Hello beauties! Just a very short post today. We’re having an unusual mild weather at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t make some delicious comforting food. So here’s the recipe for Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies by Elavegan: you won’t believe how delectable they are…and without flour!
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup (60 g) water
1 scant cup (100 g) ground sunflower seeds or almond flour
3/8 cups (75 g) date sugar or organic cane sugar
5 tbsp (30 g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional, but recommended)
3 1/2 tbsp (50 g) nut/seed butter of choice
1 1/2 tbsp (18 g)coconut oil melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (60 g) dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (or both)
1 To a small bowl add ground chia seeds (or ground flax seeds) and 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine and set aside. Also, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To a medium-sized bowl (or food processor) add ground sunflower seeds (or almond flour), cane sugar (or granulated sugar of choice), cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Mix until there are no lumps.
Add nut/seed butter of choice, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the chia seed mixture. Stir (or blend, if using a food processor) until combined.
Finally, add the dairy-free chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) and mix with your hands until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each weighing about 50 grams / or make 10 smaller ones) and roll each piece with your hands into a ball. You can also use an ice cream scoop.
Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared parchment paper and flatten them with your hand. Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes. They will be still soft when you take them out but firm up once cooled. Enjoy!
You won’t regret making them and probably eating them as soon as they get out of the oven!
Hello my beautiful kittens! How are you? Are you enjoying the winter weather, with long walks in the cold air, or are you more of a hibernating creature? Here I do enjoy a bit of both. Especially with the increase in bills, to spend less it would be better to go for walks at the weekend to avoid consuming too much electricity and gas. But how good is it to get all nice and comfy, with loads of hot tea, under the blankies and by watching your favourite TV shows?! Love both.
But talking about the “cost of living crisis” (I feel we’ll get a new acronym for this too) there is much advertisement about how to cope with this.
One of these methods would be for consumers to switch to the so-called “value brands”, which usually means buying store-owned brands: in the United Kingdom it would be Tesco, Morrisons, M&S etc instead of the “Big Brands”. This seems to be such a big sacrifice for people because they have always given so much trust to these bespoken companies: true they are more expensive, but you get quality. In theory. So it makes sense that people are disappointed that they won’t be able to afford what they used to. But we should actually be happy that this is happening (not the prices rising, but people buying less of these brands).
Who are the “Big Brands”?
When we talk about these Big Brands, we are talking of the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Mars, Johnson&Johnson, etc. We’ve already talked about how these are just evil incarnate previously, but if this is the first time you’re reading this blog please check this post and this one too.
The main examples I see around, are Heinz beans and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. These are staple foods in most of the kitchens probably around the world: who hasn’t heard about Heinz or Kellogg’s? Or what about Mars bars?
Everybody knows them, most of these brands have been around for a hundred years. And how much advertisement has been done in all this time? In my work, I sometimes have to search old newspapers, from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s: they are filled with ads from these brands. You wouldn’t believe how many Bovril advertisements are in each issue of the newspapers I have to inspect: and to add to this, they also had fairly long articles sharing the *supposed* benefits of such foods, writing that they were the very best of the best, top-notch quality so every household should have them because these brands can really be trusted.
In the past decades, they managed to create customer trust that it is difficult to undermine: people will always prefer asking for a “coke” meaning that they want a soda by Coca-Cola or Pepsi. They will ask for “Heinz beans” or “Heinz ketchup”. They will go for Kellogg’s cereals, thinking that they’ll be making a safer choice.
But these brands have become so comfortable that while their products *might* have been decent in the past, now they now put all the different chemicals, extra refined sugar (yes, the beans too), palm-oil and more. Because they know that people wouldn’t even look into the ingredients, consumers will just buy them because of the name.
It seems that in the past years, there has been a fair change in consumers’ behaviours, with more people opting for a vegetarian or vegan diet or also just more interest in how the food is made, checking the ingredients and being more aware of what the food they want to buy contains.
There has also been a boom in small independent businesses, producing handmade vegetarian and vegan food that doesn’t use harmful ingredients. Because of how this is made, it is more expensive than the “big brands” products.
With the rising costs of bills and groceries, people are becoming more concerned about what they can spend their money on and they have to make choices about where to cut their expenses. The more expensive stuff will have to go: good offers on food are now very tempting. People are going to buy groceries at value retailer shops like B&M, which are fully stocked with Nestle, Mars, Kraft etc.
