Tag Archives: vegetarian sweets
Last year I wrote a review on a couple of brands of vegetarian marshmallows, but we have since discovered another one. Ananda Foods sent us some samples of their Gourmet range to try and I have to say I was really impressed with them.
We tried Choca Mocha, which are coffee marshmallows dusted with organic swiss cocoa, and Tutti Frutti, which include a selection of vanilla, raspberry, strawberry and banana marshmallows.
They are quite different from the other vegetarian marshmallows we’ve tried, as they are much lighter and fluffier, and also don’t need refrigerating (they shouldn’t be kept in the fridge at all). Continue reading
I’ve been gently reminded that although I promised to do some reviews in my post last year about the Quest for Vegetarian Marshmallows, I never actually got around to doing it. So here are my thoughts on some of our favourites, Sweet ‘& Sara and Sweet Vegan.
I wrote a brief recommendation for a vegetarian book in this month’s newsletter, and it made me realise that this sort of thing would probably be useful to put on the website for everyone to see. So I’ve just spent some time writing reviews for a few of my favourites and adding them to a new Vegetarian Books page.
I will continue to add more as I get the chance, but would also like to appeal to anyone else who has a favourite vegetarian book that they think should be added to the list. If you recommend one I will take a look and add it if I like it, but it would be even better if you would write a review of it for us to share with others on the website. If we publish it we will obviously credit you with writing it and will also give you a link back to your own website or blog if you have one. Just contact me through the website or leave a comment below if you’re interested. Continue reading
Update: Thanks to all of you who subscribed to our newsletter and entered the Vegetarian Sweets Giveaway. The lucky winner is Claire @ Happy Elastic. Claire, we hope you enjoy your prize! Continue reading
This probably won’t be the first time you’ve heard mention of the sweet tooth each member of our family seems to have. We eat relatively healthily most of the time but we do like to indulge in a bit of sweet naughtiness now and then. Chocolate is a particular weakness of mine, particularly good quality chocolate, and my boys seem to have followed suit (though quality is less of an issue with them –quantity is more their thing!)
However despite being a voracious chocolate consumer for most of my life, it was only very recently that I came across raw chocolate. I must admit I wasn’t sure about it – it sounded much healthier but I had a feeling it was going to be horribly bitter and even if I liked it, I doubted my children would.
How wrong could I be? Continue reading
Although I do make an effort to eat healthily overall and to feed my children well, I must admit that we do all have a very sweet tooth and really like our sweets and chocolate (and cakes and biscuits and desserts and… you get the idea!)
As mentioned before on this blog, when my children became vegetarian they also decided to stop eating anything that included animal products, the most notable being gummy sweets containing gelatine. These were a particular favourite and giving them up was one of the things that convinced me they really were serious about their decision (and not just being fussy eaters as some people have suggested).
Luckily we soon discovered that there are some gummy sweets out there that don’t contain gelatine (or other animal products such as cochineal), so we are now just very careful about reading ingredients lists or checking for that helpful ‘suitable for vegetarians’ label. Continue reading
Although we’re not actually vegans our family decided to make a little trip over to Wolverhampton for the Vegan Festival there this weekend, as we thought it would be interesting to see what products were available.
My husband was particularly intrigued by the vegan ‘fish’ and chips being served by Something Fishy. The kids and I, on the other hand, were far more interested in the vegan cupcake competition where the audience would get to sample the entries!
If I didn’t know better our visit would have had me thinking that vegans eat nothing but cake. Almost every other stall seemed to have cake in some shape or form, from chocolate tiffin to lemon cupcakes to brownies and everything in between. Of course we all had to sample a good variety. After all we had travelled for nearly 3 hours to get there! The verdict? Vegan cake is absolutely yummy. It’s deliciously moist, unlike a lot of ordinary cake. I’m going to get my hands on a recipe for vegan cupcakes and have a go, so watch this space. Continue reading
With Halloween and bonfire night just around the corner, I’ve been thinking that I need to get some marshmallows in for us to toast. It’s difficult though, as vegetarian marshmallows are so expensive for what you get.
We have bought some in the past, and enjoyed them around a fire while camping, but I must admit I did balk at the price, which worked out at about £6.50 per 180g, before delivery charges. As vegetarian marshmallows are quite heavy there were only about 18 pieces in the 180g pack.
