Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 11: Talkin’ ’bout sprinkles!

Did you know unicorns get clean by bathing in bathtubs full of vegan sprinkles? Must be nice, huh?

Sprinkles are an important element in making unicorn-worthy desserts. They make everything so pretty, crunchy, and colorful. What makes most sprinkles not vegan? Confectioner’s glaze, which is made of insects. Usually, if you’re looking for non-specified vegan sprinkles (as in their not labeled as such),

What makes most sprinkles not vegan? Confectioner’s glaze, which is made of insects. Usually, if you’re looking for non-specified vegan sprinkles (as in they’re not labeled as such), you will find carnauba wax instead.

However, those mindful of environmental, health, and animal testing issues should note that most vegan sprinkles are still problematic in different ways. For example, carnauba wax is made of palm and artificial colors are tested on animals and harmful to our health (especially for children). If you want to fully avoid these concerns (I tend to lapse my ethics when it comes to sprinkles because they’re usually used in small amounts and I don’t have kids which I’d be more concerned if they were eating them too). However, I plan to try to look for more vegan sprinkles once I use up my current stash that uses natural coloring instead.

For example, Let’s Do…Organic makes non-pareil “sprinkelz” but their color retention is really poor. A promising company that makes vegan dye-free sprinkles is the seller NakedSprinkles on Etsy. I have yet to try them, but I am going to try them very soon.

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So, now that I’ve shared the dye free sprinkle options, here are some options if you aren’t as concerned about that. As I said earlier in the post, you can read the ingredients in any sprinkle bottle you may encounter out in the world, and if it’s free of confectioner’s glaze or other non-vegan ingredients, they’re vegan! I’ve had good luck at places like Home Goods, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx finding vegan colored sugars and such.

My favorite source for awesome vegan sprinkles, however, is Sweetapolita. They make regular and vegan kinds of sprinkles, so make sure to verify before you put them in your cart that they really are the vegan kind. They sell a pretty sweet vegan sampler which is a variety of their most popular vegan sprinkles.

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Here is most of my collection of Sweetapolita sprinkles. My favorites are the ones with the stars.

Now I can take a bath in my sprinkles while you sprinkle them over all your baked goods! ❤

Remember to follow us on Instagram @bananacurlvegangirl and @unicornseatvegan.

 

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Vegan MoFo 2017 Week 2, Day 9: Behind the Scenes: Unicorn Must-Haves

Hello, Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn is here!

This week’s MoFo theme is “Behind the Scenes.” This means you’ll be getting tips, tricks, tools, and must-haves, as well as some sneak peeks at the idea for the book Laura is writing with me.

Today we are looking at some of the must-haves for a magical unicorn-inspired kitchen. Some of these things we will be going into more detail later in the week. Those items will be starred.

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Here’s a photo of my “unicorn poop” sugar cookies…

Natural vegan food coloring. Whether it is the from the powders and recipes I talk about here, or storebought colors such as India Tree, Color Kitchen, or TruColor.

Cocoa Butter. This is used to make various vegan white chocolate recipes, some of which will be shared at a later date through this MoFo. I will only buy cocoa butter by brands recommended by Food Empowerment Project, or are fair trade and sourced outside Africa, since F.E.P. seems to be more about ready-to-eat chocolate rather than raw ingredients like Cocoa Butter. I do need to research this topic a bit more to be more clear on the matter.

Marshmallows. Let’s all take a moment of silence for Sweet and Sara Vegan Marshmallows getting ready to close…………..Okay. So, unfortunately, we won’t have dried rainbow-colored cereal marshmallows for much longer 😦 but we will have Dandies and Trader Joe’s vegan marshmallows. Dandies make special edition flavors sometimes which are really good and has good mini marshmallows that you can use for lots of Unicorn-friendly recipes. If you can only find the large pillowy vegan mallows near you, you can always cut them smaller for certain recipes that need mini mallows.

Vegan Sprinkles.* More on this in its own post, due Wednesday, October 11. All different kinds. And colored sanding sugar.

