Easy Vegan Caramel

Standard

Image

Caramel brings out the fat kid in me. It makes me want to cover everything in the sticky- sweet substance and lick the remnants off my fingers.

 Most people don’t know that carmel, or caramel, depending on your location, is made from cream, butter and sugar. That’s it. It’s so delicious because it’s made form some of the most addictive food substances on the planet. Mix it with chocolate ala anything dessert with the word “turtle” and my pupils dilate like a junkie on payday.

 

In fact, I often joke that the science to making caramel reminds me of a drug lab, and it can be just as dangerous sometimes. Certain variables will even cause the sugar to crystalize and rise to the top of the sanguine goo, I like to call them caramel crack rocks.

 

It’s very important while making caramel to have a bowl of ice water nearby, as sometimes it like to splatter molten sugar. In which case, dunk it in the ice water! For extra safety try wearing goggles or glasses, just in case. 

 

You must fear the caramel to enjoy the caramel.

 

Also, don’t burn it either. Constantly stir that bad mutha-fu……..

 

Shut Yo Mouth!

 

 

Vegan Caramel Sauce

 

-1 Can of full fat coconut milk, the light stuff does not apply. Refrigerate for 2 hours to make the cream separate to the top, skim off ½ cup cream and disregard the rest of the watery stuff. Make soup with it, make oatmeal with it, and take a bath in it. JUST DON’T PUT IT IN THE CARMEL!

 

-1 cup granulated sugar

 

-1/4 tsp  Himalayan sea salt, or ¾ tsp for salted caramel.  Try using fun infused salts like hickory smoke or chilli sea salt for a fun twist

 

 

Place the sugar and the salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Carmel takes patience.

 

I said PATIENCE!

 

Keep stirring until all the clumps have dissolved and the mixture is about 340 degrees. Once it’s dissolved CAREFULLY add the coconut cream 1 OR 2 TABLESPOONS AT A TIME.

 

Keep stirring. If it splatters and hits you, immediately dunk the body part in ice water.

 

Keep stirring. It will start to bubble and will start to solidify, so KEEP STIRRING!

 

Once all the clumps are gone, you got caramel! Transfer to a heat proof container and keep it in the fridge…. If it lasts that long.Image

Advertisements

Low Fat Raw Vegan Ice Cream with Raw Chocolate Sauce

Standard

What do I miss most about being vegan? Ice Cream. I love the stuff. This past summer a friend of mine worked at Ben and Jerry’s and would bring home a pint of my favorite, Half Baked Fro Yo. We would pass around the carton like a joint and each take a creamy spoonful, until the whole thing was devoured. Sometimes in a group of people we would have multiple cartons going at the same time… Well, there is the answer to how my ass got so big. However at an average of 200 calories per 1/2 cup and 14 grams of fat, I must say that I don’t miss saddle-bag enchancing side effects.

I was quite skeptical when I started to read about raw vegan Ice Cream, and remembered my granny’s biggest diet secrets were frozen bananas and frozen grapes. This is just my twist on granny’s best kept secret. The protien in the nanners hold the air beautifully, resulting in a light, fluffy whip. Eat directly from the food processer or place in small containers to freeze (I used espresso cups for a delicious snack!). If you would like a scoopable version, try placing in an ice cream maker, I have a special bowl and attachment for my cusinart standing mixer.

Take 2-3 frozen bananas, chop and freeze. Use a bowl, plate or Ziploc baggie.

Thaw slightly and place in a food processor with 1 vanilla bean. Feel free to add 2 tablespoons rice milk if you like it creamy.

Voila, you’re done! Powder with some cocoa powder or…….

if you are feeling jazzy, place 2 tablespoons agave nectar with 1 tablespoon raw dark cocoa powder for a raw chocolate sauce!

Vegan Pumpkin Ravioli in a Sage “Butter” Sauce

Standard

ravioli

Ravioli are an old favorite in any true Italian household. However, the fillings are due for a face lift. The standard meat and cheese based concoctions just don’t do it anymore. I decided to kick it up a notch by stuffing these puppies with my two favorite gourds and dress them in a savory vegan sage butter.

Filling:

-2 cups cooked squash (I like equal parts pumpkin and butternut squash]

-2 tablespoon olive oil or non-hydrogenated margarine.

-1 shallot

-1 cup  finely chopped walnuts

-2 cardamom

-2 cloves

-1 star anise

-1 cinnamon stick

-1 teaspoon salt

-3 tablespoons vegan  “Parmesan” topping

-1/4 cup rice milk plain or vanilla

-1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine margarine, all spices and shallots in a pan on medium heat until golden. Add chopped walnuts and let simmer. Remove star anise, cardamom, and cloves as they tend to not taste too good when they make it in the ravioli. Add the squash and remaining ingredients and let simmer. STIR WELL.

PASTA:

-2 cups durum flour

-1/2 cup water

-1 teaspoon salt

combine ingredients in a food processor until firm, or knead by hand. Powder a cutting board with flour and place the dough on it. Cover it with a moist towel to settle (about half an hour). When ready roll the dough into a thin sheet, be sure to liberally dust all surfaces and tools with flour. Spoon a teaspoon of the squash mixture every inch and a half or so until half of the dough is covered. Fold the empty side of the dough over the squash mixture as if you were tucking it in for the evening. Press the dough around the squash with you fingertips, creating a sealed pocket of stuffing. Use a ravioli cutter or a knife to cut out the ravioli shapes. collect pasta scraps, roll out and repeat the process.

These will cook rather quickly, so keep an eye on them. Also make sure to oil your water.

SAGE BUTTER

-4 tablespoons good balance soy free margarine

-8 sage leaves

-1/2 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan

While your pasta cooks, melt butter in a 12 to 14-inch saute pan and continue cooking until golden brown color (“noisette”) appears in the thinnest liquid of the butter. Add sage leaves and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and set aside. Drain the pasta, but leaving some cooking water, and gently pour into saute pan and return to heat. Add the cheese, toss to coat and serve immediately.