This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

These mouthwatering pepinos locos will be the talk of your next party. Crisp cucumbers are made into cups, dipped in chile powder, then filled with juicy California strawberries, Japanese style peanuts, tamarind candy, and then drizzled with chamoy and lime juice.

cucumbers, peanuts, tamarind candy, chamoy, and strawberries on a white background

This snack is part of a Mexican party culture where “la botana” is king. Botana means snack, but when Mexicans talk about botana it encompasses all the delicious dishes that one prepares for a party with friends, and believe me there are lots of parties! Botana can be anything from chips, peanuts, and fruit to guacamole, gorditas, and queso fundido.

cucumber cups on a white plate with a dotted rim
a glass bowl with chamoy and a white plate with chile powder and cucumber cup being dipped in

Pepinos locos or crazy cucumbers are perhaps an unusual combination, but for us it has all of our favorite elements lime, chile, sweet chamoy, and fresh fruit. They are incredibly popular with the younger crowd (especially teenagers), but people of all ages enjoy them as well. The addition of strawberries to this Mexican botana makes it an extra special treat.

cucumber cups with chile rim on a white plate with dotted rim

We Love Strawberries!!

We love strawberries in this house we like to add them to our desserts like this carlota de fresa, but we also love to make paletas, salads, pancakes, and even tamales. The best part is that they are not only delicious but healthy! Strawberries are full of vitamins and nutrients. Did you know that one serving of strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C?? They are also packed with antioxidants, and potassium, folate, and fiber.

chile covered cucumber cups filled with peanuts and strawberries

California Strawberries:

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. Which means that it’s probable the strawberries you are getting from your local grocery store are from California. California’s rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures are the perfect combination for a year-round strawberry growing season. We actually lived in California for about 3 years and we loved going strawberry picking at our local Orange County farm. California strawberries are so sweet and juicy right of the vine!

pepinos locos on a white plate with chamoy poured over them surrounded by strawberries and limes

The Recipe: Strawberry Pepinos Locos

  • You can add chopped mango for a pop of color and sweetness.
  • I recommend you use tajin chile powder which is widely available in grocery stores.
  • If you can’t find Japanese style peanuts you can add regular peanuts.
close up of pepinos locos, filled with peanuts and strawberries on a white plate.

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE STRAWBERRY PEPINOS LOCOS

Picadillo is one of those dishes that is a staple in every Mexican household. This vegan picadillo made with lentils is super easy to make and kids tend to love it. It was one of my favorites growing up. In northern Mexico, it is traditionally made with ground beef, onions, garlic, chiles, and potatoes. In southern and central Mexico they add raisins, olives, and even fruit. You can also find picadillo in other Latin American countries. Perhaps the most famous is the Cuban version, which consists of ground or shredded beef, onions, peppers, potatoes, olives, and capers.

stainless steel pot full of lentils, onions, and broth on a wood background
tomato chipotle puree in a blender container over a wood background

Honestly, I was a little doubtful if this recipe would work with the lentils, but it works! As I was making it I could smell all the flavors coming together. My husband walked into the kitchen and got all excited, ” You’re making picadillo!” That is until I told him it was vegan and made with lentils. He hates lentils for some reason.

cooked lentils being mashed by a fork in a red bowl
cooked onions and lentils in a cast iron enameled pot with a wooden spoon
Read more

This Mexican chocolate horchata is the perfect drink to cool down this summer. The traditional combination of soaked rice and milk is given an upgrade with this artisanal Mexican chocolate tablillas from Hernan.

rice, water, and chocolate soaking in a plastic container on a wooden surface

What is Horchata?

Horchata is a traditional Mexican agua fresca that actually originated in Spain. In Spain this refreshing drink is made with chufa nuts (which are not actually nuts but a tuber). When the Spanish conquistadores came to Mexico they brought with them the recipe for horchata, but seeing as chufa nuts are not native to Mexico they began using rice.

view into blender with chocolate horchata mixture on white surface

How do you make horchata?

