Top cities and countries for vegans

January 11, 2021 by  
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If you’re already vegan — or you love Veganuary so much you decide come February to move to a more veg-friendly locale — here are the top places in the country and the world to live. Every year, the website Chef’s Pencil uses Google search statistics to rank the best cities and countries in the world for vegans. The site, which covers industry trends and news as well as recipes , calculates values on a 0-100 scale, with 100 being the place to go if you’re in the mood for jackfruit tostadas or vegan pho. Note that Chef’s Pencil only included cities with a population of more than 100,000 in the study. Portland , Oregon reclaimed its top spot after being knocked off the list for two years by Bristol, which has fallen from vegan grace this year and didn’t even make the top 15. Portland is a great city for vegans, because there are more than 10 places that make their own vegan ice cream, plus hard-to-find specialty restaurants for items like vegan Israeli food and vegan Sri Lankan dishes. Related: Fun, eco-friendly things to do in Portland Edinburgh, Scotland took the No. 2 spot with a score of 94. Next up, Germany aced the vegan test with third, fourth and a tie for fifth place —Hamburg, Berlin and Leipzig, respectively. Amsterdam tied for fifth. Vancouver, Manchester, London and Seattle rounded out the top 10. If you’re contemplating a diet-based international move, the U.K. took top honors for vegan-friendly countries for the third year in a row with a perfect 100. In the past four years, U.K. Google searches for vegan restaurants have tripled, and demand for vegan cheese is through the roof. Google searches also reveal that people in the U.K. are keen on vegan perfume, makeup , shoes and bags. Australia came in second with a score of 88. Meat consumption has been decreasing in Australia, but the country still has a higher-than-average rate of meat eating, and only 1% of the population identifies as vegan. Israel, which took third place on the international list, scored two points below Australia with 86 but has a much larger dedicated vegan community of 5% of the population. With 85 points, New Zealand came in a close fourth, followed by Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and Ireland. The U.S. didn’t make the top 10 list, but it ranked number 12 with a score of 57. + Chef’s Pencil Image via Chris Kr

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Top cities and countries for vegans

