As a nation, there is nothing we admire the beauty of more than a good sarnie. The versatility and the choices are endless. Particularly for more mindful diets where popular ingredients need to be avoided, the sandwich world is always able to offer something for everyone. The vegan diet, hailed for its substantial health and environmental benefits, is becoming increasingly easy to maintain, yet it’s surprising how often dairy products can sneak their way into an everyday product like a sandwich. We’ll take a look at whether vegans can eat bread, and also provide some top tips for some delicious vegan sandwiches for all you ve-gals and ve-pals (sincerest apologies).
Bread: yay or nay?
The key ingredients for bread; yeast, flour, water and salt, are all suitable for vegans. This means that freshly made baps and breads at bakeries will usually be vegan friendly. It’s always better to enquire if you’re unsure, but if your local bakers are selling a baked product as freshly made and organic, it is unlikely any dairy would be used when making it.
Bread sold commercially however, will often contain whey (a milk protein) or eggs. These aid with filling and stabilising the bread, which is why store-bought loaves will often last longer than those freshly made. When doing the weekly
shop, more caution should maybe be taken when buying loaves of bread from mainstream brands. If they contain these ingredients and don’t explicitly state they’re vegan, they probably aren’t.
The holy grail (or grain)
While many store-bought brands may be harder to trust, do not fear. There are certain types of bread that you can usually rely on to be 100% vegan. Sourdoughs, ezekiels, pittas, naans, focaccias and ciabattas, not only a list of some of the most elite breads, but they are also all usually made without any dairy or eggs. Again, there might be flavours or recipes that would include dairy, but most of the time, these are completely safe for those following a plant-based diet.
ALL the carbs before Marbs
Now for the fun part.
The key to any truly scrumptious vegan sandwich that would make the meatiest of meat heads take a double glance, is a great spread or butter alternative. Butter being dairy may actually be a blessing in disguise as this can allow you to experiment with a plethora of other salivating spreads and alternatives. Humous, smashed avocado, pesto or even nut butters all make a great base for a variety of different fillings.
Does the thought of lettuce and tomato bore you to sleep? Try grabbing some of your favourite veggies, whether it’s courgettes, peppers, onions or carrots and roast or grill them in the oven with your favourite seasonings or dried herbs. These partnered with humous or pesto in a ciabatta or pitta bread bap is sure to make you never want to purchase a meal deal ever again (if that’s even possible).
If you’re feeling adventurous and maybe yearn for the days of a chicken or tuna mayo treat, Vegan Heaven has a number of delicious recipes to create the best meat alternative sandwiches. Their vegan tuna sandwich with chickpeas, barbecue tofu sandwich with pineapple relish and jackfruit pulled pork sandwich all look pretty delectable if you have more time to spare in the kitchen and fancy trying something new.
Let them eat bread
Overall, bread is usually vegan-friendly given that the ingredients do not state otherwise. If you’re considering switching to a vegan diet or want to try cutting down your meat and dairy intake, the sandwich world will welcome you with open arms with some fab recipes and combinations to try. Considering the incredible impact that veganism has on the environment and your carbon footprint, the next time you’re putting together your meal deal, maybe try heading for one of the vegan options and see how it matches up to your usual BLT or ploughman’s. It could be the best idea you’ve had since sliced bread!