I don’t know about you, but before I went vegan, I loved candy bars. There’s something about going down the grocery checkout aisle, especially as a kid, and treating yourself to a gooey, chocolatey treat that you know is terrible for you but tastes darn good anyway. Or maxing out your pocket money on after-Halloween sales. Or after-Christmas sales, after-Valentine’s-Day sales, after-Easter sales…
Yes, I ate a lot of candy.
I still enjoy the occasional bit of dark chocolate, but being vegan and lactose intolerant, those grocery aisle impulse buys and post-holiday sales are out. Unfortunately, none of those old favorites are even the last bit vegan. If you’re jonesing for an old-fashioned candy fix, you’re out of luck.
Except that you’re totally not, thanks to Go Max Go Foods. If you’re not familiar with them, they make some of the most amazing vegan candy bars ever. Each of their six varieties is a blast from candy past, sure to catapult you back to those days of grabbing an Almond Joy or Milky Way at the checkout and begging your mom to pay for it. The awesome folks at Go Max Go sent along a box of these chocolate delights for me to gobble try, and I’m happy to share the results of my taste-testing.
Buccaneer is your bar of choice if you miss 3 Musketeers. First of all, it has a pirate flag on it, and what’s not to love about pirates? Once you get past the cute wrapper, there’s a whole bar of fluffy, rich chocolate to enjoy. It tastes exactly like I remember 3 Musketeers, only more dense and with a lot more chocolate flavor in the filling.
Jokerz is what you want if you like Baby Ruth bars. Inside the rice milk chocolate coating, you’ll find stacked layers of nougat, caramel, and peanuts for the perfect combination of smoothness and crunch. And boy are these suckers smooth. With the way they taste, that you’d expect them to be heavy, but they’re actually quite light. No post-candy stomach aches here! (ETA: Some commenters have pointed out that these Jokerz are similar to Snickers…how I forgot about all the Snickers bars I used to suck down is beyond me!)
Mahalo will satisfy even the most staunch Almond Joy lover. I can say this with certainty because I shared one with my omni, meat-and-potatoes Dad who I’ve watched scarf down Almond Joy like they’re going out of style, and he loved it. The coconut filling is smoother and a bit sweeter than Almond Joy, and the almonds are big.
The purple wrapper on Twilight doesn’t hide Edward Cullen; it’s covering the vegan version of Milky Way! The nougat isn’t as creamy as that in Buccaneer, but the flavor is just as good. Along with the caramel, it makes for a creamy center that balances well with the chocolate coating. I’d take one of these over a shiny metrosexual vampire any day.
Cleo’s were recently voted the favorite by VegNews in a vegan peanut butter cup taste test, and with good reason. They bear absolutely no resemblance to Reese’s except in shape, and that’s a good thing because they’re way better. Both the chocolate and peanut butter are so creamy and smooth that the entire peanut butter cup practically melts in your mouth. It’s also good thing that these come in a two pack rather than those bulk bags of Reese’s you can get around Halloween. Because if there were bulk bags of Cleo’s, all us peanut-butter-loving vegans would be comatose in happy sugar comas.
And, last but not least, there’s Snap, a personal favorite of mine. Anyone who knows me can tell you of my obsession with all things crispy and chocolatey, to the point where I used to request entire bags of crispy M&Ms as a Christmas stocking stuffer. But Crunch bars were my ultimate weakness, and thanks to Snap, I don’t have to miss them any more. Creamy rice milk chocolate plus bits of puffed rice equals one happy vegan!
And did I mention that these bars are all 100% vegan with no hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial ingredients? They’re not exactly health food, either, but they’re way more than a step up from all the things you’ll find in a grocery checkout aisle. In fact, I’d love to see someone do a blind taste test between these bars and their non-vegan counterparts. I’m betting Go Max Go would win, hands-down!
If I’ve got you craving chocolate, then you’ll be happy to know that Go Max Go Foods is so awesome that they’ve got a box of six candy bars, one of each variety, waiting for one lucky QV reader!
How to Enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite non-vegan candy bar used to be and if you’ve found a comparable vegan version yet!
Entries will be accepted until 8pm EST on Wednesday, November 16th. Good luck!
ETA: The company can only ship within the US, so only US residents are eligible.
Giveaway is now closed! Good luck to all who entered! Winner will be notified by Saturday, November 19th!
You can also follow Go Max Go on Twitter to see what they’re up to!