Whatever the reason for choosing a vegan lifestyle may be, finding good quality food is still tough. To combat this a lot of us take to creating our own treats and meals at home as it allows us to have full control over what we are eating. The one food I really missed when I cut out gluten and lactose was cakes. As you start checking the labels on foods you notice that everything seems to contain gluten and milk. Finally, and almost by accident I found a recipe in a book for a mince meat cupcake which just happened to be lactose and gluten free. None of the ingredients were swapped it was just a great recipe.
Over time I have tweaked this recipe to create what, for me, is the perfect basic cupcake recipe that makes a great treat on its own, or a great jumping off point if you want to experiment and add different flavours to it. You can easily add vanilla essence, mix in fruit or add cocoa powder to the recipe to turn it into the treat you prefer. I use gluten free flour, but there is no reason you can’t use normal flour too if gluten isn’t an issue for you.
This recipe will yield: 12 muffin sized cakes/24 mini cupcakes or 16 or so normal cupcakes.
You Will Need
350g self raising flour (gluten free of desired)
1tea spoon Baking Powder
135ml Sunflower Oil
1tbsp demerara sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Other flavours of your choice if preferred
Preheat your oven. 190 or there abouts is fine. Or Gas Mark 5.
Line your tins or cases. Silicon cases say they don’t need to be buttered or lined, but in my experience they do. Put this all to one side.
Grab a large mixing bowl and sieve together the baking powder and flour. Give it a little mix with a hand whisk for good measure.
Add in your caster sugar and give it another mix.
Next you want to get the rest of your dry ingredients and add the sugar and mix well.
Now you’ll want to mix together and add your wet ingredients. As you mix it together and give it a good whisk/mix you should see it come together to form a nice reasonably thick batter like mix. At this stage you can also add your vanilla essence if you like. If you are using food colouring this is also the stage to add it into the mix.
This mixture will rise pretty well so fill your cases about one half to a third full.
For cooking times I do these in a mini cupcake machine and they take about 7-10 minutes. In an oven they will take around 10-12 but you’ll want to keep an eye on them and grab them at the right moment. Muffin sized cakes will take around 18minutes again, check them with a bit of uncooked spaghetti or a skewer to see if the middle is cooked through (it should come out clean)
Let them cook for 5 minutes in the tin, and transfer them to a wire rack to cook completely.
You can treat these as you would any other cupcake, so add icing, cream, or whatever else takes your fancy.
Gareth is a marketer and foodie writing for Cotswold Fayre Wholesale Food who have organic, vegan and gluten free food on offer to purchase wholesale in the UK and supply many stores.
High quality chocolate is one of the rewards awaiting vegans. While chocolate in its raw form is vegan, many chocolate products end up with animal products in them.
Chocolates are prepared primarily from the pod of the Cocoa tree. This makes it vegan – at least in the initial stages of its production.
The procedure that follows in order to prepare the final product involves adding additives including milk or milk fat. Even the refined cane sugars that may be used are made using charcoal which may be a product of animal bones.
Although many chocolate brands contain the above mentioned additives, there are a few brands that prepare chocolates without them. And these are the some of the highest quality chocolates in the market since the chocolate must stand alone flavor wise.
Many organizations offer vegan certification and license using their logo to food manufacturers, shops and restaurants. Look for the logo on the product you are purchasing as with any vegan food item. Some food manufacturers also provide their own certification and label their products as vegan.
Does that mean that those brands that do not have such a certification or label on them are all non-vegan? Not necessarily and this is where your normal vegan due diligence comes in.
Being animal product free, vegan chocolate offers substantial health benefits associated with dark chocolate. Following are some of the prominent ones.
So next time you’re looking for a sweet treat, don’t think that vegan chocolate is lacking. In fact, it is probably some of the highest quality chocolate anyone will ever eat!
