Monday, 2 August 2021

Vegan Red Pepper Dip

This quick and simple recipe is sweet and smoky and perfect as a dip, or served on the side with just about anything. 

Guest post by Louise Palmer-Masterton, founder of Stem & Glory.

Ingredients

Serves 2-4

1 red pepper cut into strips

1 red onion sliced

1 large whole clove garlic

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt & pepper

Method

Mix all the ingredients together so everything is lightly coated with olive oil. 

Place into a shallow baking tin and roast at 180C for 25 mins.

Allow to cool slightly, then blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper to your taste. The dip should be sweet, smoky and very tasty!

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Vegan Pineapple and Ginger Loaf Cake

I was testing a ginger beer recipe recently and found myself with some leftover pineapple and ginger pulp. In a bid to limit food waste, this loaf came to mind. 

Even if you don't have leftover pulp, this recipe can be recreated by blending a cup or two of pineapple chunks and some fresh ginger with water or plant-based milk to make a smoothie. This will be the liquid element in the cake, along with the sunflower oil. Simple, delicious and perfectly moist. You'll want to serve this alongside a glass of fruit punch or a steaming cup of tea - whatever takes your fancy.

I topped my loaf with some crushed peanut brittle (ground peanuts mixed with a sugar syrup) that I had lying around. But this is entirely optional. Feel free to use any topping of your choice such as mixed nuts, seeds or fresh fruit.

Ingredients

(Serves 8)

- 2 cups self-raising flour

- 1 cup caster sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 and 1/4 cup blended pineapple and ginger 

- 1/2 cup sunflower oil

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold and combine until you have a thick cake batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased and flour-dusted loaf tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. A skewer/toothpick stuck in the centre should come out clean.

Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin and serving.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Red and Processed Meat Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Globally coronary heart diseases (caused by narrowed arteries that supply the heart with blood) claim nearly nine million lives each year1, the largest of any disease, and present a huge burden to health systems. Until now, it has been unclear whether eating meat increases the risk of heart disease, and if this varies for different kinds of meat. Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health have conducted the largest systematic review of the prospective evidence to date, including thirteen cohort studies involving over 1.4 million people. The study participants completed detailed dietary assessments, and their health was tracked for up to 30 years. The results are published today in Critical reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Overall, the evidence from the analysis indicated that:
  • Each 50 g/day higher intake of processed meat (e.g. bacon, ham, and sausages) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 18%.
  • Each 50 g/day higher intake of unprocessed red meat (such as beef, lamb and pork) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 9%.
The findings may be because of the high content of saturated fat in red meat, and of sodium (salt) in processed meat. High intakes of saturated fat increase levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, whilst excess salt consumption raises blood pressure. Both LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure are well-established risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Previous work from the same research team has also indicated that even moderate intakes of red and processed meat are associated with increased risk of bowel cancer2.
Dr Keren Papier (Nuffield Department of Population Health), co-lead author of the study, said: ‘Red and processed meat have been consistently linked with bowel cancer and our findings suggest an additional role in heart disease. Therefore, current recommendations to limit red and processed meat consumption may also assist with the prevention of coronary heart disease.’
Dr Anika Kn├╝ppel, from the Nuffield Department of Population Health and the other co-lead author of the study, added: ‘We know that meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and we need to reduce meat production and thereby consumption to benefit the environment. Our study shows that a reduction in red and processed meat intake would bring personal health benefits too.’
Currently in the UK, about 10 in 100 people would be expected to eventually die from coronary heart disease.3 Based on the findings from the present study and current red and processed meat intakes in the UK,4 if all these 100 people reduced their unprocessed red meat intake by three-quarters (for example from four times a week to one time a week), or if they stopped consuming processed meat altogether, deaths from coronary heart disease would decrease from 10 in 100 down to 9 in 100.
The studies involved in this analysis were mostly based on white adults living in Europe or the USA. The research team say more data are needed to examine these associations in other populations, including East Asia and Africa.
-----
References:
  1. Source: World Health Organization; https://www.who.int/news/item/09-12-2020-who-reveals-leading-causes-of-death-and-disability-worldwide-2000-2019
  2. https://www.ndph.ox.ac.uk/news/moderate-meat-eaters-at-risk-of-bowel-cancer
  3. https://www.bhf.org.uk/-/media/files/research/heart-statistics/bhf-cvd-statistics---uk-factsheet.pdf
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-9-to-11-2016-to-2017-and-2018-to-2019

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

12 Vegan Chocolate Recipes for World Chocolate Day

Celebrate World Chocolate Day with this selection of delectable vegan chocolate recipes. These treats are sure to sweeten your day. I dug through my blog archives to retrieve some of my favourites, so I hope you give them a try. Simply click on the recipe name or image to access the full recipe!

