How have we been getting Norty this month? 

There is no question about it; we have all been well and truly spoiled by the heat wave that has been hanging around, making us sweaty yet overjoyed at the same time. We’ve had enough vitamin D to last us until next summer and we can almost guarantee we know how you’ve been spending your days in the sun. Be in by the seaside, around a family BBQ or spread across your local park, what’s in your glass is just as important as what is on your plate. 

Vegan Beer and Mexican Fried Chicken

If you’re headed to the big smoke for a day out (and right now, it really is), or perhaps on the look out for a new local serving up vegan beer and out of this world grub, then look no further. The Spread Eagle on Homerton high street is London’s first fully vegan pub, serving up the best brews from certified suppliers along side the mouth-wateringly dirty eats of Club Mexicana. We approve of their beer-pairing menu, making opting for the perfect food and drink combination an absolute breeze.   

BrewDog

Another one for the beer lovers, Brewdog not only offer fabulous vegan eats on its classic pub grub menu, but they also serve up a number of vegan friendly beers. With multiple locations across the UK, as well as an online shop offering the best booze straight to your door, enjoying a refreshing pint is stress free and ever so tasty. 

The Drink of the Moment

An aperol spritz is having its moment this summer, with after work drinkers and sun worshipers mixing their own popping up left, right and centre. The orange-come-rhubarb flavoured liquor is mixed with prosecco and soda. Be at One, found across the UK, have a fabulous one, or simply make your own.

Almond Milk Baileys

When Baileys revealed they were bringing out a completely dairy-free version of there some-what acquired tasting adult milk, vegans everywhere rejoiced. And they let the world know about it too. From pop up cafes serving vegan sweet treats, all incorporating the new drink in someway, to glamorous and tantalising ads on the telly. Treat yourself by blending up a scoop of dairy-free Ben & Jerry’s, a dash of Baileys, some almond milk (to soften the blow) and serve with your fanciest re-useable straw. 

Seedlip Blends

If you’re not a big drinker, or perhaps catering for a friend who’s sworn off the hard stuff, Seedlip offers fabulous distilled non-alcoholic spirits. They are all vegan friendly and sugar-free, meaning you won’t feel as if you’re missing out at all. Pair with elderflower presse for a fresh and ever so sophisticated blend, and load up on ice to keep you cool whist navigating swelteringly hot garden parties.    

Pimms in the Park

Let’s end on a high, classic Pimms in the park with friends. Is there a more glorious, albeit a little cliché way to enjoy both the sunshine and we’re been so wonderfully graced with this summer. Grab a giant jug and load it up with all the British berries and hydrating vegetables you have lying about in your fridge draw. Strawberries, cucumber, lemon and mint seem to be a fool-proof combination, and making the most of the sweet blackberries popping up all over our dried and spikey hedges, as they are in prime right now. 

In the Know

Want to be clued up on what’s in your drink and how it was made? We find apps such as Vegaholic to be ever so helpful at decoding confusing cocktail menus. Barnivore is a great online resource for vegan-friendly wines, beer and spirits, giving you a wonderfully in-depth run down of every ingredient that all us plant-based pioneers just love. 

The rise of Nut Mylks

All hail the nut!

Isn’t it absolutely fantastic that almost every supermarket you
step into today has it’s own section of plant-based milk? From oat, almond,
cashew to the humble carton of soya, we truly believe that the demand for these
dairy alternatives is rapidly increasing, meaning that wherever you are in the
U.K, opting for a vegan diet is not just easy, but more popular than ever.
Whilst almond and soya have typically dominated the market, that doesn’t mean
that you can’t venture out and try something new. Oatly is our go-to brand for
fantastically creamy oat milk. They offer a basic milk alternative, a barista blend
(perfect for frothy coffees), chocolate flavoured milk and now a dairy free crème
fraiche. Using oats as a base makes for a fabulous alternative to nut milks if you
have a nut allergy, along with hemp, coconut and soya. Koko is a brand of creamy
coconut milk, which makes creating thick and fruity smoothies a breeze, and we
can’t get enough.