The top vegan holiday recipes submitted by you

December 21, 2020 by  
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Drumroll, please… after much deliberation (and salivating), Inhabitat has chosen the winner and runners-up of our 2020 Vegan Holiday Recipe competition. The winner receives our sustainable chef’s kit featuring the Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer, Farberware Knife Set, Bamboo Cutting Board Set and a Stasher bag bundle. Because we were blown away by the creative submissions for this contest, we’ve decided to highlight some of our favorites, too. Without further ado, we present our contest winner and top contenders. First place: Vegan Wild Rice Stuffed Seitan Wellington Congratulations are in order for Megan C., who submitted this mouth-watering vegan wellington. We chose this recipe because it was impressive, unique and festive. Now, Megan can plan for many more days of cooking and baking ahead with a prize pack of new kitchen goodies. For the wild rice (prepare a day in advance) • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted • 1/4 C yellow onion, finely chopped • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped • 1/2 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves • 1 C cooked wild rice mix • 1/3 C pecans, toasted and finely chopped • 1/8 C dried cranberries, finely chopped • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed Place the melted butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the onion, shallots and celery, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, around 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice, pecans, cranberries and measured salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. For the caramelized onions (prepare a day in advance): • 6 yellow onions, sliced • 3 tbsp butter • Salt • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add butter and onions to the pan. Sauté onions until translucent. Add in pinches of salt to help the onions sweat. Stir and continue to sauté for another 10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar to onions and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. For the seitan (best prepared a day in advance, needs time to cool) • 1 1/2 C vital wheat gluten • 1/4 C nutritional yeast • 1 tsp poultry spice • 1 tsp onion powder • 1/2 tsp garlic powder • 1 tsp salt • 3/4 C water • 1/2 C soy milk • 2 tbsp oil • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar Get your water boiling in a big pot with a steamer over it (I use a metal mesh strainer). Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Combine with a wooden spoon until it forms a wet dough. If it seems too wet, add a bit more vital wheat gluten. It should be soft but still hold together. Transfer dough to a countertop or board. Flatten it into a rectangle with your hands, about 1/2″ thick and no longer than your steamer. Put the wild rice in a wide line, lengthwise, in the seitan. (Imagine the seitan is a flag with four horizontal stripes. The two middle stripes should be covered in wild rice.) Compress the stuffing with your hands so the center of the roast will be firm. Grab each side of the dough and seal them around the rice as best you can. Transfer the roll to a piece of aluminum foil, and tightly roll it up. Transfer the seitan into the steamer and steam for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Cool completely. For the final wellington: • vegan puff pastry (most store-bought puff pastry is already vegan) • lots of melted vegan butter or use Just Egg • Stuffed seitan • Caramelized onion Preheat the oven to 400°F. Flatten the puff pastry out with a rolling pin until it is slightly larger than your seitan, (you want it to all fit in the puff pastry shell). Spread caramelized onion as an even layer across the puff pastry. Place seitan in the middle of the puff pastry and wrap it. Score the top to allow air to escape. Cover in melted vegan butter or Just Egg, which gives it the golden color while baking. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until your pastry is golden and crispy. Runners-up for appetizers There were so many incredible recipes , so we decided to pull together an entire menu of delicious vegan dishes broken up by category. Here are some excellent appetizers for the holidays. Vegan Spanakopita This vegan spanakopita recipe by Elaine P. calls for simple, fresh ingredients to create an impressive vegan dish that adds to the holiday dinner table. • 12 oz vegan feta cheese • 8 oz firm tofu • 1 lb cooked baby spinach • 1 sweet onion, sautéed in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 lb phyllo dough • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. Remove phyllo dough from its box and lay flat. Cut phyllo dough into three long strips and cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent drying. Take one strip of phyllo dough and dab on olive oil with pastry brush. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of spinach/vegan feta filling and fold into triangles using a flag-folding technique. Place on baking tray and brush the tops with olive oil. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 30 servings. Christmas Soda Bread Bread is a mealtime staple, and we loved the festive flair of Samantha Y.’s soda bread, which uses spinach and tomato paste as natural food dyes. For the green dough: • 195g whole wheat pastry flour • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 120 ml plant-based milk • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 65g fresh spinach For the red dough: • 195g whole wheat pastry flour • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1/2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 120ml plant-based milk • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 60g tomato paste • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika Preheat your oven to 425°F. Make the green dough: In a food processor, blend the milk, vinegar and spinach until smooth. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the spinach mixture to the dry ingredients and combine with a spatula until incorporated. Set aside. Make the red dough: Blend the milk, vinegar and tomato paste together until smooth. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and paprika. Add the tomato mixture to the dry ingredients and combine with a spatula until well incorporated. On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll out the green dough into a 6.5x10inch rectangle. Repeat with the red dough. Stack the green dough on top of the red dough. Roll the dough up into a batard (an oblong shape) and seal the ends so that the red dough covers up the green dough. Place the loaf onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Slash the top of the loaf in three diagonals. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. New Year’s Eve Roasted Chestnut Soup You don’t have to roast your chestnuts on an open fire, but bonus points if you do! Enjoying this soup, submitted by Wendy W., sounds like the perfect way to ring in the new year . • 2 1/2 pounds fresh chestnuts, shelled and roasted • 2 tablespoons coconut oil • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 leek, sliced • 2 celery stalks, diced • 1 medium carrot, diced • 6 cups vegetable broth • 1 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp black pepper • 1 tbsp sage • Fresh parsley or thyme • Optional: 1 C alternative milk to substitute 1 C of vegetable broth Boil chestnuts in a medium pot for approximately 20-30 minutes. Drain and rinse. Using 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, caramelize onions, celery, carrot and leek until softened. Working in batches, in a high speed blender, puree chestnuts, onion, celery, carrot, leek and vegetable broth. Blend on high until smooth. Add mixture to a sauce pan and cook down until desired thickness. Add alternative milk for a creamier texture. Warm the soup and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley or thyme. This soup is so delicate, it is a flavor few get a chance to experience. Runners up for entrees Vegans are used to being stuck with a few sides to choose from during celebratory meals … but