The 5 best vegan sugar shacks

Ce n’est pas parce qu’on est végane qu’on ne peut pas profiter du temps des sucres! De plus en plus d’érablières offrent des menus entièrement ou en partie véganes. D’autres encore ont concocté des cartes végétariennes à partir desquels les véganes peuvent se composer une généreuse assiette. Car ne l’oublions pas, la clé de voûte de tout repas de cabane à sucre – le fameux sirop d’érable – est 100 % végane! Voici donc notre sélection des meilleures cabanes à sucre véganes à ajouter à votre carnet d’adresses.

La Cabane à Tuque

The Cabane à Tuque every vegan Quebecer’s dream! The entirely vegan menu features vegan versions of traditional recipes: pea soup, cretons, “lardless” beans, and, of course, maple taffy on snow. You’ll also love that the maple grove is environmentally friendly, since it was built using natural and recycled materials. From the beginning of February to the end of April, you can go there in small or larger groups of up to 35 people for a rustic and vegan experience at its best!

La Pause Sylvestre

La Pause Sylvestre offers an intimate dining experience: this tiny sugar shack seating just 24 allows you to enjoy a vegetarian meal in a cozy, magical setting. Maple grove owners Mario Tremblay and Carole Bouthillette place vegetable proteins at the heart of their culinary creations. To enjoy a scrumptious vegan meal there, you’ll have to call up your friends, because the entire cabin must be rented to order the fully vegan menu, where homemade sauerkraut, marinated beets, buckwheat pancakes and lots of maple syrup are all on offer. But heed this advice: it’s better to call ahead to reserve your place because even without a website, La Pause Sylvestre is ever-popular.

Sucrerie du Domaine

Bien qu’elle soit réputée pour son menu « carnivore », la luxueuse cabane Sucrerie du Domaine offre des alternatives végétaliennes qui ne passent pas inaperçues. Tourtière, cretons et fèves au lard y sont répliqués de délicieuse façon, pour le plus grand plaisir des véganes. Refusant les compromis, les propriétaires ont mis trois ans à élaborer leur menu. Pour trouver grâce à leurs yeux, les plats devaient se rapprocher le plus possible des saveurs originales, avec des textures moelleuses et onctueuses. En guise de dessert, les becs sucrés peuvent choisir entre un pouding chômeur, une tarte au sirop d’érable pur et de la tire d’érable sur la neige. Miam!

Domaine Labranche

Domaine Labranche is a gourmet destination with everything to please those with dietary restrictions. Five menus are offered: traditional, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free. This way, everyone can enjoy their meal to the fullest! The vegan menu includes vegetarian cretons and scrambled tofu with maple syrup. Enjoy your meal in a warm and friendly atmosphere before going out in the snow for a taffy beak. A pure delight!

Val des Rosacées

L’érablière Val des Rosacées, située au cœur de la région vallonnée de St-Joseph-du-Lac, tout près de Mirabel, accueille avec panache les adeptes de cabane à sucre en tous genres. En marge du menu traditionnel, on y propose des options végétariennes, en grande partie véganes. Mis à part le brie fondant et l’omelette, le reste du menu salé est végane. Et difficile de ne pas craquer d’emblée pour les célèbres “bines à Line”, le jambon végane et, bien sûr, les saucisses GUSTA! Chaque semaine, une énorme salade de fruits est préparée pour la clientèle végane… Et on prend soin d’y saupoudrer du sucre d’érable. Il y en a donc pour tous les goûts et – parole d’honneur – on en redemande! 

There are clearly an increasing number of alternatives for vegans with a sweet tooth. Sugar shacks are adapting to the changing demands of their clientele and, for that, we applaud them! This delicious Quebec tradition has everything to please, so it’s great that they are evolving to accommodate as many diets as possible. And once you’re back in town, extend the pleasure at home with our vegan tourtière recipe.

Et de retour en ville, on prolonge le plaisir à la maison avec notre recette de tourtière végane et son ketchup maison… Vive le temps des sucres!

Vegan Grocery List: The Must-Haves

When we adopt a vegan diet, we must adjust our cooking habits, our ways of doing things… and (to some extent) the content of our pantry and fridge! What are vegan musts, these basic ingredients that make it possible to cook tasty, varied and bluffing vegan recipes? Here is the shortlist. Ready? Grab a pen or a tablet!

For every sweet tooth

Exit honey, which is directly the fruit of the bees’ work, and white sugar, whose bleaching processes sometimes require the use of animal bones. To delight our sweet tooth and brilliantly enhance our desserts without hurting animals and the environment, there are a host of delicious vegan alternatives. To be added to our grocery list:

For a “milky way”

Fancy creamy lattes or sauce dishes? We can enrich our cream recipes while letting the cows graze the fields quietly, or the goats bleat at will in the pastures. Of course! Instead of animal dairy products, we simply turn to vegetable milks which – as a bonus – are free of lactose (thus, easy to digest). Suggestions:

Bye butter

In the morning, on toasted bread, nut butters prepared without dairy products are both nourishing and decadent (peanut butter, almond butter, pistachio butter, etc.). The same goes for vegan margarine, including among others the olive oil-based ones: it is delicious while providing us with a good intake of omega-3. Try it cold (on bread) or use it for cooking.

Egg replacer

Firm tofu, chopped, seasoned and cooked in a frying pan, looks like scrambled eggs served for breakfast or in a sandwich. If you want to prepare mousses and aerial meringues instead, you just need to replace the traditional egg whites with the water contained in canned chickpeas or their cooking water (called aquafaba). Chickpea flour makes it possible to prepare lovely omelettes without egg yolks. Agar-agar is unstoppable to obtain gelled textures. Not to mention oatmeal and starch powder, which can thicken sauces.

These staple foods make it possible to adapt a whole bunch of classic recipes into vegan recipes. It is therefore recommended to add them to our grocery list, to make them the pillars of our veggie pantry. And here is another gravy train: stop at the fresh section of our favourite grocery store to slip into our basket some GUSTA sausages, roasts, vegan cheeses, cretons and vegan pâtés. It makes life and meal preparation easier. And it’s finger-licking good! #Longlivedveganism


Header image credit: Vegan Liftz
Debunking Myths about Flexitarianism

Between vegetarianism, veganism and plant-based diets, there lies flexitarianism. With all the eating practices that exist today, it can be easy to get lost. That’s why we’re helping you unravel the flexitarian diet, the latest eating trend that is earning traction with more and more followers all over the world.

What is flexitarianism?

As the name suggests, flexitarians are flexible in their diet. They try to reduce and limit their consumption of meat and fish. Unlike vegans or vegetarians who stop eating meat altogether and eliminate many foods from their daily lives, flexitarianism does not prohibit anything. However, in this type of diet, eating lots of  fruits and vegetables is encouraged and of course, processed products are eliminated.

What are the benefits of being flexitarian? 

Some people are not necessarily ready to go vegetarian, vegan or engage in a completely plant-based diet because it may seem very strict. But, they still want to do small things that are meaningful for the environment, animals, and their own health.

Flexitarianism focuses more on quality food. When meat is consumed, it is bought from the local butcher and it comes from healthy or organic breeding. Flexitarians are conscientious. They know that in addition to ethical issues, large cattle ranches cause environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and the excessive use of water.

Becoming flexitarian

The information we’ve shared is very useful, but if you really want to get into flexitarianism, what do you do?

You can start your transition slowly and adjust your consumption over the coming weeks. The changes to your diet will occur gradually. Remember that balance is the magic word when it comes to  flexitarianism.

