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Have you hit the January food slump yet? You're trying to be a little healthier, but all the leftover sweeties and junk is calling your name from the Christmas press, while you desperately avoid your wilting lettuce in the bottom of the fridge.

Never fear, foodie! We've rounded up our favourite soup recipes from BOSH to give you some wholesome vegan veggie inspo for your lunch times! From twists on classic recipes to new vegan staples, there's a wintery, warming soup for every taste palette. Have a scroll and let us know which one you make! (If it's not the Indian spiced tomato, what are you doing with your life?)

Vegan ‘Chicken’ Soup

Plate with delicious vichyssoise cream soup served on table with blue tablecloth

A classic. Hearty, warming and delicious, this vegan take on a winter staple delivers all the flavour and warmth of the winter kitchen staple.

Ingredients

2tbsp olive oil

2 white onions

3 carrots

4 sticks celery

2 cloves garlic

6 sprigs thyme

600g king oyster mushrooms

100ml dairy free yoghurt

2tbsp nutritional yeast

1 bay leaf

1 litre low sodium vegetable stock

½ lemon (unwaxed)

100g kale

10g parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut the caps off the mushrooms and cut into fine slices. Pull rough strips off the stems (the strips will resemble shredded chicken) and set to one side.

Peel, trim and halve the onions. Peel, trim and roughly chop the carrot. Trim and roughly chop the celery. Put all carrot, onion and celery in the food processor and pulse until diced. Peel and grate the garlic. Strip the thyme leaves off the stalks. Prepare the stock. De-stalk and shred the kale. Pick the parsley leaves and roughly chop.

Warm the olive oil in a stock pot over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt to the pan and stir for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan and stir for 1 minute. Add the chicken (shredded mushrooms) and chicken seasoning to the pan and stir for 6-7 minutes. Add the dairy free yoghurt and nutritional yeast to the pan and stir for 1 minute to combine. Add the bay leaf and stock to the pan and stir to combine. Turn the heat up and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Add the kale to the pan and stir into the soup. Squeeze the lemon into the pan, catching any pips in your spare hand. Leave the soup to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the parsley leaves (keeping a few aside for garnish) to the pan and stir to combine. Taste the soup and season to perfection with salt and lots of pepper.

 

Indian spiced tomato soup

bowl of thick soup on plate

The perfect pick for the chilly weather we’re experiencing right now! The lush spices will warm you up and the tomatoes ensure you get that little extra boost of vitamin C! Ticks all the boxes!

Ingredients

1kg cherry tomatoes

2tsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1⁄2 fresh red chilli

2 garlic cloves

3 small green cardamom pods

1⁄2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp ground coriander

1⁄2tsp ground turmeric

1⁄2tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp ground black pepper

2 small red onions

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and black pepper

Directions

REHEAT OVEN TO 180°C | ROASTING TRAY | 2 LARGE SAUCEPANS | BLENDER

 Roast the tomatoes | Tip the tomatoes into the roasting tray | Drizzle over 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper | Cut the half chilli lengthways, remove the seeds and add it to the tray | Crush the garlic cloves into the tray (skin on) | Crack open the cardamom pods and add the seeds to the tray | Cover the tomatoes with all the remaining spices | Mix everything around, put the tray in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Peel and finely chop the onions | Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in one of the saucepans over a medium heat | Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sauté for 8–10 minutes, stirring regularly | Add the balsamic vinegar and stir for 2 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven, removing the garlic skins, and put everything in the saucepan, making sure you scrape all the spices in | Stir the contents of the pan to combine | Pour half the contents of the pan into the blender and blitz until smooth (if you prefer a chunkier soup, blend only until roughly textured) | Pour the contents of the blender into a separate saucepan over a low heat to keep warm, then blend the rest of the soup | Garnish with basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and serve with bread.

 

Sweet potato cauli soup

bowl of soup near two pumpkins

Dreamy and creamy, this soup is packed full of nutrients, exactly what you need for back to work and back to school to bolster your immune system!

Ingredients

600g sweet potato

400g cauliflower

1tsp cumin seeds

2 onions

2 large cloves garlic

2 inches ginger

2 tsp cumin

1tsp turmeric

1tsp smoked paprika

½tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp chilli flakes

40g tomato puree

400g tomatoes

1L veg stock

100g coconut cream

250g pre-cooked red lentils

250g pre-cooked beluga lentils

40g coriander

150g spinach

1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Rapeseed oil

Directions

You will need to preheat oven to 180*C, baking sheet lined with parchment, saucepan.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 3cm cubes, spread the cubes out on a baking tray, drizzle over a little rapeseed oil, sprinkle over a little salt and pepper | Put the baking sheet in the oven and roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes.

