Hackney Fresh

When my friend and I walked back to the station after reviewing the Temple of Hackney we walked passed Hackney Fresh. We went inside, because it said vegan and organic. Then you just simply have to go in! It’s not a crazy big store (but also not small!), but they do have a lot of stuff. I got so excited looking at all the stuff. One of the first things I saw were vegan croissants! Real proper looking vegan croissants! Plain, almond and also some pain au chocolat. This is something what is still very hard to get your hands on. This is actually the first place I’ve been that sells croissants like this. I had to get them.. obviously! Even though I was so full from the dinner still. It’s nice to know that they’re made very locally, the baker lives above the shop. Can you go any more local? There are fresh croissants every morning (from 8:30).

Hackney Fresh is an independent family business, established in 2014. So it’s still quite new. They want to transform the way people think about fine provisions and sustainable food. They sell so many things. Several cheeses, meat substitutes, cereals, snacks (healthy and not so healthy..), croissants (!), buckets of peanut and cashew butter, a variety of plant-based milks, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, supplements, beauty products and even some very nice animal postcards. I got one with a sloth mum and baby. Because when I see a sloths I want it. At first you would say the whole store is vegan, but they actually do sell some animal products too. It’s a very very small section though. I think this is very unfortunate though, because I think as an all vegan store they would be even more attractive and very new as they’re a lot bigger as the Green Bay vegan supermarket. I think they’ll be the biggest 100% vegan store if they decide to go all vegan.

Hackney Fresh is not only a shop to get all your vegan groceries, but they also serve coffee, tea and fresh juice. So a perfect place to get a take away breakfast for example. It’s such a shame it’s not a little closer to me, because I’m sure I’d go here all the time. They actually remind me a lot of Portobello Wholefoods, where I go a lot too. I love to see places like this more as they’re super handy for if you don’t always have time to go to the Whole Foods Market and need some certain products you can’t get in the local supermarkets. I think we should definitely support places like this! They were so friendly here too btw. Lots of help and nice chats, so appreciated!

WHO? Hackney Fresh.
WHERE? 334 Mare St, Hackney, E8 1HA.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the many many vegan products + love the croissants.)

Did you already know Hackney Fresh? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

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Yogurt / Fruit Jelly

YOGURT
To have sugary yogurts every day after lunch or dinner is not a really good habit. A lot of children are being brought up like this, but I think it’s not a habit we should encourage. Though, once in a while as a treat, I think it’s fine to have a special yogurt. You can even have it as a naughty snack. This coconut yogurt from Alpro is perfect for moments like those. It’s creamy and people with a sweet tooth will love this, because it’s quite sweet. It’s tasty, but a little too sweet for my personal taste. I like it’s coconut flavour though and the package looks nice and appealing. There is also a almond-vanilla one and a hazelnut-chocolate. I think I should especially try that last one, because it just needs to be done, haha! The downside: It advertises with ‘less sugar’, but there are actually almost 3 sugar cubes per pot. What is a lot! Such a shame.. but that’s why you should only have this as an occasional treat.

FRUIT JELLY
As a vegan, jelly is kind of a no-go. It often has gelatine in it and gelatine comes from cow’s or pig’s bones (how did somebody even come to this discovery?!). Though there are certain products with vegetables as a setting agent. Also the jellies of The Fruity Pot Family. Yay! I discovered them a while ago. They are even better than some other jellies, because The Fruity Pot Family is using whole fruit pieces in their jelly. It’s so yummy! There are different flavours: peach, tropical fruit and mandarin. I tried the peach, as I love peach and it was very tasty. The pots don’t seem very big, but I think they’re perfect size actually (120gr). The consistency is very good and the fruit pieces taste really nice on it’s own, but especially in combination with the jelly. They do not use artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives and they are also gluten-free. I’m not saying to have this instead of fruit. You still need to eat your whole fruits, but this is a fun way to eat fruit though. Especially for children I think, this is a nice treat. It’s perfect for on the way (it even comes with a spoon) and for lunch boxes. The downside is that there is a lot of plastic though. The pot is made of thick plastic and so is the spoon.

