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What is Veganuary and could you sign up for the month?

PUBLISHED: 14:32 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:08 02 January 2018

Could you enjoy a vegan diet this Veganuary? PICTURE: Thinkstock

Could you enjoy a vegan diet this Veganuary? PICTURE: Thinkstock

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What is Veganuary and for those signed up, where and what can you eat throughout the month?

Vegan food doesn't have to be boring. PICTURE: ThinkstockVegan food doesn't have to be boring. PICTURE: Thinkstock

January 1 saw the beginning of Veganuary, a month-long pledge of veganism. Founded by the charity Veganuary, the month aims to inspire people to avoid consuming animal products, and then encourages them to continue this throughout the rest of the year.

Why should you try Veganuary?

If you’re new to veganism, you won’t be blamed for thinking that giving up meat and other animal products for a whole month is a little daunting. After all, most people are used to a diet of meat, fish and dairy, while also wearing fabrics such as wool and leather and using products that have likely been tested on animals, often without knowledge.

So why is Veganuary appealing to some people? For many who sign up, a love of animals is the catalyst, while for others, wanting to improve their health, as well as their impact on the world, as part of a New Years resolution is the deciding factor.

Veganism is a lifestyle that avoids consuming meat and animal products. PICTURE: ThinkstockVeganism is a lifestyle that avoids consuming meat and animal products. PICTURE: Thinkstock

Where to eat out in Suffolk and Norfolk during Veganuary?

While changing to a vegan diet is going to be a challenge at first, eating out in cafes and restaurants may always be a little difficult. Why not try one of these vegan friendly eateries in East Anglia?

The Walnut Tree, Thwaite

What started as The Veggie Red Lion at Great Bricett, in 2017 moved and became The Walnut Tree at Thwaite, after fantastic support which created a huge demand for more vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The Walnut Tree is passionate about the food it creates, and ensures it is all created in a 100% meat free environment. A wide range of homemade dishes are made using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Already proven a real hit with diners is the meze platter of falafel, spiced hummus and pistachio and pomegranate tabbouleh for starters, the ever-popular Wellington of garlic roasted field mushroom stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in pastry, with vegetables and potatoes for mains, and the vegan peanut butter and Oreo cookie torte for dessert.

The Walnut Tree in Thwaite. PICTURE: Gregg BrownThe Walnut Tree in Thwaite. PICTURE: Gregg Brown

Amandine’s, Diss

Cooking vegetarian and vegan food on the Norfolk Suffolk border for over 28 years, Amandine’s is a gem of an eatery. Who wouldn’t want to eat in a magical glass covered dining courtyard hidden, with fairy lights twinkling as you eat in the evenings? Homemade food includes vegan, gluten and dairy-free options, made using as much locally sourced produce as possible. There are specials every day, with interesting salads and quiches proving popular with customers at lunch times. Be sure to look out for dishes such as spicy vegetable chilli, feta, beetroot and hazelnut gratin with grain salad, and raspberry brioche pudding gracing the menu too.

Wild Thyme, Norwich

With menus formed based on using high quality ingredients, to cater for special diets including vegan, raw and gluten-free, at Wild Thyme there’s something for every taste bud. Plus there’s even organic and vegan lager, wine, beer and cider! Dishes are definitely not boring, with the main menu including lemon tahini, roasted cauliflower and sweet potato pilaf, pad Thai with rice noodles and tofu, and Moroccan spiced pulled jackfruit with hummus. There are loads of cakes and desserts to choose from too. Anyone for raw vegan chocolate, orange and coconut cheesecake?

Vegetable paella with sweet peppers, courgette, artichoke, fennel, olives, and saffron rice topped with black olive tapenade at Wild Thyme in Norwich. PICTURE: ArchantVegetable paella with sweet peppers, courgette, artichoke, fennel, olives, and saffron rice topped with black olive tapenade at Wild Thyme in Norwich. PICTURE: Archant

Cradle Foods, Sudbury

Absolutely everything at Cradle Foods is inventive, ingenious and 100% vegan. The perfectly formed little café even has its own flour mill by the counter, and jars of kombucha fermenting on its shelves. With delicious pastries, freshly roasted organic coffee, handmade sourdough breads made from the café’s own flour milled in-house and delicious breakfasts, lunches and desserts on the menu, it’s a must-visit for anyone, meat eater or not.

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