no more! Plant-based main dishes are absolutely delicious, as shown by the following recipes. Creamy Stinging Nettle Tagliatelle We couldn’t help but share this unique pasta dish, which even suggests foraging for the stinging nettles. This recipe, submitted by Azem S., is “inspired by my grandmother’s love of cooking with stinging nettles in Kosovo and my girlfriend’s veganism!” • 1 onion • 2 garlic cloves • 1 vegan stock cube • 1 plain oat-based yogurt • 300ml vegetable stock • 300ml oat milk • 1 large bunch of fresh nettles (available at most parks in London, for free) • 1 pack of eggless tagliatelle Start by finely chopping the onion and grating the garlic cloves, then add both to a large pan with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Let the onion and garlic fry for a few minutes until caramelized. Give the nettles a thorough wash (use gloves) and place straight into the pot. Cover the pan with a lid and let the nettles sweat for 2-3 minutes, then add 300ml of vegetable stock to stop the frying process. Leave the lid off and reduce by half. Once the ingredients have softened and start to break up, add in oat milk and oat-based plain yogurt and stir thoroughly. You can now add seasoning with a pinch of salt and black pepper (to your own preference — general rule, you can always add more but it’s difficult to take them out). With the lid slightly at an angle, let the sauce reduce by a third to a thick creamy consistency. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta (preferably fresh) until it is soft and silky. Once ready, drain the pasta and place straight into the nettle sauce. Mix the two thoroughly and leave for a few minutes to rest with the lid on under its own heat. Serve with a fresh rocket and tomato salad (add salt, black pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your own preference). Thai Sweet Potato Noodles This warming dish would be delicious any time of year, but it is especially so on colder days. The colorful, fresh ingredients make it a healthier option, too! Many thanks to Suzanne P. for sharing this tasty, nutritious meal idea. • 4 oz Thai rice noodles • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1/2 medium onion, chopped • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped • 1 medium sweet potato, skin removed and chopped • ½ inch piece of ginger, chopped fine • 1/2 tsp salt • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste  • 1/4 C lime juice • 2 tbsp brown sugar • 1 can coconut milk • 1/2 cup pineapple tidbits • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts Cook the noodles according to the package directions and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno, sweet potato, ginger and salt and sauté until the onion is soft, but not browned. Add the red curry paste and 1/4 cup of water and sauté for another minute. Add the lime juice, brown sugar, coconut milk and pineapple and simmer until the sweet potato is cooked through. If the sauce gets too thick, you can thin it with a few tablespoons of water. Stir in the noodles and continue to heat for another minute. Top with the chopped peanuts and serve. Baked Melanzane in Spiced Holiday Sauce Essentially an eggplant parmigiana recipe, this submission from Sandhya S. offers a festive touch by adding both red and white sauces, the latter of which is especially impressive to make vegan. • 1 large brinjal (eggplant), blue or purple with smooth skin • 100 g moist tofu •200 g of extra virgin olive oil • 1 1/2 tsp salt • 1 tsp crushed black pepper • 3/4 cup gluten-free yellow corn flour or bajra flour • 1/2 C powdered flax seeds or bread crumbs • 1/2 tsp oregano • 1/2 C water Ingredients for white sauce: • 100 g water • 2 tbsp gluten-free smooth flour or wheat/white flour • 200 g of soya or walnut drink, unsweetened • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger • 1 tsp dried thyme • 1 tsp olive oil Ingredients for red sauce: • 5 plum tomatoes • 1 red bell pepper • 6 cloves of garlic • 1 tsp salt • 2 tsp basil seeds • 200 g water for boiling To prepare red sauce: Cut the tops off the tomatoes and red pepper. Boil in water for few minutes until the skins come off easily. Remove the skins and retain the pulp. Drain most of the water, and set the pot back to the stove on low heat. Crush the tomatoes and pepper using a potato masher or hand blender. Add salt and basil seeds, then cook for 5 to 6 minutes, mixing continuously with the masher or mixer, until a smooth sauce is formed. Turn off the stove and set aside. To prepare the white sauce: Heat a skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and dry gluten-free flour on low flame. Stir for just a minute until the flour is mixed with the oil. Add water, soya or walnut milk and salt and bring to a low boil while mixing continuously for 2 minutes. The sauce should be smooth and not lumpy. When the mixture starts to splutter, carefully stir and turn off the heat. Add thyme and grated ginger to the white sauce. Tip: To make the sauces smoother, blend the sauces separately before adding the ginger and thyme seasoning. To prepare the brinjal and tofu: Wash and cut the brinjal into 1/8 inch thick slices; they will look like round discs. Set aside on a plate, sprinkle with salt and cover with a paper towel or cloth. Slice the tofu into 1/4 inch slices and set aside on another plate. Sprinkle salt and crushed black pepper and a pinch of turmeric on the tofu slices. Set aside and cover with paper towel or cloth. Make a smooth paste with the gluten-free yellow corn flour and water. It should be a free-flowing custard consistency, not too thick. On another plate, lay out the dry bread crumbs or flax powder mixed with oregano. Heat 200 g olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dip the brinjal slices one by one into the flour paste and then into the dry breadcrumbs, coating both sides lightly. Deep fry each slice in the heated oil until golden brown. Sit the slices on a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to remove excess oil. If there is any flour paste and breadcrumbs left after the brinjal is done, repeat the process of dipping tofu into the flour and crumbs and deep fry for a minute. Tofu can also be used as-is without frying if the paste and crumbs are gone. Preheat the oven at 170°C (about 340°F). While the oven is preheating, lightly grease a shallow glass pan. Pour half of the white sauce into the pan. Arrange the brinjal crisps on the sauce in one row. The discs may overlap slightly. Pour half of the red sauce over the first layer of brinjal. Place the rest of the brinjal slices on the red sauce. Pour most of the remaining red sauce on the layer of brinjal to cover it lightly. Place one layer of tofu on the red sauce. Pour nearly all of the remaining white sauce on the tofu layer. Place all the remaining pieces of tofu, if any, on the white sauce. Use the last of the white and red sauces on the plates, drizzling in a zig-zag pattern. Lightly shake the casserole dish to let the layers settle. Lightly drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and bake for 25 minutes in the center of the oven. Just before serving, heat the dish for 5 minutes at 150°C (about 300°F) to get a light brown color on the tofu, similar to melted cheese. Runners-up for side dishes Sides are key to a vegan’s heart. The following recipes stole ours for their creativity and extra care given to presentation. Lacey’s Vegan Green Bean Casserole Lacey L., you’ve really accomplished a lot here. Veganizing a cream-based dish and making it taste good isn’t easy, but you’ve made it look effortless. • 3 cans cut green beans • 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk • 1/2 C vegetable broth • 2 tbsp flour (more flour = thicker gravy) • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or more to taste — don’t be shy!) • 1/2 tbsp salt • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (or replace salt and garlic with garlic salt if necessary) • 1/2 onion, finely diced (optional) • Pepper to taste • Fried onion crunchies (if available, also get crispy garlic) Preheat oven to 350°F. Put drained green beans in a casserole dish. Add onions and garlic. Mix almond milk, nutritional yeast, flour, broth and seasonings in a bowl. Pour the mixture over the green beans, add half of the onion crunchies. and mix. