Single-Serving Fruity Hazelnut Muesli

Before getting into today’s recipe, I’d like to direct you, dear readers, to my latest piece on Our Hen House, entitled “How Political Science Helped Me to Understand the Vegan/Animal Rights Movement and Become a Better Activist.” Drawing upon political theories regarding modern social movements, the piece offers a take on the current state of the vegan/animal rights movement and what directions the movement might be wise to take. I’d love it if you checked the piece out and offered your thoughts. Now, on to breakfast!

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On most mornings of my spring break extravaganza in Florence, Italy (which you can read all about in these three posts!), I enjoyed a scrumptious bowl of muesli and fresh fruit, accompanied by a side of savory steamed & spiced greens. For those of you unfamiliar with the dish, muesli comprises a popular European breakfast of rolled oats, dried fruit, seeds, and nuts soaked in milk, yogurt, and/or fruit juice, which originated in the Swiss Alps and became popularized by a Swiss physician who prescribed primarily plant-based diets for his patients. Finding myself without a blender to make my usual green smoothies while in Italy, I bopped around the natural foods market near my parents’ apartment in search of another nourishing breakfast. Amongst the shelf of granola, I discovered a bag of muesli from an organic German company known as Rapunzel and, smitten by the hazelnuts in the ingredient list (because hazelnuts are obviously the most perfect nut in all of existence), opted to experiment with this traditionally Swiss breakfast.

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The basic preparation of muesli involves soaking the dry ingredients in a flavorful liquid for at least ten minutes and up to overnight, making it an incredibly easy breakfast to assemble in the evening and enjoy on mornings on which you find yourself pressed for time. My favorite version involves a dry mixture replete with toasted hazelnuts, rolled grains, flax, and raisins soaked in unsweetened soy milk and plain soy yogurt, with bite-sized pieces of fresh fruit mixed in after soaking. Hearty, toothsome, sweet, fresh, and flavorful, this muesli provides an oh-so-satisfying and hugely wholesome breakfast. So prepare yourself some muesli, practice your yodeling, and get ready for some Swiss tastiness.

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Single-Serving Fruity Hazelnut Muesli—Can be SF, OF, LS, LF.

Serves 1.

1/3 cup rolled oats (or a mixture of rolled grains, such as barley flakes, rye flakes, quinoa flakes, etc.)
1-2 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tsp flaxseed meal
1-2 tbsp raisins (or other bite-sized dried fruit)
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt (can substitute another 1/2 cup of milk if needed or desired)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen & thawed mixed berries OR 1 medium apple, grated

The night before you’d like to enjoy your muesli, combine the oats through milk in a large cereal bowl. Allow to sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, stir in the berries or grated apple. At this point, you can enjoy as is or heat up the muesli in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

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Until next time, Ali.

Review & GIVEAWAY! of The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk & Cookbook

This giveaway has closed. Congratulations to Amanda Thomas!

I’m elated, dear readers, to host Farmers Market Vegan’s second giveaway—an exciting one, indeed. One lucky reader will receive a copy of The Vegg Cookbook: Egg-Free Cooking Uncaged, as well as two packets of The Vegg Vegan Egg Yolk. Click the above link or the link at the bottom of the post to enter to win these top-notch prizes. The giveaway will close at 12:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 21, and I will announce the winners later than day.

Photo credit to Vegan Cuts.

Photo credit to Vegan Cuts.

I first encountered The Vegg this past summer while interning with the animal advocacy non-profit Compassion Over Killing, who provided much support and promotion for the 2012 launch of the vegan egg yolk. (The below opinions of The Vegg, however, are completely my own and not in any way influenced by my work with COK). While I sold many a packet of The Vegg to enthusiastic patrons of the events at which COK tabled this summer, I didn’t have the chance to experiment with it myself until Vegg developer Rocky Shepheard contacted me about reviewing his cookbook on the ol’ blog. Needless to say, I responded with an earnest “yes,” and here I am today, writing this post, regaling the wonders of The Vegg, right now at this very moment…you get the picture.

