Here’s a list of a few innovative businesses on the scene right now, that are bringing out some incredible vegan replacements.
We have chosen an impressive food line-up of female led plant-powered businesses for She Loves Plant this Sunday!
Second up, we had Business In Food: What It Takes To Run A Thriving Plant-Based Food Business.
BOSH! announce new cookbook BISH BASH BOSH!
We caught up with Freaks of Nature founder, Peter Ahye, and asked him a few questions about running a free-from business.
The Happy Pear Join The Vevolution Festival 2018 Line-Up
Tideford’s Vegan Winter Warmers Launch In Sainsbury's Across London
Vevolution Topics Tickets for 2018 officailly released. Tickets are now on sale for our Vevolution Topics series of events. Check out what is going on.
Today 8 January Tesco have launched Wicked Kitchen in partnership with plant-pushing chef Derek Sarno.
Learn more about the award winning plant-based community cookery school Made In Hackney who are aiming to raise £85,000 with a new crowdfunding campaign.
The Happy Pear Are Coming To Vevolution Festival
As the UK's first exclusively vegan frozen pizza company One Planet Pizza approaches its one year anniversary we hear from their Co-Founder, Mike Hill.
Vevolution wouldn't be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. In this guest blog one of our headline sponsors Tideford Organics talk about the amazing healing benefits of Turmeric and their new range of summer soups.
GREEN AND GOLD: A JOURNEY INTO THE AMAZING BENEFITS OF TURMERIC + PEAS
At Tideford Organics we’ve always been interested in producing great tasting food that’s also good for you. The incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet were one of the reasons we became the UK’s first dedicated organic vegan brand in September 2016, and haven’t looked back since! In our search for delicious recipes we often come across vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices that also just so happen to be jam-packed full of nutrients.
In summer we still like to bring a little Tideford magic to the table, and this year launched two new limited edition summer soups, a traditional Gazpacho Andaluz and a completely new recipe for us: Summer Pea, Coconut + Turmeric Soup.
Peas are an incredible resource in a vegan diet – low in calories (100g raw contains 81 calories), and like legumes a great source of both protein (around 5g per 100g) and fibre to support your digestive system. If you’re in need of an energy pick-me-up come lunch or dinner time, peas are a great choice, providing provide plenty of B Vitamins and Iron plus Vitamin C for a healthy immune system. Plus peas provide Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Zinc and Vitamin K – all important nutrients for your bones. These little green beauties are also a great choice for your heart, being rich in the phytosterol ß-sitosterol, known for its ability to help lower cholesterol levels.
Our Asian-inspired take on a pea soup was always intended to revitalise and refresh, but as we discovered, the bright golden-yellow of the turmeric we included could also be bringing some incredible properties to the party. Turmeric has been used in India and many other countries for thousands of years. Its distinctive yellow colour lends itself to curries, as well as to your hands if you’re preparing it fresh, but you’ll also have seen it popping up in cafes in turmeric lattes or tea, on deli menus and in increasing numbers of supplements. But why is this little root getting so much air time?
Recent research focuses on health benefits which appear be due to the various compounds within turmeric known as curcuminoids. The most important of these compounds is curcumin, which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consuming more turmeric and particularly curcumin may therefore be helpful in reducing the risk of certain conditions – it’s been shown to be beneficial for the heart and brain, lowering inflammation and reducing joint pain.
As curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream on its own, it’s best consumed with a little black pepper and some healthy fats which can enhance its absorption. Try it in a vegan Turmeric Latte, or Tideford’s Summer Pea, Coconut + Turmeric Soup.
Meet PlantCurious the UK's first exclusively plant-based recipe boxes.
I first met Cem Yildiz Co-Founder of What The Pitta about 4 years ago through my old housemate and friend Joe.
Back then Cem wasn't a proponent of the vegan diet. He was in-fact more inclined to talk about bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter in it) or the benefits of eating a paleo style diet.
Then about 18 months ago a few of us got together for a catch up and Cem was asking me a lot of questions about veganism. I could see his attitudes towards veganism starting to shift and now 18 months on Cem is a huge advocate of a shift towards veganism
We caught up on the eve of the vegan kebab business he co-founded What The Pitta opening their second site at Boxpark in Croydon.
