Tag Archives: Stuff I’m Loving

Flaunt Your Haunt – Bath City, UK

Today, I’m taking part in the Travelodge #FlauntYourHaunt campaign and I’m going to share what I love about my home city. I’ve lived in Bath for sixteen years now, but not a day goes past that I don’t count my lucky stars that I ended up in this incredible place!

So what makes Bath so special to me?

Bath Abbey in November

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Filed under Out & About in Bath, Reviews, Walking & Hiking

Top Picks of Dairy Free ‘Milk’ Chocolates

One of the most exciting developments that I’ve witnessed in the world of confectionery has been the perfecting of vegan ‘milk’ chocolate. After decades of dodgy ‘dairy free alternatives’ to milk chocolate (that barely even tasted like chocolate!), there is now an array of quality vegan ‘milk’ chocolates available. I’ve discovered most of them via The Vegan Kind subscription box, so a big thank you to the TVK Team for seeking them out for us.

Here are my top picks of vegan ‘milk’ chocolates that would be perfect for gifts, stockings and hampers this Christmas. And if planning to purchase online, why not buy from a charity shop such as Viva! or Animal Aid? That way, you’ll be making a purchase that’s not only cruelty free, but supports the protection of animals too. That’s a ‘win-win’ in my book :o)

Vegan Milk Chocolate Collage 3 Continue reading

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Dairy-Free / Vegan Easter Eggs – Top Picks for 2015

With just over a week until Easter, our minds have been on all things egg and bunny shaped, and preferably made of chocolate. We’ve been scouting the shops and online stores, checking out what’s on offer for vegans and the dairy free. Every year, the selection gets bigger and bigger. I remember not so long ago that it was impossible to find a dairy-free egg (even the dark chocolate eggs contained dairy :/). This year, whether you’re a milk, white or dark chocolate lover, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our top picks for 2015.

Milk Chocolate Lovers text

 

 

Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Eggs 2015

1. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Bunnycomb Egg 100g (Vegan Town, Animal Aid, Viva!)

2. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Egg 100g (Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Ocado)

3. Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Cheeky Orange Egg 100g (Animal Aid, Viva!)

4. Plamil Organic Dairy-Free Milk Chocolate Egg 85g (Holland & Barrett, Vegan Town)

5. Choices Dairy-Free Easter Egg & 6 Choc Discs 125g (Holland & Barrett)

6. Choices Dairy-Free Caramel Flavoured Egg with 3 Caramel Chocolates 120g (Holland & Barrett)

7. Vantastic Large Vegan Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny 100g (Vegan Town)

Guaranteed dairy-free: Moo Free, Plamil

White Chocolate Lovers text

 

 

White Chocolate Easter Treats 2015

1. Vantastic Large White Chocolate Bunny 100g (Viva!)

2. Zotter Mi-Xing White Easter Egg 100g (Viva!)

3. Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Egg & Buttons 65g (Holland & Barrett)

4. Choices Dairy Free White Chocolate Bunny Bar 40g (Holland & Barrett, Sainsbury’s)

Dark Chocolate Lovers text

 


Dark Chocolate Easter Treats 2015

1. Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Chunky Button Egg 250g (Ocado)

2. Cocoa Loco Dark Chocolate & Ginger Easter Egg 225g (Cocoa Loco)

3. Divine Luxury Dark Chocolate Easter Egg with 100g Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bar (Waitrose, Ocado, Animal Aid)

4. Hotel Chocolat Dark Egglets 110g (Hotel Chocolat)

5. Hotel Chocolat Dark City Bunnies 90g (Hotel Chocolat)

6. Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs with Almond Praline 150g (Montezuma’s, Ocado, Animal Aid)

Hotel Chocolat Milk-Free Milk Chocolate – NEW for 2015!
As soon as I heard that Hotel Chocolat had launched a range of milk-free milk chocolate, I headed straight to our store in Bath to check it out. It didn’t taste quite as I expected… it’s got that quality cocoa flavour that we know and love about Hotel Chocolat, but it didn’t have the creaminess (or sugary sweetness) that we associate with dairy chocolate. When Lil’ L tried it, he said that it was more like a dark chocolate than a dairy chocolate. If you’re a milk chocolate lover, I’d recommend trying a sample before you buy to make sure it suits your tastes. I like it… but then again I’m a dark chocolate lover 😉

Hotel Chocolat Milk-Free Milk Chocolate1.   Milk-Free Milk Scrambled Egg 210g

2. Milk-Free Goose Egg 130g

3. Milk-Free Milk City Bunnies 90g

 

What chocolatey treat would you love from the Easter Bunny this year?

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Celebrating The Vegan Kind’s First Anniversary with a Worldwide Giveaway

This month marks the first anniversary of The Vegan Kind Monthly Subscription Box. I can’t believe it’s been a year already since the postman handed me my first box. I was so excited to open it (as I have been every month since then!)

