Tag Archives: gluten-free

Product Review: Tres Latin Foods Pupusas

16 Nov

Tres Latin FoodsTres Latin Foods is a Boulder, CO based company that was born in 2008 when their pupusas were first sold at a local farmer’s market. Six years later, their products can now be found in the freezer section at Whole Foods Markets and other natural grocers across the country.

So, what is a pupusa? It is a Salvadoran corn tortilla stuffed with a variety of ingredients. Similar to the South American arepa, the pupusa is different in that it is filled prior to cooking, and uses a special treated corn dough (source).

Black Bean & Sweet Corn PupusasTres Latin Foods currently offers one vegan flavor, which is their Black Bean & Sweet Corn pupusa. With just five simple ingredients, these pupusas are gluten-free and use non-GMO corn masa. One 10-ounce box contains four 2.5-ounce pupusas.

I first elected to try these plain, straight out of the oven. Upon first bite, I was greeted with a nice dose of refried black beans accented with a little sweet corn, a couple pinches of salt and a touch of olive oil, all encompassed in a nice, soft corn masa pocket. Simple but delicious. While the folks at Tres Latin Foods recommend eating these with a type of cabbage relish called Curtido (which they graciously provide the recipe for both on their website and current product packaging), I opted to enjoy mine with some of my Perfect Guacamole. These pupusas certainly don’t need any help with flavor but the addition of guacamole raised them to a whole new level. Needless to say, I was left wanting to buy a couple more boxes!

My only complaints are that I wish there were more vegan flavors to try (potato perhaps, or even something with vegan cheese), and that these pupusas were larger, or came six, or even eight to a box. Perhaps down the road I will get my wish!

Black Bean & Sweet Corn Pupusas with Guacamole

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NOTE: The product noted above was a free sample provided by Tres Latin Foods, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

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Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

17 Aug

Poppy seeds, which come from the opium poppy plant, are widely used in European, Indian and Jewish cuisines (source). A very good source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin, these tiny seeds help provide healthy bones, heart and nervous system (source).

Fun fact: though opium is harvested from seed pods and not the seeds themselves, poppy seeds do contain small amounts of opium alkaloids, therefore can sometimes cause a false positive reading for opiates in drug tests (source).

Lemon and poppy seed are two foods commonly combined. Not only do they compliment each other flavor-wise, the vitamin C in lemons assists poppy seeds with iron absorption (source).

As you may have noticed, I’ve been dabbling in gluten-free baking and seem to have found my ideal ratio of gluten-free flours and starches. The addition of xanthan gum provides a slightly chewy feel, which mimics that of gluten. Check out this recipe for moist, Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yields 12 muffins

zest and juice from 1/2 organic lemon (approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons juice)
1 cup regular unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.

Place lemon juice in a 1-cup measuring glass and add coconut milk until level reaches the 1 cup mark. Stir and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients (including lemon zest) in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until combined. Add oil, lemon extract and coconut milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for approximately 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture.

Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

GlutenFreeLemonPoppyseedMuffins-CloseUp

Product Review and Recipe: FoMu Ice Cream

8 Jun

FoMu Premium Alternative Ice CreamOne thing I love about the vegan lifestyle is that many of those involved are committed to the environment, and the folks at FoMu are no exception. Specializing in premium alternative ice cream, the company’s ingredients come from local sources, their disposables and packaging are compostable or recyclable, and their stores are built from recycled materials (source).

Based out of Watertown, MA, FoMu (short for “faux moo”) started making and selling their gourmet ice cream in 2011. FoMu’s products are 100% plant-based and certified kosher, using organic ingredients whenever possible, and sweetened with agave nectar and unrefined cane sugar. Not only are their ice creams, toppings and inclusions made from scratch, most of their ice creams are coconut-based, some of which are free from gluten and nuts.

