If you’ve never tried vegan Pozole verde you’re in for a treat. Wild mushrooms and hominy are stewed in a spicy tomatillo-pumpkin seed broth. Then topped with creamy avocado, crisp lettuce and fresh radishes.

mushrooms cooking in a pot for vegan pozole verde

Pozole is a dish of pre-hispanic origins, the name pozole comes from the Nahuatl word “pozolli” which means ‘frothy’. Which refers to the appearance of the white corn as it’s boiled. It was a dish reserved for special celebrations and religious ceremonies. Legend has it that it was made with human flesh, as an offering to the gods for a fruitful harvest. (Gross!)

pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, cilantro and poblano in blender for vegan pozole verde

Nowadays, there are actually 3 most common types of pozole: rojo, blanco and verde. Red pozole is seasoned with a mixture of dried chiles, white pozole is seasoned with herbs, and green Pozole usually contains pumpkins seeds, tomatillos, and green chiles.

Smooth green sauce in blender for vegan pozole verde

The recipe varies according to the state that you’re in. For pozole verde you can find a version from Jalisco, one from Guerrero, and one from Guanajuato.  They are all very similar with small variations like adding poblano peppers, or the toppings change from state to state.

Vegan pozole verde topped with lettuce, radishes, and avocado in a blue and white talavera bowl

I loved the addition of pumpkin seeds to this vegan pozole verde, because it adds a touch of creaminess to the broth without using oil or cream. You can make this pozole anytime, but it would be a great addition to your Christmas or Thanksgiving menus.

I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed this so much I ate the whole batch myself in a couple of days! I hope you like it too.

The Recipe: Vegan Pozole Verde

  • I think the mushrooms are perfect in this, but you can also use jackfruit.
  • I used hen of the woods mushrooms (maitake), but if you can’t find those, you can also use oyster or shiitake mushrooms.
  • You can increase or decrease the amount of Serrano peppers according to your heat tolerance.
  • Chayote or zucchini would make a good addition to this.
  • Enjoy

Vegan pozole verde topped with lettuce, radishes, and avocado in a blue and white talavera bowl

Vegan pozole verde topped with lettuce, radishes, and avocado in a blue and white talavera bowl
5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Pozole Verde

Vegan pozole verde, mushrooms and hominy are stewed in a spicy tomatillo-pumpkin seed broth. Then topped with avocado, lettuce and radishes.

Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword pozole verde, vegan pozole
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
375 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1 ½ lb. Maitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup Diced onion
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Raw pumpkin seeds, pepitas
  • 2 Poblano peppers
  • 3-4 Serrano peppers
  • 4 Tomatillos, medium
  • 1/2 cup Chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup Leafy greens, spinach, radish greens, swiss chard
  • 1 sprig Epazote
  • ¼ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp. Mexican oregano, dried
  • 2 qts. Vegetable stock
  • 1 can (29oz) White hominy 29 oz, drained, and rinsed

Garnishes:

  • 1 Avocado, pitted and diced
  • 4 Red radishes, sliced
  • ½ Head Romaine or iceberg lettuce, finely shredded (julienned)
  • 4 Tostadas

Preparation

  1. In a large pot set to medium heat sauté the mushrooms in 1 tbsp. of oil until golden brown about 6-8 min.
  2. While the mushrooms are cooking, toast the pumpkin seeds lightly in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the pot, and add the onions. Turn heat down to medium-low and sweat onions until tender and transparent about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pot. Pour in the vegetable stock and hominy and simmer softly until you are ready to add the sauce.
  5. Turn oven broiler on to HI setting.
  6. Place the poblano peppers, serrano peppers, and tomatillos on a sheet tray lined with foil. Place under the broiler for 3 minutes or until the peppers have begun to get dark spots. Flip the peppers and tomatillos over and let cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  7. Place the poblano peppers in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit 5 minutes.
  8. Peel poblano peppers and remove the stems and seeds.
  9. Place the poblano peppers, serrano peppers, pumpkin seeds, tomatillos, greens, epazote, cilantro, cumin, and oregano in a blender and process until smooth.
  10. 10. Strain the sauce into a medium sauce pot set to medium-low heat. Let sauce simmer for 5-6 minutes or until it changes to a darker green color.
  11. 11. Pour sauce into the pot with the mushrooms and hominy and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
  12. 12. Serve with garnishes.

Chef's Notes

  • I think the mushrooms are perfect in this, but you can also use jackfruit.
  • I used hen of the woods mushrooms (maitake), but if you can’t find those, you can also use oyster or shiitake mushrooms.
  • You can increase or decrease the amount of serrano peppers according to your heat tolerance.
  • Chayote or zucchini would make a good addition to this.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Pozole Verde
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Sodium 2053mg 86%
Potassium 1460mg 42%
Total Carbohydrates 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 12g 48%
Sugars 11g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 52.1%
Vitamin C 80.9%
Calcium 7%
Iron 28.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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It’s the irresistible aroma of chocolate and cinnamon that I first think of when I’m offered hot chocolate. Mexican hot chocolate is not your ordinary cacao powder and milk, oh no, and somebody needs to say this, but adding cinnamon to your hot chocolate does not make it Mexican. It is one of my culinary pet peeves. So what are the best vegan Mexican chocolate brands and what makes them so different?

