Better than Cadbury Cream Eggs! (vegan, fair trade, and gluten free) with update for palm free/gmo free recipe

Hi!

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I’ve been wanting to make a vegan chocolate cream egg since…well…every year I’ve been vegan. This year I finally decided to take action.

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I bought an egg shaped mold from a craft store and everything. However, I found a recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Hell Yeah It’s Vegan which does not require a mold (and I think comes out better if you don’t). Please check the blog out beyond this recipe. It’s amazing!

Originally I just made some simple adjustments to the recipe. Instead of using yellow and red food coloring, I made the yellow out of water and powdered turmeric. I also changed the method a bit, instead of using two disks I used one and just free-styled the yellow part of the egg by placing it in the center and wrapping the white part around it and shaping it into an egg shape. It was actually really easy in terms of making candies and other stuff.

The chocolate I used was Equal Exchange Fair Trade chocolate chips which I am really passionate about buying from now on. Not only are they conflict/child labor/slave labor free and on the Food Empowerment Project chocolate list, but they’re also the best tasting chocolate and worked like a dream.

But I was annoyed that I was making these with Earth Balance, which has palm oil in it, and corn syrup, which is often gmo and not organic (genetically modified). So I had to totally revamp the recipe. It works just as well if not better. The updated recipe is below!

Of course, these are also gluten free and also nut free (if you don’t consider coconut a nut!)

Chocolate Creme Eggs–vegan, gluten free, palm oil free, fair trade, organic

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp refined coconut oil (solid) –plus 2 tsp for the chocolate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cups organic/gluten free powdered sugar
  • Ground turmeric and water, as needed
  • 8 oz (or more, just use the full bag) fair trade, vegan chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, cream the brown rice syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and water together.
  2. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar into this mixture, blending until well combined. If it is hard to mix add a small amount of water, no more than an 2 additional teaspoons.
  3. Place a small amount of the mixture into a small bowl (a third or less of it), and sprinkle the turmeric powder and a small amount of water (you do want this to get a little runny), use a small whisk or spoon to stir it together until it all incorporates and is a bright yellow color. It will be hard to combine at first.
  4. Cover both bowls and place them in the refrigerator for an hour or more. If you are short on time you can place them in the freezer for no more than 30 minutes.
  5. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.
  6. With a small spoon, place little blobs of the yellow mixture onto the tray. You want to aim for about 15 nickel size pieces.
  7. Then shape the white mixture into 30 flat egg shaped discs and place on the other tray.
  8. Place the white ones in the fridge and the yellow in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Take one white disc, place the yellow blob and put it in the middle, then place another white disc to form a sandwich. Smush together and then shape by rolling in between your hands into an egg shape. Continue on with the rest of them. It’s okay if some of the yellow is oozing out, it gets better looking results that way.
  10. Place again in the freezer for a half hour (or more).
  11. Melt the chocolate with 2 tsp coconut oil in the microwave or a double boiler.
  12. Dip the frozen eggs fully into the chocolate one by one, placing on a cookie sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment paper or wax paper to set. I have found that the best method is to use a spoon to roll the egg in the chocolate and then carefully take out of the chocolate, letting the excess drip off back into the chocolate, and then placing onto the tray. They will not be perfect, you may have some drips that deform the egg shape. Once you let them set you can break those off a little bit.
  13. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set fully. I like to keep a big batch of them wrapped in foil in the freezer, and when there is a day that I want one, I place it in the fridge for a few hours, let it sit out for a little longer at room temperature, and then dig in! They are so good.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another blog? Yup! And some other exciting plans!

Hey everyone!

I have started to train for a half marathon. Don’t ask me why I am thinking this is a good idea as Winter is just about starting, but regardless, I am.

In response to my training I have decided to start a blog where I document what I am thinking about while on my runs. Sometimes I think about some really interesting stuff, other times not so much, but either way I thought it would be cool to see. I hope to inspire people with the way that I share my thoughts and that’ll encourage them to tackle things they think are scary but want to do anyhow (like how I did with running).

