Banana Breakfast Bars

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Banana Breakfast Bars ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” Groucho Marx

These scrumptious Banana Breakfast Bars from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Diner, page 128, were a nice change from regular banana bread. More like moist, chocolatey banana blondies, it was a real pleasure to eat these for breakfast. I topped them off with raw walnut pieces before putting them into the oven for some heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Yum!

Banana Facts: A bunch of bananas is formerly called a hand, and a single banana is called  a finger.

John Denver Crêpes

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Vegan Denver Crepes ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Peace is a conscious choice.”John Denver

We prepared these crêpes using the fabulous Your International House of Dinner Crêpes recipe from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero, page 203. We filled them with Denver omelet fillings to make them “John Denver” crêpes: vegan ham, Daiya cheddar cheese, bell peppers and mushrooms. Served with roasted potatoes and red grapes. They were insanely yummy. We’ve been making crêpes a lot since we acquired our handy-dandy new crêpe pan. We will be trying out the gluten-free, chickpea flour crêpe recipe from this cookbook next.

Crêpes Facts: A crêpe  is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour. The word is French in origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning “curled.”

Potato Tire Harvest

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Potato Tire Harvest ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”Marcus Tullius Cicero

I found the idea for planting potato tires in the excellent book The Urban Homestead, by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. Their potato tire instructions are also available here.

Planting potato tires in your garden is great for a lot of reasons. For one, you are putting old tires to good use and keeping them out of the landfill. Secondly, you are growing some of your own food, which is a rewarding and educational experience. I didn’t even know what a potato plant looked like until I planted potatoes myself! Thirdly, potato tires allow you to grow a lot of potatoes in a small space. And finally, since you are planting the potatoes above ground in tires, when it comes time to harvest you won’t have to break your back digging into the ground to pick your potatoes. Instead, you can just pull off the topmost tire and sift through the soil to find your yummy taters.

This is a low-cost, low-maintenance project which can be undertaken almost anywhere with adequate sunlight. We hid our stack of tires in the hedges in our front yard… on a city street! We had a bountiful harvest from our single, three tire stack. We were able to make plenty of homemade, homegrown mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, and oven fries, and I must admit that these fresh potatoes were the best I’ve ever eaten.

Potato Fact: An Englishman named Eric Jenkins grew 370 pounds of potatoes from a single plant in 1974.

Strawberry and Cream Quinoa Porridge

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Strawberry and Cream Quinoa Porridge ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are true super foods. Naturally sweet and juicy, berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients – they are among the best foods you can eat.”Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Having this for breakfast is a really nice way to start the day. Strawberry and Cream Quinoa Porridge is a wholesome, simple recipe from Betty Goes Vegan by Annie & Dan Shannon, page 47. We used omega-rich hemp milk instead of the almond or soy milk listed in the recipe, because that’s what we keep in our fridge. This recipe calls for brown sugar, but I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute maple or agave syrup instead if you wanted to.

Quinoa Fact: Most people who have heard of quinoa think it’s a grain, but technically quinoa is a seed, not a grain, grown high in the Andes Mountains of South America.

Spelt Soft Pretzels

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Spelt Pretzels ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small. Drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive and then I go to work to a job for which I get paid too little. But on pretzel day….Well, I like pretzel day.” Stanley Hudson, from The Office

These warm, salty, chewy-soft gems are from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking, page 174.

We substituted white spelt flour for the unbleached all-purpose flour listed in the recipe because we are always looking for ways to reduce gluten in our diets, and while spelt flour is not gluten-free it is lower in gluten than regular wheat flour. The spelt pretzels came out tasting just like the all-purpose wheat flour ones we’ve made in the past. We sprinkled coarse sea salt and smoked sea salt on top. They were so good hot out of the oven with mustard!

Pretzel Fact: Until the 1930s pretzels were handmade, and the average worker could twist 40 a minute.