Professional baker-to-be

Professional baker-to-be

Last week I read a post on Facebook from Vicky Leigh asking for volunteers to taste and critique her vegan cake.  Well, it would have been rude not too.  So the following day two generous portions of cake were delivered.

vegan cake

Vicky had already warned me that it was the first time she’d made this banana biscoff cake, based on the ‘Bosh’ boys recipe (with some tweaks) and said the presentation wasn’t right; having run out of icing, it wasn’t looking as good as it could.

Well, I disagree, don’t you?  I think it looks professional and appetising

If you’d like to check out the original Bosh recipe follow a link to their tv channel https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/biscoff-coffee-cake

What did it taste like I hear you ask!

First of all it looked like any other sponge cake.  Now that’s a good thing in my book because some vegan cakes are very solid but Vicky’s cake was light and airy.

vegan cake

 

I bet if you waved that under anybody’s nose they would not assume it was vegan.  The taste was very caramel (thanks to the biscoff biscuits) and the banana didn’t overpower but made it nice and moist.  The butter cream, made with vegan spread was really creamy and not too sweet.

How many of you didn’t know those individually wrapped caramel biscuits you often get at coffee shops with your Americano were ‘accidentally vegan’!

vegan cake

All it all it was a winner and I’d happily pay for a slice with my oaty cappuccino, if it were served in a local coffee shop.

Which might be a possibility because if Vicky’s cakes prove tasty and popular it may become her new line of business.

Being creative is a constant learning exercise and after watching a few more ‘how to’ videos Vicky seems to have mastered the art of presentation.  This is another of her creations this time a simple (anything but!) chocolate cake

vegan cake

Isabel (another taster) had this to say “I tried the chocolate one and it was absolutely delicious, one of the best vegan chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Heaven.”

So here’s to many more vegan cake tasting experiences.   It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it!

Vicky, the soon to be professional baker has done it again.  This time it’s a simple Victoria sponge, that’s been pimped up with some gorgeous pink frosting

vegan cake 3

 

The inside was as good as the outside

But how did it taste….. wow amazing.  If I served this with a pop of tea no one would think it was vegan.  The cake was moist and light with the right amount of sweet jam and ‘butter’ cream.  The frosting was very light and almost mousse like in its consistency.

vegan cake 4

I asked Vicky about the sugar she had used to make her frosting, and she admitted her usual make of sugar wasn’t available and the alternative just didn’t come top to scratch as it left a felt slightly graining feel.

It just proves every day is a ‘school day’ and there is always something new to lean and an experiment to me conducted.  But if the results are as good as this….Wow!

vegan cake

 

Another slice of Vicky’s vegan cakes made its way to me this week.  It was a variation on the biscoff cake.  It was very moreish, moist and very tasty.  Im not a massive cake eater so I found it a bit too sweet and the icing was a bit grainy.  Vicky explained that crushed biscoff biscuits were used in the icing hence the texture.

vegan cake

But a breakthrough came when we discussed how Vicky could have the caramel intensity without the grainy texture.  This is all part of perfecting the best cake ever, and sadly it may mean more taste testing for me.  Oh well somebodies got to do it!

vegan cake

Veganuary

Veganuary –  have you gone meat free this month?

Veganuary is an international campaign aimed at encouraging people to be vegan for the whole of January. https://veganuary.com.  Last year the campaign grew by 183%, with 168,542 people signing up to go vegan.  So far this year over 250,000 people from 193 countries have taken the month-long pledge to try veganism

veganuary

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment, the health advantages of a plant-based diet or curiosity are just some of the reasons for people taking up the veganuary pledge, with many high profile vegan celebrities on board

 

veganuary

vegan miley

 

If being vegan for a whole 31 days seems too much of a challenge then why not try taking part in the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign, originally started by the late Linda McCartney.  If you need recipe ideas then have a look at the ones I have created for you. http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/recipes/

Who can resist the ultimate comfort food – LM vegan sausage and onion sandwiches!