Break the cauliflower into small florets, spread over a baking tray, drizzle over a little rapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and sprinkle over the cumin seeds | Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the florets begin to char.

Whilst the potatoes and cauliflower florets are roasting, peel and finely chop the onions | Peel and grate the garlic and ginger | Remove the coriander leaves from the stalks and and finely slice the stalks Dice the tomatoes and roughly chop the spinach.

Warm 2 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions, a pinch of salt and stir for 4-5 minutes to soften | Add the coriander stalks, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds to the pan and stir for 1 minute to release the aromas | Add the paprika, cayenne, cumin, turmeric and chilli flakes to the pan and stir them into the onions | Add the tomato puree and stir for 30 seconds | Pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan and stir for 2 minutes until well mixed and soft.

Pour the vegetable stock into the pan, turn the heat up and bring to a simmer | Add the roasted sweet potato and blend until smooth either with a hand blender or in a food processor | Pour the liquid back into the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer over a low heat | Add the lentils, spinach and ¾’s of the coriander to the pan and stir until completely warmed through | POur the coconut cream into the pan and stir it through | Add the roast cauliflower to the pan, squeeze in the lemon juice, catching any pips in your other hand and fold everything together | Taste the soup, season to perfection with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls, garnish with a sprinkle of chilli flakes, coriander leaves and serve immediately with some fresh sourdough bread.

 

Hearty minestrone

Green Basil Topped Dish in Brown Bowl

Ingredients

2tbsp of olive oil

1 large red onion

2 carrots

1 stick celery

150g celeriac

150g swede

400g swiss chard

1 large garlic clove

1 400g can green lentils

1 can plum tomatoes

10g thyme

4 sage leaves

1 bay leaf

750ml vegetable stock

50ml white wine

10g parsley

(Parsley Pesto Ingredients)

25g parsley

20g toasted pine nuts

1tsp of white miso

3tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (tester to adjust quantities)

Directions

Peel, trim and roughly chop the red onion and carrots | Slice the celery in to similar sized pieces | Peel and grate the garlic | Peel and roughly chop the celeriac and swede in to 1 cm pieces | Shred the swiss chard leaves in to thin strips and roughly chop the stalks | Drain and rinse the lentils | Remove the thyme, sage and parsley from the stems and roughly chop

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, place the carrots, onion and celery in the pan and fry over a low/medium heat until soft | Add the celeriac and swede and cook for a further 15-20 minutes | Add the chard and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes | Add the chopped thyme and sage to the pan and stir through | Once all the vegetables are soft, add the lentils, tomatoes, stock, wine and bring to the boil

Taste the soup and season to perfection with salt and pepper | Cover and simmer for 13-15 minutes

While the soup is cooking, make the parsley pesto | Add the pine nuts to the blender and blitz into a meal | Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the ingredients come together into a textured pesto | Place half the pesto in a sealed container and save for another day

When the soup is ready, place half the pesto in a bowl, add the remaining pesto and scatter with parsley | Pour the remaining half of the soup into a sealed container, let it cool down to room temperature and place the container in the fridge ready to be reheated and eaten for lunch later in the week (make sure it’s piping hot)

 

Carrot & Coriander Soup

Green Leaf Vegetable on White Ceramic Bowl

Ingredients

10 carrots

4 cloves Garlic

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil (for roasting)

1tbsp Olive Oil (for frying)

1 White Onion

2 inches Ginger

3tbsp Coriander (Cilantro) stalks

1tsp Cumin

1tsp Ground Coriander

4 cups (1 litre) Vegetable Stock

Small bunch Coriander

1/4 cup soy cream

Garnish: Black Pepper, Coriander & Soy Cream

Directions

For the carrot and coriander soup, start by roasting the carrots and garlic, with a drizzle of olive oil and some seasoning, for 30 minutes at 200°C. Whilst their roasting, fry off the white onion in a frying pan until translucent. Add the ginger and coriander stalks and stir well. Then mix in the ground coriander and cumin. Transfer this over to a larger pan and add the roasted carrots and garlic (remove the skins!). Add the vegetable stock, simmer for 10 minutes, and whizz using a hand blender. Stir in the soy cream and coriander, and serve with a drizzle of soy cream, some black pepper, and more coriander if you wish.

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‘A plant-based diet is any diet that focuses around foods derived from plant sources. This can include fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and meat substitutes such as soy products.’

(Source)

There are many interpretations of what ‘plant-based’ eating looks like. Some practice semi-vegetarian or flexitarian diets, which still include small amounts of animal products such as meat and fish but relies mainly on vegetarian foods. Some only consume fish only, no meat and are called pescatarians. And those who still include animal by products but not the meat of the animal itself are referred to as vegetarian, while those who cut out any animal derived products, including dairy, eggs, and gelatin are vegan.