3  flexitarian myths that need to be debunked   

Being flexitarian is expensive

It’s the opposite! In some cases, as a flexitarian, you will considerably reduce your grocery bill. Buying organic products and healthy farmed meat is not that much more expensive. In addition, since you won’t be buying meat for all your weekly meals, part of this savings can now be used to buy your local products from small merchants. Of course, you still have to plan your budget, just like you would with any type of diet.

Being flexitarian is just a way to avoid being vegan

Being vegan is a whole way of life that you can ease into gradually. There are steps to follow and flexitarianism fits perfectly into the transition. For some people, this is a step along the way towards veganism or vegetarianism.

For others, there is no question of putting meat consumption aside completely! However, these people want to do their part for the environment, animals, and their own health. This shift is one focused on making small, simple gestures that will have a big impact on our planet in the long term.

 Being a flexitarian does not provide enough nutrients for the body

What a myth! In fact, in recent years, many top athletes have proven otherwise. Many of them are now turning to flexitarianism in order to eat a balanced diet and consume products that are healthy for their body and aid in achieving peak performance. This is because the nutrients found in meat can also be found in other foods. The key is to eat a variety of foods, try new recipes, and discover delicious new ingredients.

Flexitarianism is a fairly accessible diet and the perfect choice for all those who do not want to make drastic changes, but who still want to do their part for the environment, for the animals, and for their own health.

4 ways to reduce your meat consumption without feeling frustrated

New year means new resolutions! And if you are considering making some changes to what you eat, putting some thought into your habits will help you stick to them long term. Whether you’re doing it for your health, ecological reasons or ethical ones, it is important to have a balanced diet and enjoy the dishes you are preparing. 

Here are our four tips for reducing your consumption of animal products:

1- Choose one day per week for vegetarian meals

No need to fill your fridge with tofu and tempeh, especially if you don’t like these products or have never tried them. Rather than creating frustration through drastic changes it’s better to make gradual changes to your diet. Why not start by eating vegetarian meals once a week? The Meatless Monday movement has been very successful around the world and has helped many people gradually transition to a vegetarian diet.

2- Choose vegetable protein

Some people think that animal protein should be offset with powdered plant protein (which is usually expensive). And yet, plant proteins are much more accessible than you think. They are found in legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and textured vegetable protein (TVP).  Understanding the meaning of these ingredients can be tricky at first – we’ve all been there! To familiarize yourself with the lingo of vegan eating, we invite you to read our article on plant-based protein sources.

3- Try substitute products

Fauxmage, vegan sausages, vegetable meatballs or veggie ground—you can recreate all your favourite recipes, veggie style! Enjoy textured TVP lasagna, four fauxmages pizza, hot dogs featuring wheat sausages, shepherd’s pie with veggie ground, and so much more!

An added bonus: these substitutes are generally easy to prepare, are well-seasoned and taste delicious. You can save time on busy days while still enjoying preparing your food. Want to shop for products that will make you fall in love with plant-based cooking? Take a peek at our products! 

4- Try new recipes

Break out of your routine rut with some new recipes. Your loved ones and your taste buds will be pleasantly surprised by the changes you are bringing to the table!

To find plenty of inspiration (without taking too many risks) you can learn about new textures and flavour combinations by picking up cookbooks or simply subscribing to vegan foodie blogs and YouTube channels.

We recommend the following resources:

We hope these tips will motivate you to take the plunge and make small changes to what you’re putting on your plate. In the meantime, we recommend that you check out our Gustarium section where you will find a wealth of advice that will help you successfully transition toward eating less meat.  Don’t forget that you can also simply add a few of our GUSTA products to your grocery cart and try a few of our delicious recipes. It’s as easy as that! 

4 tips for an eco-friendly Christmas

Only a few weeks before Christmas and at GUSTA we’re already wearing our ugly Christmas sweaters to get us in the mood. This period is the ideal opportunity to reunite with family and express our attachment to our loved ones. But,  the fact remains that this holiday also celebrates overconsumption and food waste, if it’s not properly planned out. Fortunately, there are always easy and economical solutions to make your Christmas eco-friendly and ethical.

Here are 4 ways to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas :

1. Opt for vintage gifts 

Vintage is the new fashion, much to the delight of our planet and our wallets. A host of online thrift stores and stores specifically designed to sell retro items are available.

Although some collectibles can be expensive, these places are THE perfect destination for finding special pieces with a symbolic meaning. Take your loved ones back to a favourite time with a vintage gift! 

vintage shop and vintage shopping

Here are a few addresses that will bring some joy: 

MONTRÉAL

TORONTO

VANCOUVER

2. Choosing your Christmas tree 

There are several ways to reduce your ecological footprint while still enjoying a decorative Christmas tree!

First of all, don’t even think about purchasing an artificial tree! While they might be reusable, they are a source of pollution thanks to being made from plastic. Ellipsos carried out a study on the life cycle of natural fir, comparing it to an artificial fir. Big surprise—an artificial Christmas tree emits approximately 8.1 kg of CO2 for its production and for its transport, while a natural tree emits only 3.1 kg of CO2. The natural option produces less than half of the pollutants than the artificial option! In addition, for the artificial tree to be considered carbon neutral it would have to be used for 20 years. And we know that after three years, the trees usually end up in the trash either through wear and tear, or simply because it’s time for a change!

For an environmentally friendly tree, you can opt for a local, organic purchase. To avoid throwing it away, replant it in your garden after the holidays or pot your tree and make it part of your décor so you can enjoy it all year long!  

If none of its options are appealing, why not rent a tree?  This option, which saves money  and is ecological, makes it possible to limit the wastage of trees.

As for you creative types, why not make your own tree using recycled objects, books, garlands or newspapers? This is a great family activity to entertain children and include them in holiday preparations.

christmas tree
3. To wrap or not to wrap? 

Gift wrapping often ends up in the trash, so why do we even bother? What really matters is what’s on the inside, right?

If you want to create an Instagrammable Christmas moment, you can always opt for eco-friendly packaging – wrap your gift in fabric, it’s a major trend this year! In addition to being reusable your gifts are going to look incredibly chic! 

Here’s a video that will inspire you next time you’re wrapping gifts:  

Furoshiki : zero waste gift wrapping

wrapped present, furoshiki
4. Less meat, more veggies! 

Do you love cooking for your guests over the holiday period? There is no doubt, the meal is the best part of Christmas—the whole family is gathered together to share traditional and authentic dishes. And why not introduce them to some of your vegan recipes?

Gift yourself with The Buddhist Chef : Vegan Comfort Cooking. This cookbook is filled with recipes that your guest will adore; family classics that now have a vegan flair! 

You can also always opt for our vegan alternatives that will make your holiday prep even easier: serve a platter of fauxmages for an aperitif, veggie sausages as a starter, or vegan pâté on your toast in the morning. 

christmas diner

We hope these tips will help you start your resolutions long before January. Beginning at Christmas, you can start applying your new eco-friendly habits to ensure a better future for the planet, one small gesture at a time.

7 apple and pumpkin recipes to try this fall

Fall, what a great time for picking apples and pumpkins! What we also particularly love are the baking days that follow. Every year, it’s always the same: we’ve picked too many of these fruits and we don’t know what to do with them! But after sampling these delicious plant-based recipes, you might decide that you need even more apples and pumpkins in your kitchen!

Discover which one of these seven plant-based recipes will become your new favourite.

Vegan apple crumble

It might not be very original, but it’s an absolute favorite. Who doesn’t love a delicious apple crumble when you’ve come back from the orchards? This melt in your mouth recipe is probably one of the easiest to make, and it will bring back some of your sweetest childhood memories. 

Ingredients

Crumble

Filling

For steps to the recipe, click here.