Plenish is another great brand of plant-based milks we adore, and there no
nonsense nut milks are made with a simple and straightforward blend of nuts,
filtered water and sea salt. That’s it! It’s important to check the label when
shopping to ensure that your milk contains minimal ingredients and no nasties.
We love heating up Plenish’s hazelnut milk with a touch of cacao powder and
maple syrup for a delicious Nutella-like flavoured hot chocolate.

If you have the time, try making your own. Not only is it much easier than you
may think, it’s also cost effective. Simply soak your nut of choice overnight, rinse
thoroughly and blend with double the amount of filtered water. Blend in a food
processor for a couple of moments before straining through cheesecloth. You can
then make your homemade nut milk into a huge range of different milky drinks,
from your morning coffee, an indulgent afternoon hot chocolate to turmeric
lattes on a cold evening. Get creative and add a touch of beetroot powder to your
cashew nut milk for a wonderfully vibrant beetroot latte, or heat up your almond
milk coffee with a dusting of cacao for a tasty mocha treat.

Picnic Season

Picnic season has well and truly arrived, and we couldn’t be happier about it if
we tried. What better way to enjoy the sunshine, than spending the day doing
nothing but nibbling away at glorious finger food. Just because you’re opting for
a plant-based lifestyle, doesn’t mean you can enjoy a whole array of tasty treats
with your friends, and in fact, gives you the perfect opportunity to show them
just how well you eat. From rice paper rolls to homemade energy balls, we’re
here to give you a little helping hand on the food front.

Savoury

Homemade Dips
There is most definitely something to be said for making your own dips. Instead
of heading straight to M&S, wow your friends with your own homemade
hummus, guacamole and baba Ganoush, done simply by throwing a few
ingredients into your food processor. Chop up some fresh, crunchy veggies and
you’re good to go. If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to your standard
Dorito packet, opt for coconut flour tortilla chips, or even vegetable crisps, which
can also be made yourself.

Rice paper rolls

Another fantastic way to incorporate fresh veggies into your picnic basket is by
rolling them into vibrant and chewy rice paper rolls. Easily done by packing in
grated carrots, beets, cucumber and some crunchy peanut butter. Add tofu or
tempeh and some rice noodles, if you so wish. Pack a small pot of soy sauce or
tamari, or a sweet chilli dip to go along side, and you’re good to go.

Mini Sausage Rolls

There are an insane amount of meat replacement options out there, and one of
our favourites has to be the entire range by Linda McCartney. The sausage rolls
make the perfect picnic food, simple heat up from frozen and take with you.
Whilst you’re at it, grab a back of the vegan pulled pork burgers and pick up a
disposal BBQ, the greatest invention for turning that picnic up a notch.

Easy Seasonal Salads

You can make a simple yet hearty salad by roasting up some vegetables and
throwing them together with a whole grain, like quinoa or wild rice, and some
leafy greens. Finish by stirring through some pesto and drop a fistful of roasted
seeds, nuts and fresh herbs on top. These types of salads, in our opinion, taste
better cold than they ever will warm, simply as the flavours have more time to
deepen. If you’re short on time, some wonderfully juice cherry tomatoes go hand
in hand with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some fresh basil leaves.

… And for dessert

For easy, sharable treats, Livia’s Kitchen offers big bags of her popular plant-
based dessert bites, from Biccy Boms to Millionaire Shortbread. Better still, make
your own! Energy balls and raw brownies are the easiest vegan bite-sized snack, and always prove to be a crowd pleaser even among the fussiest of eaters. Blitz
up some dates, nuts and cacao powder for a yummy base, and roll into balls to
serve. They travel fantastically and are so filling that you’ll miss out on all the
rest of your goodies.