Plant-based diets, when executed in a healthy way, have high fibre, vitamin and mineral intake. The incorporation of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as the main staples of your diet includes benefits such as lowered cholesterol and BMI, as well as reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

And while all of these benefits are eye-opening and a huge advantage to switching to a plant-based diet, it can feel like a daunting task in a world so focused on a meat-based diet. The idea of restaurant menus and organising dinner every evening becomes a problem, if we don’t gradually transition from one diet to the other. Going cold turkey – excuse the pun – isn’t necessarily the answer to switching up how you consume food. Below we have tips and tricks for a measured and steady transition to reach reaching your plant-based goals.

Set a goal

With a goal to work towards, our willpower is increased in taking on new challenges. Knowing how great it will feel to achieve that goal can be key in keeping us going and motivating us when it gets tough. Plus, by knowing what you end goal is, you can map your journey for how to get there.

Mindset reset

It’s important not to think of this challenge as a deprivation. If you see yourself as cutting something out of your life, rather than incorporating something new in, you will view these challenges in a negative light. It’s about changing your approach to food, not cutting out the best parts of it.

Pick out meals and foods you actually like

There’s no point in forcing yourself to like kale if you’ve never liked kale. Come up with a plant-based version of your favourite meal instead. Love a burger and fries combo? Learn how to make a black-bean burger with tomato relish, onion, guacamole and lettuce! Craving a curry? Sweet potato, chickpea and Massaman curry is an indulgent and creamy alternative, made with coconut milk and crushed peanuts. Deliciously satisfying all your cravings.

Be sensible

If you never usually eat pork or sausages, why would you want them when you’re actively trying not to eat meat? Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. There’s no point agonizing about what counts and what doesn’t when you’re trying out this diet. If you wouldn’t normally eat it, be realistic. Cut it out of your product list.

Go shopping

You can’t eat it if it’s not there! Do a little research before your next shop, and see what plant-based recipes and meat substitutes jump out at you. That way, when you go to make something after a long day of work, you’ll have all the right ingredients for that yummy recipe you’ve been dying to try out, right at your fingertips!

See how others are doing it

Follow plant-based nutritionists, vegetarian and vegan hashtags. Get inspired, motivated and feel less alone on this journey to a new lifestyle. Seeing others struggles and triumphs can bolster your sense of purpose and reinvigorate your passion for trying something new.

Educate yourself

Consult an expert, either in real life, a cookbook or an expert blog to arm yourself with the best chance possible of succeeding. That can give you the insider tips and knowledge you need to really excel in reaching your goal. Having the knowledge of how to source protein, how to make meals that fill you and how to get the most out of this lifestyle change is the key to making it a change that lasts.

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Along with Katie Taylor, Bray Bowl and its famed seafront, Bray’s best known as the home of Box Burger, dishing up award-winning brioche topped burgers to locals and (pandemics allowing) visitors alike.

Catering for all, the Box Burger menu always offered vegetarian and vegan options, even before it was trendy. But this was not enough, the vegetarians wanted more, the vegans wanted it all; so now, its dirty fries and PBJs for all as due to public demand, Box Burger have launched a wholly vegan menu… introducing Vox Burger.

Whether you’re a carnivore, herbivore, or simply looking for a change – it’s diner and dietary equality all the way in Bray. A mirror image of the classic menu, customers can now pick their favourite plant-based patty, featuring popular vegan brands, Moving Mountains, Beyond Burger and Dublin’s own, Veginity.

Meat-lovers choice, the Smokey goes green with vegan smoked cheese & bacon, topped with a crispy onion ring. Chicken favourite, Chicken Louisiana continues to rule the roost with Veginity’s crispy chick’arnt patty served with zingy slaw. Side up with loaded nachos, messy fries or wings tossed in BBQ sauce – the selection is no longer limited, hooray!
Vox Burger operates 7 days a week from midday.

Enjoy at home with safe collection and delivery service.

Order online on voxburger.ie or click here for full menu.

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Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, one of the most popular confectionery brands for almost 140 years, is to become vegan friendly.

The new vegan friendly recipe will be used across the full range of Fruit Pastilles sweets, starting with sharing bags from October. Fruit Pastilles join Nestlé’s expanding range of vegan products, which include Jelly Tots, Carnation vegan condensed milk and Nescafé Gold dairy alternative lattes.

