Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Better than chocolate?

October 7, 2009

Chocolate is one of life’s great pleasures. Everyone likes it (well, anyone normal :P). Even my friend the chocolate hater is coming round to the idea that chocolate really isn’t all that bad. And since I went vegan, one common question has been, ‘But what about chocolate?’ My reply is always the same, ‘I can still eat chocolate, a lot of dark chocolate is vegan and you can get vegan milk and white chocolate.’ My favourite chocolate has always been dark so finding it has never been an issue.

However, recently my nan brought me back a present from one of her and my grandad’s holidays: Plamil Carob Confectionary.

carobI’d only read about the wonders of carob, how it has a great taste and can be used as a substitute for chocolate chips or cocoa powder, is caffine free and just generally amazing.

Carob contains as much Vitamin B1 as asparagus or strawberries; as much niacin as lima beans, lentils, or peas; and more Vitamin A than aubergine, asparagus, and beetroot. It also contains Vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and the trace minerals iron, manganese, chromium, copper, and nickel. It contains about 8 percent protein and is a good source of fiber. Compared to chocolate, carob is three times richer in calcium, has one third less calories and seventeen times less fat.

SN851389

However, my first impression didn’t bare the great tasting result I was expecting. On my first square, I wasn’t keen at all. It was edible, but not so nice. But then, the next day, I tried another bit, it began to grow on me. By the third day, I was in love. I still am. I like it better than chocolate, that’s for sure! It has a more prominent smell than ordinary chocolate, akin I suppose to the strength of coffee. It has a profound taste, too, certainly an aquired taste, I think. The main thing to remember when you eat it is it is not chocolate, I think the reason I disliked it at first was because I was expecting chocolate. It’s one of those things many chocolate lovers will hate but really shouldn’t fear! Give carob a chance! (or 2 or 3!). It really is better than chocolate.

I want to try some carob chips or powder now, I think a hot carob drink would be yummy! Or carob chip cookies…But I have only ever seen these things priced very expensively from their chocolate counterparts, so cocoa it is (untill I can get my hands on another carob bar).

I don’t think I’ll be able to get mofo posts up for a couple of nights :(. I’m going to the cinema tomorrow night and then staying at my grandparent’s house (No school on friday – yay!), then going again on friday evening. Saturday I’m working, so won’t get a chance to cook something good, but I’ll try to have a great mofo post for sunday!

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Vegan Mofu has officially begun!

October 1, 2009

mofo Turn over your calanders guys! October has arrives and has brought with it Vegan Mofo 2009. This is my first time participating and it’s gonna be really great to see everyone’s mofo yummyness! I’ve decided on a few themes to follow, although I may not follow them to the T. These include :

Making other blogger’s / recipe book’s recipes

Baking

Reviewing Vegan Products

Basing a meal on a certain colour

International cuisine

Quick and easy food

Comfort food

Veganising non vegan food

Budget meals

Today, to kick off Vegan Mofo, I’ve made a decadent dessert. Now, I’ve made a yummy tofu mousse before, however recently I’ve fallen in love with avocados. They’ve sooooo tasty! In salads, eaten raw, with dip. I love their creamy-ness. Anyway, I found the idea of using them in a dessert mousse recipe and I thought, ‘Why not?’. So, for my first mofo post, I bring you:

mousseChocolate-Avocado-Mousse. Would you believe it really had avocado in? No green bits? I even made a ‘cream’ to top it with. The mousse is simply 1/2 an avocado, 1 dessert spoon cocoa powder (more ot less to taste), some soya milk and 1/6 of a block of tofu blended with a good dollop of agave and a teaspoon vanilla. To make the cream I blended the other just under 2/3s of a block of tofu, a bit of soya milk and a big fat teaspoon of banana-peanut-butter (Though I think it would work just as well with 1/2 a banana or a spoon of nut butter). I didn’t know how the ‘cream’ would turn out, I have to be creative, it was getting on and I had no time to check the internet for recipes to make a tofu cream – However, Vegan Mofo is all about creativity! The improvisation worked though, it complimented the mousse well, have a good flavour but not a too powerfull flavour. To finish it off I grated a piece of a carob bar on top. Yum! The avocado gave it a really nice creamy texture and taste, I suppose because of the fat content.

mouse2Actually quite a healthy dessert. A good source of the healthy fats, protein, it’s low GI and contains a serving of fruit!

