5 Vegan BBQ Options To Try Today

5 Vegan BBQ Options To Try Today

The weather may have been a bit wild and windy over the last day or so but there’s no need to despair just yet – there’s still a bit more warm weather More »

Mumbaikars Going Gaga Over New Vegetarian Barbeque Chaap Joint

Mumbaikars Going Gaga Over New Vegetarian Barbeque Chaap Joint

Looking for some lip smacking Barbeque? Try out some of the mock meat at Chaap ki Chhap, the newest eatery located at Bon Bon Lane, Ratan Nagar Corner, Mumbai. Mumbaikars are raving More »

Vegan Cheese is Better Than Ever: Try These 11 Brands

Vegan Cheese is Better Than Ever: Try These 11 Brands

More than ever, people are saying bye-bye to dairy and looking for non-dairy alternatives to some of their favorite foods. Dairy-free milks have become a popular staple in coffee shops and grocery More »

Pineapple Leather Is Here And It Looks Like A Real Game-Changer

Pineapple Leather Is Here And It Looks Like A Real Game-Changer

Leather made from pineapples? You better believe it! Launched by socially-conscious textile company Ananas Anam, pineapple leather (or “Piñatex”) is an “innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile” derived from pineapple leaves. The More »

Vegan food chain Veggie Grill is expanding nationwide

Vegan food chain Veggie Grill is expanding nationwide

Steve Heeley, the CEO of the healthy fast-casual chain Veggie Grill, is betting that its burgers taste as good — or even better — than McDonald’s Big Macs. There’s one big difference between More »

 

5 Vegan BBQ Options To Try Today

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The weather may have been a bit wild and windy over the last day or so but there’s no need to despair just yet – there’s still a bit more warm weather heading our way. Which is great news if you’re a diehard fan of barbecuing and al fresco dining, but what if you’re vegan or have a vegan guest?

Fruit and veg: For a longer life eat 10-a-day

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Eating loads of fruit and vegetables – 10 portions a day – may give us longer lives, say researchers. The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year. The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease. The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better. A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg – the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.

Mumbaikars Going Gaga Over New Vegetarian Barbeque Chaap Joint

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Looking for some lip smacking Barbeque? Try out some of the mock meat at Chaap ki Chhap, the newest eatery located at Bon Bon Lane, Ratan Nagar Corner, Mumbai. Mumbaikars are raving about the delicious assortment of items on the menu, which are all traditionally North Indian. You can choose from rolls, tikkis, burgers or even momos stuffed with soya chaap! You only have to visit their Facebook page to see the rave reviews and their growing fan following.

The joint is pure vegetarian and vegan-friendly, the owner, ex-hotelier Ameet Dawar, tells us to our tremendous delight that they are more than open to veganise the various items on the menu upon request. Up to ten or twelve dishes on the menu can be easily made vegan, he assures us. The menu is more soya-based than dairy yet they use cream in their sautéing, sauces and marinades so make sure you ask first! He heartily recommends the Special Japani ‘Fish’ for vegans.

Ameet adds, “I really recommend people to try out the dishes at least once, if they do not like it I am willing to not receive any payment for it, but that has never happened!”.

The 5 Girl Scout Cookies You Difinitely Didn’t Know Were Vegan

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This article originally appeared on Spoon U and was written by Brooklynne Palmer. It has been given minor edits before re-posting.

A little over two years ago, vegans everywhere got the amazing news: Girl Scouts were going to start offering vegan cookies. Since then, whether you knew it or not, some of your favorite cookies have actually become dairy-free. With a new vegan Girl Scout cookie on the market this season, I just couldn’t keep this to myself.

Bad news: Keep in mind that not all Girl Scout cookies come from the same company and some that you may find on this list aren’t vegan depending where you get them from. Double check the box before chowing down. Sadly, the cookies sold near me aren’t from ABC Bakers, the company with the vegan ones…it was a sad day for my stomach. But it was a happy day for my wallet, I suppose.

Girl Scout S’mores

This year we welcome S’mores into the vegan Girl Scout cookie family. They are gelatin and dairy-free for everyone to enjoy. You don’t need a campfire to indulge in this classic combination.

