Kale Wrap / Sour Sweets

KALE WRAP
Finally.. they were one of the last coffeeshops, but Starbucks introduced a vegan meal. Or meal, something more than a hand full of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate. Starbucks is my favourite place to get tea. I drink my green tea with soy milk or, my latest discovery.. a Green tea Soy latte. If I wanted to eat something  I could choose between some little snacks, because all the sandwiches, wraps and cakes have meat, dairy or egg in them. A lot of other coffeeshops already offered vegan options, especially if we talk about PRET, they are king! Though Starbucks didn’t. Such a shame. But as the world is changing, Starbucks had to. And of course I had to try it. I didn’t have breakfast the morning I did and so it was kind of like a breakfast burrito. First of all, I think it looks good. The lettuce inside and the wrap itself are fresh and the overall taste is nice. It’s just a shame there is a lot of crap (sugar!) in them. But if you’re in a rush and you need to have something in your stomach, I think Starbucks did a good job with offering something tasty!  Let’s hope for more options in the future. Way to go!

SOUR SWEETS
I love love love sour sweeties. I know they’re not good for you, but very once in a while I have some. Sometimes until my tongue is literally open. I know.. it’s bad! It’s just so yummy. The sour the better. A while ago I discovered these Sour Snakes from Biona. BIona is one of my favourite brands. They just have a lot of good stuff. I took these to Rome and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste They’re sour (though it could of lasted a little longer) and the taste is nice. They’re obviously still not healthy, but I’m sure it’s at least better than the other ones. But just once in a while it should be fine. To take with you on a trip or like me.. when I’m on my period (serious cravings!).

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Lunette Menstrual Cup

You might have heard about this new upcoming amazing thing: the menstrual cup. Some are already using it for ages, some have never heard of it. I decided to give it a lot of attention, because it’s a good idea for so many reasons. I think one of my main reasons I like menstrual cups so much, is that it’s so much better for the environment than tampons or pads. How many tampons do you use per cycle? It’s probably in between 15-20. This is apart from all the packaging (so much plastic!). That is a lot if you compare it with the fact you only need 1 menstrual cup. This is why it’s also a lot more cost-effective. A menstrual cup is holding the fluid in your body, without absorbing it. This way you stay naturally lubricated and healthy from the inside. So for your health you also choose a menstrual cup. There are even girls who say they have less cramps or no cramps at all anymore after switching to the cup!

How does it work?
Many girls worry if they see the menstrual cup. How do you even get it in there? There is a certain technique, you probably have to practice a few times before getting it right though. Wash your hands before you start and relax. The best way is to fold it in length (in a C shape). This way it’s only slightly bigger than a tampon. As soon as it’s in you let it ‘pop’. You can check if it popped properly, by gently moving your finger around the cup. Make sure it’s not too low, because then it might happen you will feel it the whole time. You’re not suppose to feel it. You only have to empty the cup 2-4 times a day and you can also wear it during the night. You can take it out by wriggling it left and right, pulling it down. Make sure you hold the bottom of the cup and not only the stem. This way you make less mess (you don’t want it to tip over) and don’t break the stem. Rinse it with cold water (!), then wash it with warm water and Lunette Feelbetter Cup Cleanser or use the Lunette CupWipes for on the way.

Please give the Lunette Menstrual Cup a try. Don’t be scared, just practice. Don’t give up after 1 or a few tries. Maybe you need to practice a few cycles, but it will be worth it. You can also wear the cup to prevent surprises. This is what makes a menstrual cup perfect. You can use it wherever you go. Did you make any summer plans yet? Are you going to the beach, a party or on a city trip?! You can do it all! Is your period near? Don’t forget to pack your Lunette Menstrual cup. Because you want to FEEL GOOD 365 days a year!