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

Press

I was in Soho, on my way to a shop, to get something for my brother. When I was almost at the shop I saw a little juice bar, Press! I never knew there was a Press in this street. It’s not a street where you often go to, so I was lucky to walk passed it. I didn’t have breakfast yet, so I decided to pop in. I had a quick look at the menu and at first sight, I couldn’t spot any non vegan products in their breakfast bowls or in any of the things they offered. They turned out to be almost all vegan. Just apart from the milk in the coffee and some honey (in some juices) unfortunately. You can still request cow’s milk in your coffee here. Though the girl told me that it doesn’t happen that much anymore. I hope they will ditch the cow’s milk and the honey one day, so they can call themselves a 100% vegan juice bar. Would be amazing!

I actually wanted to try the Chia Bowl, but they run out of it unfortunately. So I went for an Acai Bowl. I love acai! I also saw they had a Golden Latte and I thought it was like a turmeric latte. So I ordered that one too, but it turned out to be coffee. Silly me, because it was clearly listed under ‘coffees’. The acai bowl was super nice. It had some lovely toppings too: blueberries, goji berries, granola and almonds. It was very cold, so definitely very perfect for a hot day. The taste was very good, with a great acai flavour. The colour was define really, a beautiful soft purple! I couldn’t drink the coffee, because I really really don’t like coffee. I also didn’t want to give it back, because I didn’t want them to throw it away. I gave it to the lady behind the till in the shop I went for my brother later on. She was so happy and that gave me a good feeling, so not a waste. Press gave me 3 things to try too. One of them was a pineapple juice, to boost your immune system and to hydrate. I found out there is honey in there unfortunately, so I can’t review this. I gave it to the girl sitting next to me at the moment (I’m giving lots of things away today!). They also gave me 2 shots: Detox and Ginger Fireball. The detox shot is with coconut water, lime, ginger, aloe vera activated charcoal (super hot at the moment!) and milk thistle. I’m very excited about this one, it’s very nice! The ginger fireball one contains ginger (50%!!), pineapple and lime. It’s burning good!

Press also offers juice and soup cleanses. For the juice cleanse, you can choose different packages (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and do it 1-5 days. Prices vary from £47-£235. They offer 2 soup cleanses (nourish and energise) and you can also do this 1-5 days. The prices vary from £38-£186. They even have a service that you can get it delivered to your house, every 15 or every 30 days. This means you can do regular cleanses, without any hassle of preparing. A cleanse is a perfect way to give your immune system a boost, to increase your energy and sleep + a lot more benefits. You can find more information about this on their website, where you can also place the orders in case you’re interested.

WHO? Press.
WHERE? 6 Denman St, Soho, W1D 7HX.
CUISINE? Juice Bar.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian, but almost all vegan)
OVERALL? 7 (Very good breakfast, nice cleanses, but a shame they do cow’s milk and honey.)

Did you already know the Press? Or would you like to go there now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! Especially when you tried one of their juice or soup cleanses! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

CocoNuts

If it’s with coconut.. yes please! I have a big coconut addiction I’m afraid. I love products and recipes with coconut. It doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate, ice lollies, curries.. if it has coconut, I’m in! Ok, it does have to be vegan too. But luckily a lot of things with coconuts are as it’s used instead of cow’s milk. I also really like cake with coconut, I mean, who doesn’t right? So I created a coconut cake. I can already say it’s not healthy, as I used an area bas. You can of course replace the base for a healthy base if you want to make something a little more guilt free. But I do think this cake does really go well with the Oreo’s. So do you have a celebration coming up soon? Or do you just want to celebrate another day in your life.. this cake is perfect!

CRAZY COCONUT

Serves: 6-8

base
-1 pack oreo’s
-3 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-1 can coconut milk
-1/2 cup plant based milk
-1/4 cup desiccated coconut
-1/4 cup water
-2 tbs agave nectar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbs corn flour + 1/4 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
extra
-desiccated coconut
-palm sugar
-cacao powder

-Baking tin

-Soak the desiccated coconut for about 30 min in the milk.
-Put the oreo’s and the coconut oil in the food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base over the baking tin. Press with the back of a spoon to make it even. Put this in the fridge.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and let it boil.
-Mix the corn flour with the water (I always shake it).
-On a low fire pour in the coconut milk , the milk + the desiccated coconut, the cream, the agave nectar, the corn flour mixture and the vanilla extract. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
-Pour this on the base and put it in the fridge overnight.
-Sprinkle the coconut , the coconut sugar and a little bit of cacao powder on top.

