Fall, my favorite season is here, and one of the reasons I love it is because it’s a time of abundance. All kinds of good fruits and veggies are being harvested, and we love to celebrate that.
However, when a lot of people think of veganism they think of restriction, a diet lacking, not something to celebrate. There’s a really common misconception that being vegan means you have to miss out on a lot of things. People tend to focus on things that vegans “can’t” eat, but I prefer to focus on all of the amazing food options out there that are vegan without trying. In fact, there’s an entire section of the internet dedicated to things that are “accidentally vegan”.
Now I will admit, I have had some experience with going to restaurants and stores and having very little luck finding something suitable to eat. This rings especially true in some parts of the southeast US, and in places that tend to be more touristy or gimmicky (Hello, Gatlinburg). However, a lot of times places that don’t seem to cater to vegans actually have an entire hidden treasure trove of vegan goodies, they just don’t come right out and say it!
I was pleasantly surprised to find this situation unfolding for me on the first day of fall, when I took a tiny trip up to Huber’s Farm. I’m a sucker for the magical experience that place has to offer. Now if you’ve lived in Louisville a while, it’s likely you’ve visited Huber’s on many many occasions, and you know a trip for pumpkin or apple picking there isn’t complete without a stop into their country store.
In the fall, the store is a haven for all things warm and cozy that remind you of home on a crisp autumn day. Stocked on its shelves are things like soup mixes, jugs of cider, fruit butters and jams, local honey, snacks, and dozens of other goodies.
After an hour or so of pumpkin hunting, my partner and I wandered through the store. I was casually reading labels and checking for milk products or gelatin or chicken powder, and he was searching for the spiciest salsa, sauce, or anything like that he could find. In all my shopping I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of “accidentally vegan” things I found there!
To name a few there were:
- Various soup and dip mixes
- Fruit butters including apple and pecan pumpkin
- A variety of pickles and pickled goods
- Sauces like roasted pineapple habanero and hot pepper pecan bourbon
- A variety of the snack mixes such as tailgate crunch, wasabi mix and garlic bagel chips
- All flavors of the licorice twists
- Various other candies including jelly pumpkins and peanut brittle
Some of my favorites that I ended up getting were the peanut brittle, apple cider and pumpkin butter. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth? As my partner was checking out, I saw he got a bag of local potatoes and a jar of roasted reaper salsa. Even my boyfriend, who is very much a meat eater, was gravitating towards the accidentally vegan goods!
Basically what I’m saying here is that being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on foods and especially not on experiences. There is actually an abundance of vegan friendly food out there, even in unlikely places such as a country store on a u-pick farm, just waiting for us to find it. All it takes to find is an open mind and a little extra label reading.
Cheers to fall and to not missing out!