Source : La Cuisine de Jean-Philippe
Spiced Pumpkin Butter

This is a delicious alternative for your toast or muffins in the morning. Sweet and slightly misleading (this recipe doesn’t even contain butter!),  try it out and see if you’ve found a new favourite! 

Ingredients

For steps to the recipe, click here.

beurre_citrouille
Source : Le Cuisinomane
Apple cake

This cake is beyond delicious! Its soft texture and just-sweet-enough flavour are what we love most of all. Make this recipe with your favourite people on a rainy Sunday afternoon this fall.

Ingredients

Crumble

Cake

For steps to the recipe, click here

Pumpkin and chocolate cookies

What tastes more like fall than pumpkin and spices? These delicious chocolate pumpkin cookies are not only comforting, they’re also good for you. Low in fat and made with natural ingredients, they make a really great snack.

Ingredients

For steps to the recipe, click here.

Source : Valises et Gourmandises
Apple donuts

You certainly can’t spotlight apple and pumpkin recipes without incorporating delicious, homemade donuts! For a quick, well-made dessert that requires very few ingredients, this one will be your new best friend.

Ingredients

For steps to the recipe, click here.

Apple pie

The famous apple pie, a post-picking classic! In this recipe, a smaller version is proposed: mini tarts to avoid waste (and to possibly avoid eating the whole pie in one day!). In addition to being very cute, these little 4-inch-wide wonders are absolutely delectable.

Ingredients

For steps to the recipe, click here.

Pumpkin squares

The ultimate snack for young and old alike! Comfort is found in the variety of spices these pumpkin squares contain. They are wonderfully tender and absolutely delicious; we could eat them morning, noon and night. The challenge is trying to make these squares last more than a day!  

The ingredients

For steps to the recipe, click here.

Source : Simplement Frais
3 anti-waste tips for saving the planet without breaking the bank

There are so many gestures we can make to  save the planet.  Reducing food waste is one of them! According to a new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released this year, 931 million tonnes of food available to consumers was wasted in 2019 all over the world. According to the report, households are the biggest source of food waste. They alone represent 61% of the losses!

Let’s stay optimistic …

The good news is that the majority of Canadians are motivated to act and want to change their eating habits for more responsible consumption. According to a survey conducted by Love Food, Hate Waste Canada in 2020 of 1,200 Canadians, 94% say they are ready to reduce food waste in their homes. But how do you save those bananas that have been lying around on the counter for days or those vegetables that are almost overly ripe?

3 strategies for more conscious consumption 

1- Plan your meals 

Are you the type of person who does their groceries on the fly? If so, making your grocery list based on the missing ingredients in your fridge and pantry to limit unnecessary purchases is a good start to reducing waste. And if you want to become an organizational whiz you can also plan the meals for the week ahead. All you need to do is select the week’s recipes before you go shopping. This step will not only allow you to limit food waste, but also save money.

2- The fridge, your most trusted allie

Storing your food requires a cool space! When it comes to fruits, vegetables, leftovers, and dairy products, it is important to put each ingredient in the right compartment in order to optimize conservation and prevent it from ending up in the trash.

As the Love Food, Hate Waste Canada  illustration shows, saving your food in the fridge  is quite an art!

Source: Love Food, Hate Waste Canada

You can even put pre-cooked meals in the freezer to take them out on your busier days.

3-  Try new recipes

Limiting food waste isn’t just about meal planning. You can also have fun trying out new recipes with overripe fruits and vegetables. Banana bread, carrot cakes or even zucchini bread, there are lots of creative and delicious recipes that will allow you to enjoy your surplus of fruits and vegetables.

So? Is zero waste feeling complicated? As you can see, it’s all about organization and creativity!

And besides, if our Gusta sausages end up in your fridge, you won’t have to worry about them going bad. You’ll probably devour them all at once (impossible to resist our nutritional, flavourful products). However, we would like to remind you that once the packaging is opened and placed in an airtight container, their shelf life can be up to 10 days. If you are looking for tasty recipe ideas based on our delicious sausages, visit the Recipes+ section of our website

Powered by plants: nine vegan athletes

After adopting a vegan diet, several top athletes are proving that meat or dairy products are not necessary for optimal performance. These athletes are also shattering myths about veganism. A study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine states that a vegan diet is rich in carbohydrates, fiber and several other nutrients. Vegan athletes benefit from everything they need to be able to continue breaking records across all disciplines!

Here are nine inspirational vegan athletes who are powered by plants.

Meagan Duhamel 

After reading a book on veganism, this figure skating athlete converted to the lifestyle in 2008. Since then, she has won several prestigious titles, including gold at the ISU World Championships in both 2015 and 2016, as well as a gold and bronze medals at the Sochi Olympics in 2018. She says her diet helps her stay focused on the ice, allows her to have more energy and improve her performance.

Morgan Mitchell

Olympian running athlete Morgan Mitchell needs no introduction since her attention-getting performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She reached 7th place in the 4 x 400-meter event. Mitchell adopted a vegan diet in 2014 to increase her energy levels. She also appeared in the famous documentary The Game Changers, in which she promotes a vegan style of eating.

Patrik Baboumian

Anyone who claims that you need to eat meat to build substantial muscle mass will realize they are wrong after meeting one of the strongest men on the planet!  Vegan since 2011, he obtained two Guinness records in 2012 and two world records in 2013. He wrote a book in 2015 on his dietary transition. VRebellion-1: How to Become a Vegan Badass which highlights all the benefits that veganism has brought to his life.

Lewis Hamilton 

Since 2017, this British racing driver swears by a plant-based diet. The athlete, who has been crowned F1 world champion numerous times and has many records in the sport, uses his image to promote the benefits of veganism. He even introduced his dog Roscoe to the vegan diet! Hamilton says it has greatly helped improve his pet’s health.

Scott Jurek

Vegan ultramarathoner Scott Jurek is a direct challenge to all preconceived notions and prejudices about veganism. This athlete, who is an icon in the running world, has won several titles; he holds the United States record in the 24 hour race. He ran 165.7 miles (266.7 kilometers) during that race which equates to 6.5 marathons. And all of this while being vegan! He credits veganism for his victories, stamina and ability to recover quickly after training.

Kendrick Farris

A vegan weightlifter? Why not? Since 2014, Kendrick Farris has been training very hard and eating only a plant-based diet. He has participated in the Olympic Games since 2008, consistently placing in the Top 12 in the world. He also holds the American record, lifting a weight of 377 kg in his division. To anyone who believes it’s impossible to get enough protein when you’re vegan, Kendrick simply replies that he’s living proof that it’s quite the opposite!

Georges Laraque

This great Quebec hockey player has been a member of a few teams in the National Hockey League since the start of his career, in 1997. Retired since 2010, he continues to play amateur sports. He changed his focus to a plant-based diet in 2009 and talks extensively in the media about his lifestyle change. He maintains that the change in diet created a positive effect on his overall health, in addition to increasing his energy and stamina.

Venus Williams

The famous tennis athlete went vegan after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in 2011. Following her drastic drop in the rankings, this change in diet has allowed her to rise back to the top. In addition to reducing the inflammation caused by her illness, the vegan diet gave her the strength and energy to continue her athletic career. Venus recently launched her own brand of vegan protein, Happy Viking.

Kyrie Irving

One of the National Basketball League’s star players, Kyrie Irving, has been a vegan since 2017. While playing for the Boston Celtics, he decided to change his diet. That year, he credited his team’s 13 consecutive wins to his new lifestyle. He insists that his vegan diet has helped him become a better athlete, providing him with more energy and greater ability to recover.

