Collective purchasing will save your business money on all areas of consumable supply.

October is National Cholesterol Month!

This month is dedicated to raising awareness of cholesterol and funds to enable Heart UK to carry out their life-saving work.

This year you can help to make National Cholesterol Month 2019 their biggest ever campaign. by getting involved in their Great Cholesterol Climb.

The Great Cholesterol Climb is their flagship fundraising initiative this year and anyone can join in.  It’s your chance to have fun and get fit whilst raising money to support the national fight against high cholesterol! They are challenging you, to take on their virtual challenge and climb a whopping 13,177 steps UP. This is the equivalent of climbing ten of Britain’s tallest buildings!

But don’t worry – if this target is a little too steep; you can take it on as a team or just choose which of the buildings you want to take on. The fundraising target is £150 and they are there to provide moral support to help you reach that target with ease. To find out more and request a fundraising pack email fundraising@heartuk.org.uk

What is Cholesterol

Cholesterol plays a vital role in how your body works. There is cholesterol in every cell in your body, and it’s especially important in your brain, nerves and skin.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is made in the liver. It’s found in some foods too. We all need some cholesterol in our bodies just to keep us ticking over but having too much can clog up your arteries and lead to health problems in the future.

By getting a simple cholesterol test and making positive lifestyle changes, most people can keep their cholesterol levels healthy.

Cholesterol has three main jobs:

  • It’s part of the outer layer, or membrane, of all your body’s cells
  • It’s used to make vitamin D and steroid hormones which keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy
  • It’s used to make bile, which helps to digest the fats you eat

High cholesterol is very common, but most people don’t know they have it. This is why everyone should have a cholesterol check. 

High Cholesterol

If your cholesterol is raised, there are treatments available if you need them. But it’s usually possible to lower cholesterol naturally with healthy lifestyle changes.

What does high cholesterol mean?

Anyone can have high cholesterol, even if you are young, slim, eat well and exercise. That’s because high cholesterol can be caused by different things.

High levels of cholesterol in your blood can clog up your arteries. Over time, this can lead to serious problems. If clogged, blood cannot flow around the arteries as easily. This increases the risk of problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Many people believe that high cholesterol is due to poor diet and lifestyle. Whilst this can be the case, people who are slim and healthy can also have high cholesterol; it can be genetic!

However, living a healthy lifestyle can keep your cholesterol levels at the recommended level. Not only that but can reduce other risks such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Cutting down on saturated foods, smoking and alcohol will all have a positive effect on your blood and heart health!

Mediterranean diet

Basing your diet on the foods people eat in the Mediterranean is a great way to look after your heart.

We have known for some time that people living in countries along the Mediterranean appear to have less heart disease than people living in the UK and northern Europe.

Health professionals now believe that this may be partly due to the foods that make up the traditional Mediterranean way of eating.

The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods. This is now seen as a good way of eating – both for a healthy heart and for general well-being.

Why is a Mediterranean diet good for you?

  • Much less of the fat comes from saturated sources like butter, fatty meats, pastry or dairy fat.
  • It’s rich in monounsaturated fats which are heart healthy, such as olive oil and nuts.
  • It’s a good source of omega 3 fatty acids from seafood, especially oily fish which are good for your heart health too.
  • rich in potassium, which comes from wholegrain cereals, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
  • It’s rich in fibre including soluble fibre from wholegrain cereals, vegetables, fruit, beans and peas.
  • rich in antioxidants including vitamins E and C, carotenoids and flavonoids. rich in B vitamins including folic acid.
Love British Food

British Food

British food has long been associated with quality and trust; but with the option for cheaper imported goods, many consumers are choosing these inexpensive, more convenient products. 51% of people in the UK said they would buy British even if it meant having less choice of products available to them. However the global average for buying local is way above this, at 63%. Us Brits are at the bottom of the chart for wanting to buy local produce.

With Brexit looming over us and the weakened sterling, imported product prices are on the increase; as a result it may become cheaper and more cost effective to buy local.