You can check it out here at http://streamoflaura.net

Over my winter break from school I’ve decided to produce a cookbook zine. I am hoping it will be ready to go by January 20, but we shall see! It’s going to be chock full of kid-friendly recipes, since it is about my favorite recipes that I grew up with turned vegan, and the memories I have about them.

For a project with school right now, I am designing a series of posts for this blog about Labor History for vegans. I hope to educate my readers about issues of labor in our food choices and how we can understand labor issues past and present and consume foods that are not just helping save non-human animals, but also are treating the human workers that make our foods nicely and honoring their rights. Look for that, as well as some more educational topics I will be exploring soon!

Vegan Mofo 2014 Bonus Post: My nomination for a Liebster Award!

So I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the Judgmental Vegan. Thanks! I like the idea of this.

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Here are the rules:

  • Answer the questions provided by the nominator, then come up with 10 new ones to ask your nominees.
  • Nominate 8 other blogs, let them know you have nominated them and put a link to their blog in your post.
  • No Tag backs (i.e. you cannot nominate the blog that nominated you)
  • Nominees must have under 200 followers on any platform.
  • You must tell all the blogs that you nominate that you have nominated them.

Why did you decide to go vegan?

I originally went vegan because I saw a documentary about the carbon footprint of food and how much food we produce that is of animal origin as a country and as humans and it really disgusted me. I had already been toying with the idea of it for awhile, but that’s what set me over the edge. I have slipped and stopped being vegan a few times, and have currently been vegan for a year and a half as of October 24 of this year. It’ll be 2 years April 24. But I plan to stick with it permanently now. I recommitted to veganism this time around for all the other reasons I have before (environment and animals) but also my health this time.

Is there any non-vegan food that you miss?

Not really. If there is something I miss at this point then I’ll try to veganize it myself, and usually it comes out pretty awesome. I was missing cheese Danish awhile ago and then made them myself after that, and it was amazing. Also I made chocolate filled croissants…OM NOM! Here is a picture of me eating that! I was pretty excited.

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What vegetable do you feel like you should like, but somehow, just don’t?

Raw grated carrots. Whenever I have them in salads I avoid most of them. Actually maybe all raw carrots…They’re not that bad really, just too crunchy and hard to chew fast.

Is there a recipe that you’re dying to try, but haven’t gotten around to it yet?

Some of the new Chloe Coscarelli recipes from her new book that she emails to her email list. Except I was going to make the carbonara but then I was disappointed to find that a pound of shiitake mushrooms would cost me around $10. 😦

Who is your favorite cookbook author? Why?

Chloe Coscarelli again. I have tried so many of her recipes and she cannot create something that tastes bad. I especially love her book “Chloe’s Kitchen” and cannot wait to obtain her new Italian food book. I don’t own the dessert one because I don’t need the temptation for that! haha. But yeah. There are a lot of vegan cookbooks I’ve bought where I’ve been disappointed that they had so much hype around them and then there’s hardly any recipes that look appealing to me. Sometimes I’ll even make a recipe thinking it sounds so good and it’ll taste gross. Not with Chloe.

What was your first vegan cookbook?

Vegan with a Vengeance. I think that was the book that had me make seitan one of the first few weeks of going vegan for the first time like in 2009. I didn’t actually realize how impressive me making it from scratch was as a new vegan. In fact I met up with some vegans for the first time and told them “I made seitan” and I think they assumed I bought store bought brands, looking back on it now…I didn’t even realize when they asked me whether I made it myself from scratch or not. I hadn’t realized there was kinds you could buy in the store yet, so I was confused if maybe there was another process to making it or something (I think actually you can make the gluten part from flour and it’ll take even longer and be more complicated? I can’t remember if I did it that way or with vital wheat gluten and I’m too lazy to look in the book right now…) but yeah, it’s something I think is funny that I associate with my first vegan cookbook.

What was the best meal you ever made for yourself or someone else?

So this recipe coming tomorrow for Vegan MoFo is definitely the best brunch meal I’ve ever made. That’s all I’ll say for now!

Do you find it easy to be vegan in the area you live in? How do you make it work?

