What do vegans eat? #3: Ice cream

“What, is there vegan ice cream?!” is a question I’ve heard many times. The answer to that question is simply put just “YES”! There’s quite a few different vegan ice creams out there, usually based on soy, oat or rice, or simply based on fruits or juices. Since it’s summer and we’ve had many weeks with nice sunny weather in Finland (after we had snow here in Helsinki in the end of June!), I felt that it will fit to do a post on ice cream.

There’s a whole bunch of vegan ice creams in the normal grocery stores, the larger ones usually have the biggest selection, but  smaller stores usually carry some vegan ice creams as well. The site “Vegaanituotteet” lists all the available vegan ice creams in Finnish grocery stores here (you don’t necessarily have to be able to understand Finnish to use the list). Some ice cream stands also carry vegan ice creams (Ingman and Sia, for example).

Sweet vegan ice cream

You can also make your own, very simple, ice cream based on frozen banana and plant-based milk that you mix in a blender until smooth and proper consistency. You can flavor it any way you want, maybe with cocoa if you want chocolate flavor, or vanilla powder for vanilla. Your imagination is the only thing that is stopping you! Just be aware that this ice cream melts quickly, so it should be eaten immediately.

If you have an ice cream maker it is of course possible to make even more different kinds of vegan ice creams. I don’t own one, so I don’t know much when it comes to this, but someone who does is the blogger behind Kamomillan konditoria, which you could check out if you understand Finnish. If you don’t, the rest of the internet is still full of recipes of all kinds. Good luck!

Earlier in the “What do vegans eat?”-series:
#1: Tofu
#2: Plant-based milk and cream

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Eating at Vegana

A few days ago we finally had time to visit Vegana here in Vaasa and taste their food.

They serve a lunch buffet that costs 9,50 € (includes a salad buffet, warm food, bread, water and tea). For one euro extra you can also have soup. You can also have take-out from the buffet table, you just pick what you want to have into a box and pay by weight.

When we came there I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food, because I’m so used to being able to eat just a few dishes in a buffet. Most of the food was different types of fresh vegetables and salads. The warm food of the day was oven roasted vegetables and a creamy spaghetti with pieces of soy protein. They also had several different types of bread as well as three types of vegetarian salami.

vegana lunch

I had a little scare when we read the ingredients of the different salamis and one of them had eggs, since I had got the understanding that the place was completely vegan. We had to ask about it and make sure that the rest of the food was vegan, which it fortunately was. So if you go there as a vegan, check twice and ask if you’re not sure about the ingredients!

Apart from the restaurant, they also sell food stuffs. I did not have time to check so closely what exactly they were selling, but at least different types of lentils and beans, soy milk and yoghurt, vegan cheese, bread etc.

The food was good – simple and fresh – and I’m curious what else they have to offer, so I will definitely go back some other day.

The making of (vegan) lasagna

Believe it or not, it is possible to make lasagna without minced meat and tons of cheese.
I made my first ever lasagna last Sunday, and even though it took some time it is actually quite easy. And even if it’s not the prettiest food I’ve seen it tasted good!

The recipe I used is taken from the book “Vegaanin uusi keittokirja” (in Finnish), which was edited by the Finnish animal rights organisation Fauna. I’ve translated it for you below. I also have some other lasagna-recipes I want to try out, one that is soy-free. But if I know myself correctly, it will take a few months before I manage to get that done… So for now you’ll have to do with this one:

vegan lasagnavegan lasagna close-up

Vegan lasagna with two fillings

You need:
whole grain lasagna

Tomato sauce:
oil for frying
1 big onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1 cube of vegetable stock
500 g crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pizza seasoning
1 big carrot, grated
sliced olives
2 dl crushed soy
1½ dl water

Sauté onion and garlic in oil in a pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Add water if needed.

White/”cheese” sauce:
4 tbsp vegan margarine
4 tbsp wheat flour
7 ½ dl oat milk
1 dl nutritional yeast flakes
½ tsp powdered white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg

Melt the margarine and mix in the wheat flour. Pour in the oat milk little by little and stir firmly, so that there will be no clumps. Use a whisk if needed. Add the rest of the ingredients, heat up and stir until the sauce is smooth.

Pour a thin layer of the white sauce into the oven dish and put a layer of lasagna on top. Spread one-third of the tomato sauce on the lasagna and then one-fourth of the white sauce. Repeat this twice. Pour the rest of the white sauce on top of the last layer. Bake at 200 degrees celsius for about half an hour, turn of the heat and leave the lasagna in for 15 minutes more.

Enjoy!