For some of us, a hint of fall is already in the air. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you make the most of the last weeks of summer.
1. Pack a picnic
Grab some cheese, ham and delicious bread and head out to your nearest park or lake. Enjoy some time in nature whilst eating a great meal. Pack some drinks to keep you hydrated or even some champagne for a celebratory picnic.
2. Go on a hike
Get your walking shoes on and go exploring. Whether you head to the top of your nearest hill or travel further afield to tackle a mountain, you’re sure to get a moment of calm perspective when you get out into nature.
3. Cook something new
Take the time to create a new dish to share with family and friends. They’ll appreciate the effort that you’ve put in and you’ll get to learn a new skill. If you’re not quite ready to tackle something from scratch then try one of our quick muffin mixes.
4. Explore your local museums and art galleries
Get some culture this summer or learn more about the history of your local area by taking advantage of the attractions near you. If it’s an especially hot day it’s also a great way to cool off in the air conditioning!
5. Head to a water park
Is there anything better than splashing around and rushing down slides on a hot summer day? Take your last opportunities for some thrill seeking before the leaves start to fall and winter approaches.
6. Play sports
Whether you love baseball, football or basketball, playing sports is a great way to keep fit in the summer. Get a group of friends together and have some fun. You can make it more competitive with a forfeit!
7. Recreate your summer camp
Pitch a tent, build a fire, and roast some marshmallows! Reminisce with friends about your summer camp memories. You could even hold a talent contest. If you never went to camp then now is the time to have water fights and midnight snacks before the end of summer.
8. Go to an open-air movie screening
Whether it’s a drive-in, a trendy rooftop, or simply your backyard, watching a movie outdoors is a great way to spend a late summer evening. Stock up on popcorn, gather your friends and neighbors, and watch something nostalgic that the whole family will love.
9. Read a book
How often do you wish that you read more? Sometimes it is hard to find the time to sit down and read. Make it a priority to enjoy a sunny day with a good book.
10. Do absolutely nothing!
Another activity that it’s very hard to make time for in our busy lives. Take an hour off, sit on the grass or lie around in a hammock, and just enjoy the feeling of having nowhere to be. Even if you only manage ten minutes of peace and quiet you’ll be thankful for it.
How are you making the most of the last days of summer? Let us know in the comments?
The whole term ‘vegan cheese’ sounds like a contradiction in itself. You might be wondering how a vegan can eat something made from milk when they are thoroughly against eating any product that comes from an animal. Well, there are actual non-dairy cheeses on the market, as opposed to cows’ or goats’ cheese. However, choosing non-dairy cheese requires care and attention.
A lot of dairy cheeses are made using rennet, which is the process of extracting an enzyme from the stomach of a calf. Although vegan and vegetarian cheeses are made without rennet, some cheeses which are suitable for vegetarianism, including some made from soy milk, can still contain casein or calcium caseinate which is milk protein to give texture to cheeses. The best way to be completely sure you are avoiding animal products, read the ingredients thoroughly and look for the logo from the Vegan Society.
A good range of vegan cheeses are available and the choice is forever growing as more and more people decide, for ethical and health reasons, to give up dairy food and opt for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. That being said though, vegan cheese can be hard to find in just your small local grocery store. The best places to look are specialist cheese shops or big grocery stores. You should also ask because if the demand is great enough, it will have to be met.
A few helpful names to remember when searching for tasty vegan cheese are Tofutti, Cheezly, and Scheese. All of which can be found in store or ordered online. There are plenty of useful websites and books that will contain all the information on where to get the best, certified vegan cheeses as well.
How To Use Vegan Cheese
Vegan cheese can come in soft or hard form and different styles just like regular dairy cheese. You can grate, slice, spread or use as a pizza topping, the only difference to dairy cheese is that the properties are slightly different. Most vegan cheese can be used to replace dairy cheese in traditional recipes. The best thing to do is try them out yourself and find your favorites and them go ahead and begin incorporating them into meals.
Something very valuable to a vegan’s diet is nutritional yeast flakes. They help provide essential nutrients along with the important cheesy taste to many dishes. The flakes are yellow (not to be confused with brewer’s yeast) and can be sprinkled onto mashed potato, for example, to give the cheesy topping desired for your casserole. These flakes are available from healthy food stores or on the internet.
