Raw Energy Balls

Post by Alex Courts

It’s the middle of the day. Too late for lunch and too early for dinner.

You’re hungry and you’re faced with the decision of what you should have without spoiling your dinner.

Chips? Cookies? Candy? No!

Opt for something natural, nutritious, and filling! These little babies are vegan, gluten-free, and raw!

Good news is that these are quick to make and can be stored and enjoyed later on!

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Yield: approx. 2 dozen snack balls

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds

Directions:

  1. Run the first four ingredients through a food processor for a full minute (or until well-combined).
  2. Add the almonds and process for another full minute.
  3. Place mixture in bowl and start forming (squeeze and roll) and form 1 tablespoon into a ball.
  4. Repeat process until all the mixture is used.
  5. Suggested: Roll the balls into any remaining shredded coconut.

Store any uneaten balls in the freezer for up to a month.

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Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 4

Post by Aine Davis

Who doesn’t love gravy? Gravy is something that can be enjoyed all year long, but it’s especially good at Christmas!

I’m Canadian, so (vegan) poutine is an essential staple in my diet. And let me tell you, it’s hard to find vegan gravy!

Gravy goes great with pretty much anything too! Try serving it as a side dish with a fancy dinner with nice drinks.

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Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

Adapted from Know thy Food.

  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Whisk the broth, soy sauce, thyme, sage and flour together. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, shallow saucepan for about one minute until sizzling. Add the onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.

3. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue sautéing for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms have browned.

4. Add the broth combo to the saucepan. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then add the nutritional yeast. Mix thoroughly.

5. Reduce the temperature setting and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until desired thickness. 

6. Remove from heat and serve! Once the gravy has cooled, feel free to freeze extra for later.

Serves 2.

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 3

Post by Aine Davis

The holiday season is the best time of the year for so many reasons. The biggest reason to me… is the baking. There is nothing better than getting a tin of homemade treats gifted to you, or sneaking a couple of your mom’s ooey-gooey cookies right out of the oven.

Lucky for me, my mother is vegan as well! Like mother, like daughter. So, I asked her very nicely to send me her recipe for my favourite Christmas cookies.

Enjoy!

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Mama’s Cocoa Molasses Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbs allspice
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup black strap molasses
  • 1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 1/2 tsp boiling water
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

1. Mix together dry ingredients (flour, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cocoa).

2. Beat together margarine or oil with coconut sugar. Slowly pour the molasses in until thoroughly combined. Add the flour in 1/2 cup at a time. Add in baking soda mixture and combine well.

3. Chill, covered for one hour. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

4. Spoon the cold dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then roll each ball in the sugar. Spread the sugar-coated balls onto a sprayed baking sheet.

5. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the surface of the cookies start to crack slightly.

The Girlfriend’s Guide

To me, being vegan is a lifestyle. Take everything I grew up around: big box stores, grocery store “super centres”, prepackaged foods, frozen meals…gross. Food is needed for nutritional purposes, sure, but let’s enjoy it too! By changing our diets we get the chance to start over, refresh our palettes, try new things and find out what really works for our bodies. What you discover from this might actually surprise you! Good food makes for a good body. And vegan food is always good food. Therefore, you should totally go vegan.

Time and time again I’ve heard, “I’d love to go vegan but I just don’t have the time!” Wrong. Wroooooong.

Most people (myself included, I’ll admit) are used to instant gratification for pretty much everything. Our bodies need food multiple times throughout the day and it’s tedious to put in a lot of effort. Everything nowadays seems to be done very hastily. Buying a frozen dinner that was designed to be microwaved to prevent us from needing to what, boil water? Opting for self-checkout at the store in order to skip the cashier’s spiel about donating to a local charity? It’s hard to figure out how to find time to cook, yes, but it really is worth it. Meats and processed foods are bad for both your body and your wallet.

Being a vegan really isn’t as time consuming as people think, but obviously it takes more effort than lining up at a fast food joint for a burger would. I put effort into each meal because I enjoy taking the time to appreciate what I’m doing. What can I say, I like to cook! It’s comforting to be aware of every single ingredient that I’m putting into my body. Vegan food is good for me and the environment.

So what the heck are we babbling about this for anyways? Well, we want others to be able to transition into veganism smoothly and we’re here to help with that. On this website we’ll be providing quick and easy original recipes, shopping tips and more. Being vegan doesn’t mean that you have to spend a bunch of money, or that you can’t eat out with friends! That’s just malarky.

So friends! In honour of Vegan Girlfriend’s launch we have put together a little shopping cheat sheet. Below you can find a chart that lists important staples for vegan cooking that can (and should!) be bought in bulk. This chart compares the prices of three types of stores where you can normally buy these products: bulk food stores, health food stores, and a ‘big brand’ grocery store.

Stick with us and we’ll keep coming up with stuff like this to help you become the health-conscious money-smart vegan that we know you secretly want to be.

Love,

Áine

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