The Vegan SA Blog
Posted on 6 December 2016
Planet Organic has a wide range of vegan and gluten free snack bars. Flavours include, Cocoa Brazil Nut, Goji Pumpkin Seed, Chia Vanilla and Coconut Barleygrass. They do not use cheap gluten-free fillers like white rice and corn, they instead choose highly-nutritious alternatives like quinoa and buckwheat. Their products are dairy-free but, that doesn’t mean vegetable margarine or soy, they prefer using coconut and nuts. As for refined sugar, absolutely not – many of their products contain no added sugar at all. If they do, they chose low-GI, low-fructose coconut sugar.
You can find Planet Organic’s Snack Bars at all well-stocked Wellness Warehouse stores.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan snack bars in South Africa.
Posted on 5 December 2016
A review of A Short Guide to Veganism by Vivian Penelope Alvez…
I received a copy of the book via download from Payhip. I had volunteered to review the book because I thought “A Short guide to Veganism” sounds like a short, quick read and should be quick to review.
I was wrong.
The title is a bit of a misnomer as this is more than a short guide – it is approximately 208 pages all about veganism. Granted, 33 pages of those are recipes and tips and tricks for the new vegan, it is still a pretty comprehensive book.
That said, it is by no means a slog to get through – I found it easy to read (being written in a conversational tone) with just enough information being provided to entice the new or interested convert to investigate veganism further. This is amply aided by a multitude of links and references for further reading.
Each section is brief and concise with a major emphasis on health issues as opposed to environmental or animal welfare issues. These issues are covered but not in as much detail as the health issues surrounding the consumption of animal products.
My view is that this is not an authoritative guide (and it certainly doesn’t purport to be) but rather a well-written and concise introduction to the world of veganism and definitely has a place as a guide for newer vegans who inevitably need to defend their newly chosen lifestyles and for activists needing literature that they can pass on to people interested in the vegan movement.
Available worldwide for $10 at Payhip (no registration needed).
Reviewed by Rino Nepgen – Vegan SA
Posted on 23 November 2016
Enjoy a truly unique experience as you taste their passion-filled wines, which guides the wine making process, step-by-step. Lynx Wines is a small winery using traditional equipment like open concrete fermenters and a basket press, and it is this that makes their cellar tours so popular with visitors from around the world.
Lynx passion starts with sustainable grape growing practices in the vineyards, continues in the cellar as they handcraft their wines, and ends up in the bottle. They love sharing their passion with visitors and have them taste their award winning wines.
All of their wines are vegan friendly.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan wines in South Africa.
Posted on 23 November 2016
MoonBean is a passion project born out of the need in South Africa for healthy alternatives that don’t compromise on taste. Their core aim is to provide their customers with delicious, plant based treats that are allergen friendly and makes one feel energized and satiated.
We make a range of raw low temperature dehydrated treats including coconut macaroons, snackaroons and grawnola, as well as our all-organic Superfood Coffee Blend which combines the best African fair trade coffee we could get our hands on with 6 functional superfoods to provide you with balanced, sustained energy without the jitters or afternoon crash.
Not all of their products are vegan though, but their caramel and chocolate snackaroons are completely vegan. You can find MoonBean Snackaroons at Wellness Warehouse, selected Spar Stores, most independent health shops and online at MoonBean’s Website or Faithful to Nature’s Online Store.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan biscuits and similar sweet snacks in South Africa.
Posted on 23 November 2016
At Ginger Deli and Kitchen, on The Promenade, Camps Bay, they serve a range of delicious breakfasts, brunches and lunches. Their coffee is organic and fair-trade and they stock a large range of local and imported organic teas. They also offer an array of cold-pressed juices. Gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, non-GMO and preservative-free items are available, both on the menu and in the Ginger Deli.
Slow cooked oats bowl – rolled oats cooked in almond milk and coconut milk, infused with cinnamon and vanilla with coconut sugar caramelized banana topped with almond butter, cashew nuts & chia seed.
Smoothie bowl – camu-camu berry, hibiscus and fresh berries with activated almonds, an almond nut cream butter, topped with fresh berries, and a coconut sugar granola nut crunch.
Red salald bowl – cherry tomatoes, red cabbage, roasted candied baby beetroot, toasted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, on a bed of baby lettuce and baby spinach, basil, mint & rocket, topped off with a date & beetroot hummus, avocado and olive oil (substitute tofu for goats cheese).
Bun-less vegan bun-less vegan beet & avo burger with a truffle & dill cashew cream.
