Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vegan MoFo - Pumpkin Hot Toddy

I've been under the weather for a few days and was thinking some hot lemon and ginger in "toddy" form would help sooth my poor sick self. Well, sick or not, MoFo is still on my mind.

Pumpkin Hot Toddy
Serves 1
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave
  • 2 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Optional add ins: fresh grated ginger, 1 tea bag, 1 shot of whiskey or rum, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon slices or wedges
Combine lemon juice, sugar or agave and pumpkin on the bottom of a large mug. If using an optional ingredient, add it now. Pour the boiling water over and stir well. Drink immediately.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vegan MoFo - Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

If you're like me, you go crazy for the Silk Pumpkin Spice beverage that is available this time of year. I love it in my coffee even though I normally don't put anything in my morning caffeinated beverage.

Well, guess what? You can make it at home! The original is made with soy, but you can easily whip up a batch using nuts in your own kitchen. Watch and learn.

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk
  • 1 cup raw almonds (or other raw nut of your choice)
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon Spice Blend or store bought pumpkin pie spice
Remember that time when I made nut milk? Same idea here. Start with the almonds and 2 cups of water in the blender. Blend for a good 5 minutes, until you have a pretty creamy consistency. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the milk. (A cheesecloth would probably come in handy here so you could squeeze it, but I never have one on hand.) Add the pulp to the blender and blend with 2 more cups of water. Repeat straining & blending once more with additional 2 cups water. You'll do this a total of 3 times. Reserve your pulp, covered, in the fridge (I have plans for that later).  At this point you should have 4 cups of almond milk. Reserve 2 cups of it, and store it, covered, in the fridge. Rinse your blender and strainer well. Pour your remaining 2 cups of almond milk back into the blender and blend well, strain. Now to your blender add your milk, spices and pureed pumpkin. Blend & strain, again. I know it's a pain to keep blending and straining, but look at that! You're all finished! Store your pumpkin spice beverage in a covered container in the fridge.

Definitely try it out in your coffee, it make a standard cup of coffee rich and creamy. Add sweetener of your choice, if you prefer. I promise, this will be the new star of your coffee station at your weekend autumn brunch!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vegan MoFo - Quick Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

Last Thursday I went to Lula's Sweet Apothecary and had the pumpkin ice cream. For dinner.
I knew within moments of the first spoonful that I would be recreating this in my kitchen.

Before we begin, you'll need to freeze some pumpkin puree. Interestingly enough, I had a dream about piping pumpkin puree into ice cube trays. As my dream predicted, it is very easy to fill the ice cube trays if you use a pastry bag. You could also use a ziplock bag with a tip cut off. Or, you could just use a damn spoon. You should be able to fill one and a half trays from one can of pumpkin. Freeze your pumpkin for a few hours until solid, I recommend overnight.

(Bonus: my dog happens to enjoy a cube of frozen pumpkin as a treat, and I'll bet your dog does too!)

Quick Pumpkin Ice Cream Serves 1

  • 8 frozen pumpkin cubes
  • 1/4 of a frozen banana (about a 2" piece)
  • 6-7 tablespoons non dairy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cloves & allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Let your pumpkin cubes sit out for a few minutes, otherwise they will propel around your food processor like tiny little rockets and your neighbors will come running to see what that "machine gun" noise was. Add the pumpkin cubes and banana to your processor and begin to pulse. Add the non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time until you have the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and add the spices. Pulse a few times to fully incorporate the spices. Serve as is or pop it into the freezer for just a few minutes for a firmer ice cream.

Note: if you freeze it for too long and are having trouble scraping it out because it is solid as a rock, break the ice cream up into pieces and add it back to the food processor. Add about 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk and pulse until you have the consistency you want.

Top with chopped walnuts, if you dare.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VeganMoFo - Spiced Popcorn*

Are you hungry? Me? Oh, I'm always hungry. It's just... I thought you could use a little snack after all the booze I served you...
*I'm calling this popcorn, but it's really more like kettle corn.

Spiced Popcorn
Serves 2
  • 4 cups plain popcorn
  • 1-2 tablespoons oil or melted vegan margarine
  • 2 teaspoons spice blend (see below) or store bought pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
After popcorn is popped, pour oil or margarine on top and quickly toss. Sprinkle with sugar and spices, toss again to coat all popcorn.

Spice Blend
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg & cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ginger & allspice
Mix well. Sprinkle on everything. Popcorn, coffee, your cat, etc.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Today is VeganMoFo HUMP DAY!! That's right people, we're half way through! To celebrate here's a little something special from rad vegan performer Leslie Hall. She is sharing her unreleased song with all MoFo readers.

Before a few days ago, I actually hadn't heard of Leslie, but now I'm beginning to think that we went to college together (if you know where I went to college, well, you understand).

click above for the song

Here are the lyrics so you can follow along...

