Category Archives: Lifestyle

All the Taste, without the Baby Cow Waste!! Dairy Free Milk

 

A line of very frequent questions usually surround Dairy free milk. Which one is best in teas or coffees? What tastes most like dairy? Whats best nutritionally? How do you live without a cup of tea?

Did you know that FOUR out of TEN British households now use an alternative to traditional milk? FOUR OUT OF TEN! Get involved πŸ˜‰

So many people seem to be intolerant to dairy or allergic to things in dairy. It’s actually one of the most common childhood food allergies, causing digestive issues and/or skin problems. I just don’t think its good for us.

 

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There’s a few factors to consider, are you doing it for taste, nutrients or consistency? Below are a selection I use with a bit of a run down on each one.

OAT MILK

I don’t have favourites but if i did…. I’m lying, this is my second favourite… this right here… Second favourite, I have favourites.

Cobie gives this one 9.5/10

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This is OAT MILK, it’s really creamy. I think it tastes far better than pregnant cow udder milk and is much healthier! (Don’t listen to the ‘you all need Dairy’ bollocks!) My fave brand is Oatly (the one above), cause they have fun cartons…. That’s right. I’m that shallow. They are also a good company. They do a chocolate version too which is SO NICE. It’s pretty easy to get hold of. I’ve seen Tesco do their own brand too! They seem to be doing a lot of own brand dairy free products! Woohoo!

MAKE YOUR OWN –

Rinse and drain 1 cup of oats.

Place in a bowl and cover with water.

Soak for around 20 mins.

Drain oats again.

Pop in a blender with 3 cups of fresh water (add more if you want a thinner milk) build the speed up gradually and blend on top speed for about 10 seconds.

Pour over a mesh sieve or cheese cloth.

Set aside the ‘oat pulp’ rinse out blender and pour the liquid back through the sieve into the blender again.

Blend again!

Repeat until it’s at the consistency you want!

 

SOY MILK

The most common (when in coffee shops)

Cobie gives this a 7/10

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Soy milk so far is the cheapest and again, I think it tastes just fine! I can currently get organic soy milk for a quid! That’s nowt. It’s very smooth and one of the easiest to get a hold of if you’re grabbing a coffee out and about. Most cafes will now serve this so always ask for whatever drink you want with dairy free milk. Show them that times are changing and create a demand! :)

Nutritionally it’s protein rich, with 7g per cup. There’s various studies into soy milk. Some say it’s not great in huge amounts, some say it’s fine. I know I’d rather drink soy than cows milk but it’s up to you, if you aren’t sure, there’s plenty of other alternatives to try! If you do choose soy milk… try to get the organic one.
It’s also worth noting that the agricultural companies play a HUGE part in some of the negative studies around vegan foods… More on that in another post πŸ˜‰

MAKE YOUR OWN –

1 cup of edamame (strain over night) to 3 cups of boiling water and cook for 3 mins.

Pour both into a blender and add 2 more cups of water with a teaspoon of ginger.

Blend strain and store in the fridge.

 

COCONUT MILK

Coco-teat

Cobie gives this 8/10

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Coconut milk is lovely. It’s not as creamy as oat… So if you don’t like it creamy… Coconut yourself up. It has a great taste of coconut (not really surprising). It’s not high in protein but is fortified with calcium so it’s a good source for topping that up! Really good for warm milk drinks as the coconut flavour really adds to the taste. Yum!

MAKE YOUR OWN –

Blend 1 cup of dried coconut flakes with 2 cups of boiling water

Strain with a mesh sieve or cheese cloth then guzzle it down son.

 

RICE MILK

A milk… made of rice! Who’da thunk it. THIS TASTES AMAZING!!!

Cobie gives this an 10/10

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Rice milk, my favourite! More creamier than coconut, as it has a thicker consistency, it’s quite high in carbs and sugar…. so of course tastes the best haha! It’s also great for a hot chocolate :) This one isn’t great in the way of protein. But, if you’re getting that elsewhere and this is just for your tea or coffee or as a treat… then give it a try! This is the best tasting out of them all in my, ‘always right’ opinion πŸ˜‰

MAKE YOUR OWN –

Boil 1 cup of brown rice with 3 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey.
Once you’ve cooked the rice, blend it with 4 more cups of water.

Strain with a mesh sieve or cheese cloth and it’ll last for a week. (Most of these milks Β will)

 

ALMOND MILK

One of the most popular of the dairy free milks

Cobie gives this an 8/10

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Almond milk, unsweetened almond milk is pretty low in calories and is smooth and mild in taste. Again, It’s not a great source of protein if you are drinking it for that reason. But it does contain less calories, no saturated fat or cholesterol, about 25% of your vitamin D and nearly half of your Vitamin E

MAKE YOUR OWN – soak 1 cup of almonds in water overnight. Rinse and blend with 4 cups of water (can also use coconut water if you want). Strain in a mesh sleeve or cheese cloth and wallah!

