Thursday, April 14, 2022

Easter Eggs for Vegans


Of course, Easter is a Christian holiday that purports to use the egg as a symbol of Jesus having risen from the dead. The egg was before Christianity, a symbol of Spring fecundity and the return of the sun. It seems rather obvious that the egg has pagan origins and was co-opted by Christians. But how ever this might be, the egg at Easter is a significant part of many traditions and meals at Easter.  

Celebrating Ukrainian culture Ginger Kulas spoke to a full house at the Minden Community Centre on April 5. Kulas, who is married to Ukrainian-Canadian Bill Kulas, spoke on Ukrainian culture and gave a Ukrainian Easter egg demonstration. Find more at Pysanky for Easter

The beautiful pysanky, or painted eggs that the Ukrainian diaspora brought into our lives, is an example of how the egg has made its way into Christian symbolism. Priests in the Eastern rites of the Orthodox Church have a service for blessing the pysanky after the regular Easter Church service. Blood red dyes were originally used on pysanky to symbolize the blood that Christ sacrificed when he died on the cross. The best natural red dye was obtained from the Polish carmine scale insect, porphyrophora polanica, and produced in Ukraine as chervets. These traditional insect-derived dyes are not ethically attractive to people who lead a vegan lifestyle and do not look to ‘animal’ resources to meet their physical needs and aesthetic preferences. And, of course actual eggs are not something most vegans would want to use as art piece. Fortunately, there are a wealth of ‘vegan’ dyes on today’s market and quite a wealth of ideas for honouring the egg as a symbol of rebirth and/or rising, fertility, etc.  


BEYOND BIRDS’ EGGS 


Of course, one can buy a pile of candy eggs of all varieties. The chocolate egg is a favourite. Vegans will likely eschew the cheaper chocolate eggs as having associations with child labour in countries, like Cote d’Ivoire. And chocolate eggs with fillings may have eggs in the custard. When buying chocolate eggs, look for vegan eggs that are made with Fair Trade chocolate. You will find a list of suppliers of eco-chocolate Easter eggs at Vegan and Fairtrade Easter Eggs - How Ethical Is Your Easter? (ecoandbeyond.co) 

Here are some excellent chocolate eggs that you can make yourself without worrying about what you are eating: 


The Hempseed-Chocolate Egg^^

Simple, yummy, healthy recipe above



Old-Fashioned Cream Eggs <go to the recipe^ @ It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken


The Fabergé Easter Egg 

In 1885 in the Empire of Russia, the first annual Faberge egg was “hatched” (made) by a jewelry designer in St. Petersburg, Russia, and presented to Tsar Alexander III at Easter 1885.  The detailing in the eggs is considered fine art among connoisseurs. The Tsar gave both his wife and his mother eggs. They were such a hit with the women that Fabergé was commissioned to supply the royal family with an egg of new design yearly. You can learn more about the most expensive and popular of the eggs below in the video:

 


Also interesting from the viewpoint of current events (I.e., the Russian aggressions and war on Ukraine) is that the largest investor in Fabergé eggs is the Russian oligarch Victor Vekselberg. This incredibly wealthy man purchased several of the eggs, paying about $100 millions for the package.  Vekselberg was sanctioned in 2017 by the Donald Trump administration, and again in March 2022 by the Biden administration.  


In spite of the ‘fine art’ status of the Faberge eggs, it is unlikely that the integrity of truly ethical vegans would be served by being part of the Faberge tangle of wealth and political intrigue.  

 

THE MARZIPAN EASTER EGG 



From a couple of sources online, it appears that the gooey, sweet almond treat called marzipan (from the Latin martias panas meaning “sweet pastry of March”) came into being during a bit of a famine in Italy when ground almonds were used bread-making to bulk up the flour shortages. People apparently approved of the innovation and the sweet almonds were applied to other baking and food –making.  This is my German husband's fave candy type-- and with chocolate, he's in Heaven!


Here is a simple vegan recipe for making marzipan (there are several versions online, but this is easy and quick): 


1 ½ cups of fine almond flour 

1 ½ cups of icing sugar 

1-2 teaspoons almond extract 

2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or honey if not vegan) 

4 teaspoons water 


Stir together the almond flour and icing sugar in one bowl until well-mixed and smooth. Stir in the corn syrup, and then add water and almond extract. Cream until all lumps are gone. Place in the freezer overnight. Form teaspoons full of the ‘dough’ into egg shapes. Let it set further in fridge and then enrobe with melted chocolate, white or dark (melted chips).  

I also suggest that the following recipes can be used to make delicious healthier sweet Easter eggs: 


and last but not least....

VEGAN DEVILED EGGS (er... POTATOES)

Go to the Vegan Deviled Potatoes recipe ^^ (only 7 ingredients) @ "It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken"

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Carrot Cake by Bonnie

As you can see, a delicious piece of carrot cake, is being taken down.

