Plant-Powered Peeps: Meet Hans from SAFE

In this Plant-Powered Peep interview, Hans, the CEO from SAFE; NZ's leading animal welfare charity, talks about why he loves living a plant-powered lifestyle. He also shares his Nutty Ice Cream Cake recipe which is delicious, easy-to-make and, of course, vegan + gluten-free!
Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free
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It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my Plant-Powered Peeps interviews with you. I started the series a few years back to introduce you to some of the people who inspire me in terms of what they’re doing in the plant-based space. Whether that be in relation to health and nutrition, animal welfare, or sustainability and the environment, I hope they will inspire you too. If you haven’t read before about the benefits that a plant-based lifestyle can have in terms of those three key areas, then definitely check out my blog post from a while back here.

Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free

To kick off 2015’s interviews, I’d love to introduce you to a wonderfully compassionate man, who works tirelessly campaigning for the welfare of animals. Hans is the CEO of SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation), New Zealand’s largest animal advocacy charity. SAFE are the guys and gals behind the scenes, campaigning against battery caged hens and eggs, confined pigs in metal crates, calve and cow injustices, as well as the mistreatment of circus animals and much more.

I absolutely love everything SAFE are doing in terms of standing up for those animals that oft get forgotten, particularly those in the agricultural sector. So if you’re an animal lover, I highly recommend sending some of your volunteer time or annual donation budget to this absolutely wonderful charity. You can also shop in our Be Good Organics store here, and know that a portion of your purchase gets donated to them as well!

So without further adieu, let me pass you over to Hans for an insight into why he’s so passionate about animals and a plant-based lifestyle. And of course no post would be complete without something delicious to whet your appetite, so make sure you check out his inspired recipe for the most incredible Nutty Ice Cream Cake too!

Plant-Powered Peeps: Meet Hans from SAFE

Why did you decide to turn to a more plant-based organic lifestyle?

I decided to go vegetarian when I was sixteen years old after a teacher at school told the class about factory farming. I didn’t want to support any industry responsible for cruelty to animals. I later turned vegan after learning about the cruelty associated with the egg and dairy industries.

How has your health (physical and emotional) changed since then?

Giving up dairy was very beneficial for my health. I used to regularly use an inhaler for asthma related problems but now that I no longer consume dairy, these problems have disappeared. I feel good about the fact that I eat tasty, quality food without being responsible for the suffering and death of animals.

If you had to give someone 3 reasons why they should move to more plant-based products, what would they be?

  1. To reduce animal suffering
  2. To cause less environmental damage
  3. To improve your health

What does a day on your plate look like:

  • Breakfast: Weetbix with soy milk, a variety of nuts, a kiwi fruit and a banana.
  • Lunch: A salad with green and red vegetables, rocket, avocado and chickpeas with a lime dressing.
  • Dinner: I am not much of a cook so usually a stir fry with lots of different veggies with either tempeh or tofu. Oh, and lots of chillies as I like it spicy! I also like satay sauce.
  • Dessert: Nutty Ice Cream Cake – recipe below!
Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free

Now, your favourite foodie indulgence…

A very hot vegetable Biryani from a top Indian restaurant (just have to make sure it is prepared without ghee).

What do you think the biggest fear or misconception is about going more plant-based?

That it is a boring type of diet and that it is nutritionally not balanced.

What’s your approach to balance & moderation in life?

To live my life not just for my own benefit but to consider how my actions as a consumer impacts on others. That means still enjoying the good things life has to offer but not in excess (except for my 63 inch flat screen TV!)

You’ve been given permission to raid the Be Good Organics stock room – what’s one foodie treat and one beauty product you’d nab?

Beauty product: Coola Sunscreen Sport SPF 35
Foodie product: A packet of Purple Kale Chips from Loving Earth

Would you like to share your favourite plant-powered recipe with us?

I absolutely love this recipe for Nutty Ice Cream Cake. It is super easy to make, and I have never met anyone who did not like it. The combination of sweet and salt works extremely well.  Popular with adults and kids alike!

Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free

Note from Buffy: This is my interpretation of Hans’ original Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Cake. We devoured every slice so I hope you enjoy too! I used a batch of my Vanilla Bean Ice Cream as a base along with frozen bananas. My version is not overly sweet at all, so feel free to add one or two tablespoons of coconut nectar or date paste (1 cup dates blended with 1 cup hot water) to the filling sweeten. You can keep any spare date paste in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to three weeks.

Share your Nutty Ice Cream Cakes on Instagram and tag @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. As always, I’ll be sharing the best of your pics on my Instagram and Facebook!

Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free

Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.

Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free

Nutty Ice Cream Cake

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Servings 12



  • 2 c caramelised buckinis (buckwheat cereal) OR crushed plant-based cookies
  • 1/2 c virgin coconut oil softened


  • 2 c vanilla ice cream
  • 2 c banana sliced and frozen
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 1/4 c chopped almonds


  • Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with baking paper.
  • Process the dehydrated buckwheat cereal in a food processor until fine but still with some crunchy texture (like breadcrumbs with some chunks). Add melted coconut oil and pulse again until well combined, then press firmly into the bottom of the pan and place in the freezer.
  • Now blend together the ice cream, frozen banana and nut butter in your processor until completely combined.
  • Spoon filling evenly into pan and sprinkle the top with chopped nuts. Place in the freezer for at least an hour or overnight.
  • Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving and cut into slices. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Make it nut free: use watermelon seeds instead of cashews in the vanilla ice cream, and use your favourite seed butter in place of the peanut butter – tahini could be lovely!
  • You could also use almond butter in place of the peanut butter.
Nutty Icecream Cake recipe by Buffy Ellen of Be Good Organics - vegan, dairy and gluten free