Horchata is commonly made by soaking rice, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds in water overnight. Some recipes call for boiling the rice with the cinnamon then letting it soak, but I prefer to pour boiling water over the rice, cinnamon, and in this case chocolate then letting it rest overnight. The following day the mixture is blended, strained, then milk and sugar are added to it.

a glass of chocolate horchata on a white surface with chocolate squares and cinnamon beside it

Hernan Mexican Chocolate Tablillas

For this recipe, I used my favorite Mexican hot chocolate: Hernán. Hernán is the real deal, real, authentic, Mexican chocolate sourced from Chiapas, and ground with sugar and cinnamon. In fact, the cacao used to make Hernan Mexican hot chocolate is organic and from a bio diversified plantation! The chocolate comes in three presentations tablillas (squares), skulls (which make an amazing gift since they are sold in small brightly colored hand woven palm leaf baskets), and small balls.

a glass of chocolate horchata with 2 squares of chocolate beside it and the box of hernan chocolate behind it

The Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Horchata

  • If Hernan chocolate is not immediately available to you, you can use Ibarra chocolate which is readily available in most grocery stores and is also vegan.
  • You can use the sweetener of your preference agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc
  • Make sure to strain twice for a really smooth horchata.
  • Serve over ice and enjoy!!
two glasses of horchata de chocolate, two cinnamon sticks and two chocolate squares beside it
two glasses of horchata de chocolate, two cinnamon sticks and two chocolate squares beside it

Chocolate Horchata

This Mexican chocolate horchata is the prefect drink to cooldown this summer. The traditional combination of soaked rice and milk is givenan upgrade with this artisanal Mexican chocolate tablillas from Hernan.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: aguas frescas, chocolate, horchata de chocolate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rice, long grain
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 Hernan Mexican chocolate tablillas (2.6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar,
  • 1 stick Ceylon cinnamon (2 inch long)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Soy, unsweetened (or your favorite plant milk)

Instructions

  • In a heat resistant container, combine the rice, Mexican chocolate tablillas, and cinnamon.
  • In a medium pot, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour over the rice and refrigerate overnight.
  • The following day blend the mixture until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add the vanilla, sugar, and soy milk and blend again until smooth.
  • Strain through a cheesecloth or nut bag.
  • Serve over ice and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Enjoy!

Notes

If Hernan chocolate is not immediately available to you, you can use Ibarra chocolate which is readily available in most grocery stores and is also vegan. You can use the sweetener of your preference agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc Make sure to strain twice for a really smooth horchata. Serve over ice and enjoy!!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

There’s nothing better than warm whole wheat flour tortillas, just made and slathered in butter. These tortillas take the best of both worlds. The combination of all-purpose flour with wheat germ, and wheat bran result in a soft, yet not gummy tortilla that will conquer your heart.

stainless steel bowl with all purpose flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt
stainless steel bowl with flour mixture and vegetable shortening

This is a family recipe. My güelita Lolita is famous for her tortillas integrales (whole wheat flour tortillas), and she was more than happy to share the recipe with us. Northern Mexico is known for flour tortillas. Most people think flour tortillas are not Mexican, but this is totally not true. Flour tortillas are eaten all across northern Mexico, almost as much as corn tortillas!

a hand up close showing the texture of the flour mixture

History of Flour Tortillas

Wheat arrived in Mexico with the Spanish around 1543. The Spanish accustomed to eating wheat were not big fans of corn tortillas. However it wasn’t in central Mexico where wheat took its stronghold but in the north. Northern Mexico, specifically the state of Sonora, Southern California, and Arizona were once considered one of the breadbaskets of America.

water added to the stainless steel bowl with the flour mixture
a large ball of dough in a stainless steel bowl

Some believe the flour tortilla is the new world version of a Middle Eastern flatbread, a product of Jewish and Arab influence in Spanish cuisine. Flour tortillas in Mexico very in size from small and a bit thick like in Coahuila, to incredibly large and thin, like in Sonora. (There’s a tortilla in Sonora called la sobaquera (armpit tortilla), because it’s so large that when you’re stretching it it reaches your armpit.)

small balls of dough lined on a parchment lined sheet tray

In some regions flour tortillas are made with lard, in others with a combination of lard and vegetable shortening, and in some places only vegetable shortening. This whole wheat version of the tortilla is the Mexican equivalent of “healthy”, the wheat germ and wheat bran add some fiber and earthiness to this Mexican classic.

ball of tortilla dough rolled out really thin on a piece of parchment

The Recipe: Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

  • My grandma uses vegetable shortening in her recipe, but this will also work with refined coconut oil.
  • The longer the dough rests the softer the tortillas will be. Leaving the dough overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.
  • Roll the tortillas as thin as you possibly can.
  • These tortillas are not meant to make burritos. They are perfect for tacos.
a stack of whole wheat tortillas on a white linen towel with green stripes
a stack of whole wheat tortillas on a white linen towel with green stripes, with the top tortilla folded over

Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla

There’s nothing better than warm whole wheat flour tortilla, just made and slathered in butter. These tortillas take the best of both worlds. The combination of all purpose flour with wheat germ, and wheat bran result in a soft, yet not gummy tortilla that will conquer your heart.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: butternut squash and mushroom tacos, shortening, wheat bran, wheat germ
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 hour
Servings: 12 tortillas
Calories: 124kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup Wheat bran
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup Warm water

