My ma is having a winter fruit problem. Namely, the orange tree that lives in my parents’ backyard is producing a ridiculous amount a fruit, and there is only so much orange juice you can make at a time before you run out of room in the refrigerator.
I’ve found a few interesting recipes, like this orange cake from Veg Recipes of India, but again, there’s only so much breakfast cake you can eat.
That’s where you wonderful Vegansaurus readers come in. What are your favorite orange recipes? Using the whole fruit, the juice, the zest—what’ve you got? My ma has donated some to her local food bank, but there are still so many; the garage is overflowing with buckets of oranges, and they’re going to go bad before they all get eaten. Help a vegan’s family out!
[Photo by Deborah Gallagher via Instagram]
Things we love: vegan food, breakfast, veganbreakfast tumblr, Hipster Food, Chickpea magazine. Let’s read some vegan lit and make some vegan breakfast bread!
Product Review: That’s It. fruit bars! »
That’s It. sent me some free samples of their fruit bars to try and now I will tell you all about them! If you like dried fruit, you will like these bars. Then again, if you don’t like dried fruit, you may still like these bars because they kind of taste like Fruit Roll-ups! They are like less sugary, thicker, healthier Fruit Roll-ups.
Each That’s It. bar has two servings of fruit—and nothing else. Literally. My very favorite part is it tells you right on the wrapper like, “1 apple + 3 apricots in this bar”—that’s fun! I don’t know why.
These make for a great snack and it feels nice, like you’re actually accomplishing something by getting two fruit servings at once! I don’t know if kids would like them as I have no kids to test them on but I think it is definitely worth a try. Not that people shouldn’t eat fresh fruit too, but this could replace all those various “bars.” Plus, you can throw a bunch in your bag and not worry about squishing them. I like that!
In addition to being vegan, they are kosher and gluten-free. You can purchase them on the That’s It. site!
Bonobos tell their pals when they score good grub »
Bonobos are total foodies! Likes: kiwis. Dislikes: apples. Well, no, they don’t dislike apples, they just prefer kiwis. The coolest part is, from these preferences, scientists have found bonobos communicate about their food and totally understand each other. They have five different sounds regarding food. When they first find food, they make a grunt noise. Then they do higher-pitched, long barks and little peeps to tell their pals when they find kiwis, or lower-pitched peeps and yelps to signal when they find apples. From the BBC Earth News, “The primates made these calls in sequences which the researchers recorded and played back to others. Scientists observed that the successive foragers were then able to direct their search to specific locations after listening to the calls.” So cool! They also found that the bonobos were more committed to the food search if there were kiwis involved. That’s like me with Jewish boys.
I myself prefer apples but bonobos can do no wrong! They are so awesome, having sex all the time and whatnot. They are the flower-children of the monkey world. Hey guys, don’t hate the player! Etc.
ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES ON SALE TODAY! »
At Whole Paycheck, I mean Foods, silly me. Today and today only organic strawberries cost $1.99 a pound, and only while supplies last, so hurry—you can brainstorm recipes on the way over! Or try this one. Strawberry “crab” cakes? I’m interested.
Strawberries are one of the dirty dozen, as in one of the 12 fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic. No excuses today, peeps. Fortunately for me, Whole Foods just opened by my pad! You better get there before me!
Now that you’re motivated, I’ve found some vegan strawberry recipes you can get even more excited about:
- Strawberry Shortcake by Hell Yeah It’s Vegan
- Raw Strawberry Cheesecake from the PPK. Not for the faint of heart.
- Strawberry Sorbet! Do it!
- Strawberry Chocolate Margarita by She Knows Vegan! Strawberries, chocolate and tequila—if you are into making this, by all means, just come over.
Lord knows I hate a pear. Not as much as I hate grapes in their un-juiced forms, but I really, really hate pears. They’re so mealy and cloyingly sweet, and if they’re not crunching raw, they’re bruised to mush. Ugh.
But it’s pear season, and they’re all over the place, so what do you do when they appear (zing), as they inevitably do, in your kitchen? You can make pear preserves, like the adorable and earnest Patti Moreno the Garden Girl teaches you how to make here in this video. To veganize the recipe, replace the honey with agave or simple syrup, and voilà. It seems an easy way to make something tasty out of all those icky fruits weighing down your CSA boxes and grocery bags.
Really, jars are the solution to any item of produce you otherwise hate: pickle the vegetables, preserve the fruits. Then if nothing else you can make sandwiches and bloody marys.
Road Trip: Aguas frescas in Mexico City! »
¡Buenas tardes! Welcome to a vegan’s guide to eating in Mexico City—with no Spanish!
First thing to learn, you are the only one who calls Mexico City “Mexico City;” everyone else calls it D.F., which is pronounced “day-effay” and stands for distrito federal, or, federal district. In order to get you used to this, so that when you go you too can be mistaken for some other nationality (or at least sound like you know a thing), henceforth we shall also be using this abbreviation.
D.F. street food, while generally delicious-looking and -smelling, can be a tricky business if you don’t speak Spanish—like me! The control you have to give up when you’re speaking through a translator, for people who are using to asking about every ingredient in every “vegetarian” dish in a new restaurant, it’s dismaying. Do not despair; not everything is scary and foreign and dangerous and GOD TAKE ME HOME NOW. Some things are vegan by default!
I love vegan-by-default foods; they’re usually noncontroversial, meaning you can suggest them to, say, your uncle who refuses on principle (I know) to eat tofu without ever saying the word “vegan,” and everyone can partake and enjoy, and there’s no SURPRISE IT’S VEGAN at the end, which apparently some people don’t like. Look, there are people in the world who hate fun, you can’t change them.