Thanks-A-Lots

“Thanks-A-Lot.” Sincerely, vegans everywhere

(I may be biased, but these are my favorite ones).

Lemonades

The perfect crunchy cookie with a layer of tangy lemon icing. I don’t know about Beyonce, but I would sure write a song about these cookies.

Peanut Butter Patties

Believe it or not, this chocolate-covered beauty is now available for anyone ditching dairy.

Thin Mints

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Any Better

This just in! Their Thin Mint cereal is also vegan. Breakfast, dessert, and everything in between; the Girl Scouts is where it’s at.

So there you have it. For those 10 minutes you were chowing down on that box of Thin Mints, you were actually enjoying a delicious vegan treat. If Samoas are more your thing, don’t be too bummed out, check out this vegan Samoa recipe. Hopefully this will help make your vegan Valentine’s Day a bit sweeter.

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Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan]

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There are no words to describe this, other than as a deep dish of absolute comfort. It’s a bit of a project, but not difficult, and definitely worth it for a special occasion meal.

Vegan Cheese is Better Than Ever: Try These 11 Brands

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More than ever, people are saying bye-bye to dairy and looking for non-dairy alternatives to some of their favorite foods. Dairy-free milks have become a popular staple in coffee shops and grocery stores alike, but increasingly, dairy-free cheeses are also gaining momentum. Of course, dairy-free cheeses are nothing new, but let’s be honest, dairy-free cheese from 10 years ago were akin to eating shredded plastic and they wouldn’t melt even if a blowtorch were put to them.

Chocolate Cashew Butter Swirled Candy Cups

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Ingredients

  • For the chocolate bottom layer
  • Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips – 1 cup
  • Extra virgin coconut oil – 3 tbsp
  • Smooth cashew butter – 3 tbsp (any smooth nut butter you like will work)
  • For the cashew-honey-vanilla layer
  • Coconut oil – 3 tbsp
  • Raw honey (or pure maple syrup for vegan) – 1 tbsp
  • Smooth cashew butter – ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (again, any smooth nut butter is good!)
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tsp

Instructions

Make the Chocolate Layer First:
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and the chocolate chips over low heat and stir until melted and smooth
  2. Add the cashew butter and stir until smooth and creamy
  3. Fill your silicone heart mold (or cupcake liners) about halfway up for each cup. Put the chocolate in the freezer or refrigerator while you make the second layer.
For the Cashew Butter Layer

In another small saucepan, melt the 2nd 3 tbsp of coconut oil and the honey together over very low heat while stirring. Add the cashew butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla.

Take the mold or lined cupcake pan out of the freezer and carefully spoon a little bit of the cashew butter-honey mix into each heart over the chocolate. Take a toothpick and gently swirl the cashew layer into the chocolate (have fun with the designs!)

Put in the freezer until completely set, then remove from freezer. You should be able to easily pop each chocolate out from the mold or cupcake liners

Serve and enjoy! Store leftovers in the freezer or refrigerator to keep them solid. The chocolate layer will be hard and the cashew layer creamier.

Recipe from: paleorunningmomma.com

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Pineapple Leather Is Here And It Looks Like A Real Game-Changer

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Leather made from pineapples? You better believe it! Launched by socially-conscious textile company Ananas Anam, pineapple leather (or “Piñatex”) is an “innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile” derived from pineapple leaves.

The “leather” comes from the tropical fruit’s waste plant fibres and is both durable and biodegradable, making it a great alternative to animal leather.

It was first discovered by Spanish designer and Ananas Anam founder and CEO Carmen Hijosa during a business trip to the Philippines, where she was introduced to the barong talong, a traditional Filipino shirt woven together with fibres of pineapple leaves. After five years of research between the U.K. and Spain, Piñatex was born.

Along with being socially conscious, Piñatex actually comes at a low cost. According to LifeGate, the pineapple leather is “about 23 euros per square metre versus 25-38 euros for the leather,” and is already being looked into by big companies such as Puma and Camper.

Not only will the introduction of Piñatex (and vegan leather for that matter) provide more opportunities for farming communities with the harvesting of pineapples, but it’s also a big step for the outing of animal textiles in fashion. With a tropical fruit making waves in the leather industry, we could be in for a major change.