1. Chocolate and Peanut Muffins



2. Double Chocolate Garri Cookies



3. Chocolate Mousse Pots



4. Four Layer Chocolate Cake



5. Chocolate Fudge Cake



6. Peanut and Ginger Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Cream



7. Mocha Plum Upside Down Cake



8. Bounty Chocolate Bars



9. Chocolate Almond Mousse



10. Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes



11. Vegan Flake Chocolate Bar



12. Plantain Waffles with Melted Chocolate and Strawberries



 

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

How Tracye McQuirter Helped 15,000 Black Women Go Vegan

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Tracye McQuirter on Instagram Live. Tracye is a nutritionist, best-selling author (By Any Greens Necessary; Ageless Vegan) and founder of 10,000 Black Vegan Women - a program designed to support black women to go vegan for 21 days and beyond. 

Having admired her work since the early days of my vegan journey, it was such a treat to chat with her and find out more about her latest project. Have a watch of the video above and be sure to subscribe on YouTube!

Friday, 4 June 2021

Vegan Nigerian Meal Plan | Healthy, Alkaline

Figuring what to cook or eat on a daily basis can be a challenge, especially if you're new to veganism or if you're looking to make healthier food choices.

In this 4-week alkaline meal plan, all the hard work has been done for you. You'll gain access to a printable shopping list and at-a-glance weekly menus that can be pinned to your fridge for easy reference. That's a whole month of varied meals that are good for your health and will leave you feeling energised. Join 1000s of others who have benefitted from this meal plan.

Still got questions? See below for some frequently asked questions and responses!

What do you mean by alkaline?

A predominantly alkaline diet places an emphasis on fresh and unrefined fruits and vegetables, while restricting heavily processed and junk foods. The aim of eating this way is to promote optimal health and reduce your chances of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and certain cancers. All this just by basing majority of your meals on whole, plant-based foods.

Why should I get this meal plan?

The meal plan is designed to take the stress out of thinking of what to eat on a weekly basis and makes choosing healthy food options a breeze. It includes a printable ingredient list and 'at a glance' weekly menus that can be pinned to your fridge for easy reference.

Will the recipes be Nigerian?

There are several alkaline meal plans available online but many are written through a euro-centric lens. In writing this guide, I drew inspiration from my West African heritage, including ingredients and meals that are typical to that part of the world. If you're new to Nigerian food, you'll gain a lot of insight into our style of eating. If you're a veteran West African foodie, you'll appreciate the healthy take on some of your favourites. All the ingredients are easily accessible wherever you live and can be found at your local supermarkets, African/Caribbean shops or online. 

How can I access the meal plan?

You can download the meal plan from HERE for as little as £9.99 (approx. N5,800). You will immediately receive a copy of the meal plan via email, which you can download onto your laptop, desktop, or print out if necessary.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

How to Make a Vegan Diet Nourishing for Kids

 Guest post by Louise Palmer-Masterton on navigating a vegan diet for babies and infants. 

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Many people question if a vegan diet is ‘safe’ for children and voice their concerns that they will lack the right nutrition if they follow a vegan diet.


The world is actually full of healthy vegan children, we just don’t hear about them. All we hear is one extreme horror story of an Australian family depriving their baby by feeding them only vegan food. In fact, it turned out that they are depriving their child of food, period, and of course that will lead to ill health. 


The first thing you need to do if you are considering raising vegan children is educate yourself. A diet of vegan burgers might have been ok for you pre baby, but your children will need more. So, if you don’t already love to cook, it is time to get cooking.  And it’s time to fall in love with lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and a wild array of vegetables. 



You need to become an expert in plant-based nutrition and understand what constitutes a balanced diet. With children as well as balanced protein and healthy fats, you will need to pay particular attention to vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and iron.


The best possible start in life for your baby is breastfeeding, and for you to eat a healthy and balanced diet whilst feeding. It’s wise for this reason that you continue to take a pregnancy safe vitamin supplement. There are no vegan baby formula milk products currently in the UK market, although they will no doubt emerge in the future. Don’t be tempted to give your infant plant-based milk substitutes, as they will not have the nutrition your child needs (same goes for feeding an infant plain cow’s milk).


Every child is different when it comes to weaning, my eldest breastfed until more than two years old, and the Vegan Society advice is to continue breastfeeding until your child is two years old if possible. My youngest however stopped the minute they discovered proper food at 10 months! If you do stop breastfeeding before two years, you’ll need to pay special attention to a good balance of nutrition, minerals and vitamins. 


Both my children were weaned first on blended banana and avocado, which is a legend in our house (try it!), and graduated to blended lentils and vegetables, thick soups and baby versions of what we were eating. It’s sensible to pay attention to a vegetable protein component at each meal, for example lentils, beans or quinoa along with vegetables and healthy fats. Babies can eat nuts and seeds, but only if ground or completely blended.