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir up casserole and add more flour to thicken if necessary (keep in mind it will thicken a bit more as it cools as well). Add more onion crunchies to the top, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add more onion crunchies as desired. This dish is incredible fresh, but it doesn’t reheat as well. I suggest only making what you need for the upcoming meal. Sweet Potato Pecan & Pomegranate Medallions with Mexican Cashew Chipotle Crema From the base to the garnish, this recipe by Areli B. is crafted with attention to detail. The addition of pecans and pomegranate seeds offer traditional flavors in an exciting new way. • 2 large sweet potatoes • 1/2 tsp paprika • 1/2 tsp cumin • 1/2 tsp cinnamon • 1 tsp kosher salt • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 C candied pecans • 1/2 C fresh pomegranate For the Mexican Cashew Chipotle Crema: • 1 C raw cashews • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo • 1 tsp lime juice • 1 tsp kosher salt • 1/4 vegan nut milk or vegetable broth For the garnish: • 2 green onions, clean and cut (green part only) • Zest of 1 lime • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction (heat 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar on low for 5 to 8 minutes until it reduces to 2 tbsp) Preheat oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Mix well and add olive oil to make a paste. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick rounds. Brush sweet potatoes with olive oil paste. Place them on a large baking tray without touching each other. Bake sweet potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes on each side until golden, flipping them half way through. Transfer to a serving tray and set aside. Soak the cashews in water for 4-6 hours. Drain the cashews, then add them to a blender along with vinegar, chipotle, lime juice, salt and nut milk or vegetable broth. Blend the cashews for a 3-4 minutes until completely smooth. If the mixture is grainy, continue blending until the cashews are smooth. Add 1/4 cup of liquid if needed. Store in a jar with a tight fitting lid in the fridge. It will last one week. Assemble medallions by placing sweet potatoes on a plate, add a couple of pecans on each medallion, drizzle Mexican crema and now add pomegranate seeds. Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction and garnish with green onion greens and lime zest. Finish with salt and paper. Enjoy! Festive Holiday Wild Rice and Purple Potato Medley This recipe from Emily F. combines rice and veggies with warming spices and tops it all off with fresh herbs like cilantro and mint as well as pomegranate arils to give it a festive touch. • 1/4 C canola oil • 1/2 C carrot, diced • 4 cooked purple fingerling potatoes, sliced • 1/2 C yellow bell pepper, cut in chunks • 4 C cooked wild rice • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 1 tsp ground garam masala • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 1/4 C shelled pistachio nuts • 1/3 C pomegranate seeds • 2 tbsp mint leaves, torn • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves In a saucepan, sauté carrot in canola oil until just soft. Add cooked potato, bell pepper, cooked wild rice, lemon juice, salt, cayenne pepper, garam masala and turmeric; toss well. Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Toss in pistachio nuts, pomegranate seeds, mint and cilantro. Runners-up for desserts The moment we’ve all been waiting for … dessert! So many desserts are made with eggs, butter and milk, so veganizing them can be a challenge. Vegan Cinnamon Roll Cake We were drooling instantly as we read the recipe for Alison F.’s cinnamon roll cake. Don’t judge us for eating this for breakfast and dessert. For the cake: • 1 3/4 C gluten-free, all-purpose flour • 1 C white sugar • 1 tsp baking soda • 1/4 tsp sea salt • 1 C almond milk • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar • 1/3 C coconut oil, softened • 2 tsp vanilla extract For the filling: • 1/4 C vegan butter, softened • 1/2 C coconut sugar • 1 tbsp cinnamon • 1 tbsp gluten-free, all-purpose flour For the frosting: • 1/2 C vegan cream cheese • 1/2 C vegan butter • 2 C powdered sugar • A shake of cinnamon • 1 C chopped walnuts (optional) Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the almond milk and vinegar. Set aside for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, beat together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda and sea salt. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into cake pan and set aside. In a small bowl, beat together the filling ingredients. Once smooth, drop by spoonfuls over the cake batter. Swirl into the batter using a knife. Bake cake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. While cake is baking, beat together the frosting ingredients. Once cake is cooled, spread frosting generously over cake, making sure to frost the sides. Add walnuts if using. Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream with Warm Miso Caramel Pecans The secret to this creamy, dairy-free ice cream by Hidemi W.? Avocado. Consider our minds blown. Best of all, you don’t even need an ice cream machine to make this. • 2 medium avocados • 1/2 C almond milk, unsweetened • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder • 1/4 C granulated sugar • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 1 tsp white miso paste • 2 tbsp granulated sugar • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp water • 2 tbsp pecans, chopped Halve each avocado, remove the pit and scoop out avocado flesh. Cut avocado into a small pieces and put into a resealable bag. Freeze overnight. The next day, remove the avocado from the freezer and put it into a food processor. Add almond milk, cocoa, 1/4 cup sugar and sea salt. Pulse until avocado is almost crushed and mixture is well blended. Scoop the mixture out and put into 4 serving glasses. In a nonstick skillet, put miso, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and water. Turn on the heat to medium. When the sugar begins dissolving and big bubbles start to appear, stir the mixture until well blended and slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in pecans. Pour these miso-caramel pecans over the ice cream. Orange Kissed Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies Not only are Kim V. D.’s orange-and-chocolate gingerbread cookies vegan, they’re also gluten-free! The gingerbread, chocolate and orange blend together for an explosion of seasonal flavors. • 1/2 C dairy-free butter spread (I used Melt) • 3/4 C light brown sugar • 2 tsp pure vanilla • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg • 3 tsp ground ginger • 1/4 tsp ground cloves • 1 tbsp molasses • 1 C finely ground almond flour • 1/2 C gluten-free flour blend with xanthan gum • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 tbsp orange zest • 1/2 tsp baking soda • 1 C sifted powdered sugar • 1 tbsp unsweetened cashew or almond milk • 1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a stainless steel baking sheet with parchment paper. With a mixer, cream together the dairy-free spread, light brown sugar, spices, molasses and vanilla until smooth. Add in the almond flour, gluten-free flour, cocoa, orange zest and baking soda to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined. Using a 1 tablespoon-sized spring-loaded scoop, scoop out level tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough between the palms of your hands to create a ball. Place the ball onto the cookie sheet. Cookies should be spaced 2 inches from each other, as these cookies do spread. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then, using a thin spatula, transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely. In a bowl, stir together the sifted powdered sugar and almond/cashew milk and orange juice until smooth. Dip a fork into the drizzle and drizzle back and forth over the cookies. Allow to set completely before serving or storing. Images via Adobe Stock and Unsplash

