Epic Protein Powder Review. A Giveaway from Sprout Living.
Vegan, gluten free and processed sugar free protein powders. Truly healthy. No wolves in sheep’s clothing here!
Enter the giveaway here..
Enter the giveaway here..
A pack of Knowing Bars wonderfully modelled by my handsome assistant.
To celebrate with you we have gathered a bunch of lovely vegan-friendly companies to help spread a little love this Valentines Day. We have a Valentine giveaway for you. All you have to do is click on the links below to enter.
We think that love should be for every day and not just Valentines so our give-away kicks off the day before Valentines, and the winners will all be picked out at random on 20th February. So that loving feeling will last way beyond the day of Valentine. Good luck. USA entrants only.
An eclectic bunch of generous lovers from vegan companies we heart! Good luck!
Thanks for entering, and love and kisses to the generosity of all involved.
Happy love-filled Valentines Day…and everyday!
Vegan substitutions never cease to amaze me and now (oh Lordy) we have Magic Vegan Bacon Grease. Made of coconut oil, soy protein, sea salt, maple syrup, pepper, onion, garlic, torula yeast and smoke flavors, the fat can be used to fry or bake and may even be eaten straight on toast. In fact, its creators have an entire Tumblr dedicated to the grease’s many uses in recipes ranging from collard greens to cookies, basically any application that would benefit from “smoky, rich, bacony” flavor.
The makers of Vegan Magic Bacon Grease (Chris and his supportive wife) say the products was “Born of necessity and mad science after 20 years of veganism, traveling and being taunted by rich local foods in places like Mexico and the American South – thus did Magic Vegan Bacon Grease come into the world, feet first. Southern Fried Greens? Check. Biscuits? Uh huh. Fried Peppers and Onions? Yup. Polenta? Tofu Scrambler? Gravy? Perogies? Got you covered. Can you put it on toast? You don’t even want to know.” The Facebook page even has a vegan bacon chocolate recipe!
He did not hail from a food background at all, Canadian born Chris was a world traveller who thrashed out DIY punk and metal music when ever he could. A vegan for 20 years he’s witnessed the rise and rise of vegan friendly food expanding out of the small independent health food stores into ‘every-day’ supermarkets. But he felt there was one thing missing that still just didn’t exist in vegan form. Chris said ‘I travel a lot, pretty far from home. Over time I got jealous of the rich smells of foods I could almost but not quite eat, from the food carts of Tijuana to the soul food joints of the American South. I came home from tour determined to crack the case. Throw in a leaning towards mad science, and Magic Vegan Bacon Grease came to be’. He decided to put just 24 jars for sale at his friends bakery in Toronto and it flew off the shelves and word started to spread. Well, the result was a patent was filed and Chris set to to create the best version he could of his product. He says, ‘Vegan or not, it’s an oil based compound, replicating a lard like consistency which makes things rich and well, super bacony. End of story’.
We’ve got a jar for one very lucky person to try!
For those of you who have not tried coconut bacon, or crisp coconut chips doused in coconut sugar sweetened chocolate, stand to be amazed. This is healthy snacking gone wild! I cannot get enough of this stuff. Seriously, I’m sprinkling the smoky, dusty coconut bacon on everything! And the chocolate covered chips remind me of my school tuck shop treats of cornflake dipped in chocolate..but better, way, way better.
Coconut Organics coconut chips currently have three amazing flavours;
Great for snacking or topping for your potatoes, salad, stir fries. Sprinkle it on your breakfast cereal, porridge or pancakes. Lovely on your vegan yogurt. Add it to your home made ice-cream, top your donuts and cupcakes with the stuff, or just eat it right out of the packet!
Of course you want to try it. Enter the giveaway! One winner will receive the trio of flavours to snack on to their heart’s desire.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
London Olympia was host to the Natural & Organics show last weekend. I went along to see what new products were being launched. Also, to just take in the atmosphere. When you get a gathering of people who are passionate about what they do, and care about their consumers AND the planet, the atmosphere is quite electric.
Held over three days Natural & Organic have zoned areas Beauty & Spa, Health, Living and Food. Primarily, my interest was in the FOOD but I did stroll though the other zones to see if anything caught my eye.
I thought I’d share some photo’s with you. I was heartened to see many of the Continental European, and American products I love to enjoy when I am travelling are beginning to make their way over here, together with great ‘home grown’ foods emerging.
There was a feast of exciting new chocolate, more coconut products than you can shake a stick at and a substantial amount of gluten free foods. All making it easier and tastier to be vegan and gluten free. The days of feeling like you are missing out are numbered (not that I do, research and persistance pays off in many ways).
My Award For Best New Vegan Chocolate – Goes to Pana Chocolate With quite a few flavour combinations, the chocolatier from Australia certain knows flavour! Soon to be in the UK.
