Taste Testing Eat Real’s New Organic Range

I’ve been a big Eat Real fan ever since I first tried their Chilli & Lemon flavour Lentil Chips. I’d never seen crisps made out of lentils before – or anything other than potatoes, really – and once I tried them I was absolutely hooked. After that, I kept an eye out for the brand and spotted other lentil flavours and their hummus crisps as well. All delicious!

A representative of Eat Real recently got in touch with me and sent on information about the new organic range Eat Real just launched. I requested a few samples to try them myself and I was delighted to receive six sample packets; two each of Veggie Straws, Hummus and Lentil crisps. I thought this was really generous seeing as they’re 100g each!

The first one I tried was the veggie straws and I polished off the packet myself during a Netflix binge. Seeing as they’re low in sugar, salt and saturated fat, I’ll let myself off the hook there! All of the crisps were ‘Sea Salt’ flavour, and although they were all super yummy, I think the veggie straws or the lentil ones are my favourite. Probably the lentil ones at a toss up!

Eat Real Organic

The range is gluten free and vegan (a combination that’s quite hard to find even these days!) and made of organic hummus, lentils and vegetables! They contain significantly less fat than traditional crisps (hummus crisps 40% less, lentil and veggie crisps 30%) and are certified by the Soil Association.

It’s hard to believe that the Eat Real brand was only launched 3 years ago! I suppose it’s because I first tried their products when I went vegan and I feel like I’ve been vegan much longer than a year and a bit! What this new range represents is that healthy food with good-for-you ingredients is becoming more readily available. And that’s a great thing!

Veggie Straws

Does anyone remember those salt and vinegar stick crisps? They came in a red packet? I can’t remember the name of them but I used to love that they came in stick form! Not sure why, it’s just a shape, but it heightened my eating experience for some reason!

Eat Real Organic

These Veggie Straws are exactly as they sound – they’re green, orange and yellow so they remind you of eating something healthier – and they’re hollow inside like straws! They’re just the right amount of salted – not so much that it rubs off onto your fingers – but just enough to satisfy that savoury craving.

Rating: 4/5

Lentil Crisps 

On first inspection, these crisps look like a holier version than the popular crisps, Snax. And by holier filled with some bubbly holes – they’re not Catholic crisps! Some of them are curlier than others but they’re just as yummy.

Eat Real Organic

I like imperfectly shaped crisps anyway, and that goes for most foods too, as it gives the impression that they’re not all spat out of some machine into cookie cutter shapes on a conveyor belt. Yack! These are very light on the tummy and super yummy – my favourites!

Rating: 5/5

Hummus Crisps 

These were the last ones that I tried (even though I’d be the first person jumping on the hummus bowl if I was at a party!) These are shaped like slightly curved discs and they’re very thin. If anybody tried to steal them on you I bet you could do some damage with the edges alone!

Eat Real Organic

Again, these are really nice but I think they’re even nicer because they’re the lowest in calorie of the lot – 466 calories for the whole bag! Not bad for a binging night, eh?

Rating: 3.5/5

If you’re a crisp fiend like I am, definitely give them a go, particularly because they’re certified organic, better for you than regular crisps and they’re tasty to boot.

Each bag is about £2.19 which is around €2.50 and they’re available from most health stores.

VLOG: Irish Vegan Festival & Exploring Belfast Charity Shops

Last weekend was Irish Vegan Festival so two friends and I bussed it up to Belfast, excited and hungry for some vegan yummies. Needless to say, we tried some delicious vegan food, but also some not so delicious food, but that’s to be expected. A vegan convention can seem like heaven, but you’re not going to like EVERYTHING!

I uploaded my vlog to my YouTube channel so you can see some of the beautifully presented food and awesome products on offer at the fest, but I’ll just do a brief recap here too!

We hurried and arrived at the Waterfront where the fest was held at 11.40am, buirish vegan festival t it’s better late than never, right? Unfortunately the bus times were against us – we got on at 9.3am and the journey takes about 2 hours. It didn’t make much of a difference as there was plenty to see and eat, but it took us a while to get our bearings and figure out how to get there.

Once we arrived we made a beeline for a hot food stall – Sgaia. I’m so glad we went here because their Eg and Bacon Brioche Burger was EPIC! I’d eat it EVERY day if I had the chance (so it’s probably a good thing it’s not widely available). Plus they had a great ticket system for serving people so we didn’t have to queue for an hour before getting our food (I’m reminded of tirish vegan festival he Moodley Manor stall at Veg Fest last year – we were in that queue so long the food was cold by the time we got it!)

We also tried a pastry that I initially thought was an eclair (no cream inside unfortunately!) that was pretty good, and we gave The Crazy Rabbit ice cream a try too. I picked tahini swirl, my friend Katie chose passion fruit and her boyfriend Jamie picked coffee. The coffee one was great but the passion fruit one was a little flavourless, whereas the tahini swirl just tasted TOO MUCH like tahini. For something that’s called ‘swirl’, it was just too strong a taste. However, it’s an Irish company and they just started up, so I’d definitely give their stuff a go again in the future! irish vegan festival

Katie and I gave a chilli sauce a go that almost burnt our tongues off and we tried some strawberry almond milk (though it wasn’t my cup of tea). We also picked up some very cute t-shirts (I picked one with the slogan ‘Eat Cake, Not Steak’ and Katie chose ‘Eat Jam, Not Ham’) for about £20 each, which is pretty steep, but we loved the design so much we ignored the protestations of our purses!

