Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies

Don’t worry – these brownies are fudgy, gooey and don’t taste like a root vegetable!

 

To make 16 chocolate-y squares, you’ll need:

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400g sweet potato

140g dark chocolate

80g coconut oil

100g self-raising flour

160g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

 

Boil the sweet potato until it’s soft, then mash together.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil, then pour into the mash.

Add the flour, sugar and salt, and mix together.

Pour into a lined baking tray and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes.

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I also like adding more chocolate, fruit or nuts into the mixture!

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Squirrel-eating men fined £600

The two men who ate raw squirrel at a vegan food stall have been fined £600.

 

Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29 ate the furry animals at the Vegan Soho Market in Rupert Streey, London on 30 March.

 

Onlookers were upset as they witnessed Khlebnikov and Lagzdins disturbing protest against veganism.  Lagzdins wore a t-shirt saying “Veganism = Malnutrition.”

 

The pair were convicted of public order offences, but denied the disorderly behaviour when on trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court in June.

 

They were found guilty on Monday 22 July 2019.

 

Khlebnikov was fined £200. Lagzdins, who did not attend the hearing, was fined £400.

 

This protest shocked so many onlookers, as squirrels are not generally seen as a normal meat to eat.

 

Andrew Rowan, Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University stated: “the only consistency in the way humans think about animals is inconsistency.”

 

Although justice was served in this case, the protest wouldn’t have had as great of an effect, or gained as much media attention if the pair ate raw bacon, for example.

Restaurant Review: Blanche Bakery – Roath, Cardiff

Oh, bb…

 

Blanche is undoubtedly my favourite vegan hang out in Cardiff, and I’ve visited more times than I can count.

 

Founded by Amy-Rose Hopkins and Remed Aran, Blanche is situated on Mackintosh Place – an area made busy by student life.  Vegan donuts, cakes and plant-based meals are freshly made every morning, and the menu changes depending on the season and ingredients available.

 

Some of my favourite donuts include the Earl Grey Tea, the Peppermint Candy Cane, and the Cereal and Mylk. Prices range from about £2.50 to £3.50, and for an independent business who bake them freshly, I think this is very reasonable.

 

The oat milk flat whites are also exceptional – a light, creamy roast that I could happily sip all day.

 

Blanche is a must-visit for anyone who loves an Instagram-opportunity.  It boasts a neon sign that reads ‘but first coffee’, marble tables, and a scandi-chic aesthetic.

 

Top-tip: check the opening hours on their website, you’ll be disappointed if you miss their dough!

Plant-based milk – who’s drinking it?

I’ve always loved an oat milk flat white, and it turns out a quarter of Britons also favour plant-based milk alternatives too.

 

A study by Mintel, a market research firm has discovered that 16-24 year olds are popularising the plant milk demand more than any other age demographic.

 

From almond to soy to coconut, 33% of 16-24 year olds are drinking and buying them.

 

Of this age group, 37% stated that they chose plant-based milks for their health, while 36% explained that dairy farming isn’t good for the environment.

 

And when you do actually think about where cow’s milk comes from, humans are the only species to drink another animal’s breast milk.

 

However, cow’s milk still dominates the milk market, securing 96% of the sales in 2018.

Vegan children classed as ‘healthy’

The headline of today’s ‘i’ newspaper (18/07/19) reads: ‘Vegan parents told to see their GP over children’s diets.’

This has been due to the increase in popularity of vegan diets.  The Vegan Society now claims that there are 600,000 vegans in the UK, which has quadrupled from 150,000 in four years.  This surge has prompted nutritionists to issue updates guidance on what young children should be fed.  The verdict: it’s about time a comprehensive vegan guide was made.

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) have released an updated 5532 guide.  They state that ‘vegan diets can be healthy for young children’ although they advise seeking supplementation advice from your GP.

A report conducted by Waitrose stated that 18-34 year olds are the most likely age demographic to turn towards a vegan diet – so it makes sense that they’d raise their children to follow the diet too.

The BNF’s updated guide will undoubtedly become a valuable resource for parents and nutritionists alike. It provides them with solid evidence that a vegan diet does not restrict or harm a child’s development.

Despite whether children are raised to follow a vegan diet or not, the BNF state that it’s imperative for it to be nutritious.  If your child does develop a deficiency or illness, seek your GP’s advice immediately.

Being a woman; doubly impacted by the climate injustice

By 2050, there are expected to be 300 million climate refugees worldwide.  When we look at who is disproportionately impacted by climate change, women are the biggest group effected.  This is because they are usually at home when climate crises happen; looking after children and dependent relatives, which make it harder for them to escape.  Women in third world countries typically have less access to critical emergency information.  Therefore, empowering women is a key part of winning the fight against climate change.

 

The book ‘Why Women will Save the Planet’[1], gives advice about empowering societies through empowering the women, therefore, making it easier to tackle climate change.  For example, in Bangladesh, women are working to strengthen the land to reduce the effects of flooding and cyclones.

 

The difficulty of discussing climate change, is that it can be an abstract subject to talk about.  By finding out more about women; their names, faces and stories, it can humanise the stark reality.  ‘Hands on: Women, Climate, Change’,[2] shows the profiles of five women who are protesting and educating other women and societies about climate change, through education and innovation.  Their website also shows a documentary, detailing their perspectives and experiences.  It’s worth a watch.

 

What can we do?

 

The UK Government need to take ambitious steps in order to meet the 1.5°C goal that they agreed to in the Paris Agreement.  However, they are currently endorsing the Heathrow expansion and fracking.  Richer countries also need to pay their climate debts.  They can do this by supporting other countries’ resilience and infrastructure, therefore stopping the people that climate change would affect the most.  The Western world needs to stop supporting the big businesses that contribute the most pollution and waste.

 

As a woman living in a Western society, it is important to take individual steps against climate change, and also aim to help other women across the world.  Make sure that whenever you’re campaigning, you have the voices of those who are affected the most.  Work hard to be genuinely and meaningfully inclusive, because that’s the only way we can tackle global crises; if our own micro-movements are as diverse and as collaborative as they can be.  Let’s amplify our sisters’ voices.

[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Women-Will-Save-Planet/dp/1786993147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541708890&sr=8-1&keywords=why+women+will+save+the+planet

 

[2] http://redlizardmedia.com/climateandgender/