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SCOBY (Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)

Scoby

A scoby can be used to make kombucha tea with either green tea or black tea and sugar. Kombucha tea contains beneficial bacteria, enzymes, amino acids, B – vitamins and sometimes vitamin C. If the tea is left to ferment long enough, it turns the liquid into a vinegar like substance which has other uses.

You can buy a scoby in a jar for R75 here.

Scobys make more scobys which can also be used as microbial cellulose to make things. Here is an interesting video where a leather like material was made. We do not condone the use of beeswax but another vegan material could be used which has similar properties. This video is to show how easy it is to be experimental and we hope that it inspires some of you to try and make things from scobys.

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AFRIKOA CHOCOLATE

AFRIKOA is the first bean-to-bar company in South Africa to produce chocolate made from cocoa sourced directly from African farmers. By trading directly with the farmers, Afrikoa ensures the freshest, finest-quality cocoa beans and empowers the farmers to create their own sustainable futures. Their cocoa beans never leave the continent, travelling just far enough to the southern tip of Africa, where their experienced chocolate-makers create the perfect chocolate bar.

While almost two thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, most of it is exported to Europe and America where it is turned into chocolate before being returned to our African shores. Afrikoa believes in growing the art of chocolate-making within Africa and supporting the farmers and their local communities, which is why they have made a promise that their chocolate will always be made in Africa, for Africa, using cocoa beans that have never left the continent.

Afrikoa’s search for the best African cocoa beans led their Head Chocolate Maker, Antonino Allegra, to the small rural region of Kyela in Tanzania where he met two groups of passionate farmers headed by Castor Sanga and Simon Mwakyusa who were both frustrated with a system which left their hard work and excellent-quality cocoa beans with little reward. It was while sitting in a traditional meeting under the shade of a cocoa tree that Antonino realized the mutual benefit of simply buying the cocoa beans straight from these farmers.

Afrikoa believes that this partnership, which treats the farmers with fairness, dignity and respect, is the future of chocolate and one that also means you can enjoy their chocolate knowing that you are encouraging a sustainable future for these 60 farmers and their families.

Direct trade means that the cocoa beans are sourced directly from cocoa farmers, cutting out all the traditional middlemen, buyers, sellers and organisations that control certifications, all of whom add their own profit margins to the beans the farmers have worked so hard to grow. By trading directly with the farmers, Afrikoa ensures the finest-quality cocoa beans while the cocoa farmers earn 250% more than they would the traditional way.

Yet another benefit of direct trade is fresh cocoa; while the traditional cocoa bean trading system means that the majority of chocolate makers buy their cocoa from Europe, it also means that these cocoa beans sit in massive warehouses for months and lose valuable flavour. By trading directly with farmers, Afrikoa receives the cocoa beans within weeks of them leaving the farms in Kyela. Fresh cocoa beans are highly aromatic and packed with flavour and we believe that this is what makes AFRIKOA chocolate so unique.

Direct trade is certainly not the easiest route and Afrikoa have faced many challenges and gone to great lengths to do so successfully. While the process sounds simpler, removing all the middlemen also means removing traditional transport systems and starting from scratch. Often the best cocoa is grown off the beaten track and getting the cocoa beans from farmers in Kyela to the shipping port of Dar Es Salaam now requires a 12-hour journey by truck via dirt roads – a long trip that Castor and Simon take themselves in order to make sure their beans arrive safely and just one of the many examples of their passion and eagerness to empower themselves. At each step of the process, AFRIKOA provides them with support, knowledge and resources. While direct trade is a challenge very few chocolate makers undertake, Afrikoa believes in it because sometimes the right way isn’t always the easiest way.

You can order Afrikoa chocolate here

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Red Pepper & Black Sesame Seed Seitan from Nobleway Foods

Red Pepper & Black Sesame Seed Seitan from Nobleway Foods

This seitan is superbly made and full of flavour. Easy and convenient to use, it can sliced up and added to almost anything. It transforms ordinary savoury sandwiches into gourmet creations and bulks up a good breakfast for those mornings when you wake up starving. These seitan rolls have many benefits which include:

  • High protein content
  • No cholesterol or saturated fats
  • Low fat and low carbohydrates
  • Source of iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium
  • Vegan and banting
  • Low in sodium
  • Sugar free
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That Mayo

Vegan Mayo
When you taste That Mayo, you will know why it’s called That Mayo because That Mayo is in a complete class of it’s own. It’s not this mayo or merely a mayonnaise, it’s that mayo because it will be the best mayonnaise you will ever taste.