A Tasty Recipe Example of America’s Beloved Macaroni ‘Cheese’
What You Need
3 cups macaroni
½ cup vegan butter
½ cup plain flour
3½ cups boiling water
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
¼ cup oil
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
What To Do
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F
Cook macaroni as instructed on the packet, drain and set aside.
Melt the butter, stir in flour and mix over low heat until you have a smooth paste. Mix in garlic powder, turmeric, and soy sauce with the boiling water and gradually add to pan, stirring constantly until you have a smooth liquid. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat and whisk in the oil and yeast flakes.
Place macaroni in ovenproof dish. Stir in most of the sauce. Pour remaining on top and sprinkle with paprika. Cook for 15 minutes.
If you are a cheese lover, it is already hard enough to choose between your favorite Mozzarella, Stilton or Cheddar. Not only that but in recent years, creameries have created another delicious choice for us: Organic.
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Organic cheese is very much like many other organic agricultural products on the market, organic cheese is produced without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or dangerous pesticides. The milk used to produce the organic cheese comes from all organic farms where cows only eat organically grown grasses. The cheese is also free from artificial coloring or flavorings, and a lot of the time, enzyme rennet, which is used to curdle the milk, is not made from animals or genetically engineered. In place of them are naturally occurring enzymes, making organic cheese not only delicious but safe for vegetarians too.
Why You Should Buy Organic
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It is always the case that when you buy food, it is important to find something that tastes good, and is generally good for you. The good thing about organic cheese is that they are often superior in taste and quality and have received many rewards from cheese connoisseurs and professional critics.
While organic cheese is great for your taste buds, the benefits of buying it stretch farther than just your body. Buying it positively affects everything from your personal health to farm animal welfare, to even the earth’s endangered environment. To put it all into perspective:
Organic Cheese Affects On Your Health
Organic cheese contains all the goodness from regular cheese, including the high levels of protein and calcium. However, research has proven that due to cows having a natural pasture-fed diet, cheese made from organic milk is much higher in nutritional value.
– Research has shown that there are more Antioxidants in organic cheese, with it being 2-3 times higher in antioxidants such as lutein. It is also proven that organic milk is up to 50% higher in vitamin E and 75% higher in beta-carotene. They all fight damaging free radicals and can perhaps aid the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
– Studies have shown that there are more Omega-3s, containing up to 71% more than non-organic milk. Omega-3s are vital for maintaining a healthy heart, strong bones and teeth and flexible joints.
– Organic cheeses also lower the exposure to the toxins and pesticides that often come from factory farming practices. This is very important for children in particular because their rapidly growing nervous systems are more sensitive to the effects of these harmful compounds.
The Welfare Of Animals
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Another great thing about organic farming is that organic dairy farmers are also committed to the humane treatment of farm animals. Cows are not pumped with protein or antibiotics to force them into producing more than their natural capacities. They are kept in good health, fed an organic diet and have access to fresh air, natural light, and open pasture as much as possible.
Also, another important part of organic farming is that if the cows become sick, they are treated holistically with homeopathic medicines whereas, at non-organic farms, cows are routinely given antibiotics to prevent infection, even when they are healthy. While antibiotics are useful for fighting disease, they become less effective when used excessively. This has an onset effect for humans as we are being exposed to the antibiotics and they may lose effectiveness in treating humans too.
The Effects On The Environment
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You wouldn’t think that organic farming would have an effect on the environment, but it actually does. Organic farmers are not permitted to use chemicals that pollute the air, water or food. Instead, organic farmers use non-toxic pest control methods and sustainable farming techniques like crop rotation and composting. These methods ensure rich, healthy soils while conserving water and fossil fuels. They also are encouraging to wildlife, which has drastically declined over the last 50 years.
How To Know If It’s Organic
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Labeling is definitely important when cheese buyers are seeking higher nutritional value, toxin free and humane farming practices. In the U.S. it is the law to have certified organic labeling. There are numerous standards which are enforced by organic certification authorities. If you are in doubt, it is best to check your cheese packaging for organic accreditation. When cheese is labeled organic, it must contain at least 95% organically produced raw or processed agricultural products. Labels will usually contain the standard USDA certification.