Finally, this week, January is coming to an end - which for many of us means a sigh of relief! With the chilly weather and often-difficult New Year’s Resolutions (hello, 6am gym), the first month of the year can be a challenge. Here in the Ultimate offices, though, we decided to energise as part of our 2020 ‘Go Green’ initiative (you can read more about that here).
We decided to embrace Veganuary, a month-long commitment to plant-based food, which has enjoyed growing popularity in recent years. With a few vegans and veggies already in the office, the rest of us were excited about the possibility of trying some meatless alternatives!
Ultimate wanted to try amazing new vegan alternatives, both for our health and our planet. After all, it has been widely acknowledged that agricultural practices involved in the production of meat and dairy have devastating environmental impacts; and that a reduction in our consumption of these goods is, according to experts, ‘essential to avoid climate breakdown’.
Programmes like Netflix’s 2014 documentary Cowspiracy, and its latest documentary released in 2019, Game Changers, have offered audiences a new way to consider the benefits of veganism.
It’s not as if vegan means boring, after all - with more and more options, including supermarket ready meals, substitutes and even meat-free fast food and takeaway outlets, it’s easier than ever to skip the meat, without skimping on the meal!
After all, plenty of big names chose this month to roll out a new vegan line, like Subway’s Meatless Marinara sandwich, and KFC’s much-talked-about Vegan Burger, and beloved bakery Greggs released a vegan steak bake this month (on top of last January’s famously successful vegan sausage roll): big brands are showing that if they are capable of change, the rest of us can be, too!
In order to support and celebrate this important movement, the Ultimate office hosted a Vegan Buffet this week, where lots of us brought in our favourite meat-and-dairy-free alternatives. With vegan snacks including scrummy ‘sausage’ rolls, dairy-free cheese, hummus (of course), delicious vanilla fudge and many more, we can safely say we’ve had a few converts!
Find our super-easy recipe for one of the day’s winners, a creamy beetroot hummus, here:
500g raw beetroot
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
and the juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp ground cumin
This is how we did it :
Simply cook the beetroot in boiling water for approx. 30-40 minutes.
When your beetroot’s cooked (test this with a skewer, which should slide easily through it) simply drain, and set aside to cool.
Once you’ve done this, pull off any attached roots and peel, then chop your beetroot! Next, simply pop it into a food blender with your chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, two tablespoons of salt and some pepper. It should make a gorgeous hot-pink dip, which is perfect for sharing with friends.
To serve, why not try with carrot or cucumber sticks, tortilla chips, or - our personal favourite - serve with vegan yogurt, and some crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!