Find out which is the best Mexican hot chocolate.

 

Not only that it comes from Mexico, but the process used to make it is unique in itself. Mexican chocolate for beverages is sold in tablets not powder, it is made by toasting, and grinding cacao beans with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. It is then packed into a mold and formed into a tablet. To make into a beverage simply dissolve a couple of pieces of the tablet in hot milk. If the chocolate is of high quality you can dissolve it in water, milk is not necessary. The video below, from Saveur.com shows you exactly how chocolate tablets are made in Mexico.

 

 

The Best Vegan Brand of Mexican Chocolate

There are four Mexican chocolate brands most commonly available in the US: Abuelita, Ibarra, Hernan, and Taza. We tested all four of them for you with Almond-coconut milk.

These Mexican hot chocolate popsicles (paletas de chocolate) are creamy and sweet, chocolaty and rich, with a touch of cinnamon.

Best Overall:

Hernan Mexican hot chocolate is made with stone-ground ORGANIC cocoa beans from a bio-diversified plantation in Chiapas. It is made in Mexico and imported into the US. I found Hernán to have the most authentic flavor and quality. It has a strong chocolate flavor, but it is not overpowering. It is the tight amount of sweet, and the foam is thick and a bit airy. It contains only four ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, cinnamon, and soy lecithin. The downfall is that it is available mostly online and in select stores. The price is reasonable for the quality of the chocolate at $10 for a box of 6 tablillas (6 cups of hot chocolate).

 

What is the best vegan brand of Mexican chocolate? This taste test will decide once which one makes the best cup of steaming hot chocolate.

Second Best: Taza Chocolate 

Taza is produced here in the US using the same process described in the video above. It is intensely chocolaty, aromatic, not too sweet, but with a hint of bitterness. The foam is thick, not at all airy. It contains only three ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, and cinnamon. It is also certified USDA organic, non-GMO, certified gluten-free, and vegan. The only downside is the price, $5.oo. It really isn’t too expensive, but one package will only make you two cups of hot chocolate.

What is the best vegan brand of Mexican chocolate? This taste test will decide once which one makes the best cup of steaming hot chocolate.

Best Budget-Friendly Chocolate: Ibarra

Ibarra is the one we buy more often, and it is a Mexican product. It has a medium chocolate flavor intensity and it is pretty sweet. There is no bitterness to it at all. The foam is airy and firm. It contains cocoa liquor, sugar, soy lecithin, and cinnamon flavoring. The price, $3.50, and it makes 24 cups of hot chocolate.

What is the best vegan brand of Mexican chocolate? This taste test will decide once which one makes the best cup of steaming hot chocolate.

Last but Not Least: Abuelita

I contacted Nestle and they confirmed that it is NOT vegan.

NOTE: Even though Nestle has said that the product is not vegan certified, there are no animal products on the ingredient list. After further inquiry this is what Nestle responded: “The evaluation for vegan claims has not been performed on this item. We therefore would advise that the product is not suitable for vegans.” 

I leave it up to yo whether you want to try it or not. That being said, Abuelita has a special place in my heart, it evokes a lot memories for me and it is extremely popular in Mexico. It has a medium chocolate flavor, is very sweet, and has no bitterness. The cinnamon flavor is strong and fragrant. The foam is airy and very firm. The downside is that it contains additives like vegetable oils, artificial flavor, and PGPR. The price, $3.25, and it makes 24 cups of chocolate.

Regardless of which one you think is the best vegan brand of Mexican chocolate, I urge to give Mexican hot chocolate a try. You won’t be disappointed. What is your favorite brand?

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew death could be so colorful? Purple and orange tissue paper banners line altars decorated with marigold petals, colorful sugar skulls, and a bounty of fruit and vegetables. This is a celebration of life and triumph over death, the intermingling of the religious beliefs of the indigenous people of Mexico and the faith of the Spaniards that conquered them. The Day of the Dead is not only a holiday that honors those who have left us, but it is believed that on that special day the souls of the dead return to visit the living. Both the indigenous people and the Church of the Spaniards believed that death was not an end, but only a passageway to another life. That is why this is a joyous occasion, a homecoming festival, and at the same time a way to mock death and the power it holds over our bodies.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the Aztecs held rituals for the dead during the summer months in a joint celebration with the first days of harvest. The dead were traditionally buried with rich offering of ceramics, personal objects, and food. The offerings where meant to assist them in their journey to the afterlife. After the arrival of the Catholic missionaries their traditions and beliefs were merged with those of the indigenous people, and the festivities were moved to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, Nov 1st and Nov 2nd.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

 