Also, if like me you’re a fan of tea (Ain’t just for the brits!), Dancing Through Life has a giveaway just for you!

I’m in Love For the First Time

August 12, 2009

Today I have fallen in love:

YumI’ve been rather jealous of America for a while, as they have such a variety of peanut butter flavours that I can only dream of encountering. Vanilla, cinnamon ect. And by chance, I found the magic that is chocolate peanut butter! We were in Thetford town, as we’d dropped off my brother for his camp thing, and I found this in Thing-Me-Bobs. I haven’t even seen it in Tesco or anywhere, although I bet I will now. And it was only 50p! usually Whole Earth food is on the expensive side. I tried it on some ryvita tonight, but I have a feeling it would be really good on a freshly baked cinnamon hot cross bun. After I’d opened the lid and stirred it, I found that it looked like someone had added chocolate chips and warmed it slightly, as swirls of chocolate appeared in the jar. It had the right balance of chocolate to peanut butter, and wasn’t too sweet. I have a nasty feeling that this jar won’t hang around for many days, it’s the kinda stuff I’d eat straight from the jar. Two of my favourite foods combined!

I got soaked today while on my bike ride, about 5 minutes into it it started to really chuck it down. By the time I had the choice to either turn off and come home or carry on I was so wet I decided to perservere. In the end, i actually kinda enjoyed it, as it wasn’t a cold rain, and I had a hoodie on so I could protect my hair. (Which didn’t thank me, it went all frizzy and curly. And boys wonder why us girls go ‘Oh, my hair!’ when we walk out in the rain!).

I found out something else new today. Chilli heatwave doritos are vegan. I didn’t think they were, since the original flavour are not. I’m so glad, because I love doritos, and I love chilli. We’re having a movie night in tonight, dorritos, pretzals, safari sauce, salsa and a good movie. I did want to go to the cinema and see ‘Orphan’, but my mum didn’t want to drive after going all the way to Thetford and back. And tomorrow – Great Yarmouth! The weather isn’t forcast to be great, but oh well. (Typically, it’s going to be a great week end *eyeroll*)

I’m back!

August 8, 2009

I came home from my grandparent’s today. I had no access to the internet there, but I love coming home to a fit to burst inbox and stuff, gives me something to do! My nan is very interested in my veganism, and says it’s something she’d like to try(!) She even got some vegan books from the local libray when we went into town. It’s nice to have someone to talk to about veganism, without it turning into a debate or anything. I don’t think she ever will go 100% vegan, but I think it’s great that she’s willing to try. When my grandparents dropped me off at my house today, I got her to try some nutritional yeast, soya milk and some of the blue sheese, she really liked them all! The thing that concerns her most though, is the cooking aspect. My grandad is very much a meat and two veg man, and while he does like quorn in things like stirfry’ss and bolognaise (I know isn’t vegan…), he isn’t willing to give up his meat and eggs ect. So she’ll always be handling meat and dairy. She is a vegetarian at the moment though (kinda). But like she admits, she doesn’t do it very healthly, sometimes, for example, when cooking meat, potatoes and veg, she’ll just have potatoes and veg, no protein source.

I had a lovely time though. I love my grandparents and really look forward to going to stay in the holidays. We went to Colchester on thursday and Ipswich today. On the way into Ipswich, I visited one of the places I did my work experience at, PC Wake-Up. They seemed pleased that I popped in to say hi. They were really good to me when I went for the week, and they’re the kind of people I’d like to stay in contact with. I  also aquired some really odd sounding chocolate today. I got some Cayenne pepper and mango Lindt, which doesn’t sound the most appealing, does it? It’s got like a thick fondant chocolate (and mango?) centre, with a jelly like (cayenne pepper flavour?) layer on top. It certainly has a kick to it, but was really quite nice! And at 50p for a large bar, a bargain – and surprisingly vegan! (Albeit, it was all in a foreign language). I’m going to Nowrich with my nan not this monday, but the monday afterwards. Looking forward to it, hopefully my sister will come too! (It will give me another chance to go to Vegeland!)

Mmm, Chocolate

July 22, 2009

Today was quite a nice day, I started off with a walk, then in the afternoon we went to Melton, tried to feed the ducks some of our old mouldy bread, but they (unsurprisingly) weren’t that interested. We went for a short walk, and finished by having a drink in the pub. Cola for me, of course. I’d never been in this particular pub, but it had a great atmosphere. I quite like pubs, they have a nice air about them, a friendly air. Although, I’ve only ever been in a pub during the day, perhaps in the evening they become a different place. It’s a shame so many are closing in this climate. We then went to ‘Poppy’s Pantry’, I love this store, it’s a social enterprise, meaning it works with disabled people, allowing them to work. I like this store for that reaosn, but also because they stock so many vegan goodies. If not for this small store, nutritional yeast flakes would still be on my wish list. I can easily get most kinds of ‘whole foods’ here, and they allow you to buy cases of stuff. So I took advantage and bought a 6 pack case of tofu (you can never have enough tofu).

Anyway, this guy familiar?

News1_0

To UK readers (and possibly world wide readers), do you remember that show, ‘Willy’s Wonky Chocolate Factory’, about the bloke who wanted to make the worlds best chocolate, he owned his own cacoa plantation ect. Well, I managed to get some of his chocolate yesterday. Waitrose is his main stocker, and we don’t often go in there. It’s a rather upmarket supermarket, and to do our weekly shop there would cost a lot more than going to Tesco’s. However, yesterday we visited, and my mother said she’d indulge me. (At and £2.99 a bar, it reallywas an indulgence!). There are two types of the dark chocolate bars, soon to be three. I got the San Matin Puruvian 70.

chocolate

You get two square blocks, each wrapped in a gold foil. Both are also stamped with Willy’s logo  on, it smells really good, very unique. The box says, ‘one for now…’, but honestly, it’s so rich you wouldn’t want one whole bar at once! (especially at the price – gotta make it last!). It would have been nice if the bars were divided up into squares, like your typical chocolate bars, as it’s rather hard to break up, especially straight from the fridge.

chocolateThe taste? What can I say, it tastes like it cost £2.99 a bar! It’s really good. It’s 70% cocoa, but to me it tastes stronger. You definatly get the ‘fruit notes’ that the box boasts. It’s very rich, as I said before, you definatly don’t want much at a time. If you’ve ever had 99% chocolate (more about that in a later post!), it’s similar to that, but with more intertwining of the flavours. Simply place it on your toungue and let it gently melt to take the most advantage of the flavours. If you’re a chocoholic, it’s definatly one to try. However, if you have a sweet tooth, and are used to sweet chocolates, then you may not like this. If his chocolate becomes popular, who knows, the ‘common persons’ supermarkets may start selling them.

One Of Many Mistakes

July 14, 2009

As a vegan – and especially a moderatly new one – it is inevitable that I will make some very basic mistakes. But, we learn from experience, and as my experience grows, so does my abilty to avoid mistakes.

Today, I topped the dessert I made (which is below) with Butterscotch Sugar. I realised as soon as I made the first turn of the grinder. Cursing, I immediatly pulled away the grinder and put it back. How could I have been so silly? It’s in the stupid name! Butterscotch. Duh. Bad moment. However, although the dessert didn’t turn out vegan, it was intended to be and it would have been if not for my little mistake.(if it’s any consolation there really wasn’t that much put on). It was really yummy and a really nice treat to end my meal with.

SN850882 Chocolate Mousse!

If you would like to enjoy the vegan version of this, you will need for one decent portion:

  • 115 – 175g tofu (1/3 to 1/2 of a package). I used Blue Dragon Extra Firm, but any kind of tofu will work. The extra firm was all I had.
  • 1 to1 1/2 dessert spoons plain cocoa powder (or more to taste)
  • 2 dessert spoons sugar (Or 1 1/2. depending how sweet your sweet tooth likes it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (This and the vanilla are optional)
  • Soymilk or any other milk (no pacific amount, all depends on he consistancy you like)

Chuck everything in a blender (I used the magic bullet, since you can use a single person sized cup to blend in), starting of with 1/4 cup soy milk. Blend untill smooth. At the beginning, I had to stop every 10 seconds or so and give it a shake to get the blades going again. You may also have to use a spoon to remove unblended cocoa powder from the sides. Keep adding soymilk, a little bit at a time, untill at the consistancy you like. (I used about 1/3 cup soymilk in the end). Place in a dish and refridgerate for about 1-2 hours. It doesn’t need refridgerating, it just makes it a little thicker.

Decorate how you wish, or enjoy plain 😀

I think next time I make this, I will leave out the vanilla and almond extracts and add a tablespoon peanut butter instead!