Would you like to use a Lunette Menstrual Cup? Then go to their website, pick a colour and start using it! I’d love to hear how you get about! Or if you have any questions, please let me know. You can also contact me via Instagram and by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Smooth Oats / Tofu

SMOOTH OATS
This is originally thought of as a children’s breakfast I think, but I happened to love this. As a child I loved it too, but I think as an adult I love it even more. It’s so nice and smooth and it feels nice in your mouth. A lot of these kind of breakfasts have sugar or other unnecessary additives in them, but not the Ready Brek. That is why I love it a lot. Also for children, because I think a lot of children are eating a lot of crap for breakfast with all these sugary cereals on the market nowadays. Ready Brek keeps you full for long and has a lot of good stuff, like: calcium, iron and B vitamins, including B12! I personally like to eat it with fruit, cinnamon and a little agave nectar. Especially with bananas and blueberries it’s very yummy. Because it’s already smooth, it’s very easy to add to smoothies too. This way your smoothie will keep you full for longer. You can also sprinkle it over your yogurt if you like. There are so many options, whilst it’s ready fast. When I prepare it, I already add the Ready Brek to the milk (I like to use Oatly Barista for this!) in the pan. This way it’s warm very fast. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes, I promise. I tend to make it a bit runny, as that is how I like it. I think you have to experiment a bit with it, to find out what you like best.

TOFU
This was the first tofu I discovered I really like. In the meantime I found more, but now and then I still really enjoy this one. Once I open a pack, I can’t resist it and keep eating it. Especially the side bits I like. It’s perfect for salads. You only need a bit though as it’s quite a strong flavour. That’s why if you’re mixing it through something, really make sure you don’t use too much, because then it might happen that your whole meal will taste like it. What is ok maybe, but I prefer to have some flavours separately. So I slice it up for my salads and then have it on the side. It makes any meal very filling. It comes, very handy, in 2 pieces. This way you can easily make 2 meals out of it. Or if you can resist, you can even use it for 4 meals. I most of the time already ate half of the portion I’m using though, haha! It’s also very tasty through a cold pasta salad, together with some tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, black olives or any other raw veggies. Perfect for a summers day picnic or potluck! Dragonlfy tofu is handmade in Devon and they do more tofu flavours, but I absolutely like this one best.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Palm Sugar / Chick’n Tandoori

PALM SUGAR
When I use sugar, I use organic palm sugar from Biona. Palm sugar is an unrefined sugar. It comes from the sap, found in the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It’s heated to take the moisture out and the syrup they get from that, is then further reduced until crystals are formed. This means there are no chemicals used in making this sugar. It even has vitamins and minerals, like: potassium, zinc, iron and it’s rich in B vitamins. It also has a low GI level, what means that it releases it’s energy slowly and prevents the spike of insulin. Most diabetics can even use palm sugar for this reason. Even though it’s a lot healthier than table sugar, it’s still a sweetener and it doesn’t mean you should use this unlimited. The taste is sweet and a it has a slight caramel flavour. I really like the taste. My boyfriend is using it in his coffee and I mostly use it for baking and as a topping for nice cream (super yummy).

CHICK’N TANDOORI
This is not something that I keep in my fridge all the time. It’s a real treat when I get it. Last year I was helping a family out with babysitting and it turned out that the mum was vegan too. This is what she had in her fridge and I had a little taste. I thought it was really nice and bought it for myself and to take it to Holland, to share with my family and (vegan) dad. They liked it too. It’s especially nice on a nice fresh bun or baguette with some fresh veggies, like lettuce, tomato and cucumber. You could also have some on the side of your salad. It has a very nice structure (as most of the Tofurky stuff) and the taste is really nice. I’m sure that even meat eaters will appreciate this and it’s a huge help for people who are transitioning.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Linseed / Chocolate

LINSEED
Whenever I buy linseed, which is whenever I run out, I buy the brown linseed from Biona at the Whole Foods Market. I love this brand and it has good prices for good quality. I use linseed every day. I always put 1/2-1 tbsp in my green smoothie. I also use it as a topping for my smoothie bowls, yogurt or in my salad. Linseed are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, but they are also high in antioxidants. Perfect to start your day with this. Starting your day with a tbs of linseed is especially helpful when you’re a constipated. That also means that you have to make sure you don’t use too much, as it can work lactating.

