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Vegan friendly chocolate

Vegan friendly chocolate

Vegan friendly chocolate.

There seems to be a misconception that when you turn vegan you suddenly stop eating chocolate; this is not the case. There are many brands of chocolate offering dairy free options which don’t have to come from the “free from” section. If you like dark chocolate then you will find the transition easy. If you don’t enjoy dark chocolate it could take a while to make the transition however over time you will get used to the taste and start to love it.

It is possible to get milk and white vegan chocolate however it does have to come from the “free from” section because it isn’t naturally made dairy free. As a result the cost will be a bit higher than your regular chocolate bars.

Things to note:

  • not all dark chocolate is vegan so always double check the label.
  • dairy products are mostly always in bold however “butterfat” is sometimes not highlighted; so again double check the label.

Some facts about chocolate:

Chocolate is made from the cacao plant which in its most natural state is actually a health food. Not to be confused with cocoa, cacao is naturally high in antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Alongside a healthy diet, cacao has the ability to balance blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce arterial plaque and ultimately reverse heart disease.

Other health benefits:

  • Its high in magnesium which increases energy levels and protects against osteoporosis.
  • Cacao boosts serotonin levels and endorphins which improve mood and balance mood swings.
  • It contains healthy fats which create chemical reactions for growth, immune function and metabolic function.

I have accumulated a section of photos on my trip around Tesco, finding all the vegan chocolate I could. Other supermarkets and health shops have more choice so you’re never short of options. These are mainstream brands, where as health shops have great raw chocolate varieties (and more!) but at a higher cost.

Other alternatives include raw cacao powder (to create your own great vegan desserts/ treats) and cacao nibs (to add to snacks, smoothies and oats).

Find some of your mainstream varieties below.

Green & Black’s

Tesco’s Own

Lindt

Green & Blacks Thins

Tesco Finest

Bournville

Ritter Sport (not their mint variety)

BENDICK’S

 

To find out more about how chocolate is made, go view my post on how I made chocolate in the Amazon!

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Raw vegan carrot cake cupcakes? Yaaaaaay !!

So, I have made a couple of batches of these cupcakes to try and get the consistency more cakey, however I have come to the realisation that they’ll never quite be a cupcake consistency as they are raw of course, and carrot pulp is wet, therefore I’m working towards something that can not be achieved whilst keeping the taste on point.

I’m sharing this recipe with you because for me they taste awesome, they’re a healthy and delicious alternative to regular carrot cake and although not quite a “cupcake” texture, they look like a cupcake and they taste lovely regardless, ha ha!

I hope you can enjoy them too so let’s get into the recipe.

(Makes 5-6 Cupcakes)

NOTE: This recipe involves juicing carrots. If you do not have a juicer try blending the carrots first in a food processor or blender and then use a muslin cloth to strain as much juice out as you can.

INGREDIENTS:

Carrot Cake Base

  • 1 Cup Carrot Pulp (roughly 3 large carrots juiced)
  • 1/2 Cup Soft Sticky Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans
  • 3 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger

Cream Frosting

  • 1 Cup Cashews (soaked either overnight or 6-8 hours)
  • 3 Soft Sticky Dates
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut water

METHOD:

Carrot Cake Base

  1. Start by juicing roughly 3 large carrots, this will give you a cup of carrot pulp.
  2. Add carrot pulp into food processor with all other ingredients and combine into cakey mixture
  3. Spoon into cupcake cases (makes 5-6 large cupcakes or more if making smaller ones)

Cream Frosting

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight or for 6-8 hours and then drain off all water.
  2. Put into food processor with all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Spoon and spread onto cupcakes (you will have more than enough frosting so you could always save the extra for more cupcakes, morning oats or anything else you may like to have it with!).

Leave to refrigerate overnight, then enjoy !!

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Dreamy Chocolate Smoothie

Dreamy Chocolate Smoothie

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Dreamy Chocolate Smoothie; “dreamy” because it’s a chocolate smoothie with a creamy smooth twist. This recipe includes raspberries to give it some tartness, mango for a fruity creamy texture and dates for added sweetness.

This chocolate smoothie recipe is so delicious and satisfying and can be taken on the run as it is, or eaten in bowl topped with your favourite superfoods. Why not try cacao nibs? They’re the absolute King of superfoods, containing the highest amount of Antioxidents and Vitamin C than any other food! They also contain the highest natural source of magnesium, zinc, copper and iron, all of which are essential for a healthy metabolism.

Now let’s get into the recipe !

