For all our vegan friends out there, we’ve got your back this holiday season! We checked in with Alyson, our Assistant Store Manager (and one of Rising Tide’s resident vegans) to see what ingredients she uses to make all the magic happen for her family on Christmas.
Here are some vegan MUST-HAVES…from Alyson’s holiday table to yours:
If you have any questions about how to “veganize” your traditional holiday favorites, just ask! We have all kinds of ideas for simple swaps that’ll make your holiday meet YOUR needs.
Sometimes it’s fun to experiment on the holidays, turning your Thanksgiving menu on its head with a lot of new and exotic dishes. Other times, it’s nice to be able to rely on the gold standard of Thanksgiving classics (or if you’re like us, do a combo of the two strategies–that way there’s something for your vegan cousin AND your grandma).
For the more traditional dishes, we look to some of our favorite sources, those that simply never let you down. For the time-tested dishes with a twist, we did a bit more research, but wound up with a vegan side that is destined to be a NEW classic. Bon appetit!
How to Brine and Roast a Turkey
The history of the apple and human enjoyment goes back thousands of years. Greek literary references mention them at about 800 B.C., while archaeological excavations have dated human related apple remains (um, cores?) back to 6000 B.C. No matter how you slice it, apples have been part of human culture long enough to describe some 17,000 (17,000!) varieties.
Thanks to the efforts of apple enthusiasts everywhere, many of North America’s earliest—or heirloom—apple varieties are still available to us today. And thanks to Bill, our Produce Manager, we’ve got a whole bunch of them here at Rising Tide Market!
While supermarket apples look great (uniformly round and shiny), they often lack in taste. And while heirloom apples sometimes look funky (lumpy, pear-shaped, freckled) they can taste absolutely FANSTASTIC, and boast a complexity flavors that will make you think of the historic apple in a whole new light.
Flavor for Days
Do an experiment. Plan an informal tasting of some of these treasured, old-fashioned apples and you’ll find yourself throwing around words usually reserved for wines: floral, honeyed, spicy, aromatic, tart, crisp, lively flavored…with a dry finish! It’s the differences among these apples that we should value, as it is their differences that make some great for cider, others for baking, others perfect for snacking all on their own. Bill can tell you which ones are best for each.
Here at Rising Tide, our heirloom apple varieties will change as they become available throughout the season so you’ll be able to try many different kinds.
Some of the HEIRLOOM APPLES in the store today:
Orleans Reinette: An 18th century French apple with great flavor
King David: Awesome crunch, a little chewy, with a refreshing tart/sweet balance
Cortland: Tart, white flesh and a solid “appley” flavor
Crab Apples: Tiny, sweet and tart with a great crunch
Granny Smith: Tangy-tart, and crunchy
McIntosh: Crimson red with bright white flesh, a pleasant sweetness, and a good crunch
Golden Delicious: Sweet and fragrant with a crisp flesh…a great all-around apple
(Note: we’ve also got heirloom pears, including the tiny, sweet and lovely Seckel pear and all-around crowd pleasers like the Bartlett.)
By the way, if this sort of thing interests you, there’s a great site called the Heirloom Orchardist (http://heirloomorchardist.typepad.com) that will educate you on everything you ever wanted to know about heirloom apples, including the history of each. Fascinating stuff.
And while everyone has their own favorite way to use apples, we’ve got a little something different for you here: a recipe for an Chunky Almond Fruit Spread, adapted from one by Jenny Sugar at POP Sugar Fitness. This simple-to-make snack is healthy, has just three ingredients, and is perfect for lunchboxes or anytime noshing.
Chunky Almond Fruit Spread
Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 5 minutes
apple| 1 medium
raw almonds| 1/8 cup
orange juice| 1 Tbsp
- Remove the core from the apple, and cut into chunks.
- Place all ingredients in a high-power blender or food processor, and blend until smooth but slightly chunky — not too long or you’ll have applesauce.
- Enjoy on crackers, a rice cake or even another fruit. Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container.
Courtesy of Sylvia Fountaine, Feasting at Home Blog
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 mins. + 50 mins. = 1 hour
spaghetti squash | 1 small, about 2 lbs.
butter | 1 Tbsp
olive oil | 2 Tbsp
onion | 1/2, chopped
sliced mushrooms | 12-16oz, cremini, shittake or chantrelles
garlic cloves | 4-6, finely chopped
fresh, torn sage | 3 Tbsp
salt & pepper | to taste
nutmeg | a generous pinch
grated Roman cheese | 1/4 cup
truffle oil| a drizzle (optional)
toasted pine nuts | optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Cut spaghetti squash in half (either way) and place open side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes-50 minutes – or microwave for 12 minutes.
