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This is not your ordinary, add a little vinegar to silken tofu type schmear.  This schmear is the real thing.  Better than any store bought spread.  So good it should be illegal...well,  you get the picture.
This is a time intensive recipe, unless you have a constant supply of vegan yogurt.  If you make your own yogurt (and you should, its easy) this is a breeze.  I would like to thank Miyoko Schinner from Miyoko's Kitchen for the original yogurt recipe (her original recipe comes from Artisan Vegan Cheese or a youtube video online).  The idea of "trial and error" in creating this schmear comes from Miyoko's recipes in her AVC cookbook.  Onto the recipe:

This is the original probiotic I use to make yogurt

Schmear can be used for Spreads, Bagels, Italian food, As a "puffy liquid cheese", On baked potatoes, As sour cream and a really excellent Egg Substitute

(Money Saving Tip:  I use Kirkland (Costco) plain soy milk (plus cashews) to make vegan yogurt.  I use less cashews than Miyoko states in yogurt recipe, this is probably due to starch in the Kirkland Soymilk.  Turns out wonderful.) 

Yogurt maker (I use a eurocuisine YM100), glass container with lid that holds 3-4 cups, bottom blade blender (I use Vitamix), silicone spatula

*  1/4 cup of soy milk soaked cashews, soak an hour or so at room temp (rinse the cashews with water before soaking in the soymilk)
*  1/2 cup of soy milk room temperature, I use kirkland (Costco) and it turns out fine
*  2 TBL of homemade yogurt (Miyoko's) (plain, no additives)
*  canola oil, as needed
*  1 1/2 tsps of salt

add soy milk soaked cashews, soy milk and salt to blender, blend until incorporated.  

add the yogurt and then add appox 1/4 cup of oil to blender and blend until thick.  

if it doesn't "set-up" like mayonnaise, add another 1/4 cup oil and blend until its really really thick somewhat like mayonnaise.  (you might have to use a little more oil, or a little less to get the "mayo" thickness).

use spatula to get all of the mixture into the glass container.  Place uncovered container in yogurt machine and let culture for around 2-4 hours.  Keep tasting it every 40 minutes or so after the first hour (it can get a little TOO cultured).

put lid on and refrigerate until completely chilled.   Dry the liquid from lid before 1st use.  Mix before using to get air bubbles out and some of that lactic acid in.  Thats it, its wonderful!!!  In my experience, this has kept a few weeks (or longer, although we eat this stuff pretty fast)


Time Saving Tips

I am introducing a new label on this blog, time saving tips.  This is some of my personal experience, through trial and error.  Time saving, elimination of steps and saving time with clean up.

 will be tagged with "time saving tips" because cutting up tofu, making the marinade and placing in oven with parchment is a lot faster than making a seitan from scratch.  The oven drying takes a long time, but the labor and clean up involved is minimal.


healthful coffee breakfast/crumb cake

No mixer or added sugar.  The cake uses whole wheat, almond butter and a thick spicy oatmeal crumb!
9" cake/pie tin
parchment paper
bottom blade blender (I use vitamix), or you can use oatmeal flour
2 mixing spoons or forks
2 big mixing bowls
fork for mashing bananas
cooling rack


2 - 3 cups of oatmeal ground into flour
1/2 cup canola or light tasting oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp stevia 
The following spices are to your taste level, this is what I use
3-5 TBL ground cinnamon
1 TBL ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground white pepper

This is a very dense cake and batter that I will 
try adding aquafaba
this autumn, but wanted to post while I had the time
CAKE, preheat oven to 375

*  2 medium to large size very ripe bananas mashed very well
*  1/2 cup almond butter
*  1 tsp stevia
*  1/2 cup soy milk
*  1/2 tsp salt
*  1 1/2 tsp baking soda
*  2 cups whole wheat or 1/2 and 1/2 flour

*  1 TBL vinegar (white or cider)

Method  (wash hands)

Tear enough parchment to cover the cake/pie tin and press down or fold into tin

Mix topping ingredients together, adding the oil a little at a time until it sets up like moist sand, taste for spiciness, and set aside

Mix all cake ingredients except the vinegar, then add the vinegar last and pour into the parchment

Scatter the topping on top of the cake batter and somewhat press into batter (don't mix but lightly press) with your hands

Cook in 350-375 degree oven for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, test with a cake tester

You can lift out cake out of parchment and place on cooling rack and let COMPLETELY cool; otherwise, it will be gummy


vegan holiday links

Cheers to good eats and a peaceful holiday season

Veganize Everything:

Vegan Dad:

What the hell does a Vegan Eat?