Our beetroot burger patty is made from raw rolled oats, red onion, black beans, beetroot, cumin, paprika, walnuts, garlic and coconut flour lightly fried in olive oil and plated on a green salad with fresh tomatoes, red cabbage,
butternut spirals, cucumber, carrots and toasted seeds with rocket, baby spinach, pea shoots and microgreens.
Vegan chocolate ice cream bowl.
Un-framed vegan chocolate ice-cream with a vegan chocolate & organic rolled oats granola, topped with berries and a dairy free fig, cranberry & pistachio biscoti.
IN THE DELI
vegan oven roast veg with tahini and sesame.
quinoa, butternut & caramel onion salad.
vegan carrot, kale & cinnamon cake.
vegan raw cacao chocolate cake.
Hours: 09:00 – 18:00 | Tuesday to Sunday, Sunday: 09:00 – 15:00.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan restaurants in Cape Town.
Posted on 22 November 2016
DS-24 Vegi Multivitamin & Mineral 60 Capsules is a daily supplement formulated with 24 micronutrients. The formulation is completely free of gelatin and animal products, which makes it perfect for vegans.
Available at Dis-Chem, Clicks, and other leading pharmacies nationwide.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan vitamins in South Africa.
Posted on 20 November 2016
Longridge Wine Estate, situated on Eikendal Road, off R44, Stellenbosch, against the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, is passionate about organic and biodynamic principles. Their aim is to offer exceptional wine that is pure and natural, yet unmistakably elegant. As such, the wines are made in a totally natural way. In the vineyard, no herbicides, pesticides and chemical sprays are used and Nguni cattle provide natural fertiliser.
In the cellar, their wine is handcrafted and no artificial yeast, fining agents or stabilisers are added, and it does not go through a filtration process.
Available at Pick ‘n Pay, Wine Shop, Tops Spar, Checkers.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan wines in South Africa.
Posted on 17 November 2016
Restaurant on Factory on Grant is a vegetarian and vegan friendly place with a variety of vegetarian and vegan options available on the menu. It is a family restaraunt in the heart of Norwood and welcomes you for a lovely day out, dining while surrounded by art, diversity and culture that epitimizes 72 Grant Avenue in Norwood and The Factory on Grant.
Sandwiches: Mushrooms, roast veg with coriander pesto and hummus.
Burgers: Tofu prego-marinated tofu slices with caramalized onions, tomato, rocket and chilli sauce.
Cumin roast butternut and grilled haloumi with rocket and tomatoes and a lemon dressing.
Roast medeterranian veg, tossed with chickpeas and olives, on a bed of rocket and garden leaves with sun dried tomato dressing.
Zuchini friti and basil mayo.
Grilled haloumi with lemon wedges and pita bread.
Warm garlic and lemon mushrooms.
Mains: Chickpea fritters on roasted butternut with rocket, slow roasted tomato sauce, salsa verde.
Breakfast: Health Bowl-Greek yoghurt with home made muesli and fruit mix.
Smoothies: Berries, roasted coconut and banana
Hours: 07:00 – 21:30
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan restaurants in Johannesburg.
Posted on 15 November 2016
PURESIMPLE specialises in handmade pure vegetable oil-based handmade soaps, body butters, creams and balms, and household cleaners. Both the BATH and BODY ranges have been specially formulated to be mild and gentle on the skin with both fragrance free and fragranced options available. The HOME range to be formulated to clean thoroughly but gently. All products are handmade and, where possible, ingredients are sourced locally to minimise the carbon footprint and to support environment friendly principles.
All finished products are vegan, biodegradable and contain no artificial additives, synthetic surfactants, cosmetic fragrances, paraben-type preservatives, mineral oils or petroleum based ingredients. Palm oil is used in a few products and is certified by the RSPO as sustainably harvested. Packaging has also been specially sourced to ensure that it is biodegradable and/or recyclable.
Puresimple products are available at Puresimple and Faithful to Nature in Cape Town, Fruits & Roots in Bryanston, Gauteng.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more cruelty-free/vegan products in South Africa.
Posted on 10 November 2016
A review of Rain’s bath, skin- & home-care products…
Rain Africa is a highly respected and proudly South African company. They are currently the only Body and Beauty company in South Africa to be accredited by both Fair Trade South Africa and the International Fair Trade body in Europe. With sustainability as one of their core beliefs, Rain is a brand you can feel proud of using.
I was lucky enough to try out Rain’s Biologie Coconut & Shea Body Butter. The product comes in a 200 ml screw lid tub with a clean and sleek label, just like you would expect from the brand. I was also happy to find out that their packaging is, whenever possible, handmade, biodegradable, recyclable and the materials used are natural and recycled.
