Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Vegan Life Magazine Issue 2

After reading (and loving) the very first issue of Vegan Life magazine, I couldn't wait for the second issue to come out. The magazine is bi-monthly, so the latest issue is for November and December, and consequently contains lots of recipes and ideas for a vegan Christmas!
 
 
This issue is packed full of delicious recipes for the festive season. I especially liked the look of the chocolate fondant puddings, lentil & mushroom crumble pie and spinach swirls. 
 
 
One article I particularly enjoyed was 'A Very Big Surprise', which tells the story of Esther the pig. Esther was adopted by a couple called Steve and Derek, who had never looked after a pig before but took her in when she needed a new home. They were told that Esther was a mini pig, however on taking her to visit the vet, they discovered that she was actually a 'commercial pig' and had had her tail cropped. 
 
 
I really hate the idea of pets as 'trends', which is what is happening with these so-called mini or micro pigs at the moment. Mini pigs are just tiny piglets that will eventually grow into much bigger pigs. A lot of people rush into buying mini pigs because of their cuteness and tiny size but are all too quick to disown them when they realise that they won't stay that size forever. I also think a lot of people are buying pet Pugs just because they too seem to be 'trendy' at the moment; (does anyone else think this or is it just me?) I only hope that they will love them and look after them forever and not just until the trend becomes outgrown.
Back to the original story... Esther now weighs around 650lbs and is good friends with the cats and dogs she lives with. The best part of the story is that she caused Steve and Derek to make the connection and become vegan. They made a Facebook page for Esther and have received hundreds of messages from people telling them that Esther has made them realise that eating animals is wrong. Esther even has an Instagram account so you can see what she gets up to everyday. Steve and Derek are planning to open an animal sanctuary so that they can rescue all kinds of commercial farm animals (something I would love to do myself one day). It's amazing how one animal can change your whole life and enable you to help save the lives of others. 
 
I can't wait for issue 3!
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Monday, 1 December 2014

Beefayre Review

I was recently offered the chance to try some products to review from a company called Beefayre. I had never heard of them before, and my first thought was that their products were going to be full of beeswax and honey. Upon emailing the company to find out more information, I discovered that most of their products are actually vegan, with the exception of the lip balms and gardener's balm (they also sell some honey and bee pollen products which are obviously not vegan). Furthermore, Beefayre are PETA certified and donate 3% of their profits to bee conservation, which is great as we need to help save the bee population from declining. 
 
I was sent a candle and a reed diffuser to try. Both the reed diffuser and the candle are packaged in pretty boxes, and they would make lovely gifts.
 
 
 
The Winter Scent Votive candle comes in a cute little glass jar with bees on it, and it retails at £7.50. The candle is hand poured and is made of 100% soy wax with a cotton wick. The jar is made of recycled glass and can be reused for other things once the candle has finished. The scent is described as 'a delicious wild fig aroma that captivates the senses'. I really like the delicate, slightly sweet aroma, and when it burns it gently scents the room. It burns cleanly and evenly, and has a burn time of approximately 25 hours.
 
 
 
The Bluebell & Wood Anemone reed diffuser also comes in a cute glass container with bees on, and it retails at £14. The diffuser is made with alcohol free natural bio oil. The scent is described as 'the wonderful fresh scent of Spring and glades of dewy bluebells; nature coming back to life'. I really like the scent and how it leaves the room smelling sweet and fresh. The scent lasts for approximately 6 weeks. 
 
 
 
I really enjoyed using both of these products as I love their designs and natural scents. Have you tried any of Beefayre's products?
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review: Divine Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Ginger Thins

I'm always on the look out for new vegan chocolates, so when Traidcraft, the UK’s leading fair trade organisation, invited me to try out one of their products, I eagerly browsed through their selection. Traidcraft sell a wide range of fair trade products, including groceries, toys, clothing, jewellery, homeware and gifts. 
 
I decided to try the Divine fair trade dark chocolate ginger thins, as I thought it would make a nice change to have something other than mint chocolate.
 
 
The chocolates come in a nicely presented box. They are made with Ghanaian cocoa and fair trade sugar, and consist of thin dark chocolate squares with a ginger jelly centre. You get 20 in a box and they retail at £3.95.



