When you get a chance, take a look here at all the darling ways to use paper straws and repurpose plastic ones. You will be charmed at the super cute ideas people have come up with for kids parties and more.
• 1 cup red or green seedless grapes
• 1 cup mandarin orange segments (from 3 to 4 fresh mandarin, satsuma or clementine oranges, peeled and segmented; or one 15-oz. can of mandarin oranges, drained)
• 1 cup canned red tart cherries in water, drained
• 1¼ cups fresh pineapple, chopped (about ¼ of a pineapple)
• 1 cup large flake unsweetened coconut
• 1 cup vegan mini marshmallows, or regular-sized vegan marshmallows cut into sixths (it takes about 10 regular-sized mallows to make 1 cup once they’re cut up)
• 13.5-fluid ounce can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated (you’ll only be using the solid part that separates out when it’s chilled)
• 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
• Seeds from 1 scraped vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Put a medium-sized mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine grapes, orange segments, cherries, pineapple, coconut and marshmallows. If you’re cutting up the larger marshmallows, kitchen shears work great. I cut the mallows directly over the bowl of fruit and stir them in after each few. This helps coat the pieces in fruit juice and reduce the stick-to-each-other factor. I also washed the shears halfway through the process which made for easier and less sticky cutting.
Remove chilled bowl from the freezer. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open from the bottom. Carefully pour off the cloudy liquid and set aside. Spoon the thick white solid stuff that’s left behind into your chilled bowl.
Using a hand mixer, beat for about 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing for another 2 minutes until it increases in volume and looks “whipped”. (Since you’re starting with a fairly small volume, I had better luck using a hand mixer and a high-sided bowl than the wire whip attachment on my stand mixer.)
Gently fold the whipped coconut cream into the fruit mixture. Chill for 1 hour.
ADVOCATE FROM YOUR PLATE — It is so hot. We are so busy, talking, talking … talking! And we haven’t had a vegan recipe here for ages. Boy do we need something cool and refreshing and tasty. And here it is. How about you?
Banana Chai Smoothie Parfait
A deliciously frosty, naturally sweetened, and lightly spiced smoothie parfait topped with crunchy granola, fresh blueberries, chopped apricots, and maple syrup. Serves 2.
Author: Brittany at ilovevegan.com
Banana Chai Smoothie Parfait
5 frozen bananas
1 cup chai tea ice cubes (directions in notes)
2 tbsp coconut cream or coconut yogurt
1 tbsp almond butter
6 pitted dates
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch dried ginger
maple syrup (Pure Infused’s Lavender Chai is a great way to enhance the chai flavour!)
MEMORIAL DAY — Annie McGee, writing for One Green Planet, has had her shares of ups and downs making veggie burgers over the years and so have we. There are many tried and true recipes but McGee takes that extra step for us.
(1) The Base. Start your base with a good plant-based protein or a steady starch.
(2) Add Veggies. Add low-moisture veggies first. Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, root veggies, beets, and so forth, roughly chopped.
(3) Add a Binder. About a 1/2 cup to 1 cup of oats, bread crumbs, prepared quinoa, leftover rice, etc. Alternately, you can use a few tablespoons of binders like flax meal, chia seeds, or hemp hearts.
(4) Kick Up the Flavor. Add some nutritional yeast, garlic, seasoned salt, pepper, freshly picked herbs, or whatever strikes your fancy. The flavors and flavor pairings are pretty much endless. Tip: For a fresh-0ff-the-grill BBQ taste, add some tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke.
(5) Add Final Textures. These are items that should be mixed in by hand, and not processed. Some of the things are too wet and might ruin the texture, some have flavor notes that would overpower the rest of the burger. Examples are apple chunks, jalapeños, blueberries, pineapple chunks, roughly chopped onion, and bell peppers.
(6) Shape and Bake. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Form the batter into patties — you should have anywhere between 8-10 — and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, flip, and bake for about 4-6 additional minutes.
Are you thinking, yeah, but what about the fun of being outside waiting for food fresh off the grill with that outdoor flavor?
Grill vegetables such as potatoes, sweet corn, yams or mushrooms and onions. Wrap them in foil and away you go.
Still not completely doing it for you? Get some totally terrific ideas from these links.