I eat the finest cuisines, in the finest of places.  
Stuff my mouth full and always say thank you.  
But if it's raised in a cage, and it can't even move, if it's hormone filled and in a bad mood.  
I'm gonna pass on that.  
Reach for something better.  
The only milk I'll drink comes from the 
nipple of a soy bean. 
Veggies make you live forever, and they seem to taste much better when they're cooked and grown with love.  
So give a chef who knows what's up a hug. 
Momma just can't seem to get it, Papa he just rolls his eyes. When I tell them I'm much healthier, they just say that it's all lies.  
But beans, nuts, fruits and veggies can really fill the belly.  
Get you vitamins you need, shiny hair and extra speed.  
Don't take that meat-wich any further, I want a marinated, deep fried, hand-tied mushroom burger.  
I like it!  
We gotta stand strong for our feathered furry sometimes scaly animal friends and their little babies.  
'Cuz I wouldn't want to live in a cage in a dark warehouse killed at an early age.  
Pumped full of hormones, sleeping in my feces.  
Never met my mother, raised by machines.  
Never get sunshine never get green, but that's just me.  
[That girl loves fruit leather.]  
So ask us what we're eating.  
Delicious and repeating, fruits and veggies are so nice.  
With a slice of tempeh,  yes, I'll have that twice.  
Don't forget the legumes!

Annnnd here's a bonus video for you...

Click here for the complete collection of Leslie Hall videos. Trust me, you want to.

Monday, October 10, 2011

VeganMoFo - New Found Blog Love

I'm going to be honest with you. I have not been doing much reading of blogs lately. There are just too many blogs, too many posts per day and it just has my head spinning. However, last night I spent hours not being able to sleep and constantly hitting the refresh button over at randomofo. It's more fun and feels more productive than trying to scroll through what seems like thousands of blogs in my RSS Feed. Anyway, of all the blogs that caressed my screen, two in particular jumped out and grabbed me.

The photos are gorgeous, the recipes make my mouth water and the writing just catches me. Not to mention both writers are just adorable. I implore you... run, do not walk, to both of these blogs.

That is all.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

VeganMoFo - Apple Bellini

I'm taking a break from pumpkins today to bring you yet another autumn inspired brunch beverage. There was some major teamwork in the kitchen this morning. We could have fed the entire building with the amount of food we cooked up. Nonetheless, it was delicious and required a nap immediately after. As you know, no brunch is complete without a bubbly drink. Have a try at this one. A bellini is traditionally made with pureed or muddled peach. Here an apple replaces the peach for a little fall flair.

Apple Bellini
  • 1 medium size apple
  • Prosecco
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish
First you need to puree your apple. I just cut it into about 5 or 6 big pieces, put it in the food processor with a splash of water, and blend. I did not peel the skin, but you can choose to peel it if you want to. You'll need to really process it for a few minutes, it'll feel like too long, but don't worry. You want the apple as smooth as you can get it. (Alternatively, you can probably use applesauce.) You can strain your puree if you want to, but I did not. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of apple puree into a glass and fill with Prosecco. I like to keep a cinnamon stick in the glass as I drink because the scent reminds me of cider. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin Ginger Mimosa

Weekends for me, means brunch. All too often I find myself at Curly's, sipping a sangria, which I am perfectly happy with. However I'm itching to whip up a delicious fall brunch with pumpkin pancakes and waffles galore. Hellooo mimosa!

Pumpkin Ginger Mimosa

  • 5, 1/4" slices fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • champagne*, chilled  
In a small sauce pan, heat ginger slices, sugar and 1 cup water. Simmer over medium-low heat to extract all ginger flavor, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set in the fridge to chill. Meanwhile, when your ginger is simmering, mix the canned pumpkin with the remaining 1 cup of water and strain. When the ginger mixture is chilled, pour into the pumpkin mixture. Again, strain through a fine mesh strainer. The pumpkin will continue to settle, so just make sure you aren't going to get pumpkin chunks in your mimosa. Mix equal parts pumpkin ginger mixture with chilled champagne, and cheers!

*Sparkling cider or even San Pellegrino would make a fine substitute for champagne.

Friday, October 7, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

Guess what? I found vegan white chocolate in Whole Foods. I did! I really did! It was pretty much a miracle. As far as I know, vegan white chocolate is hard to come by unless you order it online... which is fine, but if a white chocolate craving suddenly strikes who can wait around for delivery? This white chocolate is local to NY so I'm not sure what the availability is in other Whole Foods stores. Here's what it looks like...  

The caramel color comes from the coconut sugar and even though the chocolate isn't exactly white in color, it sure does taste like white chocolate. And it is soo good. 

The moment I found this I knew what I had to do with it... white hot chocolate. I've only had white hot chocolate once, ever. I remember it being sweet and delicious. Why not try to add some pumpkin to it?

Vegan Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
  • 2-3 oz. vegan white chocolate (I used 2 of these bars, which are 1.4 oz each)
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • pumpkin pie spice, for dusting
In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate in the soy milk over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin and whisk to incorporate. Heat through just enough so the mixture is hot, but try not to let it bubble or it will start to caramelize and burn onto your pan. The mixture is thick so if you want a thinner drink add a bit more soy milk. Pour into a mug and dust the top with pumpkin pie spice. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin Chai

I love me a good chai. Whether hot or iced, could there be a more perfect drink? I think not. Here's an autumnal version of the classic drink.

