Thursday, 29 November 2018

Vegums Gummy Vitamins

Vegums were created by two pharmacists, whose aim was to make a multi vitamin with only the specific vitamins vegans need like B12, iodine and selenium.   The other aims were they should be easy to take for adults and children, be made from natural ingredients and low in sugar and be eco friendly too.

Vegums are registered with The Vegan Society trademark, which gives vegans comfort that the product is wholly vegan, from the core ingredients through the manufacturing process, to the end product.

The Vegums are sold in a starter pack of sixty, with a convenient portable tin which holds thirty Vegums, with a refill box of one hundred and twenty available, all packaged in cardboard for easy recycling.   You can buy online as well as subscribe and save, with a regular delivery made to your home, so you never run out, great for the absent minded amongst us.

I love the biodegradable and compostable bags the Vegums are packed in, made from vegetable starch, fitting right in with my efforts to massively reduce my plastic usage.

The Vegums are so cute, in fact they are the nicest multi vitamin I have seen, you just want to eat them.   The red colour is derived from black carrot, with the flavour from strawberries and have a sweet chewy texture, yet only a sixth of a teaspoon of sugar each.

I struggle to swallow tablets and capsules, and have wasted and choked on so many, but with Vegums no glasses of water are required or throwing my head back trying to help them down, just pop one in your mouth and enjoy.   It is so easy to get all these important vegan vitamins in the recommended daily dose, but in such a pleasant way, I love them.

I tend not to supplement personally, only on holiday and especially on long cruises when I am not in control of my nutritional needs, so Vegums will be my vitamin of choice in future.

Disclaimer:  I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Food Heaven Vegan Whipped Spray Cream

I heard about Food Heaven's whipped cream off Chantal at Bijou B&B and was pleased to find it on a trip to my local Morrisons.   I was ecstatic as it is a soya free product and the only other aerosol soya free cream I tried was Soyatoo rice whip, which I did not like.

My first taste was on breakfast oat and banana pancakes, with chocolate sauce drizzled over the top and this picture does not do the dish justice.   The aerosol is easy to use and once opened needs refrigerating and requires a really good shake before using.

The product is lovely and creamy, yet not sickly which I was concerned about, not overly sweet either, so is good for all kinds of uses and I can see that a couple of aerosols will slip into my suitcase on my next cruise.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Coconut Tomato Dhal

This recipe is inspired by Vegan Food & Living magazine, but tweaked to suit my allergies and what I had in my cupboard.

3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 large red onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp kalonji seeds
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground ginger
400 g yellow split peas
1 litre vegetable stock
400 g can chopped tomatoes
400 g can coconut milk
2 tbsp lime juice

Serves 4-6

Saute the onion for about 10 mins until translucent and soft, add the garlic, kalonji seeds, turmeric, chilli powder and ginger and cook for a few minutes, to release the flavours from the spices, being careful not to burn them.

Add the stock, tomatoes, coconut milk and split peas, mix well and cook for approx 40-45 mins, until the peas are soft.   You may need to add more liquid during cooking, so add water bit my bit, being careful not to make the mixture too watery.

Season to taste with plenty salt and pepper, give a quick blitz with a stick blender to part puree, so some of the peas are still whole.

Spritz with lime juice and serve with rice, chapatis, wraps or even over a jacket potato, or dribble over fries, add mango chutney, desiccated coconut and srirchara or chilli sauce.

The dhal freezes really well, in fact I think it tastes better after defrosting and I find Oatly creme fraiche pots make ideal containers.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Forest Foods

Forest Foods are a Manchester based company, trading since 1994, offering vegetarian Grab N Go food, with a great selection of vegan options within the product range.   Forest Foods is the brainchild of Sarah Bird, who originally started making products in her kitchen, drawing on her experiences working in a Mexican restaurant in California and the business has expanded as demand has grown.

I had been wanting to try their products, although sadly much of the range is out of bounds, due to my allergies (I was gutted about this), but Sarah kindly offered to send me some samples to try.   The products are all made fresh to order and can be frozen which is a real bonus. 

The products can be eaten straight from the packet, but can be heated and served hot and make a fabulous lunch time option, for those in the office with cooking facilities.   They are a good sized portion, packed with filling and transport well in your bag if you are out and about and vegan options are few and far between.   The individual flavours are excellent, satisfying and delicious, although for my taste, a little more heat in the spicy versions would be nice, then again my chilli tolerance is that high, no one else would be able to eat them.

My favourite was the mushroom roll, transporting me back forty years, when as an office junior working in a high street bank, I delivered mail on foot to local companies.   On my round I would pop into Oddies Bakery and buy a savoury roll to munch on the way back to work.   I do not know how Forest Foods have done it, but their mushroom roll reminds me of that savoury roll, with its soft flaky pastry and finely minced mushroom and sage filling, yet completely meat free.

You can purchase from Forest Foods direct, as they offer a nationwide home delivery service, with a minimum order of thirty items and you can message or email them for details.   Their products can be found in Spar shops in Manchester, Lancaster and Nottingham University, Village Greens in Prestwich and via Health Store and Greencity Wholefoods in Scotland.

Disclaimer:  I received free samples of these products and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Skinny Lager

Skinny Lager is one of the products under the Skinny Brands umbrella, offering a premium lager, low in calories with no compromise on taste.

I was lucky enough to be sent some to try, along with its own glass and was amazed that each bottle only contains 89 calories, so just the thing for the health conscious, who want a drink but not the calories.

I had not realised that Skinny Lager carries The Vegan Society trademark, this means that consumers can be assured that the product is 100% vegan right through the production process.   I would always choose a product with the trademark, over another as it gives me confidence.

Skinny Lager's alcohol content is 4% so not too strong and with it being low in calories, I thought maybe it would be low on flavour, I was wrong it has a round, refreshing taste and is very drinkable, with or without food and I am not a particularly big lager drinker.

I would definitely buy Skinny Lager, especially as there is no confusion, no having to refer to Barnivore, you know its vegan.

Disclaimer:   I received free samples of this product and have not been paid for this review and all opinions are my own.