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Food hamper for a vegan friend with food allergies

(36 Posts)
GeekyWombat Thu 15-Dec-16 18:50:51

Help!

I've got a friend who is going to be alone at Christmas (breakup this year, working shifts etc). She lives too far away for us to invite her round so I wanted to put together a little basket of food type treats for her to enjoy with her (self-confessed) Christmas Day / night of Netflix. Finances are tight for her at the mo so she's not having lots of Christmas bits.

She's:
Vegan
Allergic to chocolate and orange (possibly all citrus, I'll probably avoid just in case)

She loves coffee so I've got her some nice stuff but what else can I put in a little hamper that would be suitable. Is vegan wine a thing? Could I get a mini bottle? Someone said kettle chips are vegan friendly so I might go for some of them.

I don't have much to spend (about a tenner on top of the coffee / box I've got) and the parcel is going to be left outside her door so nothing needing refrigeration / frozen. I can get to Tesco or Asda easily.

Any and all help gratefully received - I want to get her tasty bits. Something a bit festive (stollen? Maybe?) would be nice too.

Initially I thought of a nice Stilton... In case you haven't guessed i am not a natural vegan. Help!

Spindelina Thu 15-Dec-16 18:56:26

Vegan wine and beer are things. I know Sainsbury's website will let you filter results by vegan - Tescos probably will too.

You might struggle with stollen (butter) but you might find mince pies (the cheaper they are, the more likely to be vegan - no butter). Biscuits too. Lots of crisps will be fine, especially not ones with powdery flavouring coating.

Nice crackers and quince/date paste?

Spindelina Thu 15-Dec-16 18:56:58

Oh, and nuts.

bookbook Thu 15-Dec-16 18:57:49

does this help at all?
www.peta.org.uk/blog/44-accidentally-vegan-snack-foods/

SealSong Thu 15-Dec-16 19:02:13

Posh nuts, e.g. roasted cashews, jar of almond butter and crackers, vegan mince pies if you can get them, olives...

This might help.

DoItTooJulia Thu 15-Dec-16 19:04:31

Popcorn is a great vegan snack-and cheap too!

Mummydoctor Thu 15-Dec-16 19:08:02

What a lovely thing for you to do! I have put together a vegan hamper for my sister and brother in law though they have no allergies and they are coming over on Christmas Day. Lidl mince pies are accidentally vegan and really yummy. Holland and Barrett sell vegan marshmallows on line, which we have 'tested'(!) this week and were great. You could add some nice crackers and chutneys. I've also included a bottle of agave syrup ( nice to use instead of honey) and some fancy teabags. How about some popcorn also and a DVD?

GeekyWombat Thu 15-Dec-16 21:08:39

Thanks so much for everyone's advice, it's been incredibly helpful and there's been some great suggestions (love the idea of popcorn and a DVD but as I know she has Netflix I figure she's covered on that score). This whole process has also been a bit of an eye opener. I assumed vegan meant 'like vegetarian but also no egg/cheese/dairy' but I'm now realising all the other random things that can go in and make something not-vegan!

I've had a good look round the Tesco / Asda / Holland and Barrett websites and come up with the following as a little bundle. I basically want to get a mix of sweet / savoury and treat type things - she's a bit stretched financially at the moment so I wanted a few luxury type bits (within my budget!) as these are the things she'll be foregoing for more 'sensible' shopping.

My shopping list is:

Bottle of vegan red wine
Mulling spices
Nakd Christmas Pudding Bar
Tub of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls sweets
Lotus Biscoff Caramelised Biscuits or Nairn's Stem Ginger Oat biscuits
Kettle chips (lightly salted/sea salt and balsamic/sea salt and pepper) or jar of nuts or wasabi peas
Vegan mince pies or Mrs Crimbles Dutch Apple Cake
Nairn's oatcakes
Either Lotus Biscoff spread (if I don't get the biscuits, otherwise it seems overkill!) or Whole Earth 3 nut butter

Going to put it all in a basket with Christmas coffee and a little candle. I hope there will be a few things in there she fancies at least!

So, one last question (sorry, when you've all been so helpful already):

Has anyone tried the Biscoff spread? Is it tasty or sickly? Is Nut butter a better idea (my thinking is you could do more with it too maybe? Cook with it?)

MarklahMarklah Thu 15-Dec-16 21:14:45

You can also get carob which is an alternative to chocolate and you can get dairy-free 'cheese' - try local health food stores, or, failing that, Holland & Barrett.

