CHICAGO brands that are included in a natural product show must meet certain criteria. For Natural Products Expo West, which practically took place from May 24th to 27th, several ingredients are not allowed in products on display or in tasted products. The list includes artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners; High fructose corn syrup; Monosodium glutamate; Trans fats, hydrogenated oils and / or partially hydrogenated oils; and synthetic components of the hemp plant.
For the large and growing population of consumers looking for products that they find better for you, it is not enough to leave out such negatives. They want more.
“There’s this fundamental belief that consumers want this new definition of health, mind, body, and social and environmental concerns to be reflected in the food they buy,” said Amanda Helming, chief marketing officer, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), Providence, RI. “But they also want it at the right price.”
Eve Turow-Paul, a Chicago-based food culture analyst, discussed changing consumer interests in a keynote address on May 27th. She highlighted how social and environmental activism, along with new societal pressures and fears, affects food and drink innovation.
The changing market shows no signs of slowing, she said. The growing sustainable food culture is about social justice and mental health.
Citing an original study she conducted with Datassential, Chicago, of 1,100 adults across the country, covering all generations, 84% of Generation Z and 86% of Millennials said they “have a relationship with food.” As in any relationship, participants need to bond in order to strengthen their bond. These “foodie” consumers are products that target the mind, body and planet.
This is fueling interest in plant-based innovations. Research by The Hartman Group, Bellevue, Washington, shows that as experimentation in the field of plant bases increases, there is an increasing critical review of plant claims. Examples include questions about processed soy, palm oil, long ingredient lists, and excessive amounts of sodium or fat in nutritional information.
“Interest in everything plant-based from both consumers and the food and beverage industry has seemingly increased exponentially during the pandemic,” said David Wright, senior marketing manager at The Hartman Group. “While the plant-centered diet is a mainstream momentum target, the importance of the plant-based label itself is being watered down for some consumers.”
For this reason, many participants in Expo West presented the next generation of plant-based foods. With the products, the focus is on the plant, with all fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes or grains becoming the product feature. You’re trying to tell a story about using local recipes to upcycling by-products.
Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Hector Saldivar, founder and chief executive officer of Tia Lupita Foods, Tiburon, California, has been producing a clean label hot sauce line since 2018, based on a family recipe that is passed on to his mother, Tia T. became Lupita – and now to him. His latest products are grain-free tortillas and grain-free tortilla chips, both made from nopales cactus, also known as prickly pear, and okara flour.
The latter is a high-fiber, protein-rich flour that is obtained from the soybean pulp used in soy milk production. Ground into flour, it’s a versatile ingredient with a neutral taste that is described as slightly milky or nutty. It’s light in color, so it’s easy to mix into most flour-based products. Okara flour also has several functional advantages, including high water and oil binding properties, according to the company. This improves moisture retention and can extend the shelf life of baked foods and tortillas. But it is the use of cacti that is very important to Mr Saldivar.
“The cactus is a superfood with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Mr Saldivar. “And it’s 100% resilient to global warming and climate change. We like to say we’re saving the planet one taco at a time. “
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization believes in the future of cacti in the food supply chain. The organization said so in 2017 when it identified the nopales cactus as a sustainable food that can thrive in arid climates. It consists of two edible parts, the fruit and the pad. The pad can be dried and ground into a powder that acts as a gluten-free flour. It is a source of fiber and protein, with negligible fat and sugar. While not a by-product like the okara flour, it is an abundant plant that remains underutilized by the majority of the US population, while it is a staple food in Mexico. The conversion into a powder expands its application possibilities.
Upcycling spent grains is the focus of Barleymilk from Take Two, Portland, Ore. Take Two is more than the name of the company. It’s part of its purpose which is to create second chances. The used barley, a by-product of brewing beer, is a nutrient-rich source of fiber and protein.
“Billions of pounds of spent grains are wasted every year brewing beer,” said Jerek Theo Lovey, co-founder and CEO. “We recycle the spent grains into versatile, transparent and transformative plant-based foods that create a second chance for food, for people and for the planet.”