TVK Year 1

It’s so much fun getting surprise gifts, and the fact that this box is filled with vegan, planet-friendly, cruelty-free products, means it couldn’t be more perfect for me.

TVK has introduced so many amazing brands to me these past 12 months. Snacking moved onto a whole new level of deliciousness, thanks to Landgarten’s dark-chocolate covered raspberries, seeds and nuts, Propercorn’s Sweet and Salty Popcorn and Hoots Pickled Onion snacks.

And how about that almighty Vego Hazelnut Bar in TVK9 and Ombar Coco Mylk Raw Chocolate Bar in TVK11? Pure yumminess

TVK9

The boxes have introduced some new treats for Lil’ L too. He’s especially loved the Rebel Kitchen Choco Mylks, Landgarten goodies, Vego bars, Hoots snacks, Propercorn, Ten Acre crisps, Choc Shot and Freedom Mallows. Thanks to TVK and Freedom Mallows, last Christmas he enjoyed his first marshmallow topped hot chocolate 🙂

Vegan Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

As well as the snacks, I’ve loved experimenting with the ingredients and spice mixes. The Coconom Coconut Sugar in TVK6 and Mr Organic Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto in TVK8 were particular favourites of mine. The recipe cards have been awesome too. I love how they’re printed on quality, wipe clean card and come with a handy storage binder. I was more than delighted to share one of my family’s all-time favourite vegan pizza recipes in TVK8.

Sunshine Pizza Recipe Card

Through TVK, we’ve also got to try products that aren’t yet readily available in the UK. I’d heard a lot about CocoBacon in ‘foodie world’, so I was beyond excitement to find it in TVK9. I especially loved it sprinkled on BLT style salads. I was so gutted when I came to the end of the packet. Not everyone enjoyed the Cocobacon as much as I did though. It definitely seemed to have the ‘Marmite effect’ on TVK readers 😉

BLT Salad - Vegan Style

The TVK boxes are not all about food though. They also include toiletries, beauty, personal care and household products. In TVK2 we received a full-size bottle of Greenfrog All Purpose Natural Cleaner. Its neroli scent is so lush that I actually look forward to cleaning my kitchen and bathroom now.

TVK2

One of the biggest ways TVK has impacted my life is on the home laundry front! I’d tried and failed with so many ‘eco friendly’ laundry detergents and ‘solutions’ in the past, that I wasn’t holding out much hope for the soap nuts that arrived in TVK1. I was really surprised and happy with the results though. Not only do they clean our clothes, but they seem to soften them too. For the best part of a year now, detergent and softener has been ditched in favour of soapnuts and a few drops of lavender oil 🙂

TVK1

It’s been a real privilege to share in TVK’s first year. And what an incredible journey it’s been! From starting in their kitchen, sending out a couple of hundred boxes in the UK, they moved to warehouse premises where they now mail out thousands of boxes worldwide! Did anyone see the video footage on Instagram of the boxes stacked floor to ceiling? Honestly, my jaw dropped!

Whether you’re already vegan, just starting out, or simply curious to find out more, the TVK community is a great place to connect with like-minded folk. You’ll find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

TVK Anniversary Box Giveaway As part of its month of celebrations, TVK has kindly offered to send an anniversary box to one of my lovely readers. It’s an international giveaway, so everyone can join in To be in with a chance of winning, simply leave me a comment under this blog post answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter below. Do make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so. There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected. This giveaway is open to residents aged 18 and over. The closing date is Thursday 13th November 2014 at midnight GMT. The winner will be selected at random and notified by email. The winner will have 7 days to respond. If they fail to do so, another winner will be selected at random. New to Rafflecopter? It’s pretty easy! Simply click on ‘Use Your Email’ and enter a name and your email address (rest assured it won’t be published anywhere). You can also log in using your Facebook account, if you wish. A quick demo of how to use Rafflecopter can be accessed here. * If you experience any technical problems when trying to enter the Rafflecopter, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll submit your entry for you *  a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you’re already a TVK subscriber, you could always be super generous and pass on the prize. It would make a fab Christmas present for a veggie friend

Good luck everyone! xx

 

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Stuff I’m Loving – Autumn 2014

The market for tasty, healthy snacks and dairy-free alternatives seems to have exploded this year! Honestly, every time I visit the supermarket the ‘free from’ aisle seems to grow bigger and bigger! I love checking out new products and sharing my favourites with you in these posts. I also love to hear about your new discoveries so please do share them in the comments section below. I’m always on the look out for new things to try!