All these milks are a available very easily in your local supermarkets. It’s not hard to get them! Its the same as picking up a pregnant cows udder milk, and a lot better for the cows and the earth πŸ˜‰

TIP – If you find your milk curdles in your coffee, just wait till the coffee cools a bit or don’t have it so hot. Asbestos mouth πŸ˜‰

I use the above milks (mainly oat) for everything… Cereals, hot chocolates, a drop in mashed potato, anything that requires it! I don’t and never have missed Dairy Milk!

For tea and Coffee I would choose the Rice milk, but any of the above taste absolutely fine and do the trick.

Shortly before deciding to cut dairy out… I had a cows milk hot chocolate in one of my fave cafes in town. I used to LOVE their hot chocolates… I hadn’t had dairy for a while but got one (and felt bad ha). After drinking it, I could feel what can only be described as a ‘claggyness’ in my throat (easy). I felt tired and sluggish and it was just to thick for me. This did genuinely surprise me as I didn’t believe that I’d go off it so quickly. If I get given a tea and it has cows milk in it… I can taste the claggyness straight away. It doesn’t take long for your taste buds to change!

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Give it a whirl! The baby cows and their mummy cows will thank you!!!

Love xxx

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All the Treats, without the Teats! Dairy free Cheese

Cheeeeeeeese!!!

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But cheese! I just love cheese‘ I hear the cries, I get told it all the time! I do!! And I love cheese too!!!

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Luckily the ‘dairy free cheese’ market is growing, (and growing really quickly recently)! So I’ll share a few I’ve tried and assure you… I still love cheese just as much as you do!

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But let me be clear, if there were no fake cheeses, I would NOT go back to buying cheese. Spending our money on products is a way of saying ‘yes, I like this, keep making more, there is a need for this’. It’s a way to voice our opinion. By giving any money to that industry, I’d be condoning it, telling them to keep up the ‘good work’ and demanding a need for it.

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VIOLIFE

The winner so far (there’s still loads I’ve got to try… what a bummer ;)) has to be violife. There’s different flavours of it including, smoked, cheddar, pizza, and pizza flavour. The pizza and the cheddar one melts really well!! Just like a dairy cheddar would. It’s stringy, gooey, looks like cheese and theres no udder puss in it! :)

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The smoked one tastes just like a smoked dairy cheese. They have quite a mild taste and are yet to do a mature tasting cheese… Fingers are tightly crossed for that.

These cheeses are also great for sandwiches. Stick a bit of Vegan mayo in there, whack in a bit of salad and you won’t notice the difference! They also do Cheese slices, great for burgers (if you want to take your own cheese to a bbq!) and great to stuff in your face just cause you can. All the treats with no need for Teats…. soz.

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CHEEZLY

For a stronger tasting melty cheese I’ve been using a cheezly one…

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Tesco now do an own brand one which has the same constancy as Cheezly… It’s not great if not melted…. But melted is lush! It’s in the free from section. This one has the mature taste that I like so if you are after cheese on toast… so far, this is the best one I’ve found! It’s good for pizzas too.

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SHEESE

There are a few other brands I’ve tried but non that I’ve found beat the above for what I need. I think one was called Sheese(just googled it, it was!), it was good! On par with Cheezly so if you see that anywhere, give it a go. Violife is definitely my fave though.

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CREAM CHEESE

Got this one sorted too! Back to good old Violife again… they have a cream cheese spread… it’s healthier… it does the same job… and is blooming lovely with a chilli jam!

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Again, as with the dairy free milk, you can make your own! Which I will be giving a go and updating you on.

Over Christmas, Holland and Barrett had a big fancy Cruelty Free Cheese selection in. I didn’t get it because I had a 48 piece party selection to work my way through. But that really pleased me :) It had all the cheeses you’d expect! Camembert, Brie, Cranberry, Mild, Strong etc. I’m sure they have it in all the time but if not you can get them to order it in for you!

So thats my post on dairy free cheese for the time being!

PLEASE give it a try… food cravings only last three minutes!

Did you know cheese has the same addictive levels as crack cocaine? (I reckon that’s vegan so do what you want when it comes to that πŸ˜‰ ) It triggers the same part of the brain that drugs do.

So if you can get over the ‘want’ for dairy cheese, it’s pretty impressive! It’s something to be proud of and is only a positive!

