Christchurch

Good Morning All – although not for some. The recent earthquake has been a huge tragedy for the people and animals of NZ. I just wanted to let you all know that all SAFE Campaigns, including the blog, are currently suspended until further notice. Our head office is in Christchurch and so far all of our staff and most volunteers are okay. We are hoping that the submission deadline will be extended.

In the meantime SAFE has been working with the SPCA to help the often forgotten victims of natural disasters. We have set up a facebook page where information about lost/found animals can be exchanged, here is the link:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=167765459941949&index=1#!/pages/Animal-Aid-Christchurch-Earthquake/128399143899998

Please pass it on to your friends and family. I hope that all of your loved ones have come out unscathed – best of luck and I will be reconnecting on the blog as soon as the go ahead is given for our campaigns.

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3 Ways With Dandies Marshmallows

Good Morning! I don’t know about you, but I sure find vegan marshmallows to be just about the most exciting thing in the world. Marshmallows are super versatile – this post could easily have been titled 100 ways with marshmallows! You can pop them in your hot chocolate (and dandies are divine when they melt), eat them with ice cream and fruit, make your own ice cream with them (by chopping them up, swirling them into 2x cartons of Soyatoo + 1 can Soymilke condensed milk and freezing the mixture), you can decorate a cake with them and you can (and most definitely should) eat them toasted over a bonfire.

Today, I’ve picked three favourites that Dandies Vegan Marshmallows would be perfect for:

Vegan Campfire Smores

Courtesy of Happy Healthy Life.

Ingredients

8 Dandies vegan marshmallows
8 square vegan Graham Crackers (we don’t have these in NZ so I recommend Arnott’s Nice Biscuits, Homebrand Gingernuts or any other vegan bikkies you can find)
8 2″x2″ square dark chocolate pieces (Lindt pure dark would be best for this)

Method

Campfire Method: Toast your marshmallows over the fire. Get your crackers and chocolate ready. Place the hot, black-charred marshmallows on top of the chocolate and smush them between the crackers. The hot marshmallow will help melt the chocolate.

Stove-Top Method: This will work best with a gas stove, but an electric stove will toast a marshmallow well-it just takes a while longer. Place the marshmallows on a long metal skewer. (Or do them one at a time with a fork) Toast them over the flame/heat. When they are toasted well, smush them between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate. For more melted chocolate, place the smore in the microwave for 8 seconds. This will make it nice and ooey gooey.

Mmmmmm….I think I’ll have to treat myself to some smores this summer! Recipe number two:

Vegan Rocky Road

Adapted from Bittersweet Blog

Ingredients

Base:
1/2C Nuttelex
1/3C Trade Aid Cane Sugar
1C Flour
3/4C Rolled Oats
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/4tsp Salt
1/4C Mixed Nuts, Chopped

Topping:
1/2C Dulce De Soya (vegan caramel)

1/2C Mixed Nuts
1 1/2C Dandies, Cut into pieces
115g Trade Aid plain 70% dark chocolate, Chopped into Chunks

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C and lightly grease an 8-inch square pan. Beat the Nuttelex until softened and then cream in the sugar. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and chopped nuts, stirring to combine. Once all of the ingredienlts are evenly dispersed and you achieve a crumbly mixture, remove 1/2 cup and set aside. Dump the remainder into your prepared pan and press it in with your fingers so that it fully covers the bottom in a level layer. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.

Meanwhile, combine the crumb mixture that you saved with the whole mixed nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate. Have this ready when the pan comes out of the oven.

Once baked, pour the caramel over the warm bars and spread to cover. If your topping is a bit too firm to spread, microwave it for a few seconds before pouring it on. Sprinkle the mixture of sweet morsels over the top and disperse evenly, pressing them in very lightly. Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes, until the marshmallows are puffy and nicely browned. Let cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cutting or you will end up with one sticky [albeit delicious] mess!

NB: If this all sounds like too much effort, just use an 8-inch square pan lined with baking paper and refridgerate a mixture of chopped nuts, Dandies, turkish delight/glace cherries and 500g dark chocolate.

And our third and final recipe:

Vegan Ambrosia

Courtesy of Vegan Marshmallows

Ingredients

1 can mandarin oranges

1 can crushed pineapple, drained

2 bananas, sliced

1C grapes, halved

1 C flaked coconut

2C Dandies, cut into mini-size pieces

1C pecan pieces (or brasil nut pieces)

1-2 containers of Soyatoo Topping Cream

1C maraschino cherries

Mix oranges, pineapple, bananas, grapes, coconut, marshmallows and pecan pieces.  Whip the vegan topping if necessary and fold into fruit mixture.  Garnish with cherries and chill.

Now the tricky bit is deciding which one of these recipes to make. Leave a comment below or on facebook and tell me which recipe I should make and post!

Stay tuned for more Chicken-Mania as we launch into our campaign against battery farming.

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Shop Update

Good Morning! While I’ve only just come into the shop this morning, I can tell it’s been a busy week because the shop looks spotless! We finally have our airconditioning in – it’s heavenly! Our shevles are stocked with everything and anything you can imagine, and we have dandies out for you to try instore so don’t miss out.

We’ve got a couple of specials at the moment – 10% off the Trilogy Mens’ Range, Valentines Day chocolate (except for Schoc) and our Xmas Schoc flavor of Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. We are also fully stocked on preserve with some sneaky new t-shirts coming soon!

