Posts tagged ‘earth balance’

May 11, 2015

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake – Ashley’s back!

by ashley

Do you ever just get in a rut? You feel sad, overwhelmed, unable to concentrate on things that you once loved. Daily stresses combine with big stresses and everything that doesn’t involve laying on the couch becomes too much to handle. That’s how I’ve felt for the past six months. Many things happened in my life that just snowballed into this overwhelming feeling of just not wanting to do anything at all. I don’t cross promote, and still won’t, but I do write a couple of other blogs. All of them have had the same theme lately: either incredible sadness or absolutely nothing at all. When I fall into these bouts of depression I tend to write for myself more than anything else, and being a perfectionist, I cannot just throw something on a page and not be proud of it. I wrote a lot of poetry over the past few months, none of which will ever be shared with the public at large, but it helps if you’re suffering from the same feelings.

The point of telling you this is that I haven’t forgotten about you. I have thought a lot about this blog, and Jessica, over the past few months. I just couldn’t force myself to write. It’s foolish, I know, but it is the truth. But I’m here now. And I had a lot of extra plantains that were about to rot in my house – so I decided to make up a recipe for you J

The plantain is a staple in most Latin households. It can be eaten green or yellow, unripened or ripened. Green plantains are used mostly for frying – in my house either for cutting in slices, frying, mashing and then refrying into tostones or patacones (we are a mixed Caribbean/Central American household, so yes we do use both words). I also mash them up into a vegetarian mofongo (the most delicious thing on earth when paired with a robust tomato or vegetable broth – make sure to add some smoked paprika to imitate the flavor that meat imparts on the traditional mofongo). Sweet (also called yellow/ripened/black plantains) can also be sliced and fried into maduros or tajadas, or you can make a pastelon, or plantain “lasagna”, with strips of fried sweet plantains instead of noodles. There are also plantain empanadas (which I have already given you a recipe for here), plantain soup, simple boiled and mashed plantains instead of potatoes – the plantain is a very versatile vegetable.

Well, I could have done any of these things with my blackening plantains, which by the way is the best way to use sweet plantains – when they are almost completely black. But instead of the traditional, I decided I had a craving for banana bread. And of course I didn’t have bananas, only sweet plantains, so I made Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake. It’s very sweet, with a nutty flavor from the flaxseed, and completely vegan. It also can easily be made gluten free by using a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat flour.

Sweet Plantain, Maple and Brown Sugar Cake

2 very ripe plantains, black almost to the point of rotting

1 cup cane sugar (I like to use Sugar in the Raw)

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ tsp kosher salt

2 tsp vanilla extract (I like to use Madagascar)

2 tsp maple syrup (use pure, real maple syrup, if you can)

¼ cup ground flaxseed

¾ cup water

½ cup almond milk

½ cup melted butter (I used Earth Balance Coconut)

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups whole wheat flour (or a gluten free flour of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350’F.

Start by combining the ground flaxseed with water until incorporated. Set aside. Cut up the plantains into small slices and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the cane sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, maple syrup, flaxseed mixture, almond milk and butter. Mash and mix together until a batter is formed. Add baking soda, baking powder and whole wheat flour. Continue mixing until fully incorporated.

Grease your baking pan (I used two small loaf pans) and pour in the batter. Bake until golden brown and set in the middle, about 30 minutes.

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December 9, 2011

Tropical Eggnog: Vegan Coquito Recipe

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

The holiday season is filled with childish delights – those that make us recall our memories of Santa Claus and sleigh bells. Yet the Christmas season also brings headaches, crowds and the stress of getting the right gifts under the tree. Sometimes no amount of jingle bells and snow angels can get you into the spirit. Plus, dancing with sugar plum fairies is much more fun with a little rum. Once the kids are tucked into bed, take out your blender and whip up this treat for you and your guests to really get the Christmas mood started.

 

Coquito, the official holiday beverage of Puerto Rico, is basically a mix between strong eggnog and coconut milk.  The traditional coquito is made with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream of coconut, giving it a thick texture and a tropical note. I’ve attempted to make a vegan shortcut version, utilizing vegan soy nog and Coco López coconut cream. It’s tasty, not quite as thick as the original, however many omnivore friends have enjoyed it tremendously.

 

Let us know what you think and what your favorite “after bedtime” indulgences are for the holidays!

 

Puerto Rican Coquito

3 cups vegan soy nog (Earth Balance or Silk work great)

1 (14 oz) can cream of coconut (Coco López)

½ cup white rum (Bacardi is vegan!)

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Blend all ingredients on high for one minute. Serve chilled.

 

Makes approx. 6 servings.

 

September 27, 2011

Brazilian Brigadeiros (Chocolate Bonbons) Veganized

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

There is seldom a party in Brazil without these tiny rounds of chocolately goodness, but as they are traditionally made almost entirely of condensed milk, they certainly weren’t something vegans could indulge in. This recipe attempts to capture the rich taste and texture without the dairy. It took a few tries before I came out with a version good enough to serve alongside the original, however the results were definitely worth the work.

