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Dairy Replacements for Baking

Dairy replacements for baking

A lot of recipes ask for butter, but luckily, you don’t need anything from a mother cow. There are many vegan replacements! This blog can help you improve your baking repertoire.

By GREEN CUISINE

Are you new to vegan baking? Or just want to learn more tips and tricks to improve your recipes? This post talks about replacing dairy in your recipes with plant-based options. 

Replacing the Dairy in a Recipe

If the recipe calls for dairy milk, you can replace it with non-dairy milks instead. Always use unsweetened “plain” or “original” non-dairy milks, just incase the added sweetness or flavour from a Vanilla variety could ruin your finished recipe. If the recipe is for a creamier, thicker finished product, then you can use an equal amount of soy milk, oat, or coconut milk ideally. For other recipes, use an equal amount of almond milk or rice milk, both of which tend to be a little thinner.

Buttermilk

What do you do if the recipe calls for buttermilk?

Not to worry, try this instead for one cup of buttermilk:

In a bowl, mix 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Whisk together until the mixture is creamy.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Some recipes require those cans of sweetened, thickened dairy milk known as condensed milk. To replace with a non-dairy version, try this, it makes about 1 and 3/4 cups:

2 1/2 cups of unsweetened soy milk

1/2 cup sugar

6 tablespoons vegan margarine

a little bit of salt

Boil the soy milk. In another pan, melt the vegan margarine on medium heat. Then add the 1/2 cup of sugar to the melted margarine. As the sugar melts into the margarine, combine the hot soy milk. Add a pinch of salt. Boil this mixture slowly and stir for 5 minutes.

  • Note: More stores are stocking sweetened condensed coconut milk in a can now, so watch for that if you don’t want to make your own.

Butter

A lot of recipes ask for butter, but luckily, you don’t need anything from a mother cow. There are many vegan replacements! For starters, Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for a pie crust. Coconut oil for apple crumble or a pie crust. I have replaced the butter in cookie recipes with coconut oil or sunflower oil or canola oil, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. Sometimes, vegan margarine is a good replacement, depending on your recipe.

If the recipe contains a lot of spice, such as gingerbread or spice cookies, you can use most vegetable oils to allow the flavours to come through. If you need to make shortbread cookies, you can use unrefined coconut oil and you will get a nice solid dough without the butter.

There are also vegan shortenings which can be used for a multitude of recipes! The possibilities are endless, just think about what texture and flavour you want to end up with to help you decide which dairy alternative will work best.

Cream

Canned coconut milk or coconut cream are great replacements for heavy cream or whipping cream. Or, you can blend together equal portions of cashews and water until the desired creamy consistency is reached. If you so desire, try some of the non-dairy creams available at your local grocery store.

Yogurt

For recipes which list yogurt as an ingredient, you can replace dairy yogurt with non-dairy yogourt.  There are many varieties available in stores now, or you can even dive into making your own– there are some interesting resources online for making your own vegan yogurt at home.

Happy cruelty-free baking, everyone! What is your favourite dairy alternative for baking?

References:

http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/infographicVeganBaking-peta.pdf

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=2763&catId=2

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Vegan Breakfast Inspirations

Vegan Breakfast Inspirations

Breakfast is an important meal of the day. Sometimes breakfast meals can feel monotonous when we get in the morning routine of making the same things over again before work or school.

By GREEN CUISINE

Breakfast is an important meal of the day. Sometimes breakfast meals can feel monotonous when we get in the morning routine of making the same things over again before work or school. For new vegans, sometimes breakfast can be a challenging meal because they are unsure of the amazing options available to us, and are used to eating eggs in the morning. We created this post to help you start your day with something delicious and healthy for you, and ideas of how to “vegan-ize” some old favourites. Fortunately, vegan versions of the traditional breakfast are lower in fat, cholesterol free, and best of all– animal cruelty-free!

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an underrated breakfast option! With a little creativity, you can make oatmeal into an exciting breakfast that you look forward to. Not only is it delicious and versatile, but it is healthy and satisfies hunger for the morning. Oatmeal is full of fibre, and is a great source of plant-based protein.

Please be mindful of which oats you are purchasing– we strongly recommend using organic oatmeal, as many GMO oats have been found to contain high levels of dangerous pesticide, Glyphosate.

There are organic instant oatmeal packets or old fashioned oats, just depends on how much time you want to spend in the morning and how many people you are cooking for.

Many people are even enjoying “overnight oats” which involves soaking the oats in plant milk overnight, rather than heating them.

