Food Friday: Lavender Lemon Vegan Cheesecake

By Megan Vick

 

This recipe for Lavender Lemon Vegan Cheesecake by Emily von Euw featured One Green Planet looks and sounds delicious! I know what I’ll be doing with my Saturday night! I wonder how it will pair with my Lavender Lemon Lip Balm (shameless plug).

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1.5 cups nuts (soaked walnuts  and almonds)

 

Cheesecake:

  • 3 cups cashews (soaked 3-4 hours)
  • 3/4 cups lemon juice
  • 2/3 cups agave or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-3 tsp dried lavender (depending on how much you like lavender)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract OR seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod

 

Preparation:

Crust:

  1. Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap
  2. Process dates and nuts together until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake ban. Do so. Set in fridge.

 

Cheesecake:

  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy
  2. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in freezer or fridge until it has desired hardness (probably 3-5 hours or overnight)
  3. Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favorite plate
  4. Slice and enjoy

 

We cannot wait to try this cheesecake! Here’s Emily’s Rawsome Vegan Baking cookbook for you to check out too!

Product Feature: Soy Candles

By Megan Vick

 

Another week has passed by again and as we approach the holiday season, it’s time to start thinking about scenting your home for any guests you might have! Soy candles have grown in popularity over the last few years because soy wax burns cleaner than traditional candles. We’ve taken the clean-burning candle a step further and added cotton wicks to our candles. Since traditional candles are made from paraffin wax – a petroleum byproduct – it’s not difficult to see that these candles would cause a host of problems. On top of that, many fragrances for candles are synthetic and can cause headaches and other issues for those with sensitivities.

 

When we set out to “build a better mouse trap,” we knew we had to offer the cleanest burning, best smelling candles on the block. With cotton wicks and GMO-free soy wax, we’ve done just that. You can choose from 16 different scents for every season and every holiday throughout the year. Our fragrances are botanically derived to diffuse into the air, but still remain true to the natural material from which they came.

 

Our soy candles also come packaged in durable travel tins with lids. They are simple, unobtrusive, and easily gift-able for birthdays and the winter holidays!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

The Truth About Anti-Aging

By Megan Vick

 

Owning a business in the cosmetics industry has been an eye-opening experience. One thing that is so prevalent in the industry is the phrase “anti-aging.”  It’s almost a guarantee that you’ve heard it, seen it, or read it on packaging, but that phrase is a misnomer.  You might even use these products, but they are not anti-aging products. This is because anti-aging products don’t exist!

 

No one is immune to aging. No one can reverse the signs or effects – no matter what those commercials say. Here’s the truth: The only thing you should look for in a cosmetic product as you get older is the phrase, “reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” That’s the truth about anti-aging.

 

We are all getting older everyday and the best thing you can is take care of yourself by eating well, exercising, and protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.

 

Growing Old Quote

Vegan Desserts on the OBX

By Megan Vick

I interviewed Sara, vegan, mom, and owner-extraordinaire of Kind Confections, a vegan cupcake business on the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. EVERYBODY needs to try her cupcakes because they are all delicious. The Peanut Butter Cupcakes are indescribably yummy.

Vegan Cupcakes - Kind Confections

Would you believe these are 100% vegan! YUM! (Photo courtesy of Kind Confections)

How did Kind Confections begin? 
Kind Confections: KC was born from my desire to help show people there a kinder way to eat. When people think about Vegan, some assume it’s not a very tasty lifestyle. I want to change that stigma. I want to show people Vegan desserts are just as delicious as traditionally made desserts, if not better!

 

Desserts are usually thought of as tasty, but unhealthy. How are you trying to change that?

KC: A dessert is a dessert no matter how you slice it. We like to say if you’re going to treat yourself to a dessert, a vegan dessert is the way to do it! Our vegan desserts still have calories and sugar, but the reason we can say our desserts are more healthy than a traditionally made dessert are because of the ingredients we use. We use many organic, non-GMO, non-hydrogenated, fresh, pure, and natural ingredients. We also never use any animal products, (This makes them cruelty free and cholesterol free!), no artificial colors, or chemical food dyes either. People ask us why we only bake in “mini” sized, we feel like a small cupcake is the perfect size for a treat! (Even if you end up having 2!) It keeps things balanced and in line with healthy portion sizes.

 

What other vegan establishments would you recommend on the Outer Banks?
KC: Of course we highly recommend Zen Pops! They are the most amazing cool treats we’ve eaten, and believe us we’ve tried a LOT! We love Bad Bean for their tofu tacos and we’ve found most restaurants here on the beach will gladly work with you. This is a question we get asked a lot, we are currently in the process of adding a web page to our site with our recommendations. Stay tuned for that!