CHOCOLATE
It’s quite tricky to get Tony’s Chocolonely here in the UK. There are a few rare shops that sell it, but it’s definitely not like it is in Holland. There you can just get them everywhere, even in the normal supermarkets. I’m sure they will come to the UK. Tony’s Chocolonely is a great brand, as it’s 100% fair trade and slave free. There are manyyyyy flavours. They are  known for their flavour combinations as they are not as any regular chocolate flavours. A lot of them are vegan, but unfortunately not all of them. My favourite is this one, the salted almond. It’s heavenly! I also really like the coconut-pecan, but lately I’m always buying only this one. It’s so good with a nice cup of tea. I always make sure I buy a few bars before flying back to London, in case I wasn’t given any. As a lot of people tend to get me this.. I really don’t mind! Haha!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Thins Crackers / Bacon Tempeh

THINS CRACKERS
Ok.. these ones are one of my favourites at the moment! I randomly bought these Thins from Ryvita once, to dip in humous or guacamole whilst watching a movie. I wanted to share them with my boyfriend, but when I just had one.. to taste if they were nice, I accidentally ate the whole pack.. oops! I had them with a little slice of Vio life cheese on them and I also had them with guacamole. yuuuummy!! I’m sure they taste nice with all sort of dips.. so you can have a dipping party, haha! There is 0% crap in them, what is very nice. They are so crispy and the taste.. well, they don’t have a very strong taste, but it is a taste you want to eat more of. What makes them so addictive. The only thing is that they’re not that cheap. I almost payed £2 pounds for 1 pack and I thought they could have filled the pack a little more. They’re a nice treat though, or to enjoy for lunch with a salad. Try them!

BACON TEMPEH
Firs time I bought this, was when I was visiting the vegan supermarket GreenBay. I made a dish with Vivera bacon style pieces, but you can’t get these in the UK yet. So I tried to look for a substitute (a substitute for a substitute.. hehe..). I found this bacon flavoured tempeh from Tofurky. They come in easy pre cut strokes and it’s tasty too. The flavour isn’t very strong though. What I actually like, but in the dish I want to use it in, it needs a stronger taste. So instead, I made nori rolls with them and that was perfect. They will be very tasty in some fresh bread rolls too and I also once cut it up over my left over Stamp-pot. Was very nice too!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Coconut milk / Rice cakes

COCONUT MILK
I love curries. It’s one of my favourite dishes to make, but especially to eat of course. It might be because it’s with coconut milk. I love everything with coconut, I’m quite addicted. A bar with coconut, a smoothie with coconut, a shower gel with coconut.. yes, yes and yes! Now to make curry and all these yummy recipes which include coconut milk (you might have spotted quite a few) I use the coconut milk from ‘Pride’. This is because it has more actual coconut in there than any other brand I know. A lot of times it’s around 50% water and 50% coconut or they added a lot of other very unnecessary ingredients (sometimes even sugar!). Pride coconut milk has 75% coconut inside. If you need the cream of the coconut milk, this is definitely your number one brand. Especially when you want to make whipped coconut cream. So much cream! It’s very tasty too. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s not organic, but you can’t have everything I guess. So the next time you make curry, a hot chocolate or a creamy soup, use this. You can get it in a lot of supermarkets, you get more worth for your money.. and it isn’t even expensive

RICE CAKES
A yummy snack or a healthy lunch, rice cakes are very great. Just a rice cake with nut butter is a perfect protein snack and when you put some cream cheese, humous, avocado and veggies on top, you will have a lovely lunch. You do need quite a lot of these ones if you want to have them for lunch though. Because they’re thin it doesn’t fill you up easily. So in general I think these ones are better as a snack. I love rice cakes a lot, also on its own. If I don’t watch out I will eat a whole pack. I actually especially like the thick ones, but I recently discovered a very thin one I like too. The multigrain thins form Sainsbury’s. They are healthy, have a nice bite, have a very different taste and you only need a little bit of something to put on there, perfect. I really like to have them with cream cheese, cucumber and some cracked black pepper. The only thing what is a little less nice is that they break quite fast. Some of them are even already broken in the pack. It is because they’re so thin.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you!