LM vegan sausage sandwich

If you’re not a diva in the kitchen then the supermarkets are on hand.  Many have seriously upped their vegan game.

Marks and Spencer.

Marks and Spencer’s new vegan range. Photo by Sally

aldi

Aldi’s vegan aisle Photo by Sophie

 

Eating vegan food is now easier than ever, thanks to raised awareness, an increase in veganism and the availably of foods on the High Street, in restaurants and cafes.  For instance last year Pizza Hut announced that all of their restaurants will now stock vegan cheese, after it was successfully trailed; Zizzi and Pizza Express have been serving great vegan options for a while now, with more in the pipeline I’m sure

Zizzi's

Zizzi’s

Waggamamas has an ever expanding vegan and vegetarian range

Kare Burosu ramen

Kare Burosu ramen

Many coffee shops now serve vegan sweet treats, sandwich shops like Pret have even created a number of vegan only outlets and Greggs has just launched a vegan sausage roll, that is flying off the shelves

And small independents are also keen to attract new vegan customers; Chocks away https://www.facebook.com/Chocks-Away-Nottingham-City-Airport-379455688792762/  a cafe linked to Nottingham City airport has increased its range of vegan options

chocks away

chocks away

 

And No 12 Hounds Gate https://www.no12houndsgate.co.uk , Nottingham is a new vegan and vegetarian only cafe

pastrami

No 12 Hounds Gate

carrot salad

No 12 Hounds Gate

And pubs like the Angel microbrewery in Nottingham City centre http://www.angelmicrobrewery.com and the Horse and Plough http://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/April-menu-Vegan-1.pdf at Bingham are really flying the vegan flag

Angel micro brewery

Angel micro brewery

Starbug burger, Horse and Plough

Starbug burger, Horse and Plough

If you are currently taking part in veganuary or going meat free every Monday and want to continue then consider coming to see me, either for a one to one nutrition consultation or one of my vegan cooking classes.

vegan cooking class

 

 

The rise of veganism

The rise of veganism

Recently two journalist students came to interview me about veganism and why its on the rise. I was asked for my views because I am a nutrition coach who advises clients about healthy eating and I am also a vegan.  The journalists were keen to understand about the potential nutritional issues affecting a vegan and If I persuade all my clients to adopt a vegan lifestyle  #SpoilerAlert: I don’t

Here’s a few video clips of how it went

The first is about my role as a nutrition coach and why veganism is now a popular lifestyle choice.  I mention my cooking classes, that vegans and non vegans attend so they can make delicious tasty vegan meals that are nutritionally balanced and easy to make

 

And a short video montage of my cooking lessons

 

How I promote a healthy balanced diet.  I talk about a ‘rainbow of colour, variety, unprocessed foods and moderation

 

And finally,  the foods that should form part of everyones diet but especially if you’re  vegan or moving towards a more plant based diet

If you would like some nutritional advice, regardless of your lifestyle choices then why not come and talk to me.  I could get you back on track

Do you want to lose weight

If you are not local or you time is too precious then maybe a phone or Skype consultation could be for you

skype

 

A few weeks ago I appeared on Gem 106 radio to talk about veganism and why its gained so much in popularity, feel free to listen to the interview below

And I was asked to sit on the red sofa of East Midlands today to discuss the increase in the number of fast food outlets and an increase in obesity levels.

east midlands today

on the big red sofa with Maurice Flynn and Sarah Teale

 

How to maintain a vegan diet

How to maintain a vegan diet

If you’re new to the plant-based lifestyle or are worried about making the transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet, Nutritionist Resource, the online resource for all things connected to health and well-being, have got some handy tips about How to maintain a vegan diet

nutritionist resourceThe full article can be viewed here https://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/blog/?p=7770