Pumpkin Chai
  • 1-2 cups brewed black tea
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/12 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves, allspice, cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 star anise
  • non-dairy milk, optional
Begin by brewing your tea, then set it aside. In a small sauce pan combine pumpkin, water, sugar and spices. Cook this mixture over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. You want the spices to infuse the pumpkin. Taste it as you go and adjust the sugar and spices to your own tastes. I don't like it very sweet so I kept the sugar low, but I like it very spicy so I actually upped the spices. (I think I upped too much- I doubled the spices and lost the pumpkin taste. Keep that in mind if you want to add more spice.)
Once your spice mixture is ready add 2 tablespoons of it to your cup and then fill with your brewed tea. I topped mine off with some warmed coconut milk.

Feel free to chill your spice mixture and enjoy your tea on the rocks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa

What's better than taking a walk on a chilly fall night with a steamy cup of hot cocoa to keep you warm? Make it even more comforting spiked with pumpkin flavor and the perfect blend of fall spices.

Pumpkin Spiced Hot Cocoa

  • 1/4-1/2* cup Pumpkin Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Dandies marshmallows & cinnamon to garnish
In a small sauce pan, warm the pumpkin syrup and soy milk over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder making sure there are no lumps.  Bring to a simmer but continue to whisk so that it does not scorch. Pour into a mug and sprinkle with cinnamon. I topped mine with Dandies marshmallows but I think Sweet & Sara's pumpkin spice mallows would make this drink extra special.

*I used only 1/4 cup of pumpkin and the flavor was subtle while the texture was very smooth and creamy. Use the bigger amount if you want more pumpkin taste.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

VeganMoFo - Hot Pumpkin Cider

Well here I am racking my brain to come up with pumpkin drinks for y'all. On this cool, blustery fall day cider is the first thing that comes to mind. Doesn't get more fall-ish than cider.

Hot Pumpkin Cider
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups apple juice (I juiced about 4 apples. If you don't have a juicer, feel free to use your favorite apple juice or cider. Just make sure the only ingredient is... apples.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Whisk over medium heat, bringing it up to a simmer. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and drink immediately. (Note that if this drinks sits, the pumpkin will begin to separate.)

My 12 year old brother tasted it and said, "Oh, that's really good. It tastes like pie. I like it." But then added, "I think it would taste better cold, though."

Monday, October 3, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin White Russian

Ask, and you shall receive!
Time to get your drink on with pumpkin beverage number three...

Vegan Pumpkin White Russian
  • 1/8 cup vodka
  • 1/8 cup coffee liqueur 
  • 1/8 cup Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I used Silk Almond)
Mix all ingredients together in a glass measuring cup. Pour over ice. Drink up, dude. 

(Be sure to check out Barnivore for your responsible vegan boozing needs.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin Spice Latte

Hmm, do I see a theme emerging here..? Only time will tell....
I promise this will not become a month of pumpkin beverages (unless you want that...) but this one was just begging to be made.

I'll admit that at this time of year I am one of the crazies that shell out too much moola at S'bucks (vegans- please see the link in the comments about the Starbucks version of this beverage) for a pumpkin spice latte. I guess it goes without saying that a little leftover pumpkin butter really got the wheels turning here. Who would've thought?
This homemade latte requires a few steps but is not complicated at all. You'll need to start with a simple syrup.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin butter 
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
In small sauce pan heat all ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly. When small bubbles form around the edges you're all set! Remove from heat and store any unused portions in a tightly covered container in the fridge.
Now for the main event...

Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Syrup 
  • 2 shots of espresso 
  • 1/4 cup steamed soy milk 
Start with the pumpkin syrup in your mug. Pour the espresso over the syrup and stir. Slowly add the steamed soy milk and top with foam. Sip slowly and savor!

Note: I thought 2 tablespoons of syrup would be a lot, but the flavor was very subtle. If you like a strong taste of pumpkin (like moi) then you'll want to add more. Perhaps double it.

Fret not friends! You do not need to own fancy coffee equipment to create a homemade latte. Instead brew 1 cup of strong coffee and warm your soy milk on the stove top.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

VeganMoFo - Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Happy Vegan MoFo!!

To celebrate, I made you a delicious beverage!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
Blend! Drink!

I swear this smoothie is my genius brain child. I had this jar of pumpkin butter sitting around foreverrrrrr. Finally I used a tiny bit of it, but soon realized that I just wasn't going to finish it up in time and was afraid it would go bad. So I stuck it in the freezer. I forgot about it in there for a long time. A few days ago I was craving a different kind of smoothie, and with fall looming about, pumpkins must have been on my mind. I peered into the freezer and there was my answer. After defrosting in the fridge I knew this pumpkin butter was the key to my smoothie woes. Damn was I right!

Pumpkin butter is so perfect for a smoothie because it is spiced up nicely with all the right fall flavors and as an added bonus, mine did not contain any sugar. If you want your smoothie sans added sugar be sure to check the label (if using pre-made).

Try it out guys! What do you think? How about apple or pear butter?? Homemade peach jam? The possibilities are endless!

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