Ok, let's start with the big question. What was the key thing that made you go from lets say a pretty large consumer of animal products to the vegan advocate and entrepreneur you're today?
I had already been visiting The Feel Good Café, a vegan café down the road from where I live in Chingford and then one day the owner offered me a free ticket to go and see Dr Michael Greger in London talking about his latest book How Not To Die.
When I saw the stats and science on the big screen I just couldn’t go back to eating meat knowing I could be doing serious harm to myself.
Both yourself and Roj who you run What The Pitta with are from a Turkish background. How did they react to you shifting towards vegan and setting up a vegan kebab shop?
The first thing my Dad said to me when I told him I was no longer eating meat was,“I know you’re into health stuff but this is a step too far!”.
As for the vegan kebab business, I didn’t even see it coming, it was a conversation on the beach in Turkey, which escalated, and now we have two premises!
You're a man of many talents and interests and definitely someone I would call a polymath or a multipotentialite. You currently also co-host a successful podcast, co-run What The Pitta, make films and you're a qualified personal trainer.
How do you effectively manage your time? And who do you look to for inspiration?
We all have a finite amount of time and your life is built through your experience so you have to constantly challenge yourself by doing new and varied things. As for time management, when you enjoy something and you're working towards your vision of a good life you’ll find the time.
I don’t watch any TV and I don’t play any computer games, I try to use my time intentionally and I still get seven to eight hours sleep.
I also believe that it’s very risky nowadays to have one source of income, for most people their job is their lifeline. If they lose that they can’t pay their bills.
Having multiple streams of income built around your passions is a much safer idea so I always advise people to start a side gig alongside their full time job, whether that’s selling crafts on Etsy or going freelance with some of the skills you’re currently using in your day job.
"As for inspiration, I love reading and listening to podcasts and audio books, so James Altucher, Gary Vaynerchuck, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn are just some of the people who inspire me".
You may have heard the quote “success leaves clues,” I think when you listen and read the books from inspiring and successful people everyday you begin to see patterns in behaviour and you can start applying them to your own life.
I love James Altucher’s idea of getting 1% better everyday in terms of education, health and relationships.
How have you found switching to a vegan diet in relation to your performance in the gym?
To be honest first of all I lost a load of weight, then I gained it back, then I managed to deadlift a personal best but I have not been hitting the gym as much as I’d like. I have probably been about four times in the last three months due to getting What The Pitta up and running and moving house but the funny thing is my muscles feel harder and I can always see my abs.
Once I’m settled into my new place and have my home gym setup I’m going to be hitting it hard, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!
So how did the idea for What The Pitta come about?
The idea for What The Pitta! came from Roj’s uncle who owns a similar business in Freiburg, Germany. We thought the vegan doner was a brilliant idea and the product was so tasty we knew it had potential with vegans and non-vegans alike here in the UK.
Do you find non vegans come and eat at What The Pitta? And if so what is their general reaction to the food?
Yeah, it’s very split. I think a lot of our customers fall in to the meat reducer category and I think that demographic is growing everyday. People are becoming more conscious of where their food is coming from and the harm it may be doing to them, environmentally and to the animals.
It’s always funny when we get either a vegan running back over just to confirm with us that it’s not meat or a meat eater tell us they had know idea it was vegan. Good food is good food and going meat free more often is the way forward for society.
What The Pitta is opening their first restaurant at Boxpark in Croydon this March. What can people expect from you guys at the new site?
We’re really excited to share some of our new dishes at BoxPark Croydon especially our Vegan Lahmacun – a type of Turkish pizza usually topped with mince meat. We’re going to serve ours on our signature freshly prepared bread base with a combination of tomato puree, herbs and our secret spiced soya mince.
Obviously our Vegan Doner will still be on the scene as well as a new lentil soup (Mercimek). I think we’re just going to keep experimenting with traditional Turkish dishes giving them a vegan twist.
Boxpark does really feel like a step up from our wooden shed in Shoreditch but we just going to keep growing and bring more vegan food options to hungry Londoners.
