Bedford Vegan Festival was a wonderful mix of the expected and the unexpected. We tried so many delicious foods that we were looking forward to but also saw lots of exciting new treats.
Virtuoso Foods had a massive range of cakes, brownies and mince pies too which I made sure I eyed up at the beginning in order to plan post-lunch space in my stomach.
I settled on this rather healthy sounding rosewater and pistachio cake. Beetroot lends the beautiful pink hue which I am sure was one of my five-a-day. All credit to Guilda, you wouldn’t even know the cake was vegan and gluten-free! Moist and flavourful I could have eaten the whole thing!
The wonderful Veggie Jelli folks were there too with their rainbow display. The jelly is delicious, we tried the Lychee flavour. It’s such a great idea for a product, I wish them well. I’m sure we should be looking out for it in the shops soon. There’s new packaging with easy to follow instructions. I made some when I got home – blog post to follow!
Little Jem’s Kitchen did indeed offer up some gems! As well as some tasty homemade preserves, we enjoyed some protein balls with flavours like rose and pistachio, gingerbread and Christmans pudding. Really delicious and certainly in the festive spirit!
I have to tell you about this amazing Japanese style food from Nunchi I tried for my lunch. It was like sushi, with a taste of the sea and the tang of wasabi and picked ginger but with interesting and unexpected texture and flavours. I enjoyed this new take on vegan food because the flavours were inspired, reminiscent of sushi but with a twist. Also, the textures were unusual – a pleasant crunch worked beautifully against the rice, sweet potato, asparagus and avocado – and whatever other delights lay inside. I felt really satisfied afterwards and had to wait a bit before my dessert!
One other exciting discovery was Besos (the vegan Bailey’s). This delicious drink is made with tiger nuts which have great health benefits as well as being sweet so no sugar has been added to this drink! It tastes pleasantly alcoholic but also smooth and creamy, just perfect. It can be used in coffee too without it splitting. If you didn’t catch it at the vegan festival, its available to buy at The Ethical Superstore.
I picked up some sauce and pesto from Lush Mush. The pasta sauce includes all of the vegetables in the box, plus it also has lentils for protein; it’s an easy way of getting loads of veggies in one meal. The pesto was really tasty – we tried it on some beautiful sourdough bread we bought from Companions Real Bread. There was also a hamper full of vegan goodies including granola and chocolate made in St Albans so you’ll probably come across them when you visit a vegan festival there.
I also came across this beautiful handmade jewellery from the talented Rita Romano – elegant and understated, and a perfect gift.
As well as jewellery, there were some delicious smelling soaps and candles at Kai Craft.
The Happy Bananas won the prize for the best vegan pun, ‘Avo happy day’.
A vegetative state provided delicious burgers and skewers made with seitan and tempeh – my seven year old daughter had the skewers which she enjoyed very much.
The Green Foodie’s Kitchen provided some delicious sweet treats, its hard to believe it was all vegan. We tried cake and mince pies, and both went down very well.
This vegan wine was very popular – please contact Guilda, the event organiser for purchase details.
It has been a brilliant day discovering new vegan food and products, but most of all, I really enjoyed the sense of community there. Not everyone who went was vegan and I think that’s important to recognise because as Peter from Besos said, ‘Vegan food is for everyone’. I really felt that it was an inclusive event and met quite a few non-vegans who were simply enjoying the delicious food. Thank you Guilda for organising this event and bringing us all together! Please support these businesses by following them and liking their pages. Thank you!