Emotional Connection

Cost and convenience continues to dominate consumers purchasing decisions. Price is a big selling point and so British brands are trying to create an emotional connection between their products and the public to increase sales.

For example, Dairy Crests Country Life butter has a union jack on its
packaging; this highlights to the public where it is from, sparking an
emotional connection. All the milk for their butters and spreads, come
from British farms. The public in the UK like to support their farmers and
so by buying this product, they feel like they are doing just that.

Country Range
Country life butter

Another example of a British brand focusing on its local roots and encouraging an emotional connection from its customers is Tyrell’s.

‘We’re still based on the same Herefordshire farm we began life on, and employ the same dedicated team of cracking crispaholics. So if it’s locally sourced British excellence you’re after, you need look no further.’ Read more here about what Tyrell’s do differently to make them so British.

Why should we buy British?

Choosing British means we are supporting British farmers and above all, we keep our countryside how we know and love. Think of it this way, no farmers, means no animals out in the countryside, meaning no countryside for us to enjoy!

Also supporting British food producer’s helps with the local economy and creates a smaller carbon footprint as the food does not need to travel as far. Eating food produced locally means eating seasonably, which is nutritionally better for you.

What is ‘eating seasonally’?

Fruit and Veg
Eating fresh and in season

The concept of eating seasonally involves eating foods that are grown locally at the same time as you eat them.
Out of season fruit and veg can spend days and weeks travelling to get
to you and this comes with a price. Either they’re picked earlier than
they should be so that they are ready on arrival, or they spoil a little on
the way. Seasonal produce comes such a short distance that it doesn’t spoil on the way to you. It’s harvested at the very best time, therefore the taste
is maximised.

For the same reason seasonal fruit and veg tastes better, it is also
healthier. It’s no surprise that being locked in cargo holds and shipping
containers for days in order to reach us, does nothing for the nutritional
content of the food. In fact, in many cases it is detrimental.

As a rule of thumb; the fresher the better, and you can’t get much fresher than eating seasonally-grown local produce!

British Food Fortnight

LBF
Love British

British Food Fortnight held every September is a great way for us Brits to celebrate all the diverse and delicious local produce available in the UK! Now in its 18th year and organised by Love British Food, it encourages everyone across the country to use the high quality food produced in the UK. This year the dates are 21st September – 6th October.

This year Love British Food is focusing the 2019 campaign on catering in the public sector, with the aim for British food to be the first choice when it comes to catering in care homes.

Top Tips British Food Fortnight 2019

If you are already sourcing British produce then shout it from the roof tops, not only this fortnight but make it an addition to your menu! This could become a unique selling point for your establishment. Customers like to know where their food has come from and if the food they are eating is local, they may be willing to pay more. As well as British dishes, consider showcasing local dishes from your region. For some inspiration, check out this top ten list of regional dishes in the UK. Another way of getting involved is to offer tastings and samples of your British dishes. This will encourage customers to try something new and in turn hopefully create return business.

Menu
Update your menu to show where your produce comes from

If you are not yet sourcing British food, why not send your suppliers a copy of the menu and ask them if they can supply British ingredients. Use British Food Fortnight to see how popular dishes are or produce a special dish going forward that uses locally sourced ingredients.

Perfect Picnic Foods

Have a Picnic to remember this Summer Bank Holiday!

picnic week

This month we have the summer bank holiday; the last bank holiday until Christmas in England. It’s a perfect opportunity to get your blankets and baskets out of the cupboards and get outside for a picnic. (Or if the British weather isn’t playing ball why not have an indoor one?)

Whether you opt for traditional picnic food or if you prefer something edgier here are ten ideas to create the perfect hamper of treats.

1 – Sandwich

No picnic is complete without a good ol’ sarnie. Whether you go for a classic sandwich or go for a bread less lettuce wrap, there are so many ideas out there. Here are just a few.

Picnic week

 

2 – Greek Salad

Healthy, quick and easily portable – a classic Greek salad makes an ideal packed lunch. Use the ripest tomatoes, Greek olive oil, beautiful olives, creamy feta and lovely herbs, perfect!

