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Food & Drink

Food & Drink, Life & Style

After the best reusable coffee cup? I’ve found it!

hydro flask review uk

hydro flask review uk

I have been on the hunt for the very best reusable coffee cup, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found the one.

You see, I have quite a prolific tea habit.  Coffee, less so, but tea, gosh, give me all the tea.  I never like to be too far from a hot beverage, and my bog standard reusable coffee cup wasn’t quite cutting the mustard for me.

My issues with the standard reusable cups were twofold.  Firstly, when I’m out and about I’m normally pushing a buggy, which means I can’t carry a reusable coffee cup.  I have tried to balance it in the buggy basket but that only resulted in spilt tea.  And while you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk, you should definitely cry over spilt tea.

The other times I want to use my reusable coffee cup are for the bus commute to and from work.  I don’t have time for a cup of tea before I leave the house, so I like to use my commute to drink tea and read the news on my phone.  The problem is I’m normally fumbling in my purse to find change for the bus, or trying to find my ticket, and having one hand out of action whilst holding the cup wasn’t ideal either.

What I wanted was something like a flask, that could be sealed up and chucked in my bag without fear of spillage, but was easy to drink on the bus.  Drinking tea out of a flask cup on the bus isn’t ideal and prone to spillage if the bus starts or stops suddenly.

After intense internet searching, I didn’t think such an invention existed.  Then, randomly one day, I came across the Hydro Flask – a reusable coffee cup that promised to not leak when sealed up.  After reading a little about it I bought one as a treat to myself in the hope that it would solve all of my tea based problems.

best reusable coffee cup uk

I have been using my Hydro Flask for a month now and I’m ready to say hand on heart that it is the best reusable coffee cup out there, by a mile.

I have tossed it around my bag for a month on all kinds of adventures and have had zero leaks! Bus trip to make?  I pop it in my bag and have two hands-free to get on the bus with ease.  Off to the park with my little ones?  I pop it in my bag and off we go with the buggy.  Car journey to make?  I pop it in my bag and don’t have to worry about it spilling when we hit a bumpy road.

It keeps drinks piping hot for hours.  So hot, in fact, that I have to make my tea or coffee and leave it to cool for 5 minutes or so before decanting it into the Hydro Flask otherwise it’s scalding hot and undrinkable for a good couple of hours, which, yes, I did learn the hard way.

The Hydro Flask is also great at keeping cold drinks cold.  This means I don’t have to carry about a separate reusable coffee cup and water bottle – saving my back and freeing up precious space in my already bulging mum bag.

What I love most about the Hydro Flask is that when you screw the cap back on it doesn’t cause the liquid to displace if you’ve been a bit overzealous and happened to fill it up a bit too much.

It’s also easier to clean than a traditional flask – no fiddly components – just a solid lid – so it’s not prone to fusty odours that flasks can be prone to.  As I say, best reusable coffee cup ever!

My only criticism is that the body of the cup does not get hot, so you don’t get that comforting warm feeling you get when holding a cup of hot tea, but then if it did then it wouldn’t keep the tea or coffee warm, so I guess you can’t have it all.

You can buy the Hydro Flask in varying sizes – from a small 12 oz, a medium 16 oz, to the large 20 oz, which rather handily are the standard coffee shop sizes.  I plumped for the medium – the large felt a little too large, even for my liking.

Even with the medium, it’s got a nice wide mouth and so far I’ve found that coffee shops are happy to fill it, so I’ve been making sure to get my reusable cup discount!  With my tea habit, my cup will pay for itself in no time!

If you’re also after the best reusable coffee cup too, then I’ve found the Hydro Flask online on Amazon or Cotswold Outdoor if you’d prefer to avoid Amazon.

In case you’re curious, I paid full price for my Hydro Flask and am just sharing the love of this rather fortuitous find that has vastly improved my tea drinking on the go!

Food & Drink, Spring

Vegan Easter Lunch Ideas

vegan easter lunch

With Easter just around the corner, my thoughts are turning towards the traditional Easter lunch, and what my family and I are going to eat after the one time of the year when we legitimately get to eat chocolate at breakfast time!

Aimee Ryan from the lovely vegan food blog Wallflower Kitchen, has created some amazing vegan Easter lunch recipes this Easter for the Vegan Society, which I’m excited to share with Moral Fibres readers.  There’s everything you need to cook up a delicious vegan feast this Easter:

Creamy Pea Soup

vegan soup recipe
A simple but flavourful soup that can be ready in minutes! Perfect for a light starter.

