Most of us glowed with sheer delight when Aldi announced their new vegan-friendly grocery line. YES!! I mean, convenient vegan foods and [hopefully] lower prices always sound good.
Before I continue into this very brief review, however, I think I need to make one very important point that may be moot, but here it is: you can shop vegan [almost] ANYWHERE. You don’t need to go to a store with a specialty vegan line.
You can shop vegan and maintain a whole-foods plant based lifestyle wherever you have a grocery store with a full produce section, frozen options, and a few basic dry goods.
Vegan, whole food pantry staples include a wide variety of fruits, vegetables (fresh and frozen), a wide array of legumes, nuts, and seeds, and probably some nutrient-rich grains such as rice, quinoa, oats, etcetera. This list of foods is available at most, nearly all grocery stores.
If you’re looking for vegan convenience or specialty items, you may have to look harder for these items.
Many stores (nearly all, I’ve found!) carry non-dairy milk alternatives, again, making plant-based options absolutely achievable and much more convenient.
Stores such as Whole Foods and health co-ops usually carry plant-based convenience items such as tofu, tempeh, non-dairy yogurt options, vegan “faux meat” options, plant-based proteins, and SO MUCH MORE.
But now it’s not just Whole Foods and health co-ops holding the ground. Now I can pick up some of these “convenience items” nearly wherever I shop (Target, Walmart, Coborns… and each store has their own unique selection) and now even Aldi has hopped on the bandwagon! (at last, am I right!?)
With the accessibility of these items, however, it’s easy to get caught up in the ease of purchasing these items to make meals “easier” but sometimes you pay the price with lesser-quality ingredients.
In this very brief review of a few of Aldi’s new items in their vegan-friendly grocery line, I take ingredients into consideration.
The vegan cheese shreds
Let’s start here because we ALL need a good non-dairy, plant-based cheese to fall back on, especially when kids are involved. We love our “cheezy” cashew cream for many of our cheese-flavor needs, but let’s be honest, sometimes you want something closer to the real deal.
Aldi’s vegan cheese shreds was the product I was probably MOST excited about. However, we weren’t crazy about the product. The ingredients are oil-based, so I’m not crazy about that. But the cheese does melt well!
I’d compare it to the Trader Joe’s mozzarella shreds blend.
CONSENSUS: some are likely to enjoy it more than others, could be better, but will do in a pinch when we just need cheese on that vegan pizza and we are already shopping at Aldi – obviously!
Vegan Hot Dogs and Sausage
My kids LOVE plant-based sausages. And when we head to parties and grill outs, (not all THAT often) I’ll be sure to bring a package of plant-based hotdogs or burgers.
Ingredients-wise, depending upon how you feel about soy, you may choose to purchase these items or not.
CONSENSUS: For us, if we are shopping Aldi, these products have good taste and are equally comparable to Lightlife brand, in my family’s opinion! With the ingredients, these foods are not a staple of our daily diet but are a delicious option for entertaining, etc.
We sat down to dinner last week with Aldi’s vegan kale burgers and they were a huge hit! Simple ingredients that I can stand behind, these were a great time-saving alternative to DIY veggie burgers in a time pinch.
They stayed crispy on the outside and we ate them on top of a bed of quinoa and veggies although I’m sure they’re also delicious when served in a bun or roll!
CONSENSUS: We will probably have a box of these in our freezer often, for quick lunches and dinners. Enjoyed by all!
The red lentil and black bean pasta at Aldi are great. Although in our opinion, Banza makes the BEST legume-based pasta, Aldi’s G-Free brand has done well creating a good option.
If we’ve shopped Aldi that month (which isn’t every month) we definitely pick up a couple boxes of these for a high-protein, highly convenient pasta option.
There are so many more products, perhaps I’ll add to this post again later. But this is what we’ve tried so far! Are there any products you’d like me to review from Aldi’s new vegan-friendly line?
Need some simple meal-planning ideas? <– in this post, I list what a sample week may look like for our plant-based family of four.
Which have you tried and which are your favorites?