Unicorn shaped cookie cutters.* How else will you make unicorn shapes? More on these tomorrow.

Lots of sugar. This is self-explanatory. Make sure it’s always organic/vegan.

There’s probably a lot more I should mention, but this is a good start of the basics for now.

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 7: Dessert!

EPSON MFP image

As the first week begins to come to a close, I, Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn want to remind you that there’s no need to shame yourself or others for indulging in vegan desserts.

In fact, I had Laura whip up this drawing so you could see a sampling of my favorite desserts and my favorite types of vegan sugar you can use in them.

And here are some more of my favorite desserts not listed on the pyramid:

Marshmallows

Chocolate

Marzipan

Cotton candy

Bubblegum

Gelatin-free gummy candy

Fudge

Frosting

Macarons

Pie

Pastry

Aquafaba meringues

Tell me, what is your favorite vegan, unicorn worthy dessert?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza Waffles!

This latest invention was so good! It kind of reminded me how I remember Domino’s Pizza’s Cheesy bread used to taste, in terms of its texture. I might need to try duplicating that flavor profile as well…

But here are the pizza waffles.

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And here is the recipe for them!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix
  • 1 package yeast (included in the pizza crust mix bag)
  • 2 eggs worth of set egg replacer (I used Ener-g)
  • 1 tbsp salt-free Italian herb blend
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water plus 2 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably without citric acid in the ingredient list
  • 3 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Vegan cheese (I used a mix of Daiya mozzarella and Follow your heart cheddar)
  • Other toppings (such as onions, vegan pepperoni, sliced olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc)

Directions:

  1. Pour the gluten free pizza dough flour mix into a large bowl. Mix in the Italian herb blend.
  2. In another large bowl, mix together the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and set aside for five minutes until the yeast dissolves.
  3. Prepare the egg replacer, also let sit while the yeast is dissolving.
  4. Place the oil and egg replacer into the yeast and water and whisk.
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture and stir until well combined and a dough forms.
  6. Cover and let sit for twenty minutes to rise.
  7. Warm up your waffle oven and turn your oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. When the dough is ready, spray the waffle iron with oil and place some dough into the iron…pat down and don’t use too much dough, as I had trouble sometimes flipping over my iron. If that happens, it’s okay, you can still make them, just keep it upright and let it cook inside at a medium temperature for about 4-5 minutes before taking out.
  9. Place your waffles on a greased oven tray.
  10. Make the sauce by mixing together the crushed tomatoes, sugar, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper.
  11. Place some sauce on top of each waffle.
  12. Cove with cheese and desired toppings.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes.
  14. Enjoy the deliciousness!

Holiday Recap and a Soy Curl Potpie Recipe

I’ve been so busy lately. Between graduate school, taking an improv comedy class, the holidays, my grandmother dying, etc., I’ve barely had time for cooking. I was able to create two Youtube videos in the beginning of the semester, which you can see here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIGj10TPGenVBNH6vySDPpw! I hope to make more videos on Youtube in the coming year.

I’ve also been regularly updating my blog’s new(ish) Instagram account, which you can follow @bananacurlvegangirl

If you’re not on Instagram or following along here, I’m going to do a quick photo recap of some of the food I made for the holidays.

For some homemade gifts, I made my famous sour cream and onion kale chips, green tea, goji, and coconut superfood energy bars (adapted from this recipe), vegan and gluten-free marshmallow wreaths, and chocolate peppermint patties from a recipe that’s basically this (not pictured).

 

We had 4 relatives staying with us from Christmas Eve day until yesterday. My aunt and uncle and cousins have a tradition at their house of making appetizers on Christmas eve. So, I made lentil faux chopped liver dip, a spinach and artichoke dip, and we made mini potato latkes because it was also the first night of Hanukkah and my dad celebrates the holiday and loves having latkes. Instead of using eggs, we used the Neat egg for the first time and it worked out really well! There was also a salad made that I was able to eat.

 

For dessert, I had these gluten-free, vegan sugar cookies I made from a recipe on Minimalist Baker. Check the recipe out here.

