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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Betty Crocker Sunny Lemon Cake Mix With Glaze

Like cookies and cake? Too lazy to weigh everything out? Then look no further!

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is Betty Crocker Sunny Lemon Cake Mix With Glaze!

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Ingredients:
Cake Mix (245g): Sugar, Wheat Flour, Palm Fat, Raising Agents: Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate; Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Emulsifiers: Propane-1,2-Diol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids; Dextrose, Flavouring, Stabiliser: Xanthan Gum; Colour Curcumin; Citric Acid, Glaze Mix (50g): Sugar, Flavouring, Citric Acid

Firstly, I know what you’re thinking – “You said in previous blogs that due to deforestation and the extinction of several species of animals you were one of the many vegans that are currently avoiding palm oil.” ….And I am. However it gives me great pleasure to let you all know Betty Crocker (or General Mills) are one of the first big commercial companies to cave into our demands and publicly address the issue saying that:

“The company’s new policy respects Indigenous rights, protects rainforests and peatlands and sets a goal for sourcing 100 percent environmentally responsible palm oil by 2015.”

I take this as a victory, and as I know the company are now using sustainable and un-cruel methods, I can eat the palm oil and support their move (just as Sainsbury’s in the UK have done).

OK. So the Betty Crocker company is a bit of a vegan legend. Although the company itself is not vegan, they’ve written several vegan cookbooks and recipes aimed to make quick tasty vegan food for families.

As far as I’m concerned exposure such as this is great, as its gets ‘normal’ everyday families eating non meat meals, and even if this is just once a week – and if my maths is correct – then a family of four, over a year could save up to 208 servings of meat.

If you’re thinking what? The Betty company? Surely she means woman? No I do not and I’m going to blow your mind now.

There is no Betty Crocker.

‘Betty Crocker’ was made up to make the products seem more friendly by a woman named Marjorie Child Husted – the real Betty.

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Ok history lesson over! Back to cakes!

Betty Crocker Mixes are designed to just add milk, eggs and butter and bake, so when you’re trying to find out if this product, thats designed to be used with animal products is vegan, it can be tricky – however the Betty Crocker website was tres helpful:

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Basically just double up on oil, or use a banana as an egg substitute as we do.

After finding out that the emulsifiers used were from vegetable origin, it was just a case of a lot of googling! (Lots of E numbers and long ingredient names I had to check to see where they derived from) and I have concluded that based on the fact Betty’s products are labelled vegetarian – the E numbers in the ingredients come from plant, not animal sources.

The Betty Crocker Cake Mixes that are vegan are:
Sunny Lemon Cake Mix With Glaze
Betty Crocker Maple Syrup Cookie
Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake Mix
Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix

PLEASE NOTE: There are undoubtedly more options available out on the market that are vegan friendly, and as Betty’s range and flavours widen – its only good news for us! Just make sure you google the E numbers if the packet does not say vegetarian, or if theres a ingredient you haven’t heard of look it up!

So if you’re like me and more of a taster than a chef, then cheat your way to vegan friendly cakes today, without the fuss and hassle of following recipes!

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Nature Valley Bars!

Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. Is all I can say! So many flavours!

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is the yummy, scrummy – Nature Valley bars – which you’ll be pleased to know are available all over the world!

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Why they’re good? – Don’t have time for breakfast? Need a pick me up around eleven? Fancy a sweet treat after dinner? Or just craving something rammed with sugar?

Nature Valley bars all the way my animal loving friends!

These are possibly my favourite readily available cereal bar, as they are super tasty and always help keep the hunger away.

Whats bad about them – I know they don’t hold the nutritional value of lots of snack bars out there, which when you could easily buy something that gives you that extra boost just next door to these on an aisle, they might be looked over. However they do have a Protein Granola range that adds as an extra boost to my daily intake, with an advertised 10g of protein per bowl.

I think that you just have to think of Nature Valley as a a) non vegan company, who’s products just so happen to be vegan, and b) the price difference between a multipack of these and other products on the market is amazing! They are at least 25% cheaper! which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering this is a luxury item on top of your weekly shop – every little helps.

BEST OF ALL – unlike other products designed ‘for’ vegans where you tend to get only a few flavours. Nature Valley have a whole host of yummy options depending on what you fancy.

These are the list of products that Nature Valley currently have available on the market and are vegan:

CRUNCH range-
Pecan crunch,
Maple Brown Sugar,
Cinnamon,
Apple Crisp,
Roasted Almonds,
Crunchy Peanut Butter.

ROASTED NUT CRUNCH range-
Almond crunch
Peanut crunch.

TRAIL MIX range-
Fruit & Nut

PROTEIN GRANOLA range-
Crunchy Almond

Be careful when ordering online though as I’ve checked the ingredients for the above list off of the official.com nature valley website (click the links to go through to the listed products page) however in other countries ingredients may change due to different manufacturing process.

