National Vegetarian Week 2021 runs between 10th – 16th May. It is a week dedicated to meat-free eating and it is a great way to get more adventurous in the kitchen or order something different from a restaurant that you’ve always been curious to try! Veggie Week began in 1992 and used to be a single day of the year, but as vegetarians (and vegans) soar in numbers its ascended to a whole week of veggie-packed food delights so much so that its easy to find celebrity chefs sharing recipes.
There’s a lot of buzz about eating veggie is going to save the planet or stop world hunger. Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot more than that! But, what we can do is try to eat locally, better produced & farmed foods to really make a difference. You’ll notice feeling fuller, more satiated & more importantly “goodfeels” about supporting your community & your health.
In 2019, we did an article on National Vegetarian Week showcasing some vegetarian-friendly foods, types of vegetarians & places to dine. This year, we will share will you our top 10 locally made products to make your veggie dishes shine!
10 Local Vegetarian-Friendly Products to Try from Northumberland & the Scottish Borders
This relish is tangy, sweet and delicious! It can be paired with cheeses, used to top salads, accompany nut roasts and spread onto sandwiches & toasties. We particularly like Northumbrian Pantry Northumbrian Red Onion Relish with Blue House Goats Settled Cheese served with oatcakes and fresh leaves.
Bari Tea offers an organic, loose leaf green tea that is popular in Asian countries such as Japan. It is a refreshing tea perfect to accompany meals or to enjoy on its own. It is purported that green tea can flush out toxins from the body so this is a great way to detox if you’re looking to uphaul your diet into something fresher and healthier.
This green tea is lovely sweetened with honey or with fresh mint leaves. Alternatively, if you’re into hot beverages, Left Field Kombucha have a Sencha Green kombucha if you prefer something chilled and sparkling.
3. Alice’s Pantry – Billionaire’s Shortbread
Alice’s Pantry bars are vegetarian & vegan-friendly and are also gluten, nut & refined sugar free too! We like the Billionaire’s Shortbread with a cup of locally roasted coffee such as Three Bridges coffee by Northern Edge. The bar begins with a crumbly oat base, followed by a gooey centre of date caramel and topped with a smooth layer of raw chocolate.
Only natural ingredients are included in these productsAlso in Alice’s Pantry range are Banoffee Pie bars & bags of small-batch made granola. All Alice’s Pantry products contain no nasty additives or preservatives.
4. Northumberland Cheese Company – Taste of Northumberland Cheese Selection
Northumberland Cheese Company has a large, and delicious, range of cheese including Nettle Cheese made from cow’s milk to Elsdon a hard-pressed goat’s cheese and Redesdale, a softer, sweeter sheep’s cheese. All their cheeses are pasteurised and suitable for vegetarians. You can purchase a Taste of Northumberland Cheese selection, containing 6 different cheeses. We recommend pairing them with Northumbrian Pantry preserves such as Northumbrian Chutney with Spiced Plums & Apples and a glass or 2 of wine.
A great way to include vegetarian protein is by eating nuts. Peanut butter is great used in baking, spread in sandwiches or even added to sauces and dressing such as satay. The Nut Roaster uses only 100% nuts in these delicious little pots. There are no hidden additives or preservatives. Other flavours in the nut butter range include Cashew, Almond & Hazelnut.
6. Border Eggs
Eggs are a simple any-time-of-day winner. Border Eggs eggs are organic and free-range so your mind can rest easy when it comes to hen welfare. We like to enjoy our eggs poached with runny yolks. You can really taste the difference when they are farm fresh. Many local farms across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders have farm fresh eggs. Check to see where your closest is.
Border Eggs supply organic, free range eggs available from their farm shop & local outlets.
7. Chain Bridge Honey Farm – Heather Honeycomb
Honey is a well-renowned health food. Local honey even more so! Chain Bridge Honey Farm have hives around the border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.
We like the health comb honey as this is honey is its most raw form. This means its antibacterial properties are at their peak. Eat straight from the tub, spread onto fresh, chunky-sliced bread or drizzle over goats cheese salad. If you like to bake with honey, try the Tweedside honey instead.
Think that meat-free food is flavourless? Think again. Create veggie-filled fajita wraps or a warming paprika-spiced squash stew and add a dash of Ooft! Hot Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce to your veggie meals. The peppers may be small but they pack a mighty punch so you only need to add a few drops to your meals. If you prefer something slightly milder try the Chipotle Hot Sauce instead.
Both these sauces are vegan-friendly and are also gluten free!
9. Christmas Farm – Vegetable Box
You can’t have a vegetarian-themed post without including a veg box! There are many farm & farm shops out there supplying us with delicious homegrown vegetables. What makes Christmas Farm stand out is their produce is organic and delivered to your door. Located near Morpeth, Christmas Farm can also supply fresh eggs, milk and even flowers!
Ordering a local vegetable box is great as you’re given fresh, seasonal vegetables and it forces you to be creative in the kitchen if you’re given something new. Beth at Christmas Farm can give you advice with your vegetable for cooking & preparing and their social media is full of ideas. Why not give it a go?
Oats are so versatile. They are great for breakfast, for baking & topping savoury oven roasted traybakes. We also like oats used instead of breadcrumbs too. Try oats & grated parmesan to coat asparagus and bake in a hot oven.
Heatherslaw Mill oats are milled in the traditional way at their watermill on the Ford & Etal estate. The old-fashioned milling technique ensures all the quality inside these grains stay intact. This is also the same for their flour range including strong bread flour, plain & self-raising flour and spelt flour too.
National Vegetarian Week can inspire some amazing changes in our diets, but perhaps the most amazing & delicious of all is discovering these food & drink products right on our doorstep. Many local breweries & ginneries offer veggie-friendly beers & gins. So what is your favourite vegetarian local food or drink?
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