Plant Based Mum Blog

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Cafe of The Month - Small Graces

Small Graces favours sustainable and seasonal local produce. This quaint cafe is allergy-friendly, with some great gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian choices on the menu too. They have some amazing options to share - from a variety of salads, small dishes/sides and larger sharing plates - making it a great place to stop for brunch with your family on the way to the playground.

The Details:

57 Byron Street, Footscray

Suitable for:

  • Vegetarian mummas

  • Vegan mummas

  • Gluten free mummas

Opening Hours*:

  • Monday - Wednesday: 7.30AM to 4PM

  • Thursday and Friday: 7.30AM to 10PM

  • Saturday: 8AM to 10PM

  • Sunday: 8AM to 4PM

Playgrounds nearby: 

  • Fordham Reserve - Cowper Street, Footscray

*Opening hours subject to change, please visit the Small Graces website for up to date details.

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Best Gluten-Free Friendly Cafes in Melbourne for Coeliac Awareness Week

March 13-20 is Coeliac Awareness Week, and 1 in 70 Australian’s are living with coeliac disease - with many more going undiagnosed. Coeliac disease is a serious disease, where symptoms can vary greatly - and with long term risks there, a diagnosis by a qualified medical professional is always important. This week on the blog we share our pick of kid friendly cafes, bakeries and eateries with great Gluten-Free options on the menu, located across Melbourne and surrounding suburbs.

Melbourne CBD and Surrounds

Eastern Suburbs 

Southern Suburbs 

Western Suburbs 

Northern Suburbs

Bon Appétit! And for more information on Coeliac Disease visit www.ceoliac.org.au

Kid-friendly cafes with gluten-free options in Melbourne.

Kid-friendly cafes with gluten-free options in Melbourne.

What’s in my Make-Up Bag: Cruelty-Free Beauty

March 5-11 is ‘Be Cruelty-Free week’, so what better time to take a look at our favourite cruelty-free beauty products in the lead up to Be Cruelty-Free Week.

Personally, I consider my ‘beauty routine’ (if you can even call it that!) very low maintenance - only opting to wear make-up for events and usually sticking to the simplicity of a good moisturiser, some mascara, a touch of concealer and some sunscreen for my day-to-day mum-life. 

Choosing cruelty-free is an important way to help your own health and wellbeing by using products with natural ingredients - after all your skin is your biggest organ. Using products made from natural oils, plant extracts and minerals helps to ensure you are taking care of your body - inside and out. 

Below are some of our favourite cruelty-free beauty products:

Face 

Natio is a well-known natural Australian skincare and beauty brand. They do a great monitoring sunscreen with SPF 50 for those hot Australian summers, and a nice intensive moisurising day cream - which is perfect for use in the cooler months.

Ere Perez make a lovely nourishing lightweight vegan Quinoa Water foundation, available in three shades. Ere Perez’s full coverage concealer is super easy to use to mask those heavy eyes for when your little ones don’t let you get much sleep! Inika Organic’s blush is the perfect pink tone for your cheeks and Inika Organic can also help you to lengthen those lashes with their award winning ‘long lash vegan mascara’.

Sukin Australian Natural Skincare are (as the name suggests) Australian made, vegan and cruelty free - and they are a very affordable brand. Sukin’s Sensitive Cleansing Gel gently washes away the day leaving your skin smooth and refreshed, while Sand and Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Purifying Face Mask is the perfect fortnightly treat to hydrate your skin before you get your much needed beauty sleep. Dermalogica ‘Barrier Repair’ (free of irritants and cruelty-free) locks in moisture and Lush Enchanted Eye Cream takes care of your delicate eye area with soothing lavender honey water and organic jojoba oil.

Lips 

Hurraw lip balm is a great choice to keep your lips nice and moisturised throughout the day. Hurraw lip products are all natural, organic and vegan! There’s a wide range of ‘flavours’ on offer - from sweet options like banana, raspberry, grapefruit and pineapple through to more subtle options such as vanilla, coconut, earl grey and of course unscented for the ultra-sensitive to name a few.

Nails

Mummy Green always loves Kester Black for her nails. Kester Black is a fantastic Australian cruelty-free vegan beauty brand. There’s a variety of stunning colours to choose from, all with inventive names. There’s beautiful nude tones like ‘coral blush’ (the perfect blush shade), ‘petra’ (rose pink), ‘the future is female’ (baby pink) and ‘in the buff’ (the perfect nude shade). Kester Black stock several lovely darker hues too - perfect for the cooler months - such as ‘nightshade’ (a nice shade of grey), ‘periwinkle’ (dark blue) and ‘pinot nior’ (deep red). And if you’re wanting to turn things up there’s plenty of bolder choices on offer, including ‘pulp fiction’ (a cool red tone), ‘rouge’ (bright red), ‘sorbet’ (candy pink), ‘sugarplum’ (bright purple) and ‘thypoon’ (a moody blue).