Nestlé technicians trialled over 30 recipes before arriving at the new formulation. Their mission was to remove the gelatine while ensuring the sweets retained the fruity flavour and iconic chew they are famous for.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Maria McKenna, Marketing Manager for Nestlé Ireland Confectionery said: “We’ve had many requests from consumers over the years asking if we can make Fruit Pastilles vegetarian or vegan. We want the brand to be enjoyed by as many people as possible and so we are delighted to be able to introduce our new vegan friendly recipe across the full range of sweets.

“In developing the new formulation, we were very conscious of our responsibility as custodians of this much-loved brand and its long history. Through this recipe change, we’ve made the sweets slightly softer, which we know has been a market trend for a number of years. However, our priority was to preserve the fabulously fruity chew that has made Fruit Pastilles a classic for almost a century and a half. The product development specialists at the Rowntree’s factory have spent a huge amount of time and care perfecting the new formulation. We hope all Fruit Pastilles fans will agree that we have succeeded in developing a recipe which is as deliciously chewy as it has ever been, whilst at the same time being suitable for those following vegetarian, vegan and religious diets.”

Fruit Pastilles, a mix of blackcurrant, lemon, strawberry, lime and orange chewy sweets, contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

They were invented by brothers Henry and Joseph Rowntree, working with French confectioner August Claude Gaget, at their cocoa works in York in 1881.

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We are always on the lookout for vegan skincare and Aldi have answered our prayers. Enjoying your Vegan lifestyle is no longer just about the contents of your fridge or pantry, it’s now also about what is in your makeup bag or on your bathroom shelf too!

Aldi’s latest range from Lacura means that now you can enjoy a quality beauty regime that contains 100% naturally derived ingredients, making it vegan friendly and kind to even the most sensitive skin types.

The range includes a face wash, eye cream, face scrub and even sheet masks. We love the packaging of the Matcha sheet mask, it is far too cute! 

Speaking about the rage, Sinead Kavanagh of The Beautiful Truth said: “I am so excited to try these out! Aldi’s Vegan beauty products contain 100% natural ingredients and there has been no animal testing involved in their manufacture, really excited with this upcoming launch, I’m popping into store early on 23rd to get my hands on these." 

  • Lacura Natural Sheet Masks €2.99 per 2 pack – Detoxify, moisturise and refresh the natural way. Choose from Ginseng Root, Matcha Green Tea, Watermelon or Avocado.
  • Laura Natural Face Wash/Face Scrub €3.99/100ml – Choose from hydrating daily Face Wash with sweet almond oil and sacha inchi oil or gently exfoliating weekly Face Scrub with enriched coconut oil and sacha inchi oil.
  • Lacura Natural Hand & Nail Cream €3.99/50ml – Ideal for everyday use to leave dry hands feeling soft and smooth. Includes shea butter and sweet almond oil.
  • Lacura Natural Eye Cream €4.99/25ml – The natural way to nourish and hydrate the delicate skin around your eyes. Includes shea butter and coconut oil.
  • Lacura Natural Day Cream €6.99/50ml – Enriched with natural ingredients to support your natural skin balance and ensure rich, lasting moisturisation. 

Did you know? Aldi’s Lacura range is Leaping Bunny certified. One of the few supermarkets in Ireland to guarantee its beauty ranges are not tested on animals, Aldi’s Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty Free International confirms that no own brand Lacura beauty products are tested on animals. 

The above products are on sale in 140 Aldi stores nationwide from Thursday, January 23 while stocks last.

 For more information see www.aldi.ie

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We have been living off takeaways and turkey sandwiches for the past two weeks and we think it may be time for a change.

Many people will be giving Veganuary a whirl this month and KFC are here to help.

From today, Thursday, January 2 2020, vegans and would-be vegans across the country can enjoy the iconic Original Recipe flavour they’ve been denied, as the all-new KFC Vegan Burger is now available for delivering straight to their home or office with the tap of the Just Eat app. 

Exclusive to Just Eat customers for the month of January, this exciting vegan offering pays meat-free homage to KFC’s OG of burgers – the Chicken Fillet burger, featuring the very same herbs and spices. The usual chicken breast is replaced with a bespoke Quorn fillet, which is coated in the Colonel’s famous flavours, served with vegan mayonnaise and crisp iceberg lettuce, all within a soft-glazed bun.

News of this exciting Just Eat partnership with KFC is the latest in a series of new menu announcements for Ireland’s leading food ordering and delivery service, as the range of choice and the variety of flavours available on the platform continues to expand.

Celebrating the announcement, Amanda Roche Kelly, MD at Just Eat Ireland, said; “We’re starting the decade as we mean to go on, serving up even more choice, convenience and above all flavour to our Just Eat customers. Innovations like this one from KFC are changing the food game, so we’re thrilled to be exclusively delivering this great tasting Original Recipe Vegan Burger to homes and offices right across Ireland.”