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, and mix well. Add vegetable shortening and use your fingers to to rub the shortening into the flour mixture until completely incorporated.
  • Pour water in and mix with a fork until. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Scoop mixture out into a cutting board and knead until smooth (about 3-4 minutes). The dough should be soft and stretchy, but not as soft as bread dough.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour. (The longer the dough rests the softer your tortillas will be.)
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Heat a cast iron skillet or comal to medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle flour on your work surface, flatten the ball of dough with your hand. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll back and forth across the ball, rotating it slightly each time, and sprinkling more flour as necessary, until the dough has stretched out to make a large thin circle. Try to roll it as thin as you possibly can.
  • Lay the tortilla on the comal and flip after 30 to 40 seconds The tortilla should bubble up almost immediately. Cook 30 more seconds on the other side and remove from pan. Be careful not to overcook the tortillas or they will become crisp. Remove tortillas from pan and place in a tortilla warmer or kitchen towel.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Notes

  • My grandma uses vegetable shortening in her recipe, but this will also work with refined coconut oil.
  • The longer the dough rests the softer the tortillas will be. Leaving the dough overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.
  • Roll the tortillas as thin as you possibly can.
  • These tortillas are not meant to make burritos. They are perfect for tacos.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tortilla | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Strawberry season is upon us and this easy vegan carlota de fresa is the perfect dessert to showcase those sweet juicy strawberries. Carlota de fresa is a strawberry icebox cake that is popular in Mexico, it consists of a silky strawberry-lime cream, and layers of Maria cookies. There’s no baking required so it’s super easy to make!!

Strawberries, tofu, sugar and lime juice in blender

As a child sometimes I would prefer the carlota de fresa or carlota de limon instead of birthday cake, since especially in the summer months this dessert is so refreshing!! What makes this dessert so special is another childhood favorite, Maria cookies. My grandmother used to love having them with her coffee, and I have so many fond memories of snacking on cookies at her kitchen table.

Blended strawberry mixture in a pink bowl

Healthy Snacking:

While we enjoy strawberries in our desserts, there’s another way we enjoy strawberries even more, and that’s snacking on them! I have three kids, and if you have kids you know they want to snack ALL OF THE TIME! What better snack than a big bowl of strawberries with some chocolate hummus or some nuts. Strawberries are full of vitamins and nutrients. Did you know that one serving of strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C?? They are also packed with antioxidants, and potassium, folate, and fiber.

parchment paper lined glass baking dish lined with rows of Maria cookies

California Strawberries:

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. Which means that it’s probable the strawberries you are getting from your local grocery store are from California. California’s rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures are the perfect combination for a year-round strawberry growing season. We actually lived in California for about 3 years and we loved going strawberry picking at our local Orange County farm. California strawberries are so sweet and juicy right of the vine!

Parchment paper lined glass baking dish lined with Maria cookies, strawberry cream, and fresh strawberries.

How to Choose the Best Strawberries:

I hate it when I get home from the grocery store and discover that a portion of my strawberries how somehow grown mold overnight. When choosing strawberries look for plump red berries with green leaves. Inspect the box for mold, and try to buy strawberries in the months of April to July when they are season.

Glass baking dish layered with Maria cookies, strawberry-lime cream, and fresh strawberries.

The Recipe: Carlota de Fresa

  • The Gamesa brand of Maria’s is not vegan, but I did find El Mexicano brand at my local HEB. If you can’t find them you can order McVities Rich Tea Biscuits which are vegan and is essentially a Maria cookie.
  • Agar agar is gelling powder similar to gelatin that thickens sauces. You can order agar agar HERE.
Vegan carlota de fresa, strawberry iced box cake topped with sliced strawberries, on a white serving tray with silver colored handles placed vertically
Close up of a slice of vegan carlota de fresa topped with sliced strawberries on a white plate
A golden spoon slicing into a piece of the Carlota de Fresa
a wide shot of a spoonful taken out of a slice of carlota de limon showing the different layers and topped with sliced strawberries on top and surrounded by strawberries

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE VEGAN CARLOTA DE FRESA.