I’m saying this so you all check the backs! As companies are sneaky! Last thing I want is for you to eat anything you don’t want.

Enjoy! X

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Doritos; Chilli Heatwave Flavour Crisps

Todays Vegan Friendly Find is the only thing I KNOW I could eat for 72+ hours without getting sick of them.

Its the Doritos Chilli Heatwave Flavour Crisps:

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Ingredients according to the Doritos website: Corn (Whole Maize Kernels),Sunflower Oil (14%) ,Rapeseed Oil ,Chilli Heatwave Flavour [Sugar, Flavourings (contains SOYA, WHEAT), Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium 5’Ribonucleotide), SOY SAUCE POWDER (contains SOYA BEANS, WHEAT), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Diacetate), Salt, Potassium Chloride, HYDROLYSED SOYA PROTEIN, Colours (Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, Paprika Extract, Beetroot Powder), Citric Acid, Malic Acid] ,Rapeseed Oil, Contains: Wheat, Gluten, Soya.

Yay!!! …

Now how do I know I can eat this and only this for 72 hours? …Picture the scene, its raining, we have £42.50 in our pockets and me and my then boyfriend (now husband) decide to go camping. I swear this product alone kept me from starving to death very dramatically on those 72 hours of doom.

We decided to catch a bus from Bath to Sidmouth in the UK – but to save money we would buy a day pass that means instead of a one, 4 hour journey, we take 5 busses and two days to get there!

I swear, we stopped at every town, at every stop, with people getting on and off every single time along the way.

It was romantic at first, but after 7 hours on this bus, it got tedious to say the least. Eventually we stopped off for the night in Tiverton – about 2 hours from our destination, and headed to the local Tesco and looked for food we didn’t have to cook.

Now vegans you know my pain here, unless you’re going to munch down on a salad and some nuts (which seemed too stereotypical seeing as I was carrying a tent and sleeping bags on my back like some Glastonbury hippy) you’re pretty screwed.

Perusing the crisp aisle I was delighted to find these bad boys were not only vegan, but on special offer, and armed with some vegan friendly sliced bread, I had the feast of kings – the crisp sandwich. And all for the sum of £3.00ish!

We camped down for the night in the most uneven and noisy field I have ever experienced in my life. Cows tried to intimidate us (successfully) and a pheasant nearly ripped a hole in our tent whilst screaming from the top of its lungs. And it rained. A lot.

My face says it all here.

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Needless to say, the next day the Doritos kept me going; breakfast, lunch and then dinner! Through the rain, the walking, the lack of money and the bus journeys – which, if you’ve ever been to England and been on pubic transport system means a lot!

We got to our destination eventually though, and guys, it was beautiful.

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So dip away guilt free, scrunch, crunch and much those crisp sandwiches, and have a spicy treat the next time you go shopping.

I also recommend using theses beauties with a three bean chilli recipe – to accompany the rice, or crushed into pieces and sprinkled on a salad for texture – they make excellent croutons.

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – The BMW i3 car!

***Update since writing this I have discovered in the comments that the i3 has a leather steering wheel as standard – Although I’m sure it would be possible to pay extra and get a non-leather one installed***

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is the new BMW i3 –

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Ok, so driving is one of the many arguably non vegan things that many vegans do… and no I’m not talking about its impact on the environment.

Everything from the leather seats, plastic car dashboards, glue used in the doors, the tyres, everything. When you break it all down its just as jam-packed with animal as a Big Mac!

Unfortunately though, like many things we do – unless you want to live a Little House on the Prairie type Amish existence, you’re gonna drive.

(Please note unless you can TRULY pull off a bonnet I highly discourage the Amish existence you’re now contemplating)

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So PUT DOWN THE BONNET! As we can all give a huge sigh of relief because BMW have made a 100% vegan car!

The i3 model – which looks to me like a Smartcar mixed with a painting by Pablo Picasso – is bursting onto our forecourts this year, first Australia, then Europe – hopefully USA and the rest of the world after.

Ok I’m going to point out RIGHT NOW that I cant drive. So I’m not going to break down the ‘Specs’. However I am going to point out what makes it Vegan and also mention that I fully intend to buy this car – once I save up that $60,000 and learn to drive (It might take a while!)

According to the official BMW press release, the plug-in electric i3 has been called the ‘greenest car in the world’. With the amazing Green manufacturing, apparently when the car is eventually taken out of service, it can be recycled.

“The material for our carbon fiber-reinforced plastics is produced in our plant in Moses Lake, Washington, where the energy that’s being used is 100 percent hydro-electric power,” said BMW Spokesman Jose Guerrero. “And also the assembly of the car in Leipzig, Germany, that’s also being powered by four on-site wind turbines.”