But choosing the Big Brands means that your health will be really compromised: the amount of sugar, palm oil and chemicals used to make these products, eaten in large quantities, will have an impact on your health.
Not only that. Their labour and environmental policies are appalling (see the linked posts above).
How to avoid them
It is difficult, I won’t deny it. They are everywhere, at convenience stores you’ll only find these brands and they can look like the better budget solution.
However, supermarkets like Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s make their own products: they are cheaper and usually have better ingredients and quality controls than the big brands.
The other solution, is to look into the special offers from the vegan independent businesses: the 3×2 or when products are close to the use-by date, you can buy in bulk and freeze the surplus.
For cupboard items like legumes, you can buy them dried: make a big batch once every 2-4 weeks to use for stews and soups and freeze the rest to use in future dishes.
The “Big Brands” worked hard to gain people’s trust through heavy advertisements to convince the public opinion that they are “good for you”, but they are actually full of food additives and chemicals. If you want to avoid them, you can by purchasing supermarkets’ own brands or buying dry items.
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments.
We’re so close to Christmas! Do you have everything ready for this holiday? If yes, I’m absolutely happy for you and kudos for your organisational skills. Here, we’re not 100% ready but. I know what I would like for my Christmas dinner! So, I’m sharing with you the recipes
I hope you’ll have a great time during these holidays and you’ll manage to also get some rest. And I hope you’ll enjoy some of these delicious dishes! If you make any of these, let me know what you think 🙂
Hello beauties! Christmas is approaching. This is a time of celebration, of visiting your family and friends and spending time together with loved ones. But it can also bring up some anxiety as we want to find the right presents for these people. In addition to this, there might be concerns about how all this shopping might have a negative environmental impact on our beloved planet. Also considering that during this period it seems that the big companies monopolise the holidays’ scene.
Despair no more! There are many solutions for a more ethical, sustainable Christmas shopping without sacrificing originality, affordability and personality.
Probably one of the best ways for more sustainable Christmas gifts, are those made by you: from knitting to potpourri and wreaths and much more! There are so many things that you can make yourself and gift to your family and friends and it’ll show how much you care for them because you spent time making these creations. If you want to start your journey in the Christmas DIY, APieceOfRainbow really got you covered! ThePioneerWoman is another brilliant place that you can visit to get some more ideas, as well as TheSpruce.
Support Local Artists
Second in the list, I put local artists: look around your area, artists are everywhere and with all sorts of skills! There are painters and illustrators, sculptors and jewellers, just look around you and you’ll find a different world.
For example, in the town where I live, there is a place that hosts creations by local artists on a regular basis. And in another couple of towns not far from where I live, there are similar places.
Local artists have also small businesses where they sell their art. But there are other categories of small businesses that you can support: an example, artisanal food producers – jams, marmalades, chocolates, liqueurs etc. You can find small businesses that make vegan products and are handmade. True, they’re going to be more expensive compared to similar products by the bigger companies, but they usually also have smaller items for sale that would make for perfect gifts.
Last year, I got some sets of lovely handmade soaps for my relatives, while this year I got some handmade candles from a small business I follow on Instagram.
Many lovely small businesses put their stuff up on Etsy.
Good On You is a website that reviews clothing and accessories companies, rating them on a scale from 1 (“We avoid”) to 5 (“Great”) for “Planet”, “Animals” and “People”. While the obvious fast-fashion brands like H&M and Primark are rated “We avoid”, there are so many others that are rated “Great” and “Good” and are also affordable!
Adoption and Sponsor Packages
Probably one of the best gift ideas is adoption packages from animal charities. From the RSPCA/SSPCA, to the Cats Protection and all the different sanctuaries, you can find different adoption and sponsor packages: they usually provide a card with all the details of the adopted/sponsored animal, with a picture and sometimes a little gift such as a keychain or puppet.
Subscriptions to magazines
The Ethical Consumer is the perfect magazine for the person that wants to find out more about sustainable brands and ways to live a more ethical life.
If you are not vegan yet, this is the right time to try out some vegan dishes. If you don’t have time to make your own food, there are many brands that are making delicious vegan food that is also affordable.
Make your own food…and share it!