Do you have any advice for anyone reading this thinking of setting up a plant-based food business?
Test your concept as cheaply as possible. Read The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss. It’s so much easier nowadays to go online, find an email, get a food stall setup for a day and test your product. Social media is incredibly important for finding your customers too but if you’re a plant based business you’re already in good hands, vegans are one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever encountered and so you will always find people willing to point you in the right direction, lend a hand or offer their skills or services. Be bold, ask for help and embrace the community or you can always hit me up and I’d be happy to help.
With our first event of 2017, Vevolution Topics: Vegan Food Innovation happening tomorrow (7th February) we have asked vegan foodie blogger & chef Kind State Of Mind aka Ellie Phoebe Brown to be our guest blogger and talk about the hot topic of cheese!
Tickets are still available for our Food Innovation tomorrow at The Trampery. Ellie will be there giving out samples of her incredible food. To help get you in the mood for some food innovation inspiration we will leave you with Kind State Of Mind...over to you Ellie!
Everyone’s Talking About The C-Word!
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind
“Oh but I could never give up cheese!" If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard that phrase in response to any mention of being vegan, well ... I’d be paying myself actually because even I’ve uttered those - now clichéd - words. I was a major cheese lover for years and although my reliance on dairy is over, it seems cheese is still a hot topic with both vegans and non-vegans alike.
Why is cheese such a big deal? You may remember the headlines a few years ago stating that cheese is as addictive as hard drugs. While the attention seeking articles were referencing genuine research into “addictive-like eating”, the actual journal (published in early 2015) unsurprisingly concluded that matters were in fact - as ever - far more complex than the simplistic, and awry conclusion spun by the media.
If it’s not purely biological, what else makes us crazy about cheese? I think there’s a compelling argument to be made for the role of psychological factors in our apparent cheese dependance. Cheese is, by and large, a comforting food. Its high fat and calorie content render it synonymous with special occasions, treats and well, really tasty things! Cheese on toast, macaroni cheese, pizza, the Christmas cheese board, it’s all about pleasure and indulgence (which helps somewhat in explaining why the cheese salad never caught on!) No wonder our brains tell us we love it. Cheese is also often a food we are brought up eating, so it additionally has positive associations from our childhood. Growing up as a vegetarian I ate a lot of cheese and therefore it’s linked to many of my happiest food-related memories from home. Bearing in mind the comfort and memory associations that people have with cheese, on top of possible biological reasons, we can begin to understand the hold it has over people’s eating habits.
So if you’re vegan you’re just supposed to give up all that good stuff then? Nope! You just have to make a few changes. There is a whole world of dairy free cheeses out there, and it’s growing at a fast pace! With availability increasing in response to growing demand it’s easier than ever to get your hands on some vegan cheese. Large retailers such as Ocado and Holland & Barrett sell vegan cheese products, and last year Sainsbury’s brought out their own range of vegan cheeses in collaboration with Vevolution's sponsor Bute Island Foods. The latter has proved so popular that it exceeded their sales expectations by 300% in its first month, a sign if there ever was one of how mainstream the desire to ditch dairy has become.
It’s not just large retailers either. There are now many smaller suppliers emerging too, selling their own tasty hand-crafted cheeses. Companies such as Mouse’s Favourite, a London-based company making artisan nut-based cheeses, and Nutcrafter Creamery from Glasgow, who make an impressive array of aged and organic vegan cheeses. International companies are also looking to get in on the UK’s booming vegan cheese market. The American company Follow Your Heart recently launched a small selection of their vegan cheeses over here, which I personally really love. I hope more companies follow suit, to increase the selection of products available to U.K. vegans as The States seem to be streets ahead of us in the product development stakes and this, in turn, will generate some healthy competition and innovation between brands.
For many people giving up cheese is the main barrier to becoming vegan. However, with more and more vegan cheeses coming on to the market all the time, with even better textures and flavours than before, this last hurdle to becoming vegan may soon be a thing of the past!