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Longtime vegan and animal rights activist Rocky Shepheard began tinkering with a recipe for a vegan egg yolk in 2010 after reading an April Fool’s Day article about a commercially available vegan fried egg. Two years later, Rocky had transformed a joke into a reality and introduced The Vegg onto the market, giving the over 280 million egg-laying hens in the U.S.—most of whom spend their lives intensively confined inside barren wire cages—something to cluck about. With the appearance, texture, taste, and even smell of a chicken’s egg, The Vegg provides a cruelty-free replacement in any traditionally egg-based recipe—French toast, omelets, hollandaise, crème brulee, breaded and fried foods, you name it. While The Vegg cannot provide the functional properties of eggs in baking, it can enhance any sweet (or savory!) treat with a rich, surprisingly accurate eggy flavor. Hesitant at first to try The Vegg based upon my assumption that it contained questionable ingredients, I happily discovered that The Vegg comprises of nothing more than fortified nutritional yeast (get yer B12 here, kids!), seaweed-derived sodium alginate, and black salt (which imbues The Vegg with its characteristic eggy aroma and flavor). An egg yolk free of cholesterol, gluten, soy, GMOs, and animal suffering? Yes, please.

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Released the year following the launch of The Vegg, The Vegg Cookbook features nearly 70 vegan recipes from Rocky, Sandy Defino, and food-blogging fans of The Vegg that highlight the versatility of the vegan egg yolk. Divided into three sections—Morning Medleys, The Main Dish, and Sweet Satisfaction—the cookbook features such tantalizing recipes as The World’s Best (and Most Realistic) Vegan Fried Egg, Tangerine French Toast, Vegg Tempura, Artichoke-Tomato Quiche, Mom’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Banana Cream Meringue Pie, and more. For my foray into the world of The Vegg Cookbook, I chose to sample one recipe from each section of the book.

One important requirement for successful use of The Vegg in all recipes, however, involves blending the powdered vegan egg yolk with either water or plant-based milk (depending on your recipe) in a mini blender or food processor, since blending by hand will yield less-than-smooth results. I own a mini food processor that works quite nicely for The Vegg, though I’m sure a spice grinder would also do the trick. During the blending, you’ll begin to freak out about the eggy aroma emanating from your blending apparatus. Upon my first blending endeavor, I sprinted into the living room to fetch my father, forcing him to stick his nose into my mini food processor. He agreed as to the accuracy of the smell…though perhaps without my same level of enthusiasm.

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Photo credit to Veganoo.

I first tried out the Crème Brulee, submitted by none other than Erin Wysocarski of the fabulous vegan blog Olives for Dinner. The recipe involves combining a blended Vegg-water mixture with coconut milk, sugar (I used maple sugar), and vanilla, then simmering the mixture with agar powder to impart a gel-like consistency. While my use of maple sugar didn’t produce the satisfying crackly crust akin to crème brulees, the finished dessert otherwise proved immensely successful. Creamy, eggy, and just sweet enough with an oh-so decadent mouthfeel, the crème brulees had my parents raving for days after licking their ramekins clean.

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Venturing into the cookbook’s savory territory, I whipped up the Vietnamese Pancakes with Veggies & Herbs, courtesy of Nancy Montuori Stein of Ordinary Vegan. The thin, crepe-like pancakes contain rice flour, a blended Vegg, turmeric, and coconut milk, providing a bright yellow, satisfyingly squishy wrapper for the brightly flavored shredded veggies and herbs inside. Topped with a spicy-sweet dipping sauce, this recipe yielded a gorgeously hued dinner with a flavor-packed punch, though the egginess of The Vegg didn’t come through in the pancakes as much as I would have liked.

