Tag Archives: cinnamon

You made truffles from what?

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Valentines’ is chocolate season, with sinful sweets and chocolate gifts for loved ones. All the reason to experiment with your own truffles, before the chocolate craze starts.
As in the earlier mayonnaise post, the emulsifier does not need to be from eggs or cream, the blend does not need to contain loads of dairy or fats.

The filling is instead made from a blend of pecans with sweet potato mash(!), they surprisingly taste very much like traditional hand made truffles which makes me wonder, what companies can blend into chocolates these days… DIY and you can influence ingredients; which sweetener or chocolate you use to make it vegan and/or healthier. See recipe

Too easy to not DIY…

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Chia pudding is the new hype After blogs and cookbooks praised chia as the new superfood, the packaged food industry wanted a share. You may remember chia’s early fame in ‘hair growing’ chia pets and recently as Chia fresca, now the seed’s pudding is offered next to the alternative yogurts in supermarket fridge, and I believe I saw a whooping price of 3$ per portion for a small cup of the submerged seeds. While I understand, yogurt making takes some time and expertise, I wonder what makes Chia pudding so special…
The answer is ‘nothing’, it does not take more than 3 spoonfuls of chia seeds per any liquid cup of choice, even without a blender. Stir, cool and wait… really no reason to buy a plastic jar with stale ingredients, and worth only a couple of pennies… See my recipe for Horchata chia pudding

Mexican milk alternative

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Mexican restaurants and food trucks sell horchata; Asking about this variety of ‘agua fresca’, we learned about the variety of ‘rice milk.’
Horchata originated in Spanish speaking countries, and Latin America has several different traditions for horchata.
The refreshing milky drink is usually ice cooled, tastes of cinnamon and has a tan color unless you use white rice and white sugar. The satisfying milk alternative can easily replace a meal. If you do it yourself, you can influence details such as what sweetener is used, use brown rice and raw nuts. Use more almonds than rice, to achieve a richer, less chalky taste.
While the original recipe includes soaking the ingredients overnight, you can also make a quick horchata in an instant, blended and strained in modern kitchen equipment. Horchata recipe and horchata chia pudding

First Holiday Flavors

SconeDSC_5046It is that Pumpkin time again… Leaves are red and yellow, temperatures just shy of freezing point and hot soups are making a comeback. Warm hugs of sugar and pumpkin spices and a warm kitchen are so comforting…  ah, pumpkin scones. When I saw this gluten free recipe I had to veganize it even though I had only sweet potatoes instead of pumpkins. I did not have all of the alternative flours either, if you have a grain container it helps to make quick brown rice or millet flour for part of the recipe. Flavorful, highly recommended and going fast. See recipe.

The RAW alternative

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Is RAW better than Cooked? There are surely reasons why you should opt for less processed in first place. Food in its natural state, (and I don’t mean the bogus ‘All Natural’ claim on packaging). Raw food retains more nutrients; some nutrients can be absorbed more readily if food is heated, but it does not mean that there is nothing at all absorbed, when eaten raw or heated below 115˚F. However, when food is cooked, many nutrients and vitamins are lost. Continue reading

A twist for a dessert

EmpanadDSC_3688You can make these little zapatitos, if you have some empanada dough left. They are a simple blend, and closed like dumplings, as the filling is a bit more wet. Great to use up some overripe, even frozen bananas. See recipe

Breakfast alternatives

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My posts become sparce when we are busy… and food goes fast when you are sharing with visitors. We like the blueberry bread from our farmer’s market, but the one we usually buy contains eggs and white flour. Looking for alternatives, we found a sweet version of sprouted Manna bread, nice for a change. However I also like this nut and pumpkin bread in my veganized recipe: See recipe. 

Warming Valentine hugs

CocoaDSC_3131.1Hot Chocolate is a warm hug. Cocoa or Cacao? Most likely you grew up with Nesquick or Swiss Miss – Sugary, chalky, milk powdery mixes with a faint hint of chocolate. Then as a grown up, maybe in New York, you will discover drinking real chocolate.                                                                                                                                            The word and idea of drinking cacao came from Mexican ancestors. Ancient graves unearthed, bore symbols and vessels identified with cacao consumption.  Continue reading

How to heat the house

Heat the kitchen by baking buns! I am still working through a couple of recipes and this one (besides that I already ate a good breakfast) has caught my eye. What a great excuse and great lunch as well. This fat free veg’n ‘Happy Herbivore’ recipe was not easy for me, as the recipe has only lax indications of baking pan dimensions, dough thickness, rectangle size and from which side it should be rolled up, not mentioning yeast dough rising times either, duh. Just be creative. No matter which size, these little guys are quite forgiving. I got twelve minis instead of 6 big ones and used rum-raisins for the filling.
One sure resolution for the New Year is to make better pictures. Having some patience, using the tripod and also increase the depth of field. It already looks better on first attempt…Recipe 

Sugar and Spice…

Spice scents make Christmas memories. Pine scents, Mulling spices or Gingerbread blends immediately will evoke Christmas feelings. When I once sampled Indian Rogan Josh spice, it felt like Christmas to me. And indeed, many of the traditional Indian and oriental spices are used in today’s Gingerbread cookie blends as well. Special in Gingerbread is that it does not use yeast or sourdough as rising agents, instead recipes list potash and hartshorn.
For true German Peppercake or Gingerbread cookies, you will need a ‘Lebkuchen’ spice mix, which in Europe you can just buy ready made in a small sachets. Here, of course you can DIY your mix and learn about how to replace the raising agents. Please contact me for a blend info.

Functional Foods

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete from Vancouver, BC  is also vegan. His early research in the nutritional field has been circling around how to improve performance with nutrition, by minimizing the stress that ordinary and high acidic foods may cause to the body. Brazier moved to a diet that uses naturally ‘functional foods’. Continue reading