We talk to brand new gluten free and vegan raw dessert company, V:GD based in Leicester, run by the lovely Tasneem and find out about she is doing with her new business venture.
Last week we had the pleasure of talking to Tasneem, the owner of a new Gluten Free and Vegan company based in Leicester, V:GD.
V:GD make raw desserts which are packed full of only natural flavourings and colours, are all gluten, wheat, dairy, soy and refined sugar free and all the products are crammed with nutrients. They are a few places that offer raw based desserts these days however, we think Tasneem is onto something with everything she has managed to achieve with her desserts.
We did a short interview with Tasneem so we could find out more about V:GD, take a peek at our exclusive interview with her below.Why did you decide to start V:GD?
I have suffered with Coeliac disease for three years, in those three years my social life suffered greatly. I used to enjoy dining out with friends and family but when it became an issue that related to my health I avoided anything and everything to do with going out, especially if it involved eating.
I started V:GD so that I can provide a solution to this problem, although many places now offer an adequate selection of gluten free options, some options still contain dairy or egg. As I am gluten intolerant as well as being intolerant to egg and soy, I wanted to create a dessert that was suitable for people in similar situation to myself. Providing these desserts will hopefully allow people who suffer from allergies and intolerances the opportunity to dine out and continue with their social lives.
Can you give us a brief overview of what you sell?
Some of the products available from V:GD
I sell raw vegan gluten free desserts. They look like cheesecakes, taste rich and creamy and are jam packed with nutrients and healthy fats, from the unrefined coconut oil. I do not use any preservatives and also do not use any refined sugar.
Currently there are four flavours; Raw Nana, Raw Neapolitan, Lemon & Raspberry and Chocolate & Avocado. I am working on four new flavours at the moment.
I believe in being honest with consumers and building trust therefore I made sure that the desserts are certified gluten free. The desserts are also free from wheat, dairy and soy.Where did you get the inspiration for your recipes?
Over the past year I have followed a plant based diet to strengthen my immune system in the hope that my Coeliac symptoms will reduce. By following a plant based diet I was further restricted to what desserts I consumed and I do love my sweet treats.
This then led me to look further afield and I realised that in other parts of the world many people consume raw cakes as a healthier alternative. The ingredients seemed to be acceptable in my current diet so I went ahead and devised my own recipes. After much trial and error I finally chose four flavours that I was happy with and that was the start of V:GD.
Another key factor in my journey was following Deliciously Ella, she was an inspiration as she also suffered from an illness and by adopting a plant based diet she was able to overcome elements of her illness.Did you find coming up with recipes to comply with not only a gluten free diet but also a Vegan lifestyle difficult to produce?
Yes I did struggle in the beginning in attempting to merge both vegan and gluten free into a dessert however after researching Veganism and learning about the lifestyle I was able to adhere to their ethos. I am very proud to be approved by the Vegan Society.Out of all the different desserts you make, which one is your favourite?
I would have to favour the Raw Neapolitan, the layers of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla are seamlessly stacked together with a beautiful drizzle of raw chocolate on top.Are their any flavours you have been asked for or want to make in the future?
I am thinking of creating a coffee based flavour, similar to that of a Tiramisu. I am also an a fan of chocolate and orange in desserts so that may be a strong contender too.Which dessert is your most popular seller?
I would have to say the Lemon & Raspberry flavour is the most popular. It is filled with fresh, juicy raspberries and teamed with a lovely lemon layer, with a sprinkling of chia seeds. The added benefit to this option is that it is coloured with the natural food colour found in Tumeric powder.Where can your products be bought from?
I am currently stocked in two establishments in Leicester; The Detox Shack and Room IV.
My aim is to have my products stocked in coffee shops nationwide so people can enjoy the desserts with family and friends. I do offer a bespoke service where celebration cakes can be ordered. Details for this are found on my website
Make sure you visit Tasneem over at her website - www.v-gd.co.uk
. You can also find her on Instagram
(@DessertsVegan and Facebook
so make sure to keep up to date with all her wonderful products.
Tasneem is also at a few food fairs and markets over the next couple of months, so if you can get to Nottingham and/or Manchester make sure you pay her a visit and try some of her fab desserts out. The dates for these events are below.March 5th Sneinton Market in Nottingham
April 23rd Sachas Hotel in Manchester.