I have found several suppliers in the UK, and their prices range from £2.25 – £3.61 per 100g, depending on how much you buy, so I don’t think anyone is overcharging. I imagine the ingredients just cost more than those for marshmallows containing gelatine. The weight is also a problem – they are nowhere near as light and fluffy as ordinary ones (though they are delicious!) It not only means you don’t get very much per 100g but the shipping costs can be prohibitive too. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to track down vegetarian marshmallows in any brick and mortar shops nearby, only online, so shipping costs are inevitable for me.
I am going to keep trying different suppliers to see how they compare, and will do a review of them, but it may take a while as marshmallows have now become a much rarer treat for us . If you can recommend any particular supplier or brand then please let me know so I can give them a go on 5 November.
I’ve also considered making my own but as I’m not exactly Nigella Lawson I’m a bit nervous at the prospect. I have read stories about homemade marshmallows using agar agar that were more reminiscent of rubber tyres than confectionery. Having said that, as long as it contains sugar I’m sure my children will be more than happy to polish them off regardless, so perhaps I should just give it a go!
This will be the first year that both of our children are vegetarian for Halloween, as previously only one of them was. This has got me thinking about how we’re going to deal with the whole vegetarian sweets issue…
For various reasons I’m not a fan of trick or treating, but my boys love it and so a friend and I usually join up for moral support and take our children out together. Trick or treating is huge where we live, with kids (including teenagers) knocking on doors until long after our own children’s bedtime.
Luckily there seems to be an unwritten rule that only houses that have Halloween decorations up should be bothered, so a) no one who doesn’t believe in Halloween is too badly affected, b) it makes you feel less guilty about knocking on doors as you know those people’s kids will probably be knocking on yours too, and c) you can take your decorations down at bedtime so that the doorbell doesn’t keep waking everyone up!
As you’re no doubt aware though, many of the sweets received aren’t vegetarian. Last year our one son swapped these with his brother for vegetarian ones, but this year that won’t be an option. As far as I can tell, our alternatives are:
- not going trick or treating (my preference but my boys will not see this as a viable option!)
- throwing away all the non vegetarian sweets (I have a particular hatred of waste, so not keen on this myself)
- trying to get rid of as many of them as possible with the trick or treaters that knock on our door afterwards
- giving any still left over to friends
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, we are very proud of our boys’ convictions regarding eating vegetarian sweets, as we have in no way forced them to make this decision. I do therefore think it’s important that they miss out as little as possible, so we will make sure there are plenty of vegetarian treats in our house for them. Luckily this isn’t too difficult these days, with vegetarian gummy sweets and even vegan marshmallows becoming more easily available.
How do you feel about Halloween? Do you join in enthusiastically, boycott it entirely or, like me, are you somewhere in the middle?
One of the things my boys really loved before becoming vegetarian was jelly and custard, so I was very pleased when I found some Just Wholefoods vegetarian jelly crystals in our local health food shop. We have tried three flavours: lemon, tropical and raspberry.
As far as making the jelly goes it is very easy, no different from using other jelly crystals. If anything they do dissolve more easily so you don’t need to stir it for ages and ages like with some others. It sets well too and had a normal jelly consistency to it.
Regarding taste, my boys were both very happy with it. The tropical flavour has quite a lemony flavour to it, but as they like lemon jelly this wasn’t a problem for us. The lemon and raspberry flavours both tasted as we expected they should (I had to try some too, of course). We also tried the tropical flavour out on some non-vegetarian friends who had come over for the afternoon and they both said it was great. I did notice the youngest visitor didn’t finish his, but I have no idea whether this had anything to do with whether he liked it or not. He may well just have wanted to get away from the table to carry on playing!
Other than ingredients, obviously, the only difference I can see between this jelly and non-vegetarian versions is colour. The colours of the Just Wholefoods vegetarian jelly aren’t as bright, but I’m guessing that this is probably a good thing from a parent’s perspective. None of the children commented on it, so it didn’t seem to be an issue for them either.
Just Wholefoods Vegetarian Jelly Crystals are available at some independent health food shops as well as online at GoodnessDirect.co.uk.
Ease of preparation: 10/10
Parents rating: 10/10
Kids rating: 9/10
Overall rating: 10/10
You can find out more about Just Wholefoods vegetarian jelly crystals on their website.
Buy online now at Goodness Direct.