This post was created in partnership with Valley Fig Growers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mole is one of those traditional dishes that is passed down from generation to generation. It is a labor of love ground down on a metate and savored by the whole family.  This fig mole uses the earthiness and sweetness of Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs to enhance the complexity and richness of the mole. Golden brown sautéed mushrooms are bathed in fig mole and served on warm homemade corn tortillas, topped with sliced red onion, and cilantro. 

dried chiles, corn tortilla, chocolate, tomatoes, tomatillo, peanuts, almonds, bolillo, and pumpkin seeds ingredients to make fig mole on a white wood background

The word mole comes from the nahuatl word “mulli” meaning sauce or stew. There are many varieties of mole: red, green, yellow, poblano, negro, and many more. They vary according to the region of Mexico you are in.

anise seeds, clove, and cinnamon toasting on a cast iron pan

Mole’s origins are pre-Hispanic. It is well known that the indigenous people of Mexico prepared complex sauces ground on their metate. Over the years and after the conquest, additional elements were added to these sauces that were not available before, like lard and bread.

peanuts, almonds, roasted tomates, roasted tomatillos, toasted bread, toasted tortillas and fried figs in a white saute pan with red handle

Why Dried Figs??
Well, to start off with I love figs, fresh and dried. There are many moles that use raisins or prunes to add sweetness to the sauce, so using dried figs instead gives this sauce a natural sweetness that pairs amazingly with the chocolate and nuts already in the sauce.

fig mole in an aqua colored cast iron pot with a wooden soon stirring the mole

California Figs

California supplies 100% of the nation’s dried figs.  They were introduced by the  Spaniards in the early 16th century. The priests at Mission San Diego were the ones who originally planted the figs, this is how the dark purple fig became known as “Mission.” For this recipe I used Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs.

aqua colored cast iron pan with mushrooms in fig mole

I love recreating and innovating traditional Mexican dishes to fit the vegan lifestyle. Mole is usually served with some kind of animal product, but I chose instead to use mushrooms to make these delicious tacos. The umami flavor and “meatiness “ of the mushrooms are the perfect way to honor the beautiful tradition of mole making that continues to be passed on from generation to generation.

fig mole mushroom tacos on wooden board with an embroidered Otomi placemat and orchard choice fig pack

The Recipe: Fig Mole Mushroom Tacos

  • You can find the dried chiles: mulato, pasilla, and ancho at your local Mexican market, or you can find them HERE.
  • I used Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs for this recipe.
  • You can pair these fig mole mushroom tacos with a marzen style ale.
  • I used a combination of cremini and portabella mushrooms, but I recommend the addition of oyster and maitake mushrooms.
  • This recipe makes about 1 quart and 1 cup of fig mole. You will only need about two cups of it for this recipe. You can freeze the rest for up to six months. 
close up of a hand taking a fig mole mushroom tacos on a wooden board with sliced figs and cilantro in the background
fig mole mushroom tacos on wooden board laid out at an angle with an embroidered Otomi placemat and orchard choice fig pack

Fig Mole Mushroom Tacos

This fig mole uses the earthiness and sweetness of Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs to enhance the complexity and richness of the mole. Golden brown sautéed mushrooms are bathed in fig mole and served on warm homemade corn tortillas, topped with sliced red onion, and cilantro. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chocolate, fig, mole and mushrooms
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1018kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Fig Mole:

  • 4 Dried chile mulato seeded, de-stemmed
  • 5 Dried chile pasilla seeded de-stemmed
  • 6 Dried chile ancho seeded de-stemmed
  • ¼ tsp. Anise seed
  • 3 Whole cloves
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick, 1 inch long
  • 1/3 cup Sesame seeds
  • 3 Plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • 5 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs
  • 1/3 cup Raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup Pepitas
  • ¾ cup Peanuts
  • 1 Stale corn tortilla
  • 1 Stale Bolillo (or 1 ½ cups stale baguette)
  • 1 tablet Mexican chocolate
  • 5 cups Vegetable stock

Tacos:

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ lb. Assorted mushrooms, sliced (shiitakes, portabellas, oyster, maitake)
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Chopped cilantro

Instructions

To make the fig mole:

  • Heat a large cast-iron pan to medium-high heat, add chiles to the pan and toast lightly, about 3-4 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling hot water and soak for 30 min.
  • In the same cast iron pan set to low-medium heat, toast the anise seed, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon for 1-2 minutes until they begin to release their aromas. Set aside.
  • Use the same pan to toast the sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and set aside. Use a spice grinder or food processor and grind all the toasted spices as fine as possible. Set aside.
  • Set your cast iron pan to medium-high heat and place the tomatoes, tomatillo, and garlic on the pan until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 7-10 minutes, Set aside.
  • Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add oil. Fry the following ingredients separately: Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs until plump and golden brown, the almonds until slightly toasted, the pumpkin seeds until they pop and turn a golden yellow color, the peanuts until toasted and golden brown, the tortilla until crispy and black in certain spots, and the bread toasted a deep golden brown. Set aside.
  • Place the soaked and drained dried chiles in the blender with 1 cup of the chile soaking liquid, and the ground up spices, bread, and tortilla. Process until smooth. Add vegetable stock if necessary. Pour into a large bowl.
  • Now place the rest of the fried ingredients with the tomato, tomatillo, and peeled garlic. Add vegetable stock if necessary and process until smooth. Pour into bowl with chile mixture. Strain mixture.
  • Heat a large pot to low-medium heat and pour the mixture into the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, add 3 cups of vegetable stock, and stir. Add a Mexican chocolate tablet and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid the mole sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock.

To make the tacos:

  • Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil. Sauté mushrooms until golden brown. Pour 2 cups of the finished mole sauce on top and stir to combine.
  • Heat corn tortillas on a comal or griddle. Place 2 tbsp. of mushroom filling on each tortilla and top with chopped cilantro and sliced red onion. Enjoy!!

Notes

This recipe makes about 1 quart and 1 cup of fig mole. You will only need about two cups of it for this recipe. You can freeze the rest for up to six months.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 1018kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1471mg | Potassium: 1653mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 2026IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 341mg | Iron: 7mg

Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.

Flan, silky creamy delicious vegan flan. This custard-like creation is one of the most recognized desserts in all of Latin America and my absolute favorite!!

four white ceramic remekins the inside bottom coated with caramel

Making this involved using an ingredient I had never used before. It’s become pretty common in the vegan community for making vegan flan, mousses, cheese, and gummies. The secret ingredient for this flan is a powder called agar agar.

Coconut milk and agar agar in a stainless steel saucepot
a spoon dipped into the thickened milk mixture showing it coating the back of the spoon

What is Agar agar??

It is a semi-transparent powder derived from red/purple algae. It is the equivalent of vegan gelatin. As you know (or may not know) gelatin is made by prolonged boiling of skin, bones, and cartilage of animals. So since we don’t want to use that this, is where agar agar comes in to play.

coconut milk liquid poured into the white ramekins

How to use Agar agar?

You can buy agar agar right here. Be sure to buy the powdered version not the flakes for this recipe. You can use it just as you would powdered gelatin; you must place it in a liquid and heat it up to dissolve it. However, you can’t use agar agar in the same quantities as you would gelatin. Agar agar’s gelling properties are stronger than gelatin’s.

vegan flan on a small white laced plate with a coffee and another flan in the background

Making Vegan Flan at Home

For this vegan flan recipe, I decided to go with a mixture of coconut milk and oat milk. Coconut milk provides the fat needed to make this creamy and rich. I added oat milk so it wouldn’t taste too much like coconut.

Vegan flan with a spoonfull taken out of it.

I used small ceramic ramekins (3.5 oz.), but you can use whatever container you have at hand since these are not going in the oven, like these aluminum ramekins. However, your container must be able to sustain heat since we will be pouring scorching hot caramel into them.

10 yr old boy wearing a blue shirt holding a plate with flan

I like my flan thick and creamy ( as many of you expressed on my Instagram DMs), but there is another version of flan that is almost like a French crème caramel, very jiggly and delicate. If you want to make that version of flan, simply reduce the amount of agar-agar to 1 tsp.

vegan flan covered in caramel in a small white laced plate

Vegan Flan

Flan, silky creamy delicious vegan flan. This custard-like creation is one of the most recognized desserts in all of Latin America and my absolute favorite!!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: caramel, coconut milk, oat milk, vegan custard
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
4 hours
Servings: 6 small flan
Calories: 292kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Caramel:

  • ¾ cup Granulated sugar

Flan base:

  • 1 can Full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup Oat milk
  • 1 tsp. Chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp Agar agar powder

Instructions

  • Get ramekins ready to go.
  • Pour sugar into a medium sauce pot and set to medium-low heat. Let the sugar dissolve, gently swirling the pot but not stirring, until mixture turns a deep golden color, 8 to 9 minutes.
  • Immediately remove pot from heat and pour caramel into ramekins. Gently lift and tilt ramekins to coat the inside with caramel. Set aside.
  • Combine coconut milk and agar agar in a medium sauce pot.
  • In the blender combine the oatmilk, sugar, chickpea flour, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Pour this mixture into the pot with the coconut milk.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then pour into ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in the fridge for 4 hours to let the flan set.
  • To serve, place bottom of ramekin in a container with hot water for 1 -2 minutes, in order to release the flan.
  • Use a small knife or offset spatula to carefully loosen the edges of the flan. Turn flan over onto a plate, shake gently to release flan and remove ramekin.