In D.F., one of these vegan-by-default items is the agua fresca, which is essentially like drinking fruit; no, not like juice, exactly. You choose one or more fruits that you would like to drink, and the person throws them into a blender with some cold water, blends until everything is evenly textured, pours it into a Styrofoam cup the size of your (my) (read: enormous) head, and there you are, the best fruit drink you’ve ever had. Yes, you can get them here in the city, but do they make them fresh? NO, they ladle them out of plastic tubs, and you don’t get to choose from a multitude of fruits that won’t even be cut until you ask for them. Oh Mexico, your fruit is outrageous.
My introduction to a proper agua fresca was strawberry-lime; first the man blended the strawberries with water, and while the blender was still moving, he threw an entire lime in as well. Entire, as in, skin and seeds and pulp and pith and all, the whole little round green thing, he popped it right in and covered the blender again. When it reached the proper texture—maybe 90 seconds—he poured the entire contents of the blender through a metal strainer and into one of the aforementioned gigantic cups, and gave it to me. I don’t think it cost more than 20 pesos, i.e., less than $2, and it tasted like heaven. Light and tart and fruity and so, so good; if only I had a larger stomach, that I could’ve finished it before it got warm; it took me a whole hour to drink. Good hydration is especially important in D.F., where the elevation makes the atmosphere thin and in combination with the pollution can turn your mouth and eyes into individual deserts. Don’t let this happen; drink aguas frescas. Drink them with cantalope, with pineapple, with mango or papaya (if you can taste it properly); drink them as often as you need. You can’t drink the tap water so you’ll have to buy something whenever you’re thirsty, so you might as well get a drink that is both unique to your location and a magical taste bud wonderland.
For reference, here is a list of Spanish words for fruits. Remember, the accent indicates the stressed syllable!
Recipe: Mango Pudding, love of my life! »
Recession hasn’t got me down! Sometimes cheap ingredients = decadent dishes.
Here’s a delicious recipe that takes advantage of all the ripe mangoes overflowing at our local produce stands. And guess what: (almost) NO COOKING and also VEGAN. SURPRISE!
5 to 6 large ripe mangoes
3 vegan gelatin packets (what’s the equivalent for agar agar?)
1.5 c boiling water
1c sugar (if mangoes are really ripe, i’d go for 3/4c)
2 cans coconut milk (I use 1 lowfat and 1 regular, but you can choose accordingly)
1. Spoon flesh from each cheek of mango and around the pit; pop in blender and puree until smooth. For velvety pudding, you might want to force through a strainer.
2. Heat water in pot to rolling boil. Remove from heat. Sprinkle agar agar, whisk continuously to prevent lumps. Add sugar and mix until dissolved.
3. Add coconut milk to this mixture and blend. Add mango puree and blend thoroughly.
4. Pour into containers/ ramekins and chill in refrigerator until set (at least two hours).
Serving size: a gangload, in other words approximately two quarts (e.g., two of those large containers at Bi-Rite’s deli). Recipe can easily be halved.
Thanks be to California’s Central Valley. Mango pudding, love of my life.
This delicious recipe comes to us from the brilliant mind of Fancy Nancy. She is the very best and a clearly a creative genius in many departments. Vegansaurus would like to thank her for this recipe and also take a bath in it. The most delicious bath.
Review: Fraîche frozen yogurt! »
As Maria has said, Fraîche’s storefront is cold and joyless. I would think that places serving frozen treats would want to make customers more comfortable, rather than forcing them to sit on freezing metal chairs at pointy-cornered tables. And yet, they do not, so when you leave you can see the bruises you got from bumping into those pointy table-corners already forming underneath the first few layers of your skin, which has become creepily translucent with the onslaught of cold it’s suffered. Such are the penalties one pays for delicious soft-serve vegan frozen yogurt, right?
I appreciate the idea of vegan frozen yogurt. I love vegan yogurt that tastes as close to my ma’s homemade cow’s milk yogurt that I ate throughout my childhood. The vegan fro-yo at Fraîche combines the texture of the most perfect frozen yogurt with the sour tang of plain yogurt, which confused me with every bite. Is it dessert? Mixed with jam, is it my ma’s version of dessert that never fooled anyone? It has been almost seven months since I went and I still cannot make up my mind about it.
I can’t accuse them of false advertising, as they don’t say anything about it being sweet; they also serve their non-frozen yogurt with oatmeal, but this in particular seemed a little schizophrenic to me. Further, the gentlemen at the counter who served my friends and I were not the most helpful people I have ever done business with. To wit:
Laura to yogurt-server: Are your toppings vegan?
Yogurt-server to Laura: I don’t know; ask him (gestures to his right at a barista, because of course Fraîche has an espresso bar in addition to offering vegan and dairy frozen yogurt, and oatmeal, and granola)
Yogurt server to barista: Are the toppings vegan?
Barista to yogurt-server (does not look up from the coffee he is artfully pouring): No.
Yogurt-server to Laura: No.
Laura to (frustratingly idiotic) yogurt-server: I assume the fruit is (gestures to various small bins of fruits, including strawberries, bananas, blueberries, &c.)
So. If you are jealous of the soft-serve frozen yogurt everyone else is eating, get down the Peninsula (public transportation options include Caltrain and SamTrans) to Palo Alto and order Fraîche’s oddly sour vegan version. I advise at least trying it; I also advise limiting your interaction with the employees to the barest minimum, and not eating inside.
(Fraîche is the feminine form of the French adjective for “fresh;” the French word for “yogurt,” yaourt, is masculine; so, if the name of the shop were in reference to its main product—frozen yogurt—it ought to be Frais, “fresh” in the masculine form. But it seems that noun-adjective agreement was not this establishment’s highest priority so much as “foreign word pleasing to the Anglophone ear,” and so instead we have a terrible parenthetical diatribe on French grammar.)
[photo via Fraîche]