The past few weeks on my facebook page I’ve been posting some of the lunches I pack for the girls at school. After posting a sandwich that I made for hubby, I was asked:
“Did you make the bread?” “Any suggestions for good vegan commercially made bread besides Ezekiel?”
A1: No. (breathe a sigh of relief, this is not a bread-making post)
A2: Why, yes I do! I never make bread.
With the recipe development I do and having three young girls, I’d have to do so in my sleep. So thank the vegan heavens that there are good people out there making good vegan breads! I’m going to share some of the brands I buy regularly and love. These are primarily sandwich breads, but I do mention a couple of options for baguettes and artisan breads before finishing. As I’m not sure of availability in particular areas, try asking your whole foods and grocery stores if they can bring in a brand or two. Sometimes they aren’t aware of the demand, and will try carrying a new line.
Note about reading labels: If you are looking for complete, 100% whole-grain bread, look for that on the label. “Multi-grain” is not the same as “whole-grain”. Multigrain sounds as if it has whole-grain products, but really just means that it can have variety (or ‘multi’) of different grains, and those can be refined. “Organic wheat flour” is also not whole-grain, it’s simply organic. Read the ingredients. Most multigrain breads have “wheat flour” or “enriched flour”, neither of which is whole-grain. Look for “whole-wheat” or “whole spelt” or 100% whole-grain on the labels and in the ingredients. All of the sandwich breads I am listing here are whole-grain, some are also organic, and one special variety is veganic! 1. Silver Hills. This is one of the first whole-grain vegan breads that we discovered. It uses sprouted grains, which make the grains/bread more digestible and nutritious. You can choose from a variety of loaves and bagels, and it looks like they’ve just released hot dog buns and hamburger rolls! I especially like the widepan loaves for sandwiches. They do have a couple of gluten-free loaves, though I wasn’t as impressed with these, but that’s probably because their regular line is so very good. We have been using Silver Hills breads for years. They are a little pricier than standard bread loaves – but you can sometimes find deals at large chains like Costco or smaller stores (we have a corner store that sells it cheaper than our province-wide health food store)!
2. One Degree Veganic Bread. A recent (and exciting!) find. Our girls especially love this bread because it’s “squishier”. You know how kids simply love squishy, soft bread? Well, while Silver Hills is tender, it has a lot of texture and isn’t always ‘soft’. This One Degree Veganic Bread is very soft and the slices are also usually generous. One Degree is also made from sprouted and organic grains, like Silver Hills. This bread has been slightly more expensive in our health food store than the Silver Hills. When they do have specials, I stock up and freeze quite a few. How I love that this bread announces it’s vegan certification on the label! Not only are the ingredients vegan, but they work with veganic farmers that utilize plant-based fertilizers. Thank you. In short, this is my new favorite vegan bread for our family.
3. Trader Joe’s Sprouted Whole-Wheat Bread. This is widely available for most of you in the US as it is a Trader Joe’s product. Its texture is more similar to the Veganic bread, a little softer and ‘squishier’. It is sprouted but not organic. It has a sweetness from the dates and raisins, and our girls really like this bread too. Those are the vegan sandwich breads we use. I don’t buy Ezekiel breads for sandwiches because I find it too nubbly and rough for the girls. Plus, the slices are quite thin and small. We do like it for pairing with casseroles, soups, and pastas – yet I typically opt for some local whole-grain artisan breads for dinner meals, such as these: One that I especially love is a local company called Just Pies that specializes in gluten-free breads. I tell you their gluten-free breads are THE BEST, especially their “Cocolithic” coconut breads. Those are so tender and feel ‘glutinous’ it is hard to believe they are gluten-free. They are also made without yeast and oil. Apparently a magician makes them. There is no website that I can find for the company. They are local to BC, and I buy them at Antony & Sons. Another plant-powered baguette that we enjoy at dinner is the Peace Bomb from Dave’s Killer Bread. All of Dave’s breads are vegan and organic, and most are whole-grain (check the FAQs). The girls really love this one, it has a slightly sweetness. As parents, it’s great seeing them eat all those seeds around the baguette without any fuss. Kids can be particular about seeds and it’s easier to rely on nuts and nut butters for it. Next, If you don’t care to make cinnamon rolls like some people (might or might not include me), then try the Sin-Dawg baguette. Wow, delicious! I’ve bought it a couple of times for a morning treat for the girls. It’s so cinnamon-y sweet, no icing needed! Instead, I slather some almond butter on the cinnamon-enriched-slices after toasting. Quite irresistible! Dave’s also has sliced sandwich breads, including a spelt variety. So, that’s another option to consider for sliced lunch breads if this killer line is in your store. Are there any vegan breads that you love and would like to add for readers? Please tell us your favorites.