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The top vegan holiday recipes submitted by you

Wood-burning stoves can triple particulate matter levels in homes

December 21, 2020 by  
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A recent study published in the journal Atmosphere shows that wood-burning stoves are harmful to air quality and can triple the level of particulate matter in homes. Researchers are proposing that these wood burners be sold with health warning labels. The study authors also recommend that the stoves are not used around children or elderly adults. According to the researchers, the number of harmful particles in a room increases when the wood-burning stove’s door is opened for refueling. Thus, the level of pollution depends on the number of times the stove is refilled. People who load wood into the stove once are less exposed to the higher particulate matter levels as compared to those who refuel multiple times. Related: In London, coroner rules air pollution as cause of death of a child The research was carried out in Sheffield over a period of one month in early 2020. A total of 19 homes were surveyed, all of which use modern wood-burning stoves that are certified by the government as being “smoke-exempt appliances.” The research shows that these products are still risky due to the particles they supply to the indoor atmosphere. “Our findings are a cause for concern,” said Rohit Chakraborty, lead author of the study. “It is recommended that people living with those particularly susceptible to air pollution , such as children, the elderly or vulnerable, avoid using wood-burning stoves. If people want to use them, we recommend minimizing the time the stove is open during lighting or refueling.” The particles produced by such stoves have been found to be damaging to the human respiratory system . The particles can pass through the lungs into the blood system and can increase risk of heart and lung diseases. Wood and coal burning jointly contribute about 40% of outdoor  tiny particle pollution. Although there is no sufficient data on the potential pollution from wood used indoors, this study sheds light on how harmful this type of fuel can be. In a bid to deal with particle and carbon pollution, the U.K. government is currently phasing out sales for wet wood, which produces more smoke. However, more efforts still have to be made, given that the research only surveyed homes that use dry wood. + Atmosphere Via The Guardian Image via Meg Learner

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Wood-burning stoves can triple particulate matter levels in homes

Eco-friendly holiday gifts your partner will love

December 14, 2020 by  
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If you’re a fan of Inhabitat, chances are your partner supports sustainable living as well! If not, what better time than the holidays to introduce your special someone to one or two of this year’s best eco-friendly products? Use our 2020 guide to the best holiday  gifts  for partners. Kimaï Jewelry Celebrating a special anniversary or ready to pop the question this holiday season?  Kimaï Jewelry  offers the perfect solution to unethically sourced minerals with its lab-grown diamonds and 18K recycled gold. Kimai diamonds are completely physically and chemically identical to the ones that come from the mining industry, making them a win for affordability and better treatment of the planet. Related: Where to find eco-friendly engagement and wedding rings Comfy, sustainable underwear Perhaps the best part of buying sustainable underwear? Those eco-friendly fabrics, like organic cotton , are always extra comfortable. Support companies like  TomboyX , which sources its material from OEKO-TEX 100 certified cotton (free from harsh or environmentally harmful chemicals) and provides inclusive sizes from XS-4X by fit-testing on all body types. Another one of our favorites is  Boodywear , made from organic, toxin-free bamboo plants. Bedding Snuggle up to your sweetie in bedding made of soft, sustainable material . Many of us are familiar with the popular  Avocado  organic bedding and eucalyptus sheets from  Buffy , but there are also plenty of lesser-known companies.  SOL Organics , for example, takes an ethical approach to its bedding, which is organic, fair trade-certified and tested for harmful substances. Eco-friendly eyewear An important accessory many of us use every day, eyewear doesn’t have to be made from unsustainable materials.  Bôhten Eyewear  makes lightweight handmade frames that are sourced from sustainable materials in Africa like Zebrawood, Walnut, Ebony and Maple wood carbon fiber veneer. The company even makes blue light filtering lenses that protect your eyes from harmful blue light exposure. You can also check out 100% biodegradable sunglasses from  Pela Vision . Proud Pour Wines In September, Inhabitat  reviewed  a wine company that uses a portion of its proceeds to benefit 22 different environmental nonprofits that do everything from protecting bees and wild oysters to sea turtle and coral reef  conservation . As the holidays approach,  Proud Pour Wines  should definitely stay on your radar. Bring a bottle or two to family dinner or gift your partner a starter pack, which includes three different bottles of wine supporting reefs (Rosé), oysters (Sauvignon Blanc) and bees (Pinot Noir). After you make a purchase, the company buys carbon offsets for your shipment. Loungewear A lesson in  sustainable fashion , Canadian-based  Kotn  uses direct trade to source raw ingredients straight from farmers (without the use of middlemen) to provide customers with fair prices that reflect quality and provide farmers with better prices and ethical business practices. The loungewear is made from authentic Egyptian Giza cotton, and proceeds help fund quality children’s education in the farming communities where the company sources its material. Sneakers For footwear lovers, there’s been no shortage of fun sneakers made from sustainable materials in 2020.  Allbirds , shoes made from eucalyptus wood pulp and Merino Wool are always a popular option, but you can also find amazing vegan footwear options at  Cariuma  or even fashion shoes made from  upcycled algae . Hobby classes Give the gift of knowledge with a subscription to unlimited online hobby classes by  Brit+Co  for just $10, or opt for more traditional educational courses from  Coursera  (where some classes can even be exchanged for college course credit). Masterclass ($15 a month billed annually) is also a fun idea, with online classes taught by some of the greatest minds in everything from arts and entertainment to cooking and sports. Book a staycation Choose a gift that benefits both of you by booking a staycation through Airbnb or Glampinghub. With coronavirus likely restricting travel well into 2021, opting for a vacation close to home is the way to go this year. Even better, an outdoor  camping  trip offers a great way to disconnect from the rest of the world while enjoying nature and staying safely socially distanced. Ethical cashmere sweater Cashmere is a natural fabric , made from a type of goat that produces fine, soft wool that is usually shorn off about twice a year. Unfortunately, cashmere goats are often mistreated due to the high value of the fiber, and an uptick in production has created grazing pressure leading to the degradation of native grasslands, so seeking out a company that produces sustainable and ethical cashmere is important. Naadam sources directly from Mongolian herders while investing in veterinary care for the goats, and Kering has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society to help educate herders on more sustainable approaches. Healthy cookbook Whether your partner is vegan , vegetarian or just likes to eat healthy, there’s a cookbook for it in 2020! Plus, cooking together is one of the best parts of the holidays and an even better idea for date nights. Vegan chef Marina Delio wrote a book called Vegan In An Instant  full of over 100 plant based recipes for your slow cooker (for those busy post-holiday evenings), and Dan Buettner has gathered recipes from Blue Zones to bring us The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 . Images via Amazon, Avocado, Bôhten Eyewear, Katherine Gallagher / Inhabitat, Kimaï, Kotn, Naadam, Pixabay, Proud Pour and TomboyX