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My Vegg Cookbook review endeavors ended with a version of the Scrambled Tofu from Helen Rossiter of Lots of Nice Things. The original recipe seemed to me as a template of sorts, containing only a blended Vegg, tofu, and scallions sautéed together. To spice up the dish, I borrowed the seasonings from Janet’s Dillicious Tofu Scramble and added shredded brussels sprouts and shiitake mushrooms to the mix, serving the scramble alongside a pile of roasted potatoes. I’m uncertain if I added a touch too much turmeric or if I failed to adequately cook the blended Vegg into the dish, but something seemed off both flavor- and texture-wise in the finished dish. Probably due to my mistake, the shortcomings of the tofu scramble should in no way dissuade you from the merits of this cookbook (but should perhaps dissuade you from using a heavy hand with turmeric…).

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With half of a packet of The Vegg still left after my experiments, I’m excited to try out some more recipes from the cookbook. However, I’m even more excited for you to familiarize yourself with The Vegg and its cookbook! For your chance to do so, be sure to click on the link either below or at the top of the post and enter the giveaway by 12:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, January 21. Happy Vegg-ing!

***NOTE: This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents.***

This post is submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekend.

This giveaway has closed. Congratulations to Amanda Thomas!

Vegan Delish Giveaway & Recipe for No-Bake Apple Pie

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Get excited, folks, for I’m about to announce Farmers Market Vegan’s first ever giveaway! That’s right, dear readers, three of you lucky ducks have the chance to win a quite fabulous prize: a free download code for the iPhone/iPod recipe app Vegan Delish. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter.

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Launched by the talented blogger, recipe developer, and graduate in public health nutrition Carrie Forest of Carrie on Vegan, Vegan Delish offers over 140 nourishing, mouthwatering recipes—all of which are vegan, gluten-free, made with minimal oil, salt, and added sugars, and accompanied by high-definition photos. New and veteran vegans, vegetarians, and those seeking to explore a plant-based diet will enjoy Vegan Delish not only for healthy and easy recipes, but also for a digital shopping list; social media sharing, recipe scaling, and kitchen timer functions; and recipe ratings and reviews—all without any ads. From Vegan Delish’s multiplicity of well-tested recipes and features, it comes as no surprise that the App Store lists it as one of the top 25 Paid Food & Drink Apps.

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To further enthuse you about this fabulous app and giveaway, check out a sampling of recipes featured on Vegan Delish:

–Mock Tuna Salad
–Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple Cashew Cream
–Cauliflower Pizza Crust
–Vegetable Quinoa Salad
–Avocado Chocolate Pudding
–Brown Rice & Lentil Salad
–Veggie Sushi Rolls
–Red Lentil Dal
–Almond Date Balls

As if Carrie had not already adequately showcased her generosity by offering up three free download codes for Vegan Delish, she also offered for me to share a recipe from the app—one for No-Bake Apple Pie—right here, right now.

No-Bake Apple Pie

Published with permission from Vegan Delish.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (divided)
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup orange juice
6 Fuji apples
1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided)
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

Instructions:

1. Core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces.

2. Combine the apples, orange juice, raisins, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract into a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until apples are softened. Stir in nutritional yeast and set aside to cool.

3. Place almonds, walnuts, and oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the remaining cinnamon and vanilla extract. Turn the food processor on and add the dates through the feeding tube one at a time. Process until mixture is well combined.

4. Pour the contents of the food processor into the pie dish and use your hands to spread evenly into the dish. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

5. When you are ready to assemble the pie, pour the apple mixture into the pie crust and serve cold or at room temperature.

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Let’s face it: how could you not enter this giveaway? Simply click on the link below and you could be one of three winners, whom I will announce on Monday, November 11.

***NOTE: This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. The codes will only work on iPhones and iPads.***

This giveaway has closed. Congrats to Eric, Anna, and Erika!

Creamy Apple (or Pear) Spice Green Smoothie

Every Thursday, Ferry House picks up a half-bushel of local apples and pears from the always-friendly folks at Wilklow Orchards from Vassar’s on-campus farmers market. Our 21 house members easily devour this generous box-full of autumnal fruit within five to six days, employing the crisp, jewel-toned apples and juicy, champagne-fleshed pears as on-the-go snacks or, in my case, in my ubiquitous morning green smoothies.

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While frozen berries had played an integral role in my smoothies since the summer, lately I’ve found myself gravitating toward smoothies that incorporate the grounding fruits of the cooling weather, both because they produce a less chilled smoothie than do frozen berries (a quite positive aspect considering that I prefer not to shiver when eating my breakfast), and because they serve as optimal bases for warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Employing Ferry’s apples and pears in my smoothie rotation also greatly reduces the personal money I spend each week on specialty foods such as flax oil and kombucha, since frozen berries tend to cost a pretty penny.

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The recipe below yields a gorgeously creamy, attractively hued smoothie with a flavor nicely balanced between sweet and spicy, mostly thanks to the bite of fresh ginger. Served in a glass or as a Green Smoothie-Granola Breakfast Bowl, this smoothie will assuredly prompt your tastebuds to sing the praises of the fall season. Ooh, a smoothie-themed musical? Hello, Broadway…

Creamy Apple (or Pear) Spice Green Smoothie—Can be Raw, Soy Free, and Nut Free; Oil Free, Low Sodium, Low Fat

Makes one 16-oz smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 large banana, frozen and sliced
1 medium-small apple or ripe pear, diced
1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 scoop of vegan protein powder (optional; I love Ultimate Meal and Garden of Life)
1 large handful of kale
1 cup non-dairy milk (Edensoy for Ali, forever and always)

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed above. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. To make this smoothie into my infamous Green Smoothie-Granola Breakfast Bowl, serve the smoothie in a bowl topped with 1/2 cup granola and a tablespoon of nut butter.

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Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Until next time, Ali.

Vote for my Apricot-Lavender Granola in the #YUinPRINT Recipe Contest!

I’m absolutely thrilled, honored, humbled, and speechless that my Apricot-Lavender Granola is a finalist in Yum Universe’s #YUinPRINT recipe contest! Heather Crosby, the lovely and talented blogger behind YU, is currently writing a cookbook and wants to include her readers in her exciting endeavor. The lucky reader who submits the winning recipe will have her or his recipe published in the book alongside Heather’s genius recipes—and this lucky reader could just be yours truly!

Now I need your help, dear readers, in helping me fulfill this incredible opportunity. All you have to do is visit this link, leave a comment (you can vote once a day until the voting ends on August 13), and contribute to making me the happiest little blogger in the world.

Again, please visit this link to vote for my Apricot-Lavender Granola in the #YUinPrint recipe contest!

Oodles of thanks to you all!

Until next time, Ali.

Coconut-Peanut Butter Galette with Maple-Lavender Glazed Figs

The creation of this tart stems from the culmination of a number of factors:

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1.) A deep urge to purchase a box of the fresh figs that so mocked me with their juicy goodness at Whole Foods.
2.) The flavor epiphany I experienced one morning while biting simultaneously into a dried fig from the granola topping my smoothie and a spoonful of peanut butter.
3.) A bout of culinary curiosity that inspired in me the impulse to make coconut whipped cream.
4.) A profound adoration of all things peanut butter, maple, and lavender.

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Piled on top of one another in my psyche, these various influential elements formed a mountain of creative desire so overwhelming that I could ignore it no longer. I give you thus, dear readers, the mouthwatering product of my adventure in gastronomic mountaineering. Enjoy.

coconut PB fig galette (16)Coconut-Peanut Butter Galette with Maple-Lavender Glazed Figs
(Soy Free, Oil Free, Low Sodium)

Makes one 8-9″ galette.