Picnic week

 

3 – Sausage Roll

Sausage rolls are infamous in Britain, making appearances at most parties, buffets and picnics. Follow this recipe for the perfect homemade pastry treat.

Picnic 3

4 –  Summer Pasta Salad

Step away from the traditional tomato and herb pasta salad and try this Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad. Adding chopped broccoli, grapes, pecans, and bacon to cooked pasta and tossing with a sweet and creamy mayonnaise dressing makes a delicious alternative.

Picnic week

5 – Chicken Drumsticks

Eat these affordable and tasty dishes the right way…with your hands! With so many options of spices and marinades available on the market you can make several to choose from to make a perfect picnic selection. Check this list out for 25 ideas!

Picnic Week

6 – Strawberry Salsa stuffed Avocado

Try this refreshing summer recipe with a difference. Cool and creamy avocado halves stuffed with a fresh and summery strawberry salsa!

Picnic Week

7 – Crisps

It wouldn’t be a picnic without a packet of crisps. These snacks are available in so many flavours, the only decision you need to make is which one to go for. My personal fave are the veg crisps, using parsnip, beetroot and sweet potato instead of white potato, making a great summer alternative.

Picnic Week

8 – Scones and Clotted Cream

This British favourite makes a great addition to any picnic. Easy, tasty and traditional; the only problem you may encounter is disagreeing about whether the cream goes on first or if it is the jam. (Definitely cream on first!!!)

Picnic week

9 – Melon Pizza

If you want to keep your picnic healthy but still exciting, why not try this watermelon pizza. Refreshing, healthy and fun, this is an ideal picnic treat that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Picnic Week

10 – Lemonade

Finally, what’s a picnic without a fresh drink to keep you hydrated? Sure you can go for water, but what says summer more than some refreshing homemade lemonade. Find the perfect Lemonade recipe here.

Picnic Week

 

 

Whatever you have in your picnic, we hope you enjoy the long weekend.

Coffee morning

Fancy making your coffee mornings just that little bit more exciting?

We have recipes and games all to make your coffee mornings a little more interesting, why not add raising money for charity into the morning and you will feel less guilt for eating the cakes!!!

 

Recipes

No Coffee Morning would be complete without some sweet treats to tempt your guests with. Sure, you can make a Victoria sponge or chocolate brownies; but why not opt for something more adventurous with one of these mouth watering delights? With Great British Bake Off back on our screens, it’s the perfect excuse to crack out the cake tins and try something new!

Chocolate & orange fudge squares 

Chocolate & orange fudge squares

Raspberry & Almond tray bake

Raspberry & almond traybake

Three Layer Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake

Three Layer Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Cake www.pineappleandcoconut.com

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Deliciously sweet and light Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake. Tangy cream cheese frosting gives each bite a sweet touch!

 

Add a twist

Bingo night

Eyes down! Have a bingo night instead of a Coffee Morning. (Or combine the two!) With over three million people regularly playing bingo in the UK, you’re sure to get a full house.

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Office Olympics

Add a little excitement to your workplace Coffee Morning. Try your hand at speed typing, synchronised chair swivelling or fast letter franking. Who will be your Office Olympics Champion?

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Wine tasting evening

One for the adults! Unleash the wine critic within by holding a wine tasting instead of a traditional Coffee Morning. You could draft in a local wine expert to help train your taste buds. Ask for a cheeky little donation from the tasters.

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Book sale

Have your colleagues, friends or family contribute their old paperbacks and hold a book sale at your Coffee Morning. Who knew all those old holiday page turners and unread classics gathering dust on your shelves could turn into cold hard cash?

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Raffles

Everyone loves a good ol’ raffle or even a traditional tombola. Whatever you decide to do, get people to donate to the prize fund by bringing in any unwanted gifts they may have at home. Then you can raise extra money on the day by selling raffle tickets. It’s win win!

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Who you gonna call?

Collective Purchasing – Your one stop shop for all your furniture and Equipment needs.

Our dedicated furniture and equipment department can supply competitive prices for anything from towels and bed linen to care equipment and beds.