I shared these with my boyfriend and my family after dinner one day. Everyone loved them! The chocolate is nice and rich without being too bitter, and the ginger filling is tasty but not overpowering. 


These dark chocolate ginger thins are perfect for passing around after a family meal. They would be great after Christmas dinner, and even as a stocking filler too. Because the ginger thins are dark chocolate, you know they are (somewhat!) good for you, and because they are fairtrade, you know you are helping to make a difference to other peoples' lives.
 
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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Vegan Life Magazine Issue 1

As mentioned in a previous post, I am now part of Vegan Life magazine's blogger team. Issue 1 of Vegan Life was released in August and is still on the shelves; issue 2 is due out at the end of October. Each issue I will be writing a blog post about my favourite articles from the magazine, and as this is the very first issue, I have decided to review the whole magazine.
 
 
I was really impressed with both the look and the content of the magazine. It looks modern and professional, and the layout is clear and easy to read. There is a nice, varied range of articles, features and recipes. A feature that I really like is Vegan News. Sometimes news gets missed on the Internet (by me anyway!) so it was really interesting to see what's happening in the vegan world. A particularly interesting piece of news is that a team of US scientists are working on creating a vegan milk that will be practically identical to dairy milk but without the cholesterol and lactose. It will be made by replicating the proteins, fatty acids and vitamins found in dairy milk, but using only vegan ingredients. I think this is great as it will hopefully pave the way for more people trying veganism.
 
 
One recipe that I cannot wait to try from issue 1 is the apple crumble cheesecake. Yum!
 
 
I also enjoyed reading about Donald Watson, the founder of the Vegan Society. He established the society in 1944 and worked hard to promote veganism until his death in 2005, aged 95. Donald and his wife Dorothy created the word vegan, explaining that the word was created out of the first and last letters of 'vegetarian' because the diet grew out of vegetarianism and was its natural conclusion. How very true!
 
 
I liked the debate on whether it is acceptable to eat the eggs of rescue hens, as it is a question that regularly pops up. Arguments for included the waste of throwing away perfectly edible food and the fact that the hens are kept ethically and lovingly, and they naturally produce eggs, thus no animal cruelty is involved. Arguments against included the fact that vegans don't eat any animal products at all, and by eating starting to eat eggs, it may confuse people over veganism. I really agree with this statement. Vegetarians who eat fish have caused great confusion, especially in restaurants where fish dishes are often labelled as suitable for vegetarians. If a lot of vegans started saying they eat eggs sometimes, then restaurants and supermarkets are likely to get confused and start incorrectly labeling food. Another argument against eating eggs from rescued hens is where do you draw the line? Would it be okay to wear leather or fur from animals that died naturally in the wild? It also gives the impression that vegans like to supplement their plant-based diet if they can.
 
 Personally, I don't think it's okay to eat eggs as a vegan, as the bottom line is animal products are not ours to take, use or consume, and we don't need them in our diet. If you wish to eat eggs, or honey (which is another questionable product among vegans) for example, then by all means go ahead; it is your life and no one can dictate to you what you can and cannot eat, but don't call yourself a vegan. It only adds to the confusion of what we do actually eat. Veganism is a lifestyle, not just a diet, and it is for the animals. I don't miss eggs at all, in fact the thought of eating them makes me feel rather sick! Scrambled tofu is so much better.
 
 
I really enjoyed reading issue 1 of Vegan Life magazine and I can't wait for issue 2! You can subscribe to the paper copy here or buy the digital version here, which you can read on your phone, tablet or computer.
 
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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Oatly Review

I was recently offered the chance to try some Oatly products. Oatly is a Swedish company that make oat-based alternatives to dairy products such as milk and cream. They also make products such as ice cream and a creme fraiche alternative, which aren't currently available in the UK, but I hope they will bring them over here because they sound amazing! Oatly products are suitable for vegans and are a great source of the soluble fibre beta glucan which lowers cholesterol, helps to keep the heart healthy and controls blood sugar levels. Swedish oats are used to make the products, which grow strong and tall in the Nordic climate, without the use of pesticides.
 
