Reviews on Vegan and ethical products, recipes and travel
Hey Guys Wanted to update you on a new product that I have found on Instagram, because this is the best way to find new and exciting brands. They are called Raw Chocolate Co Firstly who doesn't love chocolate, whoop. So testing these products wasn't a bore ha. Initially they ticked a few boxes for me before ordering. The products are Organic, gluten free and the packaging is eco friendly. Specifically bio degradable and fully recyclable. What really stood out was the 72% cocoa, often this is a clear indicator that the chocolate is high quality and worth a try. Once they arrived the packaging immediately caught my eye, with some bold colours each representing well their flavours. It was like a lucky dip of yumminess. I went straight for the salty caramel, always is my personal favourite flavour combo. The texture is smooth and shiny with a great softness on the tongue. A real treat and works great with a black coffee (might just be me on this one). I have to say the flavour really carries and you get a freshness and creamy taste that really brings you back for more. I really struggled not to eat 3 bars in one sitting ha. I have saved dark chocolate for my mother in law as I know she will love it. She never has anything less than 72% cocoa. These bars wouldn't look out of place on a supermarket shelf, but with an added bonus off coming from Organic and real ingredients. This guilty pleasure becomes a weekly treat, when you know it's not that bad for you. I would really recommend you give these a go you won't be disappointed.
Pizza pizza pizza. You gotta love it, I know I do! I am very much a carb fiend, love the stuff and a good pizza is often a go to of mine. Since deciding not to eat meat, finding a Vegan pizza can be tricky. Toppings can be an issue because often cheese brings a lot to the table, in texture, fat and all round yumminess. The secret to a great pizza for me is no doubt the quality of cheese. Vegan cheese can be really hit or miss, and often disappointing. So getting it right on a pizza is key. I recently tried a cool brand with a even cooler name One Planet Pizza. They stock their pizzas in a wide range of shops and wholesalers including online shop the Vegan Kind. They offer real frozen Vegan and Gluten free pizzas. I tried the Mediterranean, and 3 Sheeze Pizza's. Firstly they defrost very well, with minimal water left on the side, with the base still set in it's original case. I cooked mine for 25 minutes in a 180 temperature to ensure even coverage. The Mediterranean base was a great consistency, and offered all the best bits of a wholegrain bread. The gem that stood out for me was the spices, they really added a subtle texture and oomph that lit up the pizza. Firstly I love the name 3 sheeze pizza, and it defiantly was sheezy! The base was soft and moreish, and the tofu bits were a cheeky addition on top. What stood out to me was the quality of the cheese they used, it was rich, thick and beautifully stringy. It takes you on a real rollercoaster ride of tastes, we really enjoyed it. It can be hard to find a good vegan pizza, and I have to say I will be putting this pizza on my monthly treat wish list for a great Saturday night feast. I also wanted to say that the name, branding and underlying ethos of this company is great, and through a mutual love (pizza) they are sharing good vibes. This is very important and is a way to engage all people to find a common love.
I am always on the lookout for a great peanut butter! There are loads you can grab from a supermarket or local store, but are they really that good for you? Question is do you want an oily butter that adds excess calories to your day? If so then great loads of choice right! However for me I want to eat peanut butter that will give me the required protein, but also be free of any additives and oils that can block my arteries. I always look out for the products that can process the peanut without the use of oil and without the use of stabilisers. For me they are few and far between, especially at the supermarket. Not to mention the skyrocket prices when going "premium". Recently I came across a brand on IG, as you do! Called Manilife they roast and process the peanuts only with sea salt. Yes I love the sound of that finally no oils. I purchased a box of 3 blend to get a wide range of roasts that they use. Firstly I tried the deep roast, which was a real dark and textured experience brimming with depth. In terms of flavour it was on the bitter side, which for me is perfect as I eat it on it's own. The creamy blend however is really yummy! It blends really great with a bowl of porridge or for my cheat meal a bowl of granola. You won't believe it's not got sugar in it, as the flavour really carries on the tongue. I bought the starter pack so I could try the different blends, and for £12 it was a bargain, in both health and flavour. £4 for a quality peanut butter is a great bargain and shouldn't be compared to a £1 oily supermarket blend. If you are looking to increase your protein count and want a healthier option then defiantly give them a go! Or even to spice up your porridge. Have a Nutty day!!