Notes

If you would like this flan to be yellow in color you can add ½ tsp. of turmeric, but this could affect the flavor.
If you want to make a very jiggly and delicate version of this flan (like crème caramel) simply reduce the amount of agar-agar to 1 tsp.

Nutrition

Serving: 1flan | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

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I have been dreaming of this Mexican classic for months now, velvety, sweet, rich, and vegan cajeta envinada. It is simmered slowly on the stove until it reaches the perfect consistency, it is my favorite labor of love.

Cajeta is a traditional dish from the city of Celaya, Guanajuato. It is made by simmering goats milk with sugar, and baking soda, in a large copper pot, until it is the consistency of a dark caramel. For this vegan version I have used unsweetened soy milk, turbinado sugar, agave syrup, and whiskey.

History of Cajeta:

The first versions of cajeta or at least the technique was brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores. (In Spain it is called leche quemada, and it is made with cow’s milk.) As with many other Mexican delicacies the Spanish techniques were adapted to the resources available in the area. Which in this case means that in the city of Celaya leche quemada was made with goat’s milk, and so cajeta was born.

Milk in blue dutch oven that has become a chocolate color

To this day, cajeta is sold in a small round wooden box called cejete that is wrapped in white paper and bound with colorful cellophane ribbons. There are three versions of cajeta most commonly sold quemada, vanilla, and envinada.

What is Cajeta Envinada?

Cajeta envinada is cajeta with spirits added to it. You can add brandy, rum, or even whiskey. Even though “envinada” means ”with wine” it is more common to add spirits to it than wine.

milk in blue dutch oven pot a dark caramel color

Recipes made with Cajeta:

Cajeta is one of my favorite childhood candies and as a grown-up I love that it’s so versatile. You can use cajeta to make churros filled with cajeta, crepes topped with cajeta and pecans, obleas, as a topping for ice cream, to make flan, and many more delicious treats.

cajeta envinada in a white dish over a colorful mat with a spoon inside

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Guanajuato, is the creation of me, Dora Stone. Even though I am not from Guanajuato, my great-grandfather immigrated to Mexico from Spain into Guanajuato, and that is where he met my great-grandmother, and started a family. Thus, I feel a certain connection to that area and was glad at the opportunity to veganize this recipe.

Vegan cajeta envinada in a small dish with a spoon dipping into it

The Recipe: Vegan Cajeta Envinada

  • I used unsweetened soy milk, but you can use your favorite plant milk.
  • I used turbinado sugar, also known as sugar in the raw, which is a less processed version of fine white sugar. If you can’t find it, you can use brown sugar.
  • The baking soda in this recipe help the cajeta get its dark caramelized color.
  • I chose to use whiskey, but you can use brandy, dark rum or white wine.
Vegan cajeta envinada in a small dish with a spoon dipping into it

Vegan Cajeta Envinada

Vegan Cajeta Envinada, Mexican milk caramel used to top everything from churros, crepes, ice cream, and more.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: dulce de leche, leche quemada, whiskey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 1 cups
Calories: 1751kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 4 ¼ cups Soy milk, unsweetened
  • 1 1/3 cup Turnbinado or brown sugar
  • ¼ cup Agave syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 -2 tbsp. Brandy, Dark rum or whiskey

Instructions

  • In a large heavy bottomed pot combine the soy milk, sugar, agave, vanilla, and baking soda.
  • Bring to a slow simmer, and let simmer for 1 hour and 15 min. Stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning.
  • Add the brandy and simmer for 15 more minutes or until the cajeta has reached the desired consistency.

Notes

  • I used unsweetened soy milk, but you can use your favorite plant milk.
  • I used turbinado sugar, also known as sugar in the raw, which is a less processed version of fine white sugar. If you can’t find it, you can use brown sugar.
  • The baking soda in this recipe help the cajeta get its dark caramelized color.
  • I chose to use whiskey, but you can use brandy, dark rum or white wine.

Nutrition

Calories: 1751kcal | Carbohydrates: 365g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 923mg | Potassium: 1804mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 348g | Vitamin A: 3942IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 1648mg | Iron: 7mg

This orange-scented dough, baked in the form of a crown, and topped with dried and candied fruits makes the traditional vegan Rosca de Reyes ( King Cake).