Athletes and celebrities like these, who are eager to promote the benefits of vegan food, show that the trend is growing more and more around the world. These athletes prove, once again, that eating plants can only be positive!

GUSTA products will help you harness all the energy you need to become a great athlete!

The 9 best vegan bakeries in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver

In recent years, vegan bakeries  have become popular in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Vegans with a sweet tooth can now easily find something to satisfy their sugar craving, no matter where they live. Whether you prefer cupcakes, cakes, croissants or muffins, vegan bakeries offer plenty of options that will delight every palate. 

Here are our favourite spots in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Montreal

Sophie Sucrée

Located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, it’s hard to miss this bakery’s candy-pink exterior. Customers line up inside, happily contemplating all the choices before them—croissants, cupcakes, cookies, tarts, and so much more! Freshly baked every day, these  confections melt in your mouth. Looking for an added temptation? Sophie Sucrée also creates decadent chocolates and truffles. Sugar cravings have met their match! 

Rawesome

This small boutique, located on Gounod Street in Montreal, is located near Jarry Park. With its delicious vegan ice cream made with bananas and hemp, it’s a must-stop before heading out to bask in the sun. What’s Rawesome’s star attraction? Its vegan cheesecakes made from cashew nuts. With flavours including lime, chocolate, pecans, creme brulee and chocolate-raspberry, you’ll definitely find something to thrill your taste buds.

Audacieuse Vanille

Audacieuse Vanille is one of Montreal’s favourite vegan bakeries. Open in 2017 in the city’s southwest sector in Verdun, this little shop showcases 100% natural products. Using their most delicious pastry secrets, the owners enjoy switching up the menu every two to three weeks. You’ll find the best vegan brownies in town, not to mention the lemon and carrot cupcakes!

Source: Unsplash

Vancouver

Fairy Cakes

This bakery is the embodiment of its name!  The cakes and the powder blue decor are absolutely magical! Drop by to grab a cupcake or a delicious cookie while you are out enjoying a walk, you won’t be disappointed. The confections are as beautiful as they are delicious! All products are prepared with organic, local or fair trade ingredients. You get to enjoy a scrumptious treat while supporting a business that cares about our planet. What could be better than that? 

Edible Flours

This cute little bakery is located on West Broadway Street in Vancouver. Their tempting selection of cakes, over-sized buns, scones, and decadent brownies, will put a little joy in everyone’s heart. Add a  delicious coffee to your order and these little treats are even better. If you are enjoying an excursion through Vancouver, make Edible Flours a can’t-miss-spot on your list of places to visit!

Sweet’n’Sassy

Sweet little vegan wonders inspired by refined French pastry recipes can be found in this lovely shop. The owner was born in France and decided to share her culinary talents with Vancouverites, starting with her famous macaroons in a variety of tempting flavours! There are also delicious pastries including millefeuilles, lemon meringue pies and canelés.

Muffins
Source: Unsplash

Toronto

Bunner’s Bakeshop

Just looking at their gorgeous colourful display, will have you salivating. Featuring two locations, the bakery’s offerings are a dessert-lover’s dream. Bunner’s is particularly recognized for its creatively flavoured vegan donuts and its Josephine Louise (a vegan take on the beloved Jos Louis). Original and delicious are the two words that come to mind when describing this sweet spot.  

Tori’s Bakeshop

Directly located on Queen Street, this is another popular pastry shop for Torontonians. We want to sample everything that they have to offer! Opened in 2012, this bakery was one of the forerunners of vegan desserts. And as an earth-friendly bonus, they are environmentally conscious and try to create as little waste as possible. Cupcakes, donuts and muffins are all the rage, not to mention no-bake bars, which are ideal for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. 

Bloomer’s 

They are the donut kings! Every delectable pastry is hand-baked every morning. You can taste the freshness of their products. The donuts melt in the mouth, the brownies are moist and the cakes are rich and beautiful. Bloomer’s has four locations in the GTA, which means you can handily find a location no matter where you are in the area.

Donuts
Source: Unsplash
Up Your Flavour-Factor with Vegan Condiments

Are you wanting to create delicious vegan dishes including dips?  There’s no doubt that seasonings and sauces add a whole new layer of taste to your dishes.  And, you can easily create memorable dishes with the ingredients that are already in your cupboard!  Here are some vegan condiment ideas that pack plenty of flavour! 

Everyday condiments 

There are some essentials, like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise that we absolutely cannot do without. But, are they vegan?

Here’s what you need to know: 

Ketchup

Contrary to popular belief, only organic ketchup is vegan.

One of the ingredients in regular ketchup is white sugar, which gets its colour t with the help of “bone charcoal”.

This substance is made from the bones of animals that are charred to make charcoal. Not very appetizing is it?

This is why it’s so important to check labels. 

Source: Unsplash

Mustard

Have you often been told that mustard is a vegan condiment? This isn’t always the case because some mustards contain egg whites, which is something we want to avoid! 

When selecting a mustard choose products that use the fewest possible ingredients. For example, at Maison D’Orphée, their mustard contains only four ingredients: water, organic mustard seeds, organic cider vinegar and sea salt.

This is exactly what we are looking for!

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise can seem like a tricky condiment since it is made from eggs.

However, some brands like Hellmann’s offer a vegan version made from canola oil, cornstarch and modified potato. So you can go ahead and indulge! 

And if you have a little time on your hands, you can even make a homemade version using only four ingredients!

At  Avril Supermarché Santé locations, you can find delicious vegan mayonnaise from Chosen Foods. And, if you don’t feel like going to the store, you can order online!

Source: Unsplash

Next level condiments 

Basic condiments are fine, but sometimes it’s nice to add an extra dose of flavour and texture with dips and sauces

Check out what we’ve got for you! 

Hummus

Good news: hummus is a completely plant-based dip! 

It’s made from chickpeas and occasionally a dash of tahini.

Sometimes, people might add cheese to the mix … make sure to always double check with the chef! 

Hot sauce

Looking to heat things up? We’ve got some suggestions for you that range from mild to extra-spicy!  Most hot sauces contain no animal products!

Whether it’s Sriracha, Texas or a hot pepper sauce, choose one and enjoy it on your burger or your hot dog!

Source: Unsplash

Creamy dressings 

Not everyone loves the heat from spicy sauces, sometimes something slightly sweeter and creamier is in order.  That’s why you’ll love our suggestions for vegan ranch sauces!

You can use vegan mayonnaise or even cashews as a base.

Here’s a simple, delicious recipe with a cashew base

We also suggest trying Finfinoix spreadsyou’ll love their creamy deliciousness

Source: Unsplash

What should you use as vegan substitutions? 

Some of your recipes can easily be adapted so that you can enjoy them vegan style! 

Here’s what we suggest:

Need a hand with your grocery list? 

Check out our blog: vegan grocery list must-haves, it will get you started! 

Now that you’ve got your sauce,  all you have to do is choose what should go with it. From sausages to cheese, pâté or even a roast, we’ve got plenty of options for you! 

Just visit the product section of our website and see what tempts you!  Bon appétit! 

“There’s not enough protein!” A vegan myth or reality?

Are  you wanting to reduce your meat consumption, or even eliminate it entirely? You are not alone! Plant-based foods are gaining more and more popularity and many of us are making changes about what we are putting on our plates. And anyone who has made the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet has probably heard this phrase at least once in their lifetime: “Aren’t you worried about getting enough protein? This myth, rooted in our beliefs, is entirely false—many plant foods are rich in protein!

Re-examining Canada’s Food Guide

Let’s take a step back in time. In 2019, Health Canada released a new food guide highlighting plant proteins. In the section “Eat protein foods”, we notice that the plate is not only made up of meat, but also nuts, tofu and legumes. Health Canada recommends diversifying your protein intake and cites legumes (such as lentils, beans, and peas), fortified soy beverages, tofu, soybeans, and nuts) as healthy protein foods.