The products that I tried were Oatly Original Oat Drink, Oatly Organic Oat Drink and Oatly Organic Oat Alternative to Cream. The products can be found in most good supermarkets and health food shops. I did want to try the Chocolate Oat Drink, but sadly I couldn't get hold of any.
 
 
I only really use milk alternatives in porridge, baking or cooking as the texture of any milk grosses me out (it was really easy for me to become vegan since I've never really drank dairy milk anyway)! I've never tried any oat based milks before (I normally use soya, rice or almond) so first of all I tried the oat drinks in my usual porridge with raisins and cinnamon. I couldn't really taste any difference between the original and the organic oat drinks, but the organic one is not fortified with any vitamins or minerals. They both worked well in porridge, however the texture was a little 'paste-like' due to the high water content of the product. My porridge still tasted lovely and creamy though, and I probably did overcook it a little to be fair (I can never get it right!).
 
 
I also used the oat drinks to make some Yorkshire puddings. Unfortunately they didn't turn out as well as they usually do when I make them with soya milk. I'm not sure why but the Yorkshires stuck to the tin and didn't rise as much as they normally do. The two that could be salvaged still tasted quite nice though.
 
Finally I made some chocolate brownies using the oat drink. They turned out well and were really tasty. I made a ganache topping by melting equal parts of the oat cream and some dark chocolate in a double boiler then leaving it to set in the fridge. Once it had thickened considerably I spread it on top of the cooled brownies then placed back in the fridge. I cut them into squares and served them warm with vegan ice cream and they went down a treat with my family. The ganache was absolutely divine! I think it would work well as a filling in a rich chocolate cake, but I think if I were to make it again as a topping I would use a little more chocolate and a little less cream to make it firmer. It would also be great on its own as a mousse.
 

 
I also used the oat cream in a savoury recipe. One of my favourite meals to make at the moment is pasta with mushrooms, peppers, courgettes and ready-made pesto as it is so quick and easy to make. I mixed a little of the cream with the pesto, veg and pasta before serving and it worked really well. The dish tasted lovely and creamy and I will definitely be making it again.
 
 
Overall I thought the Oatly products I tried were really good and I will purchase them in future. I think the oat drinks work best in cooking and baking, and although I didn't try them like that, I feel they would be good used in tea and coffee and on cereal. The oat cream is a great all round product to use in both sweet and savoury dishes, and again, although it didn't try it this way, it would be fab to pour over desserts and fresh fruit.
 
Have you tried any Oatly products?
 
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Cornish Classics Veganised: The Cornish Pasty

I live in a county that is famed for its culinary delights: pasties, saffron buns, heavy cake, Cornish fairings, cream teas, splits and much more. When I went vegan I wasn't worried about giving up these delicious foods, as I would simply veganise the recipes! 
 
This is going to be the first in a series of Cornish recipe posts, and what better way to start off than with the thing that Cornwall is perhaps most famous for - the Cornish pasty. Pasties were a staple food for Cornish working men back in the day; the size and shape made them ideal for carrying to work, and the pastry would help keep the filling warm. Pasties were perfect for miners as they could hold them by the crimped edges whilst eating to prevent transferring arsenic on their fingers to the pasty. The crimping was then discarded and left for elfin creatures called 'knockers' in the hope that they would protect the miners from harm (don't discard your crimp though, it is the best bit!). Pasties were a complete meal and often consisted of half savoury and half sweet filling. After the collapse of the tin mine industry, miners emigrated from Cornwall and now variations of the pasty can be found all over the world, although a true Cornish pasty can only be made in Cornwall!
 
 
The following recipe is the one that my mum and I use, and it is really a rough guide more than anything. We usually make 2 large pasties and 2 small pasties out of the pastry (or sometimes 4 medium), but you can adjust the quantities accordingly. Similarly, you can add more or less potato and turnip to suit your tastes. Once you have mastered the basic recipe you can play around with additional ingredients and flavours such as creamy mushroom and sweetcorn, vegan cheese, vegetable curry and even sweet pasties such as peanut butter and chocolate or apple and blackberry.
 