True, as said above, there are more and more brands making ready food for Christmas. But it’s so nice to make your own food. And yes, it takes time and effort, but there are many recipes that are easy and quick with great results. For example, this “50 Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes That Impress” by Nutriciously article provides a number of easy, quick and delicious recipes for a brilliant Christmas!
Despite the fact that at Christmas you might find it difficult to be sustainable, I hope that this post
showed that this is easily achievable even during this stressful time. There are ideas for everyone!
Let me know what you think, and if you have other ways for more sustainable holidays.
Hey there! How is it in your neck of the woods? Here all good, just avoiding burnout by taking it a bit easier at work and meditating more.
You might have noticed in the past months a petition started by Cruelty-Free International asking for the closure of Vivotecnia, “an independent European toxicology contract research organisation based in Madrid, Spain. Since 2000, it has offered services to support pharmaceutical and biotech, cosmetic, chemical and agrochemical industries. Its customers include companies from Spain, Europe (including the UK), Central America, Japan, Korea and the USA.”
These are just two of the petitions asking for governments to ban vivisection (especially for beauty products). It would appear that more and more people realise that experimenting on live animals is just barbaric, considering that there is so much research confirming the uselessness of these practices.
To be honest, I have only a little bit of hope that these petitions will be successful because the experiments are usually required by the main pharmaceutical and beauty multinationals. And this brings me to the Huntingdon issue in the UK.
Huntingdon and MBR Acres Ltd.
Maybe you have heard or maybe not, that during the years people have been protesting what is happening at the MBR Acres Ltd facilities in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England (just to give you an idea, one of the latest protests was this May). But if you don’t have a clear idea of what I am talking about, here are some facts about Huntingdon (Huntingdon Life Sciences Group plc.):
it’s a contract research organisation, privately owned
founded in 1951
had an initial focus on focused on nutrition, veterinary, and biochemical research
their research uses animals, both wildlife imported from other countries and “local”
it went on researching pharmaceuticals, food additives, industrial and consumer chemicals
in 1996, a member of PETA went undercover as an employee of the organisation and recorded the treatment of the animals in Huntingdon’s facilities
the tape sparked rage amongst animal rights activists and PETA was sued by HLS. HLS managed to win.
the buildings in Huntingdon have been the subject of numerous protests by animal activists.
I shouldn’t be stating the obvious, but any form of experimentation on animals is just wrong. It wouldn’t be justifiable even if what they are testing was the cure for cancer. And they are not experimenting on that. In the 2000s they stated that they were very close to a breakthrough in xenotransplants, organ transplants from animal to human. Pigs and primates were the main subjects of these experiments: the non-human animals were grown to then harvest their organs and then put them in humans. The longest a human has survived after such a transplant is three months. THREE MONTHS.
The suffering that this practice brings is twofold: it causes much pain to the animals that are grown for the sole purpose of taking their organs and the people into which these organs are implanted.
What is vivisection
Depending on the dictionary one uses, one will get a slightly different definition of what this practice is. From Merriam-Webster, vivisection is
: the cutting of or operation on a living animal usually for physiological or pathological investigation broadly: animal experimentation especially if considered to cause distress to the subjectMerriam-Webster Dictionary
While Cambridge Dictionary offers that vivisection is
the use of living animals in tests that are intended to increase human knowledge of human diseases and the effects of using particular drugs.Cambridge Dictionary
Contradictions of vivisection
The main contradiction is that the promoters of such practice will say that they use such and such animal species because they will get similar reactions as if it were human, but when they’ll be asked if they’re concerned about the feelings and emotions and pain that these species will have to endure, the vivisectors will say that although similar in bodies to humans, they really don’t feel the same as them.
Without even going into the philosophical aspects of the ethics behind this practice, the mind is part of the body: pain receptors ARE pain receptors, which means that they are telling the brain that that thing is painful and the non-human or human animal is feeling pain.
All animals, humans and non-humans, when they are enclosed in small spaces, hearing screams or seeing their fellows being taken away and then taken back wounded and hurt, are going to feel fear, being afraid.
So, if someone is telling you that live non-human animals are good for testing because of their similarities with humans, but not to worry because they don’t feel the same as humans do, call BS on them.
There are alternatives to animal testing. It’s 2022, we went to the moon and around space. We keep finding ever smaller particles. We do have ways to avoid the use of animals in research: from cell culture to computer simulation, there really are viable alternatives. Companies who don’t use non-human animals in their testing are known as cruelty-free.
