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Regardless of what part of the US (or the world) you call home, it’s hard to resist the veganized versions of Southern comfort foods like corn bread, barbeque sandwiches, and berry cobblers. And while the South may not seem like the first place you’d look to for vegan cuisine, you might be surprised by the increasing availability of plant-based options.
Try out these three quick tips that make vegan eating in the South as sweet as the tea:
1. Look for specialty departments at chain grocery stores. The South has national health food stores, but they are mostly found in big cities. Kroger is a Southern-based grocery store chain that has a Natural Foods Department which includes vegan items from ice cream to “chicken” strips. Publix, another Southern chain, has a GreenWise Market that includes many vegan products and an impressive selection of organic produce.
2. Engage in some friendly restaurant outreach. You don’t need to drive to the nearest metropolitan area to go out to eat. Any restaurant can become veg-friendly with a gentle nudge from their customers, even the local steakhouse! Leave Compassion Over Killing’s restaurant manager card on the table or in your check to highlight the growing demand for healthier and more humane foods.
3. Find delicious vegan Southern recipes. Going to a party or family gathering? No vegan needs to arrive empty handed with so many Southern vegan recipes available online. Check out Tennessean Bianca Phillips’ blog Vegan Crunk for basics like meatloaf, casseroles, and deviled eggs. Georgia-native and vegan chef Alicia C. Simpson will satisfy any comfort food eater with recipes for game day nachos, red velvet cupcakes, and sweetgrass snickerdoodles. And a Southern get-together isn’t complete without pie. This easy recipe for peach cobbler from The Southern Vegan will have anyone convinced that it is good-living to be vegan in the South!
- 4 cups peaches (sliced and peeled)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup vegan butter
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ cups soy or almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saucepan, combine peaches, 1/2 cup sugar, and water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
- In a saucepan, melt vegan butter, 1 cup sugar, flour, and soy/almond milk.
- Pour mixture into 3-quart baking dish. Spoon fruit on top. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (batter will rise to top during baking).
- Serve warm with your favorite soy ice cream!