 
Ingredients
Pastry (enough for 4 pasties):
  1lb strong white bread flour
  4oz vegetable shortening such as Cookeen or Trex
  4oz vegan margarine
 
Filling (for one pasty):
  2-3 decent sized potatoes, diced
  4oz swede, diced (confusingly we call this turnip in Cornwall, but swede is what you actually want to use)
  2oz onion, diced
  salt and pepper
 
Method
1. Place the flour in a large bowl and add a large pinch of salt. Rub the shortening and margarine in with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
 
2. Add enough cold water to the mixture to form a dough. Knead the dough a little then chill in the fridge for at least an hour (you can make the pastry the day before if needed, just wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge).
 
3. Generously flour your work surface, then roll out some of the pastry to form a circle the size of your desired pasty (make sure your pastry is not too thin or it will split when cooking). Cut around a plate to form a neater circle (use a dinner plate for a large pasty and a side plate for a smaller pasty).
 
4. Place a layer of turnip, onion and potato across the middle of the circle. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat the layers, seasoning as you go but do not season the top layer as the salt can make the pastry taste slightly bitter. Place a knob of margarine on top of the vegetables. Don't overfill your pasty as it may split.
 
5. Dampen one side of the pastry with a little water. Fold the damp side over to the other and press firmly together so that you are left with a semi-circle shape.
 
6. Crimp the edges of the pasty to seal. It's probably easier if you watch a video rather than me try to explain, so click here to learn how to do it (and hear a proper Cornish accent!).
 
7. Make a small slit in the centre of the pasty and patch up any holes with a little dampened pastry. Brush the pasty with soya or rice milk and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Bake at 180°C for about 50-60 minutes until the pastry is golden and the potatoes are soft.
 
8. Take the pasties out of the oven and leave to cool slightly before eating. If you want to take your pasties on a picnic or a journey and keep them hot, wrap them up in greaseproof paper and a clean tea towel straight from the oven.
Pasties can also be enjoyed cold the next day (or reheated if you wish), making them a perfect lunch or snack to take to work or on a day out. Simply leave to cool completely then wrap in tinfoil and store in the fridge. Pasties are also great to keep in the freezer for when you can't be bothered to cook.
 
Creamy mushroom pasty
Let me know if you have a go at making your own pasties!

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Eating Vegan on the go: Emergency Foods to Keep in your Handbag

As a vegan, you've probably found yourself in a situation at least once where you are out and about and have struggled to find something suitable to eat. Whether it's a day out at an attraction, a day trip to a rural village or a buffet at a party/wedding/funeral/function, it's often a good idea to be prepared and take your own food if you don't want to go hungry. Whilst many eating establishments will happily rustle up something for vegans if there's nothing suitable on the menu, some places are sadly still behind the times and don't have a clue about veganism. Buffets can be particularly tricky too, especially if foods aren't labelled, so it's handy to have some food stashed in your handbag for emergencies. I thought I'd share a few suggestions as to the kinds of food that you can throw into your handbag before a day out.
 
Food that I stash in my faux-leather New Look tote!
Houmous is a fab staple food. If you don't want to carry it around in your bag all day, most shops will sell it so you can just nip in and buy a tub. Keep some crackers, breadsticks, oat cakes or vegetable batons wrapped up in your bag for dipping into the houmous. Or, bring a houmous and salad sandwich with you. This can also be spontaneously put together if you haven't brought anything with you but you are near a shop (I've often bought a crusty roll, tub of houmous and a bag of ready-washed salad and quickly put it all together). For these instances it may be handy to keep some plastic cutlery and napkins/tissues in your bag.
 
Crisps are another great item to keep in your bag. Whilst they aren't the healthiest option, they are an ideal snack for on the go. If you want to keep it healthy, why not try some vegetable crisps or kale chips? Fruit is another perfect option; try bananas or oranges that can be peeled, or ready-washed fruit placed in a food bag or lunch box. Save any mini plastic tubs that you get when you buy sorbets etc. as they come in really handy to store sliced/chopped fruit, grapes, olives, nuts and seeds.
 
Other ideal snacks are things like flapjacks, fruit and nut bars, non-dairy yogurts, biscuits and vegan chocolate bars. Home baked goods are great for taking on the go; think vegetable pasties, tofu quiche, scones, cheeze straws, muffins, cakes and biscuits. 
 