It’s really a great feeling knowing you are living a life without contributing to the misery of another soul. To not pay in to an industry where the products are readily available and knowingly addictive… is a great achievement. (insert smug emoji face here?? πŸ˜‰ )

Enjoy! xxx

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Dairy free Butter! Cause your Body’s not a gutter (Nothing else rhymed, leave me alone)

Think you’ll miss butter? So did I…. And I did, BUT, so far I’m surviving πŸ˜‰

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Theres plenty of options availableΒ that are easy to get and really cheap…

Vitalite sunflower spread

Pure Sunflower

Pure Soya

Earth Balance vegan butter

Biona extra virgin olive oil spread

Biona organic cocomega spread

Biona Vegetable margarine

Koko pressed coconut oil spread

Suma dairy free sunflower spread

Suma soya spread

Above is really just a handful of dairy free butters… there are so many available!

I try to choose the healthiest products so would give the main margarines a miss given that you’d pretty much be eating plastic (margarine is one ingredient away from actually being plastic). But, plenty are organic and better for you!

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A little tip of mine if you like salted butter!

Buy a fairly decent one and then mix a bit of Himalayan salt into it! You get the salty butter taste without the baby cow waste πŸ˜‰ see what I did there. Just add as much salt as you would like… with this a little goes a long way!
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The next level butter up from this? Make your own! That’s right. I’m going to make my own!Β  I’ve looked around at a few recipes I’ve found online… And I’ll share one of the ones I think is the easiest with you… With maybe a few changes to it…

I think making your own, if you can be bothered and have the time is of course the best way. As I say, up until now I’ve not done this! But I will give it a whirl! (pun intended).
Firstly, you know exactly what’s in it! Have you looked at some ingredients labels? I reckon I can understand Donald trumps presidency campaign better than I can understand some ingredient labels! (Ok maybe not)
Secondly, you’re in control of how healthy you are.
Thirdly, you get to feel a bit fancy. ‘Yeeeaaah I’m just here…. Making ma owwwn butter….’

So, I’ll have a play around with a few recipes and share the finished result.

You don’t HAVE to use butter…. here are some alternatives to using spread

 

Enjoy xxx

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No snot? I’ll thank the Pot (and my Cruelty Free Diet)

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Right, bare with me on this one. I’ve not totally lost the plot! I have however, found a little something called the Neti pot!

Now since I went vegan I have not had a cold at all. I used to get them all the time. All the time. I have asthma too (pretty sure this is mainly brought on by being allergic to my bunnies… but oh well). So when I got them they were pretty vicious! Always turned into a chest infection, took weeks to leave my body, felt really shitty. Made my mother worry. But now I can honestly say I just don’t get them! It has to be mainly down to my diet change, and this little contraption. To go from having so many throughout the year to totally zero, speaks volumes.

As always there are conflicting articles on whether dairy is good or bad for colds. I know what I believe, I know what I have experienced and I know how I feel. I am pretty certain my lack of cold/flu is down to my diet. I am never off sick. I never feel unwell, unless I’ve drank too much.

This, goes against all those old myths that a vegan lifestyle is an unhealthy lifestyle. I don’t think I have to do a post on that? I’m guessing most reading this now know that it being an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle is pretty much bollocks? But if you do have any questions or still believe that, let me know! I’m happy to dispel those tinkerish myths :)

**UPDATE, I have had to dispel those Tinkerish Myths**

So, on to the Neti pot… It’s a small pot that looks a bit like a genie lamp crossed with a tea pot. My flat mate first introduced me to it and I, as I do so well, took the complete piss out of her. ‘What the shit is that?!’, ‘You aren’t actually going to use that are you?!’, ‘You think that’ll actually work?!’, ‘What’s it meant to do?!’, ‘You’ve actually lost it mate!’. I said like a judgemental dickhead.

Fast forward Two weeks and there I was, leaning over the sink with salty water pouring out of my nostrils. FIT!

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Its great! You feel refreshed and can breathe SO MUCH clearer afterwards! It also clears a lot of germs/mucus that sit in your sinuses or around that area and probably develop into more. Yes our bodies are built to detox themselves etc but we now live in an incredibly polluted world. I live in the city. Fumes and pollution are pretty high here so a helping hand isn’t a bad thing.

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Dead simple to use…

Buy a Neti pot for around a tenner

It comes with a long spoon thing

Boil the kettle

Pour half of the boiled water in to the netti pot and the other half into a jug

With the scoop, scoop one scoop (I said scoop lots there) of salt (I use pink himalayan salt) in to the neti pot and another scoop into the jug.

Scoop doggy dog

Scoopity Scoop

(Neither of those have anything to do with these instructions)

((I hope you gathered that))

Wait till they cool down (bout an hour or two)

Lean over the sink and pour it through one nostril till it flows freely out the other

I’m certain I’ve not lost the plot but if I have its ok, I’m happy and my nose feels FRESH!

Then tip your head upside down so any excess water comes out. Do a little head shake too.

Do the same with the other nostril

Breathe like you’ve never breathed before!

I do this a two or three times week. I can definitely notice the difference. If I haven’t done it for a while… I feel blocked up.

Do make sure you BOIL the water!!!

