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.
- Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Cooking Stock
- Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth (my Editorial Manager Nichelle uses)
Breads & Tortillas
- Alvarado breads (some contain oil, most do not) (I use)
- Dave's Killer Bread (contains seeds) (I rarely buy)
- Engine 2 tortillas
- Food for Life/Ezekiel products (I buy their bread sometimes)
- Mission corn tortillas (I use if I'm not buying locally)
- Sandwich Petals GF tortillas
- La Tortilla Factory 100 Calorie Tortillas (Scott uses)
- Eden Organic beans (I buy)
- Pomi tomatoes
- Betty Lou's Just Great Stuff Organic Powdered Peanut Butter (contains nuts)
- PB2 (contains nuts)
- Smuckers Natural Cream Peanut Butter — No Salt Added (contains nuts)
- Cholula (I use a lot!)
- Casa Mamita Mild Salsa (I use sometimes)
- Nasoya Fat-Free Nayonaise (I use sometimes)
- Edward & Sons Crackers (I use)
- Engine 2 Crackers (contains seeds) (I buy for parties)
- La Reina baked unsalted tortilla chips (I use)
- Mary's Gone Crackers (may contain seeds or nuts)
- Ryvita crackers (some "flavors" contain oil — check the box)
- Lundberg brown rice cakes (some "flavors" are not vegan) (I use sometimes)
- Manischewitz Whole-Wheat Matzos
- Streit's Whole-Wheat Matzos
- Yehuda Matzos (Whole-Wheat Bran Matzos)
- Delallo Marinara sauce
- Muir Glen Organic pasta sauce
- Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk (I use)
- Westsoy Fat-Free Soy Milk (Scott likes)
- Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine Hummus
- Oil-Free Original Roots Hummus (only, others contain oil)
- Cedars Fat-Free Hummus — Plain & Red Pepper (I use)
- Engine 2 Hummus
- Food for Lovers Vegan Queso (I sometimes use at parties)
- Larabars (contains nuts and seeds)
- Nature'z Candyz
- That's It Fruit Bars (always in my car)
- Suncakes (always in my car)
- Bearitos Organic No Salt No Oil Microwave Popcorn
- McDougall's Right Foods (he makes soups, noodles, oatmeal & more. (You can find many of these at supermarkets now! We travel with these.)
- Food for Life makes a rice almond bread and Rudi's makes gluten-free fiesta tortillas. (They may contain oil, but they are vegan and gluten-free). Engine 2 also makes gluten-free (oil-free) wraps. Corn, brown rice and Trader Joe's lavash wraps are also GF and oil-free usually.
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 :)