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Healthy Flapjack Recipe

Healthy Flapjack Recipe

There are certain times when your body craves sweet foods. No matter how hard we try to fight it by eating healthier alternatives, we just can’t shift that craving. Our Oestrogen levels are through the roof and our body simply craves sugar. Instead of constantly trying to fight that craving, if you succumb to it and eat what you fancy, the craving goes away. As a result, you stop walking back and forth to your fridge or cupboards in the hope that something will just pop up that wasn’t there two minutes ago.

I have a huge sweet tooth so I always have to have something sweet ready to hand. I live with my parents at the moment and them Lotus biscuits they have in the cupboard are far too tempting when there’s nothing else for me to satisfy my sugar craving!

This week I made some flapjack because that is exactly what I fancied. You can easily make a vegan alternative of flapjack with vegan butter, golden syrup and oats; simple! However, I don’t like to eat golden syrup or vegan butter because I choose to eat whole plant foods instead. They’re better for our health and that’s what I enjoy to eat. So, it is up to you to which you prefer, and if you prefer the healthy option, keep reading and try these!

I’d have taken better photos for you but the honest truth is, it was dark when I made them and with the help of my family they were all eaten within about 3-4 days. I’ve been busy on the go lately and couldn’t find time to take good pictures, but that doesn’t alter the taste right? 🙂

So, enjoy and I hope you like them!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 360g rolled oats
  • 6 tbsp. date syrup (or maple syrup, honey, your preference)
  • 6 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • cinnamon (optional!)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees).

Place the oats in a mixing bowl.

Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan with the peanut butter, coconut oil, syrup and cinnamon (if using cinnamon). Heat at a low temperature until all combined and delicious.

Pour mixture gradually into oats and combine well.

Once all mixed, grease your baking tray with coconut oil and then transfer your oat mixture into the tray. Press down with fork or spatula until all neat and firm, then pop into the oven.

Cook for 15-20mins, until the top looks nice and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool (or if you’re like me, eat when hot).

 

Side note:

These can be eaten hot or cold, but a great indulgence tip. Try mixing together date syrup (or whatever syrup you used for the recipe), raw cacao and boiled water to heat it up a bit. This makes a delicious chocolate sauce. Pour over heated flapjack (I cooked for 30seconds in microwave). It is incredible. Pure indulgence!!

The chocolate sauce, ratio is 1:1:1 (i.e. 1tsp cacao, 1tsp syrup, tsp hot water). Add quantities as desired, you may want to double the sweetness if you prefer it more sweet, its entirely up to you, but just a guidance 🙂

 

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!

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

I don’t know if it has happened to you before but I sometimes feel like I am the only vegan in the village. Eating a vegan diet does make you the minority, although the number of us are on the increase, so there are things you need to accept.

  • people don’t always understand you
  • people think you only eat lettuce and carrots
  • you may be weird to some people
  • some people assume you are judging them OR that they’re making you feel uncomfortable eating meat near you
  • some genuinely don’t know how to cater for you
  • don’t expect to be catered for at parties and don’t take offence!!

As a result of this you have to be confident in what you’re doing, happy with what you’re doing and always be prepared.

Here are some quick tips to help you feel comfortable in party situations:

  • eat before you go: you wont offend anyone at the party because chances are there’s not much substantial you will be able to eat there. Eating before hand ensures you wont be hungry there so you wont get “hangry” and want to leave. You want to be happy and comfortable there so make sure you’re well fed before hand.
  • take something with you:  super easy tip. Take food with you! Share you’re food with others, it will make you blend in and people will appreciate the gift 🙂
  • don’t make comments about there being no vegan food available: in a room full of numerous “normal” eating people, you can’t expect that on top of catering for all them people that they’re going to go that extra mile for you. They have spent a lot of time and effort into preparing the party so don’t mention you’re vegan and there’s nothing to eat, simply say you’re not hungry or “no thank you” to non-vegan offerings.
  • find any vegan food you can and take it before it goes: there’s a chance that there will be a cheese board with fresh or dried fruits. Take some and pop them on your plate before they all go. Bread is normally available and if you’re lucky some salads or veggie sticks. More times than none there will be vegan options but get them on your plate at the beginning of the party, just incase they run out by the time you’re hungry.
  • don’t worry about it: at the end of the day you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the party. Enjoy the party and be social. Social environments don’t always have to revolve around food and if they do just make sure you’re prepared.