The citrusy scent from the tangerine oil smells so good you want to eat it! Other amazing ingredients include; coconut oil, shea butter, aloe ferox extract, sesame seed oil, allotoin and jojaba wax, which are all natural, local and sustainably harvested and help to soothe, moisturize, protect and care for your skin. It also has the added benefit of improving skin tone and rebuilding collagen, which makes it a perfect massage cream. This product, as with all of Rain’s products, contain no parabens, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, liquid paraffin or petrochemicals. They also do not support animal testing or child labor. So you can really feel good about using this product!
The cream absorbs relatively quickly and left my skin soft and smooth all day without it being greasy. After a few days of application I could definitely see and feel a difference in my skin. Especially on my knees where it tends to get dry quickly. I have s dry, sensitive skin and can easily break out from using creams; I did not have any bad reactions to this product though, due to their natural ingredients.
Overall I was very impressed with this product. I would recommend it to everyone as it is so gentle on the skin, but at the same time nourishing and hydrating. I do suggest this body butter be used in the colder months because of the wintery scent of citrus and because I found it a bit too rich for warmer days in the sun. If you love taking care of yourself as well as the environment, then this product (and brand) is for you!
You can get your hands on this spa quality product for R255 on their online store or at one of their many branches around South Africa.
Reviewed by Gabby Correia – Vegan SA
Posted on 8 November 2016
An interview with Bev Missing, founder of Rain …
By Antoinette Maake
Vegan SA: Tell us about who you are and what you do?
Bev Missing: Rain is a Fair Trade company, manufacturing body and bath products and skincare from bioactive wild harvested African plants.
We have 22 of our own Rain stores – 18 in SA and 3 in the USA.
Vegan SA: What inspired you to come up with Rain?
Bev Missing: A desire to make a difference in our community and country by creating work opportunities for unskilled people in rural areas.
Vegan SA: Are all the Rain products vegan friendly?
Bev Missing: Our products are all vegetarian friendly – we are endorsed by Beauty Without Cruelty. And all are vegan friendly apart from our Bee Range and our baby range which have beeswax.
Vegan SA: Where can people buy the Rain products?
Bev Missing: We have 18 stores in South Africa in the major malls and a web shop www.rainafrica.com.
Vegan SA: When did you become vegetarian and why?
Bev Missing: I have been vegetarian since I was a very young child. I can recall my mother telling me where roast lamb came from and I point blank refused to eat meat from that day on. She was only able to deceive me with mince or hamburger patties which did not “look” like meat as there was no visible bone! Chicken followed soon after. I ate tuna till I was in university. I then saw an excerpt at the end of the evening news which showed a gold fish which had been cruelly raised in a tea cup and had grown a curved spine. When the SPCA confiscated this fish and introduced it into a tank with normal fish – it was unable to swim to the surface to breathe. The other fish took turns to lift it to the surface to breathe. I was gobsmacked. I could not believe the intelligence and compassion I had seen in a gold fish. That was the end of all fish for me. And that was 35 years ago.
Vegan SA: What is your favourite place to shop for food?
Mellissa: I live in Swellendam, so we have limited selection. We have a little organic eco shop in town which I support, but mainly I grow my own herbs and veggies organically. I shop at Woolies whenever I am in Cape Town.
Vegan SA: Tell us about what motivated you to write your first book, Rain Book of Natural Soap-making?
Bev Missing: My desire to share and pass it forward. A lady in the USA had helped me learn to make soap – out of the goodness of her heart, so it seemed a nice thing to do – to share what had really not been mine to own.
Vegan SA: What reception is your book receiving locally and internationally?
Bev Missing: The sales have been better than expected. We have also published in the USA – an Americanized imperial version.
Vegan SA: There is a lot happening globally and in South Africa about eating/diet. What advice do you have for people who are trying to eat a healthy diet and how to maintain it?
Bev Missing: I had breast cancer last year and, for me, that was a wakeup call on eating non organic and processed convenience meals. I am a very busy person so convenience meals were such a help to me…….my gorgeous man does not cook. There are all sorts of funnies in there – stabilizers, non caking agents, preservatives, flavor enhancers etc etc. NOT good.
I have also been shocked at how even ‘fresh fruit’ is dipped into preservative baths and waxed for longevity. One cannot trust our food suppliers anymore. They are not forced to warn us on how food has been treated on fresh produce. I think the only way forward to grow your own.
Vegan SA: What is your favorite meal?
