By Ella Clucas
A few years ago, the premise of celebrating Easter without consuming eggs, meat or dairy seemed near impossible. It was animal products or nothing as far as chocolate was concerned, and a genuinely good replacement for a bit of roast lamb was out of the picture. Over the last three years or so, however, we’ve witnessed a surge in the demand for meat free and dairy free products. More and more people are switching to a plant-based diet. Why, you ask? Well, whether it’s a health driven motivation or it stems from the increasing research into the animal agriculture industry’s impact on climate change, the need for accessible vegan products has never been greater. When we asked, food manufacturers listened, and now I’m going to show you how indulgent a vegan Easter can really be.
The morning started off in the same way as it does every Easter in my family home: cups of coffee and sausage sandwiches. I had been absolutely thrilled to get my hands on a pack of the Richmond meat free sausages, especially with the queues at my local supermarket given the current climate (something has to be said for the fact that, even in the midst of a global pandemic, some people will still refuse anything with a vegan label on it!). Fry these bad boys off in a little oil, slap them between some buttered seeded bread and cover them in ketchup. That, my friends, is a decent breakfast. Paired with an oat milk latte, there’s no way you can go wrong.
” From Moo-Free to Nomo, Bournville to Free From, new brands are emerging from left, right and centre with all sorts of dairy free chocolate eggs.”
On my first Easter following a plant-based diet, the lack of good vegan chocolate was unmistakable. Family members had forgotten that I wasn’t eating dairy, so I ended up with Easter eggs I couldn’t even eat and had to hand over to siblings – imagine the pain! Fast forward three years and I’m inundated with different kinds of chocolate. From Moo-Free to Nomo, Bournville to Free From, new brands are emerging from left, right and centre with all sorts of dairy free chocolate eggs. I’m talking honeycomb, fruit and nut, chocolate orange, sea salt and caramel… definitely spoiled for choice.
Last but by no means least to grace my belly on this gorgeous Easter Sunday was, of course, a roast dinner. The undisputed champion of meals. My plate was heaped with carrot and swede, roasted parsnips, peas, broccoli, and two different forms of potato: mash and crispy roasties. To replace the traditional lamb shoulder, I had picked up a Vivera vegan steak, a great meat substitute that’s really close to the real thing but always goes down best with a lot of gravy!
For dessert I had intended to make a vegan meringue using the water from a tin of chickpeas – yes, chickpeas – but couldn’t find any in my local store, so I followed the dinner with a big bowl of strawberries topped with Oatly vegan cream and several glasses of prosecco, which we drank on into the evening. With the amount of choice on offer, it’s unsurprising that this year’s vegan Easter was much bigger, yummier and easier than it’s ever been. If there’s ever been a time to try something new, for one day a week or seven, now is definitely that time.