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh mango (approx half a regular mango)
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (add more for thinner texture)
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp raw cacao

METHOD:

  1. Blend together all ingredients in high speed blender
  2. pour into a bowl and top with your choice of topping OR pour into glass and drink as a smoothie !
  3. Enjoy 🙂

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Kiwi and Cherry Nicecream

Kiwi and Cherry Nicecream

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My ultimate favourite breakfast is a bowl of fruit blended into a smoothie or Icecream, and this beauty is just incredible. Kiwi and Cherry Nicecream: The absolute best !

A few little facts about cherries:

  • Help fight diabetes due to a super low GI
  • Rich in antioxidents helping combat Alzeimers 
  • Slows the aging process, great for your skin
  • Reduces muscle inflammation meaning reduced muscle pains
  • Reduces joint pains from osteoarthritis

The difference between eating a bowl of Dairy Icecream and Banana Ice cream (aka Nicecream) other than the obvious health differences, is that Nicecream will leave you Satisfied and Nourished.

Dairy and sugar laden Icecream may taste good but it doesn’t leave you FULL. The high sugar and fat content makes you crave More and More to the point where you’ll probably feel quite sick. Nicecream however gives you that satisfaction of taste but will also keep you full for hours, nourished and not a shadow of guilt.

Now let’s stop the chit chat and get you started with the recipe 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Frozen Bananas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Cherries
  • 3 Kiwi Fruit

Optional:

  • Squeeze of 1/2 lime (I just looove lime)
  • 1 tsp hemp protein powder (added protein)

METHOD:

  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and BLITZ.

TIPS:

  • Add the fresh fruit to the bottom where the blades are so they can blend up first and give you some fluid to get the frozen fruit blended.
  • Be patient. Don’t overheat your blender. If the frozen fruit isn’t blending, stop, give it a mix and try again. If it still doesn’t blend, add in a little water, coconut water or dairyfree milk to get the blender going.
  • Frozen cherries from Tesco.
Foods that are surprisingly Vegan

Foods that are surprisingly Vegan

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If you are transitioning into Veganism, hello and welcome 🙂 I am here to try and help make the transition an easy one for you because it can be difficult at first and it doesn’t need to be!

Before turning fully vegan I had researched it on and off for about three years and ate a lot of vegan recipes so when I tried Veganuary I thought it would be a doddle; how wrong was I? I failed miserably (literally) and lasted just one day! I lasted just this one day because I really didn’t know what meals to eat each and every day and found that I was thinking way too much about it and stressed myself out. Not only that, I think I gave up so quickly because my heart wasn’t truly in it and I didn’t know the shocking facts behind the meat and dairy industry as well as the nutritional benefits of the lifestyle (videos I recommend: Cowspiracy, 101 Reasons to Go Vegan, Gary Yourofsky’s Best Speech You’ll Ever Hear. Books: Starch Solution).

So, my first piece of advice would be go and check out my blog post: Store Cupboard Essentials. This will give you an idea of all vegan products you can stock up on in your pantry and which are staples for this lifestyle. On top of that I recommend stocking up on lots of fruit and vegetables too. Fruits are great for quick grab and go food; fruits that last a longer period of time: apples, bananas, grapes and pears. Vegetables are great for bulking up a meal as well as providing lots of nutrition too of course.

Secondly, go check out: Tips for eating out as a Vegan. This page will give you ideas to make you less stressed when eating out as a vegan also.

Lastly, read this long list of foods that are surprisingly vegan. I do advise eating a whole foods plant-based diet for optimal health, however when transitioning this can be difficult so it’s good to know which foods are actually vegan to help you ease into it at your own pace.

Biscuits:

  • Rich tea biscuits
  • Ginger nuts
  • Bourbons (chocolate Bourbons, yes. They’re Vegan)
  • Oreo’s
  • Jammie Dodgers
  • Chocolate Chip Hobnobs (yes, really)
  • Crawford’s Pink Wafers
  • Lotus Original Caramelised biscuits
  • Fox’s Party Rings

Sweets:

  • Starburst
  • Millions
  • Cadbury Bournville Plain Chocolate
  • Green and Blacks – Dark Chocolate, Lemon, Mint, Espresso
  • Flying saucers

Crisps (lots are vegan so just check the packaging but to name a few):

  • Walkers: Prawn cocktail (yes), Ready Salted, Salt and Vinegar, Worchester Sauce
  • Doritos: Lightly salted, Chilli Heatwave
  • Pringles: Smokey Bacon (yes), Original, BBQ, Paprika
  • Skips: Prawn cocktail
  • McCoy’s: Ultimate Sizzling BBQ Chicken, Salt & Malt Vinegar, Ultimate Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Savoury biscuits:

