Where do you get your protein from?
The number one question one always get when people realize that you are vegan, with a tone of sincere worry. So we decided to pass on the question to the vegan pro Anett Velsberg. She is a food photographer and vegan recipe creator and has collaborated with a lot of magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Jamie Oliver and stores like Urban Outfitters.
So: Where do you get your protein from Anett Velsberg?
"The question ‘where do you get your protein?’ is one that I hear far too often. The fact that so many people ask me where I get my protein from as a vegan as actually quite scary in a lot of ways because it shows how the general public has been conditioned to believe that the only easily accessible source of protein is animal meat. This could not be further from the truth - a 10-minute search on Google would lead anyone to find that not only is there a vast number of grains, nuts, pulses and vegetables that provide as much is not more protein than animal meats, but also that these are readily available and much more affordable in most supermarkets across the world".
How did your interest for food start?
"I grew up in Tallinn, Estonia. I definitely inherited my interest in food from my mother - she is an excellent cook and would make something delicious for dinner every night. When I was very young, I used to help her with little tasks like whipping cream or measuring the flour, but as I grew older I started to experiment more with food and I saw the happiness it brought to everyone’s faces whom I shared my food with".
What is your view on on the connection between food and health?
"You are what you eat, as they say. Changing to a vegan diet 4 years ago had a huge impact on my quality of life and health, so I have first hand experience with it. It has had a huge impact on my energy levels, health and overall well-being. Before turning vegan I had thyroid issues and high-cholesterol since I was very young, even though I rarely ate meat. After being vegan for a year or so all my health problems were gone and I felt better than ever - I had lots of energy throughout the day, a clear mind and I never got sick! It also changed the way I perceived food - I discovered the beauty and abundance of cooking with vegetables - there’s so much I didn’t think of before.
On a non-food and health level, I feel that I have become more concious as a person. Not only relating to the welfare of animals and our planet but also more mindful and calm in my body".
What are your thoughts on climate change? Have you seen any signs of climate change where you live?
I currently live in Cape Town, South Africa and although I haven’t been there for that long (a bit over 2 years), I can definitely say that the weather has become more dry and the water more scarce - Cape Town is having one of the worst water crises of the last century.
It is well-known by now that animal agriculture is one of the main causes of climate change - which is also one of the reasons why I’m vegan.
Do you think being vegan is extreme?
"I think that veganism has been labelled extreme because a lot of people want to be able to eat what they want when they want, and because the idea of going against what has, over centuries, become the generally accepted dietary status-quo is very easily associated with hipsterism, changing trends, and a certain degree of difficulty. Of course, any major lifestyle change can be seen as extreme but like everything else, once you understand it and grow accustomed to it, a new thing can become second nature in time. Over and above that, if being more conscious about the wellbeing of the human race and the natural balance of our planet is extreme, we have to confront the idea that perhaps being extreme isn’t a bad thing".
Your latest project is an app - tell us about it?
"I launched an app recently with all of my recipes - Deliciously Vegan by Anett Velsberg. There are more than 150 recipes already on there but I am constantly thinking of new ones to add to the list!"
We're drooling over the recipes like mushroom tacos with pineapple salsa and green tea doughnuts.....
Do you have any special morning routines?
"I love to start my mornings really slow - before getting any work done I must have had a big glass of warm lemon water, a light yoga routine and 5-10 minutes of meditation and reading. I feel that this sets a lovely pace for the rest of the day."
What makes you happy?
"Food makes me happy. Cooking and seeing people enjoy my food, knowing that it is healthy and good for them as well as tasty is the ultimate reward".
Fluffy almond butter caramel cinnamon buns:
1 1/2 cup warm unsweetened soy/almond milk
3 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
10 gr (1 sachet) instant dry yeast
3 1/2 - 4 cups unbleached bread flour
For the filling:
200 gr (1 1/2 cup dates)
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tbsp maple syrup + more for brushing
1,5 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
enough water to blend
In a large bowl, combine the soy milk, aquafaba, maple syrup, salt, vanilla and yeast. Mix briefly, then add the bread flour while stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and springy. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 190C.
Pour 1 cup hot water over the dates and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain a place in a food processor with the almond butter, maple syrup, spices and water. Blend until smooth and uniform.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle, 1-2 cm thick. Spread the date caramel uniformly over the dough. Roll the dough up from the longer side, then cut into 10-12 slices. Place the slices on a baking tray covered with baking paper or an oiled baking dish and leave to proof for 15 minutes under a towel. Brush gently with maple syrup and bake for 25-30 minutes, until soft but browned on top. Let cool before eating. Enjoy!
All images copyright Anett Velsberg http://www.anettvelsberg.com