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

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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).

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London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s August Favourites

To end my whole month of BEDA (Blogging Every Day in August), I thought I would show you all what I have been loving this month. Here are my August favourites.

Hurrah Lip balm

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Hurraw offers tons of different scents but the lime is definitely my fave. Leaves lips soft and moisturised. https://www.hurrawbalm.com

Tesco Free From Choc ‘N’ Crispie Bar

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Another triumph from the Tesco Free From range, I already love their dairy free chocolate buttons, this Choc ‘N’ Crispie bar has the taste of milk chocolate with a crunchy texture. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/

Dr Organic Virgin Olive Oil Hand and Nail Cream

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Perfect for this time of year, this cream has a subtle, pleasant smell and a lovely rich consistency. I am yet to be disappointed by a Dr Organic product. http://www.hollandandbarrett.com

Tahini

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My favourite store cupboard ingredient. I use this for salad dressings as well as a sauce for buddha bowls and stir fry’s. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/ 

Wonder by RJ Palacio

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A recent 5 star read, Wonder tells the story of August, a 10 year old boy with a facial deformity and his first year at school from the perspective of himself as well as his friends and family. Heartwarming, touching and thought provoking. http://rjpalacio.com

Tesco Cheese Nachos

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My final favourite this month is this new Free From product from Tesco – Cheese flavour nachos. Satisfying and delicious, a great authentic cheesy taste with a hint of garlic. Love. http://www.tesco.com/groceries/

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

P.S. I’m (sadly) not actually sponsored by Tesco but it is generally where I shop. Other supermarket retailers are available.

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Favourite vegan and health apps

There are some great apps to help you on your healthy journey. Here’s a pick of some of my favourites divided into Exercise, Health and Veganism.

Exercise 

Walk Jog Run

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I use this app for finding running routes near me and if really did help me to increase the distances that I run. Shows hill climb gradients so you can avoid those particularly hilly routes or tackle them head on! Easy to follow, just don’t get caught out in the middle of the woods with no signal!

http://www.walkjogrun.net

Map by Run

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Loads of features here but I mostly use this to record all of my runs and examine my pace per mile and other stats. I love the weekly round up email detailing your week’s activities and total distance ran.

Nike Training

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A library of workouts from athletes and trainers which focus on the type of training you would like to do. You can keep track of your activities and even share them with friends if you’re feeling competitive.

Health

Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen

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Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (the brain behind Nutritionfacts.org) allows you to record the essential foods he recommends you try to incorporate into your daily diet. Based on his book ‘How Not to Die’.

Sleep Cycle

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If you have trouble getting up in the morning, this app may be for you. It measures your sleep cycle and wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state ensuring you feel naturally rested.

 

Headspace

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Billed as the ‘gym membership for the mind’ , Headspace is a meditation app that suggests just 10 minutes a day can help improve concentration, happiness and relieve stress. It’s extremely accessible for the beginner and easy to follow. I can highly recommend.

Veganism

Cruelty Free beauty

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This handy guide allows you to check which cosmetic, personal care and household product companies are cruelty-free. These companies have all been given the Leaping Bunny certification so you can be assured that no new animal testing is used.

Barnivore 

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Barnivore is an online directory of vegan and vegetarian beer, wine, and liquor. You may not know but when filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatine and egg whites. This app is great to discover which brands are cruelty free when out and about.

Do you have any favourite apps?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Bird Food: Double Chocolate Pecan Brownies

Based on a recipe by Ms Cupcake, these gooey decadent brownies are most certainly a treat. Experiment with toppings and be sure to leave a little longer in the oven if you like your brownies more cake like in consistency.

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp Cornflour

3 Tbsp Water

2 Cups (250g) Plain Flour

1/2 Cup (60g) Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 Cups (300g) Caster Sugar

1/2 Cup (100g) Brown Sugar

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Cinnamon

100ml Soya milk

280ml Oil (I used Sunflower)

1 Tbs Vanilla Essence

3/4 Cup (150g) Dairy Free Buttons or Chocolate Chips. I used Tesco Free from Milk and White Chocolate Buttons.

1/2 Cup Pecan nuts

IMG_2316Method

Line a cake/brownie tin with greaseproof paper. I used 11″ by 9″ size. In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour and water and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, both sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add in 1/2 cup water, soya milk, oil, vanilla and the cornflour mixture. Stir until combined. Pour mixture into tin and sprinkle chocolate buttons/chips and pecans over the top.

