Munch Mondays: FoMu

The word “FoMu” sparks a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why? Because it’s the goddess of dairy-free, all natural ice cream. Gone are the days of awkwardly asking “is this flavor vegan?”; You can literally stuff your face with Salted Caramel,  Cherry Amaretto,  Pumpkin Spice, and other flavors til your heart’s content! I recently had a mix of Pistachio & Cookies n’ Cream… delicious. FoMu also offers various smoothies, frappes, and baked goods — all vegan. Check out its menu if you don’t believe me.

FoMu’s base location is in Allston, but it just opened another in Jamaica Plain, home of all that is magical. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, showcasing work from local artists on the walls. (Did I mention the products are local too?) The staff is very friendly and polite. On my last visit I realized that one of the baristas is also in my Sociology of the Mind class so perhaps I’ll kindle a budding friendship over our love of local, cruelty-free sweets. So far the only fault I’ve discovered is the lack of a larger seating area. There are a good many high stools, but only 2-3 tables. How am I supposed to soak in the glory of my ice cream if I’m forced to walk the streets of deep Allston?

For those who don’t have much time to spare for adventures into Allston or JP, pints of FoMu ice cream are available in a variety of flavors. Stock up — you’ll never know when you need an emergency ice cream binge.

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Veganism Myths

Myths often exist because of a lack of knowledge. Ethical Ocean, an online marketplace for ethical products & service in North America,  created this handy-dandy infographic to dispel some common misconceptions about the vegan lifestyle.

(Note: please disregard the unnecessary sex differentiation of protein intake. I acknowledge that adequate protein varies per person according to physical activity, size, and other factors that aren’t essentially sex-related). 

Veganism Myths Debunked

via Ethical Ocean – eco friendly products, fair trade and vegan shopping.

Munch Mondays: Cinnamon Pecan Swirlz

Baked goods are everything beautiful in the world and make up a solid 60% of my diet. What can I say, I love sugary confections. Once upon a time I stumbled upon this recipe for cinnamon pecan swirls and the result was magic in my mouth. I try as best I can to make vegan desserts and this recipe was only slightly non-vegan so I altered it a schmigin. It’s super easy to make & absolutely delicious!

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm puff pastry dough (vegan, like a goddess)
1/2 cup(s) chopped pecans

Directions

Set the pastry dough out to thaw before unfolding or else it breaks at the crease. Sometimes whole pecans are cheaper than pre-chopped— you can buy whole ones and then just crush them by putting them in a Ziploc bag and hitting them with a spoon.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix sugar & cinnamon in a bowl. Unfold thawed pastry dough & lightly brush— or dab over with fingers like me— with vegetable oil. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon-sugar mix. Flip dough over & repeat.
NOTE: the purpose of the oil is to help the cinnamon-sugar mix stick so while you don’t need to drown the dough in it do make sure that it is sufficiently spread.

2. Toss pecans onto the dough and press them in firmly. I generally only do this on one side as it’s less messy and turns out the same.

3. Starting from the short side, roll into a tight log. Sprinkle leftover cinnamon-sugar on the edges. Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes. Cut log into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. In the beginning of the baking process the cinnamon looks gooey on the dough… keep baking until the rolls puff out and look slightly crisp.

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Vegan Sparknotes

If you were to begin the word association game with “vegan” the word most likely to follow would be a type of food such as “eggs” or “vegetables” (unless of course you’re my roommate and spout “TEGAN”). Most people automatically link veganism to a dietary preference. This is by no means off the chart, but veganism is more than what you choose not to put in your mouth or buy from a store.

In 1944, Donald Watson coined the term vegan to mean “non-dairy vegetarian” and later founded the British Vegan Society, who extended the definition to mean “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”. Sixteen years later, H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society and served as both its president and editor to its publication, Ahimsa magazine. As its title indicates, the magazine promotes the concept of ahimsa, that all living beings including animals have a spark of divine spiritual energy and that to hurt another being is to hurt oneself.

Sparknotes: veganism is not just about what you eat; it’s a philosophy of nonviolence that rejects the commodity of sentient, or feeling, animals.

There are many different types of vegans. Some eat eggs from their own chickens, some don’t eat plants heated above 90 degrees, and apparently there’s a controversy about honey. Not all honey is factory-farmed. There exists honey that is made without force, exploitation, or taking more honey than is sustainable to maintain the health of the hive. People who consume honey, but no other animal byproduct are sometimes called “beegans”. What you consume is a personal decision made by assessing your options as relates to local farms, specialty food stores, etc. There is no vegan contract that one signs before becoming vegan. The vegan police are a myth.

Sparknotes: there is no one dietary definition of vegan. The underlying principle is that you’re purchasing and consuming goods that aren’t produced through animal exploitation or commodification.