How to be vegan (& still treat yourself) with Livia's Kitchen

Do you want to follow a vegan diet but struggle with all the information out there? Let Livia’s Kitchen help

Founded by entrepreneur Olivia Wollenberg, Livia’s Kitchen is revolutionising sweet-snacking. The company specialises in indulgence with a twist showing everyone how easy it can be to enjoy natural deliciousness. It all started in Olivia’s parent’s kitchen four years ago after Olivia was diagnosed with severe life changing food intolerances, forcing her to rethink the way she ate. Being a lover of all things sweet, Olivia discovered the confectionary market was lacking in truly delicious vegan, free-from treats made using all-natural, simple ingredients. Ever since, Livia’s Kitchen has been on a mission to make naturally indulgent, vegan, free-from sweet treats accessible to everyone.

What does a free-from or vegan diet mean?

At its simplest, a free-from diet is about consuming foods that are free-from key components such as gluten and dairy (lactose; milk) that, when consumed by a person who is allergic or intolerant to that substance, can wreak havoc with their body. Someone following a vegan diet will avoid any animal products, which includes meat, fish, egg, dairy, gelatin and in some cases, honey. To some, a vegan or free-from diet can often imply a diet that’s lacking in variety and taste, but this doesn’t have to be the case! Including vegan and free-from food into your everyday life if you choose to, or need to, doesn’t have to be inconvenient or expensive. Instead, it can be an opportunity to discover new ingredients and flavours that make some of the best and most delicious snacks.

Where to start?

Moving towards a plant-based and ultimately vegan diet can often be filled with uncertainty and anxiety. Instead of viewing the transition as overwhelming and one that needs to be done overnight, it can actually be an exciting challenge opening up a new world of ingredients, tastes and textures. Familiarising yourself with new food is the perfect way to start your vegan journey. Here are some of the best vegan alternative baking ingredients:

• Whole dates – a great natural sweetener that can also be used to bind ingredients in baking. Medjool dates are generally much softer and stickier and make for a delicious snack – try pairing them with peanut butter and raw dark chocolate

• Ground almonds – can be used as a heavier and more flavoursome flour than traditional refined cereal flours that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes

• Oats – a hugely versatile and affordable kitchen cupboard staple. They can be used to make porridge and crumble toppings and can also be grounded to make flour and milk

• Nut based milk – gives a creamy consistency and flavour perfect for cereal, cooking and coffee

• Nut butters – with a rich taste they can be used in a number of ways including; a replacement for normal butter in recipes helping to bind together ingredients, a delicious spread for a slice of toast and an indulgent topping for a dessert

Get your bake on!

For Livia’s Kitchen, it’s all about being able to say yes to indulgence; to never feeling restricted, excluded or dissatisfied. As one of life’s simple pleasures, sharing delicious treats with friends and family shouldn’t be complicated. By being smarter and more educated in free-from alternatives, you can make simple swaps to create scrumptious treats with healthier twists that can be enjoyed by everyone. Experimenting in the kitchen is precisely how Livia’s Kitchen was born. By pushing yourself to try new things you can avoid feeling uninspired and bored with your food. The best way to create an exciting, varied diet is by firstly learning how to recreate traditional treats and secondly, getting your hands dirty! Not every creation will be perfect but the end product can be even better than the original. You might even end up making a totally indulgent, vegan alternative that even the most sceptical foodies can’t deny how delicious it is!

Don’t compromise on taste

While it’s important to nourish your body with a healthy, balanced diet, listening to your cravings and satisfying your sweet tooth is also important – as we all enjoy the occasional treat. When taking out or substituting traditional baking ingredients for their free-from, vegan alternative, Livia’s Kitchen never settle for less taste – and you shouldn’t either! Livia’s recipes usually end up being even more tasty, indulgent and delicious. For Livia’s Kitchen, the key to a successful free-from, vegan diet is to never compromise on taste, treat yourself daily and to live life more indulgently!