The KFC Vegan Burger is available for delivery to your home or office door exclusively on Just Eat from 12pm, 7 days a week. Check out the menu https://www.just-eat.ie/takeaway/brands/kfc

 

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Mexican Burrito Bar Boojum has unveiled its plans to launch a new 100% plant-based dish this January, offering those conscious consumers participating in the increasingly popular Veganuary movement, a tasty, meat free meal choice.

The limited time only offering is a tasty Sweet Potato & Lentil dish packed full of nutritional goodness and is sure to be a welcome warming option on cold January days. Served with Pickled Onions, Guacamole and Vegan Sour Cream, this superfood dish delivers on the full flavour Boojum is famous for.

Launching this Tuesday, January 7, customers will be able to enjoy the new dish in their burritos, bowls or tacos in any of the brand’s 18 stores across the Island of Ireland. 

While Boojum, due to its fully customisable nature, has catered to vegans since opening in 2007, the leading Irish fast-casual restaurant brand has been getting creative and experimenting with their menu over the last year. 2019 saw the launch of two limited time only vegan dishes, Mexican Spiced Butternut Squash and 3 Bean Chilli, the latter which has been reinstated as a permanent menu fixture due to popular demand, and some very vocal social media supporters.

Paul McCullagh, Boojum Marketing Manager said “We’re in tune with our customers and listening to their feedback, along with monitoring industry trends, it’s very clear that the demand for plant-based vegan meal options is increasing. We know within our own business, vegetarian meals are now our second most ordered dish. So continued menu experimentation and expansion, such as this new Sweet Potato & Lentil offering is vital for us to stay relevant and continue to satisfy customers.” 

So whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or simply giving Veganuary a go, Boojum’s new Sweet Potato & Lentil dish aims to make it that little bit easier, and a whole lot more interesting.

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McDonald’s will launch their first ever vegan meal from January 2, with the introduction of the new Veggie Dippers.  

The new Veggie Dippers, made with red pepper, rice, sundried tomato pesto and split peas surrounded by light and crispy breadcrumbs, have been accredited by The Vegan Society.

Customers will be able to order a fully vegan meal for the first time when the Veggie Dippers are teamed with a Vegan Society approved Fries and any of the soft drink options and sauces. The Veggie Dippers will also be available as a fully vegan Happy Meal® following the success of the first ever veggie Happy Meal® earlier this year.

Thomas O’Neill, Head of Food Marketing at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “In the last 12 months we’ve seen an 80% uplift in customers ordering vegetarian options at McDonald’s, so it is time for the brand famous for the dippable McNugget to launch a dippable option for our vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian customers. The Veggie Dippers are a delicious addition to our menu and we’re looking forward to seeing what customers make of our first vegan Extra Value Meal and Happy Meal in the New Year.”

The new vegan meal options are:

  • NEW Veggie Dippers meal – Four red pepper and pesto dippers with light and crispy breadcrumbs, served with Fries and a soft drink.

  • NEW Veggie Dippers Happy Meal® – Two red pepper and pesto dippers with light and crispy breadcrumbs, served with choice of vegan friendly side (vegetable bag, fruit bag or fries) and water or a Fruit Shoot.

  • Alternatively, the four Veggie Dippers can be purchased separately.

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Vegans, we’ve got some wonderful news. Galaxy are releasing a vegan chocolate bar and it looks delicious.

People who follow a plant based diet can now enjoy Galaxy chocolate.

The vegan bars even come in three tasty flavours including Smooth Orange, Caramel & Sea Salt and Caramelised Hazelnut.

Will the bar taste as good as the original? The team at Galaxy believe the range is just as good as they used a hazelnut paste to create the iconic creamy taste.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The bars are even packaged in eco-friendly wrappers. The chocolate is wrapped in a recyclable card sleeve and compostable film.

This move by Galaxy is a wise one, especially with the numbers of people following a vegan diet on the rise.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The team stressed that just because someone is vegan doesn’t mean they should miss out on treats we all know and love, like the Galaxy bar.

The Galaxy vegan bars will be available later this month and we cannot wait to try them.

 

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Recent reports circulating in the media on the disastrous effects of humankind on the planet and resulting climate change are pretty terrifying.

The greenhouse effect includes rising sea levels, famine and climatic alterations, and is caused by the emission of certain gases into the atmosphere such as man’s use of fossil fuels. If we want to reverse the damage, it needs to be in the next 11 years.

The latest findings by the United Nations are alarming, at worst. The sweeping assessment has concluded that humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so extensively that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction.

