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

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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

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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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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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