Grab a punnet of fresh strawberries, so wonderfully in right now, and a tub of
coconut yoghurt for a free-from, healthy take on the British summertime classic,
strawberries and cream. Better yet? Pack a few squeezable sachets of Pip and
Nut almond butter and drizzle generously on top. We also huge fans of the
humble fruit salad, another fabulous and ever so nourishing picnic option. Chop
up some watermelon slices and squeeze over a lime segment, or even serve with
fresh mint leaves.

We, of course, think that Norty Puds raw dessert pots make a fabulous way to
finish a meal in the sun, and are just so convenient and easy to carry around with
you. The hard work has been done for you, so all you’ll need to pack is a couple of
spoons and you have yourself and delicious, healthy end to your picnic.

New Vegan Brands We Just Can’t Get Enough Of!

We’re like kids at Christmas when we spy a hot new vegan product on the supermarket shelves, and it doesn’t take long before our basket is full of tasty new treats to try. We’ve given you a quick run down of a few of our current favourite brands whose vegan drinks, snacks and meals we just can’t seem to stay away from.

Remedy Kombucha

Hands down, some of the best kombucha we’ve ever tasted and with flavours like raspberry lemonade and apple crisp, what’s not to love?! They’re also I Quit Sugar approved, giving us all the more reason to slurp away.

Boundless Activated Seeds and Nuts

We’re big fans of activating our seeds and nuts to get the most out of them, nutritionally speaking. Boundless have done the hard work for us, meaning they’re yummy seasoned snacks are easily digested and nutrient packed.

The Real Coconut

The brainchild of Danielle Hunter, The Real Coconut tortilla chips are the snack we never knew we even needed. These scrummy coconut flour based tortilla chips are just heavenly, and make the perfect summer snack dipped in fresh guac, hummus or simply scoffed on their own.

MightyBee Bananito Bars

Chances are you’ve already seen MightyBee’s Bananito bars popping up left right and centre. MightyBee take simply yet scrummy dried banana and dip them in dark chocolate. Yes, you read right, dark chocolate. How amazing does that sound?

Humble Warrior Elixirs

Humble Warrior’s Elixir drinks caught our eye due to their super sleek packaging design. Each drink is made up of a combination of good for you ingredients, from adaptogens to ant inflammatory powerhouses such as turmeric and ginger.

The Happy Pear

Okay, so not really a new brand as The Happy Pear are the ultimate plant-based power couple, but their new line of products is officially in super markets. From sweet beet hummus, shepherds pie to chickpea curry, we simply cannot contain our excitement!

Kaakao chocolate

We’re all for a vegan bar of chocolate, and new kids on the block Kaakao have certainly caught our attention. They’re free from gluten, dairy and contain no added sugar, which is exactly what we like to hear! Flavours include vanilla and strawberry as well as delicious and straightforward milk chocolate bar.

London Brunch Eats

London is absolutely heaving with plant-based options, and with more choice
than ever before, you’ll have quite a task on your hands choosing your first stop!
We’ve compiled a list of all out must-visit London brunch spots to get your day
started. Let us know if we’ve missed any, we’d love to know your favourites for
epic vegan eats and dreamy locations to sit and catch up with friends.


LLS Café
LLS Café is Hampstead’s best-kept secret, and a mere five-minute walk from the
tube station. Offering drool-worthy buckwheat pancakes topped with berries
and coconut yogurt, plus creamy avocado smash on sourdough, you’ll be
perfectly fuelled to talk on a long walk across the heath afterwards. The staff are
super friendly and also offer freshly made vegan cakes to take away with you. Yes please!


Osu Coconuts
The thickest, fluffiest pancake stacks you’ve only ever dreamt about, actually
exist and are made by the ever so friendly guys of Osu Coconuts. I cannot rave
about this place more if I tried. With toppings such as their insane chocolate
sauce and peanut butter, to cinnamon spiced apples, these pancakes will start
your day in the most healthy and delicious way.