Populations worldwide depends on these threatened ecosystems.

Transportation is imperative to this problem and bears responsibility for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions currently. Cars and lorries contribute 80-90 percent of all transport emissions, and traffic congestion is drastically worsening in Dublin.

It’s time that Ireland declared a national emergency on climate change, and we found solutions. How can we make small but significant changes to our daily lives for the sake of the planet? Diet, travel, fashion and plastic; four key areas.

Your life can’t totally cease to contain any fun, and why shouldn’t you still be able to travel despite the troubling findings? We’ve made a comprehensive list of ways to travel in an eco-friendly, guilt-free way. The planet will thank you for it…

1. Travel by train, if possible, or boat.

Trains are more energy-efficient than other modes of transport, and can easily adapt to different sources of energy. Renewable energy is the key, so using cars and planes for travel can cause problems. Of course, we in Ireland are surrounded by water and generally have to fly everywhere, but at least the first waste-free plane journey has taken place.

Steps are being taken to reduce the plastic intake on flights; Quantas operates the ‘world’s first zero-waste’ airline journey, which is SO exciting. They disposed of all their waste via compost, reuse and recycling.

Why not try inter-railing as a means of travel? The European journey tickets offered by USIT feature some great offers at low prices.

Ferry journeys also save a lot more energy than flying, though many people find long journeys on the sea unnerving.

2. Ride that bike and give your planet a like

As well as saving you a rake load of cash on transportation, cycling is an amazing way to improve your general health and fitness as well as reducing your carbon footprint.

By riding your bicycle for just four miles, you stop roughly 15 pounds of pollutants from being released, in comparison to car journeys.

Places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oslo, Prague and Tuscany offer some incredible views and cycling tours. From riding your bike through the Italian countryside to pedalling the coastal roads of France, you’re seriously missing out if you think bikes aren’t a brilliant holiday opportunity.

They contribute zero negativity to the planet, yet can get you to some beautiful places, so it’s worth giving it a go.

3. Do you ever feel, like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind….

DITCH those plastic bags, it’s easier than ever. Plastic bags can take up to 500 years to biodegrade, so why not take a reusable bag with you when you’re grabbing goods or groceries?

You can get some gorgeous tote bags made ethically, and are perfect if you want to support independent artists while making a moral statement.

4. If you can, try to book non-stop flights

It’s actually the takeoffs and landings that create most of a plane’s carbon emissions, so by only booking one flight to a destination rather than two or three, it saves energy.

Studies have found that stops can increase emissions by a shocking 35 percent per person, all because of the takeoff.

5. Shame on you if you still buy plastic bottles

Okay, granted sometimes it’s necessary to buy plastic water bottles in countries which have undrinkable tap water. We’ve all been there, just desperately trying to avoid getting a stomach parasite in some remote part of Asia.

If you’re in an area that has tap water freely available and it’s drinkable, you have no excuse not to carry around your own water bottle to refill it.

Considering the news that, by 2050, the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish., we definitely need to reduce our plastic water bottle use.

6. Ask if your hostel, Airbnb or hotel has a recycling policy

If they don’t have one, why not leave a comment on their feedback cards asking them to start one?

If you can find a nearby recycling area with bottle bins, etc, try to bring your rubbish with you to dump somewhere eco-friendly. You can also quiz your hostel or hotel on their policies regarding issues like solar power, wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow toilets.

7. Carpool with your pals

Road trip, anyone? Carpooling with friends or family is a big method of reducing your pollution contribution. It brings down the volume of vehicles on the road, which helps lower emission rates.

It’s also a lot more fun than embarking on road trips by yourself, with nobody in the car to appreciate your killer Spotify playlists…

8. Get that Keep Cup out at all times, people

Nurse your Keep Cup like it’s your baby, gals. If you carry it with you in your bag (there are foldable ones that barely take up any space too), you’ll cut down on the amount of cardboard takeaway coffee cups you use.

While some of these cups and lids are recyclable, many of them aren’t and cause needless harm to landfill sites.

9. Keep the energy down

Treat your hostel or hotel like you would at home; turn off lights whenever you can, switch off appliances like a television or kettle, don’t use clean towels when you have a perfectly good one already, take shorter showers if possible. Showers use 10-25 gallons of water, but baths use up to 70 gallons, so choose showers.

Of course, a holiday is supposed to be relaxing. Treat yourself, but keep in mind that the planet needs treating too. Eating and drinking local food also cuts down on the travel mileage of your meal, instead of having meals or beers which have been transported from halfway across the world.

