VEGANISM is becoming a more popular lifestyle choice every year, with more people than ever making the switch.

If you are hosting a vegan this festive period fear not, and return your long forgotten salad spinner to the cupboard, as we have got you covered so you can have some delicious and exciting fun.

Vegans do not eat any animal products, including meat, eggs and dairy, and many also avoid all animal-derived products.

However, thankfully as veganism grows in popularity more and more tasty meat-free alternatives are available on the high street —making your dinner that little bit easier.

For starters, delicious doesn’t have to be complicated.

Why not keep things simple by creating something everyone can enjoy, or try taking an ingredient out or replacing it with a vegan friendly alternative instead of cooking a whole new dish.

Great options include soups, salads, puff pastry rolls, bruschetta, grilled mushrooms, fritters, and pates.

For main course plenty of meat-replacements, nut roast and pastry options are easily available, including Quorn Roast, Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Beef Roast with Red Wine and Shallot Glaze, Waitrose Vegan Beet Wellington, or Artisan Mediterranean Sundried Tomato or Country Vegetable and Cashew Nut Roasts.

Or why not try one from the Tofurky range, including Roast with Herb Gravy, Roast and Wild Rice Stuffing, or Ham Roast with Amber Ale Glaze.

Alternatively if you are a dab hand in the kitchen roasted cauliflowers are simple to rustle up, and tarts, pies and wellingtons can all be made in advance using supermarket-bought vegan ready-made pastry.

And don't forget those tasty trimmings.

To really kick your Christmas dinner into vegan overdrive think carrots, parsnips and veggies roasted in maple syrup, roast potatoes with sea salt and rosemary, mash with dairy-free cream, spread and garlic, and vegan friendly gravy granules are available from most stores.

But remember to roast your veggies in olive or vegetable oil, steering clear of butter and goose fat.

This year Morrisons have also delivered a twist with "veggies in blankets" — blending tomato, potato, mushroom and basil, wrapped up in a slice of aubergine.

If you still have room after all that it would not be Christmas without an indulgent dessert.

Always sure to please are vegan-friendly mince pies, crumbles, and brownies with dairy free cream or egg free custard.

There are also numerous great tasting brands of dairy-free ice cream including Swedish Glace and ranges by Alpro, Ben & Jerry’s and Booja-Booja.

A number of big supermarkets have also brought out enticing desserts including Tesco's Woodland Fruit and Apple Strudels, Wicked Kitchen Pineapple Dream Cake and Red Velvet Brownie available from Tesco, Asda's Extra Special Vegan Torte, Waitrose Vegan Chocolate Tortes, Morrisons Mini Filled Churros, and Violife dairy-free cheese boards.

There a plenty of sweet treats available for vegans, which are also sure to make great gifts, including chocolate bars by Moo Free and IChoc, Goody Good Stuff Sweets, Candy Kittens sweets, Fabulous Free Factory treats including fudge, chocolate raisins and bites; Freedom Mallows, Yum Earth Organic Pops, Choice’s Dairy Free Caramels and Lazy Day treats.

Plus there are also many readily available items that are surprisingly vegan including, Starburst, Skittles, Love Hearts, Jelly Tots, many dark chocolates, McVitie’s Hobnobs, Foxes Party Rings and Orginal/BBQ/Paprika/Smokey Bacon Pringles.

Although a favourite festive treat for many it is also important to remember that not all alcohol is vegan.

Cream-based liqueurs and those containing honey are a definite no-no, as are some wines, beers and ciders due to the use of fish bladders in the refining process.

However, this year Baileys have released a vegan Irish Crème, Baileys Almande, which is available at major supermarkets.

If you are unsure you can visit or invite your vegan guests to bring their own.

The festive period is also all about relaxing with family and friends so if you decide that it would all just be better if someone could do all the hard work for you there are plenty of great restaurants nearby.

Just a short drive, tram, train or bus away are 1847, in Chapel Walks, Manchester; V-Rev and Folk & Soul, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter; The Allotment, in Lloyd Street, Manchester; The Chorlton Tap, in Chorlton; Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, in Withington; Sanskruti, in Fallowfield; and Greens, in Didsbury.

Many chain restaurants now also offer vegan options, including Zizzi, Toby Carvery, JD Wetherspoon, Pizza Express, Las Iguanas, Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Wagamama and Nando’s.

Sadly, however, both Bury’s vegan institutions Lolo’s Vegan Restaurant and Cocktail Bar in Ramsbottom and Veggie-Rae at the Rock have shut down this year.

Finally, no Christmas would be complete without gifts and choosing vegan-friendly pressies need not be a struggle.

Nifty gifts include VGN Outfitters vegan apparel, Veja vegan shoes, Octo London vegan candles, Woron lingerie, Dr Marten’s vegan range including boots, shoes, sandals, and bags; Peta products including ties, t-shirts and mugs; Hotel Chocolate vegan chocolates and the Vegan Kind subscription box offering tasty vegan food, healthy and beauty brands and more delivered to your door every month.

Or why not share they joy of great vegan cooking with one of numerous brilliant vegan recipe books, such as Henry Firth and Ian Theasby’s Bosh! Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants., Jean-Christian Jury’s Vegan: The Cookbook, Aine Carlin’s The New Vegan, Sue Quinn’s Easy Vegan, and Del Sroufe’s Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook.

As for beauty products vegan make-up is available from companies including Cover FX, Nailberry nail polish, Hourglass, Inika, Spectrum, Axiology, B. Beauty, Herbivore skin care products; and perfume and aftershaves from Le Labo, Eden, Pacifica, Dolma, Aubrey Organics, Herban Cowboy and Jack Black.

Many Lush products are also vegan, just remember to check the label - some great options are the Lush Christmas Bath Time Favourites selection and the Charity Pot Hand and Body Lotion ­— not only vegan but 100 per cent of the price is donated to grassroots organisations.