Inside 'Loving Earth Yoga,' Kochi's first exclusively vegan restaurant

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Veganism, the practice of abstaining from using animal products, especially in diet, for ethical reasons has truly revolutionized the global culinary scene. From developing vegan recipes to opening exclusive vegan restaurants, it has had a major impact in the way people perceive gourmet meals.

Interestingly, most vegan recipes have the same texture and flavour of your favourite meat or dairy products and taste great as well. In Kochi, Brie Mackilroy, a young chef and yoga practitioner from New Zealand has opened 'Loving Earth Yoga' Café to introduce the delicious vegan flavours to Malayali palettes.

A unique breakfast dish prepared by Brie looks and tastes like ice cream, but it isn't made with the ingredients that are used to make ice cream. This dish called 'nice cream' is made by finely blending Robusta banana. The creamy banana mousse is then garnished generously with pumpkin and jute seeds, multi grains, and cinnamon. This melt-in-mouth nice cream is packed with vitamins and nutrients.

Vegans usually replace dairy products with plant-based products. However, no plant-based products are used in nice cream. The crunchiness of the pumpkin seeds and multi grains add the perfect contrast to the silky smooth texture of the banana mousse. The thought that you are actually having something so delicious and nutritious makes it an enjoyable experience.

Women run the kitchen of Loving Earth Yoga Café which is at the Vadathazha Lane near Bishop's House in Kochi. Brie is assisted by sous chefs Shreya Gasmer and Payal Lodha. A trained yoga practitioner, Brie conducts yoga classes in the upper floor of the cafe. Meanwhile, Payal, who graduated from a culinary school in Paris, specializes in delicious pastries. Payal's plant-based pastries are a hit among the dessert lovers of Kochi.

Brie, who used to eat meat, turned vegan after she developed a passion for yoga during one of her trips to Rishikesh in 2015. She had decided to alter her lifestyle as part of her love for yoga. She travelled the world, searching for plant-based recipes and vegan dishes. She experimented with ingredients and cooking techniques to develop new and unique recipes. Brie chooses to be as close to nature and earth as possible. At Loving Earth Yoga, delicious vegan dishes are served in wooden plates and bowls.

Another interesting item here are the vegan Mexican nachos. Corn chips are accompanied by a tasty vegan salsa made with minced soy meat, kidney beans, tomato, shallots, jalapenos, and melted cheese. The melted cheese however is made from creamy cashew paste.

Brie says there are lots of companies in India that makes excellent vegan cheese. The incredible pizzas take just 25 minutes to be ready and served at your table. However, you would have to visit the café in the evening to taste their amazing pizzas. The café opens at 9 am and serves vegan dishes until 10 in the night. Loving Earth Yoga is the only exclusively vegan restaurant in Kochi.

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