Archive for Author Rebecca Coleman

Salted Maple Caramel {Vegan}

I am Canadian, eh? 

I love Tim Horton’s coffee, poutine (have you tried the vegan version at The Spud Shack?), and the ocean. Catherine O’Hara is my hero. I own many plaid shirts. 

I’ve been almost everywhere in this great country, and I love every inch. Except Manitoba. 😉 Kidding! I kid. 

So, when you think of Canada, what immediately springs to mind? I’m gonna say Maple Syrup. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that. 

Salted Maple Caramel (Vegan)

I’ve been to Ottawa and I’ve been to Quebec, but I just recently learned how maple syrup comes to be. 

The maple syrup farmers tap the maple trees in the spring, and collect the sap. What comes out is a clear water. They then cook this up in huge kettles until it thickens and caramelizes into the deliciousness we pour on our pancakes. 

It take 40 times the amount of maple sap or water to make 1 part of maple syrup! So for each 40 litres collected, the result is just one litre of maple syrup. 

As it turns out, some smartypants tasted the water and discovered that it tasted great. Then they did some research on it, and discovered that it actually contains 46 bioactive compounds, like amino acids, prebiotics and electrolytes. Who knew? It’s actually really good for you in its raw state. 

So if you’re the type to reach for a coconut water after a workout or yoga, you might wanna try maple water instead. I don’t actually like coconut water, but this stuff? It’s very drinkable. 

I’ve been experimenting with Pure Maple Water since a friend of mine gave me some. I’ve used it in smoothies, in cocktails (it’s great with bourbon), and I put it in my oatmeal and in my chia pudding. 

But recently, I was wondering if I could take it a step further, and decided to try to use it in a caramel. Turns out, it works pretty well. 

Oh–if you want to try some for yourself, head to The Wellness Show this weekend at the Vancouver Convention Centre. They will be there sampling. 

This is a vegan caramel, and once you’ve made it, it has a ton of uses: 

  • Pour it on ice cream
  • Put it in your coffee
  • Pour it on cakes or brownies
  • Pour it on waffles or pancakes
  • Use it as a sauce for bread pudding
  • Use it for flan or creme caramel
  • eat it by the spoonful
Vegan Creme Caramel

Vegan Creme Caramel. I used this recipe to make the custard

Salted Maple Caramel {Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup maple water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup non dairy milk (coconut or oat work best. Oat is more neutral)

Method: 

  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, place the sugar, maple water and maple syrup. Heat over medium-high heat until all the sugar dissolves and it starts to produce large, slow bubbles. 
  2. Don’t stir, just swirl the pan a little, and allow the sugar to caramelize. This will take about 5-10 minutes. If you are using a candy thermometer, you want to get the sugar to just over 300 degrees. It should be a beautiful amber/caramel colour. Remember you are going to add milk to it, so it’s okay to get it a bit darker than the actual colour you are looking for. 
  3. Remove from the heat, and carefully stir in the salt and 1/4 cup of the non dairy milk. Once it’s incorporated, check to see how thick it is. If you want a runnier caramel, add a little more milk, until you get it to the consistency you like. 
  4. Store in a covered mason jar in the fridge. 

 

Butter Paneer {Vegan option}

It’s the end of January, and let’s be real; comfort food is on the menu 24/7. 

For breakfast most days I have warm maple oatmeal, and lunches are often rice bowls with tofu and veggies, or a hearty soup. I am craving warming, comforting foods pretty hardcore these days. 

Vegan Butter Tofu

And that includes food that’s spicy. Ginger, garlic, chili; as well as cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin are all warming spices that make you feel cosy. Like a hug for your insides. 

 

So a great deal of what I’ve been craving lately are things like laksa, curries, dosas. Warm, comforting, and satisfying. 

Just before Christmas, I had a work lunch with a bunch of my colleagues and we ended up meeting at an Indian restaurant. It was perfect: fluffy white basmati rice and pillowy warm naan bread, along with generous spoonfuls of warm, spicy curry. 

I love Aloo Gobi (which is potatoes and cauliflower), and I’m also a huge fan of chana masala (chickpea curry), but at this particular lunch, I couldn’t get enough of the Butter Paneer. It’s basically the vegetarian version of butter chicken; the sauce is spicy, but also rich and creamy. 

Indian Food

Traditionally, this sauce is made with tons of butter and whipping cream, but coconut milk makes a great vegan whipping cream substitute. 

So I played around with cashews and coconut cream, and came up with a nice, satisfying vegan version of the sauce. Paneer is an Indian cheese, but you can easily sub it out for tofu to get a very similar effect. 

Serve this over basmati rice with a side of naan bread. You’ll want the bread to sop up every last drop of this warming and satisfying sauce. 

Butter Paneer

Butter Paneer

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter substitute
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1″ thumb of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 bird’s eye or Thai red chili, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can tomato sauce (156 ml)
  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml) 
  • 1/4 cup cashews 
  • 200 g (half a package) of either paneer or tofu, cut into 3/4″ cubes

Method

  1. Place the cashews in your blender container, and cover with 1/2 cup of water. Set aside to soak. 
  2. In a large, heavy pot, heat the vegan butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until melted together. Add the ginger, garlic, chilies and cumin and coriander and stir well. Allow to cook in the oils for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to burn (especially garlic, it burns quickly). 
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir well together, allow to cook down for about 5 minutes, until it is starting to caramelize. 
  4. Place the masala (spice & tomato mixture) along with the can of coconut milk in the blender with the cashews that have been soaking, and blend well on high for at least a minute, until smooth. You can run it through a sieve if you are concerned about particulate. 
  5. Pour the sauce back into the pan, and bring it up to just under a boil, and the sauce thickens. Add the cubed tofu or paneer, and stir, allowing them to heat up in the sauce. When everything is heated through, serve atop a bed of basmati rice, garnished with chopped cilantro if you like. 
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