I just finished watching Vegucated – a film by Marisa Miller Wolfson. I’ve always made a lot of vegetarian choices, lately have been making more and more, and after seeing the film today I have decided that I need to start making a lot more vegan choices.
I loved the film – and I greatly appreciated a lot of what the participants said – one poignant statement that stuck in my mind was “Veganism is not a religion.” – I think that’s where I fell done before – I was so “religious” in my veganism that any “slip” – intentional or unintentional – would send me sprawling with guilt. And it resulted in a crash and burn. The film brought home the reality that veganism is not a religion – or really that we shouldn’t allow it to be a religion. I’ve taken that on board. I can’t go at it with the mindset of “It’s all or nothing”. I need to start with accepting that any changes I make, make a difference – and the more changes I make the bigger difference I will make. I mustn’t allow the self-sabotaging “purist” attitude to emerge again. Rather, my new outlook must be one of conscious eating, mindful eating – and above all, of ownership: owning my choices in life, not least of which are my food choices.
We all want to make the world a better place – for ourselves, for our fellow human beings and for the other creatures that we share the planet with. I realised after seeing the film that choosing “ethically raised” meat and dairy products still ends in tragedy for the animal – in commercial farming businesses, when an animal’s days of giving milk or eggs is over, they are still brutally slaughtered. So I have to rethink my dairy and egg consumption. We all know Red Tractor standards are a complete joke. Freedom Food animals may have a better life – but how horrific is their death?
I have to find some good vegan cheeses – who knows, maybe I will transition to no cheese at all, but right now I am rather addicted. I like soya milk (and can get good non-GMO organic soya milk easily) and I can buy (and have successfully made) delicious soya yoghurt. I’ve cut out butter already and eat coconut oil or olive oil instead. Eggs in baking are occasionally a challenge depending on the recipe – I’ve tried egg substitutes (chia seeds, flax) with varying success – maybe I could get some rescue chickens, allow them to lay as many or as few eggs as they wish, give them a loving environment to end out their days, and when they pass on, bury their little bodies with respect?
Oh the thoughts they are a swirling 😉
The other day I bought one of these.
It was quite tasty. It has two ingredients, in pretty much 50-50 proportions: cashews and dates. That’s it. I paid 75p for it – that’s about $1.38 CAD ($1.10 US). For a 35 gram bar.
Looking at the ingredients, I thought, “I can make this myself. And it won’t cost even a fraction of that. So I did. I modified the recipe to what I had in the house already: a bag of organic brazil* nuts, a cranberry-raisin-date mixture, and some chia seeds. I threw everything into the food processor, shaped them, rolled them in unsweetened coconut and guess what? They taste even better than name branded raw cookie bars. Scrummy.
90 grams of dates (or mixed dried fruit)
130 grams brazil nuts
30 grams chia seeds
Unsweetened coconut (optional)
Whir in food processor until finely ground, sticking together and able to be shaped. (Depending on how moist the fruit is you may need to add a few drops of water.
Measure them out (about 35 grams per serving)
Shape into little logs. Optional – roll in unsweetened coconut. Keep covered in refrigerator.
Those of you with a cat will be thinking what I’m thinking, but hey, they taste fabulous!
Do you make your own raw cookies or bars? Please share!
* Brazil nuts (like all nuts) are high in calories, but they are also high in a lot of trace minerals (in particular, selenium). And nut oils are good for you. So enjoy these treats in moderation.
These are wheat and gluten free. They can also be made completely vegan if preferred by using vegetable or coconut oil instead of buttter and using a flax binding solution instead of the eggs. They have a lovely texture and taste delicious! I use all organic ingredients.
Muffins / Scones made with Almond Flour
Preheat oven to 350F (190C)
Dry ingredients – combine in medium bowl:
- 1-1/3 cups finely ground raw almonds* + 2/3 cup finely ground raw sunflower seeds
2 cups finely ground raw almonds*
- 1/3 cup ground golden flax seed ***
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar (brown, maple, coconut, or agave syrup)
- 1/3 cup raisins or currants
Wet ingredients – combine in small bowl:
- 2 eggs or flax binding mixture**
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil, or other healthy oil (grapeseed, sunflower) or any combo thereof
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Spoon into paper lined muffin tin. Makes 10. (If desired, add a couple of tablespoons of water to each of the two empty remaining muffin cups to avoid warping the pan.)
Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Move to cooling rack. Eat as is or with clotted cream and jam!
** Flax binding mixture:
Simmer together 2 Tbsp ground flax + 6 Tbsp water over low heat, let cool. Use to replace 2 eggs in baking.
* make your own almond flour using a nut/coffee grinder by grinding dry raw almonds as needed. If purchasing it pre-ground, and depending on where you live, it may be labelled “almond meal”, “finely ground almonds” or “almond flour”.
*** flax seed may be labelled linseed in the UK and other countries