Saturday, 7 April 2012

How (And Why) to Have a Vegan Easter

It's always during the holidays that people say to me "Ooh I just couldn't be vegan at Christmas/Easter and miss out on eating roast turkey/Easter eggs"... well luckily you don't have to! Being vegan is never about missing out, it's about replacing animal products for cruelty-free ones. So this post will be my pick of the best vegan chocolate eggs and some ideas for an Easter feast!




1) The Hotel Chocolat Gianduja Truffle Easter Egg (490g), £38, or the Mini Dark Gianduja Truffle Easter Egg (60g) £8. Humungously thick, luxurious, dark chocolate eggs (don't try to crack it by banging it on your head) filled with armadillo-like (crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside) Gianduja bombe truffles. Extremely delicious and worth every penny. I am hoping the Easter Bunny will bring me the mini version this year! You can buy Hotel Chocolat online or in their stores.




2) Lindt Gold Dark Chocolate Bunny (200g), £4.49 (or 2 for £7 in Waitrose!) I love Lindt chocolate as their dark chocolate is also soooo creamy (but without the cow cream in there), yum! They're delicious and the bunny is really cute. You should be able to find them in your nearest big supermarket.




3) Moo Free Organic Dairy-Free Egg (100g), £3.99. If you prefer sweet, creamy, milk chocolate to dark chocolate then this is the egg for you! Great for children and those with a penchant for Galaxy chocolate! You can buy these babies online or in your local health food shop.




4) Green and Black's Organic Maya Gold Thick Shelled Dark Chocolate Egg (180g), £6. I really love the combination of chocolate and orange, and this egg has the addition of Aztec spices.  It's delicious! You should be able to find one in the supermarket.


5) Booja Booja Hazelnut Truffle Egg (138g), £25, or Booja Booja Banoffee Toffee Truffle Egg (35g), £10. A real treat, these don't come with a chocolate egg that you can eat but with a hand painted, velvet-lined, wooden egg that you can keep and put things in! It's filled with scrummy truffles that unfortunately are so addictive you'll eat them all in one go. You can find these beauties online or in your local health food shop.




6) If you're a white chocolate fan I recommend the Choices White Chocolate Egg (65g), £2.25 which is available in Sainsbury's and Holland and Barratt
7) And finally, I learned my lesson the hard way that giving children too much chocolate in one go is not a good idea (Eric and I shared a Creme Egg-sized, caramel-filled chocolate egg made by my friend, and he was running around naked, screaming, laughing, jumping on the bed, with shaky hands and constant giggling. At bedtime.) so I've bought Eric a bag of Divine Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs (170g) which I will be dispensing one at a time, on a very occasional basis! They cost £4.45 from health food shops, supermarkets or the internet.


So why bother buying a vegan Easter egg rather than just a 'normal' one? Most people think that dairy isn't cruel as the cows don't have to die to give milk, but cows, like humans, only produce milk to feed their calf, so if we humans want to take that milk then the calf can't have it.  The calf and mother are separated within 3 days and if the calf is female she might be raised to become another dairy cow, but if the calf is male the industry has no use for them, as the breed that 'milks' well is too skinny to grow for beef.  The male calves are exported to the continent to become veal, or they are shot at birth.  Separating the calf and mother causes a huge amount of stress and grief to both, and the mother is impregnated again almost immediately, so she will have another calf and keep producing milk, meaning she suffers the stress on her body of being milked whilst pregnant.  As a mother I find this heartbreaking and I can't be a part of such a cruel industry.  You can read about (and see videos from) an undercover investigation of Cadbury's (of Dairy Milk fame) from last year here.




And what about your Easter meal? Well, it's traditional to eat roast lamb on Easter Sunday, but as Easter is all about celebrating new life, then eating a dead, baby animal makes no sense to me! So we'll be having a vegan roast.  I'm not personally a fan of nut roasts or stuffed vegetables, I really prefer the faux meats.  But this year I'm attempting a new recipe I've never tried before for seitan 'lamb' chops, which you make from scratch, and I'll encrust with spring herb crumbs. We'll be having them with roast new potatoes and some lovely fresh, seasonal asparagus.  And for pudding my Grandma's making an apple charlotte and I'm making a chocolate and raspberry torte.  If you don't fancy trying that though there are so many other things you could try!  Some great websites and blogs for ideas are:


http://vegetarianrecipeclub.org.uk/
http://www.vegiehead.com/main-meals.html
http://vegancrunk.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.itaintmeatbabe.com/
http://veganmenu.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.holycowvegan.net/p/recipe-index_25.html
http://www.foodepedia.co.uk/recipes/2009/dec/vanilla_black_recipes.htm
And Saf Recipe Box app on iPhone :)


And if you want to read more about why I'm vegan, please check out my guest post over at Tinks Tales: http://tinkstales-tinkerbelldani.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/guest-post-by-felicity-modern-vegan.html