Sunday, 27 January 2019

Yumintum Sweets

Yumintum make vegan sweets without nasties like gelatine or cochineal and not only appeal to vegans but to everyone.   Yumintum are very aware of the environment and the impact they have, so their packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

They make lots of flavours like cola cherry twists, fruit jellies, Turkish delight, strawberry fizz and more, available to purchase via their website, Etsy, Amazon and they work with a few companies who stock them too.

When you open the bag you get a huge burst of fruit aromas, hardly surprising when you see the contents of grape, pear, pineapple, peach, apple, carrot, lemon safflower, tomato, pumpkin, radish and blackcurrant.   The colours are amazing, so vibrant and colourful, just like a rainbow.

I am not much of a sweet lover and its over three decades since I ate sweets like this, yet this array of sweets had me totally hooked.   There is an explosion of fruit when you bite into the chewy texture and the sugary coating fizzes on your tongue, as your palate dances around with sweet, sour and tart flavours, they are scrumptious. 

Yumintum's tag line is 'Plant Based Magic' and I for one think their sweets are magic. 

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

Friday, 18 January 2019

Vegan Tales Vol.1

Vegan Tales is a collection of short stories, published by Squaw Pies Limited, written by authors from across the globe, with a foreword by Pam Warhurst CBE.  Squaw Pies's aim is to encourage and evolve adult vegan literature and so what better idea than to publish Vegan Tales.

I was intrigued as to how the name Squaw Pies originated, all clearly explained on their website.

SQUAW is to honour the indigenous blood of our First Nations's grandmothers and granddaughters: Cherokee, Cheyenne and Quechua.   PIES, on the one hand, to grandly propose the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual nature of humankind or PIES on the other hand to simply celebrate the bare pleasures of cooking, perhaps the last great oral tradition of the West.

I must admit my book reading leaves much to be desired, I have a busy life, especially on social media which takes up much of my time, so a book has to grab my attention or I nod off, as bedtime is my reading time.   It is a testament to Vegan Tales, that I struggled to put the book down and there was no nodding off either, I was wide awake completely enveloped in the narrative.

The stories common theme is obviously veganism, from completely different perspectives, so I will not go into detail and spoil it for potential readers, but expect amusement, mischievous and thought provoking tales. 

The book is a perfect gift for everyone, especially people toying with veganism, it might just give them their light bulb moment as in my favourite tale 'Empty Seat At The Table' by Mark Towse.

You can buy the book direct from Squaw Pies or from your local bookshop using ISBN Number 978-1-9993568-0-4.

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

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Goat Gap Cafe Henbusk Lane Newby 13th January 2019

Goat Gap Cafe is a family business and a perfect lunch venue on the way to the Lakes, as you drive right past if you are taking the scenic route and well worthwhile it as the scenery is amazing.

I really like how they have renovated the building, which in times gone by was a Little Chef, it is now fresh, light and bright, with a big open plan kitchen.

There are labelled vegan options, but after contacting them, I had a lovely message back from owners Gen and Edward, with a copy of the menu and told there was a specials board.   They make their own bread, houmous, soups and cakes and everything is freshly made to order.

I had a chat with a member of staff, who apparently recognised me when I walked in, how I have no idea, but she mentioned they had vegan lemon drizzle cake available too.

We both chose chilli houmous, roast pepper and baby gem sandwiches on sourdough, with a bowl of vegetable soup for Steven, as he was starving.

The sandwiches were not skimpy, a proper Yorkshire portion, with fabulous bread you could tell was homemade and the sandwich was packed with filling.   Steven said the soup was so tasty with a drizzle of basil oil, perfect as it was a wild and windy day and you needed something substantial.

It would be rude not to try the cake with a cup of coffee and it was scrumptious, as light as a feather, with the zest of lemon and lovely sugary topping, a top quality cake.

I think Goat Gap cafe is a marvellous place, who cater for dietary requirements, although I forgot to ask if they have plant milks, as I took my own.   However to find something to eat, in an area not known for its vegan options is a great find, with friendly service and excellent value for money, it is a godsend.   Highly recommended.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

V Eco Food Wraps

V Eco Food Wraps originated because owner Jan, like me, was concerned about her plastic usage and wanted to reduce it as much as possible.   Reading Jan's story, she obviously spent a lot of time researching the subject of food wraps, with a few ups and downs, resulting in her making vegan friendly wraps, even though she is not vegan herself.

The packaging has been carefully thought about too, delivered in a cardboard pack with a cotton bag to store the wraps in.

The wraps are made with tree resin, candelilla wax and cold pressed jojoba oil and that is it, no chemicals just natural ingredients.   The wraps have over locked edges to avoid fraying and do lose their adhesion over time, but you can up cycle them, so Jan suggests adding ribbon to use them as jar covers.   I shall get my thinking cap on and find other ways to use mine in the future, but if I run out of ideas I can pop them into my compost bin, as they are biodegradable.

There are various designs to choose from, come in packs of three or five in small, medium and large sizes, so I chose green daisies.

There are some do's and don'ts like not using with hot food and you can clean them in cool water with washing up liquid and leave them to dry.

So how do they work, well the heat of your hands warms the wax and makes the wrap pliable so you can mould it round whatever you want, be it a pan as in the first picture or glass dish in the second.  The wraps work perfectly and stick really well, so once in place do not move, curl up or lose adhesion.   

I think the wraps are an ingenuous way to reduce your plastic, no need for cling film or plastic bags and they look so pretty too and make a great addition to the kitchen.

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