Bev Missing: Halloumi in a traditional tabbouleh salad.
Vegan SA: How strict are you in your diet, do you eat honey, wear leather?
Bev Missing: I do eat honey and I do wear leather. I often say that I am a hypocritical vegetarian because of the leather. But I would NEVER wear it if I knew an animal had died for just my shoes. Everyone around me eats meat. I am the only vegetarian in my family and friendship circle. So, on the balance of probabilities, it is likely that I am wearing the by – product of what they all eat.
Vegan SA: Best advice you can give for travelling vegans and vegertarians?
Bev Missing: There is a bakery in Robertson who makes the most exquisite eggless cheesecake – Loretta se Koek Boutique – 023 626 5133.
Vegan SA: Babel at Babylonstoren – fresh organic seasonal food straight from the garden around the restaurant.
Vegan SA: What obstacles have you faced in the past, and continue to face, by being vegetarian, and how did you overcome them?
Bev Missing: Continual teasing and made to feel the pariah. It started as a child and has never ever stopped. I just laugh it off.
Vegan SA: What improvements or changes would you most like to see in the vegan and vegetarian movements, both domestically and internationally, over the coming years?
Bev Missing: I would love people to really THINK about what where their food comes from and how animals are treated in the various processes. I would like to recommend a book to all carnivores – EATING ANIMALS by Jonathan Safran Foer – truly shocking and life changing.
Vegan SA: What is your favorite meal and do you have a recipe that we could publish on our site?
Bev Missing: An embarrassing confession… I have a wonderful mom. And she does all the cooking. I don’t have time. But as the rest of my family are carnivores, I get the “meat and three veg” without the meat! She knows the rules of course – not to use the same utensils for both.
Vegan SA: What advice would you give to people want to make the switch to becoming vegan or vegetarian?
Bev Missing: As a vegetarian I would not advise anyone to switch to a Vegan lifestyle to be honest. That is a tough road and very challenging. It must come from your own heart and conviction. You cannot persuade people to convert. It needs to be driven from within.
My personal health challenges have been that I have not focused enough attention on my protein intake over the years and now at 54 years of age – my muscles have started to atrophy as a result of lack of protein. Beans and lentils were never part of my diet, and this I regret now.
Vegan SA: Where can our readers buy a copy of your book?
Bev Missing: Rain stores nationwide in the major malls or our online shop www.rainafrica.com.
Visit our website for a list of famous international and South African vegans.
Posted on 6 November 2016
Mango Ginger of 27 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town, focusses on creating healthy, nutritious and fabulously flavoured foods. They only use organic flour, pure fats and organic, fresh produce where possible.
Vegan items include:
Wheat free lentil & baby veg pie
Hummus and roasted veg sandwich
Hummus salad with toast wedges
Hummus and veg wrap (minus feta)
Potato wedges and side salad
From the bakery:
Not on the main menu:
Beetroot and Berry cake
Check specials board for vegan soups or other items
Rice milk (Health Connection) available for hot drink, but not suitable for vegans as it contains casein (cows milk). Will be getting rice milk plus which is suitable for vegans.
Open from 07:30 to 17:00 on weekdays, and 08:00 to 15:00 on Saturdays.
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan restaurants in Cape Town.
Posted on 22 October 2016
A review of Almond Breeze’s Almond Milk…
I had the opportunity of testing out Almond Breeze’s new Barista Blend and Original Almond milks. I received a package delivered to me and I was impressed by the professional design and packaging.
I tried the Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk in my coffee, on its own and with cooking. The Almond Milk has an original flavour with a unique taste of almonds. The new Barista Blend is made specifically for coffee lovers to enjoy a creamy cuppucino or frothy latte. To make my Barista Blend the perfect cream, I frothed it in a coffee pot on the stove until creamy, brewed my coffee and poured. Delicious.
What I found impressive was that Almond Breeze Almond Milk original and lite contain fewer calories than dairy milk, rice milk and other alternatives. The nutritional value of almonds makes Almond Breeze a healthy and natural choice for milk as almonds have so many benefits for the heart and for protein content.
Almond Breeze Almond Milk and their new Barista Blend are perfect for vegans as there are no animal bi-products or dairy, which makes it a great alternative, cruelty and guilt-free. Almond Breeze isn’t only for vegans and vegetarians, everyone will enjoy it.
I give Almond Breeze a 5 out of 5 for their Almond Milks and a thumbs up for their new Barista Blend. I hope that vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurants add this onto their menu as an option for people to try, and to have as an alternative to dairy. I am sure that once you have tried it, you won’t drink any other milk!!
