Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part III}

Read Part I | Read Part II

With my exercise underway and some happy feet for staying in at weekends there were only two areas to take care of. Skin care and dessert!

I delved into the back of the wardrobe and found a beautiful pink gift bag from my friend Camilla Dallerup. For the launch of her latest book, It’s Not You, It’s Me, she partnered with skincare company Linden Leaves, and inside the exquisite gift bag along with the book was a little bottle of their miraculous facial oil. Founded by Brigit Blair in 1995 in Christchurch, New Zealand to help care for two of her children who suffered severe eczema and allergies, Brigit began harvesting and freeze-drying roses, and blending fruit and flower oils with the unique scent of essential oil blends. It became a real labour of love for Brigit, who set out to create beautiful, effective and quality handmade natural products that were kind to the skin.

From a humble family kitchen operation, Linden Leaves has expanded into an internationally recognised brand known for its natural everyday luxury handmade products that care for your body and really do soothe the soul. Linden Leaves is only available online with shipment from New Zealand, but the wait really is worth it.

So to my favourite kind of shopping, sweet treats and chocolate! I have never had a sweet tooth, never added sugar to anything but have always loved the decadence of chocolate. Since going strict vegetarian at 9 years old and later in life vegan, I have seen the plant-based treat world evolve dramatically so I connected with two different companies, one established a little over 10 years ago and the recently launched, KetoConut.

Chelsey Rowley, co-founder of Ketoconut, founded the company in March of this year just before lockdown started with co-founder survival instructor Callum Swift. Chelsea went vegan in 2017 for health reasons and her new plant-based diet has made huge improvements to her health. “A vegan lifestyle is something I chose for both ethical reasons and out of necessity for my own personal health,” she tells me. “I’ve suffered from a few health problems in the past and cleaning up my diet and lifestyle made all the difference. The problem was that I’m an absolute chocoholic, which doesn’t fit very well into a healthy vegan lifestyle! Finding any kind of chocolate that wasn’t filled with sugar, milk, soy and all sorts of other substances I tend to avoid turned out to be extremely difficult. I then met Callum who had created an all-in-one superfood spread that contained loads of micronutrients and was used to give him the calories and energy needed to spend long periods outdoors. Together, we worked to transform this spread into a delicious vegan chocolate bar with all the same superfood properties. KeCo was born from our passion for health and our absolute love of chocolate. I also really love knowing that I am not contributing to the industry of suffering by consuming animal products”

The vegan-friendly, low carb, free from refined sugar and dairy treats remain high in protein and healthy fats and a single bite covers 80% of your daily vitamin and mineral requirements, 16% of your fibre, and 11% of your protein- not to mention one of these little bites holds over 50 superfoods and super green vegetables! The boxes can be ordered via their website and come beautifully boxed, making the perfect gift.

Having sampled these healthy treats that feel incredibly naughty I can say from one chocoholic to all others out there that these bites are guaranteed to satisfy and as promised really are ‘a treat without the cheat.’

Keto Coconut
Keto Coconut

Linden Leaves
Linden Leaves

“Those of us in need of a nostalgic throwback to the days of sweet shops that stocked jars of chocolate-covered everything need look no further than The Fabulous Free From Factory.

Husband and wife team Joseph and Deborah sought to create an ethical chocolate brand focused on being dairy-free and gluten-free. Both felt strongly that lactose intolerants, vegan and vegetarian customers’ should have the same great taste and quality treats available to them and when they first started the company Joseph and Deborah were making batches of 60kg at a time and hand packing everything.

In a melodic voice during a much-anticipated call, Jospeh Imrie tells me a little bit about their story.

“Ten years ago when the company was created the driving force initially behind the idea was catering to lactose intolerance. Prior to that, I was Head of Buying for Grocery and Non-foods for The Waitrose Group leading the way for the growth in organic and free-from products. In that role, I met with many start-up companies catering to these new areas of consumer need. Then I was on the other side of the table and not many stores had free-from aisles. There were not a lot of treats around for vegans and vegetarians and I always wondered why that was? A few years into retirement I was looking for something to do, so my wife Deborah and I started the company. We looked for things that would appeal across the board to vegans, vegetarians and the lactose intolerant. We also wanted to be milk-free because we weren’t happy with the cruelty involved in the dairy industry but we wanted to create indulgent treats! My wife and I were then vegetarian, and now my wife follows a plant-based diet and avoids all animal-based proteins and meat. My journey to full veganism is still a work in progress and like most people I am a bit emotional about it and conscious of the effects that the meat and dairy industry has on the animals and the climate and the planet.

“At the start, we decided to go with a vegetarian classification as back then the Vegan guidelines were not strict enough for us and even allowed some casein. We decided to do everything by the letter of the law and if it was going to be clean it was going to be clean from all animal products and nothing left the factory until it had been tested to the nth degree by a credited laboratory. We even went to the extent of avoiding things like cochineal a food colouring which comes from the cases of beetles. There were lots of little things that at the time people were not cognisant of, but we wanted to do it right so vegans, vegetarians and lactose intolerants could have 100% confidence in our product.  From the outset, we have worked with Julian and Adrian from Plamil using their chocolate. I don’t think that anyone could produce a cleaner product than these guys, they are very ethical, they just do it the right way.”

