MS. CUPCAKE - THE NAUGHTIEST VEGAN CAKES IN TOWN!
Despite being someone that's quite allergic to the kitchen, we're most impressed with Ms. Cupcake's 'The Naughtiest Vegan Cales In Town' book. A quick flick through it and your mouth will be watering and you'll be wanting to grab the ingredients out of your cupboard and start baking. Ms. Cupcake, the Brixton based store owned by Mellissa Morgan, has quickly gained a high reputation for amazing vegan cakes - and this book lets you in how to make some of them. Published by Square Peg, the book with a recommended retail price of £16.99 (although currently a few pounds cheaper on Amazon) is packed with over 100 recipes.There are recipes for cupcakes, larger cakes, muffins, cookies, Jaffa Cakes, Snap Bars, Kitchen Sink Bars, Rocky Road Bars and more. Ms. Cupcake uses easy to find ingredients, so even non-vegans could give them a try without going out of their way. At the start of the book there are some 'Rules for Vegan Baking', common baking problems and more info on how Ms. Cupcake started and what their mission is. Each page also has a tip for the gluten-free version. The photo that accompanies each recipe covers a full page, and you will wish you could magically reach through the page and pull the cake out and start eating! If you spend any time in the kitchen whatsoever, this is a book you'll be needing to have. And if you do try some of the recipes, feel free to send some of your results in our direction to try! Order the book from Amazon.co.uk or visit www.mscupcake.co.uk for more info.
Since we're currently celebrating the animal testing ban for cosmetics coming into operation in the EU (finally!), we figured we'd celebrate in style – with Lucy’s Cookies.
- The Sugar Cookies are basking in sugar. If you have a sweet tooth, these will suffice.
The cookies come in two sizes - handy small packets which contain 4 cookies and are good for on the go as a snack (a bit like a packet of crisps, but with crunchy biscuits in!) and boxes which contain 10. They proudly state 'gluten free & vegan' on the front and have a nice 'certified vegan' stamp also showing. They're also all natural, kosher, non GMO and have no cholesterol and no trans fat in them. Basically, a dream cookie. We also love the fact that they also state on the back that they are made in their own carefully controlled bakery and 'as an added precaution we test for trace amounts of milk, egg, gluten, peanut and almond' - so you know you won't even find a speck of one of those in these cookies. And better still... They're now being sold in the UK. They're distributed by Stein Foods who also sell them directly from their website at www.steinsfoods.co.uk or you can find them on Goodness Direct's website and Amazon just to name a couple. If you've never tried them, you must. You won't believe your tongue when you taste how good they are. Lucy's Cookies US website is at www.drlucys.com for anyone on that side of the pond, or that wants even more info.
It's always good to have a packet of mints on you. You never know when one of your meat-eating friends may stand too close and breathe horse breath on you. It's times like this when having a little packet of Peppersmith in your pocket will do a good deed on all accounts - they'll love a free sweet, and you won't have to grimace at the pong. Actually, I like to carry a packet of mints to freshen my own breath when need be too. You've got to be prepared at all times in case the love of your life comes along, right?! And Peppersmith come in nice, cute little eco-friendly boxes. There are mints out there in bigger packets that may cost a little less, but these fit nicely into your pocket or mini handbag and don't take up too much space. The packaging keeps them secure too. They're almost like a vegan Tic-Tac... but different! We like the fact they're sugar free but without aspartame, artificial flavours or preservatives. They're very natural and also, according to the packet, help reduce plaque and the risk of tooth decay. They come in two flavours - Fine English Peppermint and Sicilian Lemon and Fine English Peppermint. Both taste great and have less than two calories per mint. We noticed that Holland & Barrett are selling these for £1.99 a packet, but you can order them from Lakeside Ethical Treats for £1.49. Goodness Direct now also sell Peppersmith too.
Similar to Nakd, Braw are healthy bars that are fruity and tasty. Braw combine fruit with gluten-free oats and currently come in cocoa & orange, apple & pear, blackcurrant and strawberry flavours. The cocoa & orange ones remind us of Nakd's cocoa & orange bar although our faves are the Strawberry and Apple & Pear flavours. They're chewy and tasty and make a great snack as they are fairly low in fat, ranging from 1.83g to 2.12g per bar. We like the bright coloured packaging, which will appeal to kids and make a nice addition to everyone's lunchbox. Braw bars are 100% natural and made in Scotland. Reading the ingredients, besides the smooshed fruit and oats, they also contain vegetable fibre and flax seed - so if you're in need of a bit of extra fibre these help with that too. Braw are a new company but we think they will have a healthy future - and their products will help others have a healthy future too. You can order directly from their website over at www.brawfood.co.uk or find them in selective stores such as Goodness Direct where they are 89p each. We hope to see them in more and more stores over the coming months. Add them on Facebook over at https://www.facebook.com/Brawfood.
MANIC PANIC NON-FEATHER BOAS
The other day we were surfing eBay as you do, and discovered that Dream-Gate are selling Manic Panic non-feather boas for half price. They're currently only £4.95 each including p&p, which is a bit of a bargain if you ask us, so we snapped some up. You never know when a non-feather boa will come in handy! They are cruelty free and look like they're made from synthetic hair rather than anything resembling feathers, although still have the same flamboyant look to them. So if you're a vegan that likes dressing up, standing out or just looking like the star you are, we think you ought to grab one of these before they sell out. They come in a variety of colours - Dream-Gate currently have a handful of Atomic Turquoise, Fuschia Shock/Raven, Black with red tinsel 'Hellfire', and Black with Holographic tinsel. To buy, go to Dream-Gate's eBay page HERE and click 'Buy It Now'!