Desperately need a new toaster? Can’t handle the heatwave and want a fan? Have a need for a new bed? Or maybe your garden furniture needs an upgrade? Who you going to call? Collective Purchasing!

Our dedicated furniture and equipment department can supply competitive prices for anything from towels and bed linen to care equipment and beds.

Make us your first stop – Whether you know the exact make and model you are after or need greater assistance on what to choose, we will give a no obligation quote on any item.

We work with a number of suppliers to bring you the best quality items for your businesses.

Our prices are competitive with a huge range of available suppliers to choose from.

Find out what else we can offer here.  We can save you money on all your daily consumables including housekeeping. Check out our focus on housekeeping here – Still not sure? Read why you should look into using a buying consortium.

 

Give us a call on 01329 236821 to have a chat and let us know what it is you need!

Get outside more!

Getting outside can make us healthier!

Most of us spend the majority of our time inside, sat under fluorescent lights and staring at computers or televisions. Even when we do go outside we are on our phones.

Yes in the Summer months we do spend more time outside; heading to the beach, having barbeques and doing some gardening. But too much time inside isn’t good for us and getting outside isn’t just about beaches and barbeques. Science shows that spending time in the great outdoors can actually make you healthier.

 

There are many benefits to being outside, which you can find here. 

Here are our top 3;

It has a de-stressing effect

It has been proven that being outdoors has the ability to change the levels of the stress inducing hormone cortisol present in the human body. One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol than those who spent that time in the city.  Even those working in offices with a window overlooking nature had lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction.

Spending time outside reduces inflammation

Increased levels of inflammation can create many problems for the body. Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep it in check. In one study elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the time spent in the great outdoors had a positive effect on their hypertension.

Spending time outside lowers blood pressure

So if being outside has a de-stressing effect and can help reduce inflammation, it’s no surprise that outdoor time can also lower blood pressure. One intensive study of 280 participants in Japan found that along with lowering the levels of the stress hormone by more than 15 percent, a walk in the forest lowered average pulse by almost 4 percent and blood pressure by just over 2 percent.

The Elderly outside

The studies above talk of spending time in the forest, but we know it can be difficult for some people to even get outside, let alone go for a walk in the forest. Plus the Great British weather often means the chances of getting outside can be limited. So below we have some tips on how you can bring the benefits of the great outdoors to them. Whether it be an elderly person in your care or a family member. These ideas could have a positive effect on their lives.

Sit by an open window

If someone is house bound, try sitting them near an open window. As mentioned above, people who were able to look at nature from a window, had lower levels of cortisol. You could put a bird feeder nearby and they could do a spot of bird watching; all from the comfort of their home. A cosy seating area like below would a perfect spot for de-stressing.

window overlooking outdoors

Smell the roses

Science shows that you really should stop and smell the roses, as the smell of them promotes relaxation. Other flowers, like lavender and jasmine, can also lower anxiety and up your mood. Bring the flowers inside by creating beautiful bouquets of stress busting flowers for the house.

Image result for lavender roses and jasmine

Short walks outdoors

Getting outside doesn’t have to involve a mammoth hike in the forest, it could simply be a walk in the garden, a walk to the local village or even just popping to the post box down the road.  Short walks outside will still have a positive impact on the individual. Even if a wheelchair is needed, the benefits of getting outside are sure to be felt.

Residents outdoors

Grandkids

Everyone loves to think they are young at heart! So why not get the grandkids over to play. You don’t have to play chase or run after them. Seeing the joy of them playing in the garden, whilst you sit and watch is enough to boost the happy endorphins in our body.

 

Do you have any tips on how to make use of the great outdoors at home? Let us know! @collectivePurch

 

What is a buying consortium?

Top reasons we hear from people who think they don’t need us!

I have it all under control!

