Vegan diets are on the rise. Take a look at the plant-based options at your local grocery store and you’ll see that we’ve come a long way from plain tofu. Since November is National Vegan Month, it’s time to check out some of the best vegan products we’ve tried.


No Evil Foods

Made in Asheville, NC, No Evil Foods’ “plant meats” have the texture and versatility of their animal counterparts, and the taste is outstanding. Wheat-based products replace chicken, Italian sausage and chorizo with amazing results. (You’ll even find them used in one of the most elegant restaurants in Asheville.) Keep an eye out for limited edition items like Pit Boss to replace pulled-pork barbecue, and The Pardon, a holiday “turkey” like no other. For local retailers, visit


Upton’s Naturals

It sure looks like meat – but it’s fruit? Upton’s Naturals’ Jackfruit products could fool even the most devoted carnivore. Jackfruit grows on trees and is native to Southeast Asia and each fruit can grow up to 100 pounds. When picked green, it has the texture of shredded meat and is perfect for savory dishes. Upton’s Naturals is the first company to make pre-seasoned, heat-and-serve, natural jackfruit nationally available to the U.S. market. It’s shelf-stable, so it would be perfect for camping, but it is also a great in sandwiches, recipes or simply served over rice. Pre-seasoned flavors include Bar-B-Que, Chili Lime Carnitas, Thai Curry and Original. For recipes and local retailers, visit


Beyond Burger

If veggie burgers have made you feel like you’re missing out, Beyond Burger will change that. It has the look and mouthfeel of a beef burger, but it is completely vegan and has zero cholesterol. It also holds up well on the grill without being dry. Beyond Burgers are available at Whole Foods and are being served at a growing number of restaurants across the country. Visit


Roots Hummus

Handmade in Asheville, NC, Roots hummus – “the microbrew of hummus” – takes that old vegan standby and raises it more than a few notches. With flavors like Thai Coconut Curry, Hot Chipotle, Lima Bean, Black Bean and more, this hummus is versatile enough to eat straight out of the tub or lend depth to your favorite recipes. Visit

Try this holiday-perfect appetizer, which uses Roots Original Hummus as its base. It takes just five minutes to prepare.


Savory Pumpkin Spice Hummus


1 cup of Roots Oil-Free Original Hummus

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp smoked paprika

OPTIONAL: Chipotle Cholula Hot Sauce


In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, Roots Oil-Free Original Hummus

and smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly. Spoon into serving dish and

drizzle with Chipotle Cholula Hot Sauce or your favorite chipotle


(Courtesy of Roots Hummus)

More: Obesity: Is the problem what or how much we eat?


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