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 8 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
450 g frozen peas
700 ml vegetable stock
50 g raw cashews
(Optional) 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Dairy-free cream or soy yoghurt, to serve

Instructions
1.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onions and garlic, until softened.  Add the chopped leek and celery and cook for a further couple of minutes.
2.  Stir in the peas and cashews, then add the stock and balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Transfer to a blender and mix until smooth.
4.  Ladle the soup into four serving bowls and top with a swirl of dairy-free cream or soy yoghurt.

Vegan Mushroom and Leek Pie

vegan mushroom and leek pie
Creamy mushrooms and leeks encased in a crispy, golden pie crust.  Delicious, filling and a great choice to serve to both vegans and meat-eaters!

Serves: 4 /Cook time: 35 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced into discs
3 cloves garlic, minced
500 g button mushrooms
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
A pinch of salt and pepper

For the sauce:
1 tbsp dairy-free butter
2 tbsp plain flour
350 ml dairy-free milk
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 roll vegan puff pastry (or gluten-free, if needed)
4 tbsp dairy-free milk, for glazing

Instructions
1.  Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on a medium heat.  Fry the leeks and garlic for 2 minutes, to soften.
2.  Add the mushrooms, herbs, salt and pepper and stir for a minute.  Place the lid on top and cook for 8 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the dairy-free butter on a medium heat.  Add the flour and stir until combined.  Slowly add in the milk, a tablespoon at a time and whisk, until you have a smooth thick mixture.  Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.
4.  Combine the cooked leeks and mushrooms with the sauce and leave to cool completely.
5.  Make sure your puff pastry is at room temperature (if using frozen, leave at room temperature overnight) and preheat the oven to 200C.
6.  Add the leek and mushroom mixture to a pie dish and top with the puff pastry, cutting off any excess pastry around the edges.
7.  Crimp the edges using a fork and score a criss-cross pattern on the top with a sharp knife.  Finally, dip a pastry brush in a little dairy-free milk and brush the top of the pie to help it brown.
8.  Cook for 25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve straight away.

Balsamic roasted new potatoes with asparagus

vegan roasted potatoes
A flavourful side dish featuring seasonal asparagus and new potatoes.  Salty potatoes paired with the subtle sweetness from the asparagus and balsamic vinegar make this utterly moreish!

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 40 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 kg new potatoes (such as Jersey Royal or another small waxy variety) cut into quarters
250 g asparagus tips, cut in half
2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A generous pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2.  In a large roasting tin, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.  Add the potatoes and toss to coat fully before roasting for 30 minutes.
3.  After 30 minutes, add the asparagus with a little extra olive oil, if needed.  Toss to coat and cook for a further 10 minutes.
4.  Season with extra balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
5.  Serve and enjoy!

Lemon Possets With Shortbread


Ultra creamy lemon puddings with sweet, crumbly shortbread cookies – perfect for dipping!

Serves: 4 / Cook time: 0 minutes / Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
For the lemon possets:
600 g silken tofu
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
120 ml agave nectar
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few fresh raspberries, to serve
1 tbsp icing sugar, to serve

For the shortbread biscuits:
200 g dairy-free butter
125 g icing sugar
310 g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
2 tsp extract
1 tbsp dairy-free milk, if needed

Instructions
For the lemon possets:
1.  Blend all the ingredients, except the raspberries and icing sugar, together in a food processor until smooth.
2.  Divide the mixture equally between 4 glasses and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
3.  To serve, top with fresh raspberries, a sprinkling of icing sugar and 2 shortbread biscuits (see recipe below).

For the shortbread biscuits:
1.  Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
2.  Mix the dairy-free butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the dairy-free milk.
3.  If the mixture is too stiff, add the dairy-free milk to help thin it out until you have a soft but firm mixture.
4.  Transfer to a piping bag with a large star nozzle.  Pipe the mixture into small circular spirals.  Starting from the outside, working your way in.  Try and keep them all the same size!
5. Bake for approx 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Leave to cool completely.

Enjoy your Easter lunch!

All recipes and images Aimee Ryan for Wallflower Kitchen Copyright: The Vegan Society, 2018.