CRAZY HAIR COLOUR
Crazy Hair Colour is the name of a UK based website that sells colourful hair colour such as the vegan, cruelty-free Manic Panic. The owners of Crazy Hair Colour also have a store in The Oasis in Birmingham (so if you're in Birmingham you can go and get them directly and save having them mailed out). We have featured Manic Panic's cosmetics before but this time we're focusing on their hair colour. We especially love that the tubs say 'Vegan' on the front in the top left. And of course they don't test on animals. Manic Panic do a wide array of crazy hair colours - so whether you want to have pink hair, purple hair, blue hair or red, Manic Panic has just the colour for you. You can check them out over at www.crazyhaircolour.com/Manic-Panic-hair-dye-s/59.htm Each tub is £10.99. Manic Panic are made in the US but are shipped over much to many UK rockers' delight. Crazy Hair Colour offers free shipping so you don't have to worry about anything extra on top of that. They also accept Paypal.
I've just tried out the Lie Locks shade and love it. It's a vibrant purple, although depends on your own hair colour as to how bright/dark it is. The colours are all semi-permanent so with each wash they'll fade a little. Here's how the Lie Locks currently looks on my hair (at the back). Excuse the festive tinsel!
If you want a vegan, cruelty-free bright and beautiful hair colour, we definitely recommend Manic Panic from CrazyHairColour.com.
We used to love popping some of Life Free From's Parmazano grated cheese replacer on a baked potato, although unfortunately this stopped being produced earlier in the year. Luckily, we've now discovered that there is a grated vegan parmesan cheese in the USA. Parmela is its name and it has received rave reviews from folks over in the States saying that it's the best parmesan cheese they've ever tried. From California, Parmela is like granulated, almost crystalised crumbs of aged nut cheese. It has a rich taste and comes in cute cardboard pots. Ingredients include almonds, cashews, soya beans yeast flakes, tamari and vegan lactic acid. Parmela is cholesterol free, gluten free, lactose free, dairy free and of course vegan. Parmela is a relatively new product which is on sale in select vegan and health stores in the US. You can order online from www.veganessentials.com and www.veganstore.com and others if it's not on sale in a store near you. Our only disappointment was that it was gone too soon. The container says it contains 22 servings per pot, but we'd finished our first pot in probably only 12 servings! Maybe we ate too much each time! It's also addictive if you eat it straight from the pot too! So whether you want some dairy free parmesan to sprinkle on pasta, stir-frys, baked potatoes, salads or to eat straight from the tub, Parmela is for you. Parmela is currently arond $2.99, although we've got 2 free tubs to give away, so enter this competition and you could win one...
To win, a tub (65g) of Parmela, make sure you are following @SaveAScream on Twitter and then tweet: "Hey @SaveAScream, I'd like to win some vegan Parmela!"
We'll pick two winners, contact you for your address and send you a free tub.
There are companies all over the world selling vegan cheese. Jeezini is made in Austria by the very awesome people at Vegourmet. Jeezini comes in a number of flavours – Santi, Italy, Provence, Hellas and Mexicana – all with a different taste. It's now being sold in the UK by online vegan store, Alternative Stores. Our favourite flavour is Santi which has the subtlest flavour. It’s not strong and tastes good. It’s easily become one of our fave vegan cheeses for cold sandwiches. Jeezini comes in slices that are in packs. Every pack has ten square slices. The slices are firm but not sticky, they have a texture similar to the non-vegan cheese although it doesn’t quite taste of Cheddar/Vegusto. They also melt nicely if you want them on toast or pizzas. Mexicana is our second fave flavour from the range of five. Mexicana is described as having a spicy flavour with peppers and chilli in but on toast it didn't seem too spicy at all and tastes very nice. Elsewhere, Provence is herby, Hellas is heavily flavoured with olives while Italy has a tint of tangy tomatoes. If you haven't quite found a cheese you like for sandwiches, or you can't afford the pricier Vegusto, then try Jeezini. Follow this link to buy it from Alternative Stores, or visit Vegourmet's Austrian website for more info and also to order from: http://www.veganversand.at/
LIVING NATURALLY SOAPNUTS
Have you tried Soapnuts yet? Soapnuts are nuts that clean your clothes. No, it's not a nickname for your mom, these are actual nuts that you put in a bag that then goes on top of your laundry in the washing machine and spin around with your clothes cleaning them. They're almost like magic fairies that come to life when you're not looking... they really DO clean your clothes. We have been trying these Soapnut Shells for the past couple of weeks and have been amazed. You now no longer need washing powder with chemicals and weird things in. All you need is 4 or 5 soapnuts and they'll do the job for you. Living Naturally produce dried nut shells that are full of soap. You can buy them in cardboard tubs, big muslin bags or even as soapnut powder (if you do prefer powder) in small brown bags. One tub of soapnuts as in the pic above can last 55 washes. You may wonder how nuts can clean your clothes but they really do. Your clothes will come out of the washing machine completely stain free and clean and smelling fresh - as clean and fresh as any chemical-laden detergent. Living Naturally do also sell bicarbonate of soda which can also help with stains if you have anything particularly dirty, and if you've spilt any wine, blood (oops!), grease or other stubborn stains and liquids, you may be interested in the solid stain remover which also does a grand job! Soapnuts are 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, biodegradable and hypoallergenic. Using these instead of washing powder with chemicals and all sorts in can help calm eczema and other skin problems as they're completely natural. They're also more cost-effective than a lot of washing detergent. Some brands of washing powder can give you 50 washes for £12, but Soapnuts can give you 55 washes for £5.99 plus delivery - or a huge 1kg bag for £11 that will last a whopping 260 washes!
Living Naturally also sell soap and solid shampoo made from nuts! And if you want your laundry to have a fragrance, you can buy essential oils as well. Check www.soapnuts.co.uk for more info. You'd be a nut not to try them!
