins £5.49
- Garlic Prawns £6.99
- Black and Blue Burger £14.79
- Chicken BLT Burger £12.99
- Viva La Vegan Cheeseburger £10.49
- Cannelloni £10.49
- Tortellini Nduja £12.49
- Chilli Cheese Dog £8.99/£11.49 (6” or 12”)
- Rialto (Salmon salad) £12.99
- Capra (Goats cheese salad) £10.99
- Dolce Vita (Blue cheese salad) £12.29
- Pollo Peppadew pizza £11.99/£16.99 (10 or 15”)
- Italian Hot pizza £11.99/£16.99 (10 or 15”)
- Four Cheeses pizza £9.99/£14.99 (10 or 15”)
- Vegan Cheese Fries £4.99
- Toblerone Cheesecake £5.99
- Lemon Meringue Bomb £5.99
- Vegan No-cheesecake £5.79
- Tiramisu Frankie & Bennys £5.99
- Lotus Biscoff (vegan) £2.99
Frankie & Bennys Brand Director, Elise Ash, said: Foodstagraming is taking ove.! Everyone likes to take a picture of their food when it comes out, no matter how hungry they are – now you can save some money as a bonus.
We are really looking forward to our guests reaction to this initiative and the new menu as it is the fiRead More – Source
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