Bake for 20-22 mins on 180 Degrees Celsius/350 Degrees F/Gas 4.

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Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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5 Vegan Celebrities

More and more celebrities are turning to the vegan lifestyle. Here’s just 5 of my favourites.

Casey Affleck

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Vegan for more than 15 years, Casey once stated: “When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry.” .

Alicia Silverstone

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A famous animal lover, Alicia Silverstone has been vegan since 1998. She has even written a book called The Kind Life detailing her journey to the lifestyle, handy tips and wonderful recipes.

Steve-O

119291234Steve-O, former member of the Jackass crew, is passionate about the harmful effects and practices of factory farming as well as his health. The comedian adopted a vegan diet four years ago and is now an outspoken animal rights activist even being sentenced to 30 days in prison over a protest he staged at SeaWorld.

Joaquin Phoenix

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Not only has Joaquin Pheonix been a vegan since the age of 3, but he famously voiced the documentary, Earthlings which is responsible for turning many a meat-eater to the vegan lifestyle.

Liam Hemsworth

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Vegan for almost a year, Woody Harrelson was one of the original reasons he made the switch. He said: “After all the information I gathered about the mistreatment of animals, I couldn’t continue to eat meat.”

Mayim Bialik

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Author of her own vegan recipe book, Mayim’s Vegan Table, Mayim of The Big Bang Theory and most importantly, Blossom fame (children of the 80s rejoice), was already a long term vegetarian and after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, adopted a vegan lifestyle. She continues to be a wonderful advocate for vegan mums.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Milk alternatives – how do they compare

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There has been a huge boom in the popularity of plant based milks. In fact, a new study by Grand View Research found that the dairy free market will increase by 16% to 35 billion dollars globally by the year 2024.  There is more choice than ever to choose from in British supermarkets. Here’s how the most popular alternatives compare.

Coconut

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Made from pressed coconut and often with added calcium. This is lower in protein, with higher levels of saturated fat than most other plant based options. Great for baking, as the coconut flavour won’t overpower the food. Also consider using it in curries instead of the canned variety for a lighter option.

Coconut Milk Nutrition per 100ml*

28Kcals    120mg calcium    1.9g fat    1.7g sat fat    2.1g sugar    0.3g protein

*based on Koko Dairy free

Oat

Made from oats and enriched with vitamins and calcium. A low-fat option with all the goodness of oats. Definitely one of the creamier alternatives. I love using this to make homemade muesli and for a decadent porridge.

Oat milk nutrition per 100ml

45kcals    120mg calcium    1.5g fat    0.2g sat fat    4g sugar    1g protein

*based on Oatly Oat Drink

Hemp

A blend of hemp seed and fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Mild taste and slightly sweet. Great in hot drinks and to use in smoothies or sauces.

Hemp milk nutrition per 100ml*

32kcals    118mg calcium    2.8g fat    0.3g sat fat    1.8g sugar    0.2g protein

*Based on Good Hemp milk original

Soya 

The most commonly available, Soya ‘milk’ is comparable in protein content to cow’s milk and is low in fat. Soy-based foods can help to manage cholesterol levels.  Some brands are fortified with calcium and vitamins A and D.  Perfect in tea and coffee as well as wonderful for baking.

Soya milk nutrition per 100ml*

34kcal’s    120mg calcium    1.9g fat    0.3g sat fat    0.1g sugar    3.4g protein

*Based on Tesco Everyday Value

Almond


A blend of almonds and spring water, this is fortified with calcium and vitamins, including D and B12. Best for using in porridge and smoothies. A subtle nutty flavour – be sure to choose unsweetened. Very low in calories.

Almond milk nutrition per 100ml*

13kcals    120mg calcium    1.1g fat    0.1g sat fat    0.1g sugar    0.4g protein

*Based on Alpro Unsweetened

Rice

A sweet milk, low in protein and fortified with calcium. A Sweet but neutral taste. Beware of the thin consistency as well as the rather dark colour in hot drinks. Brown Rice milk is delicious in lattes.

Rice milk nutrition per 100ml*

50kcals    120mg calcium    1.0g fat    0.1g sat fat    7.1g sugar    0.1g protein

*Based on Rice Dream Original with added calcium

What’s your favourite plant based milk alternative?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan options at UK coffee shops

Costa Coffee

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Picture: Costa

Their coffees are all available with soya milk and are suitable for vegans except for the ones with chocolate powder – hot chocolate, mocha, etc which contains milk.

