You've heard of Kite Hill and Treeline nut cheeses? Tyne Chease is the UK's version. Having never tried the American cheeses we're not going to compare, but the arrival of Tyne Chease has generated a lot of excitement, so let's see if it's any good. We sampled the Classic and the Garlic & Herb hard cheeses, along with the Soft Macadamia:
Out with the shaker, in with the grater! At last, a big wedge of pungent vegan parmesan to grate on your pasta! There have been vegan parmesan substitutes for years, but few in block form, with most sold in shaker pots. The Violife cheese brand is now a firm favourite, so it's only right they should take up the parmesan challenge.
Forget fish, 'Nothing Fishy' are farming sustainable algae to get Omega 3 direct from the source. Fish don't actually produce omega 3, they get it from krill, who get it from algae, which means vegans can too. These new supplements are made with cold pressed algal oil. Nothing Fishy sent us a pack to try out:
Plamil have launched a new UTZ Certified line of faux milk chocolate, with reduced sugar. The Plamil brand is hidden on the back of the pack, with the "Lots of This, None of That" branding adorning the front. The company sent us a few bars over to check out, so let's get chocolatey:
Bake at home dairy-free pizza with vegan cheese and vegan pesto. German brand Natural Cool is a frozen food specialist, but beware, it's not a vegan or even vegetarian brand. This pizza is available in pesto or peperoni (spicy vegan sausage) flavours. Is it better than the offerings from UK and US producers?
You know sometimes you have to travel to do your vegan shopping? Wouldn't it be handy to have a look around your destination shop before you get there. You might know about this already, but Google Maps offers a 'See Inside' feature as part of their Street View service. A great example is this one of Out Of This World in Nottingham (embedded Streetview - try it).
New, from the makers of Koko coconut milk, a margarine / spread made with coconut oil. There are lots of vegan margarines on sale in the UK, but most are very similar. They no longer contain hydrogenated oils, but most still use a blend of palm oil and sunflower oil. This one is different:
Lindt and Aldi chocolate bunnies came to visit this Easter, so we put them head to head. We've reviewed the Aldi Choceur bunny before, and awarded it full marks (for the price), but how does it compare to a Lindt bunny that costs 3 or 4 times as much?
100% fruit based snacks, high in fibre with no added sugar. Now in new shapes and packs. If you're looking to wean yourself off jelly sweets in favour of something less sugary, these fruit chews could help. They're basically dried fruit made to look like sweeties.
New recipe book from vegan street food pioneers and founders of Wholefood Heaven, David and Charlotte Bailey. The book includes cooked and raw food recipes, and focuses on Asian, Indian, Spanish and Middle Eastern dishes, both sweet and savoury. It's a beautiful hardback book, but do the recipes deserve the glossy presentation?
Vegan easter egg made with almond milk. This new No Dairy chocolate range has launched this week just in time for Easter. It's not labelled 'dairy-free', but it is labelled vegan. Hotel Chocolat have eschewed rice powder and soya to replace the milk, in favour of almond powder, something we haven't seen before.
Organic vegan grated cheese with coconut oil and lupin flour. With Viotros, the Greek cheese maker, now doing contract manufacturing of dairy-free cheese, we're seeing a lot of very similar vegan cheeses on the market. Veganic, Violife, Jeezini and even Field Roast's Chao are all variations on the same product, and Amisa have joined in the fun too:
Dairy-free, made from almond milk, by the Rice Dream people. Velvety Vanilla and Mint Chocolate Chip. We finally found some of this in a Little Waitrose, but not the two most exciting flavours - the Praline Crunch and the Salted Caramel were not stocked unfortunately. We'll add those when we find them, but does Almond Dream live up to the hype?
Vegan party food from the 2014 Festive Range. We got these in as a sort of Boxing Day thing, as naturally there is no leftover Turkey to use up. These faux-turkey breadcrumbed strips are chilled, with a good shelf life, and only need a quick blast in the oven. They should be ideal vegan buffet food:
I’ve never warmed to Yotam Ottolenghi, the Guardian food columnist and chain restaurateur. Maybe that’s because he’s a meat eater who did the ‘vegetarian’ column in the Guardian for a while, or because his recipes don’t appeal to plant eaters, with their reliance on egg and dairy. After reading his opinions about Tofurky, my aversion has only grown:
Our pick of the ten vegan products that most impressed us this year, from yoghurts to ice cream, burgers to chocolate, crisps to spray cream. We concluded last year, that 2013 had been an exceptional year for vegan produce, and maybe we haven't seen quite as many great launches in 2014. How far we've come in the last decade though, that we have to pick and choose from so many good vegan foods. Read on for the Editor's picks of the best vegan products of 2014.
New sophisticated mini boxes of truffles in bright and vibrant colours that ditch the old fashioned styling of the traditional lines. These chocolates are sold chilled - that is you'll find them in the dessert chiller at Waitrose or in your local wholefood shop. The fridge treatment is necessary because of the new 'delicate' flavours:
Limited Edition honeycomb crisp chocolates, perfect for the festive season. These dark chocolates are much more versatile than the mint ones, which are usually sidelined as after dinner chocolates:
Faux milk chocolate, made with oat milk instead of the usual rice milk. Ethicoco are a startup bean-to-bar producer making all-vegan all-organic fair trade chocolate, from imported beans. The guys at Ethicoco were kind enough to send us a couple of sample bars for our review... and we're excited about it..
Bristol startup making gluten-free vegan burgers. We've been on the lookout for these since they launched earlier in the year, and this pack of two burgers arrived with the Vegan Tuck Box in November:
Not flakes, but powder, just like all those recipes by Isa and Miyoko require. In the UK you can buy agar flakes in any wholefood shop, but finding the powder usually means buying online. Lakeland's Experichef range includes xanthan gum (also used by Miyoko for cheese making), plus this agar agar. We tested it out on a cheesecake:
Vegan protein powder and nutritional supplement with hemp and pea protein, maca, lucuma and MSM. It's natural, raw, organic and is low fat, low sugar and low calorie. The makers claim it supports your natural digestive, immune, reproductive and muscle systems. Available in separate versions for men and women. This is a review of the men's version...
Yep, these mixes function as both egg and gluten replacers. If you think about it, egg and gluten both provide structure in baking, and Czech firm Hraska have developed products that do a similar thing. The UK distributor Bearsted Foods sent us two of the mixes for review - the Flour Mix and the Batter Mix:
The UK's favourite veggie marshmallows have had a facelift. The sloth is Freedom Mallows' new mascot, replacing the bunny rabbits from the old packaging. The massively improved branding should help make these mallows go mainstream, and yes - it finally says VEGAN on the front of the packs!