From Crop to Consumption

EHL Ingredients develops vegan herb and spice blends

EHL Ingredients has developed a new range of herb and spice blends for vegan Christmas dishes under its Lähde foodservice brand.

The new international blends will spice up meat-free offerings on festive menus and can be incorporated into contemporary dishes such as roasted cauliflower, pulled jackfruit tacos, nachos and slaws, sweet potato katsu curry, root vegetable wellington, and squash-based dishes.

The ingredients supplier also offers chefs and caterers seasonings for vegan paté or ‘faux-gras’, veggie black pudding, and stuffing for meat-free sausages and plant-based ‘pigs in blankets’, including a spicy cranberry, and a nutmeg and cassia mix.

Available under EHL’s dedicated foodservice division, Lähde, sweet mixed spice blends are perfect for vegan Christmas puddings, cakes, biscuits and bars, stollen and tiffins, dairy-free chocolate tortes and contemporary spiced fruit bakery items.

For drinks, the Lähde gluhwein and cider blend includes a balanced combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper and ginger.

All vegan blends are available in organic and conventional format under the dedicated Lähde brand for the foodservice sector.The versatile festive blends are designed to add alternative flavours and textures to plant-based Christmas dinners, and tap into consumers’ love of world flavours and alternative ingredients in meat-free menu options.

Kath Davies, New Product Development Manager at EHL Ingredients, said: “This year has been huge for the vegan food and drink market, especially within foodservice, with diners often following an animal-free, or flexitarian diet, to cut back on meat consumption. There’s no need for vegan offerings to be boring or difficult as long as you have good quality ingredients and look to international foods for inspiration. Perceptions towards plant-based foods are changing and operators should embrace this and get creative with Christmas fayre.

“We put the increase in veganism down to several key factors: environmental awareness and concerns for animal welfare and sustainability, high profile vegans and influential figures, social media and bloggers, cookery books, and an increased understanding of wellness and mindfulness.

“White there are consumers following vegan diets and lifestyles, there are also groups of people cutting back on meat and animal products, and they want interesting choices on their Christmas menu. Modern Brits’ tastes are changing and people are looking for variety, new flavour combinations, and unusual dishes at Christmas group gatherings and our new blends allow chefs and caterers to develop appealing vegan dishes to suit modern palates.

“Christmas is always a key period for restaurants, pubs and dining outlets, and our quality spices are perfect for many types of festive dishes and accompaniments, bakery items and drinks. It’s important for to stay one step ahead and use authentic, quality, tasty ingredients to develop meat-free dishes that consumers will love and enjoy over the festive period.”

EHL overhauled its Lähde production lines during 2019 to completely segregate production and handling for allergen and non-allergen products. It has installed new machinery in its third site in Stockport site dedicated to non-allergen ingredients, to reduce risks of cross-contamination of products.

The company can now offer non-allergen herbs, spices and blends to customers with complete confidence that no cross contamination has occurred at any point during product handling and production. In addition it supplies vegan, conventional and organic blends on request, can match or enhance existing blends and can collaborate with operators on bespoke formulations for new products.

Available in various pack sizes and weights, the blends are ideal for foodservice operators, chefs and caterers to add to dishes on Christmas menus. They come in Lähde branded and own label re-sealable tubs, pillow packs, and jars for the foodservice sector.

EHL can supply these blends under short lead times if required, can collaborate with brands, foodservice operators and chefs, and manufacturers developing new products and can also offer advice on new and existing formulations.