Here are five yummy goodies that me and the family have been loving lately…

Ombar Organic Coco Mylk Chocolate Bar
Dairy free / Gluten free / Vegan
Individual bars (35g) £1.99
Ombars are no ordinary chocolate bar. They’re made with raw organic cacao which not only gives them rich flavour, but also means that each little bar is packed with antioxidants and minerals. The bars are gently sweetened with organic coconut sugar (perfect for me as my body tolerates cane sugar less and less well these days) and some of the bars, like the Coco Mylk and Strawberries & Cream, also include probiotics (‘friendly bacteria’).

Ombar Coco Mylk

I’ve loved all the flavours I’ve tried so far but my absolute favourite has to be Coco Mylk. With its creamy flavour and melt in your mouth texture, it’s like a high quality milk chocolate, yet its 100% vegan. While the bars might seem pricey for their size, the chocolate is incredibly satiating, so I find that a little goes a long way. Since Coco Mylk is my favourite flavour, you can imagine how delighted I was to find a bar in my latest TVK Box!

TVK11

Ombars are currently available in the UK in independent health food stores and online.

Propercorn Sweet & Salty
Dairy free / Gluten free / Vegan
Individual bags (30g) – 75p, Family bags (90g) – £1.59
Lil’ L and I had never tried sweet and salty popcorn before, so when a packet arrived in our August TVK box, we couldn’t wait to tuck in! We were amazed at how well the flavour combo works, and loved how the brown sugar coating gave the popcorn a light ‘crunch’ as you bit into it.

Propercorn Sweet and Salty 400

Since Lil’ L discovered that Waitrose sells Propercorn, a family size bag seems to magically appear in my shopping basket every week. It’s his favourite treat for movie nights and, since it’s so light, he also likes to stash a bag in his backpack for school trips and biking adventures.

Lil L's Propercorn Snack Stop

Propercorn individual and family bags are currently available in Waitrose; individual bags are available in Tesco.

Nakd Bars
Dairy free / Gluten free / Vegan
Individual bars (35g) 75p; Multipacks (4 x 35g) £2.70
My family are big fans of Nakd bars and I like to keep a stash in backpacks and handbags for snacking on the go. I love how they’re made of 100% natural ingredients (basically raw fruits and nuts squashed together) with no added sugars, syrups or oils. They come in nine flavours and there are three in particular that I absolutely adore – Cocoa Orange, Cocoa Mint and Caffe Mocha. The packaging’s really cool too!

Nakd bars

In the shops, you can buy individual bars and four bar multipacks. Selection boxes are also available from the Nakd website. I love the ‘Find Your Favourite’ box which has one of each bar in the range. It makes a yummy treat for health conscious friends. I recently sent one to a friend that was going travelling as a ‘bon voyage’ gift.

You can get great deals on Nakd bars in the UK supermarkets, so I stock up whenever I spot them on offer. This month, Waitrose are offering two bars for £1 and two multipacks for £4.

Lil' L Nakd Bar Snack Stop

Oatly
Dairy free / Vegan
Oat drink (1 litre) £1.39-1.49; Organic Creamy Oat (250ml) 75p
I’ve only recently discovered the Swedish company Oatly, but they’ve been making oat drinks since the early 90s. In Sweden, Oatly is the number one milk substitute, and they’re rapidly growing in popularity here too. There are currently five Oatly products available in the UK. The Organic ‘milk’ only has three ingredients – oats, water and a little salt. For those that prefer fortified ‘milks’, the one in blue packaging comes fortified with calcium and vitamins D2, riboflavin and B12. There’s also a dairy-free alternative to single cream called ‘Organic Creamy Oat’, which is perfect for drizzling on desserts and can also be used for cooking.

Oatly has recently had a re-brand and the new packaging is really cool!

Oatly range

The Oatly ‘milks’ are available in most major UK supermarkets, and the cream alternative is currently available in Tesco and Waitrose. Since they have such a long shelf life, I like to stock up on the UHT ‘milks’ when they’re on offer. Both Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are currently offering multibuy deals (3 for £3; 2 for £2).

Hoots Snacks
Dairy free / Vegan
Individual bag (38g) £0.60
We first discovered Hoots through the September TVK box, and were delighted to meet the team behind this delicious snack at London VegFest last weekend Hoots sell a range of oven baked snacks made of wholegrains and mixed seeds (all free from added colours, flavours, preservatives and MSG). The pickled onion flavour is lush! For me, it tastes like a healthy version of my favourite childhood junk food – Pickled Onion Monster Munch! Lil’ L loves them too, and has enjoyed taking them to school and on trips as a ‘treat snack’.

Hoots Pickled Onion Snack

They’ve only recently launched in the UK and aren’t widely available, so I’ll update this post once they launch nationwide (Fingers crossed that will be soon!)

Over to you, lovely readers Have you discovered any new yummy plant-based products lately?

 

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