Yeast mixed with milk and a little but of flour in a red bowl

Rosca de Reyes is a key part of the feast of the Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Dia de Reyes in Mexico. This is also the day, that children receive gifts from the Reyes Magos (Magi) instead of Santa. Traditionally, the night before, the children leave a note for the Magi in their shoes, and place them under the Christmas tree or outside. The Magi respond by bringing them gifts the following morning, just as they brought gifts to the Christ child.

Mashed potato mixed with the yeast mixture in red bowl
Dough mixed in a stainless steel bowl

Family Traditions

The rosca is usually served with hot chocolate and eaten at any time of the day or all day. The fruit on the rosca is meant to represent the crown´s jewels, and inside the bread is a hidden small figurine of baby Jesus. The lucky person to find baby Jesus in their piece of bread is designated to bring tamales on  Feb. 2nd to the Feast of the Candelaria.

Dough hook inserted into dough to show stretchy consistency

Living on the border, our traditions are a mixture of Mexican and American customs. This being said, as a child Santa brought most of our gifts on Christmas, and the Reyes Magos filled our stockings with treats and small toys on Jan 6th. We continue this tradition with our children, but for them, the Three Kings bring them books!

pan-de-muerto2

What is Acitrón?

Not many people know this, but one of the candied fruits used to top the rosca is called acitrónAcitrón is made from a species of cactus, also know as biznaga, only found in Mexico.

Dough rolled out and formed into an oval shape, place on a sheet tray.

The candy is made by extracting the pulp from the cacti, cutting it into blocks, and cooking it in a simple syrup. The result is an opaque sugary block, firm to the touch, but soft and juicy on the inside. It is commercially sold in red and green tinted blocks or cut into strips. 

Risen vegan rosca de reyes dough with fruit decorations and sugar paste on it.

It is actually very hard to find because the cactus is at risk of becoming an endangered species. Most people nowadays use a quince paste or other fruit paste called ate in its place, but you can use whatever dried or candied fruit you prefer.

Vegan rosca de reyes on a pink back ground with a piece cut off.

The Recipe: Vegan Rosca de Reyes

  • I have substituted the eggs with potatoes, resulting in a moist, soft, and sweet bread.
  • I used Earth Balance for my vegan butter
  • For the fruit topping on my rosca I used candied oranges, cherries, and dried figs.
  • Add the plastic baby Jesus into the rosca after it has baked.
  • This recipe is very similar to my Pan de Muerto recipe.
Vegan rosca de reyes on a pink back ground with a piece set in front of it on a plate.
Vegan rosca de reyes on a pink back ground with a piece set in front of it on a plate.

Vegan Rosca de Reyes

This orange-scented dough, baked in the form of a crown, and topped with dried and candied fruits makes the traditional vegan Rosca de Reyes ( King Cake).
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: acitron, candied fruit, kings cake, vegan
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Active dry yeast
  • ½ cup Soy milk room temperature
  • 3 1/3 cup Bread flour
  • ¾ cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Orange zest
  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • ¾ cup Potato, Yukon gold, cooked, mashed
  • ½ cup+ 1 tbsp. Vegan butter room temperature, cut into 1 inch pieces

Toppings:

  • Candied Cherries
  • Candied Oranges
  • Quince Paste
  • Guava Paste
  • Dried Figs

Sugar-Paste:

  • 1/3 cup Sugar granulated
  • 1/3 cup Vegan butter earth balance, softened
  • ½ cup All-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla extract

Non-egg Wash

  • 2 tbsp. Soy milk unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 Plastic baby Jesus (optional)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the soy milk and add 2 tbsp. of the flour. Whisk to incorporate and let rest in a warm place for 20 min.
  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, mashed potato, and yeast-flour mixture. Add to bowl with the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough begins to incorporate.
  • 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.
  • 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 lay on a floured surface. Roll out the dough into a log shape and bend the ends around to form a circle. Press edges together to avoid separation. Insert plastic baby Jesus and press the dough to cover the hole.
  • Place the rosca on a parchment lined sheet tray and cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hr. in a warm place (70- 75F) or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F.

To make the sugar paste:

  • Cream butter and sugar with a whisk or hand mixer. Add vanilla, flour, and cinnamon and mix well. Knead lightly to fully incorporate. It should have the consistency of a soft play-dough. If it’s too sticky or wet add flour in small amounts until you’ve reached the right consistency.

To Make the non-egg wash:

  • In a small bowl combine the soy milk and maple syrup to make the non-egg wash.
  • Brush the rosca with the non-eggwash. Roll or flatten out sugar paste and add to the different sections of the rosca. Distribute the dried fruit on the rosca. Let rise for 30 more minutes.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or unitl the bottom of the rosca is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Let bread cool slightly before eating.