Crust Ingredients:

3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup GF oats
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
8 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

Maple-Lavender Figs Ingredients:

1/2 lb fresh figs, stemmed and sliced widthwise
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp dried lavender buds

Coconut-Peanut Butter Cream Ingredients:

1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (take care not to shake the can when you remove it from the refrigerator)
2 tbsp unsalted creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make the crust. Place the nuts, oats, and coconut in the bowl of a food processor (a spice grinder also works wonderfully for this task; I’d recommend using it if you have one). Grind everything into a fine powder, then mix in the lemon zest, salt, and cinnamon. Blend in the dates until a sticky dough forms. Plop the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread out to form an 8- or 9-inch circle. Place in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the galette components.

Make the glazed figs. Place the sliced figs, maple syrup, and lavender into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until most of the syrup has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. Spoon the fig slices individually onto a plate, laying them in a single layer to allow them to cool and harden slightly. Set aside while you prepare the remaining galette components.

Make the cream filling. While your coconut milk sat in the refrigerator, the solid coconut cream floated to the top while the coconut water sank to the bottom. If you took care not to shake the can when you removed it from the refrigerator, you should be able to spoon the coconut cream off of the top of the can quite easily. Place the coconut cream in a medium-sized bowl, reserving the coconut water for later use (you can put it into your morning green smoothie, for example). Add the peanut butter and maple syrup to the bowl and whisk the mixture until smooth. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble your galette.

Assemble the galette. Remove the crust from the freezer. Spoon the coconut-peanut butter cream into the center of the crust, spreading it around evenly while leaving about a 2-inch border around the edge of the crust. Layer the sliced figs in a circular pattern on top of the cream. Carefully peel the edges of the crust off of the parchment paper and fold them over the edges of the cream and fig layers. Place in the freezer to harden slightly, about 20 minutes, before slicing.

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Recipe submitted to Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays, and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

Until next time, Ali.

Guest Post on Green Thickies: How to Green Smoothie On-the-Go

Another day, another guest post. Though I only recently had the honor of featuring my banana soft-serve know-how on Becky’s “Not Your Ordinary Recipes” blog, Katherine of Green Thickies has shared my undying—even while traveling—devotion to green smoothies on her lovely site. My guest post for Green Thickies provides tips for enjoying green smoothies while on-the-go, ensuring you optimally healthy breakfasts even while out of the comforts of your own kitchen, as well as a winning, superfood-packed recipe for an Apricot-Goji Smoothie with Maca. Head on over to Green Thickies to check out the post and recipe!

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I’d also like to mention that the lovely Kylie and Laura of TeenVGN have featured my Pomegranate-Infused Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Hazelnuts, and Arugula as their June Recipe of the Month! You can see the recipe on the TeenVGN site here.

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Until next time, Ali.

 

Guest Post on Not Your Ordinary Recipes: Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream & Variations

Today, dear readers, I’d like to direct you toward the blog Not Your Ordinary Recipes, where I have a guest post published that features banana soft-serve ice cream. If you’ve never experienced the life-changing method of crafting delectably creamy frozen treats solely from the humble fruit, I’d urge you to head over to Becky’s blog and learn how to do so. Indeed, reveling in the joys of soft-serve-esque, dairy-free ice cream requires no more than a couple frozen bananas, a food processor, and about four minutes of your time.

My post also offers suggestions for transforming the basic banana soft-serve recipe into decadent ice cream creations using additional ingredients such as fresh fruit, peanut butter, cocoa powder, herbs, and spices. Who knew that homemaking mouthwatering ice cream flavors like Butter Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Lavender Lemon, and Roasted Strawberry Cardamom required only a handful of ordinary ingredients and absolutely no ice cream-maker?

Head over to Not Your Ordinary Recipes to begin the journey toward opening your own banana soft-serve ice cream truck!

Until next time, Ali.

Ayurvedic-Spiced Pumpkin Granola

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So let’s discuss the fact that I haven’t written a new post in a week—as in seven days without offering you, dear readers, a new recipe, restaurant review, COK internship update, or philosophical musing on the ethics of eating animals. Let’s discuss the fact that between my daily 9:00-4:00 stint as a tireless non-profit worker and my almost nightly moonlighting as a yogi, my role as a blogger has unfortunately experienced a bit of neglect. Let’s discuss the fact that, far from complaining about this busyness, I’m perpetually reveling in my fortune of spending the summer spreading the message of universal compassion, practicing yoga at an activist-driven studio, sampling the best vegan cuisine DC has to offer, and experimenting with farmers’ market produce in the kitchen…but not really so much blogging.