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For Christmas morning breakfast, everyone else was having bagels. My mom was nice enough to go to a local gluten-free bakery and pick up some vegan and gluten free bagels. I topped them with Kite Hill chive cream cheese, my papaya lox, and capers.

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For my dinner later that day, I made gluten-free, vegan stuffed shells with Kite Hill almond ricotta and pesto. I forgot to take a picture of them. We also had my favorite vegan caesar salad ever, which I also forgot to photograph, but believe there are previous posts on this blog about it.

It was a sweet Christmas! I hope you had a very merry one yourselves! As a thank you for reading, here is a picture of my three cats, that my brother photoshopped for a card.

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However, the best Christmas present is that I have a new recipe! For a soy curl chickun potpie that is soooo good!

WordPress has a new feature here, so I’m going to try to see what happens when I upload a word document of the recipe.

soy-curl-chickun-potpie (link to a downloadable recipe? or something)

Soy Curl Chickun Potpie

Vegan and Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soy curls
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 6-8 baby carrots chopped into rounds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • ½ cup vegan no-chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp garbanzo flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk
  • 1 no-chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 gluten-free, vegan pie crusts, homemade or store bought

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Soak soy curls, corn, and peas in a bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and drain. Set aside.
  3. Steam potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket for 10 minutes.
  4. Place olive oil, celery, onions, and garlic in a skillet on medium heat and sauté until soft. Add in the soy curls, corn, peas, nutritional yeast, sage, and ¼ cup broth. Mix in the potatoes and carrots. Stir and heat until the soy curls are warm.
  5. To make a gravy for the pie, place the vegan butter and garbanzo flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until crumbly and beginning to brown. Slowly add in the coconut milk, continuing to whisk. You may need to lower the heat. Add the remaining ¼ cup broth and the bouillon cube. Keep whisking until the bouillon melts and the gravy is thick. You can add salt and pepper to taste once you turn off the heat.
  6. Add the gravy into the soy curl and vegetables.
  7. Spoon into a bottom of a pie crust. Place the top of the pie crust as you like it. Make slits in the top to allow steam to escape. You may have some leftover filling that you can eat separately or make into other dishes.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden in color.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  10. Bon Appetit!

Enjoy the new year festivities if I don’t post before then (but I do have several posts lined up!) Happy Holidays from Banana Curl, Vegan Girl!

 

Vegan Mofo Day #20, Post #15: Old family recipe veganized: Nana’s sugar cookies

This recipe can be found in my zine, Childhood Favorites Veganized that you can buy on Etsy and see more recipes I veganized from my childhood and the stories behind them.

According to my mom, this was my great grandmother’s “signature” cookie.

PS: In the zine on the page this recipe is on there is a picture of me with a face covered in chocolate frosting as a child (pictures of me with my food covered face are a common theme in my childhood photo albums). Awhile ago, as part of the zine, I decided to recreate these types of pictures but with a twist–I’m not a kid anymore…

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and because I wanted literal banana curls:

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Doesn’t quite have the same effect as the childhood photos, haha!

On to the cookie recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance
  • 1 cup vegan white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ener-g egg replacer, 2 tbsp water whisked together
  • Extra sugar set aside in a shallow bowl for finishing the cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix ingredients together.
  3. Roll into balls.
  4. Dip a fork in the sugar in the bowl. Press down with the fork onto the ball of dough, making an imprint. Repeat in a criss-cross pattern.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Magic Bean juice for lavender vegan meringues

Okay, so I had been aware that vegans all over the internet had discovered that it was possible to make meringue out of the juice inside a can of chickpeas (drained from the chickpeas). However, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think it was easy. But I finally got the courage to try. It was a beautiful day out, and though I’m not sure it’s the same for vegan meringue, I remember as a kid when my mom would make my grandmother’s famous real meringues, they wouldn’t come out well if it was rainy or humid. Apparently that’s an actual thing. So, thinking to myself that it was the perfect day, I decided to make them.

