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I'm always getting emails from Herbies asking what brands I use — what bread can they buy that's whole-wheat and oil-free? What about tortillas? BBQ sauce? Pasta sauce?
Regrettably, brands vary by region, so the brands I have access to might not be available in your area.
For example, the bread I used to buy in NYC, I can't find here in LA and it wasn't available where I lived in Colorado, either. I'm also a huge fan of buying "generic" to save money whenever possible (or local) and that just further complicates things.
The truth is, you have to scan labels and check them scrupulously but eventually you learn what brands are "safe" (or "clean" as Scott & I like to say while shopping) at your store and then you stick with that brand and always look for it first.
I find even among the two supermarket chains here in LA, they don't carry the same brands. My mom lives in the Southeast, and she has the same problem. There are 4 big chain supermarkets in her area and while there is clearly some overlap, some stores carry brands other stores do not.
Nevertheless, I still wanted to compile some kind of list of approved brands to make things easier. I asked the Herbies on Facebook to help out — sharing names of brands that they use. Brands and products that are vegan (no animal products like dairy, eggs, whey or gelatin) and are completely oil-free. As a warning, many of the items below contain nuts and seeds are not low-fat, however.
I AM NOT ENDORSING OR RECOMMENDING ANY PRODUCT ON THIS LIST. MOST PRODUCTS LISTED I DO NOT PERSONALLY USE.
Breads & Tortillas
I'd also like to add that the "generic" brands for Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's are not always, but often, safe bets. Many of their products are vegan — even if they are not labeled that way — and oil-free (I use Trader Joe's BBQ sauce). Whole Foods Market also has their new "Health Starts Here" label, which indicates oil-free (though it may contain nuts or seeds) and they're also carrying Engine 2 products (which are oil-free, but may contain seeds) now too.
Lastly, I wanted to note that I've had great success buying things locally. For example, I could not find 100% whole-wheat, oil-free, sugar-free bread at the supermarket in one of the smaller towns I lived in, but the local bakery was more than happy to accomodate me. Not only was I getting fresh bread, they also made me hamburger buns and hot dog buns. All vegan, 100% whole-wheat and no sugar or oil.
Similarly, the whole-wheat pita pockets and corn tortillas I've been buying at the store here in LA are made locally. They don't even have fancy packaging, and they're made daily (see picture below).
Dr. McDougall also has a list on his website, so take a look at that one too.
It takes a little effort but it's well worth it and before long you know everything and shopping is quick. Enjoy!
Did I miss any vegan, oil-free brands or products? Please share them in the comments and I'll update the list. I want this post to be a public service :)