However you cook your oatmeal, here are some ideas of toppings and mix-ins to keep it flavourful and interesting:

  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts or seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Shredded coconut
  • Peanut butter or another nut or seed butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Varied plant milks — unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate etc
  • Cocoa powder
  • Raisins or dried cranberries

Experiment a bit and see what textures and flavours you like best. Let us know what you like the most.

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding can be made in a similar way to overnight oats — combine chia seeds with your plant milk of choice and let it soak overnight. You can add fruits, spices, and sweeteners, similarly to your oatmeal. Chia seed pudding tastes great as it’s own breakfast or eaten as a side with a tofu scramble.

Scrambles

Tofu scrambles and chickpea-flour scrambles are wonderful for breakfast. In both scrambles, the key is the use of kala namak, which is an Indian black salt that gives a sulphurous, eggy flavour. Here is a savoury chickpea-flour scramble that is excellent for breakfast.

How’s this for a hearty breakfast with tofu scramble?

If you want a tofu scramble, then go here to find a delicious recipe.

These options are high in protein and flavour, and are reminiscent of old favourite meals without any of the negative.

Pancakes 

Who could forget those fond childhood memories of eating pancakes in the morning? If you want a tasty, fluffy, vegan pancake, then look here. These are also delicious topped with some of those oatmeal toppings (or even mix them into the batter!)

You can have fluffy, scrumptious, vegan pancakes.

Vegan “Bacon”

Here is a well-loved tofu bacon recipe (scroll to the end of this article on liquid smoke). You can have the smokiness and sizzle of bacon without any animal products by using this recipe. Some people like to pair the tofu bacon with a tofu or chickpea-flour scramble, with an avocado on the side.

French Toast

A vegan version of French Toast is here. Yes, you can have French Toast without eggs. However, if you have store-bought “vegan egg replacer”, you can use that to make your French Toast too.

Vegan French Toast, with edible decorations.

Hash Browns

You can mix potatoes with tempeh for your hash browns, as in this recipe. This could even work well as a lunch or dinner, just change up the accompaniments.

Toast

This one might seem too obvious, but we aren’t joking. Great breakfast toast comes from the delicious combination of toppings. Toast doesn’t need to be a side, it can be the star! You might even want to have it for a quick and easy dinner some busy nights, too! Try these spreads and toppings in any combination and see how filling your morning toast can be:

Savoury

  • Avocado slices or guacamole
  • Hummus
  • Vegan mayo
  • Sprouts
  • Carrot Lox
  • Cucumber slices
  • Tofu or tempeh slices
  • Tomato

Sweet

  • Peanut butter
  • Tahini
  • Fruit jam / compote
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Maple syrup
  • Seeds or nuts

And many more!

Vegan Breakfasts Can Be Creative, Healthy, and Delicious

Fortunately, we don’t ever have to feel like we are missing out on the fun of traditional breakfasts– we have plenty of fun crafting vegan versions of the classics as well as coming up with totally new ideas. What traditional breakfast would you like to “vegan-ize” next? How do you like to spice up your breakfast staples?

Visit us

Courtyard of Market Square

560 Johnson St, Victoria, BC

(250) 385 1809

andy@greencuisine.com

Open Hours: 10AM to 8 PM

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

A staple in the vegan pantry, apple cider vinegar can add a sweet, sharp tang to your cooking. 

By GREEN CUISINE

We are here to tell you about Apple cider vinegar, also commonly referred to as ACV. We use it in many of our dishes and dressings here at Green Cuisine and want to tell you why we love it so much. A staple in the vegan pantry, apple cider vinegar can add a sweet, sharp tang to your cooking. ACV is made from apple cider which has been left to ferment until acetic acid-forming bacteria turns the cider into vinegar. It is also known to have some health benefits, such as helping to blunt blood sugar spikes. (Nutritionfacts.org)

Filtered or Unfiltered-Which Type Should You Choose?

Apple cider vinegar can be found filtered or unfiltered.

The unfiltered version contains the “mother of vinegar” which is a mixture of cellulose and acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter aceti). This bacteria was what converted the alcohol in the cider into vinegar.

The filtered version simply has had the “mother of vinegar” removed. This version is more likely to have been pasteurized as well, and is a clearer liquid than the unfiltered vinegar.

Basically, if you want a raw product that has a more flavourful taste, then choose the unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Otherwise, they both can be used interchangeably when using apple cider vinegar in recipes.

What to Do with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Bean salads, grains, dressings, spreads, sauces, dips, can be enhanced by the addition of apple cider vinegar.