Source: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/

Sources of plant-based proteins and recipe ideas

1 – Legumes  

 There is no doubt that legumes are one of the favourite foods for vegans. They’re  not only inexpensive, but also high in protein! In addition, dried pulses are non-perishable and do not take up much space in the kitchen. Legumes such as lentils, beans, or even chickpeas are versatile and fit perfectly into many recipes including hummus, vegetable stews, soups, and salads.

If you want to try a new legume-based recipe, we suggest the Buddha Chef’s dhal.

2 – Tofu

Its bland taste and unusual texture give it a bad reputation. And yet if it is prepared the right way using a variety of spices, tofu transforms into a delicious dish. A go-to for vegans, tofu fits perfectly into all sweet and savory recipes! Its versatility is thanks to its neutral taste which allows it to go well with all seasonings. Grilled, baked, marinated or raw, tofu can be prepared in different ways and caters to all tastes. Once you learn to cook it, you can’t do without it!

Want to try something original? This quick and easy crispy baked tofu recipe by Cookie and Kate is a crowd-pleaser that the entire family is sure to enjoy! 

Source: Unsplash

3 – Tempeh

Like tofu, tempeh is made from soy beans, but stands out for its doughy texture and fermented taste. Originally from Indonesia, tempeh is traditionally eaten fried which gives it a crunchy and delicious appearance. However, tempeh can be cooked in different ways— it can be marinated, grilled, and sautéed. 

If you are planning to try tempeh for the first time and are looking for an easy recipe that you can’t get wrong, we recommend this delicious marinated peanut tempeh recipe by Minimalist Baker.

Tempeh
Source: Unsplash

4 – Seitan

Are your taste buds missing the taste of meat? Seitan will satisfy your cravings! This plant-based food originated in China over a thousand years ago and was introduced by Buddhist monks in order to make vegetarian cuisine accessible. Rich in protein and low in fat, seitan is essential for all those who want to reduce or even eliminate their meat consumption. Here’s a fun fact: 100 grams of cooked seitan contains roughly 20 to 30 grams of protein! This food absolutely shatters all myths about dietary deficiencies in vegan diets.

Feeling a little tempted? Enjoy one of our favourite seitan recipes: grilled kebab and saffron rice. You can also get your fill of protein with our tasty seitan sausages! 

5 – TVP (textured vegetable protein) 

Ground beef recipes are comforting classics. And now you can recreate your favourites with a meatless version! TVP (dehydrated soy) allows you to reinvent these recipes thanks to a texture that resembles ground beef!  Versatile and economical, TVP is ideal for veggie Bolognese recipes and tacos.

Ricardo’s Meatless Spaghetti Sauce is a tasty introduction to TVP. 

We hope that all of these recipes bring joy to your taste buds while you get your fill of protein. Make sure to  share this article with anyone who thinks plant-based foods are low in protein! In the meantime, if you want to discover more meat replacement foods, check out our wide range of products, that includes tasty vegan sausages, seitan roast, fauxmage, pâté and much more! Warm sunny days are on their way and Gusta products have everything you need to welcome the arrival of BBQ season! Bon appétit! 

Is this vegan?!

It’s the infamous question we constantly ask ourselves when making the switch to a plant-based diet. It’s also repeated over and over again by our loved ones during a meal.  The question: Is this vegan?

To save you time at the grocery store or when educating those around you about your vegan lifestyle, we’re giving you all the answers you need!

Bread

Bread is usually made from flour, water, salt and yeast, which makes it vegan. However, it moves into the non-vegan category if other ingredients, such as pieces of cheese or bacon, are added to the dough. 

Croissants

What could be better than the flaky deliciousness of a fresh croissant? Unfortunately, unless you are enjoying them from a vegan bakery, croissants are not vegan! It’s the milk, butter and eggs that give them their delectable texture.

croissants

Jujubes

What exactly are jujubes made from? Given the list of perplexing ingredients, it’s not always easy to tell!  One main ingredient that does stand out is gelatin. It’s a substance made from boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows or pigs. Not that appetizing … 

Since the majority of jujubes contain gelatin, they are not a vegan product. However, you can now find more and more fruit-based (pectin) or gelatin-free options in your local grocery and convenience stores. Yum!

Wine

Since it’s made from grapes, wine seems to automatically fall in the vegan category.  But, in fact, it’s a little bit more complicated than that! 

Products of animal origin are used in wine production and conservation methods, especially during the fining process. 

What is fining? It is a process which consists of adding proteins to the tank in which the wine is located, to attract unwanted particles and / or remaining yeast. The proteins can come from egg whites, gelatin or other animal substances.

So in actuality, wine is not vegan. The only exceptions are certified vegan wines, which means that the producers have used alternatives for the fining process.

Jam

There’s very little to figure out when it comes to jam! 

Just like jujubes, if the jam was made using gelatine, it’s not vegan. 

However, if it was made using pectin,  it is absolutely vegan.  So, go ahead and enjoy! 

Margarine

Most margarines are vegan, but have the words “may contain traces of dairy products” on the label. This means that the margarine was produced in a factory where dairy products are found, not that it contains any!

So … margarine is vegan.

Whether you are grocery shopping or preparing a meal for a vegan friend, we hope that this list will help to make things a little less confusing. Enjoy! 

Vegan baking substitutes

Any baking recipe can be made vegan. In fact, finding vegan substitutes in baked good recipes without compromising the taste or texture is very easy to do once you know the basics. 

1. Butter

Butter is undoubtedly one of the most used ingredients in baking. It lends an unmistakable richness and flavour to all baked items. Luckily, butter can easily be substituted with an array of plant-based options.

2. Eggs

Eggs are some of the most important players in a baking recipe. They add structure and stability, moisture, richness and volume. Fortunately, there are several options for replacing eggs in a recipe.

Source : Unsplash
Source: Unsplash
3. Milk

Milk protein adds moisture and flavour to baked goods. Baked recipes often ask for whole milk because the fat also adds richness. Milk also helps give baked goods their golden colour.

4. Cream, yogurt, sour cream or evaporated milk

The addition of a creamy ingredient to a baking recipe is done for several reasons. It can add tanginess, moisture, texture, lightness and/or richness to your recipe.

Source: Unsplash
5. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is the rich liquid left over after butter is churned. The lactic acid in buttermilk reacts with baking soda in a recipe to create a leavening effect. Because of this reaction, buttermilk cannot be replaced with milk. 

6. Honey

One wouldn’t think of honey as a non-vegan ingredient but it is since it’s produced by animals. 

There are also new commercial products that are vegan “honeys” with an undistinguishable taste that can fool the most discerning palate.

Youth on the Move

One of our core values at GUSTA is respect for the environment. This month, we wanted to look at how youths are mobilizing themselves internationally and nationally for environmental and ethical causes. More and more, young people are speaking out and becoming engaged.  The Internet and social networks serve as key tools that are being used to give voice to concerns while strengthening and uniting collective interests.    

1-  On a worldwide scale

Over the past few years, school strikes have been taking place around the world, as a way of rising up in the face of the climate emergency. Greta Thunberg, an 18-year-old Swedish teenager, is recognized worldwide for her climate change activism. In August 2018, at the tender age of 15, she made a name for herself by holding up a sign in front of the Swedish Parliament that said, “School strike for the climate”. Greta then began skipping school every Friday so that she could continue her protest. This later became known as “Fridays for Future”. Greta’s actions inspired thousands of young people who started holding numerous student strikes in the streets of dozens of cities around the world.