Matthew Olsofsky, Co-Founder, said, “Our goal is to recycle 500,000 pounds of spent grains this year. Our ultimate goal is to help convert the more than 8 billion pounds of spent grains produced annually into nutritious food and beverage products and to create circular solutions that create positive changes in the food system. “
The company’s first product concept is Barleymilk, a line of chilled dairy-free milk that will soon be included in shelf-stable offerings. The drink is available in four flavors, with one serving containing 5 to 8 grams of whole vegetable protein and 50% more calcium than milk milk, along with medium-chain triglycerides from coconut.
Agua Bonita, Hanford, California, is saving products to make its line of Aguas Frescas, a fruit beverage popular in Mexico known for its sugar formulation, better for you. The new beverage can line is made from upcycled fruits and spices with no added sugar.
“We use absolutely good surplus and ugly products that would otherwise land straight away,” said Kayla Castañeda, co-founder and CEO and a former Coca-Cola executive who decided to make her family’s traditional drink the modern way. “When I was growing up, my grandpa came home from work with bags full of fruit from the field, super ripe because he couldn’t bear to just let them spoil. He taught us that every product is valuable, whether it hits the market or not. “
At the Pitch Slam competition at Expo West, Ms. Castañeda presented to a jury from the industry and a live audience how the fruit can be combined with water and sugar to make a fruity drink. Agua Bonita closes a gap in the fruity beverage segment for consumers who want the benefits of sparkling water with no added sugar, trendy flavor combinations and real juice ingredients.
“In making our beverages, we save products and help prevent food waste,” said Ms. Castañeda.
Dieffenbach’s Snacks, Womelsdorf, PA, while not a new player in the upcycling space, believes the concept of sustainable food supply has caught on with more consumers over the past year. Since 2017 the company Uglies has been producing Kettle Potato Chips, which are made from “ugly” potatoes that are being questioned as cosmetic by today’s retail marketing standards. By April 2021, the company reported that it had upcycled 5 million pounds of irregular potatoes.
“Ugly chips promote environmentally friendly and sustainable food practices,” said Dwight Zimmerman, vice president of sales and marketing. “We recognize our position in the movement to reduce food waste. We understand that farmers face the predicament when they are not perfect, but perfectly edible crops are disposed of as waste, and we are here to help. ”
NewGem Foods, Fife, Washington, is all about reducing food waste while increasing your intake of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Matthew deBord, Founder and President, patented technology for using fruits and vegetables to make food and sushi wraps.
NewGem Wraps can be kept for one year at room temperature. The sushi wraps are formulated to resemble nori seaweed so they don’t tear.
“The high strength makes it easier to wrap sushi and the moist rice makes the wrap softer so that it is easy to bite,” said Mr deBord. “The sandwich wraps are softer out of the box and easily hydrate with sandwich fillings in a minute or two.”
17 vegan pie recipes that are practically perfect
Plant-based desserts are just as important in our repertoire as their buttery, egg-like counterparts. Take those Genius chocolate chip cookies, that fudgy banana brownie cake, that richer mousse, those scotcheroos that’ll stick to your palate. . . in the right sense! They are one of our favorite desserts of all time.
Vegan pies deserve to be in this pantheon too – after all, how could we resist a flaky-crunchy pie filled to the brim with fruit, custard, chocolate, or all of the above? We have put together our 18 best plant-based cakes for our own edification and yours. All you need is a scoop of ice cream (without dairy products).
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Our best vegan cake recipes
1. Perfect vegan cake crust
Before we dive into fruit fillings and creamy puddings, we need to talk about the perfect vegan pie crust. Ours is made with coconut oil (instead of butter or lard or shortening), which makes the crust super flaky and just a little bit sweet.
2. Vegan apple pie
This classic apple number is minimalist (maybe shocking?) – the filling is just apples, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. That means it has a lot of apple flavor and you should use the sweetest, tartest fruit of the season.
3.Ginger apple crumble pie (gluten and dairy free)
If you love the idea of the apple pie but are looking for a grain-free rendition in search of a grain-free rendition, your search can stop now. A tender sorghum-based crust and an oat-like crumble loaded with brown sugar accommodate a spicy ginger and apple filling in between.
4. Raw Mini Key Lime Pies
A grain-free, no-bake version of Key Lime Pie that’s perfect for the summer months. The secret of the creamy, dreamy filling? A ripe avocado.
