Vote: VegFestUK Awards 2013

Vegan Vote: VegFestUK Awards 2013

Voting is now open for the 10th Anniversary VegFestUK Awards. Categories include Best Caterer, Best City for Vegans, Best Place to Eat... and Best Vegan Blogger. Veganoo is pleased to report that we've been nominated in the latter category... more on that below. Voting runs until September 15th and the winners will be announced at London VegFest on October 5th/6th (at London Olympia):

Vegan Oreos, Vegan Oreos, Vegan Oreos

Vegan Oreos

Three sorts of vegan Oreos... from Poundland. That's right... Oreo biscuits are not normally vegan in the UK, but if you pop down to Poundland you'll find some vegan ones. Cheap ones too...Oreos are two packs for a pound for the standard packs. You can have Original, Chocolate Cream, or Original Snack Packs...but beware...the Chocolate Cream Snack Packs have whey in them. We grabbed a glass of rice milk, did the twist, the lick... and tucked in:

Vegan Easter: Choices White Choc Easter Egg

Vegan White Chocolate: Choices White Choc Easter Egg

A dairy-free white chocolate Easter egg with buttons. Celtic and their sister brand Choices have a monopoly on the dairy-free Easter section in Holland and Barrett stores, but it's a fine selection they offer so we're not complaining. Vegans can waltz in to a H&B and choose milk, dark or white chocolate eggs this year - is this a first? We naturally opted for the most exotic choice... the white chocolate egg:

Vegan Easter: Lily-Lu's Minty Moos

Moo Free: Lily-Lu's Minty Moos Vegan Chocolate Bar

Mint chocolate, but not as you know it! This is dairy-free milk chocolate with mint crisp, from the lovely people at Moo Free. We've eaten many versions of mint chocolate (just check out our Christmas reviews for lots of examples) but nothing compares to this. Even if you don't normally like faux-milk chocolate you should try really is great:

Vegan Easter: Moo Free Organic Easter Egg

Moo Free Organic Easter Egg - Vegan, Organic, Dairy Free Chocolate

Could this now be the archetypal vegan easter egg? The standard Moo Free faux-milk easter egg has quickly become a benchmark...widely available, reasonably priced and very good. Moo Free's version of rice milk chocolate is a favourite among vegans who will often name it as their first choice chocolate.

Review: Zero Zebra Rice Milk Chocolate Bars

Zero Zebra Rice Milk Chocolate Bars

An easter chocolate idea that isn't an egg. Faux-milk chocolate bars from Zero Zebra, a brand of Marthomi Allergy Free Foods from Germany. Each batch of these bars is tested for allergens to ensure they are completely dairy, gluten and nut free. The bars come in regular, rice crisp and strawberry flavour. We're reviewing the regular and strawberry flavours:

Review: Vegusto VEGI-DIP, Classic

Vegusto VEGI-DIP Classic B12

Swiss firm Vegusto's chilled dip range is slowly making its way to more stores across the UK, along with their vegan meats and cheeses. We picked up a pot of their 'Classic B12' vegi-dip for our review:

Feature: Thrifty Living's Vegan Sausage Recipes

Today we show @GranoVitaUK how easy it is to make vegan sausages. After yesterday's UNVEGAN post, we thought it would be great to follow up with a feature on making great vegan sausages. Anyone can make commercial-looking vegan sausages at home, using the recipes from our friends over at Thifty Living.

UNVEGAN: Granovita's eggy hotdogs / meatballs

Why have Granovita launched new products that aren't vegan?? These canned meatballs and hotdogs launched before Christmas and recently arrived at our local stockist. We'd love to be reviewing them but they're not vegan, so we can't:

Fairtrade Vegan: Divine Mini Easter Eggs

Divine 70% Dark Chocolate Eggs

Dark chocolate mini eggs from fairtrade producer Divine. A nice easter gift for dark chocolate lovers. These dairy-free mini eggs are not over-packaged like many easter eggs, so they score extra ethical points on that front too. Each little egg is foil wrapped, which makes them ideal for easter egg hunts.