TASHA'S DAIRY FREE DELIGHTS
Check out Tasha's Dairy Free Delights, a new website in the UK that has only very recently gone live. Tasha and Steve have started their own small business selling dairy free chocolates and other treats. One thing that caught our eye was the amount of great Christmas items that are available. You can buy baubles to put on your Christmas Tree for example, with dairy free chocolates inside. You can buy other chocolate tree decorations plus Snowmen Soup which involves solid chocolate on a spoon that you can turn into a hot chocolate drink - along with marshmallows to dip on top and two candy canes. You can also buy Moo Free and Plamil advent calendars, Santas and other festive items. We love the prices with the individual chocolate decorations being only 45p each. The only downside is that if you're anything like us, you're likely to have eaten them all before you get the Christmas tree out to decorate! Tasha's Dairy Free Delights also sell cute chocolate lollies and lolly sweets at 3 for £1. These will be a real delight for any kid - or adult, for that matter! Head over to www.tashasdairyfreedelights.co.uk and get some goodies ready for Santa's visit.
It's quite exciting to be vegan at the moment. More and more vegan products are being invented and produced. When any non-vegans ask, "What do you eat?" it's hard to know where to start. We eat so many things that they don't even know exist! In some ways it's sad, because they're missing out on such awesomeness. Take MozzaRisella for instance. This is a new alternative to cheese made by rice! Who knew that you could even buy a cheese made from rice? MozzaRisella is made in Italy. At the moment it's only on sale in a small number of UK vegan stores (mostly in London at the moment), but the company are hoping to increase that in the new future. To be honest, it doesn't taste tooooo much like cheese - or at least, the cheese that you're used to, but it's great that there is another new alternative, something new to try. It comes in blocks as MozzaRisella - small or large, and also as a creamier 'CreamyRisella', as a cream cheese replacement. It does have a rice flavouring, it's a little whiter in colouring than a lot of cheese and it has a soft stickier texture. It is probably the healthiest 'cheese' available, having 0% cholesterol, preservatives, gluten or food colourings. It has no soya or GMO either. Worth trying - especially if you like anything ricey! It personally isn't my fave cheese - I think I prefer a cheddary soya taste and a harder texture, but rice fans will no doubt love it. You can find out more by checking their website - www.mozzarisella.co.uk or liking them on Facebook over at https://www.facebook.com/pages/MozzaRisella-Rice-Cheese/178583275527588
Daisy's Marshmallows are made by Lynda Marshall to raise funds for homeless dogs including Daisy & Co. Rescue and Romanian Rescues. Lynda's currently offering two tubs for £10 including p&p. You can pick strawberry, coconut & malibu, choc dusted or vanilla flavours - all are vegan (no gelatine = crushed animal bones in them!). They taste great and we particularly love that the money is going to help animals in need and aren't sold just as a business. Lynda doesn't have a website but sells the marshmallows on ebay. You can find her page at http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/choxdax20/ Lynda is vegan and gives her time tirelessly to help animals. Recently Lynda has been raising money for Dolly, a homeless puppy found on the streets of Serbia with deformed legs in need of surgery. She can not stand or walk properly. See http://www.betterplace.org/en/projects/10925-help-dolly-a-puppy-with-deformed-legs for more info. We definitely recommend everyone buy some of Lynda's marshmallows. Even if you're not vegan you'll love them - my mom had a couple of mine and told me she thought they were very nice indeed! Something that tastes great with the money going to a good cause.
DELAMERE DAIRY - NEW SOYA SHAKES & DESSERTS
We were perusing Tesco's online website the other night as you do and stumbled across Delamere Dairy's new soya shakes and desserts. After a bit of googling online we discovered that Delamere Dairy is a UK dairy which sells goats milk. Although we're against the use of any animals for money-making projects and food or drink products, we do like that Delamere Dairy has introduced a range of soya products that are suitable for vegans (and while we wish they didn't use any animals at all, Delamere Dairy do state that they keep their goats well looked after, housed in large, airy but draft-free barns with a deep bedding of straw and plenty of space to roam free). It is good to see dairies that are realising that there is a need and want for soya products and are not afraid to introduce cruelty-free items and maybe, we hope, possibly in the future move away from animal-based products altogether. It shows a willingness to grow and adapt and be open-minded to other means of monetary survival. The more animal-based companies that evolve into cruelty-free companies the better. We love the look of Delamere Dairy's 230ml soya shakes - most soya shakes we've seen come in rectangular shaped cartons, but these are in the type of cup shaped cartons you're likely to get a coffee in (with a plastic lid to keep on top once you've opened it). At the time of writing, Tesco currently has a half price offer (until 7th Aug) on these shakes - vanilla and chocolate - priced at 59p instead of the usual £1.19. So try one quickly while they're cheap (in fact, buy one of each for the usual price of one!). The shakes have quite a thin consistency and you can definitely taste the soya beans. The packaging states that they are made with GM free soya beans. I prefered the chocolate shake out of the two. They taste best when drank through the little hole in the plastic lid. The fact that they're quite a thin consistency makes them more like a drink rather than a dessert. And if you want a dessert, Delamare Dairy do have packs of chocolate desserts. At four 125g cartons in a pack, these are much thicker and very, very nice. Although so far there are no vanilla desserts, Delamere Dairy do also have regular plain soya milk - in 1 litre cartons, normal and unsweetened.
Again, it's good to see a dairy that is willing to branch out and introduce cruelty-free items into its range - and the more people that try these items, the more likely the company is to keep on producing them (and fingers crossed, one day will be 100% cruelty-free!). Selected branches of Asda also sell the plain soya milk as does Budgens, selected Londis, selected Nisa, Ocado and selected Waitrose.