Source : Unsplash

A few months later, in December 2018, more than 20,000 students took part in these strikes, in no less than 270 cities around the world. These movements are particularly strong in Australia, France, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to England’s The Guardian newspaper, a total of six million young demonstrators have participated in the strikes since the beginning of the movement. 

2-  On a national level

Young Canadians are also very involved in national movements. During the Global Week For Future held in September 2019, climate strikes occured in nearly 100 cities across the country.

Quebec had a record number of participants with between 300,000 and 400,000 people gathering for the event in Montreal. It was the largest “Fridays for Future” rally in the world. And, organisers called it, “The most significant demonstration in Quebec history.” 

In Ontario, the “Fridays For Future Toronto”  group, supported by Greenpeace, led the climate strike movement.  Many social, artistic and environmental organizations also followed suit.

Source : Unsplash

On the west coast of Canada, in British Columbia, nearly 10,000 demonstrators were expected in Vancouver, for the September 2019 march co-led by young people like Lilah Williamson, one of the organisers of the Vancouver protest and a grade 10 student. She is very vocal about climate change and calls on decision-makers to take action. “In Canada, we do this according to the concept of ‘die-in’ to symbolize the things that we can lose if we don’t make significant climate changes soon,” explains Lilah. She belongs to Sustainabiliteens (https://sustainabiliteens.org/), one of the many youth groups fighting against global warming. 

Laina Burns, another 16-year-old protester, expresses her eagerness to vote because she wants to see specific actions reflected in Canada’s environmental policies. Like so many young people, she has strong environmental convictions and is already politicising the way she lives and consumes. “I try not to use plastic bags and I try not to eat meat,” she explains.  

And yes, becoming a vegetarian or vegan is so intimately linked to protecting the environment, that it has become bigger than a lifestyle, and linked more to being a major movement. 

3-      Vegan collectives across Canada

We also wanted to shine the spotlight on efforts related to veganism in Canada.

There are, in fact, dozens and dozens of groups of young people who support veganism, most of which also are also focused on the protection of the planet and respecting animals.

On social networks, communities are being created all over the country. There are also many Facebook communities. Here are just a few that might be of interest:

Source : Unsplash

Young people are expressing themselves and uniting around ethical causes that have a positive effect on the planet. As Sylvain Charlebois, scientific director in food distribution and food policy at Dalhousie University observes, “This is a movement, it’s not just a fad. It’s here to stay.”

There’s no doubt that young people have a lot to say—and we like it!

Seitan

Have you ever heard about Seitan?

Seitan is a commun and essential food in the vegan world. It is also a favourite high protein ingredient of GUSTA’ s product line.

Let’s test your “Seitanist” knowledge with the following quiz: 

1- What exactly is seitan?

Seitan is made from the protein of wheat also called wheat gluten. Wheat gluten is made up of four main elements:

Le seitan

Wheat gluten is composed of many proteins, which are insoluble in water. Gluten refers to the proteins in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley and spelt. By the way, if you are curious, it is not difficult to make your own seitan: take a cup of wheat flour. Then, make a dough ball and put it in a strainer. Finally rinse it well under cold running water. You will obtain a grayish elastic dough. This is seitan!

But to be honest, seitan is bland without spices. We, vegans,  are more often used to cooking with flavoured seitans. This is where GUSTA is able to obtain these perfect flavourful recipes. We have our own secret spice blends which allow us to offer our tasty and delicious products. 

Source: Unsplash
2- Do you know the origin of the word seitan?

Let’s talk a little about its history: Seitan a.k.a “wheat gluten” was discovered in Asia more than 1,000 years ago, used by Buddhist vegetarians. It became popular in Chinese and Japanese food. 

The word “seitan” was coined in the 60’s in Japan by Georges Ohsawa, founder of the macrobiotic diet. 

Quick note: According to Georges Ohsawa, the macrobiotic diet would be the perfect balance between yin and yang in our food. The food would produce energetic charges. Of course, this theory is older and appears in the writings of Hippocrates: “Let Food Be Your Medicine”. 

The literal meaning of seitan is «made from proteins» (as noted in our previous explanation). In case you are wondering, the exacte pronunciation is: “say-tan”. 

Now that you know the origin of seitan, we can move on to question number 3 and  its nutritional facts. 

3- We’ve heard a lot about the nutritional benefits of seitan.  Do you know what there are?

A 100g of cooked seitan equals  about 25 to 30g of proteins. 

A 100g of Tofu has only about  8 to 12 g of proteins. 

Also in comparison to 100g of meat, it has about 15 to 20g of proteins. 

This is a great advantage, wouldn’t you agree?

Did you know that essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body? As a result, they must be delivered by food. There are 9 essential amino acids which are: histidine (which is essential during pregnancy and youth): isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. 

Seitan
Source: GUSTA – Seitan burger to slice
4- How to make Homemade seitan?

Like tofu, it is easy to prepare your own homemade seitan but the perfect recipe requires some skill and effort.

First of all seitan is made from wheat flour. In order to  make seitan, you have to carefully add water to the flour in order to remove starch, bran and other water soluble proteins. 

Once properly “washed” you should obtain a gray elastic paste, which is insoluble in water. This is the gluten! Cooked, this paste will become regular unflavoured seitan. Now, as we said before, bland seitan is not very palatable. We recommend adding spices and vegetables before cooking.

And like all good things, it will take time to perfect your recipe. 

5- Do you know that there are many ways in which to cook seitan? 

Seitan is very diverse and prepared using a variety of methods and recipes.  

GUSTA knows this well. All of our sausages and roasts are made from seitan.

It is through this many years of research and passion that GUSTA has acquired its own secret recipes. 

The result? Is a marvelous range of delicious products with a unique texture and consistency for that perfect moment.

This is why, in order to promote our products we always make sure to provide you with a large range of recipes showcasing their versatility:

  1. In thin slices: Pita kebab – https://gustafoods.com/en/recipes/recipes-snooper/pita-kebab/
  2. Steak: KLT burger – https://gustafoods.com/en/recipes/klt-kebab-lettuce-tomato/
  3. In cube: Crazy spinach – https://gustafoods.com/en/recipes/crazy-spinach/
  4. Minced: Lasagna, nachos or even mango salsa sopes.

What did you think? We hope that this was helpful in discovering the true secret of seitan and its preparation. 

New year’s resolutions

What about starting off 2021 on the right foot?

2020 has been a complicated year and we all kind of want to reinvent ourselves. 

So here are five new year’s resolutions for you to try in 2021. They are easy to complete and good for your mind and the earth. We have ordered them from the easiest to the hardest.


1- Sort your mailbox

Sorting your mailbox is like spring cleaning: at the end, you feel better. Especially when it is good for our planet.

Quick reminder: digital pollution produces as much greenhouse gas as civil aviation… There are thousands and thousands of servers that are keeping all our emails. In other words, if 50 000 people were to delete 1000 emails of 1Mo, 300 tons of CO² would be saved, which equals to 300 round trips Paris / New-York…

It may seem like an endless task, but you can start by deleting old emails like all those newsletters from previous months (and years!) or videos and photos that you already downloaded on your computer. The following website should help you get rid of the newsletter you do not want to receive anymore: https://www.cleanfox.io/en/

And while you are at it, you can also organize the emails you kept in different files.

2- Take a break and go outside.

Sunset occurs early during the winter months; it is cold outside and you just want to stay under your blanket. We feel the same. But do not forget that you need to breathe fresh air to feel better and refresh your mind. And what is better than -10°C outside to do so? So, dedicate at least one break a day to go outside. There are plenty of opportunities to do that: after your lunch, dinner … Give yourself time to walk, as little as 30min.

