A total of 3.5 million people (or 7% of the population) in the UK are now vegan. A staggering figure and testament to growing awareness and concern for our planet. At Growhampton, we try to stay tuned-in to conversations on veganism and recognise the different motivations for plant-based living: nutrition, animal care, climate change, racial and social justice, economics and more. That is why we are encouraging everyone to take notice of Veganuary!
Although volunteers and staff involved in Growhampton follow different nutritional, cultural, ethnic and ideological beliefs, at the core of the enterprise is a focus on moving toward a more plant-based diet. Around campus, we grow a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers to highlight how plant diversity is beneficial to soil ecology, nutrition and conversations on the environment, politics and social cohesion.
One outlet for our campus-grown produce is The Hive Café on Digby Stuart. All food prepared on-site is vegan, with our seasonal produce going directly to the kitchen, where it’s used to whizz up amazing hot meals for students and staff. We also aim to encourage the use of vegan health and beauty products, which we sell at our weekly Farmer’s Market in Digby Square.
We recognise that meat production on an industrial scale is a central factor in climate change, land grabbing and marginalisation for people of colour, women and working class communities. Against this backdrop, we welcome Veganuary as a catalyst to equip ourselves with nutritional knowledge and culinary skills. In turn, we can empower ourselves and support people, planet and the animal kingdom.
We are offering a few ways to participate in Veganuary this year. If it is simply to make a few changes to your diet, save money or improve your cooking, here are a few recipe ideas to get started – click on the headings to check them out!
An affordable and nutritious student favourite is broccoli pasta. Packed full of goodness, colour and texture, this simple dish can be whizzed up in no time at all.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of chilli will add some funk and fire to your dish. Top things off with a sprinkling of pine nuts, or toasted sunflower seeds if you’re on a budget. While extra virgin olive oil is an amazing friend in the kitchen, have you tried extra virgin rapeseed oil? Definitely a worthy alternative, plus it’s grown / produced here in the UK. Less food miles.
It’s official, we’re in love with hummus! More than 1 in 2 people in the UK have a pot of this famous Middle Eastern favourite in their fridge. A surprisingly easy dish to make, beetroot hummus requires few ingredients and is incredibly versatile.
Chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander and – the wildcard – beetroot! What better way to brighten up a dreary January day with bright purple goodness on your plate.
Our final recipe idea for this month is one of the most understated foods out there, Brussels sprouts. Unfairly vilified, these winter stalwarts pack a nutritional punch with their abundance of Vitamin K and C, valuable for those dark winter months.
These bite sized, low-cost treats work fantastically well with chestnuts and mushrooms, particularly as a stir fry. A handy tip is to dice up the sprouts. Eaten this way, they are far more tolerable and will convert you from loather to admirer. Season with sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, thyme. Another option is sprouts and apples! Oooh you say. Gotta try it to believe it!
Growhampton will be harvesting and selling organic winter broccoli at the Hive Cafe and at the Farmer’s Market from 17 January.