I went to the first Cork Vegfest yesterday and had such a wonderful day. I ate as much food as I could, brought more food home for the boys, and went to some great talks! I also met so many lovely people. I had Síofra with me in a sling and she was amazing all day, loved meeting new people and wasn’t bothered by the noise or people around her.
First stop was The Cinnamon Fiend, who had a selection of vegan and gluten free cakes (the first of many cakes I ate that day), and I had their lemon cake with coconut cream, which was so delicious!
Their other cakes looked amazing too. I wish I could have tried them all. It’s not often that vegans get this much selection to choose from!
Then to Dream to try some plant milks to wash down the cake. I had only tried the Almond Dream and Oat Dream, which are both lovely, so wanted to try the others.
They all tasted really nice, especially the Cashew Dream, which is creamy and naturally sweet, so I picked up a carton to bring home for the kids (who loved it!).
Then I tried the chocolate coconut ice-cream from Oh! Naturelle, which was so rich and chocolatey. I definitely recommend it if you love dark chocolate. I bought a tub of the delicious raspberry rose sorbet to eat as I walked around. I’ll be looking out for it in my local Supervalu to get some more for the kids soon.
Then I went to get more cake from Bliss Bites Bakery, where I got a slice of white chocolate and rose cheesecake, snickers bars, and chocolate caramel bars (only some for me, some to take home for the kids).
They were amazing and nice to know that they’re healthy too!
I finally got my hands on some of the cheese from Little Green Leaf! I’ve heard a lot of vegans talking about it and had been wanting to try it for ages. It didn’t disappoint! I tried the mozzarella and smoked garlic and black pepper chedda and they were both soooooo great. I bought some of the chedda to bring home to the kids, though it’s too good, I might end up eating most of it myself!
At lunch time I headed to My Goodness for a raw mezze plate. My Goodness are at farmer’s markets around Cork and the food is all raw, healthy and amazingly flavourful.
Later in the day I got one of their kefir drinks too. They always make me feel amazing!
I passed on the cake this time (I’ve tried most of them before though, and they’re lovely!) and got their raw hot chocolate instead, which was easily the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.
Then I checked out the Shine mixes, blends of superfoods that you can add to smoothies, etc. They all look really good so I’ll definitely try them out. I love mixes like this to add to the kids’ smoothies, it’s a great way to get lots of goodness into them without them even noticing. Rian can be a little bit of a fussy eater sometimes but will happily drink smoothies full of spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass!
Next I went to try out some of the lovely Bia Beauty natural skin care products.
Then I picked up one of my favourites, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (and got some of the Violife smoked slices in my goody bag from Cork Vegfest too) from Art of Zen Foods. I’m currently eating a baked potato with Vegenaise while typing this and it’s so good! I might do a recipe with it if I don’t eat it all first…
All Rian had asked me to bring him was bars, by which he always means some kind of healthy date and nut/oat bars, which he loves. I found these Near to Nature bars and brought a few home, and they went down really well with the kids. Lovely to see them enjoying something so healthy!
Then I tried some of the delicious flavours of raw chocolate from Iswari, so good, and healthy too!
And even though I unfortunately couldn’t try any (because I’m coeliac), I had to mention the beautiful cakes from Miam! vegan bakery.
I’ve heard from so many people that they’re amazing and it’s really great to have a vegan bakery in Cork!
While I really love all the food, that’s not what it’s all about. There were several vegan information stands there too, Vegan Information Project, Vegan Ireland, and Cork Vegans, giving advice and resources to help people go vegan.
There were several talks throughout the day, Dr Ailis Brosnan spoke about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, Fiona Oakes spoke about her marathon world records and her work at Tower Hill Animal Sanctuary, and Patrik Baboumian spoke about being the world’s strongest vegan! I only made it to Ailis and Fiona’s talks but they were really inspiring, and reassuring that being vegan is healthy for us, as well as being better for the animals and planet, and that’s very important to me as a mother.
I saw the very interesting fermentation demo by Virginia O’Gara from My Goodness. It was a really fun demo and she got everyone up from the audience to take part in making fermented foods. It really inspired to try it out at home too!
I also did a food demo, of a recipe for vegan kids, a healthier version of rice crispy buns, and the recipe will be up on the blog in a few days! It was a really quick and easy recipe, because I knew I’d be there with a small baby so wanted to do something easy, but me and my kids love them and have been making them a lot lately. I got to chat to a few vegan parents and parents-to-be who had some questions, and it was really great to talk to them about my experience of raising vegan kids. I saw quite a few kids there, and it makes me really happy that there are all these kids being raised vegan now.
It was such a lovely day. There was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone seemed really happy to be there. Síofra was asleep most of the day in a sling so it was very nice for me to get out of the house and get a bit of a break from looking after three kids! I had so much great food, got to hear great talks, and wander around looking at all the stands, trying new products, and bumping into some Cork vegans that I know, and a few people who follow my blog, which was really nice. It’s amazing to see veganism growing so much in Cork. I’m from Co. Cork myself, so was really happy to have a Vegfest in Cork and hope that there will be many more!