June 27, 2012

Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle


"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." – Albert Einstein

There is a stereotypical image of a ‘vegan’ as being a hairy, stinky hippy who wears potato-sacks and eats only lettuce and tofu. But, this is not true. Veganism is becoming more and more fashionable and is being adopted by many celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone, Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney. Intellectual and famous genius icons in history such as Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Pythagoras, Sir Isaac Newton and Vincent Van Gogh all lived vegan lifestyles.  Is this an obvious message to us?

Veganism is a lifestyle where a person does not consume or use any animal-based products. For example, a vegan will not consume food that includes any animal products, such as dairy, eggs, meat etc… A vegan person will also not support animal products for the use of clothing such as leather, silk and wool. This can be due to cruelty/ethical reasons or maybe for health reasons. Personally, I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons. I had researched what happens in the meat industry and I was so shocked and distraught by what I saw, that I just had to give up animal products. This was a personal choice.  Starting off with small actions such as switching from dairy milk to a plant-based milk such as soy milk or almond milk will make a huge difference to your body. So, do some research and become informed so that you can make decisions that are right for you ^-^. 

The American Dietetic Association explains: "Vegetarian diets are often associated with a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians tend to have lower body mass index (BMI) and lower overall cancer rates."

Here is a summary of some of the main benefits of undertaking a vegan lifestyle:

Personal Benefits
  • Assists with weight loss – prevents obesity
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Assists with body image and looking good
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of food poisoning
  • Can assist with relieving menopause symptoms
  • Can give you more energy
  • Reduce constipation and haemorrhoids
  • Helps prevent kidney stones and gallstones
  • Assists with the prevention of diabetes, arthritis and gum disease
  • Live longer

Environmental benefits
  • Reducing pollution
  • Avoiding the use of toxic chemicals
  • Save animals lives
  • Water conservation
  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels
  • Save the forests

Financial benefits
  • Prevention of health care and medical costs
  • Reduce grocery costs by not purchasing expensive items from the meat and dairy aisles

Mental benefits
  • Knowing that you do not support factory farming
  • Peace of mind
  • Helping animals and not supporting animal cruelty

June 25, 2012

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe


Bananas have been so cheap lately so I bought way too many and then had a bunch of overripe bananas sitting in my kitchen. I was wondering what to do with them so I  decided to make up my own banana bread recipe. If I can say so myself, this is the BEST banana bread I have EVER had! It was so yummy and stayed moist for the next couple of days. I really loved it. As I am writing this I have my second batch in the oven. Ever since I made this the first time, Jerome constantly asks for me to make it again and again. It really is delicious :)

I just realised that the second batch I just made, I used plain flour rather than self raising flour. *smacks forehead* - I knew that I did something wrong! Grrrrr... I was too distracted listening to music. I wonder how this one will work out now hahahahaha >.< 

I guarantee that you will love this vegan banana bread/cake recipe!


makes 1 loaf


2 cups self raising flour
1/4 cup vegan margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk*
1 cup mashed banana

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (fan-forced) and oil a bread tin (approx. 22cm long x 13cm wide x 7cm deep)
  2. Add all ingredients into a bowl and stir vigorously until very smooth.
  3. Pour banana bread mixture into the oiled tin.
  4. Bake for 1 hour or so until top has browned and a skewer poked in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm. Spread with vegan butter and eat eat eat!


  • *I use canned full-fat coconut milk.
  • Purée the banana if you want the banana taste to be equal throughout the bread. Or if you would rather chunky bits, just mash the banana.

The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline and does not include the "optional" ingredients.  

June 20, 2012

2 minute Vegan Microwave Chocolate Muffin


The other night, Jerome and I were really craving something sweet but we had hired the second season of Offspring and were too enthralled to spend ages cooking something. So, I made up this '2 minute vegan microwaveable chocolate muffin' that takes 30 seconds to prepare and 1 minute 30 seconds to cook. The amazing thing about this muffin is that there's no mess as you make it all in a mug. Yes that 's right! You add all of the ingredients into a mug, stir well and cook a single muffin. You can serve with fresh berries, vegan cream, vegan custard, a sprinkling of icing sugar etc... It is an amazing, quick vegan chocolate muffin. Woo! I also like to poke one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the centre of the muffin before microwaving... it gives you that gooey chocolatey centre! Check out my tips at the bottom of this page for serving suggestions and hints on how to make the best and fluffiest muffin.


makes 1


  2 tablespoons self-raising flour
  2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
  3 tablespoons 
Soy Milky Lite
  1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  splash of vanilla

  1 large mug
  Spray oil

optional:
  1 tablespoon choc chips




  1. Lightly spray oil the inside of a large mug.
  2. Add soymilk, oil and vanilla to the mug.
  3. Add flour, sugar and cocoa to the wet ingredients. 
  4. Whisk vigorously until well combined.
  5. Cook in microwave on high heat for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  6. Take out of microwave. Check to make sure the top has cooked and looks fluffy.
  7. Serve in the mug or on a plate.


