The Vegan SA Blog
Posted on 30 March 2013
These burgers from Natual Living are for everyone – tasty, satisfying, wholesome, delicious! Wheatfree, soya-, dairy-, egg-, meat-, maize-free; made from whole grains, pulses, seeds and vegetables. Every-Day-Food that your body will like and absorb.
They come frozen as 120g patties in a pack of 4; R20 wholesale. They don’t fall apart and can be rolled out thinly to dry roast into a tortilla and serve as nutritious bread replacement. Made with Oryx desert salt, full of trace minerals.
Available by direct order in the Cape Peninsula area only.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan burger options.
Posted on 30 March 2013
According to research, Moringa Oleifera is the most nutrient-rich plant yet discovered. It’s the ideal source of plant based protein for vegans and vegetarians. This nutritious superfood provides a rich and rare combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, omega 3, 6 & 9, and all the essential amino acids, all naturally occurring in one humble plant.
Research proves Moringa to be ideal for infants, children, pregnant and lactating women. Akan Natural Moringa products of Hout Bay are available as powder and tea (bags). Moringa soap, oil and loose leaf will be available in the near future.
Please see their website for information and stockists.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan health supplements.
Posted on 16 March 2013
Except for Hunter’s Extreme, all Hunter’s ciders are suitable for vegans.
Hunter’s Gold (ABV 4.5%, 231 kJ / 100 ml) is their original pure golden cider and has a slightly sweeter apple flavour.
Hunter’s Dry (ABV 5.5%, 238 kJ / 100 ml) is … well … a drier, and crisper, easy-drinking, natural cider.
Hunter’s Export (ABV 6%, 227 kJ / 100 ml) is extra matured for a stronger taste.
Hunter’s Hard Lemon (ABV 5.5%, 262 kJ / 100 ml) has a burst of citrus taste.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan ciders.
Posted on 15 March 2013
The Maharajah in Fountain Square, Rondebosch, Cape Town, provides a healthy and delicious fastfood outlet which is lacto vegetarian but caters to vegans as well.
Vegan options: Palak Paneer (tofu), Mutter Paneer (tofu), Veg Korma, Chickpeas and butternut, Chana Chaat, Butterbean curry, muffins, brownies, roti.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan-friendly restaurants in Cape Town.
Posted on 14 March 2013
… a regular nutrition series for vegans by Anastacia Sampson
It is a misconception to presume that all vegans follow healthy dietary habits. With a diverse and wide range of vegan foods on the market, it reflects the trend for pursuing a vegan lifestyle.
There are a wide variety of vegan friendly foods marketed for the consumer. All these vegan processed foods are manufactured with the focus on taste appeal and attractive presentation, i.e. sales!
The vegan lifestyle will not necessarily be a healthy one. As with all things in life, once we begin to process foods we tend to alter the food to various degrees. It is all dependent on the method of processing the original plant food and how and what we add to it.
A grainy example
We know that rice is healthy – it is high in complex carbohydrates and has a significant amount of vitamins and minerals. Rice is especially noteworthy for containing high fiber and magnesium levels. As it belongs to the cereal grains, it is naturally low in sodium and calcium. What have we done with rice? We refine it to produce white rice, which does ensure it is more easily digestible. For people with weak digestion, white rice is useful. However white rice, having had its outer nutritious bran and germ layers/sections removed, is much lower in nutrients than brown rice.
Brown rice is unrefined rice with its germ section (containing vitamin E, some other essential fatty acids and nutrients), the bran layer (high in fiber, some protein and other nutrients) and the main bulk middle compartment, called the endosperm (high in carbohydrates), intact. All those nutrients in the bran and germ layer support metabolism and balanced blood sugar regulation. White rice is higher in calories and low in nutrients and fiber compared to brown rice. This is a result of white rice mainly consisting of the endosperm section of the grain.
We can easily buy packaged brown rice that is flavoured. It still gets a vegan friendly tick but is it healthy? Most of these packaged flavoured rices are high in salt, contain additives and some other natural ingredients added such as herbs and spices. The other additives may be artificial and further compromise our health.
Flavoured bottled water too often contains artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame. Yet the media has shown that some studies do link aspartame to being potentially carcinogenic. We truly do not know what all the effects of the many artificial / man-made additives have on our cells and our bodies.
Is brown rice so pure though? No, it has phytic acid and this can bind with minerals and form insoluble substances, thereby reducing our full access to the minerals in the rice. Try not to read labels at face value; analyze and use your common sense when noting that a portion / serving of rice has so much magnesium, you are not guaranteed to that full numerical value. Your state of emotions at meal times and during digestion, your state of digestive function, and your overall health, will all influence how you digest your food.
High fiber foods (processed foods are rarely high in fiber) provide bulk without excess calories; this supports a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index which is an index for a person’s ideal weight comparative to the person’s height). High fiber diets assist in protecting us against cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
Soya beans have such a controversial public image that it is like walking on egg shells trying to talk to some people about them. It is especially soya beans’ natural phytoestrogen content that either has firm friends or foes. Phytoestrogens have a subtle effect in enhancing or balancing the female hormones and in providing antioxidant effects.
