VEGANUARY 1st-31st JANUARY 2021…

Join the New Years Revolution – Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired and supported more than one million people in 192 countries to try vegan for January – and beyond. They have worked with businesses to drive up vegan food provision in shops and restaurants, and have made veganism more visible and accessible through our work with national and international media.

Facts:

Over 1,000,000 participants since 2014

192 countries around the world

More than 1200 new vegan products and menus were launched for Veganuary 2020

98% would recommend Veganuary to a friend

More than 600 businesses took part in Veganuary 2020

Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond. During the 2020 campaign, more than 400,000 people took their pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 600 brands, restaurants, and supermarkets promoted the campaign, and launched more than 1200 new vegan products and menus in the UK market alone.

Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering, and improving the health of millions of people.

The UK is now officially the world leader for vegan food launches. Mintel reports that around 16 per cent of new food products released in the UK in 2018 were vegan, which more than doubled the previous years’ output. Veganuary is cited as being behind this upswing.

Every January, retailers vie with one another to bring out more, bigger, and better vegan products and menus to capitalise on the huge popularity of Veganuary. But there work with businesses takes place year round! From the large multinational corporations, to the smaller high-street retailers – they offer support and promote their increased production of delicious animal-free items. In 2020, 600 companies promoted Veganuary and veganism, while there were more than 1200 new vegan products and menus launched during the month.

Some of the items that really got pulses racing were Gregg’s Vegan Steak Bake, Pizza Hut’s Pepperphoni Pizza, KFC’s Vegan Burger, Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara and Marks & Spencers’ No Chicken Kievs.

Their corporate collaborations are making plant-based foods so prevalent and so delicious that it is now easy for anyone to choose vegan options anywhere in the UK. They are now expanding this work globally!

Comedians like Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe and John Bishop have supported them; EastEnders’ Kellie Bright and Emmerdale’s James Moore are also Veganuary fans, alongside international athletes Hector Bellerin and Anthony Mullally. Paul McCartney has expressed his support for Veganuary and Brian May participated in January 2020 and plans to stay vegan. Joaquin Phoenix, Evanna Lynch, Chris Packham and Peter Egan are just a few of their incredible Ambassadors! This publicity is crucial to get veganism and, more importantly, the reasons to choose vegan, in front of a mainstream audience.

Their work with businesses doesn’t stop at product and menu collaborations, they also encourage them to run a Veganuary Workplace Challenge in January. In 2020 several large and influential businesses, including Pizza Hut Restaurants, Marks & Spencers, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Booking.com, Deliveroo and Ernst & Young took part and encouraged their staff to try vegan for January as well as providing more vegan options in staff canteens.

They also work with social media influencers, including some of the most exciting plant-based chefs, inspiring activist kids and animal campaigners with worldwide audiences.

They share their work with media around the world, and are happy to supply statements and images, statistics and case studies. As a result, Veganuary has appeared in every major UK publication and on every major UK television channel. Their message has spread worldwide – from the Los Angeles Times to the South China Morning Post.

THEIR VALUES

Impact: They are committed to a vegan world; they will utilise research to evaluate how the highest number of lives can be spared and direct resources to that end. 

Empowerment: They will optimise there outreach to support and encourage people on their vegan journey in a non-judgmental, positive, constructive, and easily accessible way. 

Collaboration: by partnering with other mission-driven organisations and working closely with corporates, they will make a bigger difference. 

Diversity and inclusion: they know that it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests and backgrounds to achieve their vision; they appreciate the value of this and how it brings them closer to achieving their mission. 

Respect and integrity: in all internal and external relationships, they will strive for genuine, honest, and transparent communication. 

Resilience: they will continue to create a professional and sustainable (human, social, economic and environmental) organisation.

Source : Veganuary

TWELVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CHANGE TO ORGANIC FOOD…

If your New Year resolution is to go organic then here are twelve reasons to go for it…..