I'd love to hear some of your suggestions for other vegan foods to keep in your bag!
 
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*This post contains sponsored content.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Review: Old Wives Tail Jojoba & Clove Organic Hair Oil Treatment

I was recently approached by Old Wives Tail, a small hair care company that sells handmade vegan hair products. They make a range of natural, organic hair masks and oil treatments that aim to nourish your hair back to life. Just like myself, Old Wives Tail hopes to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, and consequently donate 10% of their profits to charities that save animals from being tested on.
 
Old Wives Tail kindly invited me to try one of their hair oil treatments. I decided to try the organic jojoba and clove treatment which is designed to hydrate and balance dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair. My hair is very long and is naturally fine and straight, and it can often look rather limp, so I am always looking for ways to help give it some extra oomph.
 
The product was carefully packaged and arrived safely wrapped in pretty paper.
 
 
The texture of the oil treatment is soft and creamy and it has a gorgeous spicy aroma. The ingredients for this product are:
Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Karite Butter Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil.
The jojoba oil penetrates every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair. This treatment has anti-bacterial and stimulating properties which help to naturally soothe, balance and stimulate your roots to encourage healthy hair growth.


To use the oil treatment you apply to wet hair, massage into your scalp then leave it on for an hour (or overnight if your hair is in a bad way). I put mine on while I relaxed in the bath with an orange bath melt. The combination of the bath melt and the oil treatment made it smell like Christmas (I'm already counting down the days!). I then washed the product out; you do need to shampoo a couple of times to get all the oil out, especially if you have oily hair like me. I didn't feel like I needed to use any conditioner but you can just use a bit on the ends of your hair if necessary. I then blow-dried my hair and I loved the end result. My hair looked and felt in great condition; not only did it appear more volumised but the strands actually felt thicker in texture as well. My hair felt soft and smooth, and it still smelt of lovely cloves, even the next day! My hair looked shinier than usual and had more volume for a few days after using the oil treatment.
Overall I thought this was a great product and I will definitely use it regularly to help keep my hair looking its best. Old Wives Tail are currently running a competition where you could win not one but two hair oils of your choice! Which ones would you choose?
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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Vegan Life Magazine

The times really are changing for veganism, and in a good way too! Since I went vegan over a year and a half ago, I've definitely noticed it becoming more mainstream. One way this has happened is through the launch of several online vegan magazines, all of which are fantastic. And now there is set to be an actual published magazine devoted to the vegan lifestyle!
 
Vegan Life magazine is a bi-monthly magazine set to launch in the UK on the 21st August. Each issue of Vegan Life magazine features over 100 pages of food, recipes, fashion, beauty, interviews with vegan chefs, celebrities, activists and sportspeople and lots more. The magazine can be found in supermarkets, and the first issue will be in a polybag with its sister publication, OM Yoga and Lifestyle magazine, both for the bargain price of £3.95. From the second issue onwards, the magazine will cost £3.95 per issue, while a yearly subscription will cost £14.50 (instead of £23.70 – a saving of over 35%). A digital subscription will cost £9.99 for one year (six issues) and will be available on all platforms.
 
 
Vegan Life magazine have invited me to join their team as a blogger! Each issue, I will be writing a blog post on an article or feature from the magazine. I have been lucky enough to have seen a preview of the launch issue and I can safely say you won't be disappointed! There are loads of great features in this issue, such as a divine looking recipe for apple crumble cheesecake that I cannot wait to try out, plus an interview with new vegan David Haye, and a debate on whether it's OK to eat eggs from your own hens (personally I don't think it is, but I am interested to read what other people think!).
 
Are you excited for the launch of Vegan Life magazine? Don't forget to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.
 
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Monday, 28 July 2014

No Bake Lotus Biscuit Spread Bars

Lotus biscuit spread. If you've tried it, I needn't say more. If you haven't, then get yourself off to the shop and buy some asap so you understand what I'm talking about! Basically, Lotus biscuit spread is heaven in a jar a spread made of those little caramelised spiced biscuits that you usually get when you order a coffee, and it comes in a smooth and a crunchy version. Both Lotus biscuits and the spreads happen to be vegan! Apart from spreading it on toast and eating it straight from the jar with a spoon, I was eager for some different ways to eat it. I love caramel slices, so I was excited to find this recipe for no bake Lotus spread bars. I tried out the recipe and they are so delicious, albeit very rich! As it is an American recipe I decided to tweak it to make an English (and vegan) version for those who find the former tricky to follow. These bars are very sweet, so you could probably reduce the amount of icing sugar in them if you prefer.
 