Enjoy! xxx

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Spread a bit of flavour, you lovely animal saver… (It’s bad isn’t it)

If you are looking for Cruelty Free Foods to spread on toast, bagels, wraps, crackers, rice crackers, peoples bodies etc or want alternatives to butter… give these a try…

 

AVOCADO

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I bloody love Avocado!!!

Its creamy and smooth like butter, great on toast/bagels/wraps, has AMAZING nutritional value and is a great replacement for many dairy products! Did you know you can make a dairy free chocolate moose using avocado? I’ll talk about that later… this is about spreads. Back to spreads.

So a great breakfast/snack/meal (is there really a need to label these? lets not pretend we all don’t eat pizza for breakfast every now and then) is Avocado spread on toast with some cherry tomatoes. I often have it with a bit of Violife CheeseΒ and chilli jam spread.

Its Packed full of nutrition! They are very high in omega 3 fatty acids (the good fat, THE GOOD FAT) They are fairly low in sugar, contain more protein than most other fruits (yes it’s a fruit). Are a good source of vitamin b5, Vitamin k and fibre. Plus, they are also high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium!

They are great for your heart, they lower cholesterol, have great anti-inflammatory properties, regulate blood sugar, contain Glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant, reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, aid digestion and are GREAT for your skin!!

They really are packed full of goodness!

 

HUMMUS

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Love Hummus! Again, very nutritious, has a huge range of different flavours to pick from and is so easily accessible (easy to make too)! Its made by blending Chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, garlic and anything else you want to add! Sweet chilli is one of my favourites. Its ace on a sandwich and fairly filling too!

Its got a ton of health benefits. It’s anti inflammatory, has a good amount of protein, Iron, Fiber, Vitamin C, B6 and zinc just to name a few!

Chickpeas and beans have been shown to balance cholesterol levels, protect against heart disease and reduce hypertension. They also help keep the digestive system and the colon free from harmful bacteria and toxic build up. Plus, with them being full of fibre… it’ll keep you er, moving!

 

NUT BUTTERS

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So this is things like Peanut butter, Almond Butter, Cashew butter. They can all be used as a substitute for butter on toast, sandwiches (have you ever tried it with marmite on toast? not joking… so nice), bagels, crackers. They are a great source of protein and contain good fats. They lower cholesterol, help keep your arteries flexible, and promote heart health. They will also keep you ‘fuller for longer’. I often eat the Almond butter with a spoon or dip some fruit or veg in to it. Really does the trick of filling you up for a while.

 

COCONUT OIL

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Along with its many, MANY other uses (which I will go in to on a separate post), coconut oil is great spread on toast (add some Jam or vegan chocolate spread on and you’ll be in heaven) Its has a good consistency on the toast and you don’t need too much! A jar lasts a long time and I use it for all sorts.

Health wise, coconut oil can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Its loaded with good fats and also helps to actually lose weight!

 

JAMS, CHUTNEYS AND MARMALADE

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These are pretty self explanatory but still, they are a great option to spread on toast etc or have in a sandwich. As above, try Jam on top of coconut oil on toast! Tastes gorgeous! Honestly! They are of course high in sugars (fruit sugars) but they do contain real life fruit and are bloody tasty! So go forth and spread that gooey fruity loveliness. Plus, who doesn’t love peanut butter and jam? Unless you are allergic to peanuts… Probably not a big fan then.

 

MARMITE/VEGIEMITE

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THIS! Love it or hate it, its cruelty free and packs a nutritional punch more than most would think! It’s low in fat, has very little sugar, (0.6g per 5g) and contains 5 essential B vitamins! It contains Thiamin, Niacin and Riboflavin which all play a key role in converting food into energy. It also contains the almighty B12 that many meat eaters are so good at telling me I must be lacking :) It has a good amount of Iron too, a 5g serving will give you 15% of your recommended intake.

I love it, especially with peanut butter… give it a try! I shit you not.

Ps, you only need a very small amount of this, a little goes a long way! I’ve made that mistake before. Ooof!

 

CHOCOLATE SPREAD

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Lovely lovely lovely chocolate spread! What’s there to say? Get a spoon and get stuck in. There are PLENTY of cruelty free Chocolate spreads, some are just regular cheap supermarket ones, some are organic fancy ones… either way… if it ain’t harmed an animal, get it in ya!

 

Have you tried BISCOTTI SPREAD yet?!?!?!

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It’s unreal! It’s unreal and totally Vegan!! Get the smooth if you want it on toast or if like me you want to spoon the little bugger.. get the crunchy one. Get both just to be safe. Get both and be happy forever.

 

VIOLIFE CHEESE SPREAD

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Think you’ll Miss spreadable Cheese? You won’t. Give this a whirl! Try it with some Chilli Jam too… so nice!

Any thing you’ve tried that’s ace and I’ve missed? Let me know!

Enjoy xxx

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