Party, party?!! Are you going to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

What I eat in a Day! #3

I thought let’s do another ‘What I eat in a Day’ post. I often get questions about this and people always seem to be interested in what I (do) eat. I also like to show people that we, vegan, can just have normal and delicious food. So here we go!

I just picked a random day: I always start my day with a big glass of luke warm water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This isn’t something I love drinking, but it gives me a good feeling as it gives me energy and a boost of vitamin C. It also has a cleansing effect and for me it’s perfect to start my day. About an hour later I drink my green smoothie. This is a smoothie with 2 very ripe bananas, a big handful of spinach, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass and 1 tsp of linseed. I use a little bit of water to blend it. I had this with 1/2 a medium sized papaya. When I got to work they had a bowl full of delicious fresh plums from the garden they went to at the weekend. So I just had to  snack on those in the morning. So delicious! It makes me think of my childhood as we had 2 plum trees, full of plums, in the garden where I grew up. A little later in the morning I was quite hungry weird enough, so I made myself a small bowl of porridge. As a topping I used some strawberries, coconut, cinnamon and a little bit op agave nectar. Just to keep me going until lunch time.

For lunch (around 14:00) I made myself a little chickpea salad with 1/2 an avocado (+ salt/pepper/lemon juice/a drop of sesame seed oil and a little bit of smoked paprika), a sweet potato from the oven and some sugar snaps on the side. I love lunches like this. They are filling, nutritious and just delicious. I had my lunch fairly late today as I had the porridge around 10:30. Normally I will eat porridge around 9:00ish, but the plums were in the way there.. haha! I wasn’t actually hungry all afternoon, but I did get myself al little treat at Starbucks later on (around 16:00). My ultimate treat there is a Green Tea Latte with soy milk (and some cinnamon on the top). I love it! Unfortunately they put sugar in there, so I only have it now and then. In the morning I made my Nori Nori recipe, so I could take some pictures for the recipe I will share here soon. They are little wraps from nori sheets, filled with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, alfalfa and tempeh. So as I made them, I had those for dinner, with some extra spinach on the side. It’s definitely one of m favourite recipes, so tasty and very healthy! I wasn’t feeling hungry in the evening, so I only had a cup of bedtime tea a little bit before I went to sleep. Also I drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.

Do you eat similar to me? Or do you have a whole different routine? I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Just F.A.B. Food Bus

Just Fab is not just a restaurant, but it’s actually a bus. An old London bus which is used as a kitchen and a restaurant. It’s located in Hackney and just a 10 minute walk from Bethnal Green. It’s very easy to find and you can hardly miss it once you’re in the right street. There is a huge entre with paintings of the bus. There is an outside bit where you can sit, made of wooden pallets, bus seats and old wooden things. Very inventive! There is a lovely black cat too, who is happy to be stroked. When coming through the entre, the bus is right in front of you. You order from the outside, before you find a seat outside or upstairs.

Just Fab is 100% vegan and is all about Italian food. Though they do have burgers as well.. I ordered the red lasagna, with some tasty olives on the side and then I went to sit up stairs. It turned out that Sarah Bentley (founder of eco community kitchen ‘Made in Hackney’) was also enjoying some food there, together with her husband and 3 year old son. They also had the red lasagna and, just like me, they thought it was yummy. She was also enjoying the Vegamisu and she told me to try it, because it was the best she had. So I went down stairs to get it. There I met the owner, who also let me try the Panelle Fritters (made from chickpeas and seasoned with lemon and parsley) and the Mini Arancini (sticky rice ball with crispy breadcrumbs) + the Vegamisu (tiramisu). I really liked the Mini Arancini, it was full of flavour with a good crunch on the outside. The Panelle Fritters were tasty, very different, but for me personally not very special. The Vegamisu was really good though! Super creamy and just very delicious. Highly recommended!