 

Any other favorite vegan/healthy brands (clothing, personal care, shoes, etc)?
KC: We definitely wouldn’t say this if we didn’t mean it but, we love Shorganics! All of the products are amazing and safe and Vegan! We are HUGE Shorganics lip balm lovers, HUGE.

 

What is the overall philosophy of your business?
KC: As I mentioned above, we just want to break down the misconception that vegan = yucky, weird, not delicious, etc. If we can show you that vegan desserts are delicious perhaps minds will be open to trying other vegan fare. Or even vegetarian, or even just doing a Meatless Monday every week. We know living a vegan lifestyle is not for everybody, but every day we are all faced with choices to make that effect our planet and the beings that live on it. If we can all make a kinder choice here and there it will all add up and really make a big difference!

 

 

Where can we find your delicious treats?
KC: At the Zen Pop shop! You can also scope the Kind Confections website for other locations and you can always order directly from us all year round.

 

Any upcoming plans?
Stay tuned to our website and LIKE our Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter to keep up with all Kind Confection news and upcoming plans!  We also have a Pinterest, we Pin every day!

Shorganics’ All-Season Gift Guide!

Christmas • Kwanzaa • Hanukkah • Eid • Rohatsu • Yule • Valentine’s • Mother’s Day • Father’s Day • Grandparents Day • Wedding/Anniversary • Wedding Favors • Birthdays • Sympathy • Just Because

 

If you’ve been looking for some great gift ideas, look no further. We’ve compiled a big list of products which can be gifted all year! Whether it’s a birthday, Valentine’s holiday, or just because, we’ve found a gift for you to give! We’ll keep updating the page as we find more great gifts!

 

Cooking/Drinking

Crate & Barrel 10 Piece Glass Nesting Bowls

10pc Nesting Bowls

 

We love Crate & Barrel for a number of reasons, but mostly it’s because you can get such great glass cookware! These awesome glass nesting bowls are perfect for the baker in your life and they are such a space saver. Not to mention, they are both dishwasher and microwave safe.

 

 

Crate & Barrel Glass Storage Containers

Again, Crate & Barrel has amazing prices on glassware. These storage containers are amazing because (as the website describes) they can go from oven to table to freezer. That’s handy! Now you don’t have to do the extra dishes of washing the cookware and washing the containers from the freezer. These containers come with silicone lids and are dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe (up to 425 degrees F).

 

Crate & Barrel Weck Canning Jars

These canning jars are amazing. Because they are gently tapered, the shape is easier to fill and to clean. Glass lids remove the risk of rust and also provide an easy way to ensure the sealing gasket is working and intact. Here’s the best part: microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe- and stackable!

 

Wine of the Month

While “of the month” clubs may not be popular with everyone, what wine lover wouldn’t love this gift!? Each month, the recipient gets a surprise by getting a bottle of organic, vegan wine! Worried about the taste? Don’t be. It’s not hard to veganize wine and organic grapes taste infinitely better than conventionally grown grapes. It’s a win-win for everyone!

 

Dharma Glass Straw

Glass straw

 

You might be thinking that a glass straw is a weird gift to give, but if you know a smoothie or juice lover, this is the perfect gift! Straws, typically, are made of plastic and are disposed of after one use. Glass straws are eco-friendly because they can be washed and used again and again!

 

 

 

Eco-Water Bottles

As the need for fresh, accessible water increases worldwide, more people are switching to reusable bottles and bottles with filters to get away from the disposable plastic bottles. We’ve picked out top three bottles and they all make great gifts!

 

Klean Kanteen: Our friends at Discount Filter Store have these for a great price. Made of stainless steel and BPA free plastic, the Klean Kanteen can be used over and over again. It’s also dishwasher safe for the easiest cleaning you can find.

Vapur Snowflake

 

Vapur: The Anti-Bottle: The Vapur bottle is about the coolest water-related product out there. It’s a “flexible, reusable, hand-held hydration product.” Made in the USA of BPA-free plastic, this anti-bottle is durable, freezable, and dishwasher safe. Anyone who carries a water bottle around will love this!

 

Bobble: The Bobble is a neat twist on a reusable filtered water bottle. With a cute, curvy design, and multiple color accents to choose from, this bottle is for the stylish water lovers. It’s also a great price, with the largest size bobble (34oz) coming in at just $12.99.

 

For the Home

Shorganics

Shorganics

 

Did you really think we would create this amazing gift guide and not toot our horns? You know us, you love us, so gift our soy candles and reed diffusers to those special people in your life. With a variety of scents, we’ve got what you need for your friends, family, and coworkers.

