Sweet Like Vegan Chocolate

Before turning vegan, I have to say, I was never really a chocoholic, I was always more in to pic n mix style sweets but there’s definitely something in where when you can’t have something, you want it more!

Well, do not fear, vegan chocolate is on the up and here are, in no particular order a few of my favourite brands.

vego

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For me, maybe best of the bunch, A German brand available in most health food stores, it’s one I’d definitely like to see available in the more mainstream supermarkets.

Full of hazlenuts and rich in flavour, Vego is not only vegan but also organic, gluten free and palm oil free!

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Vego also do a crunchy alternative to the non vegan and full of palm oil nutella – the only problem is trying to resist attacking the pot with a spoon!

Having said that, if you were to eat your way through 6 pots, you’d have 6 nice new drinking glasses . . .

moo free

Another of my favourites, British brand, Moo Free have a great range and are also vegan, organic, gluten free, palm oil free and also soya free.

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Moo Free are also really good when it comes to Easter with Easter eggs and themed bars and Christmas with specialty selection boxes and advent calendars all of which can be found not only in health food stores but in most supermarkets now too.

i-Choc

Exciting flavours, organically farmed cocoa and sustainable packaging put these in my top 5.

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I’m particularly fond of the white nougat crisp form this German brand!

So free

Chocolate produced by one of the oldest, established vegan brands, of course so free have gotten it so right!

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Again vegan, organic, gluten free and this time nut free as well as ethically sourced and British.

Sweet freedom

OK, so not technically chocolate as in, in bar form but I could leave this British brand off my list.

From fruit syrups to choc shots and choc pots as well as shake makers, I can’t get enough of Sweet Freedom.

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100% natural fruit syrups, low in calories, I have no idea how hey are made to taste so good, they just are!

If you’ve ever heard of ‘death by chocolate’ – this choc pot is literally to die for, it’s heaven in a tub!

And now for a limited time, there a mint choc shot available at Aldi, I was of course one of the first to rush out and make a purchase, I even got stuck in traffic because I forgot to look out of my window before I went out but was it worth it? Hell yes!!!

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Say Cheese

When I first made the vegan transition, the thing I thought I’d struggle the most with was cheese.

These days though, there are so many vegan cheese brands on the market, you’re really spoiled for choice.

Of course some are better than others and they’re not always cheap but then saying that, neither is normal cheese.

With cheeses made from coconut milk, cashew, macadamia and all other kinds of dairy free alternatives, there’s so much variety out there, from supermarket own brands to more artisan brands, going vegan doesn’t mean you have to go without!

In no particular order, theses are my top 5 vegan cheese brands.

Violife

A little plasticy in texture although I’m a fan of that, if you liked the texture of cheese strings then you’ll love this. The only problem for me is I can quite easily made my way through the block just by cutting slices off and nibbling . .  .

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Also with a Greek style cheese, perfect for crumbling over salads, a grateable Italian style hard cheese and mozzarella as just some of their range, Violife is one of my favourite brands.

 

Tyne Chease

A little more expensive, this artisan brand have 100% gotten it right!

Lots of variety and creamy textures, Tyne Chease is perfect for an after dinner party cheese board.

 

Personally, I love the pink peppercorn and mustard cheeses but you can get everything from Ethiopian spiced for an exotic flavour to macadamia truffle and sundried tomato cheeses.

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Bute Island

Long established brand Bute Island not only produce their famed range Sheese but have also teamed up with some of the UK’s leading supermarkets to make their own brands too.

 

The slightly crumbly texture of real cheese is there although the flavours tend not to be as strong. I find these work better when melted or in a sauce rather than on their own.

 

 

Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda’s ranges in conjunction with Bute Island all differ slightly in flavour with jalapeno chilli, smoked, blue and Wensleydale style cheeses as some of their offerings.

You can certainly make up a cheese board with them.

My absolute favourite of the supermarket own dairy free cheeses though is by far Tesco’s soft cheese with peppercorns. Pass me the table water biscuits right now!

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VBites 

Founded by Heather Mills, I’m a big fan of a slice of the pepperjack thrown in a bun with a meat free burger and the mozzarella is lovely sliced in a salad. 

 

The edam doesn’t quite have the texture of the real Dutch cheese but is flavoursome and at least you don’t have to peel off the wax!

Follow Your Heart

Maybe a little harder to find in a normal supermarket, this brand is up and coming and if like me, you love already sliced cheeses for sandwiches or to go in a bun with meat free burgers then there are lots of flavours to chose from and this brand get it right.