How exciting to see an amazing vegan blogger make some delicious pavlova bites with NZ’s very own Meringue Mix! Don’t they look divine? Click for meringue mix and topping cream. Check out this quick little post about 10 things everyone should know about vegans. The biggest news of the week is SAFE’s new NO CAGES campaign to ban battery cages for hens in NZ. Please take a minute to fill out this quick online submission – for those who have the time please do a more detailed submission here. It’s really important that we show the government that this is a very very important issue for the people. Hens could potentially spend the next 20 years in cages so make your voice heard by 25th March!

That’s all for today – do drop by and say hello & to check out all of the amazing new products we have that are coming soon to the website.

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The Shop Weekender

Good Evening everyone! You wouldn’t believe how hectic the shop has been this week as it always is when we get our Tofutti order in. Yes – that’s right – Tofutti is back in! You name it, we’ve got it: cheese slices, cream cheese in 3 flavours, sour cream, 4 flavours of Cuties (icecream sandwiches) and Marry Me bars! What a way to celebrate such a wonderful season. Don’t forget, last week we also got 6 flavours of hard Sheese in and 4 flavours of Creamy Sheese.

We’ve had another shuffle around making it easier for you to access the cleaning products which will now be on the shelf to the left of the counter, and not behind it. We’ve gotten all of our favourite frozen fake meats in again such as our thai cakes, schnitzel and “chicken” slices.

There are also some new products in store, but I’ll keep those hush hush until we pop them on our site for you to enjoy in full glory.
What I really want to talk about though is something altogether exciting – we are going to be open on Mondays!!!!! This means that if you’ve forgotten to get your favourite vegan chocolates for Valentines Day tomorrow – don’t fret! You can drop by in the morning where you will be greeted by our new Shop Girl, Ally, and will be able to choose from our plethora of divine vegan chocolates!

Enoy the rest of this fine fine day (Aucklanders) and keep posted for more exciting recipes this week.

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Easy Buckwheat Pancakes

Good Evening! Boy did I have a delicious breakfast this morning – think thick pancakes drizzled with coconut cream and maple syrup. Simply to die for! I made them using our brand new buckwheat pancake mix which is gluten and wheat free. Better still, all you do is add water, shake the bottle and pour onto the frying pan. It’s not online yet, but look out for it on our new stock shelf in store. I have had my reservations about buckwheat because I haven’t had good experiences in the past, but it just so happens that this mix struck the right cord with a 30% buckwheat mix. It enhanced the taste of the pancakes – it was as if they had cinnamon in them!

Simply add 270mL warm water and shake shake shake the bottle for one minute. Pour 12cm diameter pancakes onto an oiled frying pan and flip when bubbles appear on the surface (two to three minutes).

Some of my favourite toppings include mashed banana, jam, coconut cream, lemon & sugar, frozen berries, maple syrup and vegan chocolate sauce. I’m sure you all have plenty of fantastic ideas to add to the list! Whatever you love on your pancakes, these are seriously the most delicious homemade pankcakes I have ever had – grab a bottle today!

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Brasil Nut Energy Truffles

Good Morning (just)! Yesterday I mentioned that we have some Valentines Day goodies in the shop – let me elaborate. What better way to show your love for that special someone and animals than with a gorgeous chocolate cat with a chocolate heart pendant? How about two kissing chocolate doves symbolising peace and luuurrrve? If your into something a bit more traditional, we have plenty of plain large hearts to suit your taste! If you are all about the taste and not too fussed about the aesthetics, how about some divine Schoc rose chocolate with or without sugar? Check out our full range here. Show some extra love this year by choosing these divine vegan chocolates – better for you and the animals!

Now onto these delicious truffles…in actuality, they are supposed to be pecan truffles, but considering how difficult it is to find pecans in NZ, I just opted to use up the one kilo of brasil nuts we had in the fridge. This means that these babies are super healthy and full of selenium (which NZ soils are chronically deficient in.)

Brasil Nut Energy Truffles

Adapted from the Oh She Glows blog.

1C Brasil Nuts

1/2C Almonds

1/4C Oats

1/2C Pitted dates, packed

1/2tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp caramel flavouring

1/4tsp salt

3-4Tbs jaggery sugar

1/4tsp each nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon

Method

Process brasil nuts/almonds in a food processor until fine. Now add oats along with vanilla, caramel, sugar and sea salt.  Add in roughly chopped dates and process until fine (you don’t want it to get sticky like nut butter.) Work the mixture in with your hands so that it gets warmed up enough to roll into balls or shape into squares. Should make 15-20 balls – don’t make them too big cause these are energy dense!

These remind me of cookie dough balls and are absolutely divine to have alongside your tea in the evening!

Hold tight for another links roundup later this week – here’s hoping the weather will not be as muggy next weekend.

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It’s the weekend!

It’s been a quiet week on the blog front but lots has been happening at the shop! Enjoy the suave new coolness of our little corner of the world because we are finally getting our air conditioner installed tomorrow.

We are now stocked up on Source Living soaps, Sheese, Fry’s, yeast flakes Environmental Tootbrushes and SIGG. We’ve also got a couple of new products: a whole range of divine Valentine’s Day chocolates (including rose flavoured Schoc!) which will be on the website soon as well as apricot Frooze Balls. If you’re near by today, come grab a healthy Kombucha drink or a Watermelon Lime Niceblock to cool down.

Kokako Bliss Balls are on special at $2.95 down from $5.90 as are all of our gift cards and some other bits and pieces.

I’m also looking for guest bloggers to do product reviews! If this sounds like you, flick me an email at ana@safe.org.nz

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