BARROW BOYS CRISPS
While on the subject of cheesy goodness, can we have a big fanfare for Barrow Boys Crisps? Barrow Boys have started making crisps that are all vegan - including... wait for it... cheese & onion flavour! Oh em gee! Or should I say, no whey! We just tried our first packet yesterday after One Earth Shop in Birmingham managed to get a box and they are amazing. The crisps are very crunchy and crispy since they're hand cooked. I'm usually more of a fan of the thinner, non-hand cooked crisps, but words can't describe how awesome these crisps are. They are so cheese & oniony it's beyond belief. It makes you wonder why no other company has managed to make cheese & onion crisps without the use of whey/milk. Maybe in ten years time Tesco and every other company will realise they finally need their own 'free from whey' crisps and make some! For now, I'm praying that One Earth Shop gets a lot more of these to sell as next time I go I may need to take a suitcase and see how many I can fit into it and bring home! I'm one of the world's biggest crisp addicts - so for me to say these are amazing really means it's true! Lakeside Ethical Treats - you need to get some of these FAST! Goodness Direct, you should too! In fact, every store on earth needs these crisps. These are the best cheese & onion crisps in existence and they are ready to take over the world! I may need to take shares out in this company because now that they're here I think I need to eat at least five packets a day. I hope the Boys are ready for the demand!
The crisps have a nice big Vegan Society 'vegan' approved trademark on the back and if you're curious the ingredients (since most cheese & onion crisps are not vegan and contain animal by-products) are; potato, sunflower oil, onion powder, salt, wheat flower, yeast powder, dextrose, flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate, yeast extract powder, garlic powder, citric acid and natural flavouring. Each packet contains 12.2g of fat which is quite a lot compared to some crisps, but we'll let them off, as they taste so good. You can find out more about Barrow Boys Crisps at www.barrowboyscrisps.com, or by adding them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrowboyscrisp and Twitter on www.twitter.com/barrowboyscrisp A few Manchester stores have started selling them and I'm sure it won't be too long before they get bigger distribution and get everywhere. Barrow Boys are new, so it's early days yet - but be there from the start and try them ASAP - your life is not complete without them.
ECO-PLANET NON-DAIRY CRACKERS
We first discovered Eco-Planet non-dairy cheddar crackers a few years ago. They're made in the US, suitable for vegans and are cheesy biscuits with a similar taste to mini cheddars. We used to find them in Wholefoods when we visited LA, or order from a US online store and bought as many as we could - they're soooo good! Now, we've just discovered a UK company that is selling them on ebay! Hurray! So we figured we should spread the word and let you know. They're priced at £4.49 including postage and packing, which is a great price considering they're originally from the US. The boxes are pretty big with a net weight of 6 oz. If you have not tried Eco-Planet crackers, now is the time. They are shaped into eco-planet objects - such as a smiley sun, the earth, a windmill and a eco-powered car (the back of the box explains solar power, wind power, green cars and being earth friendly). Eco-Planet crackers are made with organic ingredients and with every box sold Eco-Planet donate a portion to groups that educate others on how to take care of our eco-system. Their aim is to spread an environmentally-friendly message. If you miss the taste of mini cheddars, and want something cheesy, buy Eco-Planet non-dairy cheddar crackers. To buy on Ebay UK, go to http://stores.ebay.co.uk/healthy247 (they also sell other vegan and health products that you may be interested in too). Eco-Planet's official website is at www.eco-planet.net
MAMMA CUCINA MARGHERITA PIZZA
Blimey! In the space of a month we've tried and can now buy, not one but two vegan cheese pizzas in the UK! Following hot on the heels of Redwood's Cheezly and Tomato pizza (or maybe it was the other way round... who knows?!) comes Mamma Cucina's Margherita Pizza. Of course as soon as we discovered they existed we knew we had to try one... Turns out Goodness Direct are already stocking them! They're currently priced at £3.99. Size-wise they're bigger than Redwood's Cheezly & Tomato Pizza which is 160g in weight. This Mamma Cucina pizza is 280g. Obviously that's why they're a bit more expensive. This size can be split in two and shared. We like the boxes that they come in... you don't need to feel left out when others order Dominos now - now we can get the Mamma Cucina boxed pizza. When you take it out of the box you'll see it's wrapped in celophane. It actually reminded us of the old pizzas we used to love before we went vegan. The cheap ones you'd find in a bag of 4. From the offset Mamma Cucina's pizza looks great... it definitely has more tomato than Redwood's which is a thumbs up. The grated cheese looks nice... We were excited to pop it in the oven and try it! Although when we came to taste it unfortunately it didn't quite live up to expectations. Don't get me wrong... it's not bad but it has a bit of a bland taste. Mamma Cucina haven't quite mastered perfect cheese pizza yet... The base was a little chewy rather than crispy (so far I vote Amisa as making the best pizza bases). And the flavour of cheese isn't our favourite cheese flavour. Mamma Cucina's pizza is edible, for sure, but it may not wow you. That said, we definitely recommend anyone wanting a regular pizza to buy soya cheese pizza instead. We're still ecstatic that vegans now have the choice of buying vegan cheese pizza made by two different companies in the UK... it's about time! Although come on, where's the third!? Is someone else going to have a go at making them now!? Click HERE to buy Mamma Cucina's Pizza from Goodness Direct.