Joseph and Deborah Imrie, founders of The Fabulous Freefrom Factory
Joseph and Deborah Imrie, founders of The Fabulous Freefrom Factory

What was the first product off the line? “Fudge. Nobody had ever done a milk-free fudge before so we wanted to take up the challenge.”

Ten years on and their range now includes a chocolate-covered version of their fudge, coconut bites, throwback favourites of crunchee bites of chocolate covered honeycomb (no honey in sight) and chocolate covered raisins and peanuts along with the just-launched Snack Pack which sees a taste sensation of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and blueberries that dances across the tongue releasing an exquisite treat that quite simply makes you smile.

Has Joseph seen a huge increase in demand for their product since the plant-based boom?

“That’s an interesting question Maria, if you look at the free-from/vegan areas in supermarkets they haven’t grown by anything like the expansion that we have seen in the plant-based uplift in lifestyles, so the supply of product and the demand has increased but the space available to it hasn’t been in line.

One of the reasons behind creating our products was to recreate the treats which have great nostalgia attached to them like the peanuts and raisins that many plant-based consumers thought they might never enjoy again and we wanted to give them back that choice and that food experience.

It is time for my chat with Joesph to come to an end. There has been a surprising amount of reminiscing of childhood treats as I chatted to this charismatic CEO and I am left with no doubt that this family-owned company will continue to develop and create indulgent treats for everyone; conventional products enjoyed by people for years, that seem to have been made that extra bit special in their reinvention.

The post Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part III} appeared first on Vegan Life Magazine.

Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part II}

Maria Slough on the search for vegan options – we talk to PandaLondon

As these weeks have passed us all by, I have become even more aware of how important exercise is for both mental and physical health and how good quality sleep goes hand in hand with that. For many years an old back injury has often hampered both and earlier this year I decided to search for a mattress topper. I was dismayed that a simple search online produced a top result from a company making wool based mattresses and so as is often the case I had to research further. Two companies that stood out were Devon based CottonSafe and Panda London. While CottonSafe may be the first choice for many, with their stunning collection of mattresses registered by the Vegan Society, the product does come with a higher pricetag, so my search continued.

Enter PandaLondon  whose plans to be fully vegan are on the fast track. They offer a range of bamboo based products from mattress toppers to pillows, sleep masks and bedding. The company is committed to an extensive environmental policy, will be plastic free this year and aside from a few items of coloured bedding and towels, are vegan friendly. Their products arrive magnificently packaged in recycled kraft paper that is 100% biodegradable. This compostable material is capable of disintegrating into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil. Acid free paper and water and soy inks help keep this company on message and over 95% of orders are sent using low emission delivery partners.  The Bamboo mattress cover which is washable boasts a Panda face at the top of the mattress, distinct branding that carries across the range.

“In 2015, we decided to redefine what it means to feel at home creating products that transform somewhere to live, into somewhere to belong. 100% of the bamboo we harvest is organically and ethically sourced. We only harvest from sustainable bamboo forests which are 100% organic and free from pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides. Third-party inspectors ensure that we comply with all FSC and Panda regulations and policies. These practices have been implemented to keep our production footprint to a minimum.”



Sleeping on a Panda topper is like what I imagine sleeping on marshmallow would be like. The product supports you working in partnership with your existing mattress but with a firm yet gentle kindness to your joints and I doubt that many are prepared to give up their newfound sleep quality after a 30-day sleep trial offered by the company. Founder Tamir Teitelbaum says, “The quality of sleep we get will make us happier, more energetic and healthier opposed to lethargic and restless. Bringing Panda to life for me is both, a passion and a mission.”

So after a good night’s sleep, it was time to dust off the treadmill in the house and get walking. The search for some new trainers led me to New Look’s Vegan range.  New Look has designed a host of vegan shoes and bags that are free from animal products and are registered with The Vegan Society in their first high street collaboration.  While many believe that PU Leather is vegan-friendly, most of it is finished with ground-cut leather sprays to give it a textured appearance, which features animal products. The New Look vegan styles are guaranteed to be leather-spray free and they keep their supply chain transparent ensuring that that the hardware and adhesives on their vegan shoes and bags do not undergo chemical treatments that contain animal products, a process often used to stop metal rusting. The range is varied and caters to all style at a really affordable price point, so whether it’s a run on the treadmill, or you fancy dressing up for date night in the comfort of your own back garden, there is little doubt that you will find something here that catches your eye.

Join me next time as I search for pampering products and delicious sweet treats.

Read the first part of Maria Slough’s search for vegan options here.

Follow Maria’s photography journey at and Instagram and @mariasloughphotography

The post Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part II} appeared first on Vegan Life Magazine.

Vegan Broccoli Crunch Slaw

Vegan broccoli slaw salad and a serving spoon in a wooden serving bowl.