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Vegan food chain Veggie Grill is expanding nationwide

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Steve Heeley, the CEO of the healthy fast-casual chain Veggie Grill, is betting that its burgers taste as good — or even better — than McDonald’s Big Macs. There’s one big difference between the two: the former is 100% vegan. Veggie Grill’s burgers are made of pea protein, while its “chicken” sandwich contains soy, pea, and wheat protein. “Today’s consumer is more mindful and aware that eating a diet made up primarily of veggies, fruits, grains and nuts is better for you,” Heeley — who, predictably, is a vegan — tells Business Insider. Launched in 2006, Veggie Grill serves fast-casual food that has fewer calories than traditional fast-food items. Its menu includes dishes like tempura green beans and “fish” tacos, with prices ranging from $3.50 to $11.50.

Got Almond Milk? Dairy Farms Protest Milk Label on Nondairy Drinks

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Not according to the dairy industry. Facing growing competition from dairy alternatives like almond, soy and coconut milk, the nation’s dairy farmers are fighting back, with an assist from Congress. Their goal: to stop companies from calling their plant-based products yogurt, milk or cheese. Dairy farmers say the practice misleads consumers into thinking that nondairy milk is nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.

A bipartisan group of 32 members of Congress is asking the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on companies that call plant-based beverages “milk.” They say F.D.A. regulations define milk as a “lacteal secretion” obtained by milking “one or more healthy cows.” Proposed legislation from Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont, and Senator Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, a state known for its cheese, suggests a slightly broader definition. Their bill would require the F.D.A. to target milk, yogurt and cheese products that do not contain milk from “hooved mammals.”

“The bottom line for us is that milk is defined by the F.D.A., and we’re saying to the F.D.A.: Enforce your definition,” Mr. Welch said.

But critics say consumers know exactly what they are buying when they choose almond or soy milk instead of dairy milk. “There’s no cow on any of these containers of almond milk or soy milk,” said Michele Simon, executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association, a trade group representing 70 companies. “No one is trying to fool consumers. All they’re trying to do is create a better alternative for people who are looking for that option.”

And what about other nondairy products with dairy names? Will milk of magnesia, cocoa butter, cream of wheat and peanut butter have to change their names as well?

In recent years, dairy milk alternatives made from almonds, soy, cashews and coconuts have exploded in popularity. Many people consider them more nutritious than cow’s milk. Some people buy them because they have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance. Others choose them for environmental reasons or because they want a vegan diet. And some just like the taste.

Miyoko Schinner, chief executive and founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen makes nut-based cheeses and butters in Fairfax, Calif. CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

Cow’s milk was once one of America’s most iconic beverages. But Americans are drinking less of it. Americans drink 37 percent less milk today than they did in 1970, according to the Department of Agriculture. Dairy milk sales tumbled to $12 billion last year, down 20 percent from $15 billion in 2011. Part of the reason is that people switched to other beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit juices, bottled water and soy and almond milk. Mintel, a market research firm, found that negative health perceptions were driving the decline in sales of cow’s milk.

Plant-based milks, with brand names like Almond Breeze and Silk, are sold in the dairy aisle and still represent a fraction of the beverage market, but they are growing in popularity. According to Nielsen, sales of plant-based milks have surged to $1.4 billion from $900 million in 2012.

Much of the growth in plant-based milk has come from the rising popularity of almond milk. Last year, Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, announced that it would begin offering almond milk to lighten its espresso drinks, to meet customer demand. The chain said it was one of the most-requested customer suggestions of all time.

Experts say sales of almond milk are surging for a number of reasons. The dairy industry has come under fire over concerns about animal welfare and the environmental impact of livestock, which contributes to air and water pollution. Almond production has an environmental impact as well: Most of the world’s almonds come from drought-stricken California, where farmers have been accused of diverting dwindling groundwater reserves to their almond orchards, and producing just 16 almonds requires an estimated 15.3 gallons of water. But ultimately the environmental impact of producing cow’s milk in areas where almonds are grown would be far worse, said David Zetland, an assistant professor of economics at Leiden University College in the Netherlands and the author of “Living With Water Scarcity.”

