Coming Soon on Veganoo: Best Vegan Pesto

vegan pesto dairy-free

There are at least 4 types of vegan pesto on sale in the UK, which surprised us when we set out to look for them. Pesto is easy to make yourself, but if you're looking for the readymade stuff there are plenty of dairy-free options to choose from. The brands we'll be testing are Suma, Zest, Sunita and Florentino. They all differ in their make-up, some with pine nuts, others with less traditional brazil nuts...but which is best? Coming soon on Veganoo.

Web:   Twitter: @veganoo   Facebook:   Flickr: veganoo

Vegan Ice Cream Cones: Swedish Glace -v- Tofutti

Vegan non-dairy ice cream cones (tofuline / swedish glace v tofutti)

Forget the wet summer weather, let's eat ice cream! We're talking ice cream cones today, the type you buy from the freezer cabinet. Like a Cornetto, but for vegans. There are two on the market in the UK in the form of Swedish Glace 'Peak' cones and Toffuti 'Rock n Roll' cones. They both come in multi-packs but if you're lucky you can find them sold singly too, which is handy if you can't eat four at once! They cost about the same, and look very similar...but which is best?..

Banned by the Vegan Police. How Vegan is Vegan?

Banned by The Vegan Police

If the fabric on your restaurant chair is made of wool, is your meal still vegan? Undoubtedly. How about if the conveyor belt in a biscuit factory contains wool fibres, are the biscuits still vegan? We say yes, and here's why..

10 things you can do with Leafu (leaf curd)

Leafu leaf curd leaf protein leaf protein concentrate recipes

If you followed yesterday's link to the guide for making your own leafu, you might be wondering what you can do with the stuff. Here are ten ideas for making the most of your calcium and iron rich treasure...

Plantfoods: Make your own Leafu (leaf curd)

Leafu leaf curd

Our sister site has a new demo available for making your own leafu (leaf curd) from stinging nettles. Leafu is the protein curd extracted from edible leaves such as nettle, and is high in iron and other nutrients, but is not widely available to buy. Leafu can be made at home with low-tech kit, although the yield is pretty low for the amount of effort required, even if you don't get stung picking the nettles!

Diary Date: Oct 27 - West Midlands Vegan Festival

West Midlands Vegan Festival 2012
Now in it's 5th year the West Midlands Vegan Festival is one of the largest UK vegan events and promises to be bigger and better this year.

The 2012 festival is scheduled for Saturday 27th October at Wolverhampton Civic Centre. The event will have over 100 stalls filling two large halls and will run from 11am until 6pm this year.

For the latest information, ignore the web address on the printed flyers (which is out of date) and visit:
or see the facebook page:

Gluten-Free Vegan: Biscotti Amaretti by Orgran

Orgran Biscotti Amaretti pack

Orgran produce a massive range of gluten-free foods, all of which are vegan too. Their line of Biscotti Amaretti are the only vegan amaretto biscuits available in the UK as far as we can tell, so it's gluten-free or nothing for us vegans! They also happen to be yeast free, soy free and nut free. These biscotti are free-from pretty much everything, but are they free from flavour too?

Crumbs! New vegan biscuits: Fox's Munch

Fox's Munch vegan biscuits

Bad news if you're dieting...Fox's new Munch biscuits are vegan friendly. These are great everyday biscuits, perfect for dunking in tea. They look a bit like ginger nuts but are softer and chewier...and not ginger. The oat and coconut biscuits have a slight coconut flavour but generally are just a buttery (plant butter...) crunchy, chewy biscuit. The 'Golden' flavour biscuits are the ones to go for, as the Chocolate Chip ones list dairy as an allergen despite no milk ingredients being included.

Coming Soon on Veganoo: Cream of the Crop

6 types of dairy-free vegan cream

Strawberry Season Taste Test: 6 vegan creams go head to head for the right to top our great British strawberries.

UPDATE: Our Taste Test for Best Vegan Cream is now live!

Winning Ways. Fabulous Fudge Factory Fudge

Fabulous Fudge Factory Fudge

Up against the Holy Cow fudge we reviewed just a few weeks back, this fudge is a clear winner. Winning Ways of Essex, going by the name of the Fabulous Fudge Factory have concocted a dairy-free fudge that has that all important tooth-feel. You can really sink your teeth in to this fudge and we even tried it out on some unsuspecting non-vegans who couldn't tell it was dairy-free.

Flavour Fave: Bessant & Drury's Ice Cream

Bessant and Drurys Ice Cream Stall

The vegan ice cream market is still a land of opportunity with a just a few established brands, some better than others in our experience. Bessant & Drury's are the latest to stake their claim to a corner of the dairy-free market with their range of coconut-milk ice creams. They were in the fortunate position of being the only ice cream vendor on site in the scorching heat at last weekend's VegFest. So is Bessant & Drury's a case of ice dream, or I scream?