Reviewed by Courtney Dubb – Vegan SA
Posted on 12 October 2016
A review of the Farm Animal Sanctuary SA, Franschoek…
On Sunday, the 2nd of October, Farm Sanctuary SA opened its (barn) doors in Franschhoek, in the Western Cape. The timing could not have been better as it coincided with World Farm Animal Day and this made the event even more profound. Farm Sanctuary SA is the first registered farm animal sanctuary in Africa.
The grand opening was well attended by various roleplayers in the vegan and animal rights movement. Joanne Lefson, founder director of Farm Sanctuary SA, expressed her passion and love for animals in a heartfelt speech where she introduced the rescued animals and their stories. Having realised her goal with the unwavering support of her partner Harald, it was indeed a special moment she had been dreaming about for 22 years, and the emotion she felt was palpable for all who attended that day. When the time came to cut the ribbon and declare the sanctuary officially open to the public, Baloo the calf was standing right at Jo’s side, giving his seal (or should I say moo?) of approval.
The magic of Farm Animal Sanctuary SA resonates in the details of its spaces and design. Light streams in through the glass panels of the arches and openings in the barn. A spiralling metal staircase winds its way up to a sunny loft. Barrels of hay serve as nifty tables and chairs. Pictures and quotes from famous and inspirational people adorn the walls of the barn. You’ll find specially crafted door handles and mirrors in the rustic restrooms. Visitors can help themselves to a myriad of information at the creatively displayed information stand.
It is a 100% green facility, making use of solar energy and a biodigester. Untamed green grass gushes from the roof at the sides of the barn. The playfully designed henhouse is home to rescued, ‘spent’ hens who now spend their days bathing in the dust and sun as nature intended them to. Impactful sculptures with stirring and eloquent messages are scattered across the landscape of the farm.
The barn is also home to Garden of Vegan, a farmstall serving wholesome Vurgers and s’moo’thies, and selling a variety of other vegan goods such as fresh, organic produce grown at the farm, juices, coffee with almond milk, muffins, cookies, veggie chips and vegan biltong, butter and yoghurt. Visitors can also purchase decorative bowls, t-shirts, bags, bath salts, soaps and paper products made from the cow dung (which provides a source of income to the rural community), as well as free range eggs from the rescued hens.
The animal pens are situated at the sides of the barn, allowing visitors to experience the animals at close proximity. The purpose of the sanctuary is to create awareness and awaken a connection between consumers and farm animals, and to encourage a more compassionate lifestyle. The animals at the sanctuary each play an important role, becoming ambassadors for change.
One of these ambassadors is Pigcasso, the famous pig, who was rescued from a pig farm and brought to the sanctuary, where she is allowed to live out her natural days. Of course she is thriving and as it turns out, she has a very special talent too. She can paint! And best of all, you can purchase her famous pieces of artwork at the farmstall.
Farm Sanctuary SA is open to visitors on weekends and public holidays, or by appointment on weekdays. Guests can also book an overnight stay in the loft above the barn. Volunteering at the sanctuary is encouraged and donations are welcome and will be used for the upkeep of the farm and nurture of the rescued animals. For more info visit www.farmsanctuarysa.org.
I encourage everyone to visit and support Farm Sanctuary SA. There is such a special, positive energy here which I am unable to capture with just words and pictures alone. “Our lives is our message”. These words at the entrance to the barn reverberate long after you leave the gates of this sanctuary.
Matlombe Lounge, Dirkie Uys Street, Franschoek, Western Cape. Tel.: 021 876 2718. Open Sat-Sun 11 am – 3 pm.
Reviewed by Samantha Jooste – Vegan SA
Posted on 4 October 2016
At It’s All Good of 8A Mackeurtan Avenue, Durban North, we believe in food that is fresh, local and seasonal. Our fruit and vegetables are soil grown and organic from traceable, sustainable sources that support our community. Our wholefoods cafe caters for all dietary requirements and dishes are generally dairy, gluten and always refined sugar free. In addition to a small menu we also cook every day from our organic table creating specials from whatever we have received in for the farms.
As a grocer we sell locally sourced organic fresh produce, grains, nuts, herbs, spices and various superfoods and nutritional supplements as well as natural household cleaning products; and cruelty free toiletries. Everything you need for ethical living.
Menu: salads, wraps, pastas, toasts, smoothies, fresh juices, hot beverages, raw desserts.
Specials: Curries, soups, wholegrain salads, bhudda bowls
Visit the Vegan SA directory for more vegan-friendly cafes in Durban.