“Right now we’re 95 percent recyclable, so the car itself is very sustainable, and very renewable,” said Guerrero.

“Particularly the batteries that power the electric motor, sometimes thought of as being an environmental hazard. They can be re-purposed when they’re no longer sufficient for vehicle use.”

Chief interior designer Daniel Starke said: “We always had a discussion what to do with people who go that far that they are vegan, or don’t want to have any animal products. We wanted to offer them a good possibility to drive a good elegant product without any animal products.” Starke said even the kenaf, an Indonesian fibre used in the interior, was chosen partly because it grows in monsoon areas “so it doesn’t take away space from growing plants to eat”.

Now what I’m really excited about is the fact that the vegan movement is literally making massive corporations like BMW question their ethics and bend their products to our needs.

I’m emailing BMW now however to check what tyres they use, and where they source their LCD screens from as many computer companies use animal products in the ink used. As well as the fact the official i3 trailer mentions ‘leather seats’ – http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oWDx_JURl-w

However. Saying all that, this is going to the extreme for the research of this blog, and I will be also showing my support for them in this email for making the car, and hope you all do too.

By supporting such a bold move we can only hope other companies follow the lead and realise we are here, we expect them to care, and we will support companies that do.

Now just to find $60,000 – anyone want a kidney?

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How Do You React To Accidental Consumption Of Animal Products?

Most people I know who are strict vegan or vegetarian have had at least one accident or another regarding animal based products.

Unfortunately its one of those things that happens when you buy and live in a world that uses animals for almost all of its products.

I myself have had many accidents in my 7 vegan years, some through lack of checking – yes assumption really does make an ass out of you and me – and some through sneaky companies.

For example, since I have been vegan, Skittles have been vegan twice, but are now not vegan in the UK again, Walkers crisps have changed their recipe (without publication) to include milk and Sainbury’s FigRolls that were once perfectly ok for me to eat – suddenly contained butter. Overnight. It was devastating!

So yes. I have eaten non vegan products, and tonight is another example of one of those.

My husband Benj, who is a fabulous vegan cook, decided to make vegan pizzas tonight using his very own vegan cheese recipe (I will blog one day) we used pre made bases that were vegan friendly, he made his own sauce and poured his cheese overtop.

Just look. Isn’t it freaking delicious looking…

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After one slice I was happily munching away when he said … I put a drop of wine in the sauce to make it richer… My heart dropped. Wine?… Oh no, I haven’t checked that wine (its our housemates).

I stopped eating.

“Did you check if its vegan?”

His bunny in the headlights look said it all.

“Ohhhhhh Ben!!!!”

I go out and take note of the wine – Anakena Chili Sauvignon Blanc.

Please I think as I google it – Pleeeease!

Nothing comes up, which is so often the case, and you know what, thats worse than knowing. It leaves that awkward thought…Do you continue to eat? Or do you not eat?

Ben advised me to keep eating.

“But what if its got fish guts in it? That repulses me, I cant eat it.” I snap.

He looks angry, and I get it, he’s cooked this amazing meal and I cant eat it, just in case it has something in it, that possibly may not.

Needless to say I didn’t eat it, and after a few sharp words I explained to a Ben that it wasn’t the fact he made a mistake that upset me (as said above we all do, and this is the first time) it was the assumption that – you’ve already ate a bit, so might as well keep going. Like it didn’t matter.

Everyone goes through stages when they find out there is an alien ingredient in their mouth, something unfriendly, un-vegan and just not right.

I think I’m definitely a blamer. I blame others when I eat something I shouldn’t. Its my mums fault for contaminating the potatoes with the meat. Its Bens fault for not reading the label properly (I have really bad eyesight) or its the companies fault for changing the ingredients when I’ve already checked the old ones.

I’m also a guilt holder. Even now I’m picturing the poor fish being gutted. Its like a heavy weight in my stomach that will haunt me for days. I don’t think this is a healthy way to think about it, but it does act as a wake up call to how I truly feel about my beliefs. It shows me just how much I care.

I also know people who are violent reactors – instantly making themselves sick or cleansing themselves by taking laxatives.

Then there’s the people who would continue to eat the food, on the principle that the animal had been killed or used for this, they had made a mistake but now should not waste the produce that the animal went through suffering for.

None of them are right or wrong, its just about processing your emotional and physical response and reacting the way you think is best. No one but yourself should judge you on that.

How do you react? Disgust? Acceptance? Guilt?

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – McVities HobNobs

Todays Vegan Friendly Find is the legend that is a McVities HobNob.

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Allergen Information:
Contains: Gluten, Wheat, Oats

Ingredients:
Rolled oat (38%), Wholemeal Wheat Flour (23%), Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate), Salt.

