At the end of a loooooong day of shipping and packaging orders, running a homestead and school work... I don’t mind caving into my sweet tooth.
We have been so busy recently that it’s enough to make my head spin. I love it but my goodness!
Making taffy has been one of those *things* on my to-do list and today it got to-done!
I decided to play with some fire and NOT individually wrap the candies that are staying at home. I am sure they will begin sticking together eventually but for now they seem fine.
As far as sending some to my taffy loving friend, I did wrap them in mini vegan wax wraps... soooooo adorable! She is sending them back for refills (she’s a smart cookie!).
So here is my SUPER easy recipe, the hardest part of this recipe is judging the sugar stages and pulling. If you have achy hands, maybe find another loyal human to help!
Vegan Salt Water Taffy Recipe
2/3 cup salt water (I like to use a blend of actual dehydrated sea salt from salt water a friend makes and pink Himalayan. About 1tsp of Salt for that perfect “sea salt” flavor)
*ALSO! You may brew a STRONG tea with this salt water and use that to flavor your taffy!
1 1/4 c sugar (I like to use 3/4 regular sugar and 1/4 sugar in the raw. You lay up your raw sugar but remember the color will be reflected in your finished product)
3/4 c homemade or store bought corn syrup
3 Tbsp coconut oil (reserve 1 Tbsp for hands later)
1 Tbsp arrow root or powdered sugar blend
Splash of additional flavoring (check our blog archive for how to make your own!)
Firslty, boil ALL the ingredients listed above, saving addition flavors and your extra 1tbsp coconut oil for later.
This is the tricky part, getting your sugar mix to the correct temp. Every time I use a thermometer, I fail. So my tried and true way of testing is with a cup of cool cup of water. Cook until your sugar mixture forms a sturdy ball. If you drop it in and it’s hard as a rock or splinters, you WAY over cooked it! The ball should be “taffy” consistency. Tough and solid but not IMPOSSIBLE to manipulate.
If you over cook, you’ll have solid candy. If you under cook, it will be sticky as heck. Remember, solid, mailable ball!!!
Once you reach this stage, pour off into a contain (prepped with oil and non-melting, this is HOT) to cool. Once it’s cool enough to touch, start your stretching! This is a work out so get on it!
It should turn a bit of a lighter color as you go. Keep it up!
*If you are making this to give away, please wear gloves. Due to the fact that this does require manual manipulating and Body Oil is virtually impossible to completely strip from your hands. It’s sanitary and safe. I buy bulk biodegradable gloves. I also have kitchen gloves. I can reuse my kitchen gloves many times over just by washing them.*
Once you feel it’s perfect (or you are just exhausted) roll or stretch into a thin amount and cut with some oiled scissors! I do not like to powder these after... but if you want to help avoid them sticking together, go for it. I would recommend a blend of potato starch and powdered sugar.
and ta da! You did it! Congrats! We have officially veganised another recipe!
Love ans taffy things,
-The Smart Girl in Pants
I don’t know if you know... but I love the cold. I would definitely say I’m a winter human. The complete and utter peace when you step outside during a winter’s night is just my space. The humming of lives is calm and quiet. It’s perfect for someone as empathetic as me. The complete calm.
That being said, I also like comfort foods. I, opposite of the summer folk I know, lose a lot of weight in the winter. Possibly due to never wearing a coat and those midnight runs in the snow. But who knows.
To help warm my soul after a good midnight run, I love soups. Not any kind of soup, creamy and thick soups. Meals in a bowl. Yes.
I am still digging up potatoes from this harvest! So winter of potatoes it is.
Our vegan potato soup is Rich, decadent and creamy. I had someone request I even bring it to a thanksgiving meal! Soup at thanksgiving? K!
And Instant pot. Because it’s JUST SO EASY! Ever since my bestie, Carolyn, got me hooked... IVE BEEN HOOKED! I even canned some green beans this year!!!! Low fuss, just toss and press some buttons. It’s made me love cooking again... because it frees up SO MUCH TIME!
If you want to do this on the stove top or Crock, directions below!
Here’s my recipe, feel free to play with any of the measurements!
Creamy Vegab Potato Soup
-2-4 potatoes (if you have tiny ones, 4-5 should do it.) Cubed, I prefer the skins on.
- 3 cups of veggie stock (or just cheat, like I am here and add water. Making the stock as you go!)
