Reflecto Girl loves Vego!

If you haven’t tried Vego you are missing out!

It is chocolatey deliciousness at its most exquisite.  It’s vegan, organic and fair trade: pure guilt-free indulgence.

You should be able to find them at a health food store near you but if you can’t, pop over to the VeganKind Supermarket to mail-order them 😀

As well as the whole hazelnut vegan mylk chocolate bar (pictured), Vego make a dark chocolate nuts and berries bar, a white chocolate bar, a chocolate spread, and chocolate nougat pralines.  It’s all absolutely heavenly and, the best part – the company is totally vegan owned and vegan run.  So you know when you spend money on Vego, it’ll only be used for good things 😀

So go on – do as Reflecto Girl does: have a Vego! 😀

More Plastic-Free Easter Eggs!

This time it’s from good ole Plamil – and they’re shouting from the rooftops about its plastic-freeness 😀

Of course we wouldn’t be recommending it if it wasn’t also vegan, organic and fair trade, but it is, so we are 😀

We also wouldn’t be recommending it if it wasn’t absolutely scrummy.  And it is 🙂 so we are!

Mmmmmm, this won’t last long 😉

Get some from your local health food shop now 😀

Plastic Free Easter Eggs

Here is a scrummy Easter Egg which ticks all the right boxes:

VEGAN

ORGANIC

FAIR TRADE

And it’s not wrapped in plastic!!! 😀

Just a cardboard box with a delicious, foil-wrapped, chocolate egg inside.  Remember when they were all like that?  Not so long ago.

It just goes to show, there’s no need to contaminate the planet, milk a cow or enslave a child to enjoy a yummy Easter egg 😀

Get over to Holland & Barrett for yours! 😀

Yum 😀

 

Plastic Avoidance: Part Two

Sweet Treats

Doing without plastic doesn’t have to mean doing without.

Let’s get our priorities straight and start with chocolate 😀

The chocolates pictured above tick all the right boxes:

1.  They’re vegan

2.   They’re fair trade (included on the ethical chocolate list)

3.  They’re organic

and

4.  They’re wrapped the old-fashioned way: in foil and paper 😀

  • Since I wrote this, Vivani have replaced the aluminium foil in their chocolate wrappers with a new clear film called natureflex foil.  It is a completely sustainable film made on the basis of wood fibre which is fully compostable (in good composting conditions approximately within 40 days).

In fact, as far as we can tell, there is only one downside to these particular chocolates – they don’t last long! 😉

Vivani is new to us and we’re so glad we found them.  Their chocolate is absolutely gorgeous – I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate over the years and I think I can confidently say that this is the best ever!  My favourite is the White Nougat Crisp, no, the Mandel Orange Rice Choc, no no, it’s the Crispy Corn Flakes Rice Choc …. no, I can’t choose between them, their entire vegan range is completely amazing (be aware that sadly not all their products are vegan, but a lot of them are).  Check out their whole range here 🙂

The Ombars are gorgeous too – especially for those who like their chocolate rich and dark and nutritious, coz it’s raw 🙂 Everything is wonderfully vegan and look what they say about their packaging:

“Like you, we believe in recycling.  So we wrap our bars in recyclable aluminium foil and paper, and ship them in fully-recyclable cardboard. Did you know our button bags are fully compostable? Just throw them in your compost bin with vegetable peelings – within a few weeks the bag will have completely broken down and returned to nature.” (see their FAQs)

We got all these treats from our local Health Food Shop, and we’ve seen Ombars in Waitrose, but if you can’t find them near you, you can buy Ombars online here and Vivani lists their worldwide stockists here 🙂 And of course you can probably find them on Amazon 😉

Fingers crossed whoever mails them to you doesn’t use plastic 😮

But, if you’re having trouble getting hold of those, why not pick up a big bar of vegan, organic, fair trade cooking chocolate from the supermarket?  Good ole Green & Black’s Dark Cooking chocolate is also only wrapped in foil and paper and it’s absolutely delicious in home baked chocolate chip cookies 😀

Speaking of baking, if you want more than just chocolate in your plastic-free sweet treat artillery you can make cakes and biscuits yourself.  Vegan recipes use oil instead of margarine, which can be bought organic in glass bottles; flour comes in paper bags and sugar … well, I have in recent years felt compelled to buy sugar in plastic bags because I wanted organic fair trade.  However, in prioritising plastic avoidance, I have discovered that I can buy paper-wrapped sugar that is pretty ethical 🙂  I had mistakenly believed that all white sugar had been whitened with bone-char.  However, it seems that’s just cane sugar, not sugar beet.  Sugar from sugar beet is vegan!