Upon first glance at their list of ice creams, my interest in FoMu was piqued when I noticed flavors such as Avocado and Bourbon Maple Walnut. Alcohol in ice cream? Yes, please! Should you not be the adventurous type when it comes to ice cream, have no fear, among their current selection of 21 flavors, FoMu offers classics such as Mint Chip, Strawberry and Vanilla Bean.

If you don’t live on the east coast, this will come as great news to you: FoMu ships their ice cream to nearly anywhere in the Contiguous United States! With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy some of this sweet, creamy goodness.

FoMu Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Banoffee Pie
The word I would use to describe this ice cream is magical. FoMu’s Banoffee Pie is a banana and toffee ice cream studded with dark chocolate chips and graham crackers. Basically it is a pie turned into ice cream. Clever! The various inclusions in this ice cream go very well together, with each bite giving you different flavors to enjoy. Banoffee Pie is perfect for anyone, especially the kids.

FoMu Cake + Batter Ice Cream Cake and Batter
Tied for first place as my favorite FoMu ice cream, Cake and Batter is vanilla cake batter ice cream with chunks of homemade cake. I find this particular flavor to be refreshingly sweet, and the chunks of chocolate cake bring it to the next level. This is one of those ice creams that someone could easily eat a whole pint of if left to their own devices. It’s sinfully delicious!

FoMu Dark & Stormy Ice Cream Dark and Stormy
The most creative and mature ice cream of the bunch, Dark and Stormy is fashioned after the popular cocktail, which features dark rum, ginger and a hint of lime. With a softer texture, this gluten-free ice cream is ready-to-eat right out of the freezer. Upon first bite, Dark and Stormy has a strong ginger flavor, which is a bit overpowering for my tastes; however, this ice cream is an excellent choice for those who like the spice. The ginger provides a very slight kick, which is accented by the rum undertones.

FoMu Salted Caramel Ice Cream Salted Caramel
I like salted caramel and am somewhat of a self-proclaimed caramel snob. There is a particular sweet to salty ratio that needs to be met in order for me to approve of it. When I tried FoMu’s Salted Caramel ice cream, I was very impressed! The salted caramel flavor is excellent and keeps me going back for spoonful after spoonful. One minor thing I noticed, however, is a slight burnt aftertaste. Depending on how you look at it, it can be a good thing as it adds an extra dimension of flavor. This gluten-free ice cream is tied for first place as my favorite of the bunch.

I’ve always enjoyed going against the norm by having breakfast for dinner, so why not have dessert for breakfast? Feeling adventurous, I wanted to try melting one of FoMu’s ice creams and using it in pancake batter…it worked! These pancakes are gluten-free (if you use a gluten-free ice cream) and can be flavored with any ice cream of your choosing.

Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Pancakes
Banoffee Pie Ice Cream Pancakes (pictured above)

Gluten-Free Ice Cream Pancakes
Yields 8 (5-6 inch) pancakes

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup + 4 teaspoons gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup + 4 teaspoons potato starch
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
pinch salt

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup gluten-free FoMu ice cream, melted*
1 cup regular unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons canola oil

In a medium-size bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Heat a non-stick frying pan or pancake griddle over medium heat. Pour approximately 1/3 cup batter into the pan.

Allow pancake to cook for 30-60 seconds, or until bubbles form and edges lose their gloss. Flip over and cook an additional 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove and place on a paper towel-covered plate.

Repeat until all batter has been used. Allow to cool slightly before consuming.

*There are currently four FoMu ice cream flavors that are not gluten-free: Banoffee Pie, Chocolate Brownie, Cake and Batter, and Cookie Dough.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pancakes
Salted Caramel Ice Cream Pancakes (pictured above)

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NOTE: The products noted above were free samples provided by FoMu, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

Product Review and Recipe: UB Super

10 Apr

UBSuper-LogoLiving proof that “you are what you eat,” Scott Kanyok nursed himself back to health after suffering from a chronic upper thoracic injury in addition to being involved in a life-threatening bicycle accident. By nourishing his body with a mix of superfoods, protein, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics, the first UB Super Protein Superfood Nutritional Shake was born and Kanyok is now thriving (source).