But also, maybe you think that you already know your neighborhood by heart and that it is not interesting anymore. Here is a fun way to rediscover your district. Do you know the Geocaching app? It is simple. You need to find treasures (messages and objects) close to where you are located (using your GPS). When you find it, you can write a message and give a little present! Then, you put it back discreetly. There are so many of them in the world so there must be some next to your home. 😊

3- Eat locally, seasonally, and vegetarian once a week.

You do not need to start all in, you can take baby steps to get there. For example, you can start by preparing yourself a 100% local, seasonal, and vegetarian meal once a week. But be careful, once you will have tasted all those delicious locally produced products, you will become an addict.

By the way, have you seen that we create seasonal calendars for fruits et vegetables? It will give you ideas to realize this challenge!

You can also find at any time some vegetarians recipes on our website: https://gustafoods.com/en/recipes/

4- Cook a no-wasting meal

We always have leftover food in your fridge. Okay it is not easy to get imagination for your recipes, especially when all is left are some ugly vegetables and an old tomato sauce.

Everyone imagines a bland and sad meal. But there are a lot of ways to make good meals, even with old vegetables. You can try this website that we particularly love because it suggests recipes based on your leftover food: https://www.frigomagic.com/fr/

Then, you can check on Florence-Lea Siry’s blog “Chic frigo sans fric” : https://chicfrigosansfric.com/

5- Do an unhabitual activity once a month

Winter is coming, new activities are coming.

It is the perfect season to practice outdoors activities like alpine skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or sledge! And you do not need to spend a lot on gear, you can find great things on Kijiji or Facebook’s marketplace, and it is a good way to start buying second-handed goods.

You are more a stay-at-home person? There are also plenty of indoor activities:

Bonus: Why don’t you try to make an igloo in your garden? 😊


All the GUSTA team wish a beautiful year, cheerful as far as possible.  😊 

Snooper, Rebel or El Presidente? Find out now which one is your GUSTA profile!

Because we like to share a good meal with the ones we care about, to try new recipes, to reduce our carbon footprint… you can find one thousand and one reasons to like (even love) GUSTA products! If you don’t know it yet, let’s find out what your GUSTA profile is! 

About us, what thrills us at GUSTA is enjoying and savoring a delicious meal with family or sharing a fondue with friends (yes, it’s time!) with due respect to the environment and animals. What about you? What do you like? Tell us why you like our products and we will tell you who you are!


Snooper

Around you, you’re hearing more and more about vegan cooking and it tickled your curiosity. You would like to try it but you don’t know where you can start. In spite of this desire for novelty, you are still very attached to your cooking habits, or you like simplicity and tell yourself that cooking vegan = cooking complicated. Vegan cooking wouldn’t be adapted for you? Don’t be mistaken! Vegan cooking is adapted to everyone. It can be very simple, fast and of course … delicious! Don’t worry about it, GUSTA will be there for you to lead you on the vegan cooking path. For you, the snooper, we have a repertoire full of recipes that will allow you to discover new stuff without getting out of your comfort zone. Indeed, you will be able to keep cooking and eating recipes that you like in the vegan version.

The Rebel

According to you, environmental issues are critical and you decided to bring your contribution. You think that reducing food waste and carbon footprint begin in our plate. And you are right! At GUSTA, we are sharing your values and your principles. That’s why, in order to help you in your fight for a greener future and a greatest social justice, we offer you a wide range of recipes. So, you, the Rebel, you will become the “Fork’s Che” with our help. Of course, we encourage you to share these recipes with your family and your friends to recruit many people to your cause. Indeed, because they are vegan, these recipes will contribute to lowering your carbon footprint without forgetting your pleasure to eat good stuff. In other words, we are offering you recipes as good as green.

El Presidente

You master the vegan cooking’s codes. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 3 times a day, 7 days a week, you live, think and cook vegan. You are like the model student : you understand that you can enjoy good food by respecting animal well being and environment. However, you think you already know everything about vegan cooking and you already test it. Are you looking for new inspirations? Do you like challenges behind your oven and your cutting board? If your answer is “YES !”, GUSTA has what you need. We have a full register of recipes that will roughly test your skills as El Presidente. We promise you that you won’t get bored with us. We’ll help you to see vegan cooking in a new way from breakfast to dinner, passing by lunch.


So? Which profil do you belong to? Are-you the snooper who’s trying vegan recipes without giving up his favorite recipes? The rebel who’s vegan to save the environment? Or El Presidente who’s constantly looking for new inspirations and new challenges? And because at GUSTA we encourage sharing, we invite you to check recipes from other profiles to be aware of more ideas and delicious recipes.Also, don’t forget that we are also curious, just like you, and always aware of new ideas! We are helping everyday our community but we also need you! Yes, YOU, behind your screen, you are our inspiration! Do you wish to make your contribution? We remind you that you can share your GUSTA creation whenever you want!

Vegan Fashion: 5 Canadian Brands to Discover

Like vegan food, vegan fashion is intended to be cruelty-free. No leather, fur or wool on the menu: plant fibres, recycled fabrics and high-tech materials take over materials produced by animal farming. But it’s not only foreign designers like Stella McCartney who do the honours in fashion shows! Vegan fashion is also many Canadian designers’ craze, whose creations perfectly reflect their convictions. Here are 5 local brands that cook up fashion with a vegan twist.


mode vegane
Matt & Nat

The brand was launched in Montreal in 1995… long before veganism became topical/trendy! Matt & Nat, an industry pioneer in Canada, owes its name to the contraction of “Mat(t)erial” and “Nature”.

For the sake of social responsibility and authenticity, all clothing, shoes and bags made of vegan leather from the brand are produced from responsible and ecological fabrics (nylon, cork and recycled rubber tops). Proof: the bags and coats’ lining are made from plastic bottles! Nature even inspires the colour chart of Matt & Nat’s creations: we mainly find khaki, brown, rust, grey and black.

The Montreal-based company gleams with its refined, contemporary designs. They market them online and also distribute them in more than 800 outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Australia.

Jeane & Jax

Jeane & Jax describes itself as a luxury vegan brand specialized in handbags and shoes. Inspired by Montreal’s multiculturalism and artistic flair, it offers fashionable accessories for all occasions (office, weekend and socialities).

All items bearing the Jeane & Jax label are made ethically, using high-quality vegan materials and metal parts free of heavy metals.

We love their elegant quilted pouches, their handy travel bags and their casual sneakers.

KOTN

KOTN was born out of a desire to create conscientiously and to consume better. Specializing in ethical and high-quality basics, the Toronto label has been offering – since 2015 – certified organic Egyptian cotton essentials: t-shirts, shirts, dresses, trousers, etc. The simple cuts and pure materials of KOTN pieces make them, without fail, wardrobe classics you’ll like to wear for years. And even more so as we know that the label encourages fair trade and collaborative practices leading to a more prosperous future for the harvesters and designers it works with. For example, KOTN shows good citizenship by allocating part of its revenues to the construction and administration of schools in the Nile Delta, where it sources cotton.

Baro

Combining durability and functionality, Baro Drywear specializes in the manufacture of outdoor clothing as soft for humans as for the planet. Suitable for every temperature, its hi-tech creations are made of 80% recycled material.

In fact, reconditioned plastic bottles and nylon scraps from major manufacturers are Baro’s main materials. Water-repellent and warm (but light), the coats that bear its signature are also endowed with a strong potential of breathability—no wonder the brand was born in Vancouver, one of the dampest cities in the country.