The key is not to add too much. An excessive amount of apple cider vinegar will overpower the other flavours of your food. Usually adding two tablespoons will be sufficient, and of course, you can add less according to your taste. Apple cider vinegar is so versatile, and can be indispensable in cooking. For instance, check out this delicious marinade which would not be the same without apple cider vinegar:

Tofu Marinade

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger root

2 teaspoons molasses

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon chilli paste or a splash of chilli oil

1 block tofu (3/4 pound)

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut up the block of tofu into 1 inch long strips. Add the tofu strips to the sauce, and marinade for ten minutes.

Here is another recipe starring apple cider vinegar:

Apple Cider Vinegar and Maple Dressing

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon (for the juice)

1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari

Blend together the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Mix well. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Use this dressing for all kinds of salads, whether they are grain-based or simply greens. If you like, add some fruit to increase the sweetness.

Try adding in apple cider vinegar when making your own barbecue sauce, or use apple cider vinegar for your baking. Having apple cider vinegar in your pantry can certainly be useful!

How do you like to use your ACV? Give these dressings a try, and let us know what you think!

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Why Honey is Not Vegan

WHY HONEY IS NOT VEGAN?

We love and respect bees and our environment, so it is important that they keep their food source.

By GREEN CUISINE

We love and respect bees and our environment, so it is important that they keep their food source. One of our Green Cuisine team members shares their Honey knowledge here:

Honey: What is it? 

Sure, you know what honey is. But do you know what happens behind the scenes?

The honey that is commercially produced is made by the honeybee. These bees store the honey that they make in their hive as a food reserve for the colony. The honey provides nutrients during times of scarcity, such as during bad weather conditions, and when the winter season hits.

One bee may visit up to 1,500 flowers to collect a sufficient amount of nectar (a sugary liquid derived from the flowers.) Bees siphon the nectar from flowers using their proboscis, and store the nectar in their extra stomach (crop), which contains enzymes that can break down the nectar and alter the substance’s pH.

The honeybee goes back home to the hive after visiting many flowers, where it regurgitates the contents of their crop into another bee’s mouth. The partially digested nectar is sequestered into a honeycomb inside the colony’s hive. The bees beat their wings to help evaporate water in the digested nectar so that it becomes viscous-it then becomes honey. The bees seal up the honeycomb using a secretion emitted from their abdominal region, and this seal becomes beeswax. Beeswax protects the honey from exposure to air and humidity so that the bees’ stash can be effectively stored for an indefinite period of time.

Each member in the beehive colony collectively works so that everyone gets enough honey. Each bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

When You Take Their Honey, You Are Hurting Bees honey-bee-643877_960_720

When our team member lived on a farm, there was a beekeeping section which she would often visit. What she found most disturbing was the crushed, dead bees whom were the casualties during the bee harvest. In fact, every time the farmer goes to “check” on the bees, they have to open up the frame, and each time the frame is closed, some bees get crushed. Some bees get stepped on. It is not a gentle, loving process that you would like to imagine. Far from it.

The bees want their honey and need their food source– they have all worked very hard for it.

Honey Alternatives

Humans don’t need honey like bees do. In fact, there are so many alternatives to honey which you can use that you don’t even need honey at all. There is maple syrup, date syrup, date sugar, coconut nectar, apple honey (made from apples,) stevia, and many more…

What is your favourite sweetener?

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Peanut Butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter recipes to treat yourself and your friends

By GREEN CUISINE

We love to offer delicious, nutritious, and vegan dishes and desserts as much as we can. Those of us who can eat nuts are familiar with peanut butter, especially from the go-to peanut butter sandwich of our youth. We love that peanut butter is a healthy source of protein and fat– especially the all-natural peanut butter without sugar or other additives. Put it on celery, toast, oatmeals, or even in sauces– it’s versatile, too.

Here are some delicious recipes that put peanut butter in the spotlight.

Peanut Butter Balls

(Makes approximately 20 balls)

  • 2 cups of crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons whole flaxseeds
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Combine the crunchy peanut butter, ripe bananas, and whole flaxseeds in a large bowl. Place the cocoa powder into another bowl. Make balls out of the peanut mixture, and dip the balls in the cocoa powder. Put the balls into a container and refrigerate for a few hours (until the desired firmness is achieved).

Peanut Butter Milkshake

  • 1 1/2 cup of your preferred vegan milk (soy, almond, cashew or oat work wonderfully)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one serving.