Belting idea: Recycled Bike Tyre Belts

Bike Tyre Belts

Belt choices for vegans are pretty limited so what a fantastic idea to recycle old bike tyres. We spotted these non-leather offerings in Bristol at a Sunday market stall alongside the floating harbour. Fifteen quid for your choice of slick or knobbly, in all variety of widths and even a few colours.

VegFest Bristol 2012: Review

Is VegFest Bristol the world's biggest vegan festival? Let's throw some numbers around and see what sticks: 3 days long, over 100 stalls, around 50 live shows and over 25,000 visitors through the gates. That's pretty impressive for a vegan event.

What matters more than numbers is that thousands of people, vegan or not (yet) walked away from a weekend in Bristol with a fantastic impression of what it's like to be vegan - it's all eating, drinking, dancing and getting sunburnt!

This was a truly great festival and thanks must go to the organisers and also to the sponsors (Redwood Foods) who gave us all of this for free this year. The weather certainly helped, but with a robust programme, a great venue and some big name headline acts, success was assured. Here's our round up of VegFest Bristol 2012 on veganoo:


VegFest Bristol 2012: Day 3

Vegan Ice Cream Stall

The traditional British summer Sunday...Pimms, Strawberries, Ice Cream...vegan style! We're leading with three photos of the laid back Sunday morning atmosphere of day 3 at VegFest, which go to show why this is the greatest vegan show on earth. Where else would you find a vegan ice cream stall, a vegan strawberries and cream stall and a Pimms over ice stall all in one place?

Pimms Stall at VegFest Bristol

Strawberries and dairy-free cream stall

The Sunday music was just as laid back, with Anthea Neads & Andy Prince kicking off proceedings for the afternoon.

Anthea Neads & Andy Prince play live at VegFest Bristol May 2012

VegFest Bristol 2012: Day 2

Finley Quaye live at VegFest

UPDATED: Finley Quaye live on stage this evening at VegFest Bristol. The headline act attracted a capacity crowd and queues to get in to the festival site reached across Millennium Square.

Sell out crowds at VegFest

The amphitheatre at Waterfront Square filled to bursting for the evening performances.

VegFest Bristol 2012: Day 1

vegfest bristol 2012 crowd

The world's biggest vegan festival got underway today at Bristol (UK) with crowds gathering in the early summer heat for 3 days of music, food and revelry. The event kicked off at 2pm this afternoon and saw festival goers entertained by live bands on the harbourside from afternoon until evening. The weekend is headlined by Finley Quaye tomorrow night (Saturday, 7:30pm). The unexpected May sunshine ensured everyone was in high spirits, although shade was in short supply in the open amphitheatre at Waterfront Square.

the magnus puto bristol vegfest 2012
The Magnus Puto get people dancing
More photos below...

Butter me up? Review: Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups

Cleos Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter is one of those 'marmite' foods....either you love it or hate it. For peanut butter lovers (like us), what could be better than a shot of the stuff covered in chocolate? Two of a handy pack...

A Lidl less Gelatin. American Hard Gums

Lidl American Hard Gums

Lidl continues to be an occasional source of vegan confectionary. In amongst their range of jellies a little vegetarian V gave these away, which on closer inspection were vegan. The vast majority of their jellies are still made with gelatin but it's encouraging to see some progress at the discount end of the market. So here we have vegan American Hard Gums...but are they any good?

Flex Oil. Omega 3s from Flax Oil

Flax Oil

Flax oil is just another name for Linseed oil, the stuff your brother might have oiled his cricket bat with. The difference is in the grade flax oil is cold pressed from Linseeds without the use of solvents. Flax oil is useful for vegans because it contains the highest level of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA among vegetable oils.

Good Heavens. Hemp milk from Good Hemp

Hemp Milk, you know the might even have tried it. Like drinking the water you've washed your muddy boots in. That all changes with the new and improved Good Hemp recipe. We can honestly say this stuff is rather good. Much to our surprise we find it mild tasting, gently sweet, not at all gritty, and look at that's even white. But is Good Hemp good enough to become your favourite non-dairy milk?

Wot No Dairy? Taste Test: Non-Dairy Yoghurts

vegan yoghurts

In a sign that the non-dairy market is maturing, there are now several natural plant-milk yoghurts available in the UK. The latest entrant, Redwood's 'Wot No Dairy' is soy-free too if you're excluding soya from your diet. We put the newcomer up against two established favourites from Provamel and Sojade. How does it fare?