For those of you that don’t know what one is – where have you been? – A HobNob is like a mini flapjack in busicuit form.

They’re pretty damn tasty and unlike the cheaper supermarket versions of the biscuit they contain no palm oil, so are nice and friendly to vegans! Yay!

HobNobs are great to dunk in tea, or for a road trip as they keep you full thanks to the oaty goodness, they make a cracking base for a cheesecake and as I discovered today an amazing crumble topping! (Did anyone else know this?!?)

I made a peach crumble, it was super fast, really tasty and really cheap to make.

Ingredients:

One pack plain HobNobs.
Two Tins (one just doesn’t have enough juice in it) of Peaches – or tinned fruit in juice/syrup.
Cinnamon – optional.

THATS IT!!

*Just pour the two tins of fruit in an over proof deep dish,

*Get a carrier bag, place half the packet of HobNobs in, twist the top of the bag so none can fall out – then smash the sh*t out those HobNobs against a hard service until a breadcrumb like texture.

(This is a great excuse to also pretend you’re a Kurt Cobain)

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*Once fully smashed, quickly exit your method actor Cobain head space, (or if you insist on staying in character throughout this recipe, pop on your grubbiest plaid shirt ). Then add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the peaches, bake in the oven for 20 minutes on a medium heat.

When the crumble is golden brown and you can see the bubbling fruit juice peaking through its ready!

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For ultimate sweetness add a spoonful of vegan ice cream or vegan custard (see my top ten vegan products blog for my choice brand of accompaniment)

I ate the crumble on its own, and taste wise, it was not too sweet which is nice, especially after a big dinner, it was crunchy, with soft cake like bits where the biscuit had mixed with the fruit juice, and had the lovely oaty texture.

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In future I think I would use tinned cherrie’s or rhubarb as the peaches were a bit tasteless compared to the HobNobby top.

On the plus side – you only use half a pack of HobNobs, so whilst its cooking make yourself a brew and get ready to dunk!

Rock and roll!

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Benji’s Vegan American Style Pancake Recipe

Ok, so I’m not just saying this because I’m bias and he’s my husband, but before I met Benj, I didn’t realise Vegan food could taste so good!

I’d bought many vegan cook books – a few of them are excellent and I plan to review on here later, but Benj had a way of thinking as a non vegan what would make it taste good for him.

I know how strange that is – a non vegan making the best vegan food – but I think sometimes, someone who has access to the ‘real deal’ if you will, will work harder at making it taste like it, rather than me (for example) who cant even remember what most things taste like anymore!

So here we go – the MOST delicious Vegan American Style Pancake Recipe:

Ingredients:

(Makes 6 large American Style Pancakes)

Self raising flour – 200g,
Bananas – 2 bananas – preferably spotty and ripe,
Caster sugar- 50g,
Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon,
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional – but yummy)
Soy milk – add till right consistency,
Baking powder – 2 teaspoons,
Pinch of salt,
Vegetable Oil for cooking,

*Ok so mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl,

*In a separate bowl, put in two ripe bananas and squish with spoon until it looks like this (but make sure you get rid of all the big pieces or else it wont mix right) ….

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*Then make a well (or volcano!) with your hands and add the banana goo to middle and stir well,

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*Add Soy milk a little at a time and keep stirring until consistency is like cake mixture and it runs off the spoon… Like this…

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*If you want crispy, Americana Pancakes add oil to the middle of two non stick frying pans. NOTE: if you don’t have non stick pans definitely use oil.

*Put the frying pans on around 4 and a half on electric ovens or a medium temperature on all other ovens and wait for the pan to heat.

*Note – If you chose not to use oil for health reasons (BOOO) then your pancakes will turn out more like a scotch pancakes/ drop scone.

*Put a drop of the mixture in the pan and if it bubbles/ sizzles then you’re good to go.

*pour a good size pancake in the middle of the frying pan and leave to cook on a medium heat until the pancakes begin to bubble…..

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*DO NOT FLIP THEM UNTIL THE BUBBLE BUBBLE BUBBLE! I know you want to but dont! Or else you wont get the tasty crispy corners like this….

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* Finally flip and cook on the other side till you can squish them in the pan with no mixture coming out.

Benj then puts the cooked ones on an oven proof tray and puts them in the oven on a low temperature to stay warm whilst he cooks the others, this way you can bring them out in one giant stack and look like a boss in front of your friends/ girlfriend/ boyfriend/ transgender lover.

so heres the final product! Complete with a helping of the Vegan Friendly Find – Hershey’s Chocolate Flavour Syrup from my last post!

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P.s if you want an extra special treat roughly break 25g vegan chocolate in a bowl and add to the mixture and mix just before cooking. The chocolate will melt inside the pancakes and taste like Morrissey’s tears…..Beautiful.

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