I really like the idea of a restaurant in a bus. Though if you like a lot of luxury, it’ll not be your thing. The bus is old and the dish my lasagna came in, was broken. This really adds to the whole atmosphere though and I don’t mind. People who love Berlin, will probably like it here. It’s a bit like that. The owner was kind and very easy going, what makes it quite relaxed. I had my doubts with the guy who was preparing and serving the food though. I don’t know if he just really didn’t want to be there or maybe he didn’t have his day. There was no kindness and there was no laughing or even basic politeness. He walked away whilst answering my questions and when Sarah asked for some soy milk for her son, he couldn’t give it to her, because that was only for the coffee. Very strange and just not really nice. Overall, for the food and the ambience, it’s nice to go here though, especially as a tourist or with children.

I want to thank Just Fab for the tasty food!

WHO? Just Fab Food Bus.
WHERE? 459, 455 Hackney Rd, E2 9DY.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 7 (Good food, very nice that it’s in a bus, but the serving was poorly.)

Did you already know the Fab Bus? Or are you going here now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Sweet potato crisps / Turmeric shot

SWEET POTATO CRISPS
I am a big big sucker for sweet potato! I love it! I can eat it every day.. from the oven, fried, in my salad, with my dinner.. you name it. What means, sweet potato crisps are heaven for me. Though from the ones I’ve tried, the lightly sea salted crisps from Tyrrells are definitely my favourite. The taste is the best, but what I really like is that the crisps are not flat, but all in weird shapes. It crunches so nicely in your mouth and the taste seems to be better, I don’t know why. It must be the whole experience all together.. haha! The only ingredients they use for this one are: sweet potato, sun flower oil and sea salt. The crisps are hand cooked in England, gluten free and have nothing artificial in them. They also have one with sweet chilli flavour, but this one has sugar in it unfortunately. The one with coconut and lime is not vegan, so watch out!

TURMERIC SHOT
Turmeric is so food for you. It is a root which has anti-inflammatory properties and has lots of anti oxidants. It may also prevent and slow Alzheimer + some forms of cancer. I can list a whole bunch of benefits right here, but a quick google will get you there too. You can use turmeric in you curries for example, but eating it raw is most beneficial. Then there are also these turmeric shots. They are perfect for an easy dose of this goodness. I tried the turmeric shots from James White and I really like them. It’s made with pressed apple juice, 15% of pressed turmeric, some concentrated lemon juice, organic chilli flavouring and a black pepper extract. The apple juice makes the taste less strong, in case you don’t like the taste too much. I got mine from the Whole Foods Market, but several health shops sell them. You can also order them online of course.

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

Veggie Pret

I’m a little bit embarrassed that Veggie Pret is not a hotspot on my blog yet. Especially after going there. I was planning to go for breakfast, so I could have lunch at another hotspot, but as I came across Press the day I went, I had breakfast there. What meant my planning of that day was slightly different. I think it was meant to be, because this way I could have lunch at Veggie Pret and that was so good. I would have missed out if I went for breakfast for sure, as my lunch choice wasn’t really something I’d choose to have for breakfast. You must be curious what I had then, if I’m so excited about it. I’m a little flabbergasted myself that I had 3 of the tastiest things ever. So here we go..

Veggie Pret has a hot section too and they happened to have vegan Mac&Veg. It’s mac&cheese, but then with tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach. It is sooo good! The pasta is cooked perfectly, the cheese sauce is delicious (I can’t think of anything they could have done better), the cauliflower still had a bite and there was this crispy layer on top. It has the perfect temperature, so the taste was at its best. I really did enjoy every bite of it. As a dessert I chose the brownie.. and OMG! It’s sticky, chocolaty and it has a caramel layer in the middle. It’s exactly what you hope for when you bite into a brownie. It’s the best brownie I’ve ever had. Honestly! I drunk a turmeric latte (if you read the Press hotspot article, you understand that I did get what I wanted in the end!) with this, made with soy milk and it was perfect. I felt like eating at a super fancy restaurant. Veggie Pret is 100% vegetarian, but there are so many vegan options too. Lots of sandwiches, small meals, (chia seed) desserts, snacks and a range of juices and smoothies.