Teese me, please me? Review: Teese 'Mozzarella'

There are many dairy-free cheeses on the market now, but few are palatable in all honesty. Teese is the latest to appear in the UK and promises a vegan mozzarella that melts and stretches just like the dairy stuff. Does it deliver?

Taste Test: Best Vegan Chocolate Buttons

chocolate button showdown

Whatever you call them...choc chips, drops or buttons, you'll be sad to learn that Humdinger have withdrawn theirs from the UK. The Humdinger faux-milk chocolate buttons and their white chocolate buttons have been the dairy-free choice for many vegans. With Humdinger gone, we look at the options available in our Chocolate Button taste test...

Review: Holy Cow Vanilla Fudge

holy cow vegan fudge

Holy Cow, could this be the Holy other words the perfect vegan fudge? Sorry to disappoint, but we have to say no. Like most vegan fudges this is more of a sugar fondant than a fudge, without the creamy toffeeness of the dairy stuff. The bite is too firm, with a sudden yield as it breaks, rather than the teeth sinking slowly you'd expect from fudge. There is also that graininess you get with sugar fondants.

Review: Caramel Choices chocolates

Caramel Choices

Ok these are not new, having launched last year, but we wanted to review them because they're really good. Celtic make a range of Dairy Free chocolate products, most of which are just ok, but these caramels are something else. If you've eaten Cadbury's Caramel bars in the past these Caramel Choices will taste familiar.

Did you know...that Jelly Tots are vegan?

Jelly Tots pack

Once upon a time, Jelly Tots were made with gelatine...the animal gelling agent. In case you missed it, they've been vegan for several years since the gelatine was replaced with modified starch.

Most fruit jellies are still made with gelatine so it's useful to have a mainstream product that isn't. There are several veggie jellies available from wholefood stores, but jelly tots can be bought from any corner shop...useful for cake decorating emergencies....or sugar cravings..

Review: Mini Moos chocolate bars

mini moos

Moo Free has been around for a couple of years with their faux milk chocolate and their latest line is Mini Moos - three packs of mini choccy bars. We tried out their honeycomb bar which is a bit like a deconstructed Cadburys Crunchie...pieces of honeycomb toffee atop a bar of rice-milk chocolate.

VEGG: The Vegan Egg Yolk

Vegg vegan egg yolk packet

We've got our hands on a packet of Vegg - billed as a vegan egg yolk. The mix consists of little more than a blend of yeshi (nutritional yeast) and sodium alginate (an extract of brown algae) with a few vitamins, but is a versatile egg yolk replacer.

Sodium alginate is the stuff molecular chefs use to 'spherify' liquids, to make fruit juice 'caviars' and the like. The Vegg mix can be spherified into perfect round egg yolks...but not straight out of the packet - additional purchases are required for that.

Out of the packet you can make yourself a quiche, an omelette or French toast.

UPDATE: Read our full review of The Vegg vegan egg yolk

See also our French Toast made with The Vegg post.

See also our Vegg 'n' Bacon english muffin post

Here's one that didn't work - hard boiled Vegg yolk...we just re-invented gnocchi!

Quorn goes vegan...first baby steps

Quorn Vegan Burgers

That's right, this is no Photoshop...that really is a pack of Quorn 'Vegan Burgers'. All Quorn products until now have included egg albumen as a binder, but this recently launched line in the US is all vegan and uses wheat and potato protein instead of egg.

The product hasn't launched yet in the UK, but producers Marlow Foods are UK based and the following statement from the company indicates that a vegan product launch is expected on home soil.

"A Quorn product suitable for a Vegan diet is currently available in the US only. Here in the UK, we’ve also seen the growing demand for Vegan food and are already looking at a Vegan product offer under the Quorn brand developed specifically for the UK market."

There are many vegan burger options already available, but the important thing is that Quorn has a dominant position in the meat-free market. This means that Quorn is often the only choice available in small supermarkets and many catering outlets. The arrival of a vegan Quorn product line makes it simpler for retailers and caterers to offer a vegan option. This could also be the first baby steps of the whole Quorn line going egg-free.

This Month: VegFest Bristol 2012

VegFest Bristol
VegFest Bristol. Photo courtesy

UPDATED: Read our review of VegFest 2012 Bristol

It's May already, which means VegFest Bristol is just 4 weeks away. The annual vegan extravaganza is billed as 'the world's biggest vegan event' and features three days of stalls, shows, talks, food, music and more.

Entry to the festival is free this year, including access to the headline music acts and the comedy hours. Highlights include Ready Steady Chef live cooking shows, a daily Happy Hour with stall discounts, an extensive comedy line-up and Finley Quaye headlining on Saturday night.

Veganoo will be on scene to bring you news and photos from the 3 day event.

Event Details as follows...