Are you trying to make a commitment to living a vegan lifestyle? Only 0.5% of the population is currently on a vegan diet, but you are in good company.
Unfortunately, living as a vegan is harder that it may seem. You might try to make a commitment on New Year’s, but have trouble following through.
Sometimes our New Year’s resolutions crash even harder than we do after NYE. For those of us who pledged to make at least the first month of 2022 cruelty-free, Veganuary is not an easy ride. There tends only to be a focus on what to eat, and as such, what to drink is left out. Carbonated drinks have no reason to use animal products in their ingredients, but that doesn’t mean that these beverages don’t have non-vegan ingredients in them, such as ester gum.
You will discover many of the benefits of being vegan when you make these changes. This includes rebalancing your hormones.
Thankfully, there are a host of plant-based drinks out there that are not only 100% vegan friendly but can also help make January a month of exploration instead of slog and sacrifice. Who knows — after seeing what’s out there, you might decide that the grass is way greener as a full-time vegan. Here are some of the tastiest soft drinks to help you reach the finish line this Veganuary.
1. No. 1 Living Water Kefir
Since milk is a severe no-no during Veganuary, if you’re a fan of drinks with healthy microorganism content, such as Filmjolk or Kefir, you might feel a little disappointed, especially if you also suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Have no fear, though: No. 1 Living’s 100% dairy-free Water Kefir keeps your tummy and your conscience clear, as well as having zero caffeine and alcohol. Not only is it rich in both gut-friendly bacteria and naturally-sourced ingredients like apple cider vinegar, its live culture fermentation means it’s completely sugar-free.
Unlike other kefir drinks that swap goat’s milk for dairy-free coconut or almond, No. 1’s Water Kefir has a taste and consistency that resembles more of a cordial than other creamy beverages, coming with a surprisingly citrusy tang. The probiotic bacteria they pack is also essential for helping IBS and other digestive issues — as well as potentially supporting the immune system.
Another new beverage making waves, TRIP’s new line of CBD-infused drinks ought to ensure a relaxing start to 2022. For those unfamiliar, drinks made with cannabidiol (CBD) — taken from the non-psychoactive parts of the hemp plant — potentially deliver many benefits for users, such as increasing focus and inducing feelings of calm and relaxation.
TRIP’s low calorie CBD drinks stand out from the crowd of plant-based beverages not only because they’re entirely vegan and gluten-free but because they’re just super delicious. You’ll find flavors such as fragrant elderflower and mint or aromatic lemon and basil. For those seeking a caffeine kick without “the shakes,” TRIP also produces a CBD-infused cold brew extracted from Guatemalan beans, which is vegan too.
3. Nonsuch Shrubs
What the heck are shrubs you ask? These are syrup and plant-based alcohol alternatives created from a range of sugars, aromatics, concentrated fruits, and vinegar, making for pleasantly sweet, vegan mixers with an acidic punch. The drink blends well with soda water or other soft refreshments, in place of a boozy G&T that incidentally might make you feel tempted to backslide on your Veganuary efforts.
When these organic ingredients are distilled in this way, you end up with a rich, fruity, and piquant beverage. Nonsuch have so far brewed the most exciting and complex shrub-based drink, with just a small amount in your glass adding a vibrant, punchy, and sophisticated flavor from ingredients like cardamom, wild hedgerow, and caramelized pineapple. No doubt these will be popular for years to come.
4. Big Drop Brewing’s Fieldhopper Golden Ale
Elsewhere, Big Drop’s Golden Ale adds a whole host of mother nature’s finest gifts into its alcohol-free beer, which is delightful for vegans and beer lovers alike. In the brand’s own words, Big Drop’s ‘Fieldhopper’ has the “earthy, honey flavors of this quintessentially English hop variety,” with just the right amount of bitterness paired with the flowery fruitiness of grapefruit and orange blossom.
If you’re trying to be an absolute hero this year and making Veganuary a dry one, too, Big Drop Brewing offers a great way to pique your interest in the homulus lupus plant. This balanced and refreshing substitute for your average brewski will be a balm to the self-enforced strictness of your New year, New Me efforts.
5. Koia Smoothie
We previously mentioned that smoothies can be great for living healthier lifestyles. Koia smoothies can be particularly healthy.
For those that still reserve some love for milk, the folks at Koia have produced a silky smooth line of coconut milk-based beverages, each with their own deliciously distinct personalities. These creamy smoothies pack in healthy fats thanks to coconut milk and juicy fruits and protein with no additional sugars.
They also boast nutritious superfoods that are entirely plant-based, like chia seeds, baobab powder, and chicory root extract. Completely soy-free, kosher and suitable for vegans, the current flavors, straw-nana and tropical, are super hydrating and teeming with prebiotic fibers. They also contain the juices of a whole coconut, distilled into one sweet and satisfying smoothie.
6. Rebbl Spicy Chai Super Elixir
There’s some confusion around chai. It’s not a flavor, but in fact, it’s its own thing — ‘chai’ is just Hindi for ‘tea.’ While we all love an indulgent and creamy chai latte, Rebbl’s Super-Elixir is powered by a blend of spicy Assam chai and dairy-free coconut milk to bring some Ayurvedic (naturally medical) magic to both our taste buds and body.
In the brand’s words, the Ashwagandha herb is “considered to be a powerhouse and is one of the most important and universally consumed herbs in Ayurveda.” It has a tasty but neutral character, perfect for supporting the vitality of all ages and body temperaments. Sign us up!