And I have provided the ‘handy tips’, which include how to veganise your favourite meals, planning ahead, don’t be hard on yourself, and how seeking professional support could ensure you maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle

vegan breakfast

vegan cooked breakfast in a cafe

 

If this sound like you and you are moving towards a more plant based diet then I can help with that transition

  • one, because I am a qualified nutrition coach
  • two, I am a vegan myself, and
  • three, I’m a trained chef and deliver vegan cooking classes

what I do 5

 

Cheers to vegan beer

Cheers to vegan beer!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

With the rise in popularity of cask ales and craft beers, I’ve noticed over the last year or so a number of establishments have started serving unfined vegan beer and lager. Breweries that saw the potential for this un-tapped (sorry!) market include Magpie, Angel Microbrewery, Brewdog and Castle Rock. Many of them also serve tasty vegan food too

crafty crow outside

angel

Angel

 

Magpie, a Nottingham based brewery is sold in two local pubs; Crafty Crow opposite Nottingham castle and Doctor’s orders on Mansfield Road, Carrington. I visited the crafty crow on two occasions, the first time they didn’t have any vegan beers on tap. The second time was more successful and I had the choice of one draft beer and a couple of craft beers and a few lager’s.

crafty crow label

I opted for the draft cherry raven, a rather tasty dark cherry stout. It looked so appetising and didn’t disappoint; not too sweet or fruity. The pub also has a food menu, but with only one choice of starter and main, I’d probably go elsewhere to eat.

crafty crowe

One of my volunteers (Paul Clarke) visited their other hostelry; Doctor’s orders, an incredibly small intimate place but they were able to offer a Magpie ale. Unfortunately the pumps were not clearly labelled and the staff didn’t know that another beer from the Framework brewery was also vegan. Being so small they don’t serve any vegan food options other than snacks.

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You can also read my review in today’s Nottingham Post and online

Nottingham Post

In the name of research I continued to drink my way around Nottingham and happened upon the Barley Twist on Canal Street, a Castle Rock establishment. The staff were very well informed and the beers clearly labelled

barley twist board

I opted for a light beer called ‘fallen odyssey’ and my drinking companion ordered another vegan beer the session IPA.

barley twist beer

Both were delicious and easy to drink. Another good Castle Rock pub that deserves a special mention is the Horse and Plough at Bingham, they always have at least one vegan beer on draft and unlike most of the other pubs serves great vegan food, it even has a separate vegan menu and again the staff are knowledgeable and helpful

 

Good food brings me on to The Angel on Stoney Street in Hockley. Not only are all its beers vegan and brewed on the premises, but their vegan food is also well worth a visit. I’ve tried their amazing jackfruit pulled burger and ‘steak’ and squash pie, with the best chips ever. Their beers are pretty good too ranging from a light easy to drink session beer to dark stouts and everything inbetween.

 

The last place on my mini vegan beer tour was Brewdog on Broad Street. It specialises in craft beers that tend to be a bit stronger, but their Punk IPA (on draft) at 5.6% ABV wasn’t too bad as long as I stuck to just a half. They also do a fair amount of vegan food to soak up the alcohol

 

I’ll just squeeze in three more Castle Rock pubs (visited by another volunteer, Kate) that deserve a mention; the Yarn bar, in the Theatre Royal, the Fox and Grapes in Sneinton market and the Beer Headz, in the old ticket office at the station. Staff at both pubs were very well informed and enthusiastic about their beers, but unfortunately the beers were not labelled as vegan

 

Fox and Grapes

Fox and Grapes

Beer Headz

Beer Headz

I am really excited by the prospect of more pubs embracing vegan beers, my waistline on the other hand might not be as excited!

Is it healthy for children to be vegan?

Is it healthy for children to be vegan?

Veganuary has come to an end, but for many who took the pledge to be vegan for January they have decided to carry on and remain vegan.  And often that decision is applied to the whole family, including the children

Vegan children 

This week the BBC programme ‘Food – truth or scare’  looked at the stories behind the confusing headlines about veganism and children

vegan children

 

 

and focused on the ‘Driver’ family with two young children.