Doesn’t it make more business sense to focus all your attention on improving and growing your business, rather than wondering if milk from one supplier is cheaper than another? The world is constantly changing and you have to be focused to keep up. Businesses like you can open up a world of opportunities by being exposed to ideas and free help from people on the outside in the form of purchasing consortiums. We have a unique perspective on the markets that you may not have time to devote energy to. We have the relationships with the suppliers and have the time to make sure you are getting the best prices. This is our job after all!

adult, Analogue, break

I am very persuasive so I don’t need any help.

Being a tough negotiator is definitely a benefit. But no matter how tough and persuasive you are, it is difficult to improve your negotiating position if your company isn’t buying enough of a certain product or understands fully what product will work best. By joining us, you have the buying power of millions in all areas of supply. From dairy, grocery and frozen to furniture, care products and housekeeping. You are going to be accessing prices that maybe you could have only dreamed of. We on average save members 15% a year! Think what you could spend that on!

buy, cash, coins

We are a large organisation; we have a huge influence when it comes to our prices.

Yes, large companies can have influence on suppliers. However it really only occurs in the areas where they are buying a lot of products or have a deep understanding of the product they are buying. Someone running a tea shop knows all about tea, cake and all other yummy things. But, do they know where to get the best price for the cleaning products, toilet rolls or even the paper used in the office? This is where we can help. We have a team experienced in a wide range of daily consumables as well as items that may be a one-off purchase. We have access to many suppliers, to make sure you are getting the best prices for all your supplies!

Free stock photo of glass, architecture, rich, high-rise

How difficult can buying be, anyway?

Milk is milk, and paper is paper isn’t it? Nope! All products have different variations. We will never offer a product that is lower quality that you are used to but, we can offer suggestions for alternatives that you may never have thought about. We have over 22 years’ experience in this industry and we are truly experts in getting the best prices for our members. You also have the added benefit of accessing our furniture and equipment department. Microwave broken? Need a fridge? We can source any item you need at great prices.

Man Wearing Black Apron Near Two Silver Metal Cooking Pot

I don’t want to lose control of my spending.

Simple answer? You won’t! You are in complete control of your spending. We just facilitate getting best prices for you! You do the ordering, you control when deliveries are, you are given the choice of suppliers, in fact, the only difference you will notice is more money in your account! We also offer a service to monitor what you are spending on products, branded vs none branded and you can compare it month on month. We can also deal with any service issues on your behalf. As a member, you get given an account manager who you can contact with any problems.

Person Holding Black and Grey Pen

 

Ok so how do I become a member?

Simple, email sales@collectivepurchasing.co.uk or call the office on 01329 236821 and we will tell you how we can help.

Focus on Housekeeping

Find out why Collective Purchasing is the right choice for your housekeeping needs and how we can reduce your costs by 15% to 30%.

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The right supplier and product choice for you

Collective Purchasing have access to and knowledge of hundreds of different housekeeping products through long term relationships with a high number of trusted suppliers.

With Collective Purchasing you:

  • Have access to branded products at a lower cost
  • Can choose from a wide range of quality own brand products
  • Have access to direct purchase deals with manufacturers which seriously reduce prices even further
  • Can buy exceptional brands such as Diversey, Unilever, Ecolab and Proctor and Gamble at a much lower price. All these brands perform well but if you are buying outside of Collective Purchasing you will be paying too much!
  • Will be able to capture your spending on One-Vision – our in-house developed software – meaning you can monitor the number of products purchased throughout the year.
  • Have the ability to monitor your cost in use – The crucial calculation that measures your exact costs.

Products

With so many housekeeping products being purchased there are always savings to be made!

Image result for cleaning products

  • How old are your Dispensers? – More than three years old and you likely need an upgrade. Our wide range not only does a great job but look good too. They are also free on loan subject to contract.
  • Paper products – toilet rolls, kitchen roll and blue roll priced too high can mean you are literally flushing money down the drain. Paper is a high cost for homes, ensuring the right price without lowering quality can help make sure there is less wastage.
  • Laundry – washing machines and dryers are being used hours upon hours in homes every day. There are so many different detergents and auto dosing equipment on the market that there is no reason why every laundry shouldn’t achieve a fresh clean wash, no matter what resident type. We are able to bring you this choice, which otherwise could be limited.
  • Chemicals for multi surfaces, floor, kitchen, bathrooms and so on must have the ability to control infection. We are able to source the best products for your needs at the best price.