-1/2 an onion (I like red or yellow but you do you, sis)
-celery seed (I say about 1/2tsp)
-1tsp holy basil (plain basil or thyme works)
-1 tsp herbs de providence blend (feel free to subby)
-2 large garlic cloves, minced
-1 cup condensed soy milk (or any other plant based milk)
- 4 TBSP Vegan butter sub (coconut oil COULD work but I love the flavor and texture the butter gives)
-3 Tbsp flour
-salt and pepper to taste
*Feel free to add vegan meat subs BUT maybe wait to add them after the pressure cook? Unless you want to just make seitan in the pot, then by all means! You can find my seitan recipe on here and I will update it to include instant pot seitan!*
*I also sometimes add nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste and tons of good-for-me yum! Just add it AFTER cooking!*
*I added some vegan sour cream I made on top and some herb-y goodies.
If you want to do this all in one pot, start with a cup of water, your butter and the flour in the pan. Make a paste and add EVERYTHING else! Stir a bit in to your base paste and mix well to ensure it all comes together. NO LUMPS ALLOWED. Eh, the potato lumps with help later on.
I like to pressure cook for 8 minutes. Naturally release (don’t pop the top sooner or release early) and TADA! I like to smoosh a few potatoes to add to the richness, less water more creamy soup.
Low hassle, perfection ready to go!
For the crock, same as above. Crank it on high and mix your flour mix until it begins to thicken. Then plop it all in! Crock for 3-4 hours, checking often.
Stove top, mix your flour thickener, and plop. Bring to a boil then lower temps to a medium until potatoes are tender.
Next up, Pumpkin soup. Oh let me tell you. It’s a TREAT!
See you in the snow,
-The Smart Girl in Pants
I am a lover of the rich, tangy cold treat. Especially in the winter. I don’t know why but I love a cool treat during a cold day! Weird? Maybe. I even make homemade fo-yo with this. No joke, it’s amazing. Thick and creamy!
It has not been an easy journey finding a perfect vegan yogurt. Soy yogurt was easy, just follow the recipe that comes with the instant pot with soy milk and a yogurt starter. Done.
But I wanted MORE. Or actually, less. I was sick of buying soy milk. I wanted to use my own milk and NOT end up with a watery mess of nasty.
And that is how we arrived here!
VEGAN YOGURT RECIPE
•3 1/2cups of your choice of plant based milk (your personalized recipe can be calculated in an app called MyFitnessPal.)
such as oat, hemp, rice, coconut, almond, walnut, acorn, cashew... the list keeps on going!
•2 scoops of vegan protein powder (I chose one with calcium, vitamins and minerals. Why not make this treat a good one!)
•2 tsp xanthan gum (I use gluten free). This is your main thickening agent. You definitely need one! Agar agar would work as well.
•2 Tsp arrow root powder or corn starch. (Another thickening agent)
•1/2cup of yogurt starter (this can be from a previous batch of yogurt or a store bought)
*2Tbsp sugar, this can be omitted based on which plant milk you select and/or additional ingredients you choose. Many ingredients already contain naturally occurring sugar! If you believe you have enough sugar to sustain your starter, try it! I generally like to add the sugar, just to be sure!*
-You may spilt or double this recipe, respectively!-
and what ever additional ingredients you would like! Fruits, nuts... just be aware that the more liquid based ingredients you add, the less thick your yogurt will be.
Sanitize your jars. While those are being sanitized, heat your milk base. You want it just under boiling, so your xanthan gum and corn starch/arrow root will incorporate. Let it cool completed to room temperature as the jars are cooling. Add your vegan protein powder, sugar and starter!
Add enough water to the base of your instant pot to meet your steamer plate (I don’t like my jars sitting IN water. Just enough water to retain some heat). Place your jars inside, close and keep warm for 15 minutes. Then unplug it!!! Leave it alone (no peaking) overnight and by the morning, plop them in the fridge. Few hours later and you have BEAUTIFUL yogurt! If you strain it, it will get even thicker!!!
My last batch I added an extra tsp of xanthan gum and I was able to WHIP it!!!! Whipped vegan vogurt? Yessssssss.
Give it a shot! I know I am saving SERIOUS money just making my own milks. Adding the protein powder ensures I still get some nutrients along with my probiotics. It’s just a win win!
Be sure to do your due diligence as far as homemade goods and shelf life! Be sure everything is highly sanitary before making. The nutritional values and the shelf life all depend on which milks you use, how you made it, what you add and how you store it! If there is more liquid then when you first made it, there is mold present or it smells strange, that is a sure fire sign that it is definitely bad. Keep refrigerated for longest shelf life. You can even freeze it for a longer life, plus it’s an easy and quick additon to smoothies and drinks!
Love and Yogurt,
~The Smart Girl in Pants
Breakfast is not a meal I often enjoy. This little gem was another story!
The Smart Girl in Pants