Today I bought Black Sabbath, Purple Rain and Blow. Don't worry, I'm not on drugs - these are the names of some of Medusas Makeup Mineral Eye Dust colours! We recently stumbled across a great online cosmetics store (that's based in the West Midlands) that has a great selection of vegan cosmetics. Knowing that some vegans are looking for vegan cosmetics we knew we had to tell you about Cocktail Cosmetics. We love this site as it features some of the coolest vegan cosmetics from the US, which are not available in most UK stores. The Medusas Makeup eye dusts are currently in the sale section for only £2 - a bargain! We also recently discovered Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) and decided to try their lip tars. OCC is 100% vegan and has some great vibrant colours. The lip tars are in gloss type containers but when you put it on your lips the consistency is of a good quality lipstick. Cocktail Cosmetics has a couple of shades in their sale section for only £4.50. We also thought we'd try Ginvera Green Tea Nude Cover BB Cream. I've never tried a BB Cream before and didn't know what BB actually stood for (other than Big Brother on TV!) until I googled it! But this cream is multi-purpose. It acts as a concealer/foundation as well as having SPF 30 which means it can be a good sun protection as well. This is perfect for trips away on holiday as you won't need to pack a foundation, concealer and sun protection separately - this is all in one! It's in a 25ml container which is not too big to carry, although priced at £18 it's sounds a little bit pricey, unless you remember that it's sun protection plus foundation/concealer, so not a bad deal. It also contains antioxidants to help prevent fine lines and includes hyaluronic acid that helps hydrate the skin.
Cocktail Cosmetics also sells Everyday Minerals, a mineral make-up company from Texas that are vegan and eco-friendly, and vegans may also be interested in FaceFront's shimmery artistic pigments, which are eyeshadow dusts that are vegan-friendly and come in a multitude of colours. Cocktail Cosmetics also sell Lime Crime (our current fave lipsticks), BareFaced Beauty (who we've previously recommended), 100% Pure Cosmetics, BM Beauty (created by Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt and Laura McComiskie), LAQA and Skindinavia.
Next time you're wondering where to buy vegan make-up from, wonder no more and go straight to Cocktail Cosmetics. Not everything on the site is vegan, but they have 23 pages of vegan items at http://www.cocktailcosmetics.co.uk/Vegan-Cosmetics-Brushes All other items are PETA approved and not tested on animals. And they ship the items out fast too!
REDWOOD CHEEZLY & TOMATO PIZZA
My most favourite food in the whole world has always been cheese & tomato pizza. Well, alongside with crisps. It's tough to decide which is better than the other. I can't do without either. When I became vegan nearly 10 years ago the one thing I knew I'd miss was cheese & tomato pizza. I lived on them. For a while it was hard... well, it wasn't that hard, but you had to eat other food and forget pizzas ever existed... Then came Redwood's super-melting Cheezly which made it easier to make your own soya cheese pizza. I regularly make my own cheese & tomato pizza using a supermarket's own pizza base mix, some tomato puree and then Redwood Cheezly on top. Finally, 2012 has just seen our dreams come true - The Redwood Wholefood Company has made the first ever UK frozen vegan cheese and tomato pizza available in stores. It is now slowly but surely being added to more stores. Holland & Barrett had the pizza in a few stores - but not all. Goodness Direct will be selling them from the beginning of July - and you can now also buy them online from Redwood's own online store.
The pizza itself... upon first bite, the base is quite crispy and crunchy. It's not a thin base, but it's not too thick either. The cheese seems to override the tomato... the tomato dries out a bit, so it doesn't come across as very tomatoey. I'm not sure whether I prefer my own cheese & tomato pizzas to this one... Through trial and error I'd kind of reached a veritable standard of vegan cheese & tomato pizza and found a mix of two different tomato purees did the best job. Plus recently I'd discovered a vegan-friendly deep-pan pizza base that also tastes awesome... So... Redwood's Cheezly and tomato pizzas are most definitely edible - and they finally fill the gap that was vegan cheese pizzas in a store, although as a cheese pizza connoisseur, I would personally add maybe more tomato to the pizza, if I was producing the pizzas myself. That said, it is AMAZING to be able to buy these pizzas (there are two other varieties which I haven't reviewed) and monster thanks to Redwood for realising how many people actually want a ready-made vegan cheese pizza that we can buy in a store. This is another reason to go vegan and proof that vegans can buy virtually the same products that non-vegans can, but without the cruelty. If you're not vegan, try the pizzas and let us know what you think.
Holland and Barrett's price was £2.49 for these Cheezly & tomato pizzas. If you can't find them in a store near you, you can order them online from Redwood directly at £2.78 each. Click THIS LINK to go to Redwood's website.
INSPIRAL RAW SUPERFOOD GRANOLAS
iinSpiral's Raw Superfood Granola have been new recipe-fied. The granola comes in three flavours - Banana Greeny (mostly with a banana flavour but ingredients include the green superfoods, Spirulina, Barleygrass and Wheatgrass), Loveberry (a mix of berries including gojiberry and coloured with beetroot juice, which is high in iron, folic acid and antioxidants) and Chocolatey (as the name suggests, made with raw cacao, which contains magnesium, sulpher and antioxidants, to give a healthy chocolate kick). You can almost taste good health when you pop a piece on your mouth. Granola is most often eaten for breakfast - as cereal, on its own or mixed in with a yoghurt. We tend to go for the yoghurt option the most. As with inSpiral's kale chips, we like the choice of flavours, especially the 'Banana Greeny' flavour - and the fact that they're all raw. Naturally since they include superfood ingredients this granola is a little pricier than your regular granola, but then it's not every day you find spirulina in your granola (spirulina is very beneficial to the body containing protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals). If you want a healthy kick-start to the morning (or afternoon or evening, for that matter), then grab a bag of inSpiral's raw superfood granola. You can order it directly from inSpiral's website at http://www.inspiralled.net/shop/raw-superfood-granolas for £5.25 or from other stores such as Goodness Direct for slightly more.