Vegan food available includes Plain or Multigrain Toast, Fruit Crumble Slice (delicious!) Tyrell’s Crisps (Exc. Cheese and Onion flavour), Sweet and Salty Popcorn, Pomegranate Glitter and Fruit Salads. www.costa.co.uk/

Starbucks

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On the coffee side, Starbucks is definitely getting better by recently adding coconut milk to their offering. Recent news Stateside is that they are about to add Almond milk too. So, with the already existing soya milk, that’s 3 dairy free alternatives. Good job SB! When it comes to seasonal drinks,  the majority of the syrups are vegan, although sadly not the pumpkin spice or honey and almond drizzle.

On the food side, they have a little bit of catching up to do with no vegan cakes or desserts to be seen. Suitable vegan foods include Multigrain Bagel, Perfect Oatmeal (with various toppings), Plain Bagel and Moreish Meze salad. http://www.starbucks.co.uk/

Pret A Manger

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In terms of vegan options, Pret A Manger are strides ahead. By now, we all know about the very succesful Veggie Pop up in London that has been open all summer and have an extensive vegan menu.

The great thing about Pret is that they regularly change up their menu with great Chef’s specials that change every month. Breakfasts include the rather exciting Acai Breakfast Bowl (which I can’t wait to try), Dairy free Bircher and Five Grain Porridge.

For lunch, how about the Super Greens and Reds sandwich, Chana Chaat Flat Bread, Mushroom and Avo Sushi Salad, Red Tapenade and Avo SuperBowl, Hummus and Crunchy Veg Wrap and various Soups of the Day.

And finally, snacks offered are Coconut Yoghurt Pot, Nuts, Crisps, Popcorn, Fruit and my absolute favourite Dark Chocolate Oat Cakes. https://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb

Caffé Nero

857409_531235140295353_981706093_oAll coffees and teas can be made vegan with soya milk as well as the highly recommended hot chocolate.  A bit of a poor show on the sweet side although I am told the mince pies, available at Christmas are vegan.

Vegan friendly snacks include Bear Yo-Yos, Fruit Salad, popcorn and Fruit and Nuts. You can also order the porridge with soya milk for breakfast. Lunch options include Houmous & Falafel Wrap, Spicy Bean Fajita Wrap, Falafel & Tabbouleh Salad and Vegetable Pasta Arrabbiata. http://www.caffenero.co.uk/

I hope you found this useful.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan sweets

After a video went viral showing how gelatin is made, I thought I would put together a selection of gelatin free sweets available here in the UK. In case you don’t know, gelatin is produced from prolonged boiling of skin, cartilage, and bones from animals. So, if that doesn’t sound appetising to you, here’s some cruelty free alternatives:

Goody Good stuff

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Available in Holland and Barrett, Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. http://goodygoodstuff.com/en/

Love hearts

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Available in pretty much all supermarkets and corner stores. http://www.lovehearts.com

Haribo Sour Rainbow Twists 

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Available in large supermarkets and online stores. https://www.haribo.com/enGB/home.html

Biona

Available in Ocado, Planet Organic and online stores.http://www.biona.co.uk 

Freedom Marshmallows

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Available in Holland and Barrett and Whole Foods as well as online. http://www.freedommallows.com/

Just Wholefoods

Available in Holland and Barrett and online. http://www.justwholefoods.co.uk

As well as the stockists, I mentioned, you can find such wonders stocked on Online stores such as http://www.veggiestuff.com/vegetarian-vegan-sweets and http://www.needsweets.co.uk/ to name just two.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Bird Food: Veggie ‘Beef’ Tacos

Based on a recipe from www.greatbritishchefs.com, this works wonders for a weeknight dinner. I used the Tesco Soya mince which I really liked but you can also replace with beans for a healthier, protein rich option.

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Ingredients 

Taco filling

600g of vegetarian mince, frozen

1 pepper (any colour of your choosing)

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 iceberg lettuce, shredded

100g of vegan cheese, grated (I used original Violife)

 1/2 tbsp oil (I used coconut)

Spice mix

1 tbsp of chilli powder, mild

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cornflour

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Method

1.For the taco filling, use a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, fry the peppers and onion for 1 minute.
2. Add the frozen vegetarian mince and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the spices, sugar, salt and cornflour and stir to combine.
4. Once combined, pour in 200ml of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mixture thickens to coat the mince. Serve in taco shells with salsa, vegan cheese, shredded lettuce and guacamole, if you’re feeling fancy.

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Thanks for reading.
London Vegan Bird

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