 
Ingredients
 ♥ 250g icing sugar
♥ Half a packet of vegan digestive biscuits, crushed into crumbs
♥ 225g vegan margarine, melted
♥ 275g Lotus biscuit spread
♥ 400g dark chocolate
♥ 4 tablespoons Lotus biscuit spread
 
Method
1. In a large bowl, mix together the icing sugar and digestive biscuit crumbs. In a separate bowl mix the melted margarine and 275g Lotus biscuit spread, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

2. Press the crust into an 8 inch square cake tin lined with baking parchment.

3. Break the chocolate up into squares, place in a microwavable bowl and add the 4 tablespoons of Lotus biscuit spread. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, then stir. Pour over the crust and smooth over with a spatula if necessary.

4. Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour. Lift the baking parchment out of the tin and carefully slice into squares, or smaller pieces if you prefer.


These did not last long in my house! I think next time I'm going to try the recipe using the crunchy spread. If you give these a go I would love to hear how they turn out.
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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Clean Up Cruelty Pledge

Clean Up Cruelty is a campaign run by Cruelty Free International to help raise awareness of animal tested household products such as cleaning products, dishwasher tablets, washing-up liquid and air fresheners. To test the ingredients that go into these products, animals such as rabbits, mice, hamsters and rats are injected, gassed, force-fed and killed. Whilst the law has recently changed meaning that new cosmetics cannot be tested on animals in the European Union, the UK government has failed to keep its promise to ban animal testing of household products. 
 
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
There are many cruelty-free cleaning products available, proving that animal testing is not just cruel but unnecessary too. To be sure that the products you are buying are truly cruelty-free, you should only buy from companies that have been awarded the Leaping Bunny logo as this means no animal testing is conducted or commissioned for finished products or ingredients in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or its suppliers after a fixed cut-off date. Marks and Spencer's and the Co-operative's own brand cleaning products are certified as cruelty-free, as are brands such as Astonish, Method, Ecozone and Bio-D. Check the Go Cruelty Free website regularly for a full up-to-date list of cruelty-free companies.
 
There are several things that we can all do to help end animal testing of household products:
 
1. Sign the petition to urge the government to implement the ban as soon as possible. Don't forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter to get your friends involved as well.
 
2. Send this tweet to the Home Office:
@UKHomeOffice @CrueltyFreeIntl It's time to ban animal tests for cleaning products AND ingredients #cleanupcruelty http://bit.ly/14Me98u 
 
3. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your home, and make sure you stick to it! Once you know which brands are cruelty-free and where to buy their products it really is easy to stick to the pledge.
 
4. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your workplace. Simply download the pledge form and guidance notes (which can be found here), complete the form stating which Leaping Bunny certified products you use and send it back to Cruelty Free International. In return you will receive a certificate which you can display in your workplace to let everyone know that you are cruelty-free!
 
Before I set up my holistic therapy business I knew that I wanted to only use Leaping Bunny certified products in my treatments. I have to check the company list regularly though, as on a couple of occasions I discovered that I had been continuing to buy from companies that had had their certification revoked without me realising. I managed to find some even better products though, and when I found out about the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge I couldn't wait to apply for my certificate. As well as only using cruelty-free beauty products and essential oils, I also only buy cruelty-free cleaning products for my business. I am lucky that my treatment room is right next to a Co-op, so all my cleaning products, washing-up liquid, hand wash etc comes from there (Co-op clearly label which products are vegan too). I filled out the form and sent it off, and I promptly received my certificate which is proudly displayed in the waiting room. 
 
 
I am really proud to be a cruelty-free consumer, and I have had new clients come to me because I am a cruelty-free and vegan business. I highly recommend making your workplace cruelty-free no matter what line of work you are in as it shows that you are caring and compassionate. Vegan/cruelty-free consumers would much rather give their custom to ethical businesses, so by taking the pledge you could be opening up your doors to new and loyal customers.
 