- While squash is baking, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onions until just tender about 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms , turn heat to medium and saute until they begin to release their liquid,about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sage and continue cooking until mushrooms brown, about 4 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper and nutmeg.
- Check squash, by piercing with the tip of a sharp knife to see if it’s done.
- When tender, take out of the oven, turn over and let it cool slightly until cool enough to handle, then scoop out seeds. Scoop out the spaghetti squash into the saute pan with the mushrooms and stir to incorporate. Taste for salt, and add more if necessary. Stir in most of grated cheese, saving some for garnish. Place in a serving bowl, top with remaining cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil and sprinkling of pine nuts.
If you haven’t tried Cacao Nibs, you don’t know what you’re missing. With the crunch of a nut, but the satisfying mouthfeel of chocolate, nibs are bits of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cacao bean (essentially the least processed and most natural form of chocolate). They’re packed with fiber, have free radical (anti- cancer) fighting properties, and have been shown to help prevent heart disease. These nutritional powerhouses are like superfoods on steroids!
Plus, it turns out Cacao Nibs are extremely versatile. Our favorite way to enjoy them is in a smoothie. Rising Tide features Raw Cacao Nibs in two of our yummiest smoothie creations; The Betterfinger (better than a Butterfinger!) and The Boss (named after the man, the legend, Rising Tide founder and owner Jerry Farrell).Try them once–you’ll be hooked.
At home, swap Raw Cacao Nibs for sprinkles on ice cream or cupcakes, bake them into granola or cookies, or use in savory dishes like this salad from Chef Michael Chiarello http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/mixed-green-salad-with-whole-citrus-vinaigrette-recipe.html. And there’s certainly no harm in just snacking on them. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
We’ve got Raw Cacao Nibs for a great price in Rising Tide’s bulk section. At $12.99/lb., they’re $5/lb. less expensive than the packaged kind. Pick some up, get creative, then let us know YOUR favorite way to use them.
We recently renovated our entire Bulk department with an eye toward serving your needs. That’s right–we listened to you and our other customers about the items you use most in your kitchens, and those that you wanted to save money (and packaging) on. And voila, our new Bulk section was born, featuring a bunch of items that are brand new (and pretty exciting, if you ask us!).
Probably the biggest change we made to our Bulk offerings was to add in those items—Organic Almond Flour, Organic Coconut Flour and Organic Coconut Sugar—that let gluten-free and Paleo diet followers bake their own treats and snack foods without breaking the bank. Buying whole foods, baking your own healthy snacks, and making meals from scratch is healthier for you and your family, and with just the tiniest bit of web research you’ll find hundreds of easy recipes out there that are quick, nutritious and delicious (you won’t miss the wheat!)
Some of the best sites we’ve come across for kitchen tested (this is key!) G-F and Paleo recipes include:
We also tested one terrific coconut flour recipe right here in the Rising Tide kitchen, with great results:
When working with Coconut Flour, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Coconut flour is super absorbent, so you’ll need less flour than when using traditional wheat flours. The general rule of thumb: use 1/4-1/3 of a cup of coconut flour in place of 1 cup of grain-based flour.
- Because it’s more dense than wheat flours, adding extra moisture is necessary. Doubling or tripling the eggs in your favorite recipes adds the requisite moisture to ensure baked goods remain moist and delicious.
- Besides eggs, other things that help with binding include sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Flax, chia, guar gum and xanthan gum can also be helpful as they develop an egg-like consistency when mixed with liquid. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg, and just a little bit of the gums can add an extra binding element that mimics gluten.
And here are a couple of tips for baking with Almond Flour, adapted from Danielle Walker’s site, Against All Grain (http://www.againstallgrain.com):
- The finer the grind, the better your baked goods will turn out. On the flip side, the coarser the flour, the grainier the texture of your treats.
- Nut flours burn easily. You’ll be using a lower baking temperature and longer time than you would use with a normal wheat flour recipe. Keep a close eye on your baked goods though, because all ovens heat differently.
- Almond flour is DEFINITELY less expensive if you BUY IT IN BULK. You can store flour in your refrigerator for a month and your freezer for 6-8 months. If you store in the freezer, just remove the portion you need for your recipe and let thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Almond Meal is different than Almond Flour. Almond Meal is ground almonds with the skin ON, while Almond Flour is blanched almonds with the skin REMOVED. In other words, the Almond Flour is more finely ground, and ideal for making, say, a fluffy cake, that is not terribly forgiving.
Good luck baking with your alternative flours. If you make something fantastic, reach out to us on Facebook!