5. Vegan clementine cake
Fluffy coconut whipped cream, juicy clementines and bittersweet orange jam combine to create a sophisticated dessert that can be put together in no time at all. If you’d rather have one larger cake than several small ones (but who can resist those little cuties ?!), you’ll need to adjust the baking time accordingly. Instead of clementines, summer fruits like peaches or plums would also work well here.
6. Rawsome Treats’ summer fruit cake
Cashew nuts work twice in this recipe, creating a nutty crust and creamy filling ready to be topped with your favorite summer fruit.
7. Vegan coconut lime ice cream cake
Velvety coconut milk ice cream, macerated strawberries and a touch of fresh lime sit on a thick, sweet graham cracker crust. As a shortcut (or if you don’t have an ice cream maker – yet!), You can use your favorite dairy-free ice cream instead of rolling your own.
8. Frozen vegan coconut chocolate almond bars
Coconut, chocolate, and almond. . . Tofu? Yes, you will find all four of the components in these frozen cake bars piled high on a sweet and salty graham cracker crust. This dessert tastes like your favorite hilly, blue-coated chocolate bar. . . catch my drift?
9. Raw, vegan pecan cake
Pecan cake like you’ve never eaten before – you don’t even have to turn on the oven (which is a real boon for Thanksgiving!). Medjool dates and coconut oil make a sticky, caramel-like filling that is peppered with whole pecans.
10. Vegan chocolate cake
Graham crackers and silken tofu come to the rescue again, this time with a deliciously rich, custard-like chocolate cake.
11. Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Tart
If you’ve been as big a fan of (sadly non-vegan) Reese peanut butter cups as I have been, this recipe is for you. It has a creamy, mousse-like filling and a shiny chocolate ganache backed by a crumbly, cocoa-rich crust.
12. No-bake pumpkin pie bars
Another Thanksgiving-ready recipe that doesn’t take up precious oven space. Dates and nuts are our best friends once again.
13. You won’t believe it’s a vegan pumpkin pie
Here’s a vegan pumpkin pie that you probably didn’t even know is vegan. A tender, flaky crust is topped with a thick cashew-based filling that goes wonderfully with pumpkin puree and warming spices.
14. Coconut rum cream cake
Let yourself be carried away to Margaritaville with this delicious coconut cake that happens to be vegan. The Biscoff biscuit crust is the work of the baking king and a few generous tablespoons of dark rum in both the filling and the whipped cream will immediately transport you to the Caribbean island of your choice.
15. Vegan pot pie with herb biscuits
You thought we were just talking about dessert pies, right? No, no, there are also hearty vegan pies for dinner, like this herb pot filled with a mixture of frozen vegetables (don’t judge! You will thank us later if you can easily find this recipe in the dead in winter).
16. Raspberry and white chocolate tartlets with cocoa crust
Instead of using gelatine, recipe developer Amy Chaplin had the super smart idea of using agar-agar flakes for the fruity filling in this vegan cake recipe. The flakes give the berry-chocolate mixture a lot of body and still make it an accessible dessert for everyone.
17. Vegan apricot and cherry galette
OK, it’s not a cake, but it’s not a cake. It’s like every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square. . . to the right? Ignore the math class and focus on this vegan cake recipe. Or galette. Whatever you want to call it, there is certainly no way to ignore the stunning division of sliced apricot wedges and pitted cherries on a gluten-free crust.
Gujarati chef Helly Raichura on challenging Indian cuisine stereotypes
— Discover the convenience of Indian home cooking with Adam D’Sylva, Helly Raichura and Sandeep Pandit on India Unplated, Thursdays at 8 p.m. on SBS Food and streaming on SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, articles, and more. —
People in the west can limit their experience of Indian cuisine by sticking to popular dishes like butter chicken, tandoori, and tikka masala. But India Unplated’s chef and co-host Helly Raichura is determined to redefine the taste of a plate of Indian food. Her company Enter Via Laundry, based in Victoria, offers curated home dining experiences that combine influences and flavors from different regions of India.
Raichura’s personal food journey began in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, a state in western India, where she belonged to a Vaishnav community.
“The food was the highlight of the day for me,” says Raichura. “When I look back, I feel like we were extremely spoiled and I’m happy that I grew up in a household that celebrated good food.”
Sitting together at dinner was a family tradition and a time to enjoy the delicious food her mother had prepared. Most evenings this included a platter of basic vegetarian Gujarati dishes such as chole bhature, khichdi, and bharthu, followed by a glass of chaas.