And lastly…. Of course, you can make your own vegan cheese! Here’s a cheap, simple and tasty way to make your own cashew cheese. With a bit of practice, you can adjust the flavours with different herbs and spices but garlic and chive are a great place to start!\
Garlic and Chive Cashew Cheese
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind
Makes: One round cheese
Prep time: 30 minutes plus chilling time
100g raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp fine salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp water
Small bunch of chives (or other herb)
- In a food processor or blender place all ingredients except for the chives. Process until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy in texture. You'll need to keep stopping to scrape down the sides to ensure it all gets blended. Keep blending until it stops being lumpy and grainy and looks like a smooth soft cheese. This may take 5 - 10 minutes so keep going! You can add a little more water to get it moving in the blender if absolutely needed - but if you want to make a firm cheese try to avoid adding too much extra liquid.
- Finely chop the chives and stir into your smooth cheese mixture. If you add them to the blender to combine you will end up with a green cheese - so best to stir them in! Have a taste and add more salt if needed.
- If you want to make a soft cheese spread, like a cream cheese, then all you need to do is transfer the cheese to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. You can eat it immediately - but it will set slightly if you leave it to chill, making a slightly thicker spread.
- If you want to make a firmer cheese, like the one pictured above, then you'll need to remove some of the moisture from the cheese. For this you'll need a square of double layer cheese cloth, or a thin, clean tea towel. Lay out the cloth and scrape all of the cheese mixture into the centre of the square and roughly shape it into a round shape. Gather the corners of the cloth, bring together the top and fasten with a rubber band to create a little parcel (see pics) I tie it above my sink to drain for a few hours (you could also put it in a sieve above a bowl) and then place it in a dish lined with kitchen towel in the fridge for a further 3-4 hours or overnight. (You can also put it straight into the fridge in a sieve or wrapped in kitchen towel but I've found the 2 step process removes the most water, resulting in the firmest cheese.)
- Once it's been in the fridge you can gently remove the cheese cloth and there will be your little cashew cheese!
- The cheese will keep for about 4-5 days in the fridge, in an airtight container - but it never lasts that long around me!
For a more detailed version of the recipe with photos go to my blog post here: https://kindstateofmind.com/2017/02/02/easy-garlic-and-chive-cashew-cheese/
Ellie will be at Vevolution Topics: Food Innovation tomorrow Tuesday 7th February and will be giving out samples of her yummy food creations so don't miss out and grab your ticket now: https://vevolution-topics-food.eventbrite.com/
It's just one week until our first event of 2017, Vevolution: Vegan Food And Innovation which is happening at The Trampery in Hackney, London.
If you consider yourself a foodie and/or love all things innovation then our Food Innovation event is for you. You will hear from the founders of Bosh TV, Made In Hackney, allplants, Club Mexicana and eat tasty food from Pomodoro E Basilico, Vida Bakery, Proofs Place and Kind State Of Mind.
All of this is taking place on the evening of the 7th February at our favourite venue in London the stunning Trampery.
Attending the event has the following benefits:
- Hear inspiring talks from leaders in the vegan food movement
- Eat delicious food from some of London's best vegan food creators
- Make new friends
The vegan food revolution looks set to continue with pace in 2017. This week brothers, Jonathan and Alex Petrides are launching allplants, their plant-based meals startup, which delivers fresh frozen meals to doorsteps nationwide.
Alex some of you may remember took to the Vevolution mainstage in November to talk about the allplants story to-date.
Both the brothers have enjoyed successful business careers, Alex was the first employee of popcorn brand Propercorn, helping the brand grow from zero to 3,000,000 packs of popcorn popped per month. JP career has seen him work as a business consultant for McKinsey before setting up Africa’s first mobile bank in Kenya and health care provider, Penda.
Brothers JP & Alex are inspired by cuisines, cultures and food from all over the world. When they started eating a totally plant-based diet, they realised just how difficult it was to find and make great-tasting meals every day of the week.
Working in the kitchen with chefs, restaurateurs and nutritionists, they developed a delicious range of handmade, plant-based meals.
allplants are serving 6 delicious, tasting dishes for two to share, delivered to your home. Each meal is ready-to-eat; making it easy, affordable and nutritious to eat plant-based, any night of the week. In the future, they will be launching seasonal menus, and a wider range of products, so people and planet can more easily, thrive together.