Hey all I recently found a great new gluten free flour from Teff co, they are based in America and their instagram inspired me to try a recipe I had found online. For me the perfect way to combine my neighbors great courgette crop, and a gluten free flour was to make brownies. Which is a super easy tray bake, but packs a real punch. I love salted sweets so I tweaked the recipe slightly to add in sea salt which gives a salty run off in the mouth, amazing right!! Here is the recipe enjoy. 1 1/2 cups caster sugar 1/2 cup canola oil 2 cups of teff co flour 1/4 cup of cocoa organic (can get from ALDI) 2 cups of shredded courgette (squeeze excess liquid) 1 teaspoon sea salt (or table if you don't want it salty) 1 1/2 cups baking soda So just pre heat the oven to 180 degrees and grab a 8x8 dish and grease with oil. Add in the mixing bowl, oil, flour and sugar. Mix well, should look like wet sand. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until batter is creamy, shiny and gloopy. If it is too dry just add a tablespoon of water then mix and repeat until correct. It usually depends how much you drained from the courgettes. Pour the batter into the dish, then oven for around 35-45 minutes can depend on the oven etc. I check using a knife, if nothing sticks then it is done. Let it cool on a wire tray and you are ready to eat, enjoy!! Would love to see your pictures and attempts please tag me in your posts on instagram. Be Happy
A blog about boxers hmmmm, sure why not? Well not just any boxers that is but a special brand doing some special things right now. Firstly Marcskid is a great name choice rather tongue in cheek but I love it, really reflects this fun and playful brand. As you can see by the picture the product itself is bright and bold, much like the intentions of the brand. A huge vibe from this brand is that they give a portion of the money made directly to charity, and the product itself is made entirely from recyclable products. Specifically from recycled bottles, repreve chip and recycled card. In addition to this the boxers are USDA organic and Non GMO. I was initially wowed by the box it comes in, with a playful cartoon origin story on the back and cool bumper stickers to boot. However more importantly above all else the quality, fit and style has to be right of the boxers to ensure it is not just a cool gimic. For me the design is sleek, the weight is light and the length is great. I often buy shorts that ride up due to my leg size, whereas these stayed in shape and didn't rub. Plus the texture is very soft! This brand is going to go far if it continues to show a mix of playfulness and compassionate guidance both towards the customer and the planet. This I echoed by the brand receiving the good brand award for 2018. The brand is currently US based and shipping to the UK is available but can be costly due to customs tax being applied when it arrives. However it is still worth it and a must buy for 2018.
I loveeee a good pasta dish, and all my time favorite before going veggie was Carbonara. The garlic and creamy taste really stuck with me. So I had to find a way to enjoy it and use a recipe that is a great match for the original. The tricky aspect for me was finding an alternative texture for the bacon bits. I tried Tofu which was ok but the texture just isn’t consistent. I ended up using Sgaia vegan mheat's streaky rashers which are flavored and textured just right for a Carbonara. Here’s the recipe I found: 60g cashew nuts 1/2 cup of water 1 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves of garlic Pinch of salt and pepper Blitz and set aside. I lightly fried off the rashers when cubed, in coconut oil then added the Vegan pasta into the pan. Mix the sauce into the pan and heat. Boom it’s a real treat, texture is great and if you have used fresh garlic it it will smell amazing. Excited for you too all try it.
As in my previous post I am always looking into different ways to get protein into my diet. I focused last time on the organic Tofu and Tempeh, range and ways to fit that into a quick and easy dish. Tofu or soy bean are very versatile and can be added to many dishes, however it does have it's limits when in it's block form. I wanted to find other ways to eat soy bean that can still give me protein, but add a little extra to my meals. I found a brand on Instagram called Sgaia Vegan meats who offer Mheats, soy based protein with extra flavorings and likeness to meat. Firstly I love the name Mheat a great play on the word, always good to challenge people's perspective of what meat can be. I ordered a BBQ pack with the view to making a few dishes I really missed initially when deciding not to eat meat, which was a Burger and Carbonara Sauce. The package came neatly wrapped up in a cool bag and cardboard, I put on a video showing the mixed box I received. I initially tried the blend of Sun-dried Tomatoes, Italian Herbs and Onion burger and found it to be a real treat. The texture was full and rich with a cheeky crunch, that I have to say really mirrors the texture of meat. The herbs used blended well and stayed on the tongue into the next bite. (making me salavate just writing this) If a comparison was to be drawn between meat, only the size may differ in that the mheat was thinner, however the texture in the mouth more than makes up for it. But in truth a comparison is not needed, the quality of the mheat should be treated in it's own right a great option to spice up your protein options, adding to a good price and easy delivery(next day if you order on a Monday) they should be viewed as a monthly buy and freeze option. For me being able to grab out a quality protein option out of the freezer is invaluable. Next stop use the rashers to create a Vegan Carbonara dish!!