A person should stay fit irrespective to any season. But surveys tell that, in winter, health care should be concentrated more. The vegetables which come in winter are very good for health and are hearty. When it is cold outside, people get tempted to have something hot or any junk food. There may be affordable choices but these really help you in staying fit. Apart from all the veggies there are separate five wintertime foods.
Top 5 winter vegetables that help you stay fit
Try new activities and recipes in wintertime like the swarm soups and porridge which can help you to stay fit. Such workouts meals should be done and health care must be taken.
About the Author:
This guest post is contributed by Zara,financial guest blogger. At present she is focusing on ppi claims . catch her @financeport
Like other species of the exact origin of citrus mandarin is very uncertain, but is believed to be the north-east of India and China, south-west.
He is known by various names as follows:
Mandarin – Mandarin English – Italian and Spanish Chu Ju, or Chieh – Chinese Mikan – Santara or Suntara Japan – India
The tangerine probably been cultivated in China for years several thousand years, and the first reference to this fruit goes back to the 12th century BC.
From his home region, tangerine spread in most of Southeast Asia, and other parts of India. By the tenth century the mandarin is widely cultivated in the southern prefectures of Japan.
The origin of mikan or Satsuma unshiu back to early 15th century.
Until recently it was believed that they originated from the Chieh Tsao (or Tsochu) tangerine, but is now considered as a variant of Bendiguanchu, another local mandarin Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, probably 1000 years ago. (Unshiu is a corruption of Wenzhou Japanese.)
It took more than 400 years before distribution worldwide tangerine be initiated when two varieties of mandarins Guangzhow (Canton) were imported to England by Sir Abraham Hume in 1805.
From this introduction trees were sent to Malta, then not close to Italy, it is believed that the Mediterranean mandarin evolved under cultivation in Italy shortly after.
Tangerine trees and their hybrids are usually the most cold hardy of all citrus grown commercially, although some, like the Temple tangor, which are less resistant than oranges.
However, the fruits of mandarin suffer more damage than most oranges and grapefruits.
The tangerine has a wide range of adaptability and grown in the desert, semi-tropical and subtropical Mediterranean climate.
However, the different varieties of mandarins are very specific in their climatic requirements for the production of good quality. For example, the Ponkan and Tankan Dancy best fit semi tropical conditions, and rarely occur near the Satsuma (unshiu) mandarin, which is more productive and reaches its maximum quality only in regions with cold winters .
The most demanding variety of mandarins in their climatic requirements is probably the Clementina, who still has a very restricted distribution, limited almost exclusively to coastal areas of Morocco, Spain, Corsica and in the recent past in South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile.
Mandarins, namely the Mediterranean and Dancy tangerine – and hybrids tend to switch to light when large fruit crops are followed by tiny light crops of large fruit, low quality.
Often, the other varieties are recommended as pollinators to promote better fruit set, while several agricultural practices such as banding stems, spraying growth regulator and hand thinning, are used to influence behavior of uneven development.
Features shared by nearly all tangerines are its relatively short harvest season and their susceptibility to damage during harvesting, packaging and transport to market.
The crust is fragile and sensitive to diseases with a tendency to swell, while internally the meat loses acidity and juice and becomes dull if not on the tree for a relatively short period after reaching maximum maturity. However, if handled with care mandarins can be stored successfully for several weeks or more.
Referred to a variety of names, probably evoked by advertising executives, ranging from the “soft-citrus” and “kid glove” to “zipper skin” and “easy peeler” mandarins have been appreciated for its distinctive fine and sweet
flavor. However, ease of peeling, the most common and famous.
The name “tangerine” is often synonymous with tangerine, especially in the United States, where it was used for the first time along with the variety Dancy.
Later spread to other similar tangerines with reddish-orange tones in the shell. However, there are significant contradictions: some varieties of color no more than oranges are known as tangerines. To complicate matters, it was common in Europe to refer to “easy peelers” as mandarins. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, and perhaps the time has come to refer to all citrus skin loose as tangerines, specific name prefix, for example, Satsuma tangerines clementines and mandarin.
Although mandarins are widely distributed, annual world production remains modest at about 13 million tonnes compared with oranges to 51.5 million tonnes.
However, during the last decade have increased in importance to a much faster rate, production almost doubled, while oranges increased from 44.5 million tonnes in the same period. Nowhere is this more evident than in Western Europe, where the availability of mandarins in the last decade is such that there is no time of year when fruit quality is not on offer at the retail level.
There have been several attempts to catalog the mandarins in group classes or different species which follows here is a modification of RW Hodgson:
Citrus unshiu: Satsuma mandarins or unshiu
Delicious Citrus: Tangerine Mediterranean Citrus nobilis: The King of Citrus reticulata Tangerine: Tangerines Tangerines small fruit common: for example, red tangerine, and Nanfengmiju Bendizau
The first three groups are well defined varieties of mandarin small but clear.
The fourth is a very wide collection of varieties, hybrid natural or man-made, many of them. The fifth includes many varieties of importance in East Asia for its fruit and others used as citrus rootstocks in several countries.
What in the world do people do for flavors like sour cream when they are genuine vegans?! How can they possibly make coffee cakes, dips, and so much more without it? There is hope. And, apparently lots of other ideas and recipes are available from our vegan friends for healthy substitutes that are actually pretty tasty.
As we start with the sour cream recipe, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that most of the ideas and creations held within these thoughts are those of true vegans. I am just a token vegetarian, trying to find the reins to tighten on my weight and live to enjoy more of life. In addition, this amazing vegan recipe is also gluten free…hopefully a huge boon to moms who are desperate to do the right thing for their families. Since Greek food has its grip on me at the moment, I wonder if this would make an out of this world tzatziki.
Homemade Cashew Sour Cream
1C. raw cashews (without salt or being roasted)
Water, to cover cashews
¼ C. fresh water
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
The juice of one lemon
After trying this small amount, you can always multiply the ingredients for more extensive use.
Here is another mixture of ingredients, this time incorporating tofu to make non-dairy plain sour cream.
Non-dairy Plain Sour Cream
¼ block of 14 ounces extra firm tofu
¼ C. raw cashews
¼ C. water
Juice of one lemon
2 generous pinches of sea salt
½ teaspoon agave nectar
Up to ½ teaspoon garlic powder (if desired)
A well-known substitute for both vegans and non-vegans is buttermilk. This staple, made from milk plus lemon juice or vinegar, appears in several recipes; take this one for pancakes, for example. The following Buckwheat Pancake is a delicious offering for a Saturday breakfast:
2 ¼ C. non-dairy milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 ½ C. buckwheat flour
¼ C. rolled oats
1 Tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 C. walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 teaspoons sweetener of choice, or to taste; or 1/8 teaspoon Stevia
½ C. blueberries, if desired
¼ C. chocolate chips, if desired
1. Combine milk and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together buckwheat flour, oats, baking powder, allspice, cinnamon, walnuts, and sweetener. Add milk/vinegar mixture and whisk just until mixed. (Be careful not to over-mix.) Stir in blueberries and/or chocolate chips, if desired.
3. Lightly oil a non-stick pan or griddle, and heat to very hot. Scoop the batter onto the griddle, cooking until the bottom of the pancake turns golden brown; flip to cook on other side.
4. These pancakes should likely cook a bit longer on each side than other pancakes, just allow time for a couple mess-ups at first; use only a small amount of batter as you learn.
You can double this recipe, but add a little more water.
Say you have a day when you must work through lunch, or just want a snack. Take a break with a nice vegan cheese spread, like this Macadamia Nut Cheese Spread, perfect for those occasions.
Macadamia Nut Cheese
1 ½ C. dry, organic macadamia nuts
¼ C. pine nuts (can use sesame seeds)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Water, as necessary
1. Place 1 cup organic macadamia nuts in a small bowl with enough warm water to cover. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain.