I hope these few, quick tips help you for when you feel like the only vegan in the village 🙂

 

 

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

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Hello Hello 🙂

I’ve been making batches of raw vegan carrot cake cupcakes recently because it is just what I fancied and sometimes I fancy something sweet but not chocolate? For the cream topping I used this recipe and it is so delicious and moreish!

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Cashew nuts are one of the most versatile wonder foods of a vegan diet and I absolutely love them. Cashew nuts have a softer texture than most nuts and a slightly sweet taste which make them perfect for creating healthy alternatives to your non-vegan foods. My favourite uses for them are most definitely raw vegan cheesecake, cheese pasta sauce (i.e. alfredo, mac and cheese) and cashew cream. But also you could try cashew milk, blended in creamy soups and vegan cheese.

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Try this recipe as not only a cake frosting but also with fresh fruits (strawberries and cream! Yum.), filled into dates or even spooned onto your morning oats too.

It’s sweet and creamy and you will most definitely be tempted to eat it with a spoon too! So lets get into the recipe so you can enjoy it too !!

INGREDIENTS:

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

METHOD:

  1. Soak cashews in water either overnight or 6-8 hours.
  2. Once soaked, drain off all water from cashews.
  3. Add cashews into a high speed blender or food processor with dates, fresh lemon juice and coconut water.
  4. Blend until smooth creamy consistency.

Eat however you choose!

Store in the fridge.

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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.
Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Sometimes all we want to eat is a big bowl of creamy pasta and I am here to give you that option with no guilt in sight and a recipe that is packed full of creamy deliciousness! Did you know that cashews could be made into a “cheese”? Sounds crazy but it’s true. Cashew alfredo sauce is a much healthier alternative to regular alfredo; it remains creamy, delicious and the cashews add a slight sweetness to the dish also.

The versatility to this dish is great so I have given you the recipe to a basic alfredo sauce but do feel free to add a fresh raw salad with it or some cooked veggies too. It’s quick and easy to make so try it for yourself and enjoy with no guilt at all 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Medium sized Potatoes
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cashews
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Coriander (or 1 tbsp. dried herbs of choice)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

This sauce is enough for 2 large portions so cook pasta accordingly, (or save a portion for the next day).

METHOD:

  1. Put on pasta to cook
  2. Whilst the pasta cooks boil your potatoes and onion until cooked (should be about 10-15minutes)
  3. Remove potatoes and onion from pan and keep the stock
  4. Put ALL ingredients into a blender along with 1 cup of the stock left over from the potatoes and onion (add more if you want a thinner sauce)
  5. Blend all ingredients together and you have your sauce!!
  6. Voila! Pour over pasta and devour 🙂

 

 

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!!

Store cupboard essentials

Store cupboard essentials

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To lead a healthy lifestyle it is so important to keep your cupboards not only full of good food but full of good, quick and easy foods too. The reason I say this is because there is nothing worse than coming home absolutely starving marvin and only having foods in the cupboard that takes ages to make, i.e. brown rice (who feels me on that one? lol). Also, having full cupboards means that you have everything on hand, options are endless and you are going to eat great food. I buy all my “health” foods in bulk on Buywholefoodsonline (who have their store on Amazon also), then everything else from the supermarkets. These foods are ALWAYS in my cupboards and it might seem a lot to some people, I’m not sure, but for me they’re essentials and if you want to eat in abundance, with variety and flavour I recommend stocking up on these too 🙂 A boring diet isn’t fun so get creative.

Here is my list of store cupboard essentials:

  • Brown rice
  • Brown pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Red lentils
  • Oats
  • Pasatta
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans
  • Tahini
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Dates
  • Prunes
  • Chia seeds
  • Goji berries
  • Coconut flakes, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk
  • Flaked almonds, whole almonds, walnuts
  • Tamari
  • Apple cigar vinegar and red wine vinegar (because I have vinegar with everything…)
  • Sesame seeds, linseed, flaxseed, pine nuts
  • Spices (paprika, smoked paprika, turmeric, cayenne chilli powder, cumin, cinnamon etc)
  • Hemp powder
  • 100% Maple Syrup
  • Raw Cacao and Cacao nibs
  • Brown rice flour

pastachia