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)

Put the ingredients into a blender and blend. Add the water into the mixture and blend. If you want a thinner sauce, add more water. Add the chopped peanuts, and blend until dispersed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  1. Add the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Putting in more non-dairy milk will yield a thinner consistency. You can add more cocoa powder for more flavour. Increase the amount of sweetener if you want a sweeter pudding.
  2. Put the pudding into serving glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and put into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Chocolate Peanut Banana Smoothie

  • 1 large ripe banana peeled, sliced and frozen
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder or cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
  1. Blend together all the ingredients except for the non-dairy milk. Add the non-dairy milk gradually to the mixture. Makes one serving.

What did you think of these recipes? Are you a peanut butter lover too?

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Sadhana Forest

SADHANA FOREST

“How can you reforest with your hands while deforesting with your mouth? – Aviram, Founder of Sadhana Forest

By GREEN CUISINE

Sadhana Forest is such a wonderful organization, it’s hard to decide where to begin with why we are so excited to support them!

We selected them to receive all Climate Action Discount Card funds raised this October and November because of their amazing work restoring and protecting beautiful forested land in India, Haiti, and Kenya while prioritizing human unity and connection. Sadhana Forest is committed to teaching others about sustainable living and food security through “ecological transformation, wasteland reclamation, and veganism.”

They started Sadhana Forest in Auroville, India, in December 2003, when it was totally barren land. By 2014, there were over 29 thousand trees, and even the most depleted soil was restored enough to have a 70% (and higher) plant survival rate. They are planting native species, securing water, and teaching the community all about sustainable living.

Over time, they have cultivated relationships with locals and neighbouring communities, and have even helped empower young children to take part in sustainable living and forest restoration. We love to support this kind of education for children! What an amazing world it will be if we have children who have grown up learning how to protect our environment by living sustainably.

Additionally, they were internationally recognized in 2010 with a third place Humanitarian Water and Food Award. This award shows the high quality of ecological restoration that Sadhana Forest is committed to.

Since 2010, they have expanded to Haiti where they have planted 80,000 food bearing trees with the ability to feed 70,000 people. Their newest project is in Kenya, in a place called Samburu County. Their project is to grow food forests to “help promote food security in an area that is often affected by droughts and malnutrition.”

Thank you, Sadhana Forest, for helping to restore the beautiful life on this planet, and helping the youngest generation take part in making our future a healthier and more sustainable one. We love and admire your commitment to human unity through compassionate and sustainable living.

To learn more about Sadhana Forest, please visit their website here: https://sadhanaforest.org/

Had you heard of Sadhana Forest before? What do you think of their work? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Level Ground Trading

Level Ground Trading

Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee? Level Ground Trading provides us with their amazing fair-traded coffee for our drip coffee at Green Cuisine.

By GREEN CUISINE

Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee? Level Ground Trading provides us with their Tanzania coffee for our drip coffee at Green Cuisine. A couple of our team members recently had a tour of the local facility, and we are so excited to share with you what we learned and why we love serving Level Ground Trading’s Tanzania coffee.

We love working with Level Ground Trading because their Direct Fair Trade premiums from Tanzania coffees help fund the HOPE Project, which trains farmers in organic methods as well as soil conservation. The premiums also help to fund healthcare for the coffee farmers and their families. We are so happy to support companies who help improve the lives of workers and health of our environment on a global scale.

The premiums also help to fund healthcare for the coffee farmers and their families.

Level Ground Trading is headquartered right here in Victoria, but works “to trade fairly and directly with small-scale producers in developing countries, offering customers ethical choices.” After a warm and friendly welcome, we learned that not only do they work fairly with farmers, but at home in Victoria they are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint!

They have invested in the latest technology to reduce their energy use– they are reusing the heat their roaster generates which reduces heat consumption by about 40%! They have an incentive system in place to reward their employees when they walk, bike, bus or carpool to work. On top of this, Level Ground asked for advice from Waste Management specialists change their facility to landfill-free. This means that all waste is properly separated on-site and recycled or composted using their facility. Old coffee bags are up-cycled into reusable shopping bags, and the large sacks that the coffee beans arrive in are picked up by Canadian farmers to reuse.

They compost over 20,000 lbs of matter and reclaim over 24,000 lbs of coffee packaging each year.

We really appreciate all of the sustainability efforts made by Level Ground Trading and we are so excited to brew their lovely coffee. Tanzania coffee is deep and boldly flavoured coffee, with hints of dark chocolate. Yum!

A cup of coffee that tastes delicious, cares for our Earth, and helps others thrive– it doesn’t get much better than this. Coffee date, anyone?

We’d love to know, what is your favourite fair-trade company?