 

 

I want to separate fact from fiction and help you to make an informed choice about your families health

 

Some issues to consider

Variety – the TV family had a good diet but tended to rely on the same foods for their protein, fibre etc.

So aim for as much variety as possible, using a mix of ready prepared dishes like burgers and sausages and homemade meals like soup, lasagne and other pasta dishes.  And of course serve plenty of vitamin packed vegetables and salads

vegan protein

If you need some inspiration have a look at my recipe page  http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/recipes/

Calories

Children aged between 2 and 13 years need between 1000 and 2000 calories a day, depending on their age, gender and activity levels.  Therefore its important to get as much energy in every meal as possible.  Fat is the most calorific at 9 calories a gram with protein and carbs coming in joint second with 4 calories per gram

This is a concern for the ‘Driver’ family showcased on ‘Food – truth or scare’

Its therefore important to make sure children generally do not have reduced fat products i.e. yoghurt, milk, cheese etc.  There are vegan and plant based versions of all these products that often have the addition of extra vitamins and minerals

top-affiliate-marketing-tip-for-beginners

When making vegan mashed potato or mac and cheese for instance, add plenty of ‘marg’, milk, nutritional yeast and cheese.  Not only will this increase the calorie content, without increasing the portion size but it will add calcium, vitamin D and some B vitamins

 

 

These headlines make for scary reading, but malnourishment can occur with any diet.  It is therefore essential that your child eats ‘a rainbow of colour’.  By that I mean lots of different fruits and vegetables in order to obtain the maximum type of vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Vitamin C

top-affiliate-marketing-tip-for-beginners

A hand blender can come in very handy.  It allows you to hide lots of vegetables in a pasta sauce for instance.

A blender can also be used to make delicious fruit rich smoothies

 

Make your children’s food exciting 

packed lunch

This is a photo from a vegan parent, who makes packed lunches for her vegan children.  It has fibre filling wholemeal bread filled with vegan cheese and pickle.  Crackers and hummus  – great source of protein and calcium.  And plenty of colourful fresh fruit

 

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This is another lunchbox made by a vegan mum for her vegan 5 yr old’s lunch today; homemade pancakes with low sugar fruit spread, Violife original plus fruit and veggies

How tasty do they look!

 

top-affiliate-marketing-tip-for-beginners

 

When making smoothies add peanut butter or avocado to increase the fat and protein content

 

 

Planning ahead

Try and draw up a weekly meal plan, like this one from the Veganuary campaign.  This will help with shopping and cooking.  It will also make sure there is plenty of variety

 https://veganuary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Family-Friendly-Meal-Plan-1.pdf

top-affiliate-marketing-tip-for-beginners

 

Tinned beans (chickpeas, cannellini, butter beans etc) can be blended in to a pasta sauce to increase the protein and calorie content.  Hummus (chickpeas) is also great on sandwiches, jacket potatoes and crackers

 

 

In this short video I explain some of the nutrients that need to be included into your families daily diet

Foods rich in these nutrients include Brazil nuts (and nuts in general), seaweed, kale, avocado, flaxseeds (linseeds), sesame seeds, tofu, Marmite and certain fortified products like cereals, bread, plant based milks, pasta sauces and orange juice

Good News!

The good news is vegan diets are generally higher in fruits and vegetables and wholegrains. This has the potential to reduce the families risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer

top-affiliate-marketing-tip-for-beginners

Smoothies are another great way to get children to eat a range of foods.  They can also help you to make them.

 

This short video shows another vegan mother sharing her favourite smoothie recipe.  But the combinations are endless.

 

Nottm Post Winter

 

I am a vegan nutrition coach and chef, so If you need additional help and support to keep your vegan family healthy, then consider a nutrition session or vegan cooking class with me

 

07946 301338  Susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk