Category Archives: reviews

Cute Halloween Chocolate for Vegans!


From Hotel Chocolat:

The Yumpkin


Wingston the Bat


Tiddly Vampires!

Dark Chocolate Vegan Halloween Treats from Montezuma’s


And for the adults…
The All Dark Collection!

And this delicious Black Forest Gateau Bar

 

And for handing out to Trick or Treaters? Swizzels Lovehearts are vegan! Also vegan are their Parma Violets, Rainbow Drops, Fizzers and their Lovehearts Candy Lipsticks.

Light and Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes

They’re light. They’re fluffy. Gluten free. Soft and gooey too. Welcome to vegan chocolate chip pancakes made with aquafaba and the wonderfully sweet and mild, just like high quality milk chocolate, Moo Free Baking¬†Drops!

This recipe was developed for the #MooFreeBakeOff 2017

Just look at the chocolatey gooey-ness…

And the fluffiness? Can you see the fluffiness?

And the magic ingredient that makes them light and fluffy? Aquafaba, the cooking liquid from beans or chickpeas. Here we used the water drained out of one tin of chickpeas.

Ingredients:
water from one tin of chick peas (or other beans)
1 heaped tablespoon of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 bag of Moo Free Baking Drops
10 heaped tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
soya milk to mix to a good pouring batter (about a cup, but add it gradually)
a dash of vinegar

We used a cake mixer but you could whisk by hand! Pour the aquafaba into your mixing bowl and add the sugar. Then, on the highest setting, whisk for about six minutes: until frothy and possibly forming peaks. Turn the mixer down to a slow setting and add the sunflower oil, baking drops, and then gradually, bit by bit, alternate soya milk and flour until you have a good thick batter that can also pour. Pour in those Moo Free Baking Drops and turn up the speed on the mixer to fluff things up!

Our first batch, with only 8 spoons of flour, was too runny and the pancakes were not fluffy, but we quickly ate those up and added flour ūüôā

At the very end of mixing add the dash of vinegar.

Spray or wipe a sturdy frying pan or skillet with a tiny amount of oil and heat to quite a high temperature. We made small pancakes using tablespoons of the batter, three at time, in a large frying pan. Once little holes appear in the batter (probably after about a minute, depending on heat) that’s the time to flip them over and do the other side which generally needs less time.

We ate them while still warm, with strawberries.


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Eating and Reading in the Garden

Eating: porridge with Moo Free Baking drops. So like milk chocolate those wee drops! Amazon and Goodness Direct both have them.

Reading: The Cooking Gene. A journey through African American Culinary history in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty.

Was not expecting to find vegan recipes in this extremely informative title, in fact did not know it would contain recipes at all and bought it to learn about slavery, but African Soul Fried Rice sounds good! A great mix of autobiography and history.

Don’t forget, we’re on Facebook, Twitter¬†and Pinterest!

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Castle, chocolate, mountain

It’s summer, so what better time to get out and about and see our beautiful country? And eat chocolate. That’s Eilean Donan Castle above. And Kennard’s Artisan Chocolates below!

The peanut butter truffle (above) was our favourite, closely followed by the smooth caramel.

Beautifully packaged, these are a special treat and would make a lovely gift. Available exclusively from the online shop, the range is both vegan and kosher.

Clutching our chocolates, we disappear off into The Cuillin Mountains.

Jujube!

raw bramble cheesecake

It’s a raw bramble (blackberry) cheesecake sweetened with red Chinese dates or Jujubes. It’s rich. It’s delicious. Everyone should try it! Read on for how…

Abakus Foods sent us three of their wonderful jujube products to try: the pitted dates, some powdered jujubes and some jujube crisps. The crisps are just like mini cookies, all crunchy and sweet and moreish.

Jujubes (loving that word) are less sweet and sticky than ordinary dates and are traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat insomnia and anxiety.

jujube3

Here’s how we made our cheesecakes:

For the base: food process 40g (about a cup) of dried jujube fruit with a cup of pecan nuts until they resemble biscuit crumbs. Line a 12 piece muffin tin with cling film, pressing it carefully into each recess. Press your jujube/pecan mixture into each base.

For the creamy cheesecake topping: blend together a cup of brambles, a cup of macadamia nuts, half a cup of cashews, a tablespoon of coconut oil and 50g (about two tablespoons) of jujube powder. Once smooth, spread this onto the bases. Cover with more clingfilm and press each little cheesecake down to make sure it’s well stuck together.

Freeze for about two hours. Remove from tin and peel away the clingfilm. Decorate with jujube crisps and melted chocolate of your choice (really dark goes well).

Enjoy.

Love.

Say the word jujube a lot.

You can buy this range of jujube products online at Abakus Foods and, from September, at Wholefoods Markets and a number of independent health food and fine food stores. Amazon also have dried jujube fruit.

jujube cheesecake tower



Beautiful Smoke

dragon

Sacred Elephant Incense is vegan and ethically produced and smells of peace and light and all the good stuff. The scent (in our case, Cedar) evokes Glastonbury and Findhorn and Iona, spiritual places, beautiful bookshops and clear skies.

incense sticks

Our dragon burner¬†may not look so peaceful, but that’s just his way… The various scents: agar wood, cedar, cinnamon spice, gaura leela, Himalayan musk, myrrh, prema, rose, sandalwood, sayali jasmine, and vraja leela can be bought online¬†here

To go with this we’ve dug back into the old archives of the Vegan Family House and found one of the first recipes to go online, back in 1998. It’s smokey too!

Smokey Seafood Rice
Don’t worry, the seafood here is Arame, a sea vegetable.

Ingredients:
a little sunflower oil
1 onion
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1 block of smoked tofu
a good handful of dried arame
500g/18 oz/2 cups basmati rice (this makes a large potful to feed a family – reduce the amount of rice and water accordingly if you want)
a cupful of frozen peas
seasalt to taste
water to cover

Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes. Chop the tofu into small cuboids and add to the onion and garlic. Add the rice and mix well then add enough water to well cover the rice. Add the arame (you may need to add more water as seaweeds vary in how absorbent they are) and the seasalt. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer. A few minutes before the end of cooking time add the peas. Nice served with a green salad. Enjoy!

a little puff of smoke

This review has been organised by the VEGAN lifestyle ASSOCIATION and is our genuine and unbiased opinion of the product. Sacred Elephant Incense are listed with the VLA and you can see their listing here with an offer for members

Protein!

chocolate shake in the sun

That’s a raw vegan hemp chocolate shake from Purition, boasting 14.2g of protein and lots of healthy nuts and seeds. In fact that’s all it has; there’s no weird ingredients, no poly-whatsits or methyl-who-has, just hemp, sunflower kernels, chia and pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast, linseeds: the good stuff.

That looks like the Tribest Personal Blender, one of our favourite products, in this short film:

They do a few vegan mixes and sent us some:

protein2

The shakes¬†are marketed as being suitable for breakfast, lunch or post workout. Replacing a meal with a drink? There were sceptical faces here, but these drinks are filling! Really filling. And delicious. The words ‘just like a chocolate milkshake’ were spoken.

Here’s a vanilla one with a chocolate topping to which we added a banana. In retrospect we could have layered it up all stripy from the bottom if we’d known how thick and substantial they were.

chocolate topped shake

We also used them in our regular smoothies, replacing the usual avocado or nuts, which worked well.

The vegan sample box we had can be purchased from Purition or at Amazon.co.uk Shakes are also available singly in their 40g packs or in a large 500g size.