There was a VR experience at one of the stalls but Jamie gave it a go and it turned his stomach so Katie and I decided to give it a miss. We already know the horrors that animals face at the abattoir and have no desire to see it in action. It’s too devastating. However, this kind of thing would be excellent for opening the minds of some curious omnivores.

irish vegan festival

The Waterfront space was a really good size as you could walk about among the crowd without feeling suffocated and there were plenty of areas where you could just sit and chill, including a kids corner. There were lots of bins (though it would’ve been nice to see a recycling system) and a good area just outside the stalls area where you can get a cuppa tea or a beer.

After the convention, we went exploring to check out a few charity shops. All three of us love a bargain and we could happily spend a long time in a charity store. We all managed to pick up a few steals – including a corduroy skirt for Katie, pyjamas for Jamie and a cardigan and shirt for me. Buying from charity shops and second hand stores is more environmentally friendly so checking them out before going to a mainstream store is a good rule of thumb!

Overall I had a great time and I would go to the festival again so props to the organisers for all the hard work! I hope that Farplace Animal Rescue made plenty of cash to help the FIV+ cats they take care of!

Preparing for Irish Vegan Festival 2017

It almost feels like yesterday when I went to Dublin Veg Fest last year, so it’s weird for me to think that I’m going to my second ever vegan festival tomorrow – Irish Vegan Festival!

Cork Veg Fest is on at the same time (the same people who ran Dublin Veg Fest) and they kindly offered me tickets to go, but I’d already bought tickets to Irish Vegan Festival and made plans with friends to go so I had to refuse. If only I could be in two places at once!

I’m really excited to check out all the latest vegan food and products, though my wallet isn’t as thrilled. It’s a good thing I got paid this week, because I can see myself going a little crazy! Being in a big room filled with other like minded folk browsing tables and stalls filled with vegan stuff and NOT having to check the ingredients on anything? I mean, it’s kind of like vegan heaven right? 😀

I’m hoping to get some vegan merch (perhaps from the organisers, Farplace Animal Rescue, who help cats with FIV+) and try some delicious food with good friends. I’m going up with two vegans, Katie and Jamie, and possibly another friend called Casey (though she’s not sure if she’ll be able to make it yet – fingers crossed she can!) We’re going to get the bus up at 9.30am and back down at 5.30pm (so I can put money I would’ve spent on a hotel room towards vegan yummies instead!)

I’ll be vlogging my trip so I’ll be sure to get lots of shots of the food and atmosphere for anyone who wanted to go but couldn’t. Stay tuned for the video, which I’ll post on my YouTube channel a few days after the fest 🙂

I know there’ll be loads of vegan food there, but I’m just in the habit now of always taking a little bag of snacks with me – inside will be a Cashew Cookie bar from Nakd, some Lotus biscuits and a little packet of raisins – just in case! I’ll also pack a few pears and some water for the bus journey up! I imagine we’ll have to queue for a while, so I don’t want to go hungry while I’m waiting!

The sunny weather has basically disappeared now so although I want to be comfy, I also don’t want to risk wearing something light and then being cold! I’ll see how the temperature is tomorrow, but I’ll probably end up wearing a coat!

Here’s the programme for anyone interested:

Music
10:15am – 11:00am Didgeridoo Belfast with Terry McDonald and Shakti Tribe Belly Dancers
11:00am – 12:15pm Mellow Strings Guitar Duo Jonathan
12:15pm – 1:00pm Didgeridoo Belfast with Terry McDonald and Shakti Tribe Belly Dancers
1:00pm – 2:15pm Mellow Strings Guitar Duo Jonathan
2:15pm – 3:00pm Didgeridoo Belfast with Terry McDonald and Shakti Tribe Belly Dancers

Talks and Demos 
11:00am – 12:00pm Introduction to veganism Stephen Walsh
12:00pm – 1:00pm ‘Why vegan’ Ethical, Environmental and Health by Cliff Grant Focusing on ethics, nutrition and health and the harm caused by the meat and dairy industry and common misconceptions with regards to a healthy diet and nutritional requirements.
1:00pm – 2:30pm Go Vegan Campaign Sandra Higgins
2:30pm – 3:15pm DxE DxE Northern Ireland Direct Action Everywhere community and I will be presenting the evidence that supports why non-violent direct action is effective as well as discussing DxE’s 3 pronged approach; protest, open rescue and community building.
3:15pm – 4:15pm Heres to you, you and you Richard Deboo Living poetry and prose in performance, a celebration of being vegan
4:15pm – 4:55pm – Bangor Community Kitchen Laura Mashal Talk on vegan food waste