Farmacy
Feeling fancy? We love Farmacy, located in Notting Hill, for it’s stylish interiors
and innovative menu. Opt for shots of anti-inflammatory elixirs served up in
syringes, keeping inline with the ethos of food being the only medicine you’ll
every need. Our go-to? The chocolate chip warrior waffles.


26 Grains
This little gem can be found in Neal’s Yard, the colourful heart and soul of Covent
Garden’s Seven Dials. It’s hugely popular, and their porridge is the best you’ll find
anywhere in London. Whilst their menu isn’t entirely vegan, they do offer lots of
plant-based options and most dishes can be altered. Our favourites include the
Nordic pear porridge and the yellow dhaal – veganized.


Black Cat Hackney
A well-known vegan favourite, Black Cat, can be found in Hackney, East London,
and serves up all the classic breakfast and brunch options. From fully plant-
based fry-ups to fluffy baked goods, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one
dish!

Deliciously Ella’s Deli

A must visit for any visit to London, Deliciously Ella’s café on Weighouse Street
(a two minute walk from Bond Street tube) is completely plant-based, and offers
quick and easy brunch options. The sweet corn fritters topped with smashed
avocado are a real winner, and the chai and turmeric lattes are the perfect way to
start the day.


Dough Society
Dough Society was once known for the most insane donut flavours, however they now
also serve up amazing brunch options in their East London location. With a huge
variety of choices ranging from plant-based toasties to chocolate smoothie
bowls, Dough Society is a great new spot to head to if you’re in the area. We’ve
also heard their coffee is pretty excellent too!


Mother
Hackney is absolutely packed to the brim with amazing vegan options; you’ll
barely be able to walk five minutes without stumbling across yet another one.
However, Mother should most definitely be at the top of your list. From vibrant
acai bowls topped with fresh fruit and house made granola, to the thickest,
creamiest fruit smoothies, Mother is a must visit.

Palm Vaults
You won’t find a more instagramable vegan brunch spot in the whole on London,
fact. From it’s pastel pink interiors, hanging plants and unicorn coloured lattes,
Palm Vaults is an absolute photographers dream. You’ll love their simple menu
of brunch classics, with a bright and colourful twist.


Redemption
Serving up food to spoil yourself without spoiling yourself (their words!), this
vegan favourite can be found in both Shoreditch and Notting Hill. We love their
nutty chocolate granola, and their pancakes served with berry compote are fluffy
and ever so filling!

Top Vegan Holiday Destinations

Travel. What once may have been a slightly terrifying though for a vegan, has now become a whole world of exciting new opportunities to explore local plant-based cuisine and different seasonal, local fruits and veggies. Here our the locations currently on the top of our bucket list, from the jackfruit filled tacos, eaten on white sandy beaches of Tulum, to indulgent vegan junk food in Portland.

Where should we visit next? We’d love to here where you’re headed on your next holiday places, and if you’re anything like us, we’re sure you’ll have those plant-based eats at the front of your mind! 

Tulum, Mexico 

A quick Happy Cow search of vegan eateries in Tulum, Mexico, will show you just how accessible it is to eat a plant-based diet here. Plus, the fast-becoming tourist hot spot is full of nourishing and healthy cafes serving up fresh, local produce, easily altered to any and all dietary requirements. The Real Coconut found in the Sanara hotel has the ultimate drool worthy menu, full of Mexican classics with a twist, from coconut flour tacos to simple breakfast bowls, piled high with fresh fruit and homemade granola. 

Melbourne & Sydney, Australia.

It sometimes feels like every single image of mouth-watering vegan food I stumble across on Instagram these days can be found in Australia. Sigh. From huge vegan pizzas, tasty Thai to easily shared tapas; Sydney just seems to get it so right. Melbourne is actually considered to be one of the vegan capitals of the world, and we can see why! It’s so easy to find both healthy, and not so healthy, plant-based eats in the city, Smith and Daughters are currently at the top of our list, and farmers market’s selling raw desserts can only ever be a good thing! 