  • Metric system is used for all measurements.
  • Add a piece of dark chocolate or two into the mug muffin before microwaving for that extra chocolately hit! 
  • The more you whisk the mixture, the fluffier it gets!
  • Use a knife around the sides of the mug if the muffin does not release easily. 
  • Serving suggestions: sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a vegan custard/cream/icecream or fresh berries.
  • It is easier to mix it in the mug, however, for a more combined consistency I whisk a double batch in a mixing bowl and divide between two mugs. I find that it is well combined that way. 


The nutrition information above is an approximate guideline and does not include the "optional" ingredients.  

June 15, 2012

Exams are Nearly Over!

Hello my lovelies,

I am so sorry that I haven't been updating too much over the last couple of weeks. I am in the middle of final exams with the last one tomorrow morning at 8:30am. It is so useful that Jerome and I are doing the same course so that we can help each other. I just can't wait for it all to be over so that I can relax and just do fun things. After the exams I have 4 weeks holidays! Which is amazing ^-^ I have soooo many things that I have organisedto do on the holidays for Veggieful - There's about 20 items on the list! I can't wait to put them all up.

My guinea piggies have been the most lovely companions in this time of stress and sleeplessness. I have added a couple of photos of them below so you can see how nice they have been. I think that they have really enjoyed sitting next to me all day while I study. Animals are such beautiful creatures. <3


I didn't get a nice one of Sniffy because he is soooo black and his fur wouldn't show up properly in the photos hehe. Poor sniff.

If you would like to add them on facebook, here are their pages:
Sherman - 
http://www.facebook.com/Shermylovely
Pickles -  http://www.facebook.com/pickabean 
Well, I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Please stay tuned as during the holidays there will be lotsssss of additions to Veggieful including more yummy vegan recipes and also some more how-to's and fact sheets!

Follow our facebook page for more updates: 
http://www.facebook.com/Veggieful

♥ Madison 

June 6, 2012

How to Prepare Rhubarb


Yesterday, I was grocery shopping and saw a beautiful 1kg bunch of rhubarb and I just had to get it. Not only was it cold and rhubarby-weather that day, but Jerome had NEVER tried rhubarb before. So I decided to buy it and stew it in sugar syrup. To skip to the chase, Jerome loved it. He can't wait for me to make it again (He has such a sweet-tooth). I will have to make it for him again with soy icecream or in a pie. It is so much yummier with other desserts. We had leftovers so we stored it in a glass jar in the fridge to have on pikelets or in a pie today.

After putting a status up on Veggieful's Facebook page, I had a few messages asking me how to cook rhubarb and what it tastes like etc... I was amazed at how many people had never tried it before. Rhubarb looks kinda similar to celery, but red in colour. It is very tart, so that is why most recipes prepare it with sweeteners. It should be ripe enough to easily snap in half.

So here is a basic recipe on how to stew and prepare rhubarb. The whole recipe should be to your own taste... alter it to how sweet you would like it. Eat it on its own or read the tips at the bottom of this page for other ways to use rhubarb.

I normally stick with 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup sugar per 500g of rhubarb depending on how sweet you would like it.

Ingredients
1kg of fresh rhubarb
2/3 cup sugar
Enough water to just cover the rhubarb

Note: 
Remove the leaves before using the rhubarb. The leaves are poisonous

Steps

Wash the rhubarb stems and get rid of any dirt.

Discard of the leaves and the ends. 

Chop the stems into 5cm long pieces. On medium heat, add the chopped rhubarb, the sugar and just enough water to cover it all. Stir it until combined and simmer for 10 minutes. 

After 10 minutes or so, the rhubarb should be stewed into a stringy and soft saucy mixture. Pour into a bowl and serve hot or cold. Eat on its own or as a component of another dessert (more ideas and tips are displayed on the bottom of this page).

Store any leftovers in a glass jar and put in the fridge. They will only last for a day or so.

Ways to Use the Rhubarb
  • In tarts and pies
  • As a sauce with soy icecream

Tips

  • Remove the leaves before using the rhubarb. The leaves are poisonous. They contain Oxalic Acid which can be poisonous.
  • Always keep rhubarb in the refrigerator
  • Some people peel the rhubarb before use, but I never do. Do whatever you like!
  • Soft rhubarb is too old. Just like how celery gets when it is overripe 
  • You can substitute the sugar for other sweeteners such as agave syrup
  • My mum uses orange rind to make it yummier and to control the tartness
  • I do not blanch rhubarb prior to cooking
  • I normally remove any thick strings. Just like the ones on celery stalks.
  • According too taste.com.au, rhubarb "contains some fibre, calcium, vitamins C, A and K, magnesium, potassium, manganese and a little iron"