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 Day 10: Cookie Cutters

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Cookie cutters are an important tool for making food worthy of unicorns.

Today I will share three cookie cutters I have collected so far and the pros and cons of each.

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This one is my favorite unicorn cookie cutter because it is the most user-friendly unicorn cookie cutter I have found.  The unicorn’s horn isn’t too thin and/or long so that it will be difficult to keep intact when making cookies and the like, and it has a cute cartoony style. I bought this on Etsy, but I have seen it being sold on other sites, like Sweetapolita.com.

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This one is nice because it looks a little more detailed. However, it has thinner limbs and horn, which may make it more difficult to use when making cookies. I love the purple color. I bought this one at Michael’s craft store.

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This one is my least favorite for several reasons. One, it is plastic which I try to avoid whenever possible. However, I impulsively bought it because it also came with a rainbow cloud cookie cutter, and I liked that it was a profile of a unicorn’s head rather than the whole body. I wish though that the horn was a little more pronounced from the ears. I’ve used it and the horn isn’t prominent enough for it to be clear that it’s a unicorn and not a horse with three ears or something.

Remember my critiques of these cookie cutters when searching for your own cookie cutters. Some of the principles, such as not having super thin limbs or appendages on the design of the cutter apply to all cookie cutters of any shape or character. Also, I have found that with other types of cookie cutters, you want to make sure there are not too many pieces being cut out or leaving thin areas around the cut-out, as this often compromises the integrity of cookies. For example, I once was working with a bicycle cookie cutter that had handlebars with tiny little spaces to be cut out near the wheels. It was so frustrating to use. Maybe some objects and designs just don’t lend themselves that well to make cookies out of, but really I would hope you could make a cookie version of anything your heart desires if only you can find the right cookie cutter! ❤

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 8: Salad!

Hey, Fluffy here.

Though I am all for eating desserts myself, today I’m sharing a Fluffy approved salad. Actually, any salad can be Fluffy approved, with a bit of creativity.

Today Laura took a unicorn cookie cutter, two pieces of Follow Your Heart vegan cheese (the smoked Gouda is our fave), placed them side by side, and made a unicorn silhouette out of cheese!

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The salad is pretty simple. It contains all my favorite vegetables (lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions). For the final touches, we put some leftover crispy chickpeas and Gardein chickun tenders, topped with the unicorn shaped cheese!

The dressing (not pictured) was a sweet maple mustard made with maple syrup, Just Mayo, and yellow mustard. Laura has always believed in the magic of a creamy sweet mustardy dressing.

Whew, I’m glad this week is over. All this writing has gotten me tired and a bit overwhelmed. I’m sure Laura will still be stressed with all the cooking and baking she’s about to do for the coming weeks, but hopefully, her belly will be happy with it. I know mine will be!

Stay tuned for next week’s theme, behind the scenes! We will be sharing some hot unicorn tips, must-haves, tricks, tools, kitchen magic, etc.

Vegan MoFo 2017 Day 6: Vegan Cheese is Real (rainbowy) Cheese

Hi, it’s Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn here,

I hope you’ve enjoyed our posts up to now. I hope you realized how important some of the topics are for discussion and to be aware of as we continue towards making a better world for ourselves and animals. I know some of it can be hard to learn about and hear/read, but I feel it is very necessary to address before we can have a magic rainbow unicorn party across the land and seas.

The remainder of this week’s theme posts will be more lighthearted and less serious. Tomorrow I will go back a bit to the initial few days’ sentiments, freeing ourselves of guilt and shame over food and our bodies, and share my vegan dessert food pyramid. On Sunday I will be sharing a unicorn worthy salad, in case that’s more your speed. Unicorns like to make everyone’s different tastes happy.

Today is keeping with MoFo’s Daily theme, Vegan Cheese is Real Cheese. Just because the cheese is dairy free doesn’t make it any less real. Who is to say what cheese really is, anyways? The FDA? USDA? Some kind of patent office? I don’t know, but they fail us all the time.

Last night I inspired Laura with my magic energy to create for me a creamy vegan mac and cheese sauce made of rainbows. While the recipe will still be tweaked a bit further after this post is shared, it is at least, edible and quite a beauty.

The recipe starts by making cashew cream and boiling cauliflower and onions and blending in some other seasonings and nondairy milk. Then you separate the sauces into 5 portions and add color!

This recipe uses all natural powders such as beet for red, turmeric for yellow and orange, and butterfly pea tea powder for blue. Most of these are easy to find, except the butterfly pea tea powder. It also uses fresh spinach blended into the sauce for the green. Laura considered using spirulina but she and I don’t like the taste of it, so she opted for doing the spinach instead.

What even is butterfly pea tea powder? Butterfly pea tea powder comes from Thailand where a type of gorgeous blue flower grows. They make it into tea powder. It is caffeine free and does not have much of a taste. Laura bought it on Amazon because the other websites she found it on were out of the US and charged a lot of taxes and such. Make sure you get the powder and not the dried leaves, although I suppose if you have a good food processor or spice grinder you could make it yourself. A little ends up going a long way, so don’t worry if you see the package and think it is small.