They are a vegan food and it provides a great milk alternative as soya milk. Soya milk is usually fortified with calcium and has valuable protein levels. It is processed and how it is processed does affect whether it will be healthy vegan milk or not at all. Adding sugars and additives does bring down its rating as a healthy milk alternative. Are the soya beans non GMO (genetically modified)? … and knowing if only nature identical and natural additives have been added will influence its quality.
Some meaty thoughts
Then there are the meat substitutes for vegans, and they can be extremely tasty yet what are they usually derived from? Mostly soya beans … The beans are processed into texturized soya protein. They become concentrated sources of protein with a reduction of nutrients. The use of monosodium glutamate (MSG) may be added to impart a meaty flavor. MSG has been linked to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), causing a sense of illness and allergies. MSG is made by a combination of salt and a type of amino acid; it is man-made and could be termed as an artificial additive.
Whether vegan meat is MSG free or not, it tends to be high in salt. The starting material of processed vegan foods is generally higher in nutrients than the finished products; unless we fortify it with added nutrients. Then there is the issue of the altered chemical structure during processing.
Is it right to make an ado about avoiding vegan processed foods? No, but it is worth your time to consider that processed vegan food is a great deal similar to ordinary processed foods (except the starting material differs). Should we shun it completely? No, it is fine in moderation. We need salt, but we need it in balanced amounts relative to potassium (found in high levels in fresh fruits, vegetables and other plant based foods).
Ever heard this adage: “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing”? Well that applies to natural foods too. Do not over-eat fruits and vegetables as that can actually also cause an imbalance in your body.
In conclusion, a healthy vegan diet ideally should consist mainly of whole natural foods, high in vegetables, fresh fruits, cereal grains, pulses, sprouts, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds.
In health and happiness,
Visit Vegan SA for more healthy vegan diets .
Posted on 9 March 2013
On 20-28 April 13, groups across the world will hold vegan bake sales. Each participating group chooses a venue, decides what to sell and how it uses the proceeds. Just about anyone can join in.
The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale was named the 2009 “Veg Event of the Year” by VegNews Magazine, and featured on CNN. In the first 4 years (2009-2012) of the event, participating groups have raised close to US$ 200,000 for a variety of causes. This year, 150 or more bake sales spanning 6 continents are expected to raise another $50,000 for their causes.
The goals of the event are threefold:
- It’s a fun way to introduce people to vegan foods.
- Raise money for your chosen cause.
- Participate in an event that will publicise the many benefits of an animal-free diet.
There are only 2 rules for participation:
- Goods sold must be vegan; most importantly this means no dairy products or eggs.
- Don’t sell or distribute anything during the bake sale (books, brochures, etc.) that contributes to the intentional harming of animals.
You don’t have to be a vegan group or even an animal group to participate; typical participants include school clubs, Girl Scout troops, religious organizations, even groups of friends who want to join.
Queen of Tarts, a baking supplies shop (including vegan baking supplies), will hold their event on 27th April, 2013 from 9 am to 4.30 pm in front of their shop at Shop 3, 34 Laschelles Road, Meadowbrook, Edenvale. Their chosen worthwhile cause is the South African Rhino protection and preservation (through OSCAP).
Your support for the event will be appreciated and you could assist by sending them some of your tried and tested vegan recipes (post it on their timeline in Facebook: ‘Queen of Tarts – for Home Baking’ or leave a inbox message and they will get back to you). One of these recipes will be drawn on the day, with a reward of some vegan goodies. Or offer to bake something for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale in Edenvale, or attending the sale for some of their delectable baked goods.
At this time it seems that Queen of Tarts are the only participants in the 2013 Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale in South Africa, so if you do not live in Bedfordview, Edenvale, Northern Germiston or Kensington, why not take up the challenge to set up your own sales event.
For more information: Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.
Posted on 7 March 2013
Jungle Oats were Tiger Brands first product – an oatmeal cereal brand then called Tiger Oats. They contain plenty of fibre and protein, and only 138 calories per serving and are sugar-free. Provided you eat it with water or non-dairy milk, it is suitable for vegans.
Jungle Oatso Easy Original is also vegan and low GI too. However, all other Oatso Easy varieties contain milk solids (in the creamer ingredient) and should be avoided.
Please visit Vegan SA for more vegan cereal breakfast options.
Posted on 1 March 2013
Foundry premium cider is slow fermented and expertly brewed to create a cider of the highest quality. It is refreshingly smooth, with a genuine dry finish. Alcohol content: 5.5% ABV.
Available at most good liquor stores in South Africa.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan ciders.
Posted on 28 February 2013
Pure Moringa Leaf Powder is a super nutrient dense plant food that is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and anti-oxidants and is probably one of the most nutrient dense plant materials on Earth.
Moringa leaves contain protein quality at similar levels to whole milk and eggs, without the fat and calories. The essential amino acids required daily by the human body are all present in Moringa, making it ideal for dieters with diets lacking meat or animal products.
Available from health shops and pharmacies in the Eastern Cape. More to come …
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan health foods.
Posted on 26 February 2013
Jelly Tots from Tiger Brands are one of South Africa’s most popular sweets and well established in the confectionery market. With Classic, Craziberries and Powersour being vegan, kids and the young-at-heart are sure to be happy.
Available most places throughout South Africa.
Visit Vegan SA for more vegan sweets.