Best Museli I’ve tasted. Made with raw vegetables. It has the perfect balance of sweet and crunch. Filling too! from Primrose Kitchen
Seitan made from spelt that SOME people with gluten sensitivities are able to tolerate. If you know you can then you’d enjoy these products. I cannot so I did not try them.
Delicious cookies. Soon to be sugar free. Punku Quinoa cookies.
Food For Life are coming over from the US with their vegan and gluten free breads.
Look out for these new products. MANY of which will be in the large UK supermarkets. The big stores have caught on. Which of course is great but I am also wary of larger companies getting on the band wagon and touting foods as health foods but when you look at the label they are stuffed full of processed sugar, crappy fats and fillers. All the above are both delicious and healthy. The best combo!
Not all chocolates are created equal. Not all raw chocolates cut the mustard so to speak. Fine & Raw does.
Tell you about Fine & Raw? OK.
“FINE & RAW was started in a notorious Williamsburg, Brooklyn artist loft by Daniel Sklaar. A nonsensical obsession with chocolate inspired Daniel to begin making small chocolate batches. He shared them with friends then started delivering them on his bicycle to small local purveyors. The stock was good – the purveyors wanted more”
The first slip of a morsel of F&R into my mouth occurred at the Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea foodie market named Smorgasburg (see what they did?!). Here I sampled a few morsels and became rather partial to their Sea Salt Chunky bar. I declare it is rich dark chocolate heaven with the perfect amount of sea salt to offset the subtle sweetness that lets the cacao shine. I loved it so much I tracked down the factory to the uber trendy Brooklyn district of Bushwick. The smell inside was insane. I inhaled so much and so deeply I nearly had to grab one of their brown paper bags to stop me hyperventilating!
If you are in Brooklyn I strongly suggest you get yourself over to the Fine & Raw HQ and meet these bean to bar makers. It is a fun thing to do and there are a few vegan cafes and even a vegan bar just around the corner. Brooklyn has a very different feel to Manhattan and Bushwick and nearby Williamsburg are a great place to shop, eat and hang out. Check out the graffiti around there, too.
Back to Fine & Raw…They source their beans from small sustainable farmers in countries like Columbia and Madagascar. They have a little cafe area where you can sip a hot drink, eat far too much chocolate (you can sample their amazing flavours of ‘bonbon’ ‘lucuma & vanilla’ and ‘blueberry’ ‘chipotle’ and even one with cacao nibs in, to name but a few), and watch the chocolate making shenanigans unfold before your eyes.
What makes this chocolate ‘raw’? Well, it means it is not heated above a certain temperature and so it mains it’s flavour profile and maintains it’s nutrients.
I spied the cute packaging of Rice Mice at the Allergy & Free From Show, in London this past weekend. I’d been grazing (gorging) for hours and I was getting close to a self imposed food ‘time out’. So, these tiny, size of a 10p, biscuits were a perfect vegan morsel to test.
Listed as being 100% organic and free from all 14 EU recognised allergens (notably free from soy, milk, egg, peanut, gluten) and marketed towards children. Based on rice instead of cows milk. With no preservatives or ingredients with a number or you can’t pronounce. Rice Mice cookies come in 3 flavours. Apple & Cinnamon. Vanilla – Lemon, and good ole chocolate.
I took some packets home to taste test. On Sunday morning, whilst staying at my mother’s house, it is a ritual that I wake up before my mum, take her up tea in bed, then trot back downstairs again for a spot of yoga. This morning, my step-sister was also staying over and had jumped in my mum’s bed. They were busy gossiping and giggling like school girls. I very carefully took up a tray pilled with my mum’s 45 year old tea set. And lay out a selection of the bite sized biscuits for them to try (I felt like I was a school girl again, feeding my dolls and playing with my tea set!). So, seeing as we were all acting like kids, I thought it ok to review them… for kids. Also, I have had first hand knowledge of being a child so I qualify there too.
All of the biscuits had wonderfully bright, non-artificial flavour, and were snappy and crunchy from the texture of the rice flour and the cane sugar. They both loved them and said they were just as good, if not better, than conventional biscuits made from white, gluten containing, flour. Avoiding sugar as I do, I tried these and thought them a little too sweet.
They retail at £2.99. You can buy them online at Free From For Kids Amazon and AuraVita among others. Also sold in health food stores.
I also tried their Zero Zebra Rice Choc Bar and their Safari Animal Party Chocolate shapes. The chocolate bars come in Original, Strawberry & Crispy Rice. I acted like a total child and bit the heads off the animals! £1.49 from Ocado
With all of their products I wish they’d also make them sugar free, and use coconut sugar which has a lower GI and doesn’t effect your endocrine system, xylitol, or stevia which is zero calories and doesn’t disrupt the body like white sugar. Making them suitable for diabetics too. We all know sugar isn’t great for us. But, for those just transitioning to allergy friendly, gluten free foods these would be ideal.