Don't forget to like Cruelty Free International on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Vegan Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

In my house we have a roast dinner nearly every Sunday without fail. We don't always have Yorkshire puddings though so I completely forgot about them when I went vegan and it never occurred to me that you must be able to make a vegan version. That was up until a few months ago, when a lovely lady called Heather posted a recipe in a vegan Facebook group. Heather had played around with a non-vegan recipe she had found and discovered that mixing the egg replacer and water in a blender rather than by hand yielded the best results. Intrigued, I decided to give the recipe a go, and upon tasting the golden, crispy puddings I was hooked! My roast dinners just don't feel complete without a couple of these delicious Yorkshires anymore.
 
 
 I've had a few requests for the recipe since I posted some pictures in a recent makes and bakes post, so without further ado, here it is. This recipe makes 6 large Yorkshire puddings, but you can halve the quantities to make 4 smaller ones.
 
 Ingredients
100g plain flour
250 ml unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
4 tsp egg replacer powder such as Ener-G or Orgran
8 tbsp water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 230°C/gas mark 8.

2. Add a drop of oil to each section of your Yorkshire pudding pan and place in the oven to heat.

3. Whisk together the flour and milk.

4. In a blender/food processor combine the egg replacer and water until very fluffy.

5. Quickly fold the "egg" into the flour mixture.

6. Once the pan is very hot, pour the Yorkshire mixture into the sections and put back into the oven. The oil should sizzle when the batter is added to it.

7. After 15-20 minutes take the pan out of the oven (the tops should be starting to crisp at this point) and "pop" the tops with the back of a spoon to expose the centres. Put the Yorkshires back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
 
The trick to successful Yorkshire puddings is to ensure that both the oven and the oil in the pan are very hot! If you try out this recipe I'd love to hear how your puddings turn out.
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Monday, 28 April 2014

Restaurant Review: Wildebeest Cafe in Falmouth, Cornwall

Vegan cafes/restaurants are hard to come by. Sure, there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants that have a few vegan options, but there aren't many totally vegan ones. So imagine my excitement when I heard that a brand new vegan cafe was opening not far from me!
 
Wildebeest is a new cafe/bar in Falmouth, Cornwall. They are open all day for breakfast, coffee and cake, lunch and dinner. The food takes inspiration from all over the world, and local produce is used where possible. Wildebeest also sell a selection of vegan beers, wines and cocktails. I couldn't wait to visit, so when my friends and I were deciding where to go for our next meal out, I suggested the Wildebeest. Although my friends aren't vegan or vegetarian, they are open to trying different foods and were just as excited as I was to go there!
 
 
 
The cafe is small but cosy. The menu is written on a big blackboard on the wall. What I love about Wildebeest's menu is that it changes regularly; it is nice to be able to have different options to choose from every time you visit a restaurant. Here was the menu on the night we visited:
 
 
I decided to try the gnocchi. I'd never tried it before and I wasn't disappointed. The pesto was so creamy and delicious - absolutely bursting with flavour. The cashew parmesan was really tasty too.
 
 
Both my friends went for the Mex Mix (minus the cashew cheese). Chloe has a nut allergy and Zoe is coeliac, so after discussing their dietary requirements with the lovely waitress, they were advised on which dishes would be suitable for them. It felt a little strange that for once I did not have to mention my requirements to the staff!
 
 
We all thoroughly enjoyed our main courses, which were really filling. But no matter how full you are there's always room for dessert, right? Zoe had the raw raspberry cheesecake with coconut whipped cream, Chloe had the lemon and blueberry cupcake and I had the chocolate brownie (warmed!) with a scoop of homemade chocolate ice cream. We all loved our desserts, and I can safely say (after sampling all three dishes!) that they were among the best vegan desserts I've had. I hope the raspberry cheesecake is available next time I go to Wildebeest as I wouldn't mind having a large slice of it!
 
 


I really enjoyed dining at the Wildebeest. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced, and the staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. The cafe was fully booked the night we went, and I've heard it's always really busy. I think it's a hit with both vegans and non-vegans alike! I can't wait to go back :)
 
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