Broccoli slaw is a classic summer salad to serve at potlucks and barbeques. This vegan broccoli crunch salad retains all of the texture, colour, and contrasting flavours of the original. It’s an easy crowd-pleaser that takes less than 35 minutes to toss together.

A sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing and a blend of broccoli florets and slaw are the base of the salad. Roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, crispy tempeh bacon bits, and red onion add flavourful pops of nuttiness, tart sweetness, smoky savouriness, and bite.

An unmixed bowl of ingredients to make vegan broccoli slaw salad.

Preparing the poppy seed dressing takes just 5 minutes in a blender. Blitz the onion with white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the oil to make an emulsion and add a touch of vegan mayo for extra creaminess. Finish off the simple dressing with a spoonful or poppy seeds.

A spoon inside of a jar of vegan poppy seed dressing.

Adding vegan bacon bits is optional. To make crispy vegan bacon bits, pan-fry the tempeh in a generous amount of vegetable oil. Once both sides are browned, break the strips into bits and continue cooking them until they’re crispy. Once the “bacon” bits are cooked, drain off the excess oil. Using vegan butter/margarine or too little oil makes for a softer texture. Lightlife’s Smoky Tempeh Strips are my go-to for vegan bacon bits and BLT’s.

I use a store-bought broccoli slaw mix because it’s much easier and more convenient than making it from scratch. It’s a colourful combination of shredded broccoli stems, red cabbage, and carrots.

Ungarnished vegan broccoli slaw salad.

Finish up the vegan broccoli slaw by tossing the florets, slaw, cranberries, sunflower seeds, “bacon” bits, and onion together. Mix in the remaining poppy seed dressing. (Maximize flavour by massaging some of the poppy seed dressing into the tops of the broccoli florets.) Just before serving, garnish the broccoli salad with an extra sprinkle of sunflower seeds and bacon bits.

Vegan broccoli slaw salad in a wooden serving bowl sitting on a marble countertop.

Broccoli Slaw Tips and Substitutions:

  • If you won’t be serving the salad to a group of people, don’t mix the dressing into the broccoli salad right away. It’ll last longer if you dress individual portions just before serving.
  • Mellow the red onion so it doesn’t overpower the rest of the salad.
  • Soak the chopped onion in salt water and give it a rinse before adding it to the broccoli salad.
  • Swap out the dried cranberries. Add some raisins (golden sultanas are a great option) or dried currants instead. Some chopped apple is another option that adds sweetness and crunch. Choose a super crisp, slightly tart variety like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
  • Swap out the sunflower seeds. Add some green pumpkin seeds or chopped almonds instead. Choose salted and roasted nuts/seeds for the best flavour and crunch!
  • Use a natural sweetener in the poppy seed dressing. Natural sweeteners with caramel notes (like maple syrup or coconut sugar) compliments the Dijon mustard in the dressing beautifully.

Close up of a wooden serving bowl full of vegan broccoli slaw salad.

More Vegan Summer Salads


Vegan broccoli slaw in a wooden serving bowl.

Vegan Broccoli Crunch Slaw

  • Author:
    Brittany Mueller

  • Prep Time:
    25 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    10 minutes

  • Total Time:
    35 minutes

  • Yield:
    10 servings

  • Category:

  • Method:

  • Cuisine:


This vegan broccoli slaw salad is full of texture and flavour. Broccoli florets, slaw mix, roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, smoky tempeh bacon, red onion, and a tangy-sweet poppy seed dressing.


Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 ½ tbsp (21.5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) *coarse sea salt, more to taste
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) poppy seeds

Broccoli Crunch Salad:

  • 34 slices (60 grams) tempeh bacon (optional)
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying tempeh bacon (optional)
  • 4 cups (340 grams) broccoli florets
  • 4 cups (1 – 340 gram bag) broccoli slaw, packed
  • ½ cup (70 grams) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (70 grams) roasted, salted sunflower seeds, plus more for topping
  • ⅓ cup (50 grams) chopped red onion, soaked in salt water and rinsed


Poppy Seed Dressing:

  1. In a blender, add white wine vinegar, sugar, onion, Dijon mustard, and sea salt. Blend on high for 20 seconds. Turn speed down to minimum and very slowly drizzle in the canola oil. After incorporating the canola oil, continue blending on low for another 30 seconds. Add vegan mayo and poppy seeds, and blend on minimum until mixed well. Set aside.

Broccoli Crunch Salad:

  1. Optional: Heat canola oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add tempeh bacon strips. Cook tempeh strips until browned, flip, and cook the other side. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break the tempeh into bits. Continue cooking until the tempeh bits are crispy. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add ⅓ of the poppy seed dressing to the broccoli florets. Work the dressing into the tops of the florets.
  3. Adding to the broccoli florets and dressing, mix in the broccoli slaw, tempeh bacon bits (reserve some for topping, if desired), sunflower seeds, red onion, and dried cranberries.
  4. *Add enough of the remaining poppy seed dressing to coat the salad. Add more dressing to taste. Chill.
  5. After the salad has chilled, taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Top with extra sunflower seeds and tempeh bacon bits.