We have finally tasted Vegusto cheese and... OMG... it is actually astounding at how close to non-vegan cheese this is! The rumours that Vegusto was the best tasting cheese are true (sorry to every other cheese company, but it really is). Vegusto cheese comes in a variety of flavours and options. Out of the ones we've tried so far, No-Moo, Mild Aromatic is our favourite. This is as close to cheddar as you'll get. It seriously could replace cheddar. You can literally just eat the block on its own - it is THAT good! This cheese is perfect for sandwiches, to have on crackers or just eat on its own. It doesn't melt so if you want a melting cheese it's better to buy the No-Moo Melty cheese, but No-Moo, Mild Aromatic is amazing. Even non-vegans that still eat cheese will be wowed by how good this tastes. You could probably sneak it on a friend or relative's sandwich instead of cheddar and they probably wouldn't even notice! It also has the same texture, look and feel as cheddar, which a lot of other vegan cheeses don't have. Vegusto also sell No-Moo, Piquant which is 'strongly aromatic'. Its texture is a bit rougher - it's another good cheese, although doesn't top Mild Aromatic. Then Vegusto make a cheese sauce, plus No-Moo Herb (a herb flavoured cheese) and No-Moo Walnut (cheese with wulnuts in). Vegusto's cheese also contains only 50% of the fat of dairy cheese and is cholesterol free (it's also soya free, GMO free, lactose free, gluten free, sugar free, palm oil free, phosphate free, dairy free and casein free!). The main downfall of Vegusto are the prices - which are a bit steep. Just tonight someone was asking me if vegan products were more expensive than regular food. Unfortunately with Vegusto, the answer is yes - which is a shame. Wouldn't it be great to be able to tell people "Well, no, actually you can buy vegan cheese that costs the same as 'normal' cheese". Unfortunately, at the moment, Vegusto cheese is around the £4.50 and £4.95 price which is even twice the price of other soya cheese available in the UK (not to mention, non-vegan cheese). One factor causing this is no doubt the fact that Vegusto originates in Switzerland and is not based in the UK. We hope that Vegusto can somehow get their prices a little lower as this would no doubt help THEM as much as US, as we know we'd buy tons and tons if it was a little cheaper. For those on a budget they do sell No-Moo Snack at the lower price of £2.99, which is cheese you can eat straight from the packet as a snack and needs no refrigeration. Unfortunately these are currently out of stock.
Vegusto is now on sale in One Earth Shop in Birmingham - so if you're around the Birmingham area, you definitely should pick up a block. The taste will most definitely blow you away. If you're not near Birmingham, visit the Vegusto website at www.vegusto.co.uk where you can find more information about all of their products (including their burgers, sausages, sandwich slices, pate and more. You can order from Vegusto directly and have it delivered to your door!
PHB (ETHICAL BEAUTY)
The other week I stumbled across a store in Birmingham City Centre which sells cruelty-free make-up and skincare. The store also has a website that you can order from for those that don’t live in Birmingham. Pure Halal Beauty is located in the Pavilions, along Birmingham’s High Street. I hadn’t known it existed and wandered into the Pavilions to kill time before an interview – and then my eyes lit up when I saw the words ‘No Animal Testing’ and ‘No Animal Ingredients’ above the shop sign. I ventured into the store, which is a corner unit at the far end of level 2 with no door. The shelves are stacked with various skin and body care items all made by Pure Halal Beauty. They include natural, organic ingredients, many have been approved by The Vegan Society and have the Vegan logo, although a few are vegetarian.
Whether you want moisturisers, face masks, shampoo, body scrubs, eyeshadow or lipstick, PHB’s range has it all. We decided to try out some of their Anti-Aging items first – also known as Elixir Of Youth. We chose the PHB Elixir Of Youth Hyaluronic Acid Serum, the PHB Elixir Of Youth Wrinkle Reducing Eye Conditioning Treatment and the PHB Elixir Of Youth Anti-Aging Moisturiser pictured above (they also sell an Anti-Aging Face Wash, Cleanser, Toner and Face Mask) – all very tempting due to their names (we need to reduce those wrinkles!). Prices for these are between £10 and £15, depending on the item. Our favourite is probably the Hyaluronic Acid Serum which does seem to reduce wrinkles (we tried it on our forehead). I’ve never really been a fan of serum but this one sinks into your skin nicely without leaving a stickiness and does a good job smoothing out the skin. It includes green tea and vitamins which protects collagen in the skin and fights skin aging free-radicals.
The Anti-Aging Moisturiser (the jar says Skin Nourishment) is a fairly thick cream – although not TOO thick. The cream is packed into the jar right up to the very top. It moisturises the skin well, while the Conditioning Eye Treatment comes in a tin as a transparent serum/gel (I was expecting it to be a cream and then surprised to find a gel inside!). You can feel the serum tightening your eye area although it leaves the skin soft and hydrated. As far as beauty items that say they can reduce wrinkles, these items seem pretty good. Although it's too early for me to comment on the long-lasting results, they appear to do as good a job temporarily and are as good if not better than most of the anti-aging items you’ll find in the high street or anywhere else, and are not too expensive.
If you’re in Birmingham for the World Day for Animals in Laboratories march and rally, you should try to find time to go to PHB/Ethical Beauty in the Pavilions (on Birmingham's High Street) before going back home. If you live in Birmingham or the Midlands, you definitely need to take a trip into the Pavilions and discover this great shop, tucked away at the back. It’s a hidden gem that more people need to unearth. Take your non-vegan friends so they can discover cosmetics, skincare and body care that have no animal ingredients in and aren’t tested on animals, too. And if you’re elsewhere, order online. Visit www.purehalalbeauty.co.uk for more info.