Given that I am a runner, I find nutritional protein shakes very beneficial after a workout. Each packet of UB Super provides at least 15g protein in addition to 10 superfoods and a complete amino acid profile, and is free from gluten, soy and GMOs (source). All you need to do to enjoy one of these tasty shakes is to place one (1.2-ounce) packet UB Super in a drinking glass or shaker bottle and add 10 ounces of water or non-dairy milk of choice.

Today I am reviewing two UB Super flavors: Chocolate and Vanilla.

UB Super Chocolate UB Super Chocolate
Choosing to mix mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, I found the chocolate flavor and amount of sweetness to be very pleasant as if you are drinking chocolate milk. I could also taste slight earthy undertones which is a testament to all the beneficial nutrients contained within. One minor thing I wasn’t a fan of are the small flecks of solids in the smoothie. An easy and likely remedy for this though would be to put it in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Very tasty nonetheless!

UB Super Vanilla UB Super Vanilla
I enjoyed the pleasant vanilla flavor of this product and the amount of sweetness was just right. Feeling adventurous, I decided to create a muffin recipe that utilizes UB Super Vanilla. In addition, I made it gluten-free to continue the theme. As you likely already know, baking is a science, and for me, gluten-free baking even more so. The result of my baking experiment is sweet little tasty muffins. While a little dense, these guys are not only full of beneficial superfoods, prebiotics, probiotics and various nutrients, they also have a nice touch of chocolate goodness.

UB Super Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Vanilla Muffins and UB Super Chocolate Shake

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Vanilla Protein Muffins
Yields approximately 16 muffins

1-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 cups regular unsweetened almond milk
1 (1.2-ounce) package UB Super Vanilla protein powder
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup gluten-free chocolate chips

Place apple cider vinegar in a 2-cup measuring glass and add almond milk until level reaches the 1-1/2 cups mark. Stir and set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add oil and almond milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for 1-2 minutes to incorporate air into the batter.

Stir in chocolate chips by hand, just until mixed and set aside, allowing to rest.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.

Once oven has preheated, divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Allow to cool slightly before consuming.

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NOTE: The products noted above were free samples provided by UB Real, which has no affiliation with Vegan Food Addict. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely that of Vegan Food Addict and do not necessarily reflect that of others.

Oil-Free Pesto-Grilled Potatoes

8 Aug

Oh, how I love pesto! And potatoes. And a hot grill. Grab some aluminum foil and you’ve got a great dish.

Living in a climate with a rather ugly winter, we make the most out of summer in our home. Fresh basil, just the scent of it, is the spirit of summer in herb form. I’ve always loved pesto but I don’t want all the oil found in all the recipes. The beauty of this recipe is that you get the bright, verdant flavor of pesto without the oil because we will be using an aluminum packet over a grill, locking in the flavors and the moisture of the sauce.

NOTE: For those without a grill, you can achieve the same results with a parchment packet in the oven at 425 degrees, cooking the same length of time as on the grill recipe below.

Pesto-Grilled Potatoes

Oil-Free Pesto-Grilled Potatoes
Yields 4-6 Servings

2 cups fresh basil
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons organic lemon rind, grated
1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds Yukon Gold or baby potatoes

First, make your pesto by placing all of the above ingredients, except for potatoes, into a food processor and process until it is a paste. Add stock by the tablespoon if it is too dry and not coming together.

Wash potatoes and slice into halves or quarters. Very small potatoes can be left whole.

In a large bowl, add the potatoes and 1/3 – 1/2 cup of pesto.

Lay a large sheet of foil, add the potatoes and fold over the edges to make one sealed package. Cook over a hot grill for 20 minutes, turn with tongs and cook for 15 more minutes. Enjoy!

Marla RoseMarla Rose is a writer, mother and activist.
She recently relaunched VeganStreet.com and is co-founder of Chicago VeganMania.

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