By Jill Ettinger, EcoSalon
Springtime is special. The birds and bees are out and about doting over every gorgeous flower. It’s a vibrant, flavorful time of year; and for the sweet tooth, it’s the berry best vegan dessert time of year!
Who doesn’t love a good dessert? As a vegan, I’ve learned to do without, more often than not, those cakes, cookies, tarts and pies that are usually slathered in butter and full of eggs. I can skip the wintery fruitcakes, pumpkin pies and heavy chocolatey treats, but it’s not quite the same in spring.
Spring is full of so many seasonal yummy berries and fruits that make desserts taste light and fresh, especially when they’re vegan. They’re certainly nothing to feel guilty about…at least not that guilty, anyway. In fact, some of them can be a bit on the healthy side…although, it’s never an excuse to overdo it!
Where to begin? How about the most spring of all treats…
It’s the sweet treat of the season. And while a fruity rhubarb pie is a must, consider some of these other options, veganized:
Of course they’re perfect all by themselves…but sometimes we want to eat fancy foods.
Citrus fruits are available year round, but their true season is winter through the end of May or so. And it’s a good thing because they make some of the best vegan desserts ever.
8. Key Lime Pie
9. Lemon Bars
11. Lemon Cake
New cafe offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and raw fare!
Green Lotus Café is welcoming the public to be among the first to experience the cafe’s unique menu of vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and raw options. Feature items include the Portabella Cheesesteak, Veggie Rueben, and the New England Style Chowder. The café is also a place where people who prefer a gluten free diet can find tasty options like muffins, sandwiches, and pastries. The Green Lotus Café is located at 349 Main St, Hyannis, in the previous La Petite France Café location. The café will be continuing on the tradition of La Petite France Café’s fresh bread baked daily every morning.
About the Green Lotus Cafe
The café is Cape Cod’s first exclusive vegan and vegetarian restaurant. Nate Fanara, owner and chef, grew up on the Cape and was inspired to open the café after his father, John P. Fanara Jr., passed away due to pancreatic cancer. In his father’s memory, Fanara wanted to give Cape Cod a place where great tasting healthy food is the standard. He attended a plant-based culinary program in Austin, TX while working at a James Beard award winning restaurant where he soaked up the progressive food culture. Upon returning to the Cape, he began looking for a way to spread his passion for vegan and vegetarian food. The idea of a restaurant popped up one day after hearing that La Petite France Café had closed its doors. The timing seemed right and after much hard work, he is proud to present to Cape Cod the Green Lotus Café, in memoriam to his father.
Fanara offers his customers a menu “inspired by a passion for life.” He is aiming to banish the old way of thinking that meat-free dining is too “healthy” to taste good. “Just come in and try one of our flavorful soups or hearty sandwiches and you’ll think differently” says Fanara. He plans to utilize as much organic and local produce as possible to give his customers the freshest and healthiest selections.
“It was always my dream to own a business that makes a difference in the community,” says Fanara, “something that would make my father proud.”
Green Lotus Café
349 Main St
Anyone in the area try this place yet? If not, you have to make a trip to the Cape. Awesome!
Is jackfruit the new soy?
The starchy, fibrous fruit is popping up in vegetarian and vegan dishes, serving as the meat substitute du jour for some of the more creative chefs, restaurants—even food trucks.
We first spotted it in the BBQ jackfruit bao—substituting for what might otherwise have been pork—in L.A. at Susan Feniger’s Street, which serves inventive spins on global street food.
”We like to use jackfruit in our vegan baos and tacos because it’s not a processed fake meat,” Feniger told us. “It’s an all-natural plant ingredient that is not processed, and exists in natural world. When shredded and cooked, it takes on almost any flavor, so that it is a natural complement to the spices and flavors we use. We often have to convince meat eaters that it’s not a meat, because they think it is!”
The Seabirds vegan food truck, seen on the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race and an Ellen DeGeneres favorite, also offers the ingredient in globally inspired dishes like taquitos and shawarma—to insanely delicious effect.
Has anyone tried jackfruit?
teriyaki tempeh with sriracha soba noodles
Healing herbs and spices
1. Greek Salad with “Feta” by Lindsay
2. Vegan Mac & Cheese
3. Vegan Pesto Linguine by Maddi
4. Sammi’s Eggplant “Parmesan”
5. Yummy Enchiladas by Jennifer
6. Yummy “Neatballs” by Edwina
7. The Best Nutritional Yeast Dressing by Kate
Nutritional yeast isn’t superhero (see below for why), so I personally don’t mess with it unless I’m making a recipe that specifically requires it to create cheesiness. I don’t avoid it like the plague, I’m not scared of it, but I don’t go out of my way to eat it because I know it’s not a health food. For me, it’s okay to eat occasionally for a little added umph, but if you love it, that’s great.
Why nutritional yeast isn’t superhero according to macrobiotic expert Christina Pirello:
“Nutritional yeast looks great on the surface…it’s deactivated yeast that is a complete protein, rich in amino acids, b vitamins (but not Vitamin B-12, unless it’s fortified with B-12). But, in the end, it’s very highly processed and far from a whole food. Also, it can cause the intestinal chemistry, the pH to be more acidic resulting in a feeling of a bloated belly.”
It’s not the worst and can be used in small amounts when people want cheesy flavor, but it’s not the best, so it’s not superhero. People would be better off choosing white miso for their cheesy fix.”
Do you eat nutritional yeast? What’s your favorite way to use it?
Love using Nooch! It’s used as much as salt in my home.
- Desmond Tutu
Heavy cream can elevate many dishes, but its high saturated fat and calorie content doesn’t exactly make it the healthiest option. And if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, your meals may be lacking that distinct texture from the dairy product. Stop pining and get the creaminess back with these five vegan substitutes!
Avocado: The creamy high-fat content of avocados make them a perfect substitute for milk and cream. Use avocado in baking or as a base for creamy sauces; one of our favorite ways is this vegan creamy avocado pasta from Oh She Glows.
Beans: Pureed beans can offer the consistency you’re missing in those comforting creamy soups. Use canned cannellini beans; not only are the white beans the right hue when substituting for heavy cream, but their mild taste also won’t overpower other flavors in your dish.
Bananas: Who needs ice cream when you’ve got frozen bananas? Keep a few ripe ones in your freezer (peel them and put in a container before you do for easier handling once they’re frozen). Before creamy cravings strike, toss one or two in a food processor or blender with a little peanut butter and freeze for two hours. You’ll have a 150-calorie vegan ice cream treat to enjoy after dinner.
More vegan cream options after the break!
Coconut milk: It’s a convenient and obvious option for many dishes, but watch out for the fat content — like regular cream, coconut milk is high in saturated fat and calories as well. But if you just have to have that creamy taste, this vegan options works as an occasional indulgence. We love to use chilled and whipped coconut cream (from a can of full-fat coconut milk) in desserts like this strawberry coconut cream parfait.
Root vegetables: Like beans, adding pureed root veggies like sweet potatoes or celeriac to sauces and savory dishes adds a thick consistency that is similar to cream. You can try cooked and pureed root veggies in dishes like this delicious-looking vegan mac and cheese, which uses cannellini beans, sweet potato, and nutritional yeast to make a creamy thick sauce that rivals the Kraft version.