Yeah, there’s a Stop and Shop grocery store nearby me that has so many vegan items in their organic/natural food section. They even sell vegenaise, all kinds of vegan yogurt, daiya, earth balance butter and snacks, silken tofu, nutritional yeast, all kinds of tofurky products, daiya pizza, ice cream, etc! I recently bought the new Dr. Praeger’s Asian burgers there and they were so good! If they don’t have something I need I have to travel into the City (which is only 15 minutes away by car) to go to Whole Foods. I’d say it’s easy and there are lots of new vegan friendly restaurants and restaurants with vegan options here too. Providence is the first city to have a vegan soft serve truck, too!

If you could only eat one processed, vegan product (with the rest of your diet being whole foods). which would it be?

Hmm, I dunno really. Some type of vegan mayo, probably Just Mayo.

What’s one thing about yourself that you feel has very little to do with being vegan?

I don’t really understand this question but I’ll attempt to answer it. My love of arts and crafts. Not that my arts and crafts aren’t vegan themselves, but I don’t usually make arts and crafts that have a vegan message or anything related to that.

Okay, that’s all done and was very fun!

Here’s who I nominate (sorry if you have more than 200 followers, don’t be offended if you have more, some of your blogs don’t actually list that for me to double check if I’m nominating the right people for this). Also my apologies if you’ve been nominated before…It got to be too much to try and double check.

Ellen’s Vegan Kitchen

Evolution of Jill 

Vegan Chai

Easy Vegan

Miss Muffcake

Busy Vegan Mama

My Apologies for the Novel

Deerly Beloved Bakery

And your ten questions to answer (please draw my attention somehow to your answers because I can’t actually follow all of you who don’t have wordpress and I may not look in a timely manner. I’m really interested in your responses to these, though):

  1. What is your all time favorite vegetable?
  2. Pick a holiday you celebrate. What would you like to make for the meals you eat for it this year?
  3. Do you care about giving veganism a positive example through your life and what you put out into the communities you interact with? If so, how do you strive to maintain that positivity?
  4. Do you have a favorite vegan type of saying? For instance, I really like what my Compassion Company shirt says “Anything you can eat I can eat vegan?”
  5. Are you interested in other types of ethical/philosophical justice issues? What are they and how do you involve yourselves in them?
  6. What would you tell someone who confided in you they were thinking of going vegan but felt overwhelmed about it?
  7. What was the first thing you cooked for yourself when you went vegan?
  8. How long have you been a vegan for?
  9. Do you celebrate your veganniversary?
  10. If you could travel to any vegan friendly city in the world, where would you choose to go?

Foodie (Photo) Friday! Aloha salad, holiday pie, green smoothies, galore!

Hello!

I was sick this week with a pretty exhausting cold. I’m feeling much better now, though. Since my exhaustion and my lung congestion made it difficult for me to work out, I decided I was going to try and eat much better than usual and eat more fruits and veggies than normally (even though on average I get at least 10 servings a day or so) and so I finally gave in and tried some green smoothies. I think I’m going to be better about eating more fruits and veggies (Including green smoothies) from now on even though I’m not sick, because… duh. I also ate a lot of Amy’s No Chicken Noodle soup, which was awesome.

The first one was a banana-less kale based “Green monster” one here

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I had to add a lot of extra water because it came out way too thick. Also, I gagged several times still, and it sort of tasted like a salad dressing or something to me, oops. But I thought it was decent at first, since I had never had one before, that is, until I tried the Caramel Apple Green Smoothie from the recipes here. That one is by far much tastier. I used almond butter instead of sunbutter though. I don’t have a picture of that one, though.

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Next was the Holiday Pie from The Vegan Stoner Cookbook. It’s basically tofu and non dairy milk blended together, mushrooms and garlic cooked in soy sauce, prepared stuffing, and I decided to use the optional tofu hot dogs on top. I also dipped it in cranberry sauce. It was quite delicious.

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I rate this recipe 4 good bananas, one bad! (It just didn’t have the total wow! factor of 5 good ones, but I like it)

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Then there is this salad I made tonight!

