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The Vegan and Vegetarian Survival Guide to Brazilian Grocery Stores: A look at 12 unique products | Belo Horizonte, Brazil

After a week in Rio de Janeiro, I hopped on a plane and took an easy 1 hour flight to Belo Horizonte (BH), Minas Gerais. We started the day at the most awesome market in BH: Mercado Central, mercadocentral.com.br

Our first stop was at the fresh coconut water shop and the fruit smoothie bar.

Then my cousin Mariana took me to "Vita Salgados", a pastries shop that now offers delicious vegan options! Here are some of their vegan pastries flavors you can enjoy:

  • "Creme de Milho Verde/ Tofú", Green Corn Cream/ Tofu Pastry
  • "Brócolis/ Tofú", Broccolis/ Tofu Pastry
  • "Espinafre/ Tofú", Spinach/ Tofu
  • "Creme de Palmito/ Tofú", Palm Cream/ Tofu
  • "Alho-Poró/ Tofú", Leek Garlic/ Tofu
  • "Abóbora/ Tofú/ Azeite/ Ervas", Pumpkin/ Tofu/ Oil/ Herbs
  • "Broto de Feijao/Tofú/Ervas Finas", Bean Sprouts/ Tofu/ Fine Herbs
  • and many more

The photo below shows their full menu ;)

 

After this, we wanted to do some grogery shopping. So we left "Mercado Central" and hit the city.

I asked, What vegan products can I find at the local grocery stores?

So my family took me to their favorite store!

My cousin and I started by getting some vegan chocolate and vegan condensed milk. Well, chocolate and condensed milk are national bestsellers... so it's no wonder you can find vegan versions of these 2 items everywhere!

I then noticed that most of the popular Brazilian products (i.e milk and cheese products), had been made into vegan versions by switching milk to soy milk, and cheese to soy cheese — that was easy!

Here they are:

1. "Bem me Quer, Pasta de Soja" | Soy Paste in Chocolate and Dried Tomato Flavors: At this section of the mall, next to the traditional cheese products, such as "requeijão cremoso orgânico", creamy organic cream cheese, we saw the vegan creamy soy paste. See below:

 

2. "SOYMILKE, Sabor Doce de Leite" | Caramel Flavored Condensed Milk: I then saw a popular dessert ingredient that adults and kids love. Sometimes, they just grab a spoon and eat it straight from the can! lol...

3. "Nolac, Leite Condensado" | Nolac, Condensed Soy Milk: Another staple dessert ingredient. Kids use it to make "Brigadeiros", Brazilian Truffles.

Add the Condensed Soy Milk plus some Cocoa Powder to a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep mixing and cooking the mixture for about 15 min (until it thickens enough that you can see the bottom of the pan while stirring).

After letting it cool in another dish, kids can roll the creamy thick mixture into small chocolate balls, roll them into sprinkles, and place them into small paper cups. Done!

 

4. "Mistura para Bolo com Soja, Com Açucar Orgânico" | Soy Cake Mix with Organic Sugar: Brazilians love cake, so cake mixes are a necessity in Brazilian households. The flavors I saw were orange and chocolate.

5. "Carnes Vegetais" | Vegetable Meats: The brand "Superbom" (Verygood) has made all the popular Brazilian meats in vegan versions. Impressive!

  • "Medalhão ao Molho Madeira" = Filet mignon in Cognac Sauce
  • "Bife Vegetal" = Vegetable Steak
  • "Almôndega Vegetariana" = Vegetarian Meatball
  • "Salsicha Vegetal" = Vegetable Sausage
 

6. "Biscoito Salgado Sem Glúten, Gergelim e Alecrim" | Gluten Free Cracker, with Sesame and Rosemary : It was about time for Brazil to have some gluten free cookies! lol... With so many bakeries and french breads being part of the country's daily cuisine, perhaps the body needs a little break from gluten.

7. "Biscoito de Tapioca com Batata Doce" | Tapioca Biscuit with Sweet Potato: Tapioca as well as sweet potatoes are common in tropical regions, especially in Brazil. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the tuberous roots of the cassava plant (also called manioc).

Why Brazilians loves Tapioca: It's veratile ingredinet that's gluten free, fat free, and easily digested....and since it's rich in carbohydrates, many eat it as an pre-workout and post workout meal!

On "The Vegan Survival Guide" we included an entire Body Chapter. Whether you want to boost your athletic abilities, or just lose a few pounds... we will show you what to do, what not to do, and how to make it tasty, delicious and fun!
 

8. "A Tal da Castanha" | Cashew Milk: A brand of cashews milks that are rich in omega 9, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, and cholesterol free. Their flavors include:

  • "Caju+Coco" = Cashew Milk + Coconut
  • "Original" = Just Cashew Milk
  • "Choconuts" = Cashew Milk + Chocolate

9. "Isola Bio" | Isola Bio Vegan Milks: This brand offers vegan and gluten free milk alternatives. These are also gluten and cholesterol free (except the Spelt Milk of course).

Also, I noticed that these are referred to as "vegan beverages" in Brazil... But they are closest to the vegan milks that we have in the US.

  • "Arroz Avelã" = Rice Hazelnut Milk
  • "Arroz ChoQuinoa" = Rice Chocolate Quinoa Milk
  • "Espelta" = a 16% Spelt Milk*
  • "Arroz Coco" = Rice Coconut Milk

*Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since 5000 BC.

 

Let's go to the other refrigerated section:

We noticed that soy products are NOT placed with traditional cheese products. Rather, they are in a separate part of the refrigerator, or on another side of the store. So when shopping in Brazil, make sure to look around, or ask any employee for help.

10. "Requei Soy" | Vegan Soy Cream Cheese: A soy cheese in cheddar and provolone flavors with a great texture and aroma.

11. "DeliSoy, Sabor Chocolate" | Soy Chocolate Yogurts: A tasty and healthy protein rich soy dessert. Lactose-free and made with organic ingredients.

12. Vegan Cheeses: Yellow (Cheddar?) and Parmesan cheeses now made vegan. I later got to try these when my cousin prepared some vegan pizza. ;)

 

So we ended our shopping at a section of the market called "Espaço Bem-Estar", Well-Being Space:

They wrote: For those with dietary restrictions and those who want to have a healthy diet. "Para quem tem restrição alimentar e para aqueles que querem ter uma alimentação saudável."

Wow! So many exciting new products!! :) After looking around we decided to get some organic grape juice.

 

Have you visited Brazil? Have you tried Cashew Milk, Soy, Rice or Almond Milk?

Be sure to share with all of us below!

 

Please share your thoughts and comments

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