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Eco-friendly holiday gifts your partner will love

Vegan Hanukkah recipes that everyone will enjoy

December 10, 2020 by  
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Like most holidays, food is an integral part of Hanukkah . But as is often the case at holiday celebrations, it’s easy for vegans to feel left out of the fun. Don’t despair. Genius chefs have found workarounds so that vegans can eat a plant-based rendition of everything from matzo ball soup to brisket. Here are some recipes to accompany lighting the menorah. Latkes Latkes are a Hanukkah favorite, and there are so many ways to make these small and savory fried pancakes. Potatoes are the classic main ingredient, but other grated root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots or even beets will also work. Instead of using egg for a binder, vegan versions mix in potato starch or flax seed. Forks Over Knives offers a healthier baked version of potato-corn latkes . Or you can really go rogue with the Minimalist Baker’s recipe for samosa potato cakes with green chutney. As the Minimalist Baker herself puts it, “Everyone knows samosas are the best appetizer, so why not make them into latkes?” Serve with applesauce and/or vegan sour cream. Related: 5 tips for a green and happy Hanukkah! Brisket What?! Vegans don’t eat brisket. Well, not really. But the handy resource group Jewish Veg has a recipe for a jackfruit-based alternative. Just add crushed tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, red wine and a few more tasty ingredients, and you’ll have a new take on the traditional meaty main dish. Kugel Kugel is usually made as an egg noodle-based dessert casserole involving eggs and sweet cream sauce. But the Unconventional Baker replaces all that egg and dairy with a cashew-based cream cheese sauce and adds raisins and apples for sweetness. Or you can turn kugel savory with this recipe from the Spruce Eats . It uses carrots, onions, zucchini and potatoes, with the flexibility to add some of your other favorites. Matzo ball soup Matzo (also spelled matzah) ball soup is one of the most famous Jewish dishes and is especially know for its connection to Passover. But Hanukkah is also an excellent time to make it. The traditional way of preparing it is to float Ashkenazi Jewish soup dumplings called matzo balls — a mixture of matzo meal, water, eggs and chicken or other fat — in chicken soup. But you can substitute a delicious veggie broth and make vegan matzo balls. This recipe from The Edgy Veg uses coconut oil and potato starch as fat and binder. Forks Over Knives’ recipe for herbed vegan matzo ball soup holds it together with cooked quinoa and flax seed. And if you’re wondering, matzo meal is mostly wheat flour. Challah Braided challah bread can still be good even without the egg coating traditionally used to make it shiny on top. Instead, you can use soy or other plant-based milk to replicate the shine. There’s even a whole class of “water challah” recipes for those who avoid eggs. Water challah is more popular in Israel , while eggy challah prevails in the U.S. The Spruce Eats gets sweet with the topping in its maple-glazed vegan water challah . You can liven your bread up with poppy seeds, too. Blintzes Blintzes are sweet, thin crepes usually filled with fruit or cheese. It’s simple enough to swap out the usual milk and eggs in the batter. This recipe from Yum Vegan Lunch Ideas fakes the cream cheese with silken tofu , plus a little vanilla, powdered sugar, lemon juice, vegan butter and apple cider vinegar. Famous vegan chef Mark Reinfeld’s recipe for blueberry blintzes is on the Jewish Veg site and includes tahini and cardamom for extra flavor. If you keep your batter basic, it’s easy to go savory instead of sweet with the fillings. Applesauce Applesauce is almost always vegan . But you don’t have to settle for a bland version straight from the jar. Check out Cookie and Kate’s recipe for applesauce with maple and cinnamon. Or spice up your store-bought applesauce with something special, whether that’s a pinch of cayenne or some pureed cranberries. Cashew sour cream Top your latkes (and everything else) with freshly made cashew sour cream. The Simple Veganista recommends soaking the cashews in two to three inches of water for a couple of hours to soften them. Then all you have to do is add water, lemon, apple cider vinegar and salt to your high-speed food processor and blast them into cream. Chocolate babka Chocolate is important to any holiday celebration, and chocolate babka is good morning, noon or night. You’ll need plenty of vegan butter to make this delicious, pull-apart dessert bread. The Domestic Gothess provides easy-to-follow pictorial directions. Sufganiyot Part of the Hanukkah story is a miracle of long-lasting oil. As Jewish vegan activist Mayim Bialik explains on PETA’s website, “Sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts, are a traditional food eaten for Hanukkah. The holiday falls in the winter and commemorates the miracle of oil that lights the menorah in the Great Temple in Jerusalem lasting for eight days rather than one. Foods fried in oil are thus traditional for this festive winter holiday. This is a recipe I veganized, and although it is labor-intensive, the results are unbelievably delicious.” Happy Hanukkah! Images via Pixabay and Adobe Stock Images