With regard to vitamin B12 which all vegans should be mindful of, there are a number of fortified foods to consider as your child starts to eat more and breastfeed less.


The best possible thing you can do with regard to young children and B12 is get them to fall in love with Marmite or yeast extract. A go-to snack of toast and marmite will contain plenty of B12. We also use marmite in many savoury dishes - soups, stews and gravy. My children are Marmite lovers to this day. We also use Engevita flakes as a cheese substitute, sprinkled on pasta and in many sauces. Engevita is super charged with B12.


I’d also recommend getting your children to love hummus as young as possible. Hummus is one of those super-nutritious, super-available superfoods, and served with pitta and carrot and cucumber sticks is a winner with most children. Served together in this way, hummus and pitta is what's called a complete protein - between them, pitta and hummus contain the full spectrum of amino acids that you need.


There’s a lot of talk about getting the full spectrum of these essential amino acids that is generally misunderstood. Animal-based proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, which makes them complete proteins, but it is not actually necessary to eat one food that contains everything. Combining plant foods results in complete protein and gives exactly the same result nutritionally.


There are a few plant-based foods that are ‘complete’ proteins on their own, including tofu, tempeh, edamame beans, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and chia seeds. Some of these are a bit of an acquired taste for an infant, quinoa for example needs a bit of hiding in a tasty-flavoured sauce. But mine always did well with edamame beans, scrambled tofu and fresh fruit chia pudding.


It’s worth noting that 100g of wholemeal bread contains 13g of protein, which is more than in 100g of egg, and all vegetables do have a protein component. A diet rich in vegetables can make a significant contribution to your daily nutritional needs, including protein.



Some food combining ideas:


Rice and lentils or beans. Both brown and white rice when combined with beans or lentils give a complete protein. And there are literally millions of recipes out there containing beans or lentils, rice (or other grains) and vegetables. Just about every continent on the planet has a version of this cuisine. 


Classic beans on toast is a complete protein. Very helpful in those moments when time is of the essence and you have hungry children.


Peanut butter sandwich. This will come as a welcome surprise maybe! And yes, a peanut butter sandwich is a very high complete protein.



Once your child is weaned and able to feed themselves (more or less) it’s all about making their favourite dishes as balanced and tasty as possible. Continue with attention to a protein and vegetable component with every meal, where they are getting their B12 from, and get their other nutrients from as wide variety of vegetables of all colours and types as possible. 


So, it really is safe to wean your baby and bring up your children on a wholefood plant-based diet. You will often read about concerns of deficiency in the vegan diet, especially with regard to protein. But the truth is that protein deficiency is rarely seen in affluent populations, and generally only seen in populations where ALL food is scarce. Following the steps as outlined above, will ensure your child will thrive on a wholefood plant-based diet.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory; hip and trendy but accessible plant-based restaurants, serving delicious gourmet vegan food from locally sourced ingredients. Stem & Glory also offers click-and-collect and local delivery in London and Cambridge.  In addition, Stem & Glory offers a range of ready meals, finish at home pizzas, and recipe kits available for delivery across the UK. Visit their website for more details. 


Social Media:

Twitter: @stemandglory
Instagram: @stemandglory

4 Ingredient Sweet Plantain Waffles | Easy Vegan Recipe

Save this for weekend brunch! These plantain waffles are simply incredible and easy to make. There are so many ways you can eat them too. Take advantage of the seasonal fruits in your part of the world and use them to top these beauties. Or make it into a filling, savoury meal.

Use any good quality waffle maker to cook these. If you're on the hunt for a waffle maker, click HERE to check out the exact brand I have.

If you're not ready to invest in a waffle iron, you could turn these into pancakes. I haven't tried with this exact batter mixture, but if you do give it a try be sure to share your  feedback with me on Instagram.

Feel free to top your waffles with anything you want. They are naturally a bit sweet because of the ripe plantain but I haven't included any sugar in the batter so that you can customise it as you want. Make it sweet with chocolate, fruits or syrup. Or make it savoury with scrambled tofu or vegan "chicken".


Ingredients
(Serves 2)
1 ripe plantain (mashed)
1 cup oat flour (blend oats in a food processor until you get a fine flour)
1/2 cup plant-based milk 
1-2 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seeds

Method
Mash the plantain in a large mixing bowl and set it aside.

Blend a cup of oats in a food processor until it resembles a fine flour. Add that to the mashed plantain, along with the plant-based milk and seeds. Give it a good mix and leave to stand for about 5 minutes while you heat up your waffle maker.

Spoon the batter into the waffle maker and cook on the highest setting for about 10 minutes until the waffles are golden brown and crispy in some parts.

Serve warm with toppings of your choice. I went for melted vegan chocolate and strawberries. You could also use syrup, bananas, fresh mango, chopped nuts, coconut cream, etc.

If you're hungry for more creative plantain recipes, click HERE.