Veggie Pret is based in the middle of Soho. It’s a 5 min walk from Piccadilly Circus and 2 min walk from Oxford Street. It’s quite new and originally started as a pop up place, but it stayed (thank God!), because people loved it too much. This is why there was even a second Veggie Pret opened in Shoreditch a while ago. How great! I always loved Pret a Manger anyway, because of their yummy food, but Veggie Pret has its own menu. It’s all so fresh and super delicious. The staff is nice and the neighbourhood amazing (I mean, its Soho!). It’s a perfect spot to do some work too (in fact, I’m typing this right on the spot!), with good wifi.

WHO? Veggie Pret.
WHERE? 35 Broadwick St, Soho, W1F 0DH.
CUISINE? Divers/Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 9 (Very tasty food, lots of choice and great location.)

Did you already know Veggie Pret? Or are you planning to go now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Ice cream / Prawns

ICE CREAM
You might have already tried them or know they are on the market. The Alpro ice creams! They have 3 flavours: coconut, vanilla and hazelnut chocolate. I would really like to try the coconut too, but I went for the hazelnut chocolate, because chocolate ice cream is always the best. I must say they are really nice. It’s not like the best I’ve ever had or something, but it’s decent ice cream you will definitely enjoy for sure. Chocolate with a hint of hazelnut = Yum! Apart from this, I think it’s amazing that Alpro came with an ice cream. The more vegan products there are available, the more likely that more people will become vegan. A lot of (the bigger) supermarkets sell them now.

PRAWNS
Not real ones obviously, but the prawns from Fry’s. For me one of the best brands there is, so I needed to try their prawns too. One of my favourite foods used to be gamba’s. Now I can’t even imagine peeling them and putting them in my mouth though. It makes me feel horrified. I wanted to give these Fry’s ‘prawns’ a chance though. I made a little sauce with it (very simple: I mix up 2 tbs of mayonnaise and 1 tsp of ketchup.. this is the best!) and fried the ‘prawns’ in a pan. I served them with the sauce and some sliced gherkins. They were very nice! The inside is soft, but a little chewy and the batter you can make very crispy when frying them in some oil. They don’t actually have a very strong sea food taste, but even though, they are tasty. Perfect party food I would say too. Put some skewers next to them and it will make your guests happy. Fry’s have such good products. I get them from Ocado or from Holland&Barret.

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

Cakefast

img_7258Cake for breakfast.. don’t we all dream of that?! Chocolate-peanut butter tarts for breakfast.. reality! Yes really.. I invented these very yummy breakfast tarts for you. It’s super healthy, with the oats, bananas and raw cacao (of course you can also use regular cacao powder). It doesn’t contain any refined sugar and it’s incredible tasty! To keep it healthy, make sure you use only quality products and no products with sugar or any additives inside (especially talking about the peanut butter here). It will keep you going the whole morning (you might want to eat 2), so why not start your day with a breakfast tart?! Of course you can also make these tarts for a birthday party or any occasion that requires cake.. I can thinks of tons of occasions! So from now on you can start your day with chocolate.. you know what to do this weekend!

img_7260CAKEFAST

Serves: 6-8

base
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup soft dates (pitted)
-3 tbs peanut butter
-2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-3 ripe bananas
-1 cup oatly milk
-2 tbs cacao powder (raw)
-1/2 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
-1 tbs chia seeds
-1 tbs agave nectar
topping
-fresh fruit
-raw cacao nibs
-oats
-chia seed

img_7259-Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base evenly over the tart shapes and press well with the back of a spoon. Put it in the fridge and make the filling.
-Blend all the ingredients for the filling (except for the water, the agar agar and the chia seeds) until smooth.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and turn it low when it starts to boil.
-Then mix in the filing and the chia seeds very well. Let it boil for about 1 minute.
-Divide the filling over the tart shapes and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
-Decorate the tarts with fresh fruit, cacao nibs, oats and chia seeds.

Would you like to eat cake for breakfast? Who doesn’t right? Oh and did I mention it’s very popular with children too? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X