For diehard baseball fans, April doesn’t mean pulling pranks or planting trees on Earth Day. No, for true devotees of America’s favorite pastime, April signals that baseball season has officially begun, and it’s time to play ball. While benchmark ballpark munchies such as hot dogs and nachos are not traditionally vegan friendly, a host of cruelty-free alternatives are popping up at stadium concession stands across the country. Prefer to watch the game from the comforts of home? Quell snack attacks by turning your coffee table into a buffet of meat-free treats and refreshments.
How It All Vegan
Some stadium staples, such as peanuts, pretzels, and Cracker Jacks, may be accidentally vegan, but this doesn’t hold true for most classic baseball snacks. Fortunately, stadiums across the country are adding meat-free dogs to their menus, in large part due to the efforts of Veggie Happy Founder Johanna McCloy. In 2001, McCloy became frustrated with the lack of vegetarian options she had to choose from at baseball games and petitioned the concession manager for more meat-free options. This led McCloy to found Soy Happy, an organization that encourages vegetarian menu options at stadiums and entertainment venues across the country. The group maintains a comprehensive list of vegan and vegetarian options available at every stadium in the country. In 2012, 21 staudiums around the country celebrated opening day with cruelty-free fare.
Franks and Beers
Nothing makes a better snack during the seventh inning stretch than a dressed-up veggie dog washed down with a tall, cool glass of vegan beer. After verifying whether or not the veggie dogs at your local stadium are vegan, choose any of the crisp, refreshing, and vegan-approved brews from Budweiser, Coors, Corona, or Miller. Think you’re ready to cash out? Not even close! Even better than ordering a cruelty-free frank is loading it up with all your favorite fixings. After requesting the usual toppings such as onions and pickles, pile your dog high with vegan-friendly classic condiments, including Heinz Tomato Ketchup, French’s Classic Yellow Mustard, and Vlasic HomeStyle Relish.
If you’re planning to host a homerun party, you can be a little bit more creative with your refreshment selection. To get the party started, pick up a case or two of New Belgium or Blue Moon Rising Moon spring ale, which are generally not offered at major league events. Then, show friends and fellow fans how ball-game buffets are really done. Fire up the grill and throw on festive meatless franks and brats made by Lightlife, Yves Veggie Cuisine, Tofurky, or Field Roast. Since you’re literally in your own backyard, decorate dogs with healthier dressings, such as Organicville Organic Ketchup and Yellow Mustard. Next, simulate ballpark nachos by melting Teese Nacho Cheese Sauce or Food For Lovers Vegan Queso over crispy, crunchy tortilla chips. To cap off the big-league meal, serve Charms Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy or Bernod’s Spun City Organic Cherry Vanilla Cotton Candy for dessert.