Cherry Plum Jam

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Cherry Plum Jam ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.”Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you have access to any fruit trees in your neighborhood then I highly encourage you to try your hand at canning some jams and jellies. Jam is easy to make, and very inexpensive when the fruit is picked from the tree for free. 🙂 If you don’t have any canning jars you can always use recycled, store-bought nut butter or jam jars.

Homegrown, homemade jam makes nice gift with a little bow tied around the jar. How often do you receive homemade goodies these days? I think people appreciate receiving something that you made yourself, that took some time to prepare, and that comes from the heart.

There are a ton of great jam and jelly recipes on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Jam Fact: The average American consumes about 5 pounds of jam per year, so why not make your own?

Purple Passion Fruit

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Passion Fruit ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grab an apple – or grapes, or strawberries. Something that’s healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.”LL Cool J

When I found some beautiful, fragrant purple passion fruits at my local grocery store I just had to try them. I’ve never eaten passion fruit before and the smell was intoxicating, like perfumed fruit punch. I later learned that they smelled of Kool-Aid to me because passion fruit is often used in juice mixes to enhance their aroma.

I had no idea what these little gems were going to look like when I cut them open, and boy was I was surprised by what I found. The peels are full of orange gel-encased seeds. To eat passion fruit, you scoop the seeds out with a spoon (leaving the white rind behind) and swallow them whole. Apparently this is because the seeds are bitter when chewed. Although sweet-smelling, these were surprisingly tart. This wasn’t a bad thing though, as they tasted magical and marvelous!

If you think passion fruit is interesting-looking, check out passion flowers!

Grand Vegan Breakfast

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Grand Vegan Breakfast ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog
“Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.”Marlene Dietrich

This phenomenal meal from Betty Goes Vegan by Annie & Dan Shannon (page 25) hit a grand slam in our home. Truth be told, we actually had this for dinner, not breakfast! Here’s what you’re looking at:

  • Newfangled Baked Beans (made from pale ale beer, cannellini beans, molasses, onions, and seasonings)
  • Fried Vegan Eggs (we were not successful in injecting the tofu slices with the cheezy sauce as written in this recipe, but dolloping it on top totally worked!)
  • Lightlife Gimme Lean vegan breakfast sausage
  • Roasted Breakfast Potatoes with onions, bell peppers, and herbs
  • Lightlife Vegan Bacun’
  • Toast and jam

Served with Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, and fresh orange juice.

Breakfast Fact: According to a Harvard University – Massachusetts General Hospital study of children in Philadelphia and Baltimore schools, students who usually ate breakfast had better math grades, higher standardized test scores, decreased absences and tardiness, reduced hyperactivity and improved social relations in comparison to children who seldom ate breakfast.

Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread

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Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
Mahatma Gandhi

This tantalizing recipe is from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Romero, page 228.

Bursting at the seams with fresh cranberries, walnuts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange zest, and spices, this is just the thing for those chilly winter mornings. You can make this recipe soy-free by substituting your favorite dairy-free milk for the soy milk called for in this recipe. We used creamy, omega-rich hemp milk.

Cranberry Facts: Native Americans used cranberries, fat and ground venison to make a survival cake known as pemmican. They also used the fruit in poultices and fabric dyes.

Cranberry-Walnut Bran Muffins

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Cranberry-Walnut Bran Muffins ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking and Food Blog

“Give me liberty or give me a bran muffin!”Colin Mochrie

For these healthy, yummy breakfast muffins, we adapted the Ginger-Raisin Bran Muffin recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moscowitz, page 49.

We didn’t have any raisins about, so we substituted dried cranberries for the raisins and we topped each muffin off with a walnut half. We also chose to omit the crystallized ginger called for in the recipe. Even though crystallized ginger is scrumptious (we’ve made these in the past and included it), we wanted to cut back on the sugar this time around, so we just added some extra ground ginger instead.

Cranberry Facts (from Wikipedia): In the 1880s, a New Jersey grower named John “Peg Leg” Webb discovered that cranberries bounce. Instead of carrying his crop down from the storage loft of his barn, Webb poured them down the steps. He noticed that only the freshest, firmest fruit reached the bottom; rotten or bruised berries didn’t bounce and remained on the steps. This discovery led to the invention of “bounceboards”, tools used to separate rotten berries from fresh ones.