Tasting dishes currently include Jerk Jackfruit, Moussaka, Black Bean Chilli, Claypot Tagine, Cashew Mac and the french classic Bourguigon.
At Vevolution we were lucky to sent a range of the dishes to try and we loved them. Our favourites have been the Moussaka and Cashew Mac. We were so confident about their deliciousness that we fed some of an omnivorous friend who really enjoyed them. It really showed us that these foods are for everyone whether you are already vegan or just someone who wants to get more plant-based food in your life.
Both Judy and I feel excited about the flavours in allplants dishes, this is something the brother are keen to talk about. "There’s a real myth that “vegan” means bland and boring, or expensive, squeaky clean, diet food; we’re breaking that mould, making it easy and tasty to eat a nourishing plant-rich meal.” says JP, allplants Co-Founder.
Last month we sat down with JP for a catch up and to hear about what allplants have planned for 2017. And he said something that really stuck with both myself and Judy. We were raving on about all the great new vegan places and pop-ups in London and JP made a fantastic point that it is great being vegan in London but in many parts of the UK there is still a dearth of great vegan food. This is something we love about allplants is that the meals are now available nationwide. We are sure that it is going to be a huge success and we urge you to give their meals a try we are sure you will enjoy them like we did.
Want to tell your story?
We love hearing from people doing great things in the vegan movement. If you would like to appear on the Vevolution blog get in-touch at email@example.com and let us know what you're up to.
When I first met Klaus about 3 years ago, he was quite shy but instantly I knew he was someone I wanted to be friends with. Since then Klaus has pursued online vegan activism with vigour. His background as a scientist underpins his thorough research of topics that have helped make his Plant Based News a huge success.
Klaus will be speaking on the main-stage at Vevolution, I sat down with him before to talk about his vegan journey so far and plans for Plant Based News in 2017.
What initially attracted you to veganism?
I was originally attracted to the vegan lifestyle through wanting to feel healthier. I read the China Study and then after months of slowly taking animal products out of my diet, I was eventually eating a vegan diet by 2013, although can't remember the exact date. This had a slow, but profound effect on my consciousness and I began to understand the ethical issues much better. By late 2013, I had watched Earthlings and this was the tipping point; no longer did I want to be part of the injustice.
I know when going vegan one of the biggest struggle for you was overcoming social pressure from friends. What tips do you have for other people facing similar pressures?
Confidence is the key. I used to be shy about my vegan lifestyle, but that made me look awkward. Whereas, now I'm more confident with it - and even though people might think I'm strange for not eating or wearing animal products, it doesn't seem as off putting as before, when I was really shy and not clear at communicating with people why I was doing it. Stamp your individuality on the situation and don't care what people will think would be my advice.
So not many people know this about you but you're a scientist and really into your research. What big trends are you seeing coming from the medical community in relation to veganism that look set to break into mainstream conscience in 2017?
Dr Esselstyn recently said 'medicine is on the absolute cusp of a seismic revolution in health'. I feel this plant-based doctor's predictions are perhaps slightly too optimistic, but I think there is some truth in what he says. The main barrier, however, is money. If healthcare providers can encourage doctors to recommend plant based diets by financial reward, however, there is hope.
You have done some crazy endurance challenges in the past. Do you have ambitions to more in the future?
In 2010 I went bike touring for 5 months in South America, and in 2014 I did a solo hike across Malaysia for charity, so I've done more than a little cycling an hiking. The next challenge will be on water. I currently live on a boat, but want to do a kayaking trip along a wilderness river in Canada at some point in the future.
I feel like we have grown up in the vegan movement together. How do you feel things have changed in the past few years?
Honestly, I look back at my friendship with you (Damien), and I get a really nostalgic feeling because, although we have only known each other 3 or so years, the community has changed massively. We've had some great times together and seen a lot of people come and go. Back when we first met, the London vegan scene was fragmented, and was characterised by two separate groups: the animal liberation activists, and the raw food community. Now, it has met somewhere in the middle, where I feel the community has come together a bit more and has a balance of people that are environmentally, ethically and health minded.