Once you try that mayo, no other mayonnaise will compare. Delicious is just not a good enough word to describe it so all we can say is try it for yourself and you can come up with your descriptive word for That Mayo.

Every lunch roll, picnic dipped veggie, hamburger and baked potato will be a gourmet’s treat with this condiment.

It’s outstanding, extraordinary and well… perfect in every way.

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Pesto Princess is here

Pesto Princess
Pesto Princess is here

Pesto Princess staff spend their days making fresh, preservative – free pesto sauces & pastes by hand and cooking vegan soups. These are sold through retail chains and food distributors across South Africa. We still use our original pesto recipe, created 19 years ago, which is highly concentrated, so a little sauce goes a long way. We make our pesto exactly as you would in your own kitchen: by destalking the basil, using only the soft leaves to produce a creamy sauce. .
This way we guarantee there are no ‘nasties’ in your product.
We take full responsibility for the impact our business has on the planet and its people and give sustainable farming practices the royal thumbs up.
We buy our herbs from small-scale farmers wherever possible, who use organic sprays for pest control, and farm sustainably. We love local, and for that reason have ditched the pine nut in favour of cashews and almonds which are grown closer to home.
We use glass jars since they are the best keeper of food products and can be recycled.

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Smoked V-Salmon Pieces

 

These are great if you are allergic to fish, or if you love salmon but eat a plant-based diet. It adds a new dimension to salads, pizzas, pastas, and is a must-have ingredient if you make your own sushi. Smoked V-Salmon pieces are best friends with avocado and make a wonderful pair to put on savoury biscuits or even toast. These jars are packed tightly to the brim and a little goes a long way. They come in three sizes: 120ml for R45; 250ml for R82 and 290ml for R95. To order click here

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Coconut Vinegar – What is so special about it?

Not only do we support a healthier planet, but also healthier inhabitants. That’s why we want you to know about this fantastic product.

Coconut Secret vinegar is made from the sap of coconut blossoms from trees that are grown in mineral rich volcanic soil along a coastline of a mineral rich ocean. This results in a product abundant in potassium, containing 192mg per tablespoon. Potassium is good for balancing electrolytes, regulating high blood pressure and metabolizing sugar. Other minerals present are iron, zinc, and calcium, as well as antioxidants. It also contains 17 health-promoting amino acids, including 9 essential amino acids which help build protein in the body, and 8 non-essential amino acids. These amino acids balance immune function, alleviate stomach problems, and aid digestion.  In addition to this already impressive list of beneficial properties, it also contains broad-spectrum B vitamins, vitamin C, and a naturally occurring  fructooligosaccharide. Fructoologosaccharides (FOS)are prebiotics that provide food for beneficial bacteria in the gut, and enhance magnesium and calcium absorption.

One of the most unique characteristics of coconut vinegar is that it forms its own mother culture as it naturally ages. This particular brand is aged for 8 months to a year and is an unheated, enzymatically alive product.  Raw, unfiltered coconut vinegar is full of prebiotics and probiotics, making it extremely good for digestive health.

Compared to the taste of other vinegars, coconut vinegar is mild with a slightly sweet taste and no bitter aftertaste. It only makes sense to make your own salad dressing with this vinegar and benefit from the gifts of Mother Nature. Simply mix a little with olive oil and you have a basic dressing!

Unicorn Cafe newsletter subscribers will get a special discount when purchasing this product during the month of June. Coconut vinegar retails at R199, however if you respond to this newsletter with the word PROBIOTIC in the subject line, you can get your bottle for R179. This offer expires on the 1st of July 2017.

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Liquid Smoke

 

Liquid Smoke is distilled smoke made from heating wood chips. A little bit goes a long way. You can add a drop or two to your sauces or dips to add a warm, smoky flavour. For those that like the taste of bacon, this is the stuff you need.

 

You can find hickory liquid smoke at R50 for 120ml at our online store

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