“When I was allowed into the kitchen in my early youth, I was given responsibility for the preparations,” recalls Raichura. “Me and my brother helped mom soak rice or dahls or cut vegetables or prepare the dough. We weren’t allowed to cook anything just to watch.”
Over the years, Raichura’s love for cooking grew and she dreamed of a career in catering. However, her parents encouraged her to move abroad to study at the university. This led Raichura to Australia in 2007, where she completed a bachelor’s degree and worked as a personnel consultant for the next ten years.
Raichura’s passion for food stayed strong all these years, and the extra time on her first maternity leave led her to start a small cake business. The excitement about this quickly subsided when she found that customers were more focused on the aesthetics than the taste of their creations. This caused Raichura to look for new ways to express her passion and so Enter Via Laundry was born.
At first, Enter Via Laundry was just a hobby and an opportunity for Raichura to cook for family and friends. She served food from a variety of cuisines, simply trying to recreate the atmosphere of family gatherings and celebrations at home.
Inspired to learn more, Raichura sought guidance from Gaggan Anand, owner of the now-closed, Michelin-starred Gaggan restaurant in Bangkok, and Shaun Quade of Melbourne’s Lûmé. These professional kitchens taught their discipline and the importance of making any course a theatrical experience. They also encouraged them to experiment with new ingredients and challenged their technical skills.
The first dish Raichura tried that defined the future of Enter Via Laundry was Khandvi. These silky so-called crpes made from chickpea flour batter were her favorite childhood snack and something her maternal aunt prepared for special occasions. Raichura was drawn to the level of difficulty required to prepare Khandvi and looked forward to showing a more technical side of Indian cuisine.
Khandvi is now Enter Via Laundry’s signature dish and has helped shape the message of the menu.
“Indian cuisine wasn’t represented the way it should be, so I switched from the cooking I learned to being pure Indian,” she explains. “It was more about doing authentic cooking and showcasing and sharing the heritage, influence and culture of Indian cuisine, rather than just being commercially viable.”
“It was more about being able to cook authentically and presenting and sharing the heritage, influence and culture of Indian cuisine.”
The menu at Enter Via Laundry is constantly evolving, as is Indian cuisine. Raichura uses ancient techniques and recipes and combines them with native Australian products such as lemon myrtle and finger limes.
“At the moment I’m just diving in and enjoying every little bit of learning the history and diversity of national kitchens at home,” she says. “Indian cuisine is so diverse, so varied and can still evolve to give way to many different ingredients and locals.”
Raichura dreams of opening a cooking school where she can pass these age-old techniques and educate people about the rich history of Indian cuisine. Now her children are happy students, and she loves that they are curious to learn about her legacy and interested in keeping these traditions alive.
Do you love the story? Follow writer Melissa Woodley here: Instagram @sporkdiaries.
Photos provided by Helly Raichura
Healthier Ingredient Swaps for Desserts: Tips and Recipes
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OK, we’re in favor of enjoying the most decadent, slimiest, richest dessert of your dreams in all of its greasy, sugary glory. But don’t indulge yourself often and keep your portion size moderate. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Well, the last two suggestions aren’t easy for everyone, especially those of us with a daily dessert habit. Instead of discipline and willpower, we bring you healthy dessert ideas with some of our favorite ingredient swaps. Then you can not only post your you-know-what on Instagram, but also eat it.
“I try to feel like I’m not missing out when swapping ingredients,” says Sarah Galla, who started the recipe and wellness blog The Nourished Seedling from her Chicago home in 2015. She is a holistic nutritionist, recipe developer, certified yoga teacher and mother of three.
Galla doesn’t like to say no to dessert because she’s on a diet. That approach won’t work. She loves food too much.
“I don’t like restrictions. It makes me want to do it more, ”says Galla. “If I know that it is doing something good, then it will help me. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself and I get all of these nutritional benefits. “
Galla keeps a jar of ground seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, chia, or flax – to add to her baked goods or oatmeal for added nutrients.
She trades fruit for vegetables, for example beetroot, which are sweet anyway when roasted. Instead of rapeseed or vegetable oil, she uses avocado and coconut oil. She’s also cutting down on sugar and looking for ways to use more natural sugar from fruits or maple syrup, which has the benefit of added vitamins and minerals.