Plant-Based News has been a huge success. You have teamed up with our friend and my collaborator on Swine Robbie Lockie. Tell me what you are plans for the new Plantbasednews.org are for 2017?
I'm very grateful for the collaboration I have forged with Robbie Lockie. He has built the plantbasednews.org website, and it has been amazing working with him. We are actually launching the website the day after Vevolution!
What are you most excited for at Vevolution?
I'm excited for Vevolution because there is literally no event like it. It won't be as corporate and as hectic as vegfest, and I am looking forward to meeting everyone there, after my talk in the morning!!
Remaining tickets for Vevolution are selling fast get yours here!
I (Damien) met Maryn 3 years ago at a vegan meetup and we even lived together for 6 months. He has been vegan for 17 years and he is definitely one of the biggest influences on my vegan journey.
Firstly, let's start with you. What inspired you to go vegan?
I had become increasingly conscious as a teenager of my personal impact on other humans and the planet, especially animals and how they are treated. I love animals and could no longer justify eating them to survive. Plus, I discovered that my idol Thom Yorke from Radiohead was vegan and that inspired me to follow in his footsteps and embrace creativity rather than destruction in my lifestyle.
You are one of the fittest people we know and you have experimented with most variations of a vegan diet. What is your current thinking of how to achieve optimum health through nutrition? High carb, ratios % etc?
Hemp Seeds! Ha ha! Over the years I have, through instinct and preference, mainly eaten a high nutrient and high carbohydrate diet. I was even fruitarian/raw vegan (Fruits, nuts, seeds, greens) for 3 years which gave me amazing health and clarity of mind. Some high carb vegan diets provide amazing energy and satisfaction but lack micronutrients due to a lack of variety of foods being consumed. Fruit is an amazing source of food because it is simple carbohydrate and high in micronutrients like vitamins. minerals and enzymes. My current thinking for optimum health is to ensure that first the micronutrient needs are met on a daily basis, and not to worry too much about macronutrient ratios. This means eating raw high nutrient foods (mainly fruit, vegetables, greens) during the day and then partying at night by eating whatever you fancy, while still keeping it fairly healthy (Low salt/low fat). It also increases variety by eating this way and is reduces restrictions. I'm currently fasting intermittently, eating all my food within a 6 to 8 hour window each day and seeing amazing results. Lots of energy, better sleep, clear thinking and increase in strength and focus when training.
So tell me what is Planet Kind all about?
Planet Kind is a company that we have set up to provide people choosing to live a vegan lifestyle with an option to buy products from a vegan company. We are an ethical company. We believe that the way we consume does not need to have such a large impact on animals and our earth, and each other! We offer a range of vegan products such as food (including pet food and baby food), cosmetics, clothing and accessories. We believe we can live harmoniously on this planet, and we are trying to provide an option to promote a vegan lifestyle in the mainstream market. We have plans to open a physical supermarket in London early next year and also a healthy vegan restaurant in the summer of 2017, and then continue to expand into the mainstream to provide vegans and non-vegans alike the opportunity to embrace and enjoy such a beautiful lifestyle.
What makes Planet-Kind different to other online retailers?
When you shop with us, you are buying from a vegan company that supports this lifestyle. Many other large online retailers offer the same products as us, but their focus is purely on health or beauty and they do (ironically in our opinion) offer non-vegan food and fashion items. Our ethos is one of compassion and kindness, and leads to happiness and health.
We're really excited to have Planet-Kind as a Vevolution sponsor. What will you guys be offering attendees on the day?
Thank you! We are excited about being involved in such an awesome festival with amazing people like yourselves. We will offer attendees the opportunity to speak to us, the founders, about our company and journey, view and sign up to our website and in doing so receive a free snack or chocolate that would be available on the website too.
Lastly Planet-Kind is a business run by mother and son, how have you found it working together?
To be honest, it's great! We know each other so well so any issues are dealt with easily because we are family. I love my mom and her support over the years for my lifestyle and quirkiness has always been amazing.