5 Vegan Easter gifts

Easter is around the corner and every year the vegan offering of Easter eggs and gifts gets more extensive. Here’s my pick of some of my favourites:

 KamAlive Chocolates £3.99

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The first of our veganised creme egg alternates. This egg has a thick and rich 80% raw chocolate shell filled with a smooth cashew cream.

CocoCaravan 4 Boxes £21

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These hand made vegan easter eggs are made with smooth dark chocolate and filled caramel. Each box contains 8 caramel filled easter eggs. Perfect to share with the family…or not.

Moo Free Bunnycomb Egg £4.99 (approx) 

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It’s great to see this brand becoming more widely available as it’s now being stocked in major supermarkets. Bunnycomb is definitely my favourite variety. This dairy free chocolate egg has been infused with pieces of vegan friendly honeycomb toffee. Delish!

Consider It Giant Dream Egg £20

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The second of our vegan friendly creme eggs comes from one of my all time favourite chocolate brands, Consider It. A smaller version is available but really why bother?

Montezuma Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies £4.99 and Dark Chocolate Button Egg £9.99

Montezuema continues to impress with it’s delicious vegan offering. I’m loving their chocolate button filled egg and cheeky dark chocolate bunnies.

Have I missed out your favourite? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London Marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

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LVB Marathon Training Diary – week 13

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Distance clocked this week: 24 miles. 2 runs. A bit of a fail of a week as I had a cold so after my long run, I only managed one more short one which was a big struggle for me.

Long run: 21 miles. What a tough run. It was a mental struggle for me this week as physically I actually felt fine. The first 10 miles were pretty enjoyable taking in a waterside view but after yet another route confusion,  the wind seemed to arrive with vengeance and I just wanted to get home. Still, I always feel so accomplished afterwards and it’s great preparation for the sure to be metal aspects of the marathon.

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Nutrition: I definitely noticed a lack of appetite this week due to illness (very unusual for me) so I just tried to drinks lots of smoothies and eat loads of veg to ward away my cold.

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What am I listening to? More Desert Island discs – if you haven’t  checked out the Bruce Springsteen episode, it’s definitely worth a listen. What a legend.

Cross Training: No cross training for me due to my cold unless you count sleeping.

Lessons Learnt: If you’re not well, don’t feel guilty about not being able to follow your plan. Take the time to recover properly first and come back stronger.

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5 Vegan Egg Substitutes

One of the questions I get asked the most, is how do I make the most amazing vegan cakes they’ve ever tasted (or something like that) without eggs. Well, turns out there’s quite a few easy substitutes that work just as well as and taste even better. Here’s just 5.

Cornstarch

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This is actually my favourite easy swap as it’s so easy. For each egg in the recipe, use 1 Tsp mixed with 2 Tbs of plant based milk (I tend to use unsweetened soya or almond).

Flaxseed

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A really simple and cheap alternative is Flaxseed. Just use a Tablespoon of flaxseed and mix with 2-3 Tablespoons of water and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Great for making fluffy pancakes. You can get the milled variety here.

Apple sauce

apple-sauce-544676_1920Often used in cookie recipes, this is also a great natural sweetener too. Either simply stew and mash an apple or  get from the supermarket where it’s readily available. A good tip is to go for the apple puree available in the baby food section where the sauce will be lower in sugar.

Egg Substitute

Including the much hyped Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, which is great for making scrambled eggs and the Orgran Egg replacer , which works well for baking.

Chia Seeds

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Lastly, the versatile and nutritious option is chia seeds. Very similar to using flaxseed, just mix 1 Tablespoon chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and set aside for 5 minutes. Wonderful for cakes or use in a smoothie for added health benefits.

What is your favourite vegan egg alternative and what do you use it for? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

 

 

Trek Protein Energy Chunks Review

My review of the new Trek Protein Energy Chunks, from the company that have brought us our favourite afternoon slump pick me up, Nakd bars. These Trek energy chunks are great for pre and post exercise. Each bag contains 12g of protein and wholefood ingredients to give you a sustained energy boost that won’t cause a sugar spike! They currently come in 3 flavours.

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Toffee Triumph 

img_6670The Toffee flavour really is a trumph. Tastes like a treat as it has a rather buttery flavour. Made with dates, cashews, soya protein crunches (that give all these chunks that lovely crunch), raisins and oats.