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Vegan Hanukkah recipes that everyone will enjoy

ESW Beauty makes eco-friendly sheet masks your skin will love

November 26, 2020 by  
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Eco-conscious skincare connoisseurs often face a dilemma. We know single-use products cause unnecessary waste, yet the sheet mask craze shows no sign of stopping. It’s easy to see why sheet masks remain popular; when you can simply rip open a package, slap on a mess-free sheet mask and go about your day, it’s hard to go back to multi-step wash-off or peel-off masks. Still, few people would argue that the convenience and skincare benefits of sheet masks outweigh the environmental harm and extra waste these products create. Offering a solution to this puzzling problem, ESW Beauty ‘s Raw Juice Cleanse Sheet Masks will help your skin without harming the environment. What is ESW Beauty? Started by Elina Sofia Wang, ESW Beauty began as part of Wang’s search for a cleaner lifestyle. While struggling with health issues, Wang started drinking raw juices and exploring clean beauty options. Unable to find sheet masks that suited her needs, the ESW Beauty founder decided to make her own. By combining a non-toxic, cruelty-free and eco-friendly formula with Wang’s love for raw juices, the Raw Juice Cleanse Sheet Masks were born. What goes into an eco-friendly sheet mask? As the ESW Beauty website so eloquently states, “Our mission is to develop beauty products made with clean, ethically-sourced, and sustainable ingredients . We firmly believe product formulation and ingredients should be held to a higher standard.” What does this mean for ESW’s sheet masks? First, it guarantees that each mask’s formula prioritizes clean ingredients. That means no parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, formaldehydes, alcohol, silicones or animal-derived ingredients. No animal-derived ingredients ensures that these sheet masks, both the serum and fabric, are fully vegan . As a company of animal lovers, ESW Beauty also keeps its products cruelty-free, pledging to never test on animals. This dedication to vegan and cruelty-free formulas earned ESW certifications from both Leaping Bunny and PETA. But what about the waste issue with sheet masks? To minimize single-use sheet masks’ environmental impact, ESW takes a two-fold approach. Starting with the packaging, ESW’s mask pouches use recyclable low-density polyethylene (LDPE), a material that, while plastic, has been found by a Danish Environmental Protection Agency study to produce the smallest environmental impact among alternatives such as paper , bioplastic and cotton. Once you open the pouch, the mask itself uses a material called cupra (also known as cupro), a sustainable and biodegradable fabric made from cotton linter, which is usually discarded as waste during cotton processing. Reviewing the sheet masks Packaged in an inviting white and blue box, a free editorial sample of ESW Beauty’s Masking & Juicing Essentials Set arrived at my door for review. After unboxing, I surveyed the exciting products inside. The eco-friendly beauty and skincare field isn’t typically known for eye-catching aesthetics, but ESW’s clever designs eschew the industry-standard brown and green color scheme in favor of something more fun. The colorful, bottle-shaped mask pouches not only fit with the raw juice theme but are also a delightful addition to my bathroom counter. Masks aren’t the only treats this kit has in store. In addition to a box of all five sheet masks in the Raw Juice Cleanse line, the full Masking & Juicing Essentials Set includes a clear tote bag, canvas sheet mask travel pouch, clear glass bottle and sprout headband. Right now, ESW Beauty is also including free stickers with every order. While the clear tote, canvas pouch and glass bottle are all cute and handy parts of the set, I was most excited for the sheet masks (obviously) and sprout headband. Before trying out the masks, I slipped on the soft sprout headband to keep my hair out of my face. The headband’s soft material might cause it to slip down your head if you have fine-textured hair, but for me, it did a good job of staying in place. Upon first trying out one of the masks (the delicious-sounding Strawberries & Cream Soothing Raw Juice Mask ), I was pleased to find that it included plenty of serum. No dry masks here! The soft mask material is a great vessel for the serum and contoured well to my face for the entire 20-minute application time. As the weather turns colder and starts drying out and irritating my skin, this mask and The Pink Dream Moisturizing Raw Juice Mask were my favorites for helping my skin recover and look healthy again. But what if your skin needs some extra, targeted attention? If you need a rejuvenating boost, the Pineapple Bliss Revitalizing Raw Juice Mask can help get your skin glowing again. I also enjoyed the Deep Detox Pore Control Raw Juice Mask ‘s slight tingle; I could feel the mask working and appreciated how smooth my skin felt afterward. As a baby-faced 23-year-old, I didn’t expect to see major results from the Green Reset Anti-Aging Raw Juice Mask , but I did notice a slight improvement in the fine lines on my forehead after use. Whether you want something need-specific or simply a luxurious, eco-friendly moisture boost, ESW Raw Juice Face Masks are a choice that your skin and the environment will thank you for. + ESW Beauty Images by Grae Gleason / Inhabitat Editor’s Note: This product review is not sponsored by ESW Beauty. All opinions on the products and company are the author’s own.