 

 

Win Tickets – Vegan Life Live 2019

Back with a Bang! – Vegan Life Live 2019

It’s just over a month until Vegan Life Live makes it’s way back to Alexandra Palace, one of the biggest and in my opinion the best Vegan lifestyle shows on the calendar.

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2018 will go down in history as the year of the vegan. With numbers sky rocketing to an estimated all new high of 3.5 million vegans in the UK alone, this figure is only set to rise in 2019.

The future is bright, the future is vegan and Vegan Life Live is at the heart of the vegan revolution and courtesy of Vegan Life Live, I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to my readers!

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All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a pair is follow and DM me on and of my social media pages, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – @veganvamplife by 22nd of February and I’ll pick 5 winners out of a hat!

You will be informed if you win by 24th February.

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Veganism is not just about the food we eat but the choices we make every day. It is a lifestyle encompassing everything from the clothes we wear and the cosmetics we use  to the products we use to clean our houses, and excluding anything that has been involved in the exploitation and unnecessary suffering of animals. This is a celebration of the vegan journey, whether you are a long time vegan or just starting out on your vegan journey, there’s something for everyone!

This year there will be over 200 exhibitors, providing everything from vegan cheese, burgers and brownies, to handbags, supplements and spices. There will be cooking demonstrations from leading vegan chefs and bloggers, inspiring visitors to take new ideas home to their own kitchens.

This will be the 3rd year running visiting the show myself and every year I’m been excited by all the new foods to try, I even had a unicorn burger back in 2017 – obviously no unicorns were harmed in the making of that one.

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New this year too is the EcoLiving zone. As a society, we are gradually waking up to the damage that the human race has wreaked on the planet and are keen to make changes. The EcoLiving zone brings over 40 exhibitors focusing on how to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

There is also a full schedule of lectures and seminars, allowing visitors to hear from experts about the ethical, environmental and compassionate effects of living a vegan lifestyle.

It’s impossible not to go home laden with shopping, best to empty your cupboards before you go!

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Vegan Life Live will return to the beautiful venue of Alexandra Palace in the north of London on March 9th & 10th 2019.

Vegan Life Live
9th & 10th March

Alexandra Palace, London, N22 7AY

Opening Times
Saturday 10am – 6pm | Sunday 10am – 5pm

Admission Costs
Online: Adults £12 | Concessions £10
On the door: Adults £15 | Concessions £12
Two day tickets are also available

Free show guide
Register for your free show guide at http://www.veganlifelive.com

Portobello Live Sustainability On Screen Film Festival – May 6th 2019

 

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Back in May this year, Portobello Live hosted its very first Sustainability On Screen Film Festival and I was invited along as a co host by the man behind it Richard Hobday @theveganactor (who is also coincidentally one of my costars in  a film called Clownface that should be out next year) along side Clare Every @thelittlelondonvegan and JP  McCormack @portobellovegan

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Portobello Live  is a community Music and Arts Festival celebrating the talent, heritage and diversity of Portobello Road in west London, supported by Mick Jones (The Clash), and Don Letts (Big Audio Dynamite). 

The new SOS Film Festival was a trailblazing event dedicated to celebrating a sustainable and vegan ideal: a healthier, compassionate, environmentally friendly lifestyle.

The festival screened some thought provoking and hard hitting screenings of short and feature films, showing the impacts of how our diet, consumption and how we live is affecting the world and local communities we live in.

Some of the films screened were award winning from award winning directors and documentary makers. Topics included vegan and plant based diet, climate change, waste, pollution and environmental sustainability.

The aim was to explore how our every days lives affect climate change, pollution and the health of communities and educate on how to reduce this.

Films shown
World Premiere of Vegan Planet – James Hoot, Filmmaker

Down To Earth – Rolf Winters
73 Cows – Alex Lockwood
The Hudson – Lizze Outside, Adventurer & Environmentalist 
The End of Meat  – Marc Pierschel Filmmaker
Urban Mermaid – Lyndsey Cole, Adventurer Environmentalist

 

Panel Members
Derek Sarno, Vegan Chef and mastermind behind Tesco vegan range Wicked Kitchen

Romy London, Vegan Food blogger and influencer
Cath Kendall, Vegan activist 
Dr Gemma Newman, GP and plant based health specialist 

Do check out the films if you can. All made by people who really want to make a difference.

I have to say the most warming for me was the Bafta winning 73 Cows, it really shows how people can make changes, that they’re possible if not always easy, a very inspiring story.

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Sponsors

Vegan Life Magazine www.veganlifemag.com

Boundless activated seeds and nuts www.weareboundless.co.uk

Gift bags on the day were sponsored by Plastic Freedom www.plasticfreedom.co.uk and contained vegan and sustainable goods.

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