2. Place soaked and drained macadamias into a food processor with remaining dry macadamias, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and just enough water to make cheese process smoothly and easily (about 1/4 cup, or to desired consistency).
3. Refrigerate any unused cheese.
You might also want to consider the substitutions suggested on the enclosed website, which include the various milks; a scrambled tofu [egg] idea; vegan cheeses, without the dreaded casein; and more. The section on recipes gives ideas for all sorts of dishes and one especially tasty sounding Gazpacho soup; thankfully, though Gazpacho is usually quite easy to prepare, ready to eat (but is really best after a day), and sometimes is available hot, as well as cold. Therefore, the world as a vegan is actually quite interesting…and much more doable than you might have thought possible.
Jennifer Hawkins is a restaurant owner and professional chef who specializes in recipes with nuts and vegan dishes. She loves to blog about health and dieting and she often gives advice to those who have recently commited to the vegan lifestyle.
Being a vegetarian can be a great way to eat healthy, feel better both physically and mentally, and even lose weight. Some people think that being a vegetarian means only eating raw fruits and vegetables and not being able to enjoy a diet filled with flavor.
But these people are wrong. Vegetarians can enjoy an extremely flavorful diet, they just need to have some great recipes to help them. If you’re looking for some tasty vegetarian meals, look no further.
This delicious and hearty stew is the perfect addition to a chilly fall night. Plus, all the beans give you a huge boost of protein.
• 2 cups onion, chopped
• 4 cups water
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tbsp chili powder
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• 15 oz. chickpeas, rinsed
• 15 oz. black beans, rinsed
• 15 oz. cannellini beans, rinsed
• 15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed
• 28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
• 6 oz. tomato paste
• 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Saute garlic and onion in skillet over medium heat.
2. Add in 3 cups water, spices, beans and diced tomatoes.
3. In a separate bowl, add together tomato paste and remaining cup of water.
4. Add to bean mixture and stir until blended.
5. Spoon into bowl and top with cheddar cheese.
Pasta is a great meal option for every vegetarian, and this pesto fettucine is filled with flavor.
• 1 lb. fettuccine
• 4 cup half and half
• 3 cups basil
• 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
• 3 tbsp macadamia nuts
• 4 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 2 tsp black pepper
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Add all remaining ingredients to a food processor, and process until very smooth.
3. When pasta is done cooking, add pasta and blended mixture together in a large bowl, mixing well to coat all pasta.
Many vegetarians learn that they can easily substitute tofu for meat in any recipe and create something delicious, just like this curry tofu recipe.
• 15 oz. tofu, cubed
• 2 cup coconut milk
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 4 tsp crushed red pepper
• 15 oz. pineapple chunks, drained
• 2 cup basil
• red pepper, thinly sliced
1. In a large skillet, cook tofu until browned.
2. When cooked, remove from heat.
3. In another skillet, add curry powder and coconut milk. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Add in crushed red pepper, carrots, red bell pepper and pineapple. Cook for 4 minutes.
5. Add in tofu and basil. Serve.
Quesadillas are great because you have the option of adding in any ingredients to make them as tasty as you’d like. This quesadillas has black beans and mangos—simply delicious!
• 2 tsp oregano
• 1 poblano chile, chopped and seeded
• 15 oz. black beans, rinsed
• 1 cup mango, peeled and chopped
• 4 tortillas
• 3 cup avocado, cubed
• 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Combine poblano chile and oregano in large skillet over medium heat. Sautee for 5 minutes.
2. Add in beans and cook until heated, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove skillet from heat, and add in avocado and mango.
4. Place tortillas on griddle. Place bean mixture on half of each tortilla.
5. Add in cheese and fold tortilla in half.
6. Cook on both sides until brown and cheese is melted.
Kathryn Thompson is a health specialist. She enjoys sharing information about health and nutrition in her spare time. When she doesn’t have time to cook a fancy dinner for her family, Kathryn turns to quick healthy meals instead.