*If using fine sea salt, start with 2 tsp and add more to taste.

*Dress the salad just a few hours prior to serving.

*If you are not serving the entire salad at once: Combine all of the ingredients but do not mix in the poppy seed dressing. Dress individual portions of salad before serving.

Keywords: vegan, broccoli slaw, broccoli salad, vegan broccoli slaw, vegan broccoli salad

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Vegan Malai Kofta Recipe ( Baked or Pan-Fried)

This Restaurant-Style Vegan Malai Kofta recipe is the ultimate Indian comfort food. Picture crispy potato and chickpea dumplings in a creamy, spiced Indian gravy that will make your tastebuds sing! Soyfree. Glutenfree option. Nutfree option. Jump to Recipe

overhead shot of vegan malai kofta in a black skillet

Malai Kofta! If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine and this isn’t one of your top 5 Indian dishes you probably just have not tried it yet.

What is Malai Kofta?

Malai Kofta is a special occasion dish that has its origins in northern India. Kofta are meatballs, and there are variations of them – some from the Balkans and the Middle East, others coming from South Asia. In India, they are typically vegetarian for malai kofta, made with potatoes and paneer cheese. Malai simply means cream. So creamy meatballs.

In this recipe, we make easy swaps for all non-vegan ingredients using potatoes and chickpeas as a base for the “meatballs”  or “vegan kofta”. The result is the most delicious, richest tasting, better-than-restaurant style vegan malai kofta.

This vegan malai kofta will quickly shoot up to one of your favorite dishes. Malai (cream) gravy is super rich, so the best substitute for it is cashew cream. We also add some plant-based milk to the gravy but you can use water instead of the milk and it will still be quite creamy. The acidity in the tomatoes helps to balance the heat of the chili powder, ginger and cayenne. There are several variations of this recipe and you can make it with all the spices for a really elaborate process or shorten it like this one with a few spices and garam masala. This recipe is adapted from my cookbook version which is completely Nutfree in the book.

Continue reading: Vegan Malai Kofta Recipe ( Baked or Pan-Fried)

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Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part I}

Over the last 11 weeks as we all stayed home during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic our behaviour as consumers has had to change. Overall shopping figures during Lockdown fell by more than a third in the month of April while online shopping grew by 60%, a trend that many retailers expect to stay with consumers for some time to come.

At the start of this pandemic my house limited ourselves to online grocery shopping and vegan pharmacy items but outside of our supermarket delivery both the VeganKind Supermarket and Holland & Barrett stayed open to their customers throughout the peak of this pandemic (albeit with some stock not available) but their dedication to keeping supplies to their customers has been heartwarming.

As the weeks have gone on and that desire for some retail therapy has returned I started to delve deeper into what was available to me as a vegan consumer and what areas of shopping mattered the most to me. More now than ever living a healthy lifestyle is vital as is getting quality rest and sleep and looking after your skin, but as all our worlds are for now narrower and we continue to adapt to a lifestyle which prohibits close contact with anyone outside of your own home I felt myself leaning towards the need for some comfort items, so over the last few weeks reached out to various companies to see what options are available to the vegan consumer.

Over the last 11 weeks as we all stayed home during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic our behaviour as consumers has had to change. Overall shopping figures during Lockdown fell by more than a third in the month of April while online shopping grew by 60%, a trend that many retailers expect to stay with consumers for some time to come.

At the start of this pandemic my house limited ourselves to online grocery shopping and vegan pharmacy items but outside of our supermarket delivery both the VeganKind Supermarket and Holland & Barrett stayed open to their customers throughout the peak of this pandemic (albeit with some stock not available) but their dedication to keeping supplies to their customers has been heartwarming.

As the weeks have gone on and that desire for some retail therapy has returned I started to delve deeper into what was available to me as a vegan consumer and what areas of shopping mattered the most to me. More now than ever living a healthy lifestyle is vital as is getting quality rest and sleep and looking after your skin, but as all our worlds are for now narrower and we continue to adapt to a lifestyle which prohibits close contact with anyone outside of your own home I felt myself leaning towards the need for some comfort items, so over the last few weeks reached out to various companies to see what options are available to the vegan consumer.

The Clearspring team
The Clearspring team

My first port of call was Clearspring ( as I tried to source some tamari covered almonds to send to our family vet who was working throughout Covid-19 as a frontline worker. Their marketing manager Jag Singh had a box of almonds delivered to the vet team within days and insisted on gifting them. Such compassion and generosity at a time when so many companies are struggling compelled me to learn more about this company.

The founder of Christopher Clearspring, Christopher Dawson, told me, “We are a family business and for over 25 years we have been committed to pioneering authentic, plant-based Japanese Specialities and Organic Fine Foods. It all started in 1972 for me. I was in New Zealand, aged 19, when I came to a stark realisation; the country at the time had a population of just three million people but there were nearly 60 million sheep. If humans are at the top of the evolutionary pyramid, with the most developed digestive system, why are we slaughtering animals for human development and destroying the natural landscape in the process? It was the beginning of a journey that has spanned over four decades, from founding the business in 1993 to the Clearspring of today.”