TESCO FREE FROM ALMOND & HAZELNUT MILK
Tesco has recently introduced a new chilled Free From range in a number of branches. We're particularly excited about this as it means that cruelty-free products will be more available to the general public. A lot of people shop in supermarkets and although supermarkets are starting to stock more vegan products, it can still be hard to find them. By having their own brand of chilled Free From food and drink, Tesco is offering its customers a greater choice and one that is beneficial to all. The chilled Free From range is free of dairy, gluten and wheat so anyone with allergies can happily consume these products. Of course they're not JUST for people with allergies. Free From food can show you how tasty food can be even when they don't have certain ingredients in. We tried the Almond milk and Hazelnut milk and it's amazing how tasty these milks are to drink. They show you that you do not need to drink cow's milk... milk made from other sources are equally as tasty and healthy. These days you can buy soya milk, rice milk, coconut milk - and now even almond milk and hazelnut milk! The new Tesco chilled Free From range actually includes all five of these! These milks taste great on their own, whether straight from the carton or in a glass, in coffee, tea or as hot chocolate - and even added to cereal in the morning (I just had some almond milk with my Doves Farm Chocolate Stars and it was perfect!). The almond milk has a nutty/almond taste but not too much, while the Hazelnut milk has an interesting hazelnut taste. One thing vegans may be happy to hear is that it seems this Tesco Free From milk is being made by Alpro for Tesco. Alpro are well known for providing great tasting vegan-friendly milk. This should mean that even though Tesco now has a new range of alternatives to cow's milk, it's not taking all the sales away from Alpro - so even if you choose to buy the Tesco Free From milk, you'll still be keeping the wonderful Alpro is business.
The only sad thing is that the new chilled Free From section is only in a select number of stores at present, as a trial. To see where the nearest store to you selling them is, click HERE. We're hoping that this trial will do well and we can then see the range head to more stores, so even more people can try them out. If they are in a store near you, go and try them out as soon as possible and urge your friends to, too! The chilled Free From range includes soya cheese, yoghurts and more.
MONTEZUMA’S ORGANIC DARK CHOC & COCOA NIBS EASTER ECO-EGG
Since Easter is fast approaching it’s only fair we recommend an Easter Egg. With lots of dairy-free Easter Eggs on the market you’re no doubt spoilt for choice, but one that stood out to us was Montezuma’s Eco-Egg. Montezuma’s are a UK family business based company that sell a wide range of chocolate products. Not all are vegan but they do have a large number of vegan products and these can be found in health stores, online stores and John Lewis stores. They also have five of their own stores (in Winchester, Brighton, Kingston, Chichester and London) and an online shop on their own website. Their Eco-Egg range includes this organic Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs egg, pictured above. Not only is it suitable for vegans but it is super eco-friendly, coming in shell packaging made from 70% post industrial recycled corrugate, 30% of which is made from ordinary newsprint. I should have measured the egg but I ate it too quickly (although the packaging measures approximately 11.25cm (width) x 18.25cm (height) x 10cm depth). The chocolate egg itself has a luxurious taste.. Although there’s nothing inside the egg, the outer chocolate layer is more than enough to satisfy. At £8.99 what you get is quality and taste. Montezuma’s logo includes a star behind the ‘M’ and we think this company are stars for producing this eggsalent vegan and earth-friendly egg. Visit www.montezumas.co.uk for more info and to order.
DOVES FARM CHOCOLATE STARS
Stars shouldn't just be the last thing you see at night... they should be the first thing you wake up to in the morning! Breakfast cereal can often seem a bit boring and bland. Some of them aren’t even vegan. But Doves Farm are the manufacturers of some cute and tasty star shaped cereal – Doves Farm Chocolate Stars. They make breakfast a bit more fun while healthy at the same time, and are perfect for kids and adults alike. These are crispy, sweet stars with a chocolatey flavour. They taste great both on their own or with milk added (non-dairy obviously!). They are organic and gluten free. They’ve been around a while so aren’t new, although as we’ve never been big cereal eaters we’ve never tried them before now. We can happily confirm that from now on we WILL be eating cereal - well, just these Chocolate Stars - a lot more. You can find Doves Farm Chocolate Stars in supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsburys as well as independent health stores. Doves Farm also make some fantastic biscuits, flapjacks and a variety of flour and yeast. More info can be found at www.dovesfarm.co.uk
The Vegg is billed as the world's first vegan fried egg. At present, The Vegg is packaged as a mix rather than looking remotely egg-shaped. You add water to the mix to make egg yolk (it's best when blended). You can then pour it over toast or any other food you’d like some egg yolk on. The packet weighs 44.2g and the mix makes a lot of yolk. Just one teaspoon of the mix with added water is enough to cover a number of slices of bread. The mix itself looks like yeast flakes and smells yeasty – which is not surprising considering the fact that fortified nutritional yeast is one of the main ingredients. The Vegg does taste a little eggy, and definitely looks like yellow yolk and when you first mix it with water, the aroma of egg starts to filtrate! If you put it in a blender to mix it into a nice yolk, then put your head in the blender you can definitely smell egg! Just don't put your head in the blender when it's on... that could be a bit dangerous! 10% of the sales are donated to Compassion Over Killing (COK.net) which means that not only do you get something nice to eat, but you’re also helping an animal protection charity. The Vegg can also be used as an egg replacer in cakes, custard and other food. Made over in the States, its first UK stockist is Veggiestuff.com where you can find it priced at £5.50, while those in the US can find it at www.veggiestore.com and www.foodfightgrocery.com while more info can be found at www.thevegg.com or on The Vegg’s facebook page. The Vegg is another step forward for veganism and this product is another alternative that proves that being vegan is not hard at all. Whether you eat eggs and think you could never give them up, or haven’t had one for years and might like to taste something new, it’s worth giving The Vegg a try. It definitely makes a change to have Vegg on toast rather than soya cheese, baked beans or marg! The folk behind The Vegg are now working on making a vegan egg patty for breakfast sandwiches and then will work on a proper fried egg! For now, get yourself The Vegg as it's the closest thing to eating egg that you'll find.