 

 

Coyuchi

Coyuchi is a bed, bath, and home company specializing in organic goodies. They have everything you’d love to give including organic sheets, towels, robes and pajamas, and nursery linens for the baby. Whether you’re going to a wedding, baby shower, or just treating yourself, we know you’ll fall in love with Coyuchi!

 

Gaiam

Gaiam is the go-to for organic and eco-friendly products for the home. They have everything from organic bedding collections to eco-friendly laundry products to organic cotton yoga wear to a table top water distiller. Most of your eco-friendly shopping could easily be completed at Gaiam!

 

Clothing/Accessories

Vaute CoutureVC Vegan Coat

Our friends over at Vaute Couture are inspiring. With a line of shirts and coats which are completely cruelty free, you can feel great being fashionable.  All clothing items are produced using no animal products and no sweatshops. Many items are also produced in America. Vaute has developed a cult following and several items have been featured on TV and are frequently worn by celebrities.

 

The Vegan Collection

The Vegan Collection has everything you need from wallets to belts to clothing. Our favorite part about The Vegan Collection is the great belts they have for men. Not to mention 25% of all profits are donated to animal advocacy organizations. What’s not to love!

 

Vegan Chic

We love Vegan Chic because they are a great 1 stop shop for vegan shoes and handbags. They do the work for you when searching for shoes and each pair is guaranteed to be free of wool, silk, leather, and suede. This may seem extreme to you, but there are many alternatives when creating shoes, so you’ll see brands you recognize on this website. See, veganism isn’t too scary.

 

Alternative Outfitters

Alternative Outfitters is a cool vegan boutique in Pasadena, CA (outside of LA). They have quite a range of product s for guys and girls as well as gift cards. They work extremely hard to ensure every product is cruelty free and manufactured under fair labor conditions. They’re open to questions, so don’t hesitate to contact them!

 

The Ethical Man

The name says it all. The Ethical Man is a men’s online store featuring fashion and grooming items that are of the highest quality. Everything they sell is vegan, manly, and eco-friendly.  They even have a style tips section as well as a section featuring real-life ethical men. If you’re looking for the vegan man in your life, stop by this store!

 

Donation/Adoption Gifts

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a well-known animal conservation organization. They have programs for dozens of species for you to choose. You can symbolically adopt an animal and based on your adoption amount, you get a gift like an adoption certificate or a small stuffed animal. If you think the recipient would like a simple donation in his or her name, you can choose to maximize your donation by not receiving a gift in return. Whichever you choose, you’re giving a great gift to people and to animals.

 

Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd is a marine conservation organization most known for the hit TV show Whale Wars. Not only do they work to end whale killing initiatives in Japan and the Faeroe Islands, but they also have volunteers working globally to protect seals from slaughter in Canada, and the killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan (setting of the documentary The Cove). With many more projects to help the animals, Sea Shepherd has a plethora of ways to donate.

 

Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary's BenFarm Sanctuary is a great organization which rescues farm animals (cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens) from horrible conditions at factory farms and gives them freedom to roam on acres of grass, roll in soft hay, and bask in sunshine. With two locations (one in California and one in upstate New York), donations are always appreciated to take care of animals many people know as food.

 

Because there are hundreds of organizations for the protection of animals, check out a large list here. Of course, just because we’ve listed animal organizations doesn’t mean other non-profits wouldn’t make our list! Donating is a great gift, so choose an organization that is near and dear to your heart.

 

Miscellaneous

VegNews Magazine Subscription

If you have a vegetarian or vegan in your life, VegNews Magazine makes a great gift. It’s got great news, information, products, and reviews for this specific community and at $20 for a year subscription, you can’t go wrong. To be even more eco-friendly, give the gift of a digital subscription sent right to someone’s inbox! Just be sure to let them know first so they don’t think it’s spam!

 

Seeds of LifeSoL Magnolia Tree

Seeds of Life is a unique company specializing in sending seedlings or trees as gifts. Whether you want to give tree seedlings as gifts for wedding or corporate favors, or you’d like to send a commemorative tree in honor of someone who has passed, Seeds of Life has some truly original ideas. We’re big fans of the Enduring Oak Tree or Olive Tree as a gift for a housewarming, wedding, or anniversary!

 

Kitty Grass

You might be thinking this is the weirdest gift on the list, but if you know a cat lover, think again. This organic cat grass from the Humane Society is excellent for pet owners (dogs eat grass too)! It helps with their digestion. Instead of Fluffy eating pesticide-laden grass from outside, bring the outside indoors. This also makes a great gift ideas because many cats enjoy nibbling on house plants, which often times are toxic!