Cook like a Pro: Brew your own beer

Common animal products used when brewing commercial beer

If you’re worried about purchasing beer that may not be 100% vegan-friendly, why not try brewing your own? This will give you the control to choose exactly what you put into your beer and how you brew it, without the unnecessary use of animal products. Read our full guide to brewing your own beer page 12 of issue 11.

These are some of the common animal ingredients that are often found in some varieties in beer:

Isinglass

Clarifier that is very common in brewing. Comes from the dried swim bladders of fish.

Gelatine

Clarifier obtained from the skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals.

Casein/Potassium Caseinate

Protein found in cow’s milks and often used as a clarifier.

Insects

Made into dyes and used for colouring.

Glyceryl Monostearate

Animal derived substance used to control foam.

Pepsin

Also used to control foam, it is sometimes derived from pork.

Albumin

Most common type in brewing is serum albumin, which is taken from animal blood.

Lactose

Beers labelled as sweet, milk, or cream stouts may or may not contain lactose. Sometimes the description refers to the texture and not the ingredient.

Read our Cook like a Pro: Make your own vegan beer in issue 11 of Cook Vegan!

Essential Guide to Creating Cocktails

Whether you’re soaking up the sunshine in your back garden – or breathing in fresh foreign air… Hack hydration this summer with a vegan happy hour.

Measuring

Following the measurements provided in recipes is key to getting the most out of the taste of your cocktail. Over, or under do the alcohol and mixers, and you could end up with a not-so-satisfying cocktail. To ensure you hit the right measurements, we recommend you get your hands on a Jigger. This is an hourglass-shaped stainless steel measuring tool that will help you add the correct measurements of alcohol to your cocktail.

Shaking

This part of a cocktail method ensures the drink is well mixed. Plus, shaking a cocktail or mocktail also chills, dilutes and aerates it. Most cocktails are to be shaken with ice, so make sure you put enough into your shaker (or the ice will melt quickly and dilute your cocktail). You can also roll your cocktail in a shaker too.

Stirring

The secret to stirring a cocktail is to let your fingers create the movement and not your wrist. Add a bar spoon to your mixing glass, and then add ice (if required). Aim to be as quiet as possible when stirring for the best tasting results.

Straining

This removes any lumps that could float to the top and ruin the cocktail. It’s very similar to a sieve, as it separates the liquid from solids.

Swizzling

Get a stick (or a spoon if you don’t have a stick) and just lightly swizzle your cocktail contents in the glass so that it infuses the liquids together.

Blending

Pop all the ingredients into a blender and blitz together. If you are using ice make sure it’s crushed so you can
achieve the correct smooth consistency.

Layering

You will probably need to get in a fair amount of practice for this technique. Whilst layering is simply pouring different ingredients on top of each other, the weights of various ingredients affects how well they separate in the glass. Most recipes should guide you with this, but if you are making your own just give thought to what is the heaviest and lightest layer.

Infusion & Maceration

For a more intense taste you can soak herbs, spices, nuts and fruit in alcohol for duration of time so the alcohol can immerse their flavours. If you ever feel up to the challenge of designing your own cocktail, this would be a great way to add natural sweeteners and flavourings.

Read our full essential guide to classic cocktails in Issue 11 of Cook Vegan.

Once you go loose you won’t go bag

Tea is the second-most consumed beverage in the world, after water. But despite a recent tea renaissance we are still using tea bags; the coffee equivalent of instant granules. So, what’s the difference between a cup of loose tea and a cup of tea with a bag?

These days most tea bags are filled with low-grade fannings or dust; tea leaves that have been chopped, ground and reduced to within an inch of their life. The essential oils which give tea its wonderful flavour and medicinal benefits are left soaking into the chopping board.

Yes, the trusty tea bag has simplified tea making by making brewing easier and cleaner but in doing so we have lost the prowess of the loose leaf. We’re making better choices now when it comes to the things we eat and drink. It is now less about speed and convenience and more about provenance and quality. So maybe it’s time we steep and strain instead of dunking and dashing.

But I suppose until you have tried a quality loose leaf tea, like the types they sell at BRUU, you won’t know what you’re missing out on. But we’ll guarantee you this – your tea will taste a lot better when the ingredients are 100% natural and are left to infuse without the restrictions of a paper bag. And it isn’t just taste that should encourage you to ditch your tea bag. For centuries tea has been drunk for its medicinal benefits thanks to the antioxidants many are packed with. So, it stands to reason that the full potential of a loose leaf tea will be preferable to a tea bag containing dust any day. Learn more about tea by heading over to BRUU’s free Tea Academy

Vegan food is far from bland – these 3 ingredients are proof

While being vegan means you can only eat plant-based foods, that doesn’t mean your meals have to be boring!

YouTube food personality Lauren Toyota has a few tricks to take those basic veggies to a whole new level.

Using foods like cashews, miso and nooch, you can create a plethora of dishes that give you the same creamy taste of dairy you may crave and can even add a nice savoury kick to your favourite plate.

Watch this “2 Minutes to Transform” video above to find out more on how you can spice up your vegan dishes.

Credit: Huffington Post

Pret a Manger’s Christmas menu includes their first ever vegan Christmas baguette

Rejoice, people. It may be too early to put up your Christmas tree, but there is one part of Christmas joy you can enjoy right at this very moment: festive high street food menus.

That’s right. For all of us that prefer their Christmas dinner to be nestled in between two slices of bread, the true meaning of Christmas is finally here.

Pret a Manger has finally unveiled their Christmas menu for 2016!

To celebrate, they’re giving away a bunch on free sandwiches on the morning of November 8!

From Tuesday November 8 until after Christmas, you’ll be able to enjoy all manner of Christmassy delights for your work lunch.

The classic Christmas Lunch and Veggie Christmas lunch sandwiches are back, of course, but they’ve been joined by some snazzy new kids on the block.

There’s the brand new vegan Christmas baguette – the first vegan Christmas sandwich Pret’s ever brought out – packed with carrots, parsnip puree, crispy onions, festive chutney, and toasted pistachios.

Very Merry Christmas Lunch Baguette (vegan) – £3.75

Merry Pret-mas!!
Credit: Metro

Meat-Free Shrimp Could Be The Superhero Our Oceans Need

New Wave’s shrimp contains similar high-protein, low-fat nutritional characteristics as real shrimp. However, its product contains zero cholesterol, and it’s even possible that folks with What if all-you-can-eat shrimp buffets could help save lives and the planet? Eating shrimp is unsustainable for our oceans and hazardous to our health, but what about shrimp created entirely from plants?

With a combination of algae and other plant ingredients, New Wave Food have created the shrimp that looks, smells, and tastes like its animal counterpart – but without the environmental degradation.

The company, founded by marine biologist Dominique Barnes and biomedical engineer Michelle Wolf, share their mission to ‘create healthy, eco-friendly food while providing ingredients for outstanding culinary experiences’.

Barnes told Seeker Stories: “New Wave’s shrimp contains similar high-protein, low-fat nutritional characteristics as real shrimp. However, its product contains zero cholesterol, and it’s even possible that folks with a shellfish allergy could consume it without looking like a botched plastic surgery patient.”

 

Credit: PETA