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Monday, August 25, 2008

(Hemp) Milk and Cookies

First off, a brief product review/comparison of one of my favorite "vegan-y" things: Hemp Milk!
No offense to our dear friend soy, but hemp milk and hemp in general, is such an awesome thing to have in a vegan diet! Great protein, fatty acids, calcium, fiber, etc. etc.
There are two kinds of hemp milk that are really popular out there and I will quickly address them both: one is like heaven in an aseptic package, and the other is, I hate to say, almost vile.

First, Living Harvest Hemp Milk (original flavor)....
This is my favorite thing to put on granola, cereal, in smoothies and ice cream, or just have a huge glass of with cookies or a big, fat PB and J sandwich. It is so thick and creamy and not too sweet, and it has a distinctive flavor, but no bad aftertaste or funk. Pure yum. I'm not sure how they milk a hemp, though :)

Then, there's Manitoba Harvest Hemp Milk (also original flavor)...
I was really excited about this product because it is made with whole hemp seeds and is certified organic and the nutrition is wonderful. Unfortunately, I could barely finish a glass. I was nearly gagging because of the taste. I am NOT picky normally and I can find good things about most foods, but I could not drink this. I feel really bad, because I'm sure this is a wonderful company, and, besides the taste it is a good product. But I must be honest and this is honestly undrinkable.
Now for the good stuff!! I was in a baking mood this week and that copy of My Sweet Vegan keeps staring at me in my apartment, so what else was I to do?!

First, I made a batch of scones to have for breakfast this week before going to classes!
I was inspired by Hannah's use of peanut butter as a butter or shortening substitute in the Chocolate-Glazed Peanut Butter Scone recipe in My Sweet Vegan. But I decided to mix it up a bit and swapped almond butter for the peanut butter and nixxed the chocolate glaze...instead, I added a big handful of dried cherries to create these Cherry-Almond Scones!

These were SO wonderful! They were dense and flaky like a good scone should be, but not bran-muffiny or anything. They are a little sweet, but also have a nice savory quality from the nut butter! Perfect for slathering with Earth Balance or some cherry preserves...and definitely delicious with a big 'ol glass of Hemp Milk (Living Harvest, of course)!!

Cherry-Almond Scones (makes 4)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 Tbs turbinado sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 T margarine...Earth Balance, baby!!

1/4 cup almond butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup soymilk

1 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or just spray it with non-stick spray like I did. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the margarine into small pieces an use a fork or pastry cutter to cut in the margarine and almond butter into the flour mixture. When the mixture is coarse and crumbly, add in the vanilla. Slowly drizzle in the soymilk, one Tbs at a time until the dough becomes cohesive...but don't overwork it. Work in the dried cherries just a little bit so they are evenly dispersed. Drop the ball of dough onto a floured surface and shape into a circle, about an inch thick or so. Cut into four wedges and space evenly on cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Then, let them cool slightly, and slap on some Earth Balance and jam, then enjoy for a guaranteed great morning! (Adapted from Hannah Kaminsky's My Sweet Vegan)

To celebrate the ending of summer and satisfy my sweet tooth, I also made cookie sundaes! The peanut butter-banana-chocolate trifecta is my favorite combination in the world, so I made peanut butter-banana ice cream from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. For the sundaes, I put a big scoop of the ice cream.... (here she is in my ice cream maker, gettin all pretty and creamy)

Then, I baked a batch of Chocolate-Chocolate Chip (sans walnuts) Cookies from Veganomicon. I put two yummy cookies in the bowl with the ice cream... (here they are on the cooling rack, lookin all chocolatey and naughty)

And voila! A yummy ice cream-cookie sundae! Perfect for a summer treat, or anytime you want to be happy :) If I had some in my cupboard, I would have topped these with some vegan whipped cream, chopped nuts, or chocolate sprinkles...but I'm broke. And these were still great!

(They were even better because we enjoyed them while watching Sailor Moon on DVD!!)

1 comment:

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I LOVE Living Harvest Hemp Milk. I am not a fan of soy, well, much at all, and rice milk is thin and has a funky aftertaste, so when I found this, I was so excited. That sucks that the organic variety is gross, but thanks for writing about it, now I don't have to experience it myself.

And those scones and cookies! What a perfect addition to the milk!