Many consumers also consider almond milk a healthier alternative to cow’s milk. The dairy industry says that’s not true. They point out that milk has nine essential nutrients that are necessary for good health, like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and potassium. The industry has also created ads claiming that milk has up to eight times as much protein as almond milk and fewer ingredients and additives. Some brands of soy and almond milk do contain large amounts of added sugar. But they also come in unsweetened varieties with zero sugar, and some are fortified with calcium, B12 and other nutrients.

There is also debate over the nutritional merits of cow’s milk. In 2013, for example, two of the country’s top nutrition experts, Walter Willett and David Ludwig, both at Harvard, published an editorial in JAMA Pediatrics arguing that healthy adults who get plenty of vegetables, nuts and protein in their diets may not get any extra benefit from cow’s milk. They also raised concerns about exposure to hormones in milk and high levels of added sugar in the chocolate milk served in many schools.

As the dairy industry continues to press its case, producers of nondairy milks are fighting back. The Plant Based Foods Association sent letters to the F.D.A. stating that plant-based milks were properly labeled with their “common or usual” names. A petition from the Good Food Institute opposing the dairy labeling legislation has garnered more than 41,000 signatures.

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Janet Clark, with a calf at her family’s dairy farm, Vision Aire Farms in Wisconsin, was one of the farmers who asked Senator Tammy Baldwin to restrict the use of the word milk outside the dairy industry.CreditBen Brewer for The New York Times

“Don’t they have better things to do than to care about what a product is called?” asked Miyoko Schinner, the chief executive of Miyoko’s Kitchen, which sells popular nut-based cheeses and butters at almost 2,000 stores nationwide. “The only reason they would care is because they’re protecting their special interests.”

Marsha Cohen, an expert on food and drug law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, said that the dairy industry faces an uphill battle. She said the government’s definitions for milk and other foods — known as “standards of identity” — are intended primarily to protect consumers from financial harm, such as being duped into buying cheap or imitation foods masquerading as more expensive ones. She noted that the F.D.A. recently allowed the company Hampton Creek to call its vegan mayonnaise substitute “Just Mayo,” even though the F.D.A.’s legal definition of mayonnaise states that the condiment must contain eggs.

The debate over what can and can’t be called milk already has played out in courts, with judges so far siding with the plant-based milk industry. In 2013, Judge Samuel Conti of Federal District Court in San Francisco, dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that claimed that almond, coconut and soy milk were mislabeled because they do not come from cows. Judge Conti said the claim “stretches the bounds of credulity,” and that it was “simply implausible that a reasonable consumer would mistake a product like soy milk or almond milk with dairy milk from a cow.” He said the lawsuit was reminiscent of an earlier case in which a woman claimed she was misled by Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries cereal because she thought it contained real fruit (that case was thrown out).

In another lawsuit in 2015, another Federal District Court judge in California, Vince Chhabria, rejected a similar claim that consumers could be misled into thinking that soy milk and cow’s milk were nutritionally equivalent.

“A reasonable consumer,” he wrote, “would not assume that two distinct products have the same nutritional content; if the consumer cared about the nutritional content, she would consult the label.”

One place the dairy industry has always found support is in Washington. The industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying the federal government, which strongly encourages Americans to drink plenty of milk. The government’s dietary guidelines recommend that Americans consume up to three cups of low-fat milk or dairy products each day, saying it contains many essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

Senator Baldwin of Wisconsin said that one of the reasons she introduced the Dairy Pride Act was that her dairy-farmer constituents wrote to her with their concerns. Among those was Janet Clark, a third-generation dairy farmer who runs Vision Aire Farms about 80 miles north of Milwaukee. Ms. Clark said that she and her family have struggled as milk prices have slumped and the costs of operating their farm have risen. She says that plant-based products are unfairly profiting from the name and reputation of cow’s milk.

“We set a high standard for the milk we produce,” she said. “Milk has already been defined as coming from a dairy animal. We just want that to be enforced in the marketing in supermarkets — that what is being called milk comes from a dairy animal.”

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