To find our more about the fight to end cosmetic animal cruelty visit the Humane Society International at www.hsi.org

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Best Vegan Markets and Festivals In and Around Melbourne

Some of our favourite markets and festivals are the vegan markets held across Melbourne and the wider state of Victoria throughout the year. Vegan markets support locally and ethically made vegan products, vegan wears, vegan eats and vegan produce.

Whether you identify as fully vegan, enjoy a partially vegan lifestyle (for example; you may choose to eat the occasional ‘vegan’ option on the menu and/or you might opt for more ethical and organic beauty and fashion choices) - or you are simply ‘vegan curious’ - these markets are fun to explore for the whole family.

There is always something different to see, and you can browse items that are great for the environment and the animals, as well as discovering products that help to support your overall health and wellbeing.

Melbourne Collective Vegan Market - Melbourne

As part of the Melbourne Collective Design Market, Melbourne Collective are also hosting a Vegan Market at Deakin Edge in Melbourne’s CBD. The vegan component to this market stocks all things organic, ethically made and 100% vegan - including crafts, beauty products and eco-wears.

Where: Deakin Edge @ Federation Square - Corner Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, Melbourne

When: Sunday 3 March, 2019

Big Vegan Day Out - Melbourne 

Delicious vegan eats, giveaways and discounts galore all located in one of Melbourne’s most loved vegan goods stores - The Cruelty Free Store. 

Where: The Cruelty Free Store - 124 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

When: Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March 2019

Vegan Market of Melbourne - St Kilda

Previously held at the Abbotsford Convent, the Vegan Market of Melbourne is now hosted by the popular St Kilda Esplanade Market as a pop-up event. Be sure to visit the Vegan Market of Melbourne website for up to date information on dates, times and venues.

Where: Fitzroy Street, St Kilda (Upper Esplanade)

When: Every Sunday from 10am (excluding February 10 due to the St Kilda Festival)

Vegan Makers Market - Mornington Peninsula

This popular annual market is held on the stunning Mornington Peninsula. There is over 50 different brands offering food, eco-beauty products, organic skincare, vegan fashion items and other health and wellness products.

Where: Civic Reserve - 350 Dunns Road, Mornington

When: TBC - stay tuned for updates!

Big Vegan Market - Melbourne

Melbourne’s largest vegan market is held annually in Melbourne’s CBD. Hundreds of exhibitors showcase their ethical, vegan and organic goodies - from vegan beauty and skincare products, to ethical clothing and crafts there is something for everyone. Of course the most important thing on the day (at least for me!) is food - and there are plenty of delicious vegan wholefoods and beverages on offer too. Previous stallholders have included much loved brands such as Allergy Train, Cocowhip, Happily Made, Nzuri Organics, Scarlett Vegan Bags, The Living Pantry, The Vegan Box, The Smoothie Bombs and Vegan Leather Co to name but a few! Don’t miss this one if you’re in Melbourne in May!

Where: Royal Exhibition Hall - 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

When: 10am - 6pm, Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 May 2019

World Vegan Day Festival - Melbourne

If last year’s festival was anything to go by, this year will be fantastic! Think delicious vegan food, fantastic vegan products to discover, informative presentations, cooking demonstrations and even showbags! 

Where: Melbourne Showgrounds - Epsom Road, Ascot Vale (Venue TBC - stay tuned for updates!)

When: Sunday 10 November 2019

Spring Vegan Festival - St. Kilda 

During Springtime, Animal Liberation Victoria holds a Spring Vegan Festival full of good food and a range of other vegan goodies. Visit the ALV website for up to date information on the next event!

Where: St. Kilda Town Hall - 99A Carlisle St, St Kilda

When: TBC - stay tuned for updates!

Geelong Vegan Lifestyle Market - Geelong

Featuring delicious raw cakes and treats, vegan food and other vegan goodies this market is held in the beautiful seaside town of Geelong. Head to the Geelong Vegan Lifestyle Market Facebook Page or their website for upcoming market dates.

Where: 1 Barwon Heads Road, Belmont

When: TBC - stay tuned for updates!

If you love markets and are looking for more inspiration, you can also read about some of our favourite general Farmers Markets across the state of Victoria here.