Cocoa Peanut

img_6671This Cocoa and Peanut combination is great. I would say more peanut than cocoa but that’s no bad thing. The main ingredients are dates, peanuts , cocoa and peanut butter.

Cranberry Kick

img_6674Also a really lovely taste. These seem a little sweeter than the other varieties with a nice hint of fruit. Dates, soya crunchies, apple juice concentrate , almonds and cranberries are included in this yummy snack.

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Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

I am running the London marathon this year for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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5 Vegan Supermarket Yoghurts

Yoghurts are underrated in my book. A great healthy pudding, the perfect breakfast accompaniment to granola or muesli and makes a wonderful creamy smoothie. Here are 5 of my favourites.

Koko

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Probably my favourite vegan yoghurt right now, these are super creamy and satisfying. Available in Coconut & Lemon and Strawberry varieties and I love them both. Stockists include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado.

Alpro Go On 

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Alpro’s latest offering are these thicker and more substantial yoghurt pots that are high in protein and high in taste. Available in Mango (my fave), Blackcurrant or Passionfruit. Just delicious. Find them in Tesco and Waitrose.

Provamel Soya-Coconut

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For a lower sugar alternative, this Soya-Coconut yoghurt from Provamel is great, A lovely natural taste and wonderful for desserts or to use in baking. Available in Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

The Coconut Collaborative

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If soya is not your thing, try these coconut yoghurts that come in Blueberry, Mango & Passionfruit, Limited Edition Strawberry and Natural. Available in Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and Ocado.

Tesco Free From Natural Soya Yoghurt 

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Great over granola and berries for a delicious breakfast or try it in a smoothie for a more filling and creamy option.

If you want to check out 5 Vegan Falafels, you can find my post here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 8

img_6532Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. Let me tell you, even when you think you’re strong and you’re smashing out the long runs every week, short runs can be tough. 2 days after my epic almost 18 miler, I was just not feeling it. Freezing winds, muddy trails and my hat blowing off. But I did it and that’s the most important thing. Keep pushing on guys.

Long run: 17.7 miles. I had actually planned on a 15 mile run but the route that I followed was a little further than I realised so ended up at 17.7. I opened my door to snow so felt very pleased with myself for braving not my favourite conditions. I did 3 or 4 miles along a very muddy canal and then veered onto the road passing through country villages and fairly busy country lanes. Half way in, it got a bit quieter and by the 10 mile mark, my legs were starting to feel a bit tired from all the hills I’d already tackled. I plodded on, took in  a gel and that gave me a little lift to push on. I finished tired but happy to have ran for longer than planned with no hamstring niggles.

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Nutrition: I purchased the vegan SIS nutrition pack, which includes gels, pre and post recovery powders and bars. On this run, I had an electrolyte pack in my water and a gel. When I got home, I had the chocolate recovery powder. I seemed to have a speedier than usual recovery so fingers crossed this routine is working.

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What am I listening to?  Mostly old episodes of The Ginger Runner with some Little Big Town for some added motivation for the last few miles (they’re an American country pop band).

Cross Training: The now usual strength training. Would love to fit a bit more strength work in too so that’s something I’m going to work on next week.

Lessons Learnt : Switching from podcasts to music for the 3 miles or so really did give me an extra push when it got tough.

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You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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5 Supermarket Falafel (vegan)

Vegans and Falafel go together like peas and carrots or Sunny and Cher or indeed, Kylie and Jason, so here’s my pick of some of the best readily available in our British supermarkets.

Tesco Sweet Potato Falafel £1.50

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Great Food Mediterranean Falafel £2.40

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Stockists include Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Costco.

Biona Organic Falafel Balls £3.49

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Stockists include Ocado, Planet Organic and Amazon.

Fry’s Quinoa and Cilantro Falafel Burgers £2.77

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Stockists include Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Morrisons and Whole Foods.

Sainsbury’s Falafel £2.30

img-thingI would love to know your favourite falafel choices. Have you tried any or all of these? Check out my top 5 supermarket veggie burgers post here

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Where to get a Vegan Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza and right now, it’s never been easier to get your carb fix.  Here’s a few places to go in the UK if you fancy a vegan pizza. Let me know your favourite vegan pizza place.

Zizzi

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With 140 restaurants across the UK and a recently added vegan menu, this is definitely one to check out. They have 3 vegan pizzas to choose from as well as a ton of toppings. The vegan ‘mozzarella’ is made with coconut oil. If you’re not completely full, they even have a vegan dessert calzone on offer.