Free housekeeping review

Ask us for a free housekeeping review today. We will review your housekeeping costs and provide you with a detailed report recommending how you can improve your cleaning regime, reduce cost and manage your budget more effectively – because let’s be honest, we are all looking at ways to save money, and Collective Purchasing can help!

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Call today on 01329 236821

We look forward to hearing from you!

foodie feb

Hello February!

Image result for hello february free

 

If January is the month to detox, then February is the month to eat!

Januaries highlights were Veganury and Dry January. Whereas in February we have Pancake day, Valentine’s day, Chinese New Year and even British Yorkshire pudding day! Plenty of foodie days to get your teeth into!

Whilst being healthy and not drinking is great, who can turn down a pancake (or three) or a romantic meal for two? Lucky for you we have the perfect ideas for you for this foodie month.

Yorkshire Pudding Day – 3rd February

The first Sunday in February has been given the fond title of British Yorkshire Pudding Day.

The Yorkshire pudding was traditionally made in a large tin, rather than the individual puddings that we are familiar with today. Often it was served before the main meal – which helped to fill hungry mouths so less meat needed to be served – particularly during hard times! The main ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding batter are, Eggs, Milk and Plain Flour; using lard instead of oil usually makes them tastier. They make a perfect accompaniment to everyone’s fave dish – The Sunday Roast!

 

Delicious homemade yorkshire pudding as seen close up and browned at its edges

Want to celebrate Yorkshire pudding day, in a different way? Check out these deliciously different recipes.

Cooking Yorkshire Puddings:
When cooking Yorkshire Puddings there are basically five things you have to remember:
1 – Never, ever, use self-raising flour or any kind of raising agent or baking powder; doing so will achieve flat, soggy puddings.
2 – Make sure the batter is of the right consistency, a little thicker than un-whipped double cream, and as smooth as possible.
3 – Make sure you have about 3mm (1/8 inch) of very hot fat in the bottom of the tin, as the fat begins to smoke, add the batter.
4 – Never, ever, open the oven door for the first 10 minutes of cooking time and after that, only enough to have a peek at what’s happening, if you really have to, the aim is to allow the puddings to rise and go brown without them collapsing.
5 – Enjoy them, with a thick gravy.

 

Valentines

The day of love! Valentines is Wednesday 14th February and what better way to someone’s heart, than through their mouths! Start the day with breakfast in bed, make some classy cocktails, cook a romantic meal for your loved one and get in the mood! Orrrrr skip the romanticness and just eat lots of yummy food and chocolate!

box, celebration, chocolates

Chinese New Year

The Chinese animal zodiac, is a repeating cycle of 12 years, with each year being represented by an animal and its reputed attributes. Traditionally these zodiac animals were used to date the years. In order, the 12 animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. Each year is associated with a zodiac animal. 2018 is the year of the Dog. Chinese New Year (CNY) or ‘Spring Festival’ is China’s most important festival and holiday. The next CNY falls on Friday, February 4th, 2018. CNY is celebrated by a quarter of the world! Spring Festival is a major holiday in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and in many of China’s neighbouring countries such as Singapore and South Korea. And it’s celebrated in the world’s many China towns.

appetizer, Asian, asian food

In China, traditions and celebrations vary greatly across the country. In the North, Chinese dumplings are the must-eat food on Chinese New Year’s Eve, but south of the Yangtze River most people eat spring rolls or sticky rice cake.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is called ‘reunion dinner’, and is believed to be the most important meal of the year. Big families of several generations sit around round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Dishes with lucky meanings must be included in the dinner such as fish, dumplings, and spring rolls.

Some Chinese worship their ancestors before the reunion dinner, to show that they are putting their ancestors first.

What to Eat — Top Lucky Foods

Chinese people like eating, and they eat a lot during the Spring Festival. Food for the New Year emphasizes lucky symbolic meanings such as fish, which means ‘surplus’. These foods are served during the 16-day holiday season from the eve of CNY to the Lantern Festival. Click here for the top CNY desserts!