With sweets, it’s always a good idea to increase the fiber as it will make you feel full and keep your blood sugar levels stable, which prevents the crash and the quick cravings that come back afterwards.
“It’s about balance,” says Galla.
These are some of our (and Galla’s) favorite ingredients in desserts.
The percentage refers to how much cocoa is in the bar of chocolate. Cocoa iron, magnesium, and calcium nutrients are the reason chocolate can be good for you. The lower the percentage, the higher the amount of sugar. And don’t use white chocolate if you can avoid it. White chocolate is simply chocolate that has all antioxidant benefits removed and all negative aspects left. Instead of chocolate chips, you can also make cocoa nibs.
If you want to do without eggs, you can still enjoy the cloud-like fluffiness thanks to the bean liquid, also known as aquafaba. Bush’s Beans gave us a recipe for a simple meringue that basically whipped 2 cups of whipped garbanzo bean liquid (this other name for chickpeas) with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use the meringue as usual in any meringue dessert or simply top a spice cake with it.
Galla likes to soak her dried dates, then puree them and use them as sugar. The fruit is quite sugary by nature, but you are also getting more fiber and nutrients like potassium. You never need to add sugar or honey to a smoothie or non-dairy ice cream when you have a frozen banana on hand. Always keep some of them in the freezer, already peeled.
You can use whole wheat flour in a 1 to 1 ratio in some dishes, but it is better to use less whole wheat flour for pastries as it is heavy and won’t flake. It is usually good to swap about ⅓ to ½ of the white flour for whole wheat flour. Then you will get more fiber and nutrients. You can also get more protein and other nutrients by using all sorts of alternative flours, from beans and oats to quinoa and amaranth. (See our beginner’s guide to gluten-free flour.)
Try it in: Whole Wheat Almond Blueberry Muffins
And sometimes instead of some eggs and sugar. You should reduce the liquid in the rest of the recipe, if any, because of the liquid in the applesauce, or use a flour that holds well.
Some recipes call for full-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt, and the ratio is also up for debate, but often it’s a 1 to 1 up to 1 cup ratio. However, due to its thickness, the yogurt must be Greek.
This is such an easy swap for whipped dairy and fillings for people with lactose allergies, vegans, or anyone who wants a more tropical taste. Just chill your can of regular coconut milk and then skim off the heavy coconut cream that solidifies on top. Then beat it with an electric mixer for a few minutes in the same way as heavy milk cream.
Brownies and black bean cookies are a staple at Galla’s home. Take the beans out of a can, rinse and puree. Don’t necessarily make a 1 to 1 ratio with flour, but be sure to cut down on the other liquids in the recipe. “I always pay attention to the consistency,” says Galla.
See how you can incorporate these ideas (and more) into these healthy dessert recipes:
These damp blondies don’t look finished when you take them out of the oven, but resist gratinating. You definitely don’t want dried out blondes. With a little mottled darkness, like a bottle blonde whose roots are showing, but in an intentional ombré way. Style. Get the Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies.
This rich, creamy, chocolatey dessert from The cookbook “The Love and Lemons” has so many exchange options. It’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar, uses almond milk instead of milk, dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet or whole milk chocolate, and whipped coconut cream instead of whipped cream. Oh, and of course there is avocado puree to make it fluffy and silky without dairy. Get the Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Coconut Cream recipe.
Like their traditional cousin, these cookies aren’t difficult to make. All you need is a good food processor or blender to puree the almonds and oatmeal, which are then mixed with spelled flour. Instead of butter or other oils, there is coconut oil. Maple syrup and cherry jam sweetened with fruits add their natural sugar. You don’t have to use a cherry. Go with whatever your jam is. Get the Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Biscuit Recipe.
Cake lovers, rejoice. Eat them in your hand using this recipe that includes a little over 1/4 cup of cane sugar, 1 cup of white flour, and 7 tablespoons of butter. But there are so many more nutrients out there, from the 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour to the 1/2 cup golden beets that are great for your liver. Get the recipe for apple, pear and golden beet sales.
This can be a great choice if you have crazy cookie cravings. We would know. It has lots of swaps in one, from applesauce and Greek yogurt to honey and whole wheat flour. There is no sugar, egg, butter, or white flour in this recipe at all – and you get oats, too. Get the Guilt Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe.
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