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McDonald’s introduces McPlant, its first plant-based burger

November 12, 2020 by  
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Now that every major fast food chain on the planet seems to have introduced a vegan option, McDonald’s is finally getting with the times. Want to eat at the golden arches without making some animal pay for it? Meet McPlant. “We have created a delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform,” said Ian Borden, president of McDonald’s International. The fast food giant has tested a plant-based burger in Canada and may eventually add faux meat breakfast sandwiches and mock chicken to the menu. Related: What Taco Bell’s menu changes mean for fast food-loving vegans McPlant’s exact composition is elusive. Borden said McPlant is “crafted exclusively for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s ,” according to Fast Company, but the patty was co-created with Beyond Meat. That partnership may or may not be continuing. Can McPlant help turn the tide against an ever-growing global meat demand? The fast food restaurant is, after all, one of the world’s biggest beef buyers. “This represents a significant milestone,” Zach Weston, foodservice and supply chain manager at the Good Food Institute, told Fast Company. “McDonald’s brand is iconic and global, and the scale at which they operate is unsurpassed.” With the vegan burger’s provenance unknown, much of the internet has focused on the new sandwich’s name, and not in a good way. “McPlant” has been called stupid and unoriginal, with many catchier options suggested. But it has advantages. For any vegan who’s ever been terrified their order will be misheard and soon they’ll be chowing down on a pig or cow, the name McPlant will be like a security blanket. “McPlant” sounds nothing like Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets or Snack Wrap, some of the restaurant’s top selling items. But we’ll have to wait until next year to find out how it tastes. McPlant will start popping up on McDonald’s menus in 2021. Via Eater and Fast Company Image via McDonald’s

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Vegan hotel in Scotland wins National Geographic Award

October 27, 2020 by  
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Scotland’s first vegan  hotel  opened in June 2019, and it’s already winning awards. National Geographic just bestowed a “Good Egg” award on the  Saorsa 1875  for its commitment to sustainability. The 11-room Victorian lodging features vegan dining, upcycled furniture, eco cleaning products and runs on renewable energy. Sandra McLaren-Stewart and her son Jack head the Scottish getaway. “We wanted to create a space where everybody— vegans  and otherwise—can come together to celebrate the incredible innovation and diversity that we’re seeing across the movement,” Sandra said. “This isn’t about abstinence or sacrifice, it’s an environment where guests can experience amazing food, drink, and design that doesn’t come at the expense of our fellow animals.” Related: Hong Kong welcomes Veda, the first vegetarian restaurant inside upscale hotel Ovolo The Saorsa resides in Highland Perthshire in central  Scotland . Rich in culture and history, this area boasts gorgeous landscapes. Scottish monarchs used to soak up the beauty of the green hills and rivers from their Perthshire residence, Scone Palace. The vegan hotel sits nestled within two acres of woodlands and overlooks the town of Pitlochry. The 11 rooms of the 19th-century baronial house feature individual styles, antique furnishings and luxury linens. Each room’s name comes from a different local animal , such as the golden eagle, water vole and lynx. One is even named after the very Scottish-sounding western capercaillie, known to Americans as the wood grouse. A lot of attention goes into the Saorsa’s dining. Australian chef Deborah Fleck changes the menu daily and cooks five-course set meals featuring local organic produce, some from on-site  gardens . Meals are served communally, with guests encouraged to share stories and get to know one another. With carbon offset in mind, the Saorsa contracts with Green Earth Appeal to plant a tree for every dinner served. Faodail, the hotel  bar , mixes up innovative cocktails. Guests can try the ginger laddie, a combination of Bruichladdich classic laddie, Port Charlotte, Oloroso sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters. The auld pal features Copper Dog whisky, Cointreau, sweet vermouth, strawberries and verbena. The hotel offers some fun weekend packages planned for Christmas and Hogmanay — New Year’s Eve to Americans. The three-night  Christmas  weekend starts with a champagne cocktail welcome reception and includes special meals, a Christmas film, guided walk and cocktail master class. The four-night Hogmanay extravaganza begins on December 30th and features similar activities, plus a street party in Pitlochry, afternoon tea and a New Year countdown. Groups can take over all 11 rooms of the Saorsa for special events. Corporate getaways, wedding receptions, family gatherings and  yoga  retreats will all enjoy the Saorsa’s combination of Victorian elegance and luxurious modern amenities. + Saorsa 1875 Via VegNews Images via Saorsa 1875

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Good, Better, Best: Vegetarian Protein

October 22, 2020 by  
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Becoming vegan is one of the most impactful things an … The post Good, Better, Best: Vegetarian Protein appeared first on Earth 911.

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Quiz #89: Recycling Everyday Things Challenge

October 22, 2020 by  
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You’ll find unused stuff everywhere in the house, in drawers, … The post Quiz #89: Recycling Everyday Things Challenge appeared first on Earth 911.

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Quiz #89: Recycling Everyday Things Challenge

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