10. Wildlife lover

If you’re hiking or travelling in protected sites, make sure not to wander off the beaten track and risk endangering more species of plants and wildlife.

When in another country, it’s so important to respect the ecosystems there and do your research before the trip. Especially with snorkelling and scuba diving, take caution with disrupting coral reefs.

Know the laws for example about hunting, or trespassing on specific grounds. NEVER touch or feed animals you meet along the way, unless it’s in a protected area or you’re visiting an animal sanctuary alongside knowledgable guides.

Don’t visit tourist sites which cause animals distress or harm, like elephant grounds in Thailand which allow you to ride the animals or walking with lions.

Do your homework before visiting anywhere involving animals to ensure there are no cruel practices.

You can even adopt an animal safety through the correct websites, and give them some love. by sponsoring their care.

11. Walk this way

If you can walk around cities or countrysides on your holidays, make sure to try and do as much as you can on foot. Walking tours of cities are always brilliant for discovering the history of the places you are staying in, and don’t waste any money or energy on transport.

Walking also gives you bonus health benefits which extend beyond the environment. Reduce your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease by walking only 30 minutes every day, at home or abroad.

12. Beep Beep: Electric Cars

Electric cars produce zero emissions during your travels, but can increase a power plant’s emission when charging. The only issue with them is their production, which takes place in factories often powered by fossil fuels. This actually means the vehicle has already caused pollution before hitting the roads, but if the factories started using renewable energy, this could all change.

Make sure to do the research when it comes to your choice between electric cars or diesel powered machines.

13. Reduce plastic in your shopping habits

Try your best not to buy goods from major corporations which use unethical worker policies and produce large amounts of plastic waste. It’s important to support independent companies and eco-friendly, ethical shops.

Research online before you travel somewhere new about the location’s best shops and companies for the environment, and get groceries that aren’t pre-wrapped in plastic. Carrier bags are ideal for loose fruit and vegetables.

14. Bamboo toothbrushes and natural toiletries

It’s cheap and cheerfully easy to buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, which takes 400 years to break down in landfill. Holland and Barrett sell a great range, and you can also switch to natural shampoos and deodorants.

Irish brand Indeora sell a beautiful-smelling spray-on deodorant (vanilla, YUM) and Lush is famous for it’s bars of shampoo and skincare products using either zero packaging or 100 percent recycled packaging.

15. Mini carrier fans

This was an absolute GOD-SEND when I travelled Asia (50 degrees Celsius, permanently). Instead of using a monumental amount of air condition, try limiting your energy consumption by just using battery powered mini-fans.

They work insanely well if you pay a tad bit more for a decent brand, and last for ages too.

16. Break up with your make-up

We highly recommend buying reusable make-up pads or remover face cloths, because make-up wipes are incredibly harmful for the environment.

They usually end up in landfill, or the ocean, and don’t break down well. More and more brands are releasing their machine washable face cloths, buy enough to keep you going and they’ll last for years.

17. Paper planes

If you’re handed leaflets or paper maps during your trip away, either hang on to them or return them to the companies so that they can be re-used.

Whatever you do, don’t let them just get dumped on the street, They could be useful for someone else, so why waste them? Try to use Google Maps instead of buying paper maps, if you can.

18. Waste not, want not.

Hang on to any unused shampoos or toiletries that are provided to you by hostels or hotels. They most likely just end up in the bin, which in turn ends up in MORE landfill.

Also, if you’re having some sexy fun times abroad with your significant other or just feel like a spontaneous summer fling, why not try using vegan condoms or eco-friendly latex? Greenpeace have a great article about eco-friendly sex. No, seriously…

You can even reuse the plastic containers or bottles for another purpose. Many ethical brands allow you to fill up your plastic bottles with their products to reduce waste.

19. Fast fashion

Many of us can’t resist the temptation to buy a whole new wardrobe for our summer holidays. Bear in mind, most holidays are only a week or two long, out of 52 in the entire year.

Try to refrain from buying brand new clothes unless you absolutely need them. Most high street brands like Penneys, Zara, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing, H+M, Boohoo, Berskha and Pull and Bear don’t use ethical working conditions, and don’t pay their employees a living wage.

The textiles industry is also the second biggest polluter of water on earth, and needs to massively reduce ASAP. Try going for ethical brands, charity shopping or vintage clothing instead of getting brands new threads. Depop is a brilliant app for buying used but stunning clothes and giving them new life. You can also put your own clothes up for sale.

Good On You is a great website which can tell you if your favourite shops are ethical or eco-friendly, so give it a go.

