Over 500,000 people pledged to Veganuary last year. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to try a plant based diet for the month – could this be the year you give it a try?
Pavement Coffee Co. café offers a completely plant based menu so we thought who better to chat to than owners Jane and Callum about why they adopted a plant based diet, the rise in people looking to reduce their meat consumption and what they’re doing this January to encourage people to try plant based food. To celebrate Veganuary and help banish the January blues Pavement Coffee Co. have created a series of special weekly menus, inspired by Middle East, Indian, Mexican and Asian cuisines that will run alongside their usual brunch menu. During their Asian inspired week, for example, they will be serving sweet and sour sticky tofu, kale, seasoned sushi rice, pickled radish, ribboned carrot salad and edamame beans all as part of a balanced and protein rich Sushi bowl. And to end their month of special menus they will be serving a Mexican burrito bowl, featuring a delicious mezze of black bean chilli, mexican yellow rice, pico de gallo (tomato salsa), guacamole and a punchy lime and mint mexican red cabbage slaw. They hope that these dishes will give those that haven’t tried plant based food before even more of a reason to give it a go.
One of the common misconceptions of the term ‘plant based’ is that it just consists of raw vegetables and salad leaves. This is a myth that Jane and Callum are keen to disprove and through the food they make. They want to show that there is so much to enjoy about eating this way. With wholefoods at the heart of each of their dishes they’re nourishing, super tasty and less calorie dense. Alongside the special Veganuary dishes they will be continuing to serve their usual brunch menu, which, without any meat or dairy, offers some delicious and filling favourites, Callum said: “Our customers favourites are probably the coconut yoghurt and berry topped banana pancakes, the garlic mushrooms on our homemade sourdough have been really popular too, as well as the Jackfruit wraps and rice bowls They’re all super tasty and really healthy.” Jackfruit, once roasted and seasoned with Callum’s own Jerk spice mix takes on a texture not dissimilar to pulled pork, offering their customers something fresh and exciting, and arguably even, meaty!
So where did this all start for Jane and Callum?
If you visited the People’s park in the last 18 months you will have no doubt seen Pavement Coffee serving their delicious coffee, homemade cakes and sandwiches. Jane and Callum’s presence throughout numerous lockdowns gave many people a welcome excuse to take a break from working at home in isolation, to enjoy a break in nature right in the heart of Banbury and no doubt improve their mindset for the day.
In October last year, the opportunity came about to expand their business into the canalside café space on the ground floor of Banbury Museum & Gallery. “It was a dream come true, it’s a large space with a unique position right on the canal,” said Callum, “we loved being in the Park, and know that people miss us being there, but this was something we just had to do, we’re really excited to be able take Pavement Coffee to the next stage.’ Jane added: “It’s very exciting, we have lots of ideas for the future, perhaps opening in the evenings or hosting events, but for now we’re focussed on offering high-quality, environmentally sourced, healthy food in a family friendly café environment”.
Jane and Callum said “we used to eat meat as a treat and we were pescatarian for a little while and then we became vegetarian and eventually we decided to give Veganuary a go and we never looked back. We adopted a plant based diet 2 years ago. Our main motivator was health. We were genuinely curious about whether we would feel different,” Jane said. “I wanted more energy and Callum wanted to shift a little weight. We feel more at ease referring to ourselves as plant based eaters rather than vegan. This is simply because we eat a 100% plant based diet. Although we aspire to reduce using animal products in other ways as much as possible, we feel we still have a way to go with this. To be vegan is to eat a diet without meat, fish and dairy products but it is also not to buy or use new leather or wool products and to only use beauty or cleaning products that are cruelty free.”
Their learnings have inspired them to make changes to their business and use it as a vehicle for positive change; having curated a fully vegan food menu they work hard to source food locally where possible, to reduce food miles. To reduce their impact on the environment the café uses eco-friendly cleaning products and although they offer non-vegan dairy milk they do offer alternative milks at no extra charge to make it that bit easier to give being vegan a go. They recognise there is more they can do but are proud of the changes they’ve been able to make so far. We’ve been on a big journey to get to the point we’re at and we’re still travelling in the direction we want to go.
Jane says “her diet definitely helps her to keep her energy up whilst juggling being a new mum, running a business and everything else that life demands.”
The great thing about making the switch to this kind of diet is that it can massively reduce your impact on the environment too which is one of the main reasons so many people have adopted the diet over the last few years. Not putting too much pressure on ourselves has been key to making the transition so easy. I think you have to find what works for you and your family. Simply swapping out a few meat dishes a week with plant based meals or swapping out cow’s milk for oat milk in your coffee could be a little step in that direction. Everyone is on their own journey and has their own preferences. We simply want to celebrate plant based dishes and show people how exciting they can be.”
You can find Pavement Coffee Co. by the canal in the Banbury Museum and Gallery building. To find out more information about their special Veganuary menus you can go to their website www.pavementcoffeeco.com or check out their social channels using the links below.
Why not try your hand at a Pavement Coffee Co. favourite..?
Creamy Coconut Porridge
This porridge is rich and creamy and sure to win over your family and friends. It’s even a hit with the kids. Add any toppings you like. We love to add a berry compote which we’ve included a recipe for also. All the toppings are optional so feel free to swap out for your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 Minutes
300g Organic rolled porridge oats
600ml Rude Health Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Berry Compote (see additional recipe)
1 tbsp Coconut Yoghurt
5 Pecans roughly chopped (Optional)
1 tsp Chia Seeds (Optional)
1 tbsp Peanut Butter (Optional)
1 Whole Ripe Banana, chopped (Optional)
This stores well in the fridge for a week and it also freezes well. We recommend making the compote in advance so it’s all ready to go in the morning
Prep: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 Minutes
500g Mixed frozen berries (you can also use fresh berries when in season)
A pinch of salt
A pinch of cracked black pepper
A pinch of cinnamon
A dash of balsamic vinegar
15ml Vanilla extract
60ml Maple syrup
To make the compote add all the ingredients into the pan and cook down on a low heat until the berries have defrosted and started to break up slightly.
Stir and leave to cool.
It will slightly thicken as it cools which is exactly what you are looking for.
To make the porridge first toast the oats. This doesn’t take a long time at all. I look for a slight browning to the oats as they start to toast. You will also notice the smell of popcorn permeating from the pan.
At this stage add the milk and let it simmer for two minutes.
Then take the milky warm oats off the heat and put the lid on and leave for a further two minutes.
Now you are ready to serve. Scoop the oats into a bowl and add a spoonful of compote, a spoonful of coconut yoghurt and peanut butter. Top with chopped banana, chopped pecans and a sprinkle of chia seeds. This will keep you fuelled all morning.