(NB: Since writing this I have discovered I can buy organic fair trade sugar without plastic wrapping from the Zero Waste Club 🙂 )

Silver Spoon proudly state their commitment to eco-friendliness on their packets:

“Sustainability is nothing new to us – we’ve been working on it for 30 years.  Our sugar beet is homegrown and our bags are recyclable, made with paper from certified forests.  We send nothing to landfill and our excess production energy helps to power British homes.”

 They work directly with 1200 British farmers in East Anglia who grow the beets which are then transported just a short distance to the factory in Bury St Edmunds (also in East Anglia 😀 )

Not bad eh?

So far so plastic-free good.

Click for PLASTIC AVOIDANCE parts three, four, five , six and seven

Commercial Break: Gluten Free, Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

We interrupt this story to bring you a commercial for something very yummy:

Doves Farm organic, gluten free, fair trade, vegan, very crunchy chocolate chocolate chip cookies!!!!!

Find them at your local health food shop, or if you’re lucky they might have them in the Free From section of your supermarket 🙂 Of course there’s always Amazon, or any number of alternative online shops you can find them in 😀

They’re absolutely delicious and very crunchy, but if you prefer your cookies moist, just dunk them in your tea 😀

Mmm, I think it’s time for a little smackerel of something 😉

Purezza pizza!

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Yesterday I went with a friend to visit Purezza, the UK’s only plant-based pizzeria!  All their food is vegan, organic and environmentally friendly.  I had a brilliant time there!  The food was delicious!  I was blown away by the fantastic selection to choose from – I can’t wait to go back and try all the pizzas.  I had the Marinara pizza, which is tomato sauce, with garlic, oregano and basil, while my friend had the Margherita pizza, which is tomato sauce with cheese and basil.  They were absolutely gorgeous!!  Phenomenal flavours.

 

Purezza vegan plant based pizza delicious and wonderful for everyone!

Here you can see the starters and specials – I was very tempted by the garlic bread, I definitely want to get some of that next time!  I’d also like to try the Hoisin pizza, and the Nacho pizza!

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Here they are!  I was so excited by the arrival of my pizza that I forgot to take a picture of it before I started eating!  This is the Marinara:

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And this is the Margherita:

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Here is a slice of mine – it’s really perfect pizza, so thin and soft and crunchy all at the same time.

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Once we had finished our pizzas we could not resist the dessert menu!  I was just so thrilled by the selection!  I was very tempted by the Apple Pie Calzone, the Chocolate Brownie and the Cheesecake, especially as they all come with a scoop of ice cream!  But when we came to order, the waiter recommended the Chocolate Calzone, so I had that!

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And I was very glad that I did!  The Chocolate Calzone is heavenly!  It’s a folded pizza with Italian chocolate spread, walnuts and pistachios!!!  And I chose to have it with chocolate ice cream.  Isn’t it beautiful?  It’s a work of art!  And it tastes so good too!

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It was delicious!  I recommend it to you all.

 

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As soon as I got home I wanted to go back.  I can’t wait to go back and try everything else on the menu!  I hope you can visit them too, and see how wonderful it all is!  The staff were really friendly and helpful, checking on us a few times to see that everything was great.  The music was lovely too.

Being Resourceful

It got to that time of week again – the day before food shopping.  The cupboards were looking quite bare and Miranda and I were feeling very peckish.  We’d finished off the last flapjack the day before and there were no munchies left in the house.  There must be something I could make, I said to myself, but what?  I had no flour left.

But I was determined.

What I did have was some rolled oats, some sugar, some olive oil, some cocoa and some sultanas.

*And this is what I did:

Weighed out 8 ounces of rolled oats and put them through the food processor to make a rough oat flour.  Put the flour in a bowl, added 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 ounce of cocoa, a generous load of sultanas and 4 ounces of sugar, and mixed it all together thoroughly.  Then I added 4 fluid ounces (120 ml) of olive oil and 5 tablespoons of water to the dry mixture and combined to form a very moist cookie mixture.  I put heaped teaspoons of this onto lined baking sheets and baked at 180°c for 20 minutes.

vegan chocolate cookies

Oh wow!

These are amazing!

Even better than when I make them with spelt.

vegan chocolate cookies

So quick.  So easy.

So beautifully crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, chocolatey, delicious, fair trade, organic,

vegan,

and gluten free 😀

Oh wow!  These are amazing!

* Adapted from the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the brilliant Unqualified Education

Miranda at Loving Hut Belgium!

So here I am at Loving Hut in Belgium!  DSCN3354DSCN3278

 Tammy and I thought this was a fantastic place!  With fair trade organic lemonade!  And chocolate sponge cake!