20. Reusable q-tips

You probably know that millions of cotton q-tips end up in the ocean so that would be great if you could switch to reusable q-tips like LastSwab. These reusable q-tips are created to reduce harmful waste impacting our environment. LastSwab is an eco-friendly alternative that is super easy to use and it can easily be a part of our everyday routine.

One last thing, there is no doubt that travelling is fun but do get organised on any visa requirements well in advance.  There are some countries that do ask for significant paperwork behind any visa application however with technology, many now rely purely on your passport number.  The USA have also started to ask for your social media user name so be warned, whilst visa paperwork might seem small they are researching you behind the scenes through your social media.

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There’s a stereotype that it’s avocado toast that millennials have a relentless obsession with, but Tesco Ireland have had to order their rare giant avocados due to popular demand.

It can’t be entirely 23-year-olds to 35-year-olds that have created such a trend, so we’re all guilty of the avocado love. Confess, why don’t you?

A very special delivery of the giant food, known as ‘Avozilla’s for their huge size, will land in 70 Tesco stores around the country on Saturday, September 14.

The Avozillas are priced at just €4 and exclusive to Tesco in Ireland. The game-changing giant avocados are perfect for creating a massive, family-sized portion of guacamole.

Think of the avocado toast brunches you could host with a stash like this, the possibilities are endless. Avozillas are naturally produced and not genetically modified.

Just four trees produce the Avozilla supply in the lush forest outside of Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo, South Africa. It’s basically a cross between two types of avocado; West Indian and Guatemalan varieties.

As these trees are not available for commercial sale, there is very limited supply of the fruit, so avocado fans are encouraged to pop into one of the participating Tesco stores while stocks last, to avoid disappointment.

John Brennan, Fresh Category Director, Tesco Ireland, commented:

“They are extremely rare and come from just four trees grown by one of the world’s biggest suppliers of avocados in South Africa. Deliveries will be going into 70 of our stores across the country on Saturday morning and will be available this weekend while stocks last.”

What are you waiting for? Set your alarms for tomorrow, and lift some weights so you can carry all those Avozillas home.

fab 5 avocado GIF by Queer Eye

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Wicklow-based food company The Happy Pear has opened a new café in Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. 

The new outlet which is the airport’s first plant based restaurant employs 20 people and is located after security screening in Terminal 1. Happy Pear founders Stephen and David Flynn were at Dublin Airport to open the new outlet, which is the group’s fourth café and to serve some of its first customers. 

The Happy Pear was founded by twins Stephen and David Flynn, who have built their business on the ideals of health, happiness and community. 

The new eye-catching Dublin Airport outlet is being opened in association with global food service group HMSHost International. The grab and go offering features a wide range of healthy food, with both hot and cold breakfast, lunch and dinner options available. 

“The Happy Pear is an energising and uplifting brand and I am delighted to welcome its new outlet to Terminal 1,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “This new grab and go café is a fantastic addition to the food offering in Terminal 1 and I have no doubt that its healthy menu offering will be very popular with passengers,” he added. 

“We strongly support The Happy Pear’s sustainable ethos, and this is something that we are developing with all of our food and beverage operators at Dublin Airport,” according to Mr Harrison. 

The new Happy Pear outlet at the airport will feature hand-roasted coffee, delicious healthy cakes, a selection of vegan and vegetarian offerings, and signature sandwiches, salads, soups and hot food bowls. The menu will also feature The Happy Pear’s award-winning pesto and hummus products. 

The Happy Pear, which was founded in Greystones, Co Wicklow in 2004 and now employs 120 people, currently comprises three cafes, a farm, a branded product range, a coffee roastery, and a range of online courses for happier, healthier living. 

“We’re particularly pleased to open Dublin Airport’s first plant based café,” said The Happy Pear Co-founders, David and Stephen Flynn. “We’re thrilled that our healthy food ideas are among some amazing Irish brands at the airport and we’d like to give a massive thanks to Dublin Airport and HMSHost International for the opportunity to partner on our fourth café,” the brothers added. 

“More and more people are seeking healthier food options and our new Dublin Airport café is an amazing opportunity to offer that option for people while they are on the move. Our entire product range is made from natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives, colours or flavourings and this is something that we are particularly proud of.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Happy Pear (@thehappypear) on

The new Happy Pear outlet at Dublin Airport will use fully compostable take-away food containers, cups, cutlery and straws. Customers will also be rewarded through incentives such as a 20% discount on hot drinks if they use a reusable cup. 

The Happy Pear cafés also donate any surplus food to local charities through the food redistribution charity, FoodCloud and coffee grinds are used by local gardeners. Happy Pear’s vans run on compressed natural gas, helping to reduce vehicle CO2 emissions by more than 20% and it has also installed LED light fittings across its production facilities and at its head office. 

 

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