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Vegan Valentines Day Recipe - His and Her's Brownies

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! While I don’t really buy into the hype that comes along with this day - we shouldn’t need a reminder to tell our loved ones we love them, we should do this everyday! - I do love an excuse to eat dessert! These His and Her’s Brownies will be sure to win you brownie points with your loved one this V-day. 

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1.5 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon egg replacer

  • 2 tablespoons water (for egg replacer)

  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt

  • Generous handful Vegan Choc Chips

  • Handful of Walnuts

Method: 

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C.

  • In a small bowl, make up ‘eggs’ using egg replacer, ground flaxseed and 2 tablespoons water.

  • In a large bowl, stir melted vegan butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, ‘egg’ replacer and vanilla extract until well-combined.

  • Now, using the same bowl, sift in your almond flower and cocoa powder. Add your water and salt, then stir until roughly mixed.

  • Fold in your chocolate chips (being careful not to overmix!)

  • Spoon out mixture/batter into a lined baking tray, smoothing it out with a spoon.

  • Pop some walnuts on top of your brownie batter before placing in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

  • Let cool, serve and enjoy!

Allergen note: This recipe contains nuts and gluten. Feel free to omit nuts and use gluten free flour if required!

Bon Appétit and Happy Valentines Day! Xx

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Cafe of the Month - Main Street Cafe, Mordialloc

This bustling cafe in Mordialloc’s Main Street is a popular choice for locals and visitors alike. A kid-friendly cafe, Main Street serves a range of delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options - and the food (and much-needed coffee) does not disappoint! There are many nourishing gluten-free and vegetarian picks on the menu. The service at Main Street Cafe is on-point too - friendly staff are super efficient with your order (which is especially impressive considering how busy it always is!). A short 5 minute walk will find you at the Peter Scullin Reserve playground and the stunning Mordialloc beach - allowing you to have the perfect day out with your family!

Menu Pick: The ‘Green Machine’ breakfast paired with a ‘summer greens’ juice, the perfect green combo!

Details:

Main Street Cafe - 503 - 505 Main Street, Mordialloc

Suitable for:

  • Vegetarian mummas

  • Gluten free mummas

Opening Hours:

  • Monday - Sunday: 7AM til Late

Playgrounds nearby: 

  • Peter Scullin Reserve Playground: Beach Street, Mordialloc

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Back to School Recipes

With school summer holidays coming to an end in Australia, it’s time to start planning for the school year ahead! Whilst my little ones aren’t yet in “big school” (primary) we still like to have easy choices for snacks and lunches during the week.

I love to meal plan for the week ahead so that I won’t be stuck for ideas when it’s been a long and busy day. Some of our favourite snacks and meals are quick, super easy, allergy-friendly. Full of delicious organic fruits and vegetables to keep us healthy and full of energy for active days of play and learning.  

If you’re looking for some new lunch ideas or new snack inspiration, below are some of our go-to food choices: 

Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Black Bean Tortilla Wraps 

This can be a messy one but they are so delicious it is worth the risk! To make, simply fill a tortilla with pre-roasted sweet potato, zucchini and carrot cubes, some diced red capsicum (or ‘red bell peppers’), diced tomato, cooked black beans and diced avocado. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime over the tortilla ingredients as your ‘dressing’. Add oragano on top, fold your tortilla ‘soft burrito style’, wrap a section of the tortilla around the bottom to hold it all in place and you’re in business!  

Vegetable Mini Pizzas  

We love homemade pizzas in our household. They are simple to make, the kids can help and it is a great way to get your little ones to enjoy their vegetables.

For the crust: Boil and mash up two large sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Now add to your bowl half a cup of oat flour (you can use almond flour instead if there are no nut allergies in your household), a good pinch of himalayan salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons egg replacer and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix all ingredients throughly until a ‘doughy’ ball of sweet potato goodness is formed. Divide sweet potato ‘dough’ into four smaller balls.

Roll out your sweet potato pizza ‘crusts’ to about 1/2 inch in thickness. Top them with organic tomato paste and vegetables of your choice - we change ours up often but usually favour a combination of thinly sliced asparagus, some kale, chopped red bell peppers (capsicum), diced tomato, some baby spinach leaves and thinly sliced zucchini - the best bit is getting to be creative! Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes (or until crust starts to brown). Serve your mini pizzas warm or cool. 

Apple, Carrot, Chia and Oat Muffins

These Apple, Carrot, Chia and Oat Muffins make for an easy snack, and they are a great way to get more vegetables into your little ones.

Combine a cup of oat flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, half a teaspoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons apple sauce (or your chosen egg replacer), and 2 tablespoons maple syrup.