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We had cake first, of course, and this was fantastic.  Mmm tasty 🙂

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And then it was time to try the Loving Hut burger!  This was delicious in a toasted sesame bun with vegan cheese and gherkins and onion slices 😀

DSCN3289 DSCN3287  DSCN3285

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Here is a painting from inside the Loving Hut – it says “The best way of life, is the veggie way”

I visited the Loving Hut several times during my stay in Leuven.  I went back for chocolate chip cookies, more cake, and on Thursday I tried the Broccoli pasta met champignons en roomsaus!  Which was absolutely brilliant!  I loved it!  Unfortunately by this time in the week my camera battery had run out, so I couldn’t take a photograph.  I did draw a picture of it:

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Address: Tiensestraat 65, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Click here to see more about Loving Hut Belgium.

Chocolate Intermission

Raw vegan chocolate

We found some more! Delicious and healthy organic raw vegan chocolate by Raw Living

I chose the Hi Crunch with scrummy goji berries and hemp seeds in, and Miranda chose the White Magic fudge bar.  We were both happy with our selections.

And the thing that made me especially happy to find these guys is that there was NO PLASTIC WRAPPING! NONE!!! Just like they used to be in the olden days, these treats were harmlessly wrapped in foil and paper.  Well done Raw Living, we are very impressed.

So why not check out Raw Living website and see what you fancy 🙂

raw vegan chocolate

Can it get any better than this????

raw vegan chocolate

 Raw.  Vegan.  Organic.  Ethically traded.  Conscious Chocolate.

This is heavenly.  So virtuous, yet so indulgent.  So delicious, yet so satisfying – ie you don’t need to eat the whole bar at once, you can savour it and make it last.

raw vegan chocolate

And so many flavours to choose from (this isn’t all they’ve got by the way – look here) – I had to order a few to see what my favourite is …. and I’ve decided that it’s ….

raw vegan chocolate

… the orange!  Definitely!  Gorgeous!  The plain is perfect for melting onto my flapjacks, but for eating on its own, the orange is definitely me favourite … although –

raw vegan chocolate

the mint is fantastic.  Just one piece of this after a meal makes the perfect after dinner mint.  Oh yes, it’s the mint, the mint is my favourite, I’m certain … but then, the goji and coconut, mm mmm, that’s gorgeous too, I love the berries mixed with the chocolate and the coconut, the different textures and flavours that go so well together.  And what about the cheeky cherry?  Cherries and chocolate, how could that not be a winner?  Oh, I don’t know …

raw vegan chocolate

No, it has to be this one! The Nutty One – how could anything rival chocolate nuts?  I’ve always loved nutty chocolate, it’s an old favourite, since forever.  But then, the other flavours are new to me, and equally delicious so I shouldn’t give priority to ‘old favourites’ ….

There’s only one thing for it – I have to declare that I cannot choose a favourite!  Where Conscious Chocolate is concerned, variety is definitely the spice of life and I will continue to indulge in them all.

I highly recommend you do the same! 🙂

Raw Chocolate Nut Truffles

raw vegan choc nut truffles

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of organic raw almonds (soaked over night; thoroughly rinsed, then spread on a clean tea towel to dry for a couple of hours)
  • 200g pitted fresh dates (soaked for 2 to 3 hours)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao or carob powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • Some sultanas
  • 60g of raw melted chocolate

1.  In a food processor/chopper/mixer process the dates and then transfer them to a mixing bowl.

2.  Then process the almonds until finely chopped and add to the dates in your bowl.

3.  Add the cacao/carob, vanilla, as many sultanas as you fancy, and the melted chocolate and mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined.

4.  Then return the mixture (a bit at a time if necessary) to your food processor and process together briefly until you have the right truffle consistency.

5.  Finally, with a teaspoon spoon little truffles onto a plate and decorate with walnuts (if you like)

Will keep in the fridge for a few days.

It’s as simple as that!

Absolutely scrummy! 🙂  

raw vegan chocolate nut truffles

Easy Vegan Christmas Treats

easy vegan treats

Crack some lovely nuts

easy vegan treats

Chop the nuts into little bits – or big bits, it’s up to you

easy vegan treats

Chopped nuts

easy vegan treats

Grab some gorgeous vegan organic fair trade chocolate

break it up and put it in a small dish

break it up and put it in a small dish

easy vegan treats

Float your small dish in a big bowl of hot water – careful not to scald yourself and don’t get any water in with the chocolate. Let it sit and melt.

easy vegan treats

Add a good portion of sultanas – or whatever dried fruit you fancy – to the chopped nuts

easy vegan treats

Put the fruit and nuts into a larger clean bowl and when the chocolate is completely melted pour it in with them and mix well

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread your chocolate fruit and nuts over it

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread your chocolate fruit and nuts over it.  Bung it in the fridge.

easy vegan treats

When it’s set hard, break it into chunks

easy vegan treats

Put all your chunks into a dish and return it to the fridge.

See – easy! 😀

BUT BE WARNED – THESE SWEETS ARE SO GOOD THEY MIGHT NOT LAST LONG!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS 😀