Anyways, without further ado, may I present you my magical rainbow vegan mac and cheese:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces, stem and leaves removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water overnight
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon white miso or chickpea miso
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups unsweetened plain nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the red sauce:

  • 1/2 tablespoon beet powder

For the yellow/orange sauce:

  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder

For the green sauce:

  • A handful of baby spinach

For the blue sauce:

  • A little less than 1/2 tablespoon butterfly pea tea powder

For the purple sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon beet powder and 1 tsp butterfly pea tea powder

 

  • 1 lb elbow pasta, gluten-free if necessary

Directions:

  1. Boil cauliflower and onion in water for 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Blend cashews and water in a blender until smooth.
  3. When the cauliflower and onions are as soft as my unicorn mane, drain them, rinse under cold water, and add to the blender along with the cashew cream.
  4. Add all ingredients up to the nondairy milk. You may need to slowly add the milk instead of putting it all at once to prevent an ugly overflow mess in your blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Now for the magic part. Separate the sauce into 5 equal portions as best as you can, leaving one portion in the blender.
  7. Blend the spinach into the sauce that’s in the blender until it becomes a light, natural shade of green.
  8. Stir in the powders to each individual portion one by one until they become vibrant and brightly beautiful.
  9. When the pasta is cooked, grease a casserole or lasagna dish and pour the pasta inside.
  10. Spread out each color of the rainbow in stripes in order of the handy acronym ROY G BIV (except we are not doing the orange and indigo). To make it easier, you may want to start by placing a stripe of the red to the far left first, and then doing the purple to the far right so you know how much space you have for the other colors in between. It would make us all sad if your rainbow was missing colors.
  11. Cook the pasta in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  12. When serving, try to get a taste of all the colors. Just don’t swirl them too much or they become a muddy, poopy, un-unicorn ugly, gross color.
  13. Enjoy this savory rainbow of vegan cheezy goodness!

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Vegan MoFo (Month of Food) Day 1 Introduction

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Hey everyone! I haven’t been posting much here lately but I’m going to be writing (hopefully) every day in October to participate in Vegan MoFo. I first started doing MoFo in 2014, and I skipped it last year, but this year I am back at it because I have a cool new project and life stuff I want to talk about.

Plus October is my birth month (my birthday is on the 29th), and in the previous years, I have done MoFo it has been in September. What a better way to celebrate my birthday than to do what I love best? Talking about vegan food!

So what is this cool new project? Well, for my Master’s thesis in Humane Education I’m going to be writing a Vegan Unicorn Party cooking and craft book. Humane Education is a field that seeks to help others learn about the environment, human rights, animals, cultural structures, and how to effect change in the world. You can learn more about the kinds of things I seek to practice from my grad program’s blog here.

So how do unicorns and humane education go together?

That’s where Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn Comes in!

Fat Unicorn

Fluffy the Vegan Unicorn is a body positive, gender non-conforming (they use they/their/them pronouns) treat loving unicorn who believes that vegan food should be fun!

Having fun with food is great for kids of all ages, even children at heart who happen to be adults. In fact, it is Fluffy’s hope that their food can bring joy to all, even the most grumpy, un-childlike adults. Fluffy believes that is healthy for all adults to have a childlike sense of wonder about food and other beautiful things, like the magic of nature.

 

The first week of Vegan MoFo is devoted to Changing Vegan Perceptions. This week Fluffy will help me share a lot of their attitude toward vegan food philosophy. There may not always be recipes or pictures of food every time, but hopefully, you will learn some new things about vegan food, be encouraged to play, treat yo’ self, and enjoy more. Maybe Fluffy will even change your perceptions of vegan food.

This is the rundown for the rest of the week, so you know what to expect:

Monday, October 2, Eating Treats Without Guilt

Tuesday, October 3, Body Positivity for Vegans

Wednesday, October 4, Researching Hidden Cruelties in our Food

Thursday, October 5, Who says vegans don’t care about human rights?

Friday, October 6, *keeping with the MoFo daily theme for this one* Vegan Cheese is Real Cheese with a surprisingly cheezy unicorn recipe

Saturday, October 7, Fluffy’s Vegan Dessert Food Pyramid

Sunday, October 8, You Can Make Friends With Salad *Vegan MoFo day theme* After reading about all this dessert stuff, don’t forget to eat your vegetables!

Then in the following week, you’ll be getting a behind the scenes look at some of the things I’m doing for the book, some of Fluffy’s favorite staples and tools, and rainbowy frosting tips. The third week will be mostly keeping in line with the daily themes for the ingredient challenges, with a unicorn twist. And the final week of MoFo will be all about entertaining, Halloween, unicorns, and their overlaps.

You can also follow my posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I also have an additional Instagram devoted to Fluffy Approved recipes and other unicorn things, that you can follow @unicorns.eat.vegan 

So get excited and I cannot wait to look at and read what my other vegan blogger friends are doing for MoFo this week and beyond!