Plant Based Mum Blog

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Cafe of the Month - Lisica Cafe

The Western Suburbs’ new vegan cafe, Lisica, certainly hits the mark! This fully vegan cafe offers friendly service and delicious dishes - the chocolate pancakes are sure to be a hit with the fam! What vegan cafe is complete without Buddha Bowls and smoothies on the menu too! A must visit if you’re in the area. 

The Details 

Where: Shop 6&7/45 Edgewater Boulevard, Maribrynong VIC

Hours:* 

Wednesday: 8AM - 6PM

Thursday - Sunday: 8AM - 7PM

Monday & Tuesday: Closed  

*Hours subject to change, please visit Lisica Cafe website for up to date opening hours. 

Playgrounds nearby:  

  • Footscray Park: 40 Maribrynong Blvd, Footscray

  • Black Sapphire Pirate Ship Playground: 122 The Blvd, Aberfeldie

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Australia’s first ever Free From Show and Allergy Show (2019)!

Exciting news! On 12 – 14 July 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will play host to the two events, designed to empower and educate those avoiding particular foods, allergens or substances due to choice or necessity - Australia’s first ever ‘Free From’ Show and Allergy Show.

With 4 million Australians living with an allergic disease, and more and more people cutting out meat, gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and cruelty, the demand for an event catering to allergies and food intolerances has never been stronger. - Australian ‘Free From’ and Allergy Show

The shows are co-located, so one ticket with provide you with access to both events. The Allergy Show is the chance to hear from leading experts in a dedicated forum and speak one-on-one with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia health educators. Topics covered in the Allergy Learning Centre include Challenges of current food labelling,hosted by A&AA CEO Maria Said, Infant feeding resources by National Allergy Strategy Coordinator Sandra Vale, and Thunderstorm Asthma by Asthma Australia. The Allergy Show is proudly supported by peak consumer support organisation Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as well as industry leaders Asthma Australia and The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. 

The ‘Free From’ Show will cater to those with dietary needs and exclusion lifestyles spanning gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and even cruelty. There will also be a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly brands and education, as well as FODMAP friendly foods.

Visitors will enjoy samples of Twobays Brewing Co.’s famous gluten-free beer; cult classic Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Flavours; a gluten free Asian Hawker-style zone from New Chinese Garden and a range of skin-sensitive beauty products. The robust list of confirmed exhibitors includes: Orgran Health & Nutrition, Rebel Kitchen, Schar, New Chinese Garden, Tumerix, YUM. Gluten Free, Weis, Organic Formulations, Nestle Health Science and JellyFish Mattress.

Check out the Allergy Show and ‘Free From’ Show websites for more details!

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Immune Boosting Vegan Winter Stew

With winter on our doorstep, it’s time to bring out the nourishing and hearty stews and soups to keep us full and warm. One of our go-to’s during winter is this immune boosting vegan winter stew - it is easy to make, with leftovers for the next day too!

In the pantry you’ll need:

  • Vegetable Stock (1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 3 Garlic cloves (crushed)

  • 1 large brown Onion (roughly chopped)

  • 1/2 cup Passata Ristica Crushed Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Can Organic Brown Lentils (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Can Organic Cannellini Beans (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Cauliflower (divided into smaller florets)

  • 4 large Carrots (peeled and roughly chopped into smaller pieces)

  • 2 large zucchinis (roughly diced)

  • 1 cup cooked Peas

  • 1 small Sweet Potato (peeled and diced)

  • 2 Dutch Cream Potatoes (peeled and diced)

  • 2 large sticks of Celery (roughly chopped)

  • 1 generous handful of washed Baby Spinach (to serve)

  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Now, to cook your delicious stew…

  1. Make up your half a cup of your vegetable stock according to packet directions.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius, peel and dice your sweet potato, dutch potatoes and your carrots. On a large lined baking tray place your diced sweet potato, diced carrot, diced dutch cream potatoes and cauliflower florets. Place in the oven to roast for around 30 minutes (or until slightly soft).

  3. In a large saucepan, brown up your roughly chopped onion. Add three crushed garlic gloves, chopped celery, cooked peas, passata tomato sauce, beans and lentils. Stir until warmed, then add to the saucepan your vegetable stock, tumeric and your roasted veg from the oven. Bring to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stiring to combine ingredients well with sauce.

  4. Place portions of your stew in large serving bowls along with some brown rice, topping with washed baby spinach and season with salt and pepper if desired. If you have leftovers, they do very well paired with some pasta the next day!

Bon Appétit!

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Cafe of the Month - Little Wattlebird Cafe

Blackburn’s newest cafe addition, Little Wattlebird Cafe is well worth a visit! With plenty of delicious vegetarian options on the menu, including a gorgeous mermaid smoothie bowl, it is sure to be your new favourite local! 

The Details 

Where: 1/20 Blackburn Road, Blackburn

Hours*: 

Monday - Saturday: 8AM - 4PM

Sunday: 8AM - 3PM

*hours subject to change, please visit https://m.facebook.com/littlewattlebirdcafe/ for up to date details.  

Playgrounds nearby:  

• Morton Park Playground - 28/30 Central Road, Blackburn

• Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Playspace - 103 Central Road, Blackburn

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Food Allergy Week (2019)

Next week (26 May - 1 June) is Food Allergy Week. With the tag line, Be Aware, Show You Care we thought it was a great time to spread awareness about food allergy - including potentially deadly food allergies.

Did you know that one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop some sort of food allergy?  

If you suspect your little one may have an allergy it is important to see a qualified professional (such as a GP, Pediatrician or Specialist Allergist), who can make the diagnosis. 

Would you know what to do if your loved one had an allergic reaction? This video from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia helps to understand the signs and symptoms, and how to best respond. 

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia also share some great tips on managing food allergies:

  • Avoiding the food trigger(s) is key - if you know there is a particular allergy stay away from this food.

  • Always read the label: recipes can change without warning and seemingly harmful products can contain allergens (we learnt this one the hard way...)

  • Be mindful of hidden ingredients (for example: mayonnaise, gelato and homemade ice cream = egg, rissoles = tree nuts, curries such as massaman curry = peanuts, some chocolate sauces = hazelnuts, etc).

  • Be aware of cross-contamination: don’t share utensils, cooking areas or come in contact with children (or adults!) if you’ve been eating their allergen...in this case a kiss from Grandma could have dire consequences!

  • Disclose allergies when eating out and check the menu carefully - if unsure, ask!

Some of our favourite allergy-friendly and kid-friendly recipes and cafes are below.

Our Favourite Allergy-Friendly Recipes: 

Best 10 Allergy-Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Visit Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia for more information on allergies and allergy management. Enjoy your allergy-friendly food!! Bon Appétit!

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Market Spotlight: Big Vegan Market

It’s nearly time for the Melbourne’s Big Vegan Market! Held Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, this market offers a massive range of vegan fashion wears, vegan foods, vegan beauty products and organic goods. It’s a great day out for conscious consumers, people curious about the vegan lifestyle and those who just love good food! 

The Details: 

When: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2019

Time: 10AM - 6PM Each Day

Where: Royal Exhibition Building - 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, VIC

More Info: Only $2 Entry (and under 12’s are FREE!)

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Best Organic Food Stores in Melbourne

Today on the blog we share top picks for local organic stores across Melbourne. Organic produce, food items and household goods are free from herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals and make a great choice for the environment and personal health.

The Environment Working Group (EWG) shares a great resource on pesticides in food, identifying twelve foods with concerning amounts of pesticides - often dubbed ‘the dirty dozen’. Going organic, especially when shopping for the ‘dirty dozen’ items can be of great benefit. Choosing to shop organic also helps you to focus on what fruits and vegetables are in season, meaning fresh and vibrant produce for your pantry.

This May is Supermarket-Free Month, making it the perfect time to visit your local organic food store. Some of our favourite organic food stores in and around Melbourne include:

Aunt Maggies Organics - Malvern

Aunt Maggies Organics have several locations across Melbourne - in Malvern, Fitzroy and Carlton. They stock a range of items from fresh organic produce, to pantry and baking goods, and eco-friendly household cleaning products.

Where: 72 Glenferrie Road, Malvern

(They also have stores at 188 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy and Shop 7/8 Lygon Court, Carlton)

More Info: Aunt Maggies

Eastfield Natural Food Store - Croydon

Eastfield Natural Foodstore stocks a variety of fresh, organic and biodynamic foods. They also have a selection of supplements and eco-beauty products in the back part of the store. People travel far and wide to shop here, so you can be assured the quality and range of produce is top-notch. The store itself is very small, so leave the pram at home - this one is best for baby carriers only. After you have visited be sure to stop by Soul Pod Foods for a good coffee and a delicious treat! 

Where: Eastfield Natural Foodstore - 41 The Mall, Croydon South

More Info: Eastfield Natural Foods

Golden Age Vegetarian and Health Food Mart - Box Hill

This quaint but friendly health food store stocks a wide range of Taiwanese vegetarian and vegan produce and foods.

Where: 18B Rutland Rd, Box Hill

More Info: Golden Age Vegetarian and Health Food Mart

Green Mumma Organics - Rippleside

Green Mumma Organics really are a one stop shop if you're out in Geelong or on the Bellarine Peninsula. They stock a wide range of organic goodies from essential oils and fresh organic produce to nourishing smoothies, delicious takeaway meals and healthy snacks - there's something for everyone.

Where: Green Mumma Organics - 169 Melbourne Rd, Rippleside

More Info: Green Mumma Organics

Hello Charlie - Bundoora/Online

Hello Charlie stocks all your essential baby needs, plus something for mummy too! Hello Charlie stock a wide range of excellent organic, sustainable and eco-friendly products - safe for baby, mumma and the environment. You can shop online at hellocharlie.com.au - and you have the option to collect your order direct from their warehouse in Bundoora, or to have your items delivered.

Where: 4/30 The Concord, Bundoora

More Info: Hello Charlie

IHerb - Online

For the largest range of supplements and eco-beauty products online be sure to check out iHerb.

Joe’s Organic Market - Northcote

Joe's Organic Market is open 7 days and offer a range of organic produce and package goods. There is even a small vegan cafe on site.

Where: 64 Victoria Rd, Northcote

More Info: Joe’s Organic Market

Miss Spelt’s - Healesville

Miss Spelt’s Grains and Goodies are located in Healesville, so they make for the perfect spot to pop in after a nourishing breakfast at Healesville Harvest (Yarra Valley Harvest). The store itself is quiet small, so not really suitable for prams. Miss Spelts stock a range of organic goods; from eco-beauty essentials to personal items to frozen pies!

Where: Shop 1/2/232 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

More Info: Miss Spelts

Natural Balance - Mornington

Natural Balance can be found on the main street of Mornington. They stock a wide range of organic goods and vitamins. There is plenty to do while you are in Mornington too - find out more on the blog!

Where: 148 Main St, Mornington

More Info: Natural Balance

Organic Empire - Mount Evelyn

What can't Organic Empire do? They sure are true to their name - an empire of all things organic! Organic Empire is a beautiful farm store with fresh organic produce, nutrition and health books, eco-beauty products and a range of local goodies. They run cooking classes too, which mummy green highly recommends! With a heavy presence online, Organic Empire also has an e-store with delivery available, for when you're too busy to venture out.

Where: 138 Monbulk Road, Mount Evelyn

More Info: Organic Empire

Organic Food and Wine Deli - Melbourne

If you're exploring Melbourne, the Organic Food and Wine Deli is a great place to stop by for a bite to eat, or to pick up some organic produce and a sweet treat.

Where: 28 Degraves St, Melbourne

More Info: The Organic Food and Wine Deli

Sherbrooke Health Foods - Belgrave

Sherbrooke Health Foods (or ‘Hilltribez Natural Health’) is a small heath food store offering a range of supplements, eco-beauty goods, organic produce and assorted health food items. They even run raw food workshops!

Where: 1658 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave

More Info: Sherbrooke Health Foods

The Common Good Store - Hawthorn

The Common Good Store stock a large range of organic and gourmet goodies to fill your pantry. From organic vegetables to cleaning products, you can always find what you need here. There is a large range of vegan, dairy free and gluten free products in stock, and the staff are always extra helpful.

Where: 77 Church St, Hawthorn

More Info: Common Good Store

The Cruelty Free Shop Melbourne - Fitzroy

One of Melbourne’s most loved organic goods stores, The Cruelty Free Shop stocks some of the most well known vegan, organic and health-food brands. From your pantry, to household cleaning, vitamins, gifts and beauty needs there is a big range in store.

Where: 124 Johnston St, Fitzroy

More Info: Cruelty Free Shop

The Staple Store - Ripponlea

The Staple Store houses all your organic needs from personal items and specialty teas through to dried fruits and nuts.

Where: 19 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea

More Info: The Staple Store

This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium - Elwood

This Is Life Family Wellness Emporium is just as the name suggests - an emporium of wellness for your whole family. From holistic health services (such as chiropractors, nutritionists, naturopaths), to workshops and a wellness store this place is well worth a visit!

Where: 109 Brighton Rd, Elwood

More Info: This Is Life

Wholefoods Store - Frankston

Wholefoods in Frankston stock a range of organic produce, condiments, eco-beauty products and a wide range of specialty teas. 

Where: 28 Wells St, Frankston

More Info: Wholefood Frankston

Wholefood Merchant - Ferntree Gully

Looking for a one-stop-shop to buy all your essentials? Somewhere that caters to you as a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or paleo mum? Be sure to check out Wholefood Merchants in Ferntree Gully. Wholefood Merchants are the largest stockists of health food products in the outer eastern side of Melbourne. They offer allergy friendly everything and anything from fresh produce to eco-cleaning products to organic beauty items to baby food. As a bonus, Wholefoods Merchants also have a vegetarian cafe, where you can enjoy a treat and a nice coffee before embarking on your shopping journey.

Where: 3/794 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully

More Info: Wholefood Merchants

YourGrocer.com.au - Online

Featuring stores such as Aunt Maggies Organics, Dench Bakery and produce from the Queen Victoria, South Melbourne and Prahran Markets, Your Grocer is a convenient way to purchase your organic goods from the comfort of your own home.

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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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