World Vegan Day
Cheese. Bacon. Chocolate. Beef. There are some things that people insist they could not live without – but things are steadily changing. Maybe you can have your cake AND eat it… 2020 marks the 76th anniversary since the Vegan Society was formed with the goal of reducing harm to animals, and it has been diversifying diets and menu options around the world ever since! Vegan alternatives to classic foods are getting better and broader all the time (anyone for a seitan burger with coconut cheese?) And let’s not beat around the broccoli: there is a bumper crop of benefits to eating more veg and less meat & dairy!
First and foremost are the benefits to your health, with excessive consumption of animal products being linked to a number of health issues from obesity to high cholesterol and even cancer. Increasing the amount of plant-based foods in your diet can really help to get your body back in check without compromising your energy or fitness - ‘Eat the rainbow’ and feel like a ray of sunshine! With COVID-19 an ongoing concern and coughs and sniffles creeping in with the changing seasons, it is more important than ever to boost our immune system.
As well as your personal wellbeing, choosing a vegan lifestyle clearly has a great impact on the welfare of animals. The huge demands on industrial farming with small profit margins doesn’t leave much room for niceties with animals being raised for meat or dairy. Outside the farm, there are even bigger effects of animal consumption on the land and ocean. The environmental impacts of animal farming are complex, but the root idea is very simple. Animals use a lot of resources, and if those resources were dedicated to growing plants for people to eat without the animal middle-man, we would be able to feed more people and give surplus resources back to wildlife and threatened ecosystems.
It all sounds very serious, but transitioning to a more plant-based diet doesn’t need to be bleak or boring! As a really good starting point for some plant-based culinary inspiration, check out some of the outrageously tasty recipes on the Vegan Society website. As the days are getting shorter and colder, we recommend finding a reason to celebrate with this decadent Raspberry Chocolate Cake – such as World Vegan Day!
Raspberry Chocolate Cake
- Vegan margarine, for greasing
- 300g (10 1/2 oz) plain flour
- 50g (1 3/4 oz) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300g (10 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
- 375ml (13 fl oz) soya milk
- 125ml (4 fl oz) rapeseed oil
- 7 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 40ml (1 1/2 fl oz) soya milk
- 85g (3 oz) vegan dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 60g (2 1/4 oz) icing sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Fresh raspberries, to decorate
- 55 min
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm/9 inch cake tin and line with baking paper.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir in the salt and sugar.
- Pour the soya milk into a medium saucepan and add the oil, raspberry jam and vanilla extract.
- Place over a medium heat and whisk to combine. Stir into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Transfer to the prepared cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- To make the icing, heat the soya milk in a small saucepan until boiling, then stir in the chocolate until melted.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar and maple syrup.
- Set aside to cool before icing the cake. Top with a few fresh raspberries.