Portland, Oregon

Known to be one of the top players in the most vegan friendly cities of the world, Portland has it’s very own completely vegan supermarket, along with a whole host of fantastic places to grab a bite to eat. The Blossoming Lotus has rave reviews for it’s healthy, plant-based delights whilst Homegrown Smoker is a fully vegan street food truck offering tasty comfort eats. There’s also a vegan clothing store, perfectly named Herbivore Clothing Co. along with vegan tattoo parlours, bed and breakfasts and even a vegan cat café! 


Brighton, England

A short train journey out of London; Brighton is an absolute vegan paradise. Not only is it a fantastic destination for a day trip by the sea, the independent cafes and vegetarian restaurants will have you absolutely spoilt for choice.  Food for Friends is a fantastic spot to spend a long lunch over fancy plates of innovative vegetarian and vegan food, whilst health shop Infinity sells all your favourite vegan brands and eco-friendly products. We also love Happy Maki for epic plant-based sushi burritos, and Brighton’s very own VegFest grows in popularity each year. 


Bali, Indonesia 

It’s not uncommon to travel purely with the sole intention of trying new food; in fact, it’s probably our main motivation for getting on the plane in the first place. Bali is the perfect example of this, and the food in Bali is up there with someone of the best we’ve ever eaten. Seminyak is full of fashionable, instagramable plant-based cafes, whilst Ubud is the yoga loving, raw vegan’s heaven. Our must visits are Peloton in Canngu, Café Organic in Seminyak and Alchemy, In the Raw and Kind in Ubud. We’re also huge fans of Nula Bowls and Mad Pops, which can be found in multiple locations across the island. 

Veganism in the supermarkets

I distinctly remember a time when vegan and free-from options in popular supermarkets were non-existent, to the point where the only distinctly vegan friendly foods were fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Oh, and pasta of course, lots of pasta. Fast-forward a good few years to today’s world. Tesco recently launched a completely plant-based range of ready meals, sandwiches and salad boxes in collaboration with Wicked Kitchen’s Derek Sarno, dairy-free Ben and Jerry’s sit proudly in the frozen aisle and free-from sections are overflowing.

2018 is a great time to be vegan, purely because we are absolutely overwhelmed with choice, from plant-based chocolate truffles to completely plant-based sushi boxes. Sainsburys lead the way last year when they released a whole line of completely dairy-free cheese that consisted of more than an few packets of lack-lustre plastic sheets of rubber. Their range was coconut oil based and there were so many different flavours and types to chose from. The grated cheddar is epic grated over tacos and melted into spicy quesadillas where as the cream cheese is a real winner spread generously on a hot bagel. Sainsburys, Morrisons and Tesco all now offer Violife cheese as well, another amazing addition to the market place.

M&S are also making changes when it comes to offering dairy-free options. Whilst they may seem quite traditional, the company have recently started offering their own range of coconut yogurt, almond milk and soya chocolate milk, which is delicious, may I add. Their food to go section is getting greener by the season too, with vegan stickers being added to sandwiches and options for delicious, veggie packed Buddha bowls now available.

Online shops more your thing? Look no further than Ocado, which is currently overwhelmed with the amount of vegan products available, from decedent junk food (we love Vego’s hazelnut chocolate bar) to healthier snacks such as Deliciously Ella’s balls and bars, and Livia’s Kitchen millionaire bites. There are countless brands of plant-based milks available, coconut based yogurts and of course, delicious vegan ice cream brands. In our opinion, Ocado are absolutely leading the way.

Supermarkets are starting to really pay attention to customer demand, and the demand for vegan friendly ingredients and products is increasing rapidly. Let’s start a conversation! What do you think about what’s on offer in your local supermarket? What do you want to see more of, and is there still room for improvement?