Pizza Express

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An oldie but a goodie, the Pianta vegan pizza from Pizza Express has artichoke , spinach, mushroom and rocket and it’s delicious. Additionally, all of their pizzas are made by hand so can be ordered without cheese.

Ask

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Ask is another chain of restaurants that have recently added a vegan menu. Top your vegan pizza base with grilled aubergines, caramelised onions and roasted peppers amongst other great options. I’m also happy to see a vegan kids menu.

Pizza Hut

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“Vegan Pizza” | avry | CC by-SA 2.0

The Pan Dough, All American Thin Dough and Flatbread Dough are all vegan friendly as well as the tomato or bbq sauce.  They, of course, have an abundance of toppings to choose from and don’t forget to go mad at the salad bar too – where even the bacon bits are vegan (I know)!

Papa John’s

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If you’re feeling a little more lazy and want to order in, all of Papa John’s pizza bases are vegan so just ask them to remove the cheese (I promise, you won’t miss it). The garlic dip is also suitable for vegans. Yum!

Vbites Frozen Pizza

Looking for a quick and convenient option? Choose from Meatless Feast which is topped with Cheezly, vegan ‘ham’, spicy ‘beef’ ; and ‘pepperoni’ pieces or the Cheezly and Tomato. You can find these on Ocado and in Holland and Barrett amongst other stockists.

So here are just a few easy to find options on your high street or to be delivered to your door. More vegan friendly options seem to be popping up all the time so keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Valentine’s Chocolate Gifts

Valentine’s day is near and what better way to celebrate than to buy chocolate for a loved one (or indeed yourself). Here’s some of my favourite gifts.

The Goodness Project Love Chocolate and Snack Hamper £24.95

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Who doesn’t love a hamper full of goodies? This gift box from The Goodness Project includes snack bars, chocolate and sweets with a delightful Valentines theme.

Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Buttons £22.99

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What could be better than vegan chocolate buttons? A whole jar of them! After being lucky enough to have a Montezuma advent calendar, I am in love with their chocolate. You can shop their Vegan Gift selection here

Vego Gift Box £14.95

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The vegan’s favourite chocolate bar in a cute little gift box. Nothing can go wrong.

Hotel Chocolat £7.50 and £2.50

For a more traditional, heart shaped gift, look no further than these options from Hotel Chocolat. Chilli Chocolate Sweethearts and Dark Chocolate Heart Lolly 

Vegan Town Treat Box £20

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Vegan Treat Boxes usually include 10-14 sweets and treats which contain a mixture of chocolate bars, fudge, toffee and cookies.

Booja Booja Hazelnut Truffles £21

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For something a little more decadent, how about a box of Booja Booaja truffles? The hazelnut flavour is one of my favourites.

Let me know your favourite vegan chocolates (for Valentines or otherwise).

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Abokado : New Vegan Menu

Abokado, the health focused quick service restaurant based across London has recently launched a new vegan menu and I was lucky enough to try it out.

Firstly for breakfast, new options include:

  • Peanut Butter Bagel , £1.29
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Bagel £1.90
  • Peanut Butter free porridge top

Abokado are now offering Pip and Nut peanut butter. Try it on a bagel with banana or in porridge.  I went for the Peanut butter and banana bagel and was not disappointed.I love this peanut butter as it’s super clean, free from palm oil and very tasty.

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The new vegan lunch options include:

Inari Veggie, £3.49 Eat in + £4.18 img_5619

Great for a light bite, this includes Inari, miso, avo, cucumber and rocket rolls with ginger, wasabi and soy.

Miso Avocado Wrap, £3.49 Eat in + Vat £4.19

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This was incredible. Fresh Hass avocado, cucumber, edamame, baby spinach, inari and splash of homemade fresh miso dressing in a wheat bran tortilla. Highly recommended.

Clean and Green, £4.49 Eat in  + Vat £5.28img_5621

For a larger lunch, try this  combo of some of my favourite things . The sesame and ginger dressing is a triumph! Miso, avo, cucumber & rocket rolls, veggie dumplings and nari with a fresh soy, ginger and wasabi.

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Verdict? Some great new options, all were complete winners, all healthy and delicious so if you have an Avokado near you, go check it out. http://abokado.com/

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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