Vegan Pancakes

On Sundays I often make Vegan Pancakes as they are easy to make, I usually have all ingredients in the house and my son loves them.
To replace eggs I use “Veganegg” which is a powder. It can be used for Scrambled Eggs or Omelette as well – personally I only use it for baking. It binds the ingredients together and gives them a yellow-ish colour.

So here is my recipe for Vegan Pancakes (serves 2)

110 gr. Self rising Flour
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
Veganegg (please see instructions on the package of how much to use – 1 used 1 Tbsp)
175 ml Almond Milk
Sunflower Oil or Coconut Oil

You simply place all dry ingredients in a bowl, add the Almond mil and whisk them thoroughly together. When using Veganegg, you will smell some sulfur, that is normal 🙂

Preheat a frying pan with the oil, place half of the pancake mix into it, fry for approx. 5 minutes then turn around for further 3-5 minutes. Depending on your hob (electric or gas) it might take longer or shorter.

Top with your favourite jam, marmalade or simply Maple Syrup or any other Syrup. I used Raspberry jam today.

Now enjoy!

Food to go

I will be travelling again soon by car and ferry and already tried to get my head around what food I need to take with me. But today I saw this in my local supermarket. Really happy as sometimes it is necessary to have an “quick & easy” meal.
I am not a fan of ready made food as some of you might have gathered already, but there are times when the options are limited. Maybe you go camping or you just recover from a bad cold or flu and are not back to shape to be in the kitchen yet.

All of those are Vegan and 12 p go to a good cause (Farm Africa). If it were organic, it would actually be perfect!

I have tried other brands as well and liked them. It’s very easy to add your own Veggies or spices and make it a bigger meal, if you’d like to.

So now I am taking my small kettle with me and will have a nice meal when taking the ferry without paying a lot of money 🙂

I don’t know if this product is available outside of the UK, it is made by a UK producer and I found it in Sainsbury’s. So you might have to do a wee research if it is available in your area.

 

Vegan Chilli (sin carne)

One of my and my son’s favourite meals is Vegan Chilli. It is quick & easy to make and really tasty if re-heated. You can eat it as it is, with Rice or Corn Crisps.

So this is my recipe:

200 – 300 gr. Tofu (natural or smoked)
2 medium sized Onions (I use one red, one yellow)
Garlic to taste 🙂
150 gr. Tomato purée
1-2 tsp Marple Syrup (or any other sweetener like Rice Syrup, Agave Syrup etc.)
1 small tin Sweet Corn
1 tin Kidney Beans
3-4 tbsp Olive Oil (or any other vegetable oil)
Oregano
Cumin
Salt
Pepper
Chilli Powder

Crumble the Tofu by using a folk, cut the onions into dices and cut the Garlic (I use a crusher).
Heat the Olive oil in a frying pan and add the Tofu without anything else! On high heat fry the Tofu until it get’s golden/brown. This gives it a really nice texture.
Add the onions and garlic and fry them for approx. 4-5 minutes. Then add the Oregano, Cumin and fry for another minute or so.
Afterwards add the Tomato purée together with the Maple Syrup and mix with the rest,
reduce the heat, add some liquid (I use water, you can also add Tomato Sauce) and then the Sweet Corn and Kidney Beans. Season with Salt, Pepper and Chili Powder to taste.
In the summer month, I add fresh Basil to the mix but in the winter I leave it at that.
To make it more hearty, you can also add sun dried tomatoes, either those ones in oil or the dried ones which you have to soak for approx. 10 minutes before using them.

And that’s it! It really doesn’t take long to cook.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Matcha Smoothie

I am not a big fan when it comes to green Smoothies. I know they are very big right now and I am aware of the health benefits. I have tried some of them and for some reason don’t like them very much.

Having said that, there is one green Smoothie that I love! My Matcha Smoothie.
Matcha is a green Tea from Japan which is made from the green leaves. Meaning, when you consume the tea you actually consume the leaves. There are many different qualities around and of course the higher the quality, the more you pay. I usually go for the medium quality as I do not drink it as a pure tea.
Matcha has great health benefits as it holds a lot of Antioxidants. It is also believed to help prevent cancer. For more information, please follow the link.

Green Tea and Cancer

As far as my favourite Matcha Smoothie goes, there are only a few ingredients:

1-2 Bananas (depending on their size)
1 tsp Matcha
1-2 tsps Agave Syrup (or Rice/Maple/Apple Syrup)
1 pinch of powdered Vanilla
250 – 300 ml Almond Milk

I always keep frozen Banana in my freezer and add 1-2 pieces into the blender. If you use  ice cubes, the taste will be watered down somewhat. I also add Pistachio Protein Powder sometimes to make it a Matcha-Protein Smoothie. Just try your own Version.