Clearspring has developed a uniquely diverse range of organic and sustainably produced Japanese and European fine foods that are enjoyed throughout the world and their founding mission is to work for a sustainable future for all.

Christopher continues, “This range will keep expanding with my own children’s involvement in building Clearspring for the future, constantly turning one more acre of land back to organic cultivation as they go. Being 100% plant-based is a big contributor to sustainability and whilst we are a judgement-free business, we believe that if everyone can increase the amount of plant-based foods they eat and reduce their meat intake, as a collective, we can reduce our impact on the environment. An Oxford University study, published in Science Magazine reports that meat and dairy production is responsible for 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, whilst the products themselves provide just 18 per cent of calories and 37 per cent of protein levels around the world.”

As part of their commitment to sustainability, Clearspring is following the Soil Association’s lead and aligning their packaging strategy with the UK Plastics Pact. The Pact is an ambitious and collaborative initiative led by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)  which has set bold targets to make a massive impact on the amount of plastic used in packaging by 2025.

“We have already made some impactful and innovative packaging upgrades. The entire Clearspring Organic Japanese Tea Bag range has received a packing refresh and the packaging is entirely sustainable. Our new Organic Atlantic Sea Vegetables range is also 100% sustainable. Not only is it sustainably sourced, but the outer carton is 100% recyclable and the inner pouch is made from home-compostable cellulose from wood-pulp, which comes from carefully managed plantations.

They’ll join our existing ranges in glass jars and tins which are fully recyclable in most areas of the UK. It’s a work in progress for Clearspring with more exciting packaging updates to announce later this year.”

I asked Christopher if lockdown had affected his service. “Whilst it has been challenging, we have managed to maintain a full service – with our team and our suppliers going above and beyond the call of duty. The Clearspring team have acted in unison, supporting each other and it has been truly unprecedented and humbling. We really hope that when things come back to some kind of normality, the growing interest in sustainable plant-based foods continues to blossom. The increasing number of people who are now turning to a plant-based diet has been most welcome by us all at Clearspring. Whilst there has been a huge explosion of vegan products on the market, it is important for us to continue to champion truly wholesome and nutritious plant-based foods.

One last thought from Christopher on plant-based living and being a vegan consumer: “Wherever possible, I speak at events or to individuals and businesses to champion the benefits of Organic and plant-based foods. Leading by example is a significant part of my individual commitment to sustainability. I shop Organic wherever possible and have had a plant-based diet for a very long time which I have encouraged my family to follow too. Advocating for Organic and plant-based foods is part of that mission.”

The post Maria Slough on the search for vegan options {Part I} appeared first on Vegan Life Magazine.

Looking for a lock-down stress reliever? We explore the helping hand of CBD

CBD could be the answer to keeping calm throughout lock-down

The Ultimate Guide to CBD

Throughout the last few months of lock-down, many people have been looking to CBD to give them a help with keeping stress-free.  CBD products have been on the vegan scene for a while now, due to their natural and generally cruelty-free origins.

But are you unsure about what CBD actually is, and how and when to use it? CBD expert Paul Gurny, founder of vegan CBD product provider, GreenBox tells all…




1. So, what is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring plant cannabinoid found in abundance in the hemp and cannabis plants. It is able to help the ECS maintain harmony across the human body’s many complex functions.

Contrary to popular opinion, it does not directly bind with the CB1 or CB2 receptors of the ECS like endocannabinoids and other plant derived cannabinoids (such as THC & CBG) do

It actually effects these receptors indirectly, almost acting as a guide to help other compounds bind to the CB receptors. Additionally, CBD protects the body’s natural endocannabinoids that would otherwise be broken down by enzymes.

The scientific community is carrying out a number of studies to explore how CBD could assist with medical conditions relating to inflammation, chronic pain and anxiety, thanks to its involvement in upholding homeostasis. Much of this important and exciting work is still ongoing, but shows early promise.

For example, many people who take CBD refer to the feeling of calm and relaxation it creates. This could be down to how CBD helps target the causes of anxiety.

CBD and anxiety

There are already pharma solutions to deal with anxiety, such as Xanax and Valium. So, why use CBD over these white coat options?

Well, not only are these drugs often addictive, expensive and inaccessible, but they are not generally intended to be long term solutions. In addition, consumers around the world want natural and vegan solutions to health problems, rather than chemical ones. That’s why it has become a popular product among those with anxiety disorders.

2019 Japanese study explored the use of CBD to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD). 37 Japanese students with SAD received 300mg of CBD daily for four weeks.

At the end of the treatment period, the results showed it “significantly decreased anxiety”. It’s encouraging to see evidence that it does help people with these mental disorders.


CBD and pain or inflammation

Early clinical studies once again suggest that CBD could have some promising benefits when it comes to combating pain.

Numerous further studies show that CBD can help combat inflammation. It engages with the ECS in many organs throughout the body, helping to reduce inflammation systemically. The therapeutic potential is impressively broad, as a wide range of diseases have inflammation at its core.