  1. No ‘nasties’ organic means fewer pesticides
  2. No artificial colouring
  3. No preservatives
  4. Always free range
  5. No use of antibiotics
  6. No GM ingredients
  7. Fully traceable
  8. Good for the planet
  9. Kinder to animals
  10. Value for money
  11. Tastes better
  12. Lasts longer

3 GREAT EASY RECIPE COOKERY BOOKS…

Even though life has been strange over the last twelve months many of us have changed the way we eat and cook. I started doing a bit of batch cooking to help my daughter with her young baby and I also started being a bit more adventurous with my baking. And, finally something I am going to be writing about lots on this blog is how I buy more food from local sources to enjoy from the fields to the plate.

My first book of choice is called The Batch Lady : Shop Once, Cook Once, Eat All Week by Suzanne Mulholland.

This book was a present from my daughter and I cannot wait to try some of her batch recipes. It has over 80 simple, freeze levels store cupboard recipes. The Batch Lady has been transforming how thousands of people cook and eat through her revolutionary online channel. Now she shares her secrets with you.

With over 80 delicious, home-cooked recipes that are quick to make, create and store, Suzanne’s brilliant recipe combinations and time-saving tips will transform your kitchen, and will buy you back extra hours in your week. This is the only guide you will ever need to save you money, time, and headspace, and change your life for good.

Fast Cakes :Easy Bakes in Minutes by Mary Berry

Of course, I had to add a Mary Berry baking book and this one is absolutely brilliant. Over two afternoons before Christmas I baked a fruit cake for my husband, a chocolate cake for my daughter and family and 3 dozen mince pies for the whole family. This book is laid out so well you can bake in minutes just like it says. It’s all about being organised which is something The Batch Lady talks about in her book above.

Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time. It has over 150 easy recipes to make with confidence.

Simple Good For You by Amelia Freer

This book contains over 100 quick and easy recipes bursting with greatness. She gives advice to stabilising your blood sugars which includes not avoiding meals and checking labels on some supposedly healthy snacks which are actually packed with sugar. If you check the line ‘carbohydrates’ of which sugars per 100g. They say less than 5g per 100g is considered low sugar protocol.

The author is a No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author and renowned nutritional therapist, who A-listers turn to when they want to look and feel great. In this beautiful cookbook, discover 100 quick and easy recipes for varied and tempting dishes that are, quite simply, good for you.

STUNNING FLOWERING TEA GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS…

Flowering tea also known as blooming tea, consists of flowering bulbs with leaves tied around the flowers, which are made by binding tea leaves and flowers together into a bulb.

Each exotic bulb once it’s steeped blossoms spectacularly in hot water and produces a wonderful drink full of antioxidants, as well as looking and smelling great.

This tea is the ultimate of self-indulgence as the flower emerges as the centerpiece that not only can be enjoyed for its taste but admired as an art form. It is a treat for anyone with a bit of magic thrown in.

It is very fragrant, pleasant on the palate, and stunning to look at, flowering teas recall their natural spring blooming, and, just as in nature, there is a wide selection of flowers and colours to enjoy.

As you pour hot filtered water, the magic does not happen immediately. The little bulb carefully unwraps itself – not revealing too much at first. It builds the suspension until, in one sudden and exciting move, it lets go of the flower inside which travels upwards in your teapot like a soaring bird.

The Exotic Teapot sells hand tied blooming tea flowers. Fresh flowers like jasmine, Chrysanthemum and tender mao feng green tea buds are skillfully woven together into a ball shaped bloom by experienced Chinese tea masters. And as only the finest quality Spring Harvest green teas are selected to create their flowering teas, they truly taste as good as they look. Each blooming tea ball can be re-steeped with hot water at least three times and makes up to to 2 litres of tea. 

