Fig Loaf

We love to have a lightly-sweet loaf around for snacking and taking for lunches. This one worked out well because I bought a ton of figs before Christmas for a recipe that didn’t end up being made. So good and pretty healthy, too; lots of fibre (not that fibre intake is a concern for most vegans).

The recipe is from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman, but I found the recipe posted online here.  I substituted the spelt flour with all-purpose flour.  If you like quick breads and get sick of the standby banana, this book has about a bazillion recipes for breads.  The one on the page opposite this was a lemon-thyme sweet loaf!  Yum.

I made this awesome maple coconut peanut butter to give as gifts at Christmas.  After I packaged up what I was giving to people, there was a bit left for us.  This was a divine combo!  And I felt pretty chuffed about eating bread that I made topped with peanut butter that I made.
– Crystal

Tostones (Fried Plantain Medallions)

These fluffy fried plantain crisps are a delicious, though not necessarily nutritious, snack. They’re popular all over Latin America, and taste a bit like french fries. If you see plantains at the grocery store that are still green like unripe bananas, buy a few and try this recipe! We love plantains. 
1. Peel the plantain by whatever method works for you. It’s a little difficult at this stage of ripeness. 
2. Chop it diagonally, creating pieces about 1/2″ to 1″ thick. 
3. Fry ’em in a deep fryer (or carefully in a deep pot on medium heat with about an inch or two of oil) for about 5 minutes. Be careful, because hot oil is angry and sometimes jumps out of the pan at you.
4. Take them out, placing them on a plate covered in paper towel. Let them cool for a few minutes while some of the oil is soaked up. My personal recommendation would be to use this time playing Angry Birds. 
4. On a cutting board, or any flat surface like your floor or driveway, use a rolling pin to squish the pieces a little bit. Not so much that they fall apart, but enough that they change shape slightly. (There is a special tool out there for this procedure called a Tostonera, which you could invest in if you really like these.) 
7. Put them back in the oil. That’s right, you’re frying them a second time. Do this for about 4 minutes or until they are starting to brown around the edges. 
9. Take them out and put them on paper towel again and sprinkle them with salt. Now they’re ready to serve!