This is a vegan carrot cake baked by my dear friend, Bonnie. It followed a yummy meal our friends made as a sort of celebration of our dropping by to see their new home and meet their furbaby, Abbey. Bonnie and Stephen aren't vegan so it was very sweet of them to go to the trouble of making something for us that they might not ordinarily eat. We were touched.

Recipe next with more notes and chitchat to follow that, for those who are interested.

VEGAN CARROT CAKE by BONNIE

INGREDIENTS + Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C
  • Grease 9×13 pan or use parchment
  • Grate 2 cups of carrots and set aside
  • Also put aside 1/2 cup dried pineapple pieces *see Notes
Whisk the following 'dry ingredients' together in a bowl:

*1 cup All Purpose flour

*1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

*1 teaspoon baking soda* see Notes

*3 teaspoons cinnamon

*1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

*1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Mix the 'wet ingredients' together in another bowl:

*1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

*1 cup non-dairy milk *see Notes

*2 teaspoons vanilla

*1 cup demerara sugar *see Notes

*1/2 cup olive oil

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Once blended, fold in the grated carrots and dried fruit

Fold the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes  depending on your oven. 

Cool completely before icing.  Bonnie used a simple vanilla glaze. When I made one a few days later, I creamed some toffuti cream cheese with maple syrup as an icing. What did you use?

N O T E S

1. Bonnie, Ed and I met during our first year of College a very long time ago. Stephen has to put up with a bit of yakety-yak about those long-gone days. He is very gracious. He and Ed hit it off, so there you go.
2. Bonnie has a new dehydrator so decided to dry her own pineapple pieces for inclusion. Wow, the flavour and texture of the dry pineapple brought back memories of all those classic carrot cakes of long ago. Please watch this space for some vegan carrot-cake innovating-- I think, muffins
3. Yes, surprisingly, only 1 teaspoon of baking soda made the fluffy cake you see in the photo!
4. Bonnie used almond-cashew milk in her recipe. You can use whatever you non-dairy milk you have around.
5. Demerara sugar gave this cake a  sort of oldy-fashioned-y hint of molasses-- a little richer than regular brown sugar, a little sweeter than coconut sugar. Use your available sugar but demerara is really worth a try.
6.If you are using a new mini-oven, they are pretty neat for baking, but please read the directions because they do tend to speed-bake.
7. If you bake up Bonnie's cake, we would love to see it!  Post it at #organicgrannydotcom on Instagram, or let us know on here (below in comments) and we will make arrangements... Enjoy!







Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Fat-free Oat Cheese Sauce

Oat-based vegan cheese sauce

Here is a delicious, healthy Mac and cheese recipe, particularly important for those following a diet geared for low fat heart health.  Besides no dairy, this Cheesy dish contains no poured oils and no seeds or nuts in this recipe!

Check your pantry for the following and you are ready to go:

Oat flakes (gluten-free, if needed), corn or tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, half a red pepper, salt pepper, a half a lemon (or apple cider vinegar will do) and some Mexican spices if you so wish. Also either onion powder or a half an onion (chopped), liquid smoke (optional, but I use a capful) and a blender.

Now go here to the recipe from Mrs. Plant in Texas and get all the measures of the ingredients used.

We have been enjoying this quick and easy sauce over pasta, broccoli and cooked other vegetables, and punched up with a little more heat, as a dip.  I know you will enjoy it too!






Thursday, March 3, 2022

5 Fabulous Fishy Vegan Sandwiches

Fish Sandwich with Heart (Palm Heart, That Is)

The first of the Fab 5 Fishy Sandwiches is more like a burger.  It is a voluminous, yummy confection that eliminates the Top 5 Allergens from its make-up.  That means no soya and no nuts!  Instead, it uses two perhaps unfamiliar ingredients to make the patty: hearts of palm and artichoke. You can find these items in jars or cans in most supermarkets, in the Deli section.  Deep-fry it, or avoid extra fat and air-fry it-- the recipe allows for either.  Get the recipe HERE 


Amazing Vegan Smoked Salmon-- 

If you are/were a fan of lox, you will love this vegan take-off. The recipe is pretty uncomplicated, so I suggest you splash out for some capers.  Find this fab recipe HERE


Incredible Vegan Crab Cakes!

These delicious vegan crab cakes are made with canned jack fruit-- if you have been waiting to try this versatile tropical fruit, here is your chance! Learn all about making this yummy recipe HERE.


Arriba! Vegan Garlic Aioli Fish Tacos!

These tacos are actually easier to make than you might expect because of one added ready-made ingredient that tastes super (maybe a bit of a splurge, but you decide if it's worth it). RECIPE HERE

Easy-Peasy Tangy Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad
This tangy vegan version of tuna salad filling for a sandwich (or spread on an open face) can also be used as a chick'n salad.  You can amp up the sea-food taste by crumbling in a bit of Nori sheet (the sheets that wrap sushi) if you wish. Most people think it tastes pretty remarkable as is. Go HERE for the recipe.


For the Royalty....


Check out these very charming MG carriers
@amazon.  Click above. 



Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX

Organic Granny's RECIPE INDEX
Mostly Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipes