Cherry Plum Jam

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Cherry Plum Jam ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“It is as healthy to enjoy sentiment as to enjoy jam.”Gilbert K. Chesterton

If you have access to any fruit trees in your neighborhood then I highly encourage you to try your hand at canning some jams and jellies. Jam is easy to make, and very inexpensive when the fruit is picked from the tree for free. :) If you don’t have any canning jars you can always use recycled, store-bought nut butter or jam jars.

Homegrown, homemade jam makes nice gift with a little bow tied around the jar. How often do you receive homemade goodies these days? I think people appreciate receiving something that you made yourself, that took some time to prepare, and that comes from the heart.

There are a ton of great jam and jelly recipes on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Jam Fact: The average American consumes about 5 pounds of jam per year, so why not make your own?

Pineapple-Date Bran Muffins

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Pineapple-Date Bran Muffins ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Few of us are aware that the act of eating can be a powerful statement of commitment to our own well-being, and at the same time the creation of a healthier habitat. Your health, happiness, and the future of life on earth are rarely so much in your own hands as when you sit down to eat.”John Robbins

I just love the simple, delicious, and nutritious recipes in John Robbins’ book, May All Be Fed. These tropical delights are on page 233. They are full of pineapple, dates, raisins, and macadamia nuts, and sweetened with maple syrup. We used oat bran instead of wheat bran. Enjoying some warm muffins, a cup of tea, and a glass of fresh-squeezed organic orange juice is a very nice way to start the day.

Pineapple Fact: Pineapples take about 18 months to grow, wowie!

Purple Passion Fruit

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Passion Fruit ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Sometimes you’ve just got to grab an apple – or grapes, or strawberries. Something that’s healthy but maybe a little bit more adventurous, if you can see fruit as adventurous.”LL Cool J

When I found some beautiful, fragrant purple passion fruits at my local grocery store I just had to try them. I’ve never eaten passion fruit before and the smell was intoxicating, like perfumed fruit punch. I later learned that they smelled of Kool-Aid to me because passion fruit is often used in juice mixes to enhance their aroma.

I had no idea what these little gems were going to look like when I cut them open, and boy was I was surprised by what I found. The peels are full of orange gel-encased seeds. To eat passion fruit, you scoop the seeds out with a spoon (leaving the white rind behind) and swallow them whole. Apparently this is because the seeds are bitter when chewed. Although sweet-smelling, these were surprisingly tart. This wasn’t a bad thing though, as they tasted magical and marvelous!

If you think passion fruit is interesting-looking, check out passion flowers!

Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies

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Peanut Butter and Jam Cookies ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”James A. Garfield

My new favorite cookies, these moist, rich, chewy little gems are from Ann Gentry’s The Real Food Daily Cookbook, page 214. These Peanut Butter and Jam cookies went down nicely with an ice cold glass of hemp milk. They are made using barley and oat flours, so they are wheat-free. I love Ann Gentry’s recipes because they contain simple, whole-foods ingredients and they are full of flavor.

Peanut Butter Fact: Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread

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Cranberry-Orange Nut Bread ~ From Vegetate, Vegan Cooking & Food Blog
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
Mahatma Gandhi

This tantalizing recipe is from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Romero, page 228.

Bursting at the seams with fresh cranberries, walnuts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, orange zest, and spices, this is just the thing for those chilly winter mornings. You can make this recipe soy-free by substituting your favorite dairy-free milk for the soy milk called for in this recipe. We used creamy, omega-rich hemp milk.

Cranberry Facts: Native Americans used cranberries, fat and ground venison to make a survival cake known as pemmican. They also used the fruit in poultices and fabric dyes.