Meal Prep!! Epic word really and puts a lot of people of making meals. For me it means finding quick meals that allow me to be healthy but also still function. We're all busy and the idea of slogging out an 1hour and 30 minute meal doesn't seem possible. I focus on proteins that I can cook and heat in minutes, and add to rice or cous cous and still hold it's flavor. One way of achieving this is to order in the protein from an ethical source. I chose recently to order a Tempeh bundle from Vegan Nutrition Store. Initially there was some issues around delivery due to the courier, however the store took it upon themselves to hand deliver my parcel to ensure I didn't miss out. Which was incredibly refreshing to see a brand go above and beyond. Even chucking in a free pizza whoop. The bundle itself contained a variety a Tofu and flavored Tempeh. Such as BBQ and sweet and sour. One thing to note is that Tempeh is fermented so can be eaten straight away, and offers some nutritional gut health benefits. I lightly fried the BBQ Tempeh in coconut oil to warm it up, literally for only 1 minute. Added it to rice and hummus with a few green Veg. The consistency was great, had a real bite to it and the BBQ flavor really came through. I tried a bite before heating and although the crisp wasn't there the taste held up. Adding to a salad would be a possibility. The biggest benefit to me was the quickness and nutritional benefit to this product. It came sealed and neatly packaged, wrapped in a cooler bag to maintain it's temperature. I will be ordering from Vegan Nutrition store again as the products were of good quality and the brand obviously cares about me as a customer.
Bank holiday weekends are always great fun, weather permitting of course!! This weekend I enjoyed some much needed time with family and to take in the amazing weather we were having. I was also looking forward to some great food outside, and to try out my new order of Vegan Truffles from TrufflepigVegan. I ordered double choc, with a cheeky addition of the salted caramel. Overall I was really impressed with the time it took to be delivered, and the packaging used. It came in a neat little black box, simple and clean. The great thing about having family over is you have a few testers at the ready!! We all gave them a big thumbs up, however the salted caramel was divided. I personally loved it as I am a real savoury kinda guy. The double choice however was a real treat, soft on the inside and really creamy and smooth. So more-ish you could eat a whole box. Another good reason to have family round so you don't eat them all!!! The truffles were a real find and I will be ordering more no doubt! Perfect for parties after dinner or given as a present you won't be disappointed. Happy shopping! Be happy
So in 2016 we were lucky enough to visit Rio during the Olympics, and boy it didn’t disappoint. During our short stay, we booked a hotel nearby the famous Escalera da Selaron. This was a set of steep and beautiful steps covered in tiles that an artist had designed during his time in Rio. This was a top tourist spot and although it was awesome to see I wouldn’t recommend staying as close as we did, as there was huge parties most nights. Putting to bed the rumours of Rio being a party city. This part of the city showcased a real local vibe with street markets a regular occurrence ranging from fruits, veg and general household items. One great feature of Rio was it’s new underground train system which we found incredibly easy to navigate and used to head most days to the famous Copacabanna Beach. I have to say this beach was epic, stretching miles and offering everything from volleyball to a huge area of umbrella sun lounges. We stopped here to enjoy a mountain view to the left and an awesome drink called the caprinha, which should be tasted but not over indulged upon. (heavy on the vodka)What we found most interesting was the constant shops selling only chocolate and crisps, they were all branded and stretched right along shelves and metal crates. We often bought big bags of crisps to enjoy with a good bottle of Brahma lager sold at most bars. On one day we stretched further a field using the trains to visit the Sugarloaf mountain, you have to get on a huge cable car which takes you from ground zero to right on top the highest point. The views were spectacular and stretched for the whole of Rio, including of the Christ Redeemer statue. Rio was a busy city and with the Olympics it was crazy at times, but it had a real party feel to it which extended all over. It was hard to see at times the level of poverty but I must say they are a truly resourceful country and will always extend you a warm welcome. It has to be visited and with the new transport links it was far easier than I could have ever imagined. Happy Travels.
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