Baro’s coat design is sober and sleek so that they can be worn in the city as in the countryside, for many years. Notable: the Vancouver brand proudly wears the PETA seal, attesting to its vegan manufacture.

Friend & Faux

Based in Victoria, British Columbia, the brand is the standard-bearer of the convictions of its founders, who advocate for the animal cause. They wanted to spread vegan messages on a large scale, in a friendly and humorous way. They teamed up with a small local printing shop and used vegetable ink to create t-shirts and totes with phrases as punchy as “Be Nice to Animals”, “Save the Planet, Go Vegan” and “I don’t eat anything that poops!”.

The small factory of Friend & Faux manages to market quality items, without waste and at reduced costs. But the brand does not stop there! It’s actively involved in the vegan cause by donating 10% of its profits to Hooves Farm Sanctuary, a Western Canadian vegan organization.


Veganism is not just about food. It is a way of thinking and a lifestyle that dictates the choices we make, including everything we choose to consume. And when it comes to fashion, Canadian vegan options are as varied as they are attractive. Dressed in our most beautiful vegan attire, how about a romantic vegan dinner? Our recipes section is full of original and easy-to-cook ideas, using a wide range of GUSTA products. No doubt, veganism is more fashionable than ever!

5 questions to GUSTA’S Founder

By celebrating the planet and all its living beings, GUSTA is committed to making the world a better place. This committed brand – made in Canada – is a dream come true for a vegan from Polish descents born in Switzerland, and now based in Montreal. Here’s GUSTA’ story told by Sylvain Karpinski, its founding president. Spotlight on his vision of veganism, on the many projects he has on his plate and on the ideas he cherishes for GUSTA… one launch at a time!


When and how did you come up with the idea of creating GUSTA ?

Sylvain Karpinski: “A friend had just given birth to a baby allergic to soy and bovine protein. With breastfeeding, she was therefore faced with significant dietary restrictions. It reminded me of some of the seitan dishes I ate in Europe, and I started making them so she could diversify her diet a little. The first tests were conclusive and made me realize that this type of product was missing on the Canadian and North American market. Very quickly, the idea grew: market research, business plan, search for financing. My goal was to offer the most delicious and accessible natural and vegan food available. And this implied maximum efficiency to keep production costs down.”

Why did you choose GUSTA for the brand’s name?

Sylvain Karpinski: “We all know that the name is essential for a food brand. It captures the imagination and prints itself on it in the long term. His research was therefore long and arduous. It is after several months of cogitation and quantity of names quite lame (the Vegan Craftsman, Goo-Vi, etc.) that the idea of GUSTA imposed itself for three reasons:

1. It has a ring to it in all languages.

2. Gustus is the Latin root of everything taste related (taste, tasting, etc.).

3. GUSTA means “love” in Spanish (from the verb gustar). It is a bit like my tribute to this language that I had the chance to learn and practice for 8 months during a beautiful cycling trip in Argentina.”

What is your journey as a vegan?

Sylvain Karpinski: “The spark happened when I was 17. I was running a lot (half marathon, marathon). And I had read in a sports diet book that the vegetarian diet accelerated the body’s regeneration after the effort. I tried for a month, and everything went perfectly. As this is the age of existential questions, I also began to shape my conception of the world. I wanted my life to be more in line with my deep values (peace, harmony, solidarity, progressivism, ecology). I started reading about animal ethics and the environment, so I quickly embraced vegetarianism. Then a transition to veganism took place slowly and naturally.”

les essentiels de l'épicerie
From your perspective, how is vegetarianism doing in Canada?

Sylvain Karpinski: “The movement is growing steadily. It enjoys healthy growth. Militant veganism is active and renews itself, while the mainstream – endowed with a good critical mass – is increasing and is gradually imposing itself. Compared to many places in North America, Canada has a head start. The choice of natural and vegan products is vast in grocery stores. While there was a lot of polarization just two years ago, it seems that a turning point is taking place. Veganism (and especially vegetarianism) can sail in peace, and “the average man and woman in the street” willingly join in or understand and accept it better. But there is still a long way to go before the majority of the population is aware of, or at least more open to, this future norm that plant-based diet will be.”

Tell us a bit about the GUSTA team: who’s in and what are the challenges? 

Sylvain Karpinski: “GUSTA currently has 35 employees: 22 at the factory (production and packaging) and 13 in management (sales, marketing, innovation, administration and quality assurance). I am the guardian of GUSTA’s vision. Much like the captain of a ship, I make sure we stay on course. I coordinate the departments so that we reach our goals and stay focused on our mission, applying the values we hold dear (ecology, social justice, happiness, innovation, excellence). GUSTA can count on a dedicated team that knows how to take the heat regardless of the challenges (pandemic, drastic increase in production, renovation of the facilities, etc.). I am confident that within five years, GUSTA will be a benchmark brand in Canada, successfully established in the United States and Europe, and that the company will be recognized for its sound management and working conditions.”


In light of Sylvain’s confidences, the proof is made. Now that GUSTA is here: no need to go bananas to cook good vegetarian dishes! Sausages, roasts, pâtés and vegan cheese, as well as the brand’s creton and burger are sold in every good grocery store in the country. Enough to prepare lunch, dinner and supper… shouting GUSTA!

Cauliflower: A Vegan’s MVP

Cauliflower here, cauliflower there… For a few seasons now, this cruciferous vegetable has been shaking up our culinary habits with its all-purpose vegetable attribute! It steals the spotlight on the menus of the most trendy restaurants, and so in a variety of recipes. The cauliflower has more than one trick in its bag: this vegetable can be cooked with every sauce and takes our taste buds – and our scepticism! – by surprise as soon as it is ground, seasoned, roasted, etc. Spotlight on the countless benefits (and uses) of cauliflower.

Its many attributes

The cauliflower takes over market stalls during fall and winter. Of the cruciferous vegetable family (like broccoli), we salute its versatility. Crisp under the tooth when crunched raw it is softened when cooked. The cauliflower is also a valuable ally for our health! Rich in vitamins C, B6 and B9, as well as fiber, selenium and manganese, it is low-calorie, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic. Sweet to taste, it comes in three main varieties: white, purple and orange. Note: we recommend you eat (or freeze!) when its flowers are tight

Its multiple benefits

Nutritionists refer to cauliflower as a superfood, because if eaten regularly (and preferably raw), it could help reduce the risk of lung, colon, kidney and ovarian cancer. Boiled cauliflower provides vitamin C, which helps to maintain healthy teeth, bones and cartilages. Vitamin B6 for its part offers the immune system with the best tools, and B9 helps both cell regeneration and wound healing.

Its versatility

Gone are the days when cauliflower was served only boiled or dipped! Bold and ingenious, chefs now like to bluff their guests by heightening the taste as well as the texture of cauliflower through their 100% vegan creations. So much so that this darling cruciferous vegetable has become popular sliced, crushed, crumbled and cooked to perfection. No wonder whole cookbooks are dedicated to it! Whether in the grocery store or the ready-to-eat section, we now find pizzas with cauliflower crust, chicken-like nuggets from fried cauliflower and even a variety of sauces with a cauliflower puree base! Chameleon and so delicious, we thank the cauliflower…

Vegans love cauliflower in all its forms! And it’s understandable: raw, in papillote, on the grill, pan-fried, poached, pureed or baked, this handy cruciferous vegetable is good on any occasion. From June to November, cauliflower is grown across the country (Quebec produces half of all Canadian crops). We simply have to let our imagination run wild to find new vocations for him. Here are our mouth watering suggestions: a gratin with the Swisso vegan cheese, served as a side to the Classicoseitan roast or as a pizza dough enhanced with slices of Pizzaroni seitan stick. Ready? Set. Cauliflower!

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