Harissa / Butter

HARISSA
Last year I discovered this yummy thing, called Harissa. I make a super easy to make aubergine dish with it. The recipe ‘Keen On Aubergine’ will be shared with all of you soon. I made it for a lot of people already and everybody loves it. Yes people, vegan food is delicious and we do not eat grass, haha! I also discovered Harissa is also very tasty on a sandwich. Just put some cream cheese, houmous or guacamole and with some raw veggies on a sandwich and spread a thin layer of Harissa over it too. I’m sure you will like it. Harissa is quite spicy, but it also has a unique flavour. Unfortunately several brands put sugar in it. This is super unnecessary and I don’t understand why they do this. But Sainsbury’s own brand is cheap, tasty and without any crap. Also, because it’s not very big it’s less likely to go bad. Unless I just got you addicted and you need a bigger jar.

BUTTER
Some people can be quite fussy about butter I noticed. I heard a lot of people struggling finding a nice butter in their vegan transitioning. I’m not fussy at all about this, as long as it’s vegan. Also I don’t use a lot of butter. Though, if I have to pick one, it’s definitely this one! It’s from one of my favourite brands again, Biona. It’s very spreadable (ok, if I have to fuss about butter, than it’s that I want it to spread and not break my sandwich!!) and has a slight coconut oil taste. I love everything with coconut and so this butter is just really my thing. What explains that this is the butter I keep in my fridge, even though I almost never use it. The one thing I use it for mostly, is if I’m snacking on a rice cakes with a slices of Vio life. This is definitely one of my guilty pleasures (of all time). So yummy!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Dusters / Veggie Mince

DUSTERS 
I always review a lot of food or beauty products, but this is the first time I review something to help you in the household. I hope you will find this helpful. My flat is very dusty. It has wooden floors and I have to dust a lot. I used to do this with a damp cloth, but the dust falls off and I was just replacing the dust instead of taking it away. So when I was in the Whole Foods Market I saw these and I thought I’d give it a go. They’re vegan, cruelty free and made out of recycled material. If a product has this all, I’m quite excited to buy it. I’m so happy that I did! It works really well. The dust sticks to it and you can use 1 duster several times. It makes my life so much easier.

VEGGIE MINCE
I was going to make a taco feast recipe at work and I got all the ingredients, but silly me, I forgot the veggie mince. Luckily I was going to a playgroup that day, close to the Portobello Wholefoods and I was hoping really hard they had some. They luckily did, from Fry’s. A brand I really like. I was so happy to have found it. I never had this one before, but I was very impressed. A lot of veggie mince I find a bit tasteless and dry. This one has a lot of taste and is not dry at all. The taco’s turned out really well, but I’m sure this will also be amazing in a lasagna or any pasta sauce. Such a good taste (what you expect form Fry’s), that this will be a very good product if you’re transitioning or when you have to cook for meat eaters. Definitely give this a try! It comes with gravy sauce, what I obviously didn’t need for taco’s, so I didn’t taste it, but I never saw this before and I thought it was very cool.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

Black Beans + Chickpeas / Custard

BLACK BEANS + CHICKPEAS
Where do you get your protein from?! Well, from this! Black beans and chickpeas form Biona. Not only this obviously, but I use black beans and chickpeas most often as my main protein source. Mostly I eat them in my salad. I wash them first and then I add 1/2 a can to my raw veggies and mix it up. I absolutely love this and do this almost daily. It’s so easy and super tasty. Another thing what I do is make dips and spreads. With the chickpeas I make houmous and in a very similar way I also make a spread with the black beans. Super delicious and  healthy to put on a sandwich and crackers. I especially like it, because you know exactly what you put in it. Also, because you can make a lot, it’s perfect for parties! Just serve some raw veggies (cucumber, carrots) and crackers with it and people will start dipping and spreading, I’m sure.

CUSTARD
This is such a thing here in the UK. This custard of Alpro reminds me more of ‘vanilla vla’, than of custard, but it’s very nice. ‘Vanilla via’ is something similar we have in Holland and we eat it as a dessert. The old fashion way to eat is, I believe my grandparents must still do it, is with a bit of yogurt and a splash of syrup (red squash) in the middle. Like it isn’t sweet enough, haha! I remember my dad used to mix a whole pack of this, with a whole pack of yogurt and then added apples, bananas, raisins and cinnamon. He’d mix it up in a big bowl and then we divided it into smaller bowls for pudding. It was always my favourite. Good memories! A shame it was dairy though. Anyway, this vegan custard is super delicious with the Dutchie Pie I made, so make sure you’ll give it a try. Try heating it up a little bit and it’s even better.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X