Thursday, 27 February 2014

Vegan Vox Reviews...The 100% Vegan Shop in Birmingham

Some of you may remember last summer I reviewed a little vegan shop in Birmingham called The One Earth Shop. Well, they sadly closed down a few months ago but it has now reopened with a brand new owner, new design, new name and new products... I give you... The 100% Vegan Shop in Birmingham!

I went along recently to meet with Ray, the owner, and to see what the new shop offered.

Ray took over the lease for the shop around Christmas and opened the store at the beginning of February, 2014. The inside of the shop has had a make over, with the counter being moved, a new hot food display and lots of new stock. Ray wanted to create a shop which sold the type of vegan products he would like to be able to buy, not just whole foods, pulses, seeds and nuts (although he does sell these too!). The great thing about the whole food items he does sell is that he portions them up himself into packets which are the perfect size for a meal or two rather than you having to buy a 1kg bag of pulses. He is very aware of the other vegan delights that are available nearby and leaves those foods to the experts. For example, the store is a few minutes walk from the fabulous fresh fruit and veg markets and Birmingham's Chinese Quarter. For this reason, Ray doesn't sell fresh fruit, fresh vegetables or many types of tofu as they are all available competitively so close by. He does, however stock those hard to find (in Birmingham) vegan ingredients and snacks, like Henderson's Relish, Space Bars, Amy's Rice Mac & Cheeze, 25 different types of vegan cheeses, vegan steaks, nutritional yeast, Pudology, whipped cream, good organic teas and coffee, Razzle Dazzle Ices, vegan Bakewell Tarts, cupcakes, snack wraps, sos rolls and good vegan chocolate. He also stocks vegan and eco friendly household products such as bamboo toothbrushes, cleaning products, toiletries and even vegan guitar straps!

Ray is very passionate about his business and is open to suggestions, if there are vegan ingredients, snacks, food items or household items which you would like to get hold of, he will try and source them for you, and will look at importing goods not yet sold in the UK if there is enough interest.

There are a range of vegan pastries, wraps, hummus and cakes delivered in fresh several times a week, and whilst I was there I was given a gorgeous Banana Choc Chip Muffin to sample :-)

Here are some of the items I purchased whilst on my visit:

So if you are in the Birmingham area and fancy a quick snack, some lunch, some ingredients for tonight's dinner or just to say hi to a lovely friendly vegan shopkeeper, pop over to The 100% Vegan Shop, located next to The Warehouse Cafe - a vegetarian restaurant with vegan options, in Allison Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5TH.

You can also follow the shop on Twitter 

Big Vegan Love,


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Vegan Recipe of the Week - Coconut, Maple & Cherry Flapjacks

Flapjacks are a great quick bake when you fancy something sweet, and you usually have all of the ingredients in your store cupboard anyway. If not, the great thing about flapjacks is that you can chop and change the ingredients to taste. If you don't like cherries, swap for another fruit or nuts.

You will need:

115g Vegan Butter
115g Brown Sugar
220g Rolled Oats
3 Tbsp Golden Syrup - Maple Flavour (or use Maple syrup but this is runnier and doesn't hold together as well)
60g Dried Cherries or Glace Cherries (make sure they are vegan-friendly as some contain E120)
35g Desicated Coconut
Greaseproof paper


Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan.

Spray two shallow cake tins or baking tins with Frylight. You can use melted butter instead of Frylight, if you prefer.

Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until combined.

In a mixing bowl place the oats, cherries and coconut and stir together. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in your melted butter mixture. Stir well until all of the dry ingredients have been coated in the butter mixture.

Spoon the combined mixture into the tins equally and level out with a pallet knife or the back of a spoon.

Bake in the centre of the oven for around 18 minutes until golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven, cut straight away into slices and leave to cool in the tins.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Eat and Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, click here to see more of my vegan recipes.

Big Vegan Love,


Monday, 24 February 2014

The Ordinary Vegan - Lotus Biscuits and Spread

You may be familiar with Lotus Biscuits as the single or double portion packs you receive free with a coffee in a cafe or left on your tea tray in a hotel. The good news is that they are vegan and labelled so on the packets and on their website. They are delicious crunchy caramelised biscuits which go perfect with coffee. You can buy the large packet pictured above in most supermarkets and more recently, selected stores have started selling the Lotus Spread too.

The spread, which is sold under the name Speculoos on the continent, and as Caramelised Biscuit Spread in the UK, is a smooth spreadable paste version of the biscuit, great for use in baking, spreading on bagels, crusty bread and toast or dipping bananas in. It is very sweet and I can only eat a little at a time, but as a treat it is lovely, and adds a great flavour to cupcakes, flapjacks and frosting.

What are your favourite vegan biscuits? Share in the comments below.

Come back tomorrow for a brand new Vegan Recipe of the Week.

Big Vegan Love,


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Vegan Vox Reviews...Out of This World - Leeds

I recently travelled to Leeds for a wedding, and whilst I was there I stumbled upon this gem of a food store, right in the centre of the city, opposite the Corn Exchange. 

Out of the World, has a huge selection of goods on offer - mainly organic, ethically traded, whole foods and produce. They are not entirely vegan but more than half of the stock is vegan-friendly and includes a huge range of nuts, seeds, pulses, fruit, vegetables, crisps, chocolates, drinks, vegan cheeses, mock meats, ready meals, snacks and so much more. They have a lovely range of cruelty-free cosmetics and toiletries, cleaning products and non-food items too. 

One of the things which I enjoyed was the hot/cold food counter selling Sos-Rolls, sandwiches, cakes, muffins, pasties etc - loads of vegan choices.

A Sun-Dried Tomato Sos-Roll
The drinks range is huge, from organic fairly traded teas and coffees to wines, beers, juices and soft drinks.

The prices are average for this type of store and the range is better than many other independent heath food shops I have visited.

Here are some of the goodies I purchased:

Equinox Kombucha

Whole Earth Cola

Tyrrell's Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper Crisps

Organic Rooibos Caffeine-Free Tea
If you are ever in the Leeds area, it is definitely worth paying a visit to Out of This World. I will be returning.

Where are your favourite vegan-friendly food shops? Let me know in the comments below.

Big Vegan Love,