What are the other health benefits?

As mentioned, there are many potential benefits of taking CBD. Many consumers find it can help combat anxiety, stress, inflammation and more. However, we do reiterate that the evidence is highly anecdotal today, and there are only a few pre-clinical human studies to rely on.

The reason is because it was only until recently that CBD was a not a controlled substance. So, scientific study of it was highly restricted. Today though, there are many exciting ongoing studies, and the results will be released in the coming years.

GreenBox is unable to make specific claims about what the effects of CBD might be for your health due to the current UK regulatory framework. This is why we suggest consumers carry out further reading to learn more. However, it’s clear this is one promising dietary supplement.



Will it get me high?

It won’t. CBD does not have the ability to create a high. It’s more infamous cousin, D9-THC (delta nine-tetrahydrocannabinol), usually extracted from the cannabis plant, offers the mind altering effects. This is because CBD and THC react differently with the body’s ECS. THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor while CBD does not, and it is this function that causes the ‘high’ associated with cannabis. Interestingly, THC can also increase the feeling of anxiety in some people. What we understand today is that the effect is entirely down to a person’s own body chemistry.


Could it show up in a drugs test?

A drugs test is searching for illegal substances in your bodily fluids. Given CBD is legal there are no concerns here. However, the reason why some people might be concerned about this is because some low quality CBD products contain low levels of THC. The quality issue we mentioned earlier is rearing its head again.

As THC is an illegal substance in the UK, if a consumer has been taking a low quality CBD product that still contains some THC, a drugs test could come back positive. To avoid this small chance entirely, buy only quality products and ask for a certificate of analysis to prove the absence of any illegal content.


Are there any other side effects?

GW Pharma’s clinical trials data is a good place to start as the Company looked at the side effects of dosing at 20mg per kg of body weight per day. So, for an average adult human weighing 62 kg, the Epidiolex dose would be 1240 mg per day. This is an extremely high dose and this is partly because the product is a pure CBD isolate. GreenBox recommends starting off at around 50 mg per day. All the same, we believe it’s important consumers are aware of all the facts.

The recorded side effects at this dose included sleepiness, reduced appetite, increased liver enzymes and others. Note, however, that the dosage was around 25 times higher than the level regular consumers might take CBD for the discussed wellness benefits we have also discussed.




Is CBD legal?

GreenBox can confidently confirm that it is a legal substance and GreenBox conducts testing to confirm we stock only legal brands. However, many products in the marketplace do contain some levels of THC and this is the source of the legality issue. THC is an illegal substance, and if it is found above a threshold level in a CBD product, then the product is illegal.

The HM Government is clear about what makes a product legal in this factsheet.


Is CBD safe?

According to the World Health Organization, it is entirely safe to consume and non-addictive. As mentioned earlier, it is safe even if taken at hundreds of milligrams daily, according to the few trials done so far.

Regulatory bodies around the world and large consumer products companies are sitting on their hands. They’re waiting to see how the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chooses to regulate this impressive ingredient. Until that time, it’s likely the Coca Cola’s of this world don’t participate. This leaves the market open for smaller brands to establish themselves.


2. How to take CBD

We can consume CBD in many different forms, but what is the best way? From oils and sprays to creams and balms, and many more. The choices can be overwhelming!

We’ve put together this guide to help you find the ideal product form to introduce CBD into the daily routine.


The variety of product types

Different product types offer variations in convenience,but also effectiveness. The most important factor is the latter, which is all about bioavailability.

The same dosage taken in two different product forms will result in different absorption levels in the body. For example, taking the CBD dose through an intravenous (IV) drip would give 100 per cent absorption. This is because the entire dose hits the bloodstream.

That’s great, but it’s not very convenient! Ingesting it, however, means it passes through the digestive system. As a result, the bloodstream only receives a small percentage of the CBD.




Taking it under the tongue

To support a daily wellness routine, GreenBox recommends dropping CBD oil under the tongue. This delivers a high absorption rate and a reliable onset of around 60 to 90 minutes. It’s also fairly quick and easy to do. Product forms like oil droppers and sprays are perfect for this. They’re also among the most cost effective ways to consume regularly.


The benefits of edibles

To give yourself a mid-day boost, a wide range of edibles are available. These include chocolates, drinks, gummies and other common edible products.

Edibles do offer a lower level of absorption as it must pass through the digestive system, but the benefit is longer onset and true convenience.


Skin and body products

To target a specific area on the body or face, topicals such as balms, lotions, serums and creams are very effective. The advantage of skin application is it can be administered exactly where the discomfort is, so it is possible to get a high level of CBD right on the target area. That’s why skin products are also a popular option.


3. What’s the right dosage?

Our bodies are all unique. So the way our endocannabinoid system (ECS) reacts when taking CBD is unique to us too. That’s why GreenBox advises that consumers find their ideal CBD dosage by careful trial and error.