  • Ritz: crackers
  • Nairns: rough oat cakes
  • Jacobs: cream crackers

Protein bars:

  • Cliff: Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Nākd bars
  • Trek: Peanut Power, Berry Burst, Original Oat Flapjack, Cocoa Chaos, Cocoa Coconut Flapjack
  • 9bar: Peanut

Plant based milks:

  • Almond
  • Hemp
  • Rice
  • Oat
  • Coconut

Cereals:

  • Shredded wheat
  • Cheerios
  • Frosties
  • Rice Krispies
  • Shreddies
  • Honey Monster Puffs
  • Coco Caramel Shreddies
  • Cocopops
  • Chocolate Chip Wheetabix
  • Chocolate Cheerios

Chocolate drinks:

  • Mars chocolate drink
  • Nesquik
  • Ovaltine

Spreads:

  • Jams
  • Nut butters: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter etc
  • Marmalades
  • Marmite (Great for B12!!)

Side note: Quorn is NOT VEGAN!! It contains Milk and Eggs.

This is just a list of a few I found through PETA and through general research.  I didn’t list the obvious items such as rice, beans, veggies etc because you can find that though my older posts but these are just a few for when you want something different. I hope this helps you out and if you have any other questions I can help with just ask me and I will do my best J Happy eating Vegan Lovelies!!

Persimmon and Kiwi Nicecream

Persimmon and Kiwi Nicecream

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You can’t get much better than a delicious bowl of Nicecream for breakfast and today I’m sharing with you this simple and in season delicious delight; Persimmon and Kiwi Nicecream !!

For anyone who doesn’t know, Nicecream is simply frozen bananas blitzed into an Icecream consistency; it’s simply amazing. Being vegan or lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you have to cut Icecream out of your life, try Nicecream and once you start you won’t be able to stop. Vary your ingredients and each time I am sure you will be completely satisfied.

Top with some added nutrition and crunch (nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, dried fruits etc) to get that Icecream sundae feeling, but without the loaded fats, sugar and animal products !

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Large Frozen Bananas
  • 3 Kiwis (Skin removed)
  • 1 Persimmon (AKA Sharon fruit)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Water (Optional)
  • 1/2 Small Juiced Lime

METHOD:

  1. Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and BLEND !!
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with healthy extras such as strawberries, flaked almonds and chia seeds.
  3. Eat with a spoon and ENJOY !!
Butter Bean and Kale Stew

Butter Bean and Kale Stew

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Don’t have much time but want something full of flavour, hearty and delicious? You need this Butter Bean and Kale Stew in your life!! I make this amount and save half for the next day but if you’re super hungry then eat it all. There’s no one stopping you, Lol! It’s low fat, high protein and faultless. As for measurements, I sort of make it up as I go depending on what I’m fancying, i.e. add more passatta, more kale etc. So take this as a base line and play with it how you like. Hope you enjoy, and Happy World Vegan Day ☺️

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Can Butter Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1Tbsp Tahini
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • Handful or 2 of Kale
  • 5 Sundried Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Passatta
  • Pepper (as in ground pepper, not the vegetable…)

METHOD:

  1. Put on to cook wholewheat pasta or spaghetti (amount you desire).
  2. Whilst that cooks, add ALL stew ingredients into a pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until hot. bubbly, thickened and cooked through!
  3. Both should be ready at the same time, serve and enjoy!
Chocolate and Apple Oats

Chocolate and Apple Oats

A winter warmer that’s delicious, healthy and perfect for Autumn time: Chocolate and Apple Oats 😊

I use a lot of banana in my foods because they’re filling, sweet and full of nutrients. If banana isn’t for you then this is perfect because there isn’t a banana in sight 😉 I also LOVE prunes in my oats because they’re delicious, super sweet, high in fibre and great for digestion! However if you aren’t keen on prunes either then you can always substitute these for raisins.

However you decide to make them, I hope you enjoy ☺️

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 Cup Oats
  • 1 Apple – grated
  • 3 Prunes – chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Raw Cacao
  • Touch of Cinnamon

Optional topping

  • 4-5 Frozen Strawberries
  • Splash of boiled water to make a syrup

METHOD:

  1. On low heat cook oats, chopped prunes, cacao, cinnamon and grated apple.
  2.  If adding strawberries: Whilst cooking oats, in another pan add frozen strawberries with a splash of water and cook on lowest heat.
  3. Cook until ready, will only take a few minutes. Pour oats into bowl and top with strawberries. OR toppings of your choice: coconut or buckwheat are great options 😉

 

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