Budget Vegan: Aldi Chocolate Easter Bunny

Aldi Choceur Dark Chocolate Easter Bunny

A large chocolate bunny for under a quid. The Choceur range at Aldi is always good value but this is exceptional at 99p for a full-sized Easter bunny. Clearly taking inspiration from Lindt bunnies, but at a fraction of the price. The dark and milk chocolate bunnies are distinguished by the colour of their bows and you'll have to dig deep into the display box to find the dairy-free one:

New: Tesco Choc Dipped Waffle Cones

Tesco Choc Dipped Waffle Cones - vegan ice cream cones

Vegan ice cream cornets with a chocolate coating. The sun was out at the weekend and it's perfect timing for us to notice these tasty new waffle cones from Tesco. Crispy sweet cones dipped in thick's almost the shortcut to a 'cornetto' style ice cream. We filled them with some dairy-free vanilla ice cream and took them out into the sunshine:

Review: V Pud Vegan Black Pudding

V Pud - vegan black pudding - The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co

A vegan version of black pudding (blood pudding / blood sausage) from the makers of... well the makers of real black puddings - The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Co. Don't let the fact that this is made by a butcher bother you - it's veggie and vegan certified. Surely better that this pudding will be seen by their own customers too, than hidden away in wholefood shops. We've never tried black pudding so we have no idea if the taste is in any way authentic, but read on for our thoughts:

Review: BioNova Organic Baked Beans

Do organic baked beans earn their premium price tag? Not all baked beans are vegan... some have milk in... dangerous when beans-on-toast seems like the only safe bet at some cafes. These BioNova beans are dairy-free, but are they delicious?

Sharp Cheddar (sort of) from Artisan Vegan Cheese

Recipes don't always work. This one didn't, but we're posting it anyway as part of our review of Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese, because it illustrates a good point: the recipes in this book look beautifully simple but there's a whole lot of culturing, gelling, drying and other processes going on which aren't that simple to master. Disaster is never far away.

Review: Alpro Rice Milk

Alpro Rice Original (rice milk)

Alpro's new rice milk get's the Veganoo review treatment. Can it compare to Rice Dream? Alpro is now a big brand in dairy-free milks, filling increasing amounts of supermarket shelf space. They haven't produced a rice milk until now though... so do their years of experience with soya mean they make a great rice milk too?

Brie from the Artisan Vegan Cheese Book

Vegan Brie from the Artisan Vegan Cheese Book

A wedge of vegan brie from a recipe in Miyoko Schinner's vegan cheese book (yeah we know it looks like cheesecake). We're slowly working through some of the key recipes in the book as part of our ongoing review. This one uses the same rejuvelac-cultured cashew base as most other recipes in the book, and includes coconut oil for ooziness, along with yeshi (nutritional yeast) for flavour.

Early Easter: Moo Free Easter Bunny

Vegan Chocolate Easter Bunny

A vegan Easter Bunny in the shape of a Mini Moos 'Bunny Bar'. The dairy-free chocolate specialists at Moo Free have launched a bunny version of their Mini Moos chocolate bars. This is a faux-milk chocolate bar, shaped like a portly easter bunny. They're sold singly and available in Waitrose and elsewhere.

Taste Test: Best Egg-Free Mayo

Best Egg-Free Mayo: Vegan Taste Test

Tiger Tiger, Granovita or Solesse - best squeezy vegan mayo? We know you like a good Taste Test and we noticed there were at least three brands of squeezy egg-free mayo on the market in the UK. We gathered up the three and sampled them side by side to see which was best. Move over Hellmans, the Egg Free cavalry has arrived:

Review: Redwood Hot Dog Sausages

Redwood Meat Free Hot Dog Sausages

Classic 'boiled pork' style hot dog sausages. Perfect on a soft roll, with ketchup and mustard. These hot dogs aren't new, but we've never reviewed them, and the idea of a weekend lunch of hot dogs slathered in mustard and ketchup was appealing. If it were wieners we'd have stuck to our favourite senf (German mustard), but these are more the Anglo/American take on the sausage-in-a-bun and squeezy yellow mustard seemed right.