CALICO DRAGON BAGS - *NEW* 'LIVES ARE LOST' DESIGN
Although we've already recommended Calico Dragon Bags, we need to recommend them again. Why? Because they've got some great new designs. We are particularly ecstatic that they're now selling a 'Boycott Animal Testing' bag. This bag is literally amazing. With 'Lives are lost in labs. Boycott Animal Testing' on one side and 'The question is not, "Can they reason?" Nor, "Can they talk?" But rather, "Can they suffer?" - the well known animal rights quote from Jeremy Bentham on the other, we think this is a bag you need to order immediately. With a rabbit and cat pictured on one side and monkey on the other, this will get the message across if you're carrying it while out and about. We will most definitely be carrying this on the World Day for Animals in Laboratories march in April! Calico Dragon Bags' designs are all inspiring - so much work goes into every one of these bags and then money from the sales goes to charity. Plus the new large bags now have a zip inside/along the top - to keep your items safer! They're a good size so can fit a lot in and as we've mentioned before are very sturdy, so you needn't worry how heavy the items you need to carry are - this bag will cope with anything! These large bags also have four smaller pockets as part of the lining inside, one with a zip - to keep hold of smaller items that you may want to put in a specific place. Visit www.calicodragonbags.com for more info and to order! Let's see more of these on the streets spreading the message around more often! PS. Head over to www.saveascream.com/calicodragonbags.htm to read our interview with Calico Dragon Bags founder Candy Brown. Also, add Calico Dragon Bags on Facebook as they sometimes have special offers - www.facebook.com/CalicoDragonBag
LUSH ANGELS ON BARE SKIN
Lush have all sorts of products for your face. There's something for every skin type and a range of tasks that each do. Lush have 11 different cleansers, seven of which are vegan. For years we never used cleansers at all - they always seemed like one of those extra items that you don't really need. However, since trying Lush's Angels On Bare Skin we've discovered the benefit of using a cleanser. For starters, we've noticed that this cleanser not only freshens the skin, but its appearance is renewed. If you have fine lines or wrinkles, it can zap them into oblivion (at least for a short while - unfortunately not permanently) at the same time as softening the skin. Angels On Bare Skin also calms rosacea, giving the skin a toned, more balanced look. Angels On Bare Skin uses ingredients such as ground almonds and lavendar flowers. You only need a small bit which you add water to to create a milk. We actually prefer not to make it too milky as it also exfoliates more when it is less of a liquid and a bit more of a paste. You get a lot in a 100g tub for the price of £5.95 and it last for ages as you only need a little bit each time. Angels On Bare Skin is also good for reducing spots. Get Angels On Bare Skin if you have dry or normal skin while those with greasier skin should try Dark Angels instead. Check https://www.lush.co.uk for more info.
LUSH BUFFY BODY BUTTER
Lush have lots of products to make your skin feel soft but one of the quickest to work is their body butter. Buffy, pictured above, is a moisturising and exfoliating butter that when rubbed over your skin with water makes it silky smooth and soft. This is perfect if you have a boyfriend or husband/partner that you want to impress as he will love the feel of your skin! If you have any bumpy cellulite it can help with that and make your legs, arms and everywhere else look and feel sexy and smooth. Priced at £5.50 per 90g it lasts quite a few baths/washes, and you don't need to use a lot in one go (in fact, if you use too much you may end up feeling too sticky - less is definitely more!). If you don't want a cream moisturiser or lotion, Buffy body butter is a good alternative that gives a long-lasting effect and that your body will relish. Find more info at www.lush.co.uk
INSPIRAL KALE CHIPS
We seem to be mentioning innovative products more and more on SaveAScream.com. Vegan bakers and caterers have the task of inventing new products often using specialised or different ingredients to the norm. InSpiral in London are one of those ingenious and visionary companies. Not only have they got their own cafe (and venue) on Camden High Street (the place to be if you're in town), but they have a range of amazing snacks that taste delicious and are good for you. InSpiral love to use raw wholefood ingredients and their kale chips are edibly stunning. We're loving that they've come up with something completely new that no-one has done before. They use dried and dehydrated kale but flavour it using various ingredients to make a variety of different flavours. And they ALL taste great. It's hard to describe them exactly - but they are probably the healthiest alternative to crisps or corn snacks that you'll find. These kale chips are little crispy crunchy clusters. Their Cheesie Purple Corn really does taste cheesy, their raw cacao and cinnamon flavour is chocolatey with a dark cinnamon infusion, almost a little like a slightly softer Crunchie but minus the honeycomb and with a little less chocolate. Their Baobab (the superfood of the moment that's getting a lot of press) and onion chips are pickled oniony but not too strong while Wasabi Wheatgrass is a little bit hotter. Health stores online and offline are stocking InSpiral Kale Chips now (GoodnessDirect.co.uk are currently selling them at £3.49 each) - although you can buy them directly from InSpiral's own online store for the cheaper price of £2.80 (except the Cacao & Cinnamon flavour which is £3.49). Check www.inspiralled.net The best thing about these kale chips is that they are a super-tasty food but lacking the unhealthiness. You can't get healthier than eating dried, dehydrated kale (unless you're eating fresh kale) - they're minus the calories and fat, yet bursting with the sumptuous deliciousness that less than healthy junk food tends to be known for. Our favourites are the Cheesie Purple Corn & Cacao & Cinnamon - but we reckon you ought to try them all for yourself - and let us know what YOUR fave is. The future of food starts here.
This is the page where we recommend cruelty free items, products and places that you ought to check out and try. There is so much great vegan, cruelty free stuff out there. Below are some of our discoveries and things we give the thumbs up to. If you know of something that we should check out that we haven't so far, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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