Put all in a High Speed Blender and blend for approx 15 seconds on the highest level. Done!
I hope you enjoy it as much as me 🙂

 

 

What Vegans eat

My son recently send me the graphics below and I thought I’d share them on my blog, completed with photographs of what I eat. As I have mentioned in one of my earlier texts, the variety of a Vegan diet is huge even though people think we only eat grass 🙂

 

IMG_0845

 

What I eat (well some of it, I did not take a photo of every meal in the past)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vegan milk

As I mentioned before, one challenge for me was to find an alternative to Cow’s milk for my coffee. I have always loved the frothed version – commonly referred to as a “Latte”. There were alternatives around in 2011, but not as many as there are today. And none could be frothed – actually most of them can’t to this day (due to the low protein content).
This is in fact not solely based on the “Vegan awareness” but more because so many people seem to struggle with Lactose intolerance. Almost all Cafés, Restaurants or small stalls offer an alternative. Most of the time it is a Soy milk. Having said that, I am not a fan of Soy as I do not like the taste. I do use Soy in form of Tofu for cooking or baking. I might once in a while buy Soy milk to make Vegan mayonnaise or Soy cream (the only one that can really be clotted) for baking, but that’s it. Luckily there are so many alternatives around! The shops closest to where I live offer:

Almond milk
Rice milk
Coconut milk
Oat milk
Peanut Milk
Tigernut Milk
Soy Milk
Quinoa Milk

I also found Pea milk online, but it isn’t as easy to find it in any shop.

I use Almond milk for many things, my Cereal, baking, Smoothies and cooking. It happens to be my son’s favourite as well so we always have Almond milk stocked in the house.

IMG_8089
Now for my coffee, and after really trying every version in my kitchen, it all came down to one option: Oat milk. There is a Barista version from a Swedish company, Oatly. My absolute favourite!
You will find that Alpro has some Barista versions as well – and that Cafés use them. I do not like their taste as they are way too sweet. I also don’t agree with all the ingredients the company uses.

As for a frothing machine, I started with a Severin one which worked fine and made nice froth. For personal reasons (space and mine rattled somewhat) I switched to the Aeroccino from Nespresso. As I am the only coffee drinker in the house, it is perfect. If there is more than one in your house, the Severin is the better option as it has a bigger container. Of course there are many other companies out there offering their devices, I happen to know only these two.

To sum it up: You might have to try your personal taste and if you’d like your coffee as a Latte or a flat white. When going out, Soy will probably be served almost everywhere these days.
If you share my dislike of Soy milk, then you might copy me and take your own milk with you. I recently bought a “cup to go”, made of glass, and just fill a wee bit in there and then ask staff to fill an Americano in it. There has never been an issue so far.

So if you are a New Vegan, I hopefully could give you an overview on how to switch from Cow’s (or any other animal’s) milk to a plant based alternative.

 

Vegan Food

When it comes to Vegan food, many people don’t realise how much of our food is naturally Vegan 🙂 All vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and grain are Vegan. So in their organic form, most of our food is Vegan to start with. How we handle it, turn it into a meal, or the industry offers it ready made, is another story all together.

 


And no, just because people follow a Vegan diet does not mean that they are healthier. Any diet is only as healthy as you make it. I would like to think that the majority of people who decide to follow a Vegan diet though will have made this decision with nutrition in the background. Lots of Vegans are well educated on food groups, Fats, Vitamins and Protein for example. To some extend this comes as a “side effect” when you start looking into this plant-based diet.
And another no to: As a Vegan you automatically have a slim body. I know Vegans who are overweight as there are many food groups that contain many calories. For example: Chips eaten with Vegan mayo is “as bad” as the non-vegan counterpart. Vegan cakes are as calorie rich as non Vegan cakes. The same applies to chocolate or crisps. The only difference is that they are not made with any animal produce.
Too many calories are too many calories. The body does not decide whether they are good calories or not. So it is about the balance and boils down to: intake and how much you burn.
When I changed to a Vegan diet, I actually did loose 5 kg in the first 6-9 months. In my case it came down to sweets. I used to eat lots of chocolate and other sugary things. When cutting out those with dairy in them, I was left with only very few options. I also used to eat a lot of cheese which, again, is dense in calories.
The industry has changed since then and there are more options available when it comes to Vegan chocolate or other Vegan treats. This is how I handle them, as treats, not food that I need. Another change that I made once I followed the path of a plant-based diet.

Trying to find Vegan products these days is actually quite easy. Most supermarkets in the UK have a “free from” section where you find various things like Cereals, Bars, Pasta, Soups, Chocolate, Sweeteners, Flour, Bread and so on. Producers mark the products with one of the common Vegan logos. Others mark them “vegan friendly” or “suitable for Vegans”. If none of this is said, I usually check the ingredients. As with so many allergies around ingredients like dairy, wheat, soy etc. are normally printed in bold.
In the beginning it might seem a bit of a nuisance to having to check the lists, but I got used to them quickly and today it is a normal procedure for me as I still check for artificial sweeteners for example.

 

I believe that a Vegan diet is more healthy than any other diet and there must be a reason why cancer patients or cancer survivors are asked to follow a plant-based diet by their doctors. If any other diet is as healthy and good, why do they recommend a plant based one?
This is of course my personal view and I have no medical education to base my opinion on.
I love fruits and vegetables so for me the summer months are heaven. I eat a lot of water melon and strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and mangos! I admit that I also buy them in the winter which clashes with my view on seasonal eating. So you see, I am far from the perfect Vegan. Of course there is no such thing as a perfect Vegan. But I’ll talk about this another time :).

My next blog on food will be about alternatives to cow’s milk as this was one of the hardest parts for me as a coffee lover. Keep following and I’ll give you the options available.