Vegan

Veganism

Veganism is a way of living that seeks to remove all forms of cruelty to animals for food or any other purpose. From accessories and clothing to makeup and bathroom items, animal products and products tested on animals are found in more places than you might expect. However, nowadays there are affordable and easily-sourced alternatives to just about everything. With over 22,000 products and services registered with the Vegan Trademark alone, living a vegan lifestyle has never been easier.

Why Vegan?

For the animals

Preventing the exploitation of animals is not the only reason for choosing this lifestyle, but for many, it remains the key factor in their decision to go vegan and stay vegan. Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.

turkey

For your health

More and more people are turning to a vegan diet for the health benefits: increased energy, younger looking skin and eternal youth are just some of the claims from enthusiastic plant eaters. Well, eternal youth might be a bit optimistic, but there are certainly many scientifically proven benefits to vegan living when compared to the average western diet.

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For the environment

From recycling our household rubbish to cycling to work, we’re all aware of ways to live a greener life. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid all animal products.

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For people

Just like veganism is the sustainable option when it comes to looking after our planet, plant-based living is also a more sustainable way of feeding the human family. A plant-based diet requires only one-third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. Avoiding animal products is not just one of the simplest ways an individual can reduce the strain on food as well as other resources.

Veganuary

Veganuary is a charity inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year. Why not try being vegan for a month whilst discovering a whole new world of taste and flavor. Before you do check out these myths….

So what do vegans eat?

The short answer – lots! – a vegan diet is diverse and includes all kinds of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, beans and pulses – all of which can be prepared in endless combinations that will guarantee you’re never bored. From curry to cake, pasties to pizzas, all your favourite things can be suitable for a vegan diet if they’re made with plant-based ingredients.

Check out these vegan recipes for ideas. We have chosen our two of our favourites from this website with the recipes below!!

Grilled pumpkin and black bean burger

An easy to make burger bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola oil

½ c diced red onion

½ c diced red pepper

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

1-15 oz can organic black beans

1 tsp kosher salt

2 minced chipotle peppers

¼ c fresh corn

3 tbsp pure pumpkin

1 c vegan Breadcrumbs

½ c chopped Pecan

Method

Dice red onion and red pepper and minced garlic.  Heat canola oil over medium heat then add garlic, onion, red pepper and corn and sauté for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place rinsed and dried black beans in a deep bowl.  Using the back of a fork, mash about half the beans and leave half whole.  Then add pumpkin, sautéed vegetable mixture, chipotle peppers, pecans, bread crumbs and cumin. Mix well until all ingredients are combined to desired consistency. Note, if the mixture is too dry you can add a little more pumpkin.  Using hands, form into four large patties and refrigerate.

Heat the grill to a medium-high heat.  Brush grill with canola oil then place the burgers on the grill.  Cook for approx. 3-5 minutes on each side.

Remove and serve immediately on your favourite vegan roll.  Top with avocado spread, freshly roasted tomato, caramelised onion or your favourite burger toppings. Enjoy!

Tips

Other toppings include watercress, chopped slaw, organic pea shoots, serve with sweet potato fries!

Salt and pepper to taste

Berry muffins

These vegan berry muffins are simply divine! They are sweet and full of fresh berries. Serves 12.

Ingredients

160g hard coconut oil

3/4 cup medjool date paste (make it here)

1 tsp ground vanilla beans

2 flax eggs (2 tbs flaxseed meal + 5 tbs warm water)

1 3/4 cup self-raising flour

2/3 cup soy milk

1 cup mixed berries

Method

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and prepare a cupcake tin with 12 medium cupcake wrappers.

In a medium-sized bowl using electric beaters, beat coconut oil until smooth.

Add date paste and beat for 2 minutes or until well combined.

Then add vanilla beans and flax eggs and mix until smooth.

Add flour and soy milk and fold into mixture.

Pour batter into prepared cupcake cases.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Ice if desired, and enjoy!

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