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

The festivities have evolved over the years and differ from region to region. Some of the most popular ones include altars in honor of loved ones who have passed, preparing the dead’s favorite foods, and gathering at the cemetery to decorate a loved one’s grave, share a meal and reminiscence. My favorite tradition is the elaboration of the altars. The symbolism incorporated into the altars is so rich and meaningful that it truly honors the dead, those we keep in our hearts, but somehow with the passing of time fade in our memories.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Every altar has several key symbols which are:

water– as an offering to the soul to quench their thirst in their long journey

salt– as a symbol of purification and to preserve the body so it will not wither

fire– to represent the light of the faith and guide the spirits in their journey

incense– to elevate our prayers to God in heaven

flowers– marigolds, their color represents the radiance of sunlight and life

bread– as a symbol of the body of Christ, usually round loaves with topped with “bones” and known as pan de muerto

a picture of the person who the altar is dedicated to

religious images– to symbolize God as an intermediary between the living and the dead

the favorite foods and drinks of the departed– to delight the souls who will be visiting (the most common being Mexican hot chocolate, tequila, atole, mole, tortillas and rice

candy skulls– the indigenous held the skull as symbol of death being a part of life

tissue paper banners– purple to symbolize christian mourning and orange to symbolize Aztec mourning

fruits and vegetables– an offering from the earth

personal objects of the person being honored– to accompany them on their journey back

a dog– to protect and guide the spirits.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Every year we make an altar in our home to a loved one lost. It is our own special way of introducing our deceased loved ones to our children. We talk about the things that they liked to eat, do, and why they are important to us. On November 2nd we say a prayer for them, and keep hoping for the day we will be reunited in the afterlife. For years now, we have also been attending the Day of the Dead Festival in Oceanside, CA. The festival takes place in the Mission San Luis Rey. There are a variety of traditional foods such as tamales, tacos, tortas, aguas frescas, and pan de muerto. There is also face painting, sugar skull decorating, and regional dances. However, the highlight of the festival is the showcase of the altars, some representing various Mexican states and built by whole communities and families.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Out of all the wonderful Mexican traditions, the Day of the Dead might be the one that still holds firm to its pre-Hispanic roots. The loved ones lost, who we cannot see or hear, make themselves present in our homes, share our food, and partake in the rejoicing of life and the conquest of death.

Sources:

Los Dias de Los Muertos, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian and National Museum of American History, 2010

Simbolismos en el altar del Dia de los Muertos, Tanatologa Aida Maria Castro Morales, 2007 (http://www.slideshare.net/internatoni/simbolismos-en-el-altar-del-da-de-muertos)

The Recipe: Vegan Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de Muerto)

This recipe might be better than the non-vegan version, according to my husband. I have substituted the eggs with potatoes, resulting in a moist, soft, and sweet bread. It is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate or coffee.

pan-de-muerto2

Bake at 350F for 40- 45 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

pan de muerto

 

pan de muerto
5 from 2 votes
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Vegan Day of the Dead Bread

This vegan day of the dead bread or pan de muerto is tender, sweet, and delicious. Perfect for dipping on hot chocolate.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword day of the dead, pan de muerto, vegan
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 day 45 minutes
Servings 4 loaves
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 pack (.75 oz) Active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (3.5 oz) Almond milk, room temperature, 3.5 oz
  • 3 1/3 cup (17.5 oz) Bread flour
  • ¾ cup (5.5 oz) Sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Orange zest
  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • ¾ cup (6 oz.) Potato, Yukon gold, cooked, mashed
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp. (4 ¼ oz.) Vegan butter room temperature, cut into 1 inch pieces,

Topping

  • 2 tbsp. Vegan butter, melted
  • ½ cup Sugar, granulated

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the almond milk and add 2 tbsp. of the flour. Whisk to incorporate and let rest in a warm place for 20 min.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, with the dough hook, combine the dry ingredients: the rest of the flour, salt, sugar, and orange zest. Mix.
  3. Add the wet ingredients: the orange juice, mashed potato, and yeast-flour mixture. Mix on low until the dough begins to incorporate.
  4. Add the ½ cup + 1 tbsp. of softened butter little by little and increase speed to medium. Mix for 15 min. until the dough has come off the sides of the bowl and is stretchy but not sticky.
  5. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and fold the side over unto each other and flip. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  6. The next day take the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place (70-75F) until the dough comes to room temperature, about an hour.
  7. Take a piece of dough, weighing about 3 oz., and set aside. Divide the remaining dough into four pieces. Roll them tightly into rounds and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Press down on the rounds lightly.
  8. Use the reserved dough to make 4 small balls the size of a quarter and set aside. Use the remaining dough to roll out eight strips long enough to cover the rounds. Place two strips on top of each round forming an x, use your fingers to press lightly on the strips to form knobs, they should resemble bones. Repeat the process with the rest of the rounds.
  9. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 ½ hrs. in a warm place (70- 75F) or until double in size.
  10. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F. Place the small balls in the center of the rounds with a little bit of water. Bake for 20-30 min. until the rounds have become a rich brown color. Cover with foil and bake for 10 to 15 min. more, until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 190F. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
  11. While the bread is still warm melt 2 tbsp. of butter and brush the bread with it. Sprinkle evenly with sugar.
  12. Let bread completely cool before eating.

Recipe Video

Chef's Notes

My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance. This recipe is a combination of my dad’s recipe and Fanny Gerson’s method for Pan de Muerto in My Sweet Mexico.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.