Aloha Salad with Tiki Tempeh.

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So good, and made me think of fond memories from the Summer. I didn’t think bananas would be so tasty and add such a great texture contrast to this but it was definitely the best part for sure! Everything tastes so good, though! I also majorly splurged on a small amount of macadamia nuts which are so yummy, and added reduced fat dried coconut. The dressing is creamy and super tasty, the tempeh has great flavor, and all the fruits along with the spinach and cole slaw mix are wonderful together.

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I’m hoping this upcoming week I’ll have time to write some more fun entries besides just on Friday, but we’ll see what my life has in store from me. Until then take care and eat yummy foods!

Foodie (Photo) Friday #6-Philly Cheese Jackfruit Steak, Jalapeno Poppers, and Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna

Well, well, well. It’s another edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! I’m having some technological difficulties so the photos will be larger than normal, because when I try to resize them within wordpress I am getting a blank screen.

I have some good ones to share with you this week! I also just started the process of making some cupcakes for my birthday weekend, but those aren’t photo-ready yet.

First off, is this amazing Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak sandwich from the “V” word blog. Recipe here. Image

This recipe really had a “wow” factor. I’m now officially in love with jackfruit after seeing how versatile it is! I may have possibly had a cheesesteak once or twice as a non-vegan, but it never was much of my thing anyhow. But now that I am a vegan this was a fun thing to make, and it was delicious in it’s own unique way. The spices were spot on I thought, I would not even know what spices to use to recreate this dish were I the one creating the recipe. The onions are also perfect. I think I cooked it all for a bit less time than suggested because I do not like too strong of a blackened flavor, and perhaps my stove gets too hot, but the steps worked out great to get a really crisp yet chewy texture out of the onions and jackfruit. I will definitely be making this again when I have more cans of jackfruit. I only made two servings because I wanted to only use one of my two cans. Oh well…

ImageI definitely give this recipe:

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The Jalapeno Poppers were from the cookbook The 30 Minute Vegan.

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They were supposed to be a healthier version of the classic snackfood/appetizer. I am not sure how unhealthy typical poppers are nutritionally, but after calculating the calories and other information for these, I wasn’t all that impressed really with the numbers. But I wanted them so I ate them anyways. These are baked, not fried. They certainly fulfill any craving you may have for this sort of food. I had never worked with 10 jalapenos at a time though, and scooping out the seeds and veins with a serrated knife was not exactly easy. I kept breathing in some of the fumes and gagging/coughing/sneezing. So if you make these, remember to use caution with the peppers haha. The coolest part of these is the way you attach the bread crumbs to the outside of the pepper so it can stick when baked. You coat them in a mixture of tahini, soy sauce, and water. It works amazingly. However, for the cheese filling, I highly recommend you use at least 2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese to help the cheese and spice mixture meld together more easily inside the peppers. Otherwise the daiya falls out really easily. I didn’t add the red onion to the cheese mixture because it sounded weird, but oh well.

I rate this recipe:

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It was really good but had some flaws.

Finally, the Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna. Oh.My.Gosh.

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This was delicious. I first made the tofu herb ricotta. I tasted it and could barely stop myself from eating it all before I even made the lasagna. I was really skeptical of the idea of including butternut squash in this. I usually hate butternut squash, but had never tried it roasted, so I did that. I tried a piece of just the squash when it was finished roasting, and I actually liked it! So that’s a plus for this recipe: discovering how I like butternut squash cooked!

There are also caramelized onions, garlicky spinach, daiya cheese, the bechamel sauce, and nutritional yeast, along with the lasagna noodles of course. This took me a long time to make. So many dishes were used. I would recommend this dish for when you really want to impress someone, and not as an everyday dish, because it’s so elaborately time consuming. It is totally worth every bite, however. I had trouble fitting all three layers that you were supposed to do into the dish, so I just made two layers which worked out fine. I wouldn’t have had enough stuff to make a third layer, and even then, it was towering over the dish.

This is so deserving of a 5 good banana rating.

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That’s all for today! Stay tuned next friday to see what I cooked up!