You will need to either start a day in advance or set aside a few hours to make these, as I wasn’t able to find vegan condensed milk in my local Whole Foods. If you are able to find (or have some made ahead) vegan condensed milk, then skip the first part of the recipe and start right with heating the condensed milk and adding cocoa.

Ingredients for vegan condensed milk:

3 cups dairy-free milk (I’ve used almond milk here)

¼ cup water

1 tblsp vegetable-based margarine

1 tblsp sugar

Ingredients for Brigadeiros:

2 tblsp cocoa drink mix

1 tblsp dark cocoa

1 tblsp vegetable-based margarine

Sugar sprinkles, powdered sugar, coconut flakes and/or anything else you’d like to use for decoration

Directions for Vegan Condensed Milk

In a large pot, add all ingredients (milk, water, margarine, sugar) and stir constantly over medium heat until boiling. Lower to a simmer and allow to reduce until thick. This will take several hours.

Directions for Brigadeiros

In a large pot (if using your own vegan condensed milk, otherwise use the same pot) heat the condensed milk over medium heat, adding the cocoa drink mix, dark cocoa powder and margarine. Stir constantly, heating until the mixture starts to come away from the sides of the pot, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another dish and cool completely.

Once completely cool, the mixture should look a lot like a very thick, sticky chocolate pudding. Setup your decorations in small bowls for rolling onto your brigadeiros. Using the palms of your hand, roll the chocolate mixture into small balls, about an inch in diameter. Roll in decoration of choice and place in aside for presentation or for storing in the refrigerator.

This recipe makes approximately 24 brigadeiros.

August 12, 2011

Vegan Friday: “Bacon” Molasses Sweet Potato Muffins

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

There is a bakery here in South Florida that makes these bacon maple cupcakes that have addicted so many that they call in advance to order, just in case they run out (they usually do, my fiance is forever upset that he can’t get them). I believe it’s the combination of sweet, salty and umami that really makes a dish like this stand out, so I endeavored to make a vegan version of this phenomenon. Now, with that stated, these flavors are extremely unique and may not be for everyone, but if you’re craving the taste of an omnivore breakfast, these little muffins have the whole plate in one bite, sans the animal products.

“Bacon” Molasses Sweet Potato Muffins

2 cups self-rising flour

1 ½ cups mashed sweet potatoes, plain

½ cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

2 tablespoons Original Earth Balance Buttery Spread

1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)

1 tablespoon Original Bacon Salt (vegan, can be purchased in many grocery stores or online)

2 tablespoons golden flax meal (as an egg substitute)

6 tablespoons water

OPTIONAL: 1 cup pan-fried hickory tempeh, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix two tablespoons of golden flax meal with six tablespoons of water. It should become the consistency of eggs, which will be used as an egg replacer in this recipe. Add the flour, mashed sweet potatoes, dark brown sugar, molasses, almond milk and Earth Balance. This is also the time you should add the tempeh pieces, if you are using them (it adds texture, almost as if real bacon were in it.)

Mix well and spoon into a greased muffin tin, I used the mini muffin tins that I have. Depending on the size tin you use, bake for 10-18 minutes.

Makes about 20 mini muffins or 10 regular muffins. Enjoy!

July 25, 2011

Does Latin and Vegan sound like an oxymoron? It isn’t with Jackfruit Tamales!

by ashley

My beloved jackfruit, for which I drove 50 miles south of my home to buy and three hours of my time to cut, also became a wonderfully fresh, Latin meal when combined with simple ingredients. (Read more about the jackfruit itself here)

Tamales are traditionally made with either corn or yucca flour, stuffed with beef or pork, and wrapped in a plantain leaf or corn husk. My version is the quick-fix method, when you don’t have much time. Making tamales the traditional way is a time consuming and painstaking process, however does indeed yield much tastier results. I have used brand names in my ingredients list as it makes a difference in flavor if using other brands.

To make the jackfruit filling:

 

2 cups peeled green jackfruit, fresh

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 pkg Goya achiote seasoning

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp Goya recaito (cilantro cooking base)

Oil spray for coating pan

 

Mix ingredients well in a medium bowl, cover and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with oil spray to prevent sticking. Sauté marinated jackfruit and onion over medium heat until translucent and browned. Cover and set aside.

 

To make the tamales:

 

2 cups pre-cooked Harina PAN Masarepa (yellow cornmeal)

2 ½ cups hot water (almost boiling)

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp Earth Balance Original

4 plantain leaves or 6 corn husks, soaked in warm water so they are pliable

Kitchen string

 

In a large bowl, add the almost-boiling water, salt and Earth Balance. Slowly add the cornmeal, stirring constantly until a soft dough is formed. Carefully knead the dough to evenly distribute water, salt and Earth Balance. Assemble the tamales by adding a tablespoon or two of dough onto a plantain leaf or corn husk. Flatten the mixture, add a little of the jackfruit and cover with another tablespoon of dough. Wrap the tamal like a package in the leaf or husk, carefully tying with kitchen string. Continue until you have made the desired amount of tamales or you run out of ingredients (will be about 4-6 tamales).

 

Boil water in a large pot. Add the tamales and boil until they float, or about 15 minutes. Serve fresh.

 

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