Spindelina Thu 15-Dec-16 21:20:21

Most vegans I know eat a lot of peanut butter so the biscoff stuff might be more of an unusual treat, iyswim.

traviata Fri 16-Dec-16 10:42:51

the Biscoff spread gets rave reviews on here, I keep meaning to try it.

Agree with pp that peanut butter is a staple for most vegans.

Your list sounds lovely. What a kind friend you are. Just watch for citrus in the mulling spice mix and the mince pies.

DoItTooJulia Fri 16-Dec-16 14:16:01

I love biscoff spread. Are you buying smooth or crunchy?

fourcorneredcircle Fri 16-Dec-16 18:41:22

Mmmm biscoff spread. Known as "Biscuit Crack" in this house. Definitely more of a treat than PB - we're vege rather than vegan but I recon at least one of us (of three!) have some on any given day.

Sainsbury's do a large selection of vegan cheese. Depends on temp obv but if you're somewhere pretty cold it'd be fine in the hamper on the doorstep. I'd do it round here, average winter temp is about 7/8 degrees.

ChampagneTastes Fri 16-Dec-16 18:49:52

Just coming on to say you're lovely! All those things sound fabulous. One quick thought.... are candles vegan? (Possibly a v stupid question).

Shadowridge Fri 16-Dec-16 18:58:39

Is she not quite fussy about what she likes to eat. I think the gesture is nice but some of the food might be wasted/ not to her taste. Would a Sainsburys or Waitrose gift voucher, whilst more impersonal, actually be easier all round? Christmas in you so to speak as you can't invite her round.

Ruralretreating Fri 16-Dec-16 19:52:10

I have a very restricted diet due to breastfed baby's multiple food allergies and I think I would actually cry if someone did this for me this Christmas. Last year I got given lots of biscuits, chocolate etc by people who are well aware of the allergies (and Easter eggs at Easter too!). What a very kind and thoughtful friend you are.

twilightrevolution Fri 16-Dec-16 19:53:11

I've seen the Biscoff and biscuits in Poundland recently if that's any help.

twilightrevolution Fri 16-Dec-16 19:53:41

spread and biscuits, I mean

Leatherboundanddown Fri 16-Dec-16 19:56:33

You are lovely. Your list is great. I was going to come on and add some mini coffee syrups to go with the coffee but it sounds like you have it covered. If you want anything else and have a large Sainsburys near you then see if they have Oatly foamable. It is found in the long life/free from milk shelf. It is a special dairy free milk for making coffees and is very good.

Have a lovely Christmas.

gammatron Fri 16-Dec-16 20:27:30

I'd also recommend popping into holland and barrat!

GeekyWombat Fri 16-Dec-16 20:55:40

Ha Champage I have no idea whether candles are vegan... I shall now have to go and look ;)

Shadowridge I totally get where you're coming from and did think about a supermarket gift voucher. The thing is she's quite a proud person. She's financially stretched at the moment but if I basically put a tenner in a card she'd get cross at the idea of 'charity' (nonsense, but there you go). Also, as she's going to be alone and doesn't have much family I thought a kind of hampery type thing - cellophane, bright ribbon etc might feel a bit more special and like someone had been thinking of her. I know it's daft.

I bought smooth Biscoff spread today which I am now very excited about having read PPs comments. Hopefully she'll like it! I'm still on the hunt for either Nakd Christmas Pudding bars (which apparently taste like the real thing) or vegan mince pies but I've got a few days yet to hunt them down.

Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to post - I'd never have figured it out without the help!

PeaceOfWildThings Fri 16-Dec-16 21:09:48

You can look in the Free From section for things marked 'vegan', or go online and search for vegan treats on the store website.

Sugar free coffee syrups are a popular treat.
Ginger sweets.
Matcha Green tea
Dried coconut chips
Vegemite
Long life dairy free milks in small cartons (almond/coconut/oat)
Vegetable pate (tins in Asda free from section) is very nice

PeaceOfWildThings Fri 16-Dec-16 21:10:18

Soya candles are a thing.

GeekyWombat Fri 16-Dec-16 21:41:39

Just saw lots of additional posts which popped up while I writing my last update. Thank you all so much for so many fab ideas. Intrigued by the idea of vegetable pate, and definitely going to give Holland and Barratt a look tomorrow (I'm obsessed with either mince pies or Christmas pudding bars and frankly Lidl is the third ring of hell here!).

GeekyWombat Fri 16-Dec-16 21:44:36

And I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a restricted time at the mo Ruralretreating. Just trying to put together this hamper has made me realise how tough it is to buy stuff without a lot of logistical faffing. I think a virtual jar of Biscoff might have to go to you too ;)

Have a lovely Christmas everyone, and thank you smile

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