Where to start

It can be hard to figure out how much CBD to begin with, but we are here to help. Many brands provide a daily dose with the product, and this is a fine place to start. For example, German pharma brand Ayucana advises healthy adults take 50 mg of CBD per day. For children aged between 14-18 years, Ayucana advises 40 mg per day.

Recall that CBD is entirely safe according to the WHO, even at very high doses. So, it’s important that new CBD consumers find their ideal dose by trial and error to find what is right for them. We are all different on the inside and out!


Raise CBD dose slowly

Begin by taking a low initial daily dose or a brand’s advised dose. Then, slowly increase it by 10 mg CBD per day until you begin to feel its effect, if you don’t already.

It’s important to explore and find out what works for you. When you are happy with the effect you are feeling, hold that level of dosage from there on.

An easy way to accurately dose is to either use CBD capsules which have a specific concentration of CBD per pill, or use a bottle of CBD oil with a dropper.




CBD on the skin and body

GreenBox offers similar advice when using skin & body CBD products. Apply the product liberally on the problem area as part of your daily routine. Increase the number of times you apply the product per day to increase its effect. CBD is understood to have great anti-inflammatory properties so applying on the skin is an effective method.


FSA advice

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has stepped in to advise that consumers take no more than 70 mg daily. GreenBox feels it is important to highlight this.


Speak to your doctor

Cannabidiol CBD is a natural plant based ingredient from either the hemp or cannabis plant, so it is safe to consume. However, it’s important for a first-time consumer’s peace of mind to speak with their doctor if there are medical conditions to consider. This is because drug interactions can take place if you are already taking a prescription. This may effect what CBD serving sizes may be appropriate to proceed with.



Words by Paul Gurney, GreenBox Co-Founder

The post Looking for a lock-down stress reliever? We explore the helping hand of CBD appeared first on Vegan Life Magazine.

Jammie Dodgers are vegan again!

Jammie Dodgers has adjusted its recipe to ensure that the biscuits are once again suitable for vegans.

The British biscuit company behind the Jammie Dodger has announced that it has made changes to its recipe to omit the dairy and ensure that they can be enjoyed by vegans once again.

When the recipe was changed in 2016, vegans were disappointed to learn that the addition of milk protein meant that the biscuit was no longer suitable for a plant-based diet. With the change, the snacks are now dairy-free, making them suitable for anyone on a vegan or dairy-free diet.

Speaking about the recipe change, Kate Needham, Marketing Director at Burtons Biscuits, said: “We have listened to our biscuit fans and are pleased to announce that we’ve moved once again to a dairy-free recipe. Family fun is at the Jammie heart of our brand, so it’s important to us that the whole family – and families of all lifestyles – can share a pack. Thanks to the new recipe, we’re happy that will now be more possible.

But that’s not all, with our household classic seeing a surge in popularity, you can expect to see lots more fun and mischief coming from the UK’s favourite Jammie biscuit brand going forwards! It’s an exciting time to be a Jammie Dodger fan.”

The new Jammie Dodgers are available nationwide from the week beginning 13th July 2020; the new recipe can be identified by the new pack design, which has a ‘Suitable for Vegans’ logo on the back of the pack.

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Vegan Banana Scones

Vegan Banana Scones that are flaky and tender with a golden crust and a delightful banana bread taste thanks to cinnamon, vanilla and toasty nuts! No added oil! GF and Nutfree options. Jump to Recipe

close up side view of vegan banana scones on a white cake stand


Vegan Banana Scones that you will want to eat for breakfast, snack, and dessert.

Coming at you with some utterly delicious vegan scones that have just the right amount of density, the perfect flake and tenderness, and that signature golden crispy crust!

What takes these from good to outrageously delicious? A couple of things! First of all, caramelized bananas! I use them for many of my recipes, so if that sounds delicious to you make sure not to miss out on this French Toast recipe, my Caramelized Banana Granola Bars or these Banana Bread Chia Puddings.

Apart from caramelized bananas, we also toss some banana bread spices (well, mostly cinnamon and vanilla) as well as chopped nuts into the mix. So, to recap, these vegan banana scones are:  flaky and packed with banana and nuts. Super tender on the inside yet crusty and crispy on the outside. Light and sweet but not too sweet. All in all a total win.

Continue reading: Vegan Banana Scones

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Vegan Italian Pasta Salad

Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl with salad tossing spoons.
Summer is the time for big batch salads! Potato salad, Greek salad, and pasta salads like classic macaroni or this vegan Italian pasta salad are great for summer.

Close up of fusilli pasta, tomatoes, and herbs in vegan Italian pasta salad.
This vegan Italian pasta salad is quick, easy, and full of flavour. Fusilli pasta, fresh herbs, a colourful array of summer tomatoes, tofu “feta”, olives, pepperoncinis, red onion and a basil dressing. It’s perfect for summer barbeques and picnics.

A carton of colourful mixed summer tomatoes.
It takes less than 35 minutes to throw together. Make the basil dressing and prepare the tofu while the pasta boils. Prepare the rest of the vegetables while you marinate the tofu and chill the pasta. Once the pasta is cold, toss everything together and you’re done!

Vegan Italian pasta salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.