Gentle Chef: (this is a purchase from a chef who is full time effort and money developing these recipes, the purchase should be well worth it)



english muffins

Taste better, homemade
I'm not promising all the nooks and crannies of the commercial brands we used to eat.  A good tip is low to almost no kneading for the 2nd rising.

big ceramic bowl for dough rising
muffin rings or a plastic cup that measures the size of the english muffin you like
large saute pan
parchment paper
cookie sheet, baking pan
cooling rack
plastic bag or wrap to cover rising bowl
some clean towels
bench scraper
big spoon
rolling pin (french rolling pins are nice, no squeaky handles)
2 1/2 tsps or 1 package of active dry yeast (NOT NOT the self rising type or the pizza dough, or the bread machine type)
3 cups of all purpose flour, or, bread flour
2 tsps salt
1 1/2 TBL sugar
3/4 cup soy milk warmed with 3 tsp of vinegar mixed in to make "buttermilk"
as needed, vegan butter or canola/safflower oil for the bowl
These are not a thick as I wanted.  They were still delicious and better than store bought english muffins.  When I make again, I will roll out to around 2".  We toasted these and made breakfast sandwiches with muffin tin cut out tofu quiche and seitan breakfast sausage.

Workspace and prepping:  Have a very clean, dry, somewhat open, large workspace (like a kitchen island, or a large counter).  Have a clean towel on hand, your bench scraper by your side and around 2 1/2 cups flour, instant yeast, salt, sugar combined in a big mixing bowl, set aside and ready to go.  Have around 1/2 cup flour at the edge of your workspace, on the table top, ready to be dusted and used.

Step 1:  Combine your warm to room temp curdled soy milk with dough and mix with big spoon until becoming bread like (this is the hardest part to explain, it becomes a big ball of dough with a little left over flour, but NOT NOT a bowl of batter. (If you need more liquid use warm tap water)  Lift out of bowl, place on flour dusted work space and incorporate the remaining flour, yeast mixture, folding over until ready to knead.
Step 2:  This is a wet / somewhat sticky dough, not dry like bread.  Dust your hands and work area with the flour you have setting aside, and remove the formed mixture from the bowl, fold it over a couple times, while dusting with flour until you feel you can knead it a little without it sticking to everything.  Start kneading the dough, flipping over and pressing your palm into it, while constantly incorporating more dustings of flour until it forms a ball.  Should take around a minute or two.  I learned from the youtube video that kneading does not matter, its the form of rising (in the plastic bag, moisture i’m assuming) This will form a soft, somewhat sticky ball of dough.
Step 3:  Let the dough ball sit uncovered,  then wash your big mixing bowl with hot, warm water.  Dry the bowl and place a little oil in the botom of the bowl.  Transfer the dough and roll it around to cover with the oil, then cover with the plastic bag and towel and set in a somewhat dark place for around 1 1/2 hours.  This is the first rising.  Clean up the workspace with the bench scraper and leave the flour pile to use for the 2nd rising.
Step 4:  Second rising:  after the hour and 1/2, take the dough out of the bowl and press down on it and start kneading, while incorporating flour if it is way too sticky to work with, around 1 minute?  Place back in bowl and turn plastic bag inside out, then let sit, again, for around 1 hour this time.  Clean your workspace, once again.

Step 5:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and have your rolling pin, muffin tins, spatula and sauté pan oiled and heated until very hot.
Step 6:  When the 2nd rising is complete, dust your hands and workspace with flour, take the dough out of the bowl, press lightly into a small circle, then, using a rolling pin, roll out to around 2" thick then start cutting with muffin tins or plastic cup.  Carefully lift the dough muffins onto the oiled and heated until very hot sauté pan and let cook around 30 seconds, then carefully flip with spatula (if they are too light, flip again and keep cooking another 20-30 seconds, if they are too dark turn the heat down on the sauté pan.  Remove when both sides are brown and move to parchment lined baking sheet, place in 350" oven for around 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.

Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until room temperature.  Store in refrigerator or freeze for use.  When cool, try to pull apart with fingers of use the side of a spoon, makes more nooks and crannies.

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