Community blog post
I love that veganism is becoming so popular that there is yet another vegan festival on the London scene.
Hosted by PlantBased magazine, PlantBased Live launched last month at ExCel in East London.
My review is coming so late as I went on holidays straight after the event and work was a bit crazy in my first week back. However, the show is well worth posting about so I didn’t want to skip it.
PlantBased Live was smaller than the likes of Vegfest and Just V – the big guns on the veggie festival scene – but that made it a little less overwhelming. And I feel like I actually made it to every single stall for once!
Of course, I still spent way too much money. Although some of my favourites were there (Ms Cupcake, Booja-Booja, Koko…) I made it a point this time to buy only from brands I’d not heard of or used before.
Some of my new discoveries were:
I was drawn to the Super U stand because of the beautiful coconut bowls on offer. However, I was also intrigued by the superfood powders they had on display. The organic powders can be added to water, smoothies, yoghurt and more for extra nutritional goodness.
I bought the Berry Beauty Antioxidant Blend and love it in smoothie bowls (made in my new coconut bowls!) or sprinkled on yoghurt.
But where do you get your protein? That’s a question us vegans never get sick of… (insert eyeroll here.) Generally, I get it from a varied diet filled with plants, pulses, beans and soy products. However, given that protein shakes are all the rage, I wanted to give them a go and see what all the fuss was about.
Free Soul create protein shakes specifically designed for women’s nutritional needs. Their Vegan Protein Blend is made from a pea and white hemp base and comes in Chocolate, Vanilla, Ginger Biscuit and Berry flavours.
I went with Berry as it tasted delicious simply mixed with nut milk and it would work best with my fruity smoothies and smoothie bowls. I don’t remember them having Ginger Biscuit at the show but I’m keen to try that too as it sounds like the perfect autumnal flavour!
An alternative to popcorn, Karma Bites are made from popped lotus seeds. Both the sweet and savoury flavours were delicious and they make a great low fat snack. Plus, just look how pretty the packaging is!
I really loved the Himalayan Pink Salt for everyday snacking and the Caramel for a delicious sweet treat.
I Am Nut OK
Although I’ve had the amazing vegan cheeses from I Am Nut OK once before, I can’t get them anywhere near me so I decided it was okay to break my “new products only” rule…
These are seriously the tastiest vegan cheeses I’ve ever tried and they taste amazing on crackers or just on their own (something I’ve not managed to find with any other vegan cheese on the market). Honestly, I had to stop myself from eating my entire wedge of Smoky Ash Ripened cheese in one go!
I’m always looking for cruelty-free and vegan lip balm so was excited to come across the Fruu stand. Their Fruitilicious lip balms are batch-made with coconut oil and fruit extracts. They smell so good; they remind me a little of Lip Smackers from the good ol’ days but less artificial… I picked up Lemon, Coconut, and Avocado (unscented). Nom!
I seriously don’t understand how the Ditsy Cloth by Dearest Fannie works but I’m obsessed. Using just water, it removes all make-up (yep – even waterproof mascara and eyeliner!).
It’s an eco-friendly alternative to disposable make-up wipes, perfect if you have sensitive skin, and it’s great for travel. Plus, it’s ridiculously soft. Love, love, love.
Okay, technically vegan beauty brand Buddha Beauty isn’t entirely new to me but I’ve not tried much from their range and don’t know any stockists near me.
I snapped up one of their Activated Charcoal Konjac Sponges, a gentle facial exfoliator that is 100% biodegradable, and great for acne sufferers and sensitive skin. Win, win!
It’s candle season again and call me basic but I’m super-excited about it!
Happy Scents offer hand-poured, vegan-friendly candles with ribbon wicks. Their massive range of scents was amazing and it took me forever to narrow down my choices to just two. I normally go for vanillas and coconuts but wanting to try somehting a little different, I came away with Clean Cotton to put in our linen cupboard and Fireside, the ultimate autumn fragrance.
Here’s my complete haul from the day, including PlantBased magazine and a bunch of freebies from the goody bag. Pretty happy with the result!
Throughout the day, there were plenty of cooking demos and talks. I always enjoy watching the demos for a while but the “inspirational” talks aren’t usually my thing.
After filling my bags, I decided to grab some lunch before I headed out. There was a pretty big food court area, with so much choice. From vegan pizza to Greek deli food to salads to burgers, it was so hard to decide!
In the end, I went for vegan nachos with pulled jackfruit from Mooshies. Though it tasted far better than it looked – if I’m completely honest – I’ve had better… Sorry.
Later, I visited the Norty stand to grab a coffee with one of the billion plant-based milks they were offering. Swoon!
They were running an afternoon coffee and cake deal so frankly, it would have been rude not to have a coconut slice with my oat milk latte…
Of course, I couldn’t buy from absolutely every stand that I wanted to without going broke, so here’s a small selection of other great exhibitors at the show:
Maybe next year!
Did you go to PlantBased Live this year? Is it in your diary for 2019?