This will change.

Employing my magical blogging powers (or a humble process known as “Writing Your Posts in Advance Over the Weekend When You Actually Have Spare Time”), I fully intend to restore Farmers Market Vegan back to its’ usual thrice-weekly posting status during my DC summer. The upcoming posts that you can expect to grace your computer screen include a review of the community gathering place/bookstore/art gallery/poetry slam venue/super vegan-friendly restaurant Busboys and Poets, a glimpse into DC’s farmers’ market scene, a recounting of the revelation I experienced from reading “Vegan for Life,” and my newly formed meaning of “Farmers Market Vegan.”

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Today, however, I’d like to introduce you to the third batch of granola I’ve concocted whilst in DC—one whose complexity and uniqueness earns a well-deserved spot alongside my other unorthodox cereal recipes, such as my Berry Lemongrass Granola with Coconut and Cashews, Chocolate Kale Granola, and Sweet Corn Thyme Granola. Discovering an absence of crunchy clustery smoothie toppings from my refrigerator this morning, I hopped on over to the pantry to find a can of pumpkin puree and a bag of dried apricots, for both of which I yet had no future plans. Recalling my beloved “Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen” cookbook that I sadly left in storage over the summer, I decided to combine these two ingredients with an amalgamation of warming spices to create a grounding granola that would balance out the hectic feelings of the past week.

According to ayurveda, since I harbor a pitta dosha (aka body type), I can easily become controlling, judgmental, impatient, and argumentative if overstimulated, as I have been since commencing my whirlwind of a summer in DC. In order to rekindle balance within my emotional and physical self, I should consume sweet, bitter, and astringent foods, all of which I implemented in this golden granola. For example, apricots, pumpkin, oats, buckwheat, cardamom, cinnamon, and walnuts all fall under the sweet category; walnuts and turmeric offer astringency; and cinnamon and turmeric provide bitterness. In addition, ayurveda highly recommends that to maintain balance, pitta types should regularly consume all of the spices that I’ve included in this granola. Basically, if I don’t feel the frenziedness fleeing from my body after eating a spoonful of this granola, I’ll immediately lose hope of all notions of ayurvedic healing…except how could I when they inspired such a nourishing, comforting, and vibrantly hued breakfast treat? A cluster of this granola reminds me of an Indian-spiced pumpkin pie. Man, Ayurveda is scrumptious.

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Ayruvedic-Spiced Pumpkin GranolaSoy Free, Oil Free, Low Sodium.

Makes about 6 cups.

Ingredients:

10 dried apricots, chopped
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade, can also used sweet potato or squash puree)
1 tbsp almond butter
Juice of 1/2 an orange
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/8 tsp turmeric
4-6 tbsp water or plant-based milk
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
2/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 315°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the chopped dried apricots in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and microwave for 1 minute. Let sit for at least 5 minutes until soft.

In a food processor or blender, combine the soaked apricots, pumpkin puree, almond butter, orange juice, and spices. Process until well-combined, adding the water or milk as needed to achieve a smooth consistency.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat, flaxseed meal, hemp seeds, almonds, and walnuts. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well-coated.

Divide the mixture in half and spread each half out over your prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes, stir the granola and rotate the pans in the oven, and bake for another 15 minutes until golden-brown and crunchy.

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Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Wellness Weekend, and Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

Until next time, Ali.

Review of Numi’s New Savory Teas

A couple weeks ago, I entered and very unexpectedly won the Numi Organics Savory Tea giveaway hosted by Sonnet at the top-notch blog For the Love of Food. Confident that I would immediately adore Numi’s savory tisanes based upon my ardent enthusiasm for tea, veggies, and Numi’s products, I eagerly awaited my sampler pack of Numi’s new line of savory teas. Upon arrival, I thoughtfully tasted each tea individually on separate days, steeping them for 10 minutes as instructed before taking the first sip and then allowing the tea to continue to infuse as I happily lapped the savory pick-me-up. Each flavor of Numi’s savory tea combines organic dehydrated vegetable bits, herbs, spices, and naturally decaffeinated green or black tea to create a broth-like, immensely comforting beverage perfectly accustomed for afternoon contemplation. I’ve recorded my thoughts on each of the savory tea flavors below.

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Spinach Chive
Ingredients: Spinach leaves, chives, dried lime, dill, onion, decaf green tea, coriander, turmeric, garlic.

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Undoubtedly my favorite of all the savory teas, the Spinach Chive tasted like the essence of a comforting herbed spinach soup. The savory dill and onion predominated in a prevalent yet not overpowering manner to imbue the tea with a light, springtime flavor. Rather unfortunately, I chose to enjoy this tea first out of the six flavors in my sampler pack, causing the remaining five teas to pale in comparison.

Beet Cabbage
Ingredients: Beet, cabbage, dried apple, decaf black tea, mustard seed, parsley, orange peel, coriander, clove, honeybush.

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Boasting a much more succulent flavor than Numi’s other five savory teas, the Beet Cabbage derived its pleasant earthy-sweetness from the complementary combination of beets and apples. While the clove predominates in both flavor and aroma, I could still slightly discern the cabbage’s cruciferous undertones, which verily impressed me.

Carrot Curry
Ingredients: Carrot, curry, cilantro, onion, ginger, turmeric, decaf green tea.

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Though I usually find overwhelmingly spicy the flavor of curry powder, the Carrot Curry tea nicely balances the curry’s intensity with the carrots’ slight sweetness and the cilantro’s mild citrus undertones. Though a quite nice tea, the Carrot Curry did not harbor as complex a flavor as some of the other five savory teas, and thus tasted a bit one-note.

Tomato Mint
Ingredients:
Tomato, onion, mint, lemon peel, parsley, cinnamon, black pepper, decaf black tea, allspice.

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Probably my second favorite of the five savory tea flavors, the Tomato Mint offered the unmistakable summery aroma of tomatoes and somehow managed to capture the fruit’s juicy succulence, as well. The individual flavors of every ingredient in the tea come through to create a symphony of brightness: the onion lends its savory bite, the hint of mint recedes nicely into the background for a refreshing aftertaste, the citrus offers a barely discernible yet much needed tang, and the cinnamon enhances the tomato’s natural sweetness.

Broccoli Cilantro
Ingredients:
Broccoli, celery leaves, allspice, onion, cilantro, decaf green tea, garlic, black pepper, sage, turmeric.

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While I held high hopes for this tea based on its tantalizing aroma, the Broccoli Cilantro unfortunately lacked a depth of flavor present in some of the other five teas. The allspice overwhelms the tea, forcing the earthy cruciferous and bright citrus notes of the cilantro to recede well into the background.

Fennel Spice
Ingredients: Fennel, celery root, orange peel, onion, dill, decaf green tea, honeybush, black pepper.

numi savory tea (4)
Similar to the Broccoli Cilantro, the Fennel Spice left me a bit disappointed. With my deep adoration of any and all things fennel, I wholeheartedly wish that the unmistakable anise flavor would have made its presence more obvious in the tea. Instead, the dill overpowered the fennel, causing the tea to taste more like a less oniony version of the Spinach Chive rather than a distinct tea in its own right.

All in all, Numi’s new line of savory teas verily impressed me, and I fully intend to order more of both the Spinach Chive and Tomato Mint flavors. I’d highly recommend these savory teas to any tea-lover for a delicious twist on their normal tea routine.

Note: Numi did not contact or pay me to write this review. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own, uninfluenced by Numi.

Until next time, Ali.