Veganuary Thoughts – After the excesses of the festive period, lots of folk not only decide to do ‘Dry January’, but also embark on going vegan for the month of January: Veganuary. While I don’t personally follow either regime for a whole month, we often find we are eating a vegan dish by accident, rather than design, and many Asian recipes are vegan anyway.
Here are some new products I’ve researched to recommend to you – whether you are vegan or not:
BBC’s ‘Inside the Factory’ recently went behind the scenes at Dell’Ugo. We tried the pumpkin gnocchi; it’s not only vegan but seriously delicious. These delicate pillows of freshly steamed potato, and pumpkin, make a quick and light meal, or accompaniment. The company also produces spinach gnocchi and a ‘plain’ and gluten-free variety. Widely available in most supermarkets at £3.50 for 450g. A touch of good EVOO or truffle oil and you have a delicious meal – vegan to boot!
Vegan ready meals are increasingly popular, but do check the ingredients as some are rather scary! Tesco has an excellent plant-based range, as has Asda, Waitrose and MandS of course. The Tesco range includes a delicious sweet potato Katsu style curry with rice and also Bean Chilli with Mexican style rice. Their Cumberland style bangers (£1.95 for six) are great value and surprisingly good: tasty and not packed with lots of nasties.
The UK’s number one Kefir brand, Biotiful Gut Health, has launched the Oat Kefir Yor-Gut range, made with gluten-free oats, fruit and billions of live vegan cultures. In two flavours; Vanilla and Cherry. available in Tesco, RRP of £2.50 for 350g pot.
I’m told that Boundless are the only snack in mainstream supermarkets like Asda & Ocado with genuine gut-happy benefits. Activation removes 85% of Phytic Acid in nuts, seeds & grains, so the snacks are full of fibre, giving up to 95% more access to the nutrients. Boundless uses a cereal called sorghum, grown in the UK, and the range is also gluten-free and plant-based. With 100% natural ingredients, the snacks are full of gut-friendly fibre and a range of nutrients (magnesium, zinc, iron & potassium to name a few). There are eight flavours in the Boundless snacking range, in various pack sizes and prices: Chips: Sea Salt and vinegar, Chipotle and lime, Smoky Bacon, Sour Cream and onion. What’s more, they’re delicious!
I’ve been a fan of Rude Health products for some time now, and I really like the breakfast cereals, especially the delicious Apple & Cinnamon Instant Bircher Muesli. It’s so clever and tasty, and gives a smooth muesli instantly, without the need to soak it overnight. It ticks all the boxes: high fibre; wholegrain; plant-based and no added sugar. And on a cold morning you can also enjoy it with hot milk (or plant-based milk) There’s a standard version too, and available from Waitrose and Ocado, among other outlets, for around £3 a 375g pack
Herby Hog’s range of plant-based seasonings is great for injecting flavour into anything savoury. They’re plant-based, GM-free seasonings and have five combos; Smoky Bacon; Maple Bacon; Spicy Chorizo; BBQ Pork and Sausage and Sage. Available in 60g sachets, these seasonings can be sprinkled over finished dishes, used as a coating or rub, stirred into rice or pasta combos, used as a boost in dips, sandwich fillings or as a topping for potatoes. Herby Hog Seasonings are available from https://herbyhog.co.uk/ RRP £3.49 per 60g sachet.
The Coconut Collab, a British-born business producing an extensive range of coconut-based products, has recently launched M!LK™ – a barista-style plant milk that looks, tastes and behaves just like its dairy counterparts. Initially available exclusively through Ocado (RRP. £2.35, 1L), M!LK™. froths really well doesn’t split when warmed, and won’t alter the taste profile of your tea, making it the ideal addition to hot drinks, smoothies, cereals and everything else you like to use milk in. The Coconut Collab has a coconut-based range of yoghurts, creams and desserts. Its natural yoghurt is the UK’s leading dairy-free coconut yoghurt, while its plant-based Double Cre&m, described as “wonderfully whippable”, has been offered as the dairy-free option at Wimbledon Championships for the last two years. The Coconut Collab’s range is available at leading supermarkets and grocery retailers across the UK, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Co-op.
Vegan milk chocolate isn’t all great. Some of the brands I’ve tried have been very heavy on the coconut flavour and if you’re a chocaholic – and vegan – you need to be very selective. Love Raw, though, has a range of very good products, and if you’re interested in trying them, I’d suggest you order the Starter Mix for £14.99. It contains seven different products, making it an ideal way to try the range. I warn you, they are very moreish!