If you want to read a bit more about the alternatives to animal testing, you can find some more here and here (2 Wikipedia pages, to get you started).
Huntingdon Life Sciences and MBR Acres are just two of the many organisations around the world that are using live animals to test on. If you think that animal testing is wrong, there are quite a lot of websites that are providing you with lists of brands that conduct this kind of testing, as well as those that are in the process of becoming cruelty-free. Keeping on testing on animals, with money spent on this instead of investing in alternatives just extends the suffering of both human and nonhuman animals.
Happy Sunday, dearest! We’re getting into Autumn, my second favourite season, with the leaves turning from green to yellow and orange and all the different tones of these colours, the air becoming less and less hot perfect for snuggling under a blanket on the sofa with a warm mega-mug of tea. Yes, I love Autumn. And with this season we can finally bake and make all that food that heats up your kitchen. So I feel that today is a good time to share this recipe for vegan sufganiyot that I found ages ago, tried and loved it. It’s unclear why I haven’t shared this with you earlier!
I found the recipe by chance, don’t even remember how the search went, but I’m glad I found Mayim Bialik’s recipe for Vegan Sufganiyot because it’s easy to make and oh my goodness! So. Delicious. I didn’t know about sufganiyot (and various other spellings): they are basically Jewish doughnuts made usually for Hannukah. And for those of you who don’t know her, Mayim Bialik used to play Amy in The Big Bang Theory and she also acts and is the executive producer of the sitcom Call Me Kat. On top of this, she has a PhD in neuroscience! And she’s vegan. Really difficult not to like her!
So, here is this delicious recipe!
0.25-oz. envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm (about 110°F) soy, rice, or almond milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
3 tbsp. unsalted vegan margarine, melted and cooled
Nonstick cooking spray
6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Icing sugar, for sprinkling
About 2 cups raspberry jam (optional)
1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of the warm nondairy milk in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.
2. Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture, egg replacer, and margarine, and beat until the dough is soft but not sticky, about 3 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cover with a clean dish towel, and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Using a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out rounds and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out the remaining dough. Cover the rounds with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 375°F.
7. Place a wire rack on top of parchment paper or on a baking sheet, and line with paper towels or brown paper bags. Working in batches of four or five, add the doughnuts to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden and puffed, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, place the doughnuts on the paper towels to cool.
8. Sprinkle with icing sugar. You can also make some jam-filled doughnuts, by spooning jam into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 3/8-inch tip. Pierce a hole in the side of a doughnut with the tip, and squeeze in jam to fill (the filled doughnut will feel heavy). Note: Be sure to drain well before serving and enjoy!
Hello, hello, beautiful cats! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! A few days ago was my birthday and nothing scream “birthday” to me as tiramisu. It has been the dessert that my aunt used to make for all my birthdays and although my mom would make a delicious cake for my birthday parties, my auntie’s tiramisu has always been a favourite.
In a heat-safe bowl, combine instant coffee granules, sugar, and boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let come to room temperature. Take out the Cocowhip from the freezer and let sit out at room temperature to soften while the coffee mixture cools down.
Fully dip your Biscoff cookies, one cookie at a time, into the sweetened coffee mixture and layer in a flat and shallow container (I used a 3.2 cup Rubbermaid [affiliate link] container). Work quickly as the cookies start to disintegrate fairly quickly once soaked.
Then add a layer of Cocowhip on top of the soaked cookies, about 1/3 cup per layer.
You’ll be adding 3 layers of soaked Biscoff cookies, and 3 layers of cocowhip. I did 6 cookies per layer, with a thin layer of Cocowhip between each layer.
I like to add an extra thick layer of Cocowhip on top, then dust with a coating of cocoa powder to finish. I dust using a fine mesh sieve to create a light, even layer of cocoa powder.
Cover and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Happy Sunday, beautiful kittens! We’re getting into Autumn, time to start taking the cosy clothes out of the closet and preparing for some time on with a hot beverage. And while I know that these Potatoes Arrabbiata by the Jewish Vegetarian Society are meant more for Spring (for Pesach, Passover which is in April), I feel that they are very good for Autumn too (as well as Winter!).
I saw this recipe not that long ago and made it just a few days ago: look how inviting it is! And obviously, so easy to make it’s beginner’s proof. So, without further ado, the recipe.