Vegan Valentine: Divine Dark Chocolate Hearts

Divine 70% Dark Chocolate Hearts

A box of little red hearts of fair-trade chocolate that makes a subtle valentine gift. We bought these from Oxfam and you can also buy them online. Divine is the fair-trade chocolate company that is partially owned by Ghanaian cocoa farmers. There is a non-vegan milk-chocolate version of these hearts, but only the vegan dark chocolate ones come in the lovely red foil... perfect for your vegan valentine.

Vegan Valentine: Divine 70% Dark Chocolate Hearts

Review: Rice Dream Chilled

Could the world's best plant milk get better? How about if it was 'fresh'? Rice Dream is unsurpassed as the best tasting plant milk, and it's now available in the chiller cabinet. Available at Waitrose and Tesco, this milk joins a growing range of plant milks to make the jump to the chiller cabinet, where they get a higher profile alongside dairy milks. Is Rice Dream improved by being 'fresh'?

Vegan Pancake Day: Biona Agave Syrup

Organic dark agave syrup for your vegan pancakes. Agave syrup comes from the agave plant which although it looks like a cactus... technically isn't. The dark version of the syrup is less refined and contains more trace minerals... not that we'd suggest a massive dose of fructose and glucose is a health food! This Biona syrup is organically produced and is a lovely rich deep colour. It's also about half the price of maple syrup...

Vegan Pancake Day: Plamil Chocolate Spread

Plamil faux milk chocolate spread: vegan & dairy-free

Dairy-Free faux milk chocolate spread. Another sweet option for your pancakes on Tuesday. This chocolate spread is a milk-chocolate styled version with soya in lieu of cow juice. Plamil make a range of four chocolate spreads, with an original darker version as well as sugar-free and chocolate-orange options. This is not a hazelnut spread: Plamil don't use nuts in their chocolate factory.

Vegan Pancake Day: Shneider's Dellinut Duo

Dellinut Duo vegan chocolate spread...for Pancake Day

Dairy-Free white & dark chocolate spread. Yes, this really is vegan... we got it from Vx. Made by French kosher producer Shneider's this is the 'duo' version of their Nutella-style spread featuring white and dark hazelnut-chocolate spread in one jar. With Pancake Day on Tuesday, could this be the best vegan pancake filling ever?

Vegan Pancake Day: Orgran Buckwheat Pancakes

Orgran Buckwheat Pancake Mix (gluten-free / vegan)

Gluten-Free pancake mix. It's Pancake Day next Tuesday and we're reviewing some tasty vegan options, starting today with a gluten-free pancake mix from Orgran. The aussie gluten-free specialists produce two pancake mixes - a maize-based apple & cinnamon mix, or a plain buckwheat mix. We picked up the buckwheat mix as we thought it would be more versatile and set about making some crispy egg-free pancakes.

Gluten-Free Vegan: Sunstart Golden Crunch Cookies

Sunstart Bakery Gluten-Free Supreme Golden Crunch biscuits

Wheat-free shortbread biscuits from Northern Irish bakery Sunstart. The company makes it's own range of gluten-free biscuits and tray bakes, many of which sadly contain dairy. Sunstart also produce supermarket own brand Free-From biscuits for all of the big four. These golden crunch cookies aren't labelled as such, but are clearly very close in style to shortbread biscuits.

Review: Huji Food Ready-to-Eat Tofu

Huji Food Ready-to-Eat Tofu  (various flavours)

A selection of Chinese tofu strips, semi-dried, seasoned and ready-to-eat. You can find these packs of meaty tofu strips in Chinese supermarkets. They're long life and don't need refrigeration and so are a useful cupboard standby for a quick stir-fry. The four flavours on offer are spicy, pickled chilli, hot and barbecue.

Gluten-Free Vegan: Against The Grain Berry Cookies

Against the Grain gluten-free vegan cookies

Organic cranberry and raspberry gluten-free cookies. Against the Grain are a Surrey-based firm producing a range of gluten-free cookies in five flavours. As well as Berry Delicious, there's Ginger, Almond, Chocolate Orange and Choc Chip & Hazelnut.  We picked up a pack of the berry flavour to see if they're any good.

Budget Vegan: Fruitypot Jelly Desserts

Vegan jelly pots

Three packs of vegan jelly pots from Poundland. Peach jelly with fruit pieces...good value at 3 pots for a pound. Unusually, they're even labelled as vegan: