Plant Based Mum Blog

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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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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.coeliac.org.au

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

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

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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