Notes

My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

These beautiful freshly baked empanadas de camote are filled with sweet potato, slowly simmered in cinnamon and anise. The dough is hand-kneaded and rolled out, then baked with the fragrant sweet potato filling. I like to eat them right out of the oven with a steaming cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

Sugar, anise, and cinnamon syrup in a small stainless steel pot
Flour and sweet potato syrup in a large glass bowl

I used to think empanadas were a Mexican thing but soon discovered that almost every country has their own version. Whether they are sweet or savory, they are incredibly delicious, easy to eat, and the perfect food on the go.

Flour mixture mixed together in glass bowl
Kneaded dough on a wooden surface

Empanadas by Doña Consuelo

This recipe was given to me by Doña Consuelo, a friend of my cousin Esperanza. Doña Consuelo had heard that my little nephew has severe allergies and can’t enjoy most of the pan dulce available in our town, so she graciously shared her recipe for these empanadas de camote, which just so happen to be vegan.

Cubed sweet potatoes cooking in a stainless steel pot

Doña Consuelo is one of those OG cooks that has never written down a recipe, and measures everything by fistfuls. So my beautiful cousin had her over to her house and had her recreate the recipe, and then proceeded to measure every fistful of flour and pinch of anise. She passed the recipe to me and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.

Mashed sweet potato in a glass bowl

I decided to pay her a visit to thank her for the recipe and just chat. Sitting in her living room, lamenting that she could no longer use her hands to knead the dough or make them for her family (she has arthritis), she reminisced about the traditional candies that are hand made in Múzquiz, her home town. She talked about the treats she ate as a child, and how she wished they were made with the same quality today.

Sweet potato plopped in the middle of dough disk

All of this has me pondering on the importance of passing down family recipes and adapting them for the new generation. Food is such an important part of our culture and we shouldn’t let the traditional recipes disappear with the previous generations. Save your family recipes!! Make them vegan, make them yours!

Empanadas ready to bake on a sheet tray

The Recipe: Empanadas de Camote

  • The original recipe called for vegetable shortening, but I have substituted it for coconut oil, but you could also use melted vegan butter.
Chef Dora and Doña Consuelo posing for a photo
  • I also reduced the amount of sugar (believe it or not!), but you can sub with piloncillo, sugar in the raw or muscovado sugar.
  • I used the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.
Empanadas de camote on a blue plate, cup of coffee and cinnamon stick
A close up of an empanada de camote cut in half.
Empanadas de camote on a blue plate, cup of coffee and cinnamon stick. The top empanada is cut in half showing the filling.

Empanadas de Camote (Sweet Potato Empanadas)

These beautiful freshly baked empanadas de
camote are filled with sweet potato, slowly simmered in cinnamon and anise.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: mexican sweet potato empanadas, sweet empanadas, sweet potato
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 16 empanadas
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Syrup:

  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks, 2 inches long
  • 1 ½ tsp. Anise seed
  • 1 ½ cups Sugar, granulated
  • 1.6 lb. Sweet potato, peeled, cut into large dice (About two large ones)

Empanada Dough:

  • 17.6 oz. All-Purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 2/3 cup Melted coconut oil (the original recipe used shortening)
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup Sweet Potato Syrup (see above)
  • ¼ cup Aquafaba liquid of a can of chickpeas

Instructions

To make the syrup:

  • Combine the water, cinnamon sticks, anise seed, and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer softly for 30 min. Strain. Reserve 1 1/3 cups of the syrup and set aside.
  • Pour the rest of the sweet potato syrup in a small pot and add the sweet potato. Bring to a very low simmer, cover, and let cook for 45 min. (It’s going to seem like it’s not enough liquid to cook the sweet potatoes, but we’re basically going to steam them in the syrup. As they cook they will release liquid as well.) Drain and mash with a fork.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, in a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted coconut oil and mix well.
  • Add sweet potato syrup and mix.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough has come together is elastic and smooth, but not sticky. Let it rest for 45 min.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and roll them into balls ( 2 oz. each). On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick.
  • Place 1 tbsp. of the filling in the middle of the dough round. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling, and crimp the edges with a fork to seal or seal them decoratively as the Argentinians do. Pierce each empanada three times with a fork near the crimped edge.
  • Brush with aquafaba and bake for 35 – 40 min. or until the empanadas are golden brown on the bottom.

Notes

The original recipe called for vegetable shortening, but I have substituted it for coconut oil, but you could also use melted vegan butter.
I also reduced the amount of sugar (believe it or not!), but you can sub with piloncillo, sugar in the raw or muscovado sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1empanadas | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 6435IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg