Stocking are arguably the best thing about Christmas morning. A giant sock filled with a seemingly endless of array of cool stuff? It’s the most awesome idea ever, so thank you to the Germans or the Dutch or whoever actually came up with the concept (the origins are iffy at best).
Of course, in 2016, stocking expectations are high. Unlike the old days, an orange and some sugar cubes ain’t gonna cut it. It’s all well and good to hang those stockings by the chimney with care, but parents, spouses and pseudo-Santas better take pains to load them up with impressive goodies.
And if you’re stuffing the stocking of someone who eschews meat, dairy, and eggs — well, the stakes are even higher: you’ve got to guarantee your goodies are cruelty-free. So if you’re in need of a little guidance, here are seven vegan stocking stuffers sure to delight any herbivorous eater:
What’s a stocking without sausage? Luckily, you can replicate the Slim Jim-style taste without innards as ingredients. These protein-packed vegan Viana snack sausages come in Mild Jumbo German Smokehouse (smoky, peppery) and Picknicker (a mild semi-sweet salami style sausage).
White chocolate is usually a vegan no-no, as it’s almost always made with cow’s milk. But this super-festive bar by Whelpdale Chocolates features handmade, delicious, dairy-free vegan white chocolate. And it’s packed with peppermint oil and crushed peppermint candies for that uber-festive minty taste.
Back in the old days — before Oreos, Reese’s cups and Twizzlers, kids were stoked to get an orange in their stocking. Today’s kids — not so much. But orange-flavored chocolate? That’s an acceptable alternative, and Trader Joe’s makes a seasonal dark chocolate, non-dairy orange. Just whack the foil-wrapped cylinder on the counter, and 20 individual slices emerge. Enough to share … but who would want to?
Hot chocolate and Christmas go together like 2016 and bad news. Nibmor’s mint drinking chocolate is the perfect beverage for soothing this year’s many ills. And for added stress-relief, it can also be used as a chocolate mint martini mix (just add vodka!) Nothing says winter goals like curling up with a hot mug (or martini glass) of deliciousness. Which leads to the next item on the list …
Hot chocolate just isn’t the same without the traditional trimmings — whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate shavings (if you’re really ambitious). Unfortunately, garden-variety marshmallows aren’t vegan-friendly (gelatin is made with ground up animal bones, FYI). But Sweet & Sara’s artisanal ‘mallows are totally devoid of animal ingredients. Her seasonal snowman treats are the perfect holiday drink topper. Cute, delish and cruelty-free. (Just don’t let these hang too long by the fire, or their cute little faces will melt right off!)
Even the Scroogiest member of your fam will dig a chocolate Santa stuffed with gummies. Who wouldn’t? Sjaak’s “milk” chocolate is indistinguishable from the dairy kind, and its gummies are fruity deliciousness — sans gelatin. Plus, this way Santa can make a requisite Christmas-morning appearance without the need for dad to don a cheap polyester suit or itchy beard.
Almost any kind of candy is a welcome stocking surprise. But the sweets aisle of a regular supermarket isn’t big on vegan deliciousness. If you plan ahead, however, there are plenty of tasty treats available. Go Max Go makes all kinds of cruelty-free candy bars that replicate the most popular mainstream options. Leave room in that stocking for a Thumbs Up, a flaky, sweet-salty, peanut-buttery bar topped with chocolate. Like Butterfinger, but better.