Once a smooth batter is formed, add to your mixture some finely chopped grated carrot, finely chopped apple, and two teaspoons of black chia seeds (or you could use white chia seeds if your little one is fussy). Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Add mixture to a lined muffin tray (makes 6). Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C (until golden on top and you can pop a knife in one and pull it out clean). Let cool, then serve. 

Chickpea Burgers with Green Bean and Sweet Potato ‘Fries’ 

Who doesn’t love a good burger?! I usually purchase ready-made burger patties, and there are plenty of good healthy options out there  - such as these organic veggie patties from Bite Me Foods. Paired with sides, a good veggie burger is delicious, provides a good source of protein and is a quick and easy choice.

Cook your veggie burger patties according to packet directions. To make your ‘fries’, peel and cut a large sweet potato into batons and chop up some green beans until they are a good size for little hands. Par-boil your sweet potato batons for 3-4 minutes. Then, pop them in the oven at 190°C for around 5-10 minutes on one side (until browned ever so slightly), then flip them to crisp up the remaining side for around 5 minutes. Once out of the oven, sprinkle on some rosemary and/or a pinch of himalayan salt. Boil your green beans for 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry.

Your ‘fries’ are now all ready! Serve your veggie burgers on burger buns of your choice, with your green bean and sweet potato ‘fries’ as a side, and enjoy!

Homemade Sushi Rolls 

With some vegetables, brown rice and this handy sushi kit you can enjoy homemade sushi rolls for a healthy snack! There’s plenty of options for the filling too - from batons of carrot, cucumber and zucchini, to strips of eggplant, capsicum, tofu and avocado. Fun to make - and even better to eat! 

Animal Pasta Salad 

A pasta salad is one of our favourite lunch options as it is quick and easy. Prepare pasta of your choice according to packet directions (there are some great ‘animal’ shaped pasta options out there!), and let cool. Once pasta is cooled combine with vegetables of your choice (this is your chance to load in as many vegetables as you want! We like to make it as colourful as we can - with diced zucchini, diced carrot, diced yellow capsicum, green capsicum, red capsicum, lentils, chickpeas, quartered grape tomatoes, broccoli - the list could go on). To finish, add pesto or dressing of choice. This is an easy one to make the night before too - just store in an airtight container in the fridge and you are ready to go the following day.

Zucchini, Green Pea and Sweet Potato Fritters 

Fritters are a great addition to the lunch box, or a nice after school snack option. These fritters are so easy to prepare, which makes them prefect for back to school (or kindy!) time.

Combine in a large bowl 3 cups grated zucchini (ensuring all water content is squeezed out beforehand), 1 cup grated sweet potato, a generous handful of green peas and 1/2 a cup of chickpea flour (almond or coconut flour would also work well here).

Now add 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon egg replacer, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 a teaspoon himalayan salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, juice from 1 lemon and a small handful of finely chopped parsley. Stir to roughly combine all ingredients.

Grab a large plate and using a teaspoon spoon out your mixture into balls, slightly flattening them on the plate. You will end up with 8-10 ‘fritter balls’, depending on how big you want to make them. Now heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frypan over a medium heat. Add your fritter balls, cooking well on each side until they are nice and golden. Let cool and serve! 

Avocado, Banana and Kale Icy Treats 

These icy treats are a cool after school (or kindy!) treat on a hot summers day. The night before school (or kindy), simply blend up a small handful of kale until smooth, then add to your blender a whole avocado and two frozen bananas. Blend these additions until smooth and well combined with the kale. Place blended mixture in ice lolly molds, and pop them into your freezer. The ice lollies will be all ready to enjoy after school! 

Bon Appétit!  

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Morning SuperGreen Powerhouse Juice

One of my favourite simple pleasures in life is a yummy juice or smoothie. Full of good nutrients and flavour, it is such an easy way to nourish your body and nurture your health and wellbeing.

Lately, I’ve been loving green juices. My fave versions are packed with celery, apple, kale, spinach and lemon - sometimes with added deliciousness such as pineapple, cucumber or banana...or even some avocado depending on my mood.  

Here’s a quick and simple green juice recipe to brighten your morning:  

Add to your high-speed juicer (or blender) 4 sticks of celery, a small handful spinach leaves, 2 large kale leaves, 2 roughly chopped Granny Smith apples, 1 lemon (peeled and de-pipped), 1 cucumber and a cup of coconut water (tip: blend your spinach and kale leaves first until fully blended before adding other ingredients). 

Drink first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, to start your day right! 

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