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Becoming Vegan

EIGHT years ago when I decided to become vegan, I was the only vegan I knew.

In fact I hadn’t even met a vegan! My aunty was vegetarian for six years, but that was back in her ‘uni days’ and so it was described as some sort of hippy phase.

I remember making the decision and friends actually betting on when I would crack! (My friend Rachel bet me twenty quid I would break by a week – a lot to a 17 year old!)

Well here I am, unbroken, unwavering, and gladly friends with a more vegans than ever before.

It got me thinking though, when I first began there was no ‘Fry’s Chicken Nuggets’ available at my local Tesco’s – you had to make do, find your own recipes and pray to god you could make Tofu taste like anything other than just tofu!

A lot of discussions on WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook and everywhere else about vegans – seems to be talking to VEGANS. Preaching to the converted if you wish.

So I thought for anyone you know out there who is thinking about being vegan, or anyone who wants to become one, here are some handy links.

After all, this is what we’re all here to do right?

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Vegan Friendly Finds – Co-Op Dark Chocolate 

Okay UK people listen-up!
Get your butt to your nearest Co-operative shop and buy yourself a dark chocolate bar. Now!

   
 It’s 50% cocoa solids, dark, delightful and dreamy. 
Perfect for baking, scoffing or melting. Plus! While you’re there pick up co-ops awesome cruelty free washing powder, conditioner and soap.

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Vegan Friendly Find – Jus Roll Pastry

I’m a lazy cook. I’m not making pastry… and now you don’t have to either!

Jus-roll pastry is Vegan!

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Here’s what it says on their website: http://www.jusrol.co.uk/askjanet.aspx

Which products are suitable for Vegans?
All Jus-Rol Ingredient Pastry is suitable for vegans except our All Butter and Sweet Shortcrust products which contain butter.

That means a whole world of tarts, puffs, pies and party treats have just become a whole lot easier!

The only issue I can find is one that Jus Roll contains Palm Oil – HOWEVER they claim to use sustainable Palm Oil in cooperation with the RSPO (http://www.rspo.org/) this seems like a go to me – but I couldn’t help notice a tweet that made me think the RSPO might just be a marketing front:

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(https://twitter.com/maryrayner/status/315492905823379456)

Either way it’s up to you guys – the product is vegan 100% – it’s just the ethics behind it might not be so ethical.

Let me know if you know whether the RSPO is doing good work or not – then I can get baking too!

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie

NOM NOM NOM

Today’s Vegan a Friendly Find is – Betty Crocker’s Fudge Brownie Mix

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Ok so Betty Crocker products are a bit of a staple for vegans…I’ve done a few on the blog before, but every time I find a new one I have to test and tell you all about it!

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.

For this one I added 3/4 a cup veg oil and one banana mushed. But I found that even after an hour, it wasn’t cooked and there was loads of yucky excess oil! So I whipped it out the oven and stirred in around 50gms plain flour and a tsp of baking soda. This seemed to firm it up and I cooked for another 40 mins.

Even after all that the brownie is gooey – but almost to the point of being raw! I’ve now microwaved it for 5 mins! (Desperate measures I know!)

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Would love to know how you guys get on and if you used a different technique that worked – let me know please!

Ingredients:

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After finding out that the folic acid used was from vegetable origin (it says suitable for vegetarians on the packet) it was just a case of a lot of googling! (Lots of long ingredient names I had to check to see where they derived from). But yes. I cant find anything that I wouldn’t class a s vegan – with possibly the exception of the sugar source (which I still have an ongoing reply waiting from the company for).

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!

Plus! Betty Crocker (or General Mills) are one of the first big commercial companies to cave into our demands and publicly address the issue of palm oil 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.”

So no need to shy away from palm oil laced ingredients!

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Betty Crocker’s Whipped Butter Cream

Ok I’m pretty freaking excited about this one, and I need to munch on these whilst they’re still warm so its quick and simple today!

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Betty Crocker’s Whipped Butter Cream

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Betty Crocker’s products (as discovered in a previous blog) have responsibly sourced Palm Oil in them, as well as using mostly non animal derived products unless clearly stated.

Using this amazing vegan cupcake recipe: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Vegan-Cupcakes

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I excitedly double checked my ingredients then dived straight in!

Ingredients: Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Water, High Maltose Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Contains 2% or Less of: Mono and Diglycerides, Color (color added, yellows 5&6), Cellulose Gel, Salt, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Cellulose Gum, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Citric Acid. Freshness Preserved by Potassium Sorbate.

Finding a pre made frosting is neigh on impossible for a vegan, so I’m really happy I found this one as it will disguise the taste of even my dodgy baking!

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(Yes that is my finger marks!)

I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be vegan. As it tastes too creamy and full of evil. But it is! So grab a spoon and ice those cupcakes people!

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