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They have some great gift ideas which can be sent direct to the recipient with a message so would make a great Christmas gift. Their Flowering Tea Triple Selection Box is three of their finest blooms and packaged for you in an attractive windowed gift box. The selection box includes a tin each of our excellent Jasmine Bow (5 blooms), Mango Splashj (5 blooms) and Peachy Rose (5 blooms) flowering teas, at £20

Another lovely gift is the Glass Infuser Mug (350ml) which will let you enjoy a flowering or loose leaf tea anywhere you please. Great for the office or traveling, this high quality mug has a removable glass infuser and lid that also serves as a coaster drip tray. Maximum mug capacity is 350ml. Normal usage capacity is 300ml. They only use the finest quality, borosilicate glass to create our glassware so each one is fully heat resistant and even dishwasher safe. A perfect gift for £14

GORGEOUS BOOKS AS GORGEOUS CHRISTMAS GIFTS…

It’s that time of year again where we see lots of books and new releases up for sale and you are spoilt for choice as to which one to buy for yourself or as a gift. Well, I thought I would put my pennies worth in and have three of my favourite not entirely cooking books but books about cooking, the history of the biscuit and stuff every cook should know about.

My first choice is The Biscuit; The History of a Very British Indulgence by Lizzie Collingham£12.99

Did you know that British people eat more biscuits than any other nation; they are as embedded in our culture as fish and chips or the Sunday roast. But biscuits are not only tasty treats to go with a cup of tea, the sustenance they afford is often emotional, evoking nostalgic memories of childhood.

Lizzie Collingham begins in Roman times when biscuits – literally, ‘twice-baked’ bread – became the staple of the poor; she takes us to the Middle East, where the addition of sugar to the dough created the art of confectionery. Yet it was in Britain that bakers experimented to create the huge variety of biscuits which populate our world today. And when the Industrial Revolution led to their mass production, biscuits became integral to the British diet.

We follow the humble biscuit’s transformation from durable staple for sailors, explorers and colonists to sweet luxury for the middling classes to comfort food for an entire nation. Like an assorted tin of biscuits, this charming and beautifully illustrated book has something to offer for everyone, combining recipes for hardtack and macaroons, Shrewsbury biscuits and Garibaldis, with entertaining and eye-opening vignettes of social history.

I love reading about life in times gone by and this book is full of fascinating social insights and delicious recipes. If you are someone who is fascinated by the history of food, then this book is definitely worth having. As a blog writer on all things Hygge it was interesting to read that The Dutch word “koek” means cake / biscuit / wafer and the diminutive is koekje, another word which I am sure will soon become popular.

This book is one for the coffee table to pick up and learn something else you didn’t know about tea and biscuits.

Stuff Every Cook Should Know by Joy Manning £7.99

Stuff Every Cook Should Know is as indispensable to cooks as a good sturdy knife and just as sharp. Compact enough to fit on the smallest shelf or countertop, this sous-chef-in-a-book tells how to make a meal plan, how to use common ingredient substitutions, how to throw a dinner party, how to organize your kitchen, and much more. It s a pocket-sized problem solver that makes a great gift for seasoned culinary artists, novice chefs, and anyone who loves to cook.

I’ve still got my first cookery book which I was given at school and love to read through it with my pencil notes fading by the day, but this gives you a hint at everything you might want to know about in your kitchen and full of helpful tips and reminders.

It really is a book about stuff every cook should know. While it won’t make one a master cook, it is definitely most helpful for someone starting out. A great little stocking filler for the novice student about to embark on their first cooking venture.

My final one for the time being is a bit different as it has stories as well recipes and one I plan to keep this one for my granddaughter.

Fairytale Baking Recipes And Stories, by Christin Gewekes £14.23

Once upon a time, many moons ago, there was a little girl who discovered her love for baking … Thus begins author Christin Geweke’s culinary journey through magical bakes that make you dream of fairytale forests and are guaranteed to be liked by the fussiest of cake eaters, just like the princess of the Princess and the Pea fame. Here are recipes and exquisite photographs of forest berry ice cream cake, mini gingerbread kuglofs, marzipan chocolate rolls, dreamy peach rose cups.

Like old family recipes, fairytales and stories are also handed down from one generation to the next. And delicious baking can delight the senses and bring back memories just like a good story, for both old and young alike. Lose yourself in fairytales to while away the time until your goodies are ready to take out of the oven and devour.

I love this book and the beautiful images inside it. I can’t wait for my granddaughter who is only one to be old enough to enjoy baking with me with this book. It’s definitely one for the coffee table and a real conversation starter. The recipes are clear and very easy to follow with a choice of some unusual ones (for me anyway), and it makes a nice change.