So you have a local bakery with great bread but you want to go vegan. Now what? Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to stop eating things you like but rather is all about creativity and alternatives. Here are a few of our favorite plant-based bread spreads.
Lilly’s Classic Hummus on breakfast bread is very nice. This is a Columbia Valley, Oregon company which doesn’t burden its hummus with heavy garlic and onions, so you can eat it for breakfast and not have strong breath during a 9:00 am meeting.
There are tapenade or Kalamata bread spreads available at most grocery stores. They are generally pretty salty though so if you want a milder spread this may not be the right one for you. Also, keep in mind that there aren’t too many olive trees outside of California, Spain, or Greece so stick to local products as much as possible.
We recommend picking up organic avocados at PCC as they are usually perfectly ripe at purchase. For more variety, try the avocado with any combination of lemon, cilantro, and tomato with salt to taste. If organic avocados are out of budget, QFC has conventional ones that often look fresher than their organic counterparts, and at least this thick-skinned fruit probably leaves some toxic sprays outside the fleshy interior. Same problem for avocados and spreads made from them as there is with olives, they just don’t grow locally.
Need an Earth-friendly wine to pair with your bread? Check out our list us sustainable Washington-made wines.
This writer is salty enough to enjoy English Marmite, which is like Vegemite but better (no thickeners, flavor-enhancers, or coloring). It’s a super-salty yeast spread that is great if spread very lightly with olive oil. It is a great vegan source of B12 and is GMO free but not organic. You can find Marmite in some specialized local stores, including both the Italian grocer De Laurenti, the Crumpet Shoppe near Pike Place and the British Pantry in Redmond. But, of course, Marmite is far from a local product. Weird that something as simple as a yeast spread has to have a bottling plant in Holland, yeast from England, and a boat or plane ride of 7,000 miles.
If you want something sweet, don’t forget the conventional bread spread – jelly. Admittedly, organic and non-spray jellies mostly are not from around here even though the fruit from around here is delicious. One great combination of “almost local” and delicious is Oregon Growers jellies. Their products are tasty, non-GMO verified, and from small producers all or most of which are listed on their website here. Like many small producers, these ones at may not be seeking the expensive food certifications beyond non-GMO verified.