Meringue was seriously one thing I never thought would be successfully veganized, but I was so wrong. To me, this just proves “anything you can eat I can eat vegan!” It’s like the last frontier of veganizing…

So behold! the magical vegan bean juice. I can’t wait to try to veganize my mom’s meringue frosting, macarons, and more, never mind explore other flavors for these ones. I think I will try some peppermint chocolate chip ones next…

I took a bit of artistic license to this recipe. That recipe uses white beans instead of chickpeas and doesn’t have a flavor. I personally cannot taste the chickpeas in the recipe I created, but it’s probably because I added stuff to it.

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Ingredients:

  • The strained juice of a 15 oz can of chickpeas minus one tablespoon. 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemonade (I used organic bottled strawberry lemonade)
  • 1 tbsp blueberry juice (I took the juice of some frozen blueberries that I microwaved for a bit)–this doesn’t add flavor, it’s just for the effect of the color, so this is essentially optional
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp lavender extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the bean juice, sugar, lemonade, and blueberry juice.
  3. With an electric handheld mixer or whisk attachment on a stand mixer, begin to whisk together the ingredients in circles around the sides of the mixing bowl.
  4. Continue to mix until thick and fluffy. The time varies a lot. It took mine 10 minutes to get to the perfect point, but I had my handheld mixer on the highest setting (5) and I’m not sure how other brand mixers may work. See picture for reference.
  5. When thick yet fluffy with peaks, add in the extracts and give it about 2 minutes of remixing again.
  6. Lay some parchment paper on several baking sheets. Take a spoon and add dollops of the meringue onto the sheet, like cookies only with a more liquid batter. They will come out looking prettiest if you try to make them look like chocolate kisses. You know what I mean I hope…I can’t describe it any other way, haha.
  7. Place in the oven for an hour. After an hour, check them. The baking sheet that was on the bottom rack was done at this point. If you poke them with your finger they should be stiff and not make a print.
  8. It took about an hour and 15 minutes for the rest of my meringues to be done. If they’re not done after an hour and 15, check in another ten minutes, and then more frequently after that if they’re still not ready.
  9. Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 15 minutes. You’ll want to eat them, and you can enjoy almost as many as you want, I calculated that they are only about 10 calories each…depending on how big you make them (I made 34).
  10. Store them (if you have any left) in a sealed container to try to prevent them from getting too moist. I personally like them a bit soggier and chewy, though!
what it should look like when ready

what it should look like when ready

before going into the oven

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Meringues were big in my family growing up, as I mentioned above. Check out more childhood favorite recipes that I veganized in my zine, on etsy! 

My own vegan brownie recipe!

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i have been very picky with vegan brownie recipes. Honestly, I haven’t found a good enough recipe and I’ve tried a lot. So, I decided to take the plunge and create my own. I really had no idea how it would turn out and got so nervous…I decided to try making plain brownies before I try to make them fancier for a secret recipe I’m currently working on for an Earth Balance baking contest. I decided once I made these that they’ll do the trick for that purpose, and wanted to share the recipe now for just the brownies, because I think they did come out pretty good for vegan brownies. My mom has a family recipe she uses that aren’t vegan, and I looked at that to get some ideas, but her recipe has way too many eggs to be able to veganize, as well as way too much margarine for my liking.

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp, or 1/2 cup equivalent) earth balance margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (except flaxmeal) in a bowl together.
  3. Make 2 flaxmeal “eggs” by whisking the 2 tbsp flaxmeal and 6 tbsp water together. Let sit until thick.
  4. Mix flaxmeal “eggs” and the rest of the wet ingredients into the dry. It should have a runny yet thick consistency.
  5. Place in a baking dish sprayed with oil.
  6. Bake brownies for 20-30 minutes. I recommend after 20 minutes starting to check with a toothpick inserted into the middle until it comes out clear every five minutes and adjusting the time if it seems it will be done in less than 5. I find that ovens can vary drastically from oven to oven, so I want to make sure it works for you and say this! 🙂
  7. Take out of the oven when done. Let sit until cooled most of the way or fully, and slice, and enjoy!