5-Minute Basil Dressing

The tangy basil dressing is based on the vinaigrette in our Greek salad recipe. Just throw everything into a blender and blitz until the dressing is a creamy light green with plenty of basil flecks throughout.

Vegan Italian basil salad dressing in a jar.

Tips for Flavourful Pasta Salad

  • Cook the pasta longer than the directions suggest. Al denté is ideal for hot pasta dishes, but for pasta salads you want to slightly overcook the pasta. The pasta firms up a lot once it’s cold.
  • Don’t rinse all the starch off the pasta. Give it a super quick rinse with hot water, just passing it under the water once or twice. It’ll help the dressing cling to the noodles but it won’t pick up so much that it makes the salad dry.
  • Always mix the dressing into the pasta while it’s hot and then chill it.
  • Corkscrew pastas like fusilli or rotini are ideal because they have lots of surface area to pick up the flavourful dressing.
  • Soak raw onions in salt water and then rinse. This tames the onion flavour so it doesn’t overwhelm the whole salad. If you like a lot of onion flavour, just add more!

Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl.

Customization Ideas

This vegan Italian pasta salad recipe is a great base for you to customize to your liking. Spinach, bell peppers, pickled jalapenos, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes are all great options.

More Vegan Summer Salads


Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl with salad tossing spoons.

Vegan Italian Pasta Salad

  • Author:
    Brittany Mueller

  • Prep Time:
    25 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    10 minutes

  • Total Time:
    35 minutes + chilling time

  • Yield:
    12 cups

  • Category:
    Sides, Salads

  • Cuisine:


This vegan Italian pasta salad is quick, easy, and full of flavour. Fusilli pasta, fresh herbs, a colourful array of summer tomatoes, tofu “feta”, olives, pepperoncinis, red onion and a basil dressing. It’s perfect for summer barbeques and picnics.


Basil Dressing:

  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) *coarse sea salt
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) onion powder
  • ⅛ cup (30 ml) *fresh basil, add more to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried basil, add more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Vegan Italian Pasta Salad:

  • 1 lb (454 grams) fusilli pasta
  • 175 grams (½ block) firm or extra-firm tofu, *pressed and broken up into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp (4 grams) nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 cups (400 grams) chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup fresh herbs (I use basil and flat-leaf parsley), packed and chopped
  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (55 grams) chopped red onion, soaked in salt water and rinsed
  • ¼ cup (4-5) chopped pickled pepperoncinis (optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, but add an extra minute to the cooking time. The pasta should be just slightly overcooked (past al denté). While the pasta boils, prepare the dressing.
  2. Add all of the dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, water, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh basil, and dried basil), to a blender. Blend on medium-high speed until the dressing is a creamy light green with plenty of fresh basil pieces flecked throughout.
  3. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Immediately toss the hot pasta with ⅔ of the dressing (enough to liberally coat). Chill.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the *tofu with nutritional yeast. Stir in the remaining dressing and chill.
  5. Once the pasta is cold, mix in the tofu and dressing mixture, tomatoes, olives, chopped herbs, pepperoncinis, and red onion. Chill. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.


* Be sure to use coarse sea salt. If using fine sea salt, start with a 1½ tsp. Taste and adjust the dressing with more salt as needed. The dressing should still taste strong and salty to adequately season the large volume of pasta.

*If needed, you can prepare the dressing without fresh basil. Increase the amount of dried basil to 2-3 tsp, add more to taste.

*For best flavour and texture, press as much moisture out of the tofu as possible. I like to slice it up before pressing it to increase the surface area. After that, I break it up into small pieces and briefly press it again (using my hands) to further remove excess moisture.

Keywords: pasta salad, vegan pasta salad, italian pasta salad

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Sweet Potato No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

These easy no yeast cinnamon rolls feature sweet potato puree which makes them the fluffiest, most pillowy homemade vegan cinnamon buns you’ll ever make.  No dough-punching & no long waiting for the dough to rise! Jump to Recipe

overhead shot of a vegan sweet potato no yeast cinnamon roll on a white plate

Cinnamon buns make all mornings better.  We all know that! But if I told you you can take the old cinnamon roll to the next level, by adding some sweet potato? Would you trust me and try it? I hope you do, because boy these Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls! SO GOOD! Plus these are no-yeast cinnamon rolls – vegan and no hour-long waiting around for the dough to rise.

Now, we don’t naturally think of sweet potatoes as a dessert ingredient  – or sweet breakfast treat –  but let me tell you, there are so many ways to incorporate them into your breakfast routine. On the blog, I already have a bunch of sweet breakfast treats using sweet potato puree, like my famous sweet potato blondies, this sweet potato bread, or this sweet potato crumb bread.

Other than flavor, there are many more reasons why adding sweet potatoes to your vegan baked goods is a good idea. First of all, sweet potato puree gives the rolls this gorgeous yellow-orange color. Secondly, it makes the texture of the dough somehow more soft and almost flaky! These rolls literally melt in your mouth. Truly amazing.

Continue reading: Sweet Potato No Yeast Cinnamon Rolls

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