Handful of baby potatoes (skin on)
1 garlic clove, sliced
Pinch of dried chili flakes
Handful of spinach
Salt and pepper
Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Drain.
Pan-fry the sliced garlic in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to brown, then add the chili flakes, passata and cooked potatoes.
Season generously with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the spinach and simmer for a further minute until wilted, then squash each potato with the back of a fork, remove from the heat and serve.
Let me know if you knew this recipe already or if you made it.
Hello my cats! How is your Sunday going? This has been the third Saturday I was working and … Today’s recipe is something that is really delicious: a vegan omelette made not only with chickpea flour but also with tofu, a Spanish Omelette. My mouth is watering just at the thought! The recipe I usually follow is the Vegan Tortilla-Spanish Omelette by ForkfulOfPlants. Obviously, easy and quick!
350 g salad potatoes sliced
150 g chickpea flour (1 cup)
150 g silken tofu (~.5 cup)
250 ml water (1 cup)
¾ tsp black salt ground
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp garlic powder/granules
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion sliced
Add the sliced potatoes to a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes, draining and rinsing with cold water once cooked.
Meanwhile, make the batter mixture. Add the chickpea flour, silken tofu, water, black salt, turmeric, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and a grind of black pepper to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a 20-25cm non stick frying pan frying pan over a medium heat.
Add the sliced onion and fry it for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and softened. Add the cooked and drained sliced potatoes to the pan. Stir the potatoes and onions to mix, then arrange the potatoes in a flat layer.
Pour the batter over the potatoes and onions in an even layer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the top has no runny liquid left sitting on it (it will still be soft).
When the first side is cooked, it’s time to flip the omelette! Take a large, flat plate, and place it upside down on top of the pan.
With your hand on top of the plate, flip the pan upside down, moving the tortilla onto the plate. Then, carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan on the uncooked side.
Cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side, then slide the cooked vegan omelette on to a clean plate to serve.
Happy Sunday, kittens! I hope you’re having a nice weekend. Here it has been very hot for a few days, with a very clear sky and temperatures around 27°C which is exceptionally high for where I live! Today I decided to go to the shops to get a little present for a colleague: the shop I wanted to visit is not in the town centre and I can reach it in 15 minutes by walking, so I went to the shop, got the present and when I went out it started raining. I got literally soaked! Wasn’t expecting that. Oh well, that’s life. Anyway, enough of my adventure! Because it is so warm, I wanted to share the recipe for a dessert that doesn’t need too much heat to prepare and is still extremely delicious: Vegan Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Nutriciously!
I made them quite recently and are already on my list of favourite recipes. In addition, if you omit the white chocolate these are also a great snack or dessert for when you do the Limpia.
1 lb fresh strawberries (450 g)
Vegan chocolate coating
1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate, chopped (100 g)
1 tsp almond butter (optional)
½ cup vegan white chocolate, chopped (50 g)
Prepare the strawberries
Rinse and drain the strawberries without removing the green leaves.
Pat dry with paper towels and place them in the fridge.
Make the chocolate coating
Get two clean bowls and put the chopped dark chocolate in one, the chopped white chocolate in the other.
Fill two pots ¼ of the way with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, then place the bowls inside — make sure they are big enough to cover the pots!
Let the chocolate melt over the sightly boiling water, stirring occasionally.
When the dark chocolate has melted, add the almond butter and stir to incorporate.
Dip & coat your strawberries
Remove the strawberries from the refrigerator and get a tray lined with parchment paper.
Gather your toppings: melted dark chocolate, melted white chocolate, crushed almonds, shredded coconut and cocoa nibs. Make sure each of them gets its own little bowl or plate.
Grasp your first strawberry by the small green leaves and dip it into the melted dark chocolate, aiming to coat the strawberry evenly. Shake off any excess, then put your coated strawberry on your prepared tray. Repeat with the remaining strawberries and place them in a single layer on your tray. Drizzle a few of them with more black or contrasting white chocolate by using a fork or a piping bag.
Finally, add some crunchy toppings! Roll your chocolate-covered strawberries in the prepared bowls with crushed almonds, shredded coconut or cocoa nibs.
Refrigerate the decorated strawberries for 30 minutes before serving.
Easy-peasy! I hope you’ll enjoy these snacks perfect for the summer.