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Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of life, and a mocking of death and the power it holds over us. The indigenous people of Mexico believed that death was not an end, but a passageway to another life. El Día de los Muertos is a homecoming festival, where we receive our loved ones with open arms, and party like only Mexicans now how to, with food, color, music, and dance.

 

Altars are used to honor those that have departed, and there are many traditional elements that must come together to create an altar worthy of our ancestors. One of these elements are candy skulls.The use of sugar or amaranth skulls can be traced back to pre-hispanic times, and historians believe that human blood might have been used to form the amaranth skulls. Today you can find colorfully decorated skulls made out of sugar, honey and amaranth, and chocolate and amaranth.

Over the years I have slowly found ways to veganize some of our food traditions. We have made vegan pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and candied pumpkin. This year we made vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls, which are decorated with colorful royal icing, are very easy to do, and are quite delicious! Unlike the sugar skulls which are used mostly for decorations, these are meant to be eaten.

To make these you will need a skull mold, vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, and popped amaranth. You can pop the amaranth yourself, or you can buy it already popped. I found mine at a Mexican candy store and ended up buying way too much! The chocolate takes about 30 minutes to set, and they hold for up to 3 days if you store in an air tight container.

The Recipe: Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

For the vegan chocolate you can use the enjoy life brand which is certified vegan or Guittards, if none of those are available in your area, there are other options. I bought my skull molds on mexicansugarskulls.com. Enjoy!

Vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls for the day of the dead with colorful royal icing, very easy to do, and are quite delicious!
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Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

Vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls for the day of the dead with colorful royal icing, very easy to do, and are quite delicious! 
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 large skulls (front only)
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Vegan Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 1/4 cups Popped amaranth

Royal Icing

  • 3 floz. Aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp.)
  • 4-5 cups Powdered sugar
  • 4 Food coloring of choice

Equipment

  • 1 Skull mold
  • 4 Pieces of cardboard (4.5 X 4.5 inches)
  • 4 Disposable piping bags

Preparation

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl and melt over a double boiler until all the chocolate has melted. You can also melt it in 30 sec. intervals in the microwave, making sure to stir between each interval.

  2. Pour popped amaranth into the bowl with the chocolate and mix well. with a wooden spoon, to incorporate.

  3. Wet the mold a little bit with a moistened paper towel and press the amaranth chocolate mix into the mold. 

  4. Press the cardboard square against the mold and flip the mold, to have the skull facing you. Lift the mold, and carefully place the cardboard with the skull on it on a sheet tray.
  5. Repeat this process with the rest of the mix. Let chocolate set for 30 min.

Royal Icing

  1. While de chocolate is setting, in a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and mix well. Test the consistency of the icing on a plate. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t slide down the plate easily. If it seems too thin, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. The consistency should be considerably thicker than the icing used to decorate cookies.

  2. Separate the icing into 4 small bowls. Add your food coloring of choice and mix well.
  3. Pour each bowl of icing into a disposable piping bag. Secure with a rubber band, and cut a tiny bit off of the tip of the bag. Test the amount of icing that comes out before decorating your skull.
  4. Decorate your skull however you desire. The icing will take about 30 min. to set.

Chef's Notes

For the vegan chocolate you can use the enjoy life brand which is certified vegan or Guittards, if none of those are available in your area, there are other options. I bought my skull molds on mexicansugarskulls.com.

You can pop the amaranth yourself, or you can buy it already popped.

 

 

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Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

Things are getting busy around here. Halloween is right around the corner, and so is the Day of the Dead. This has become one of our favorite family traditions, and so every year we make vegan sugar skulls, and pan de muerto for our altar. The skulls are very easy to do, and the kids really enjoy making them (the adults do too!)

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

Last year I perfected the recipe for the vegan version of the sugar skulls, and I couldn’t be happier. Usually, the preparation requires meringue powder or egg whites, but I am using aquafaba with great results. It is definitely more affordable than using meringue powder, and you can make hummus with the chickpeas.

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

This year I have been very conflicted. As you probably already know, el Día de los Muertos is going mainstream. I don’t know how I feel about that. A part of me is excited that more people can get to know Mexican culture, but another part of me wants to scream, ” No, this is cultural appropriation!” I don’t know, what do you think? I guess all I can do, is do my part in helping others understand the beauty of the tradition. Last year I invited some friends over to make the sugar skulls, and then we read the book The Day of the Dead by Bob Barner.

Ok, so let’s get down to business. I recorded a small video for you with the whole process.

The Recipe: Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

We don’t usually eat the sugar skulls, but you can if you want to. We use them for decoration. I purchased my molds from mexicansugarskulls.com, way back when nobody else was selling them, but now you can easily find them on Amazon. If you live in a humid climate the sugar skulls will take longer to dry, and you will most likely have to add less aquafaba.

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!
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Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

Total Time 2 days
Servings 5 people
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Skulls:

  • 6 cups Sugar, granulated
  • 4 tbsp. Aquafaba, (liquid from can of chickpeas)

Royal Icing:

  • 3 floz. (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp.) Aquafaba
  • 4-5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 Food coloring of choice

Equipment:

  • 2 Sugar skull molds- front and back
  • 5 Card board squares 4.5 X 4.5 inches
  • 4 Disposable pastry bags
  • Sequins

Preparation

Sugar Skulls

  1. In a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble.
  2. Pour in the sugar, and use your hand to mix well and incorporate the sugar and the aquafaba. It should have the consistency of wet sand, almost like you are going to build a sand castle.
  3. Make sure your mold is clean and dry. Press the sugar mix into the mold. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the sugar from the back of the skull. This will make the skull less heavy.
  4. Press the cardboard square against the mold and flip the mold, to have the skull facing you. Lift the mold, and carefully place the cardboard with the skull on it on a sheet tray.
  5. Repeat this process with the rest of the sugar. If you want to make a complete sugar skull use both the skull molds.
  6. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

Royal Icing

  1. The next day, in a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and mix well. Test the consistency of the icing on a plate. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t slide down the plate easily. If it seems too thin, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. The consistency should be considerably thicker than the icing used to decorate cookies.

  2. Separate the icing into 4 small bowls. Add your food coloring of choice and mix well.
  3. Pour each bowl of icing into a disposable piping bag. Secure with a rubber band, and cut a tiny bit off of the tip of the bag. Test the amount of icing that comes out before decorating your skull.
  4. Decorate your skull however you desire. I like to use sequins for the eyes. Let dry 24 hours.

Making a complete skull

  1. If you are making complete skulls, leave some of the royal icing white, and use it to glue the front and back of the skull, after it has dried for the initial 24 hours. After you have glued it together, let dry a bit before decorating it.

Chef's Notes

If you live in a humid climate the sugar skulls will take longer to dry, and you will most likely have to add less aquafaba. The longer you let the skulls dry the better. The sugar skulls are not meant to be eaten. They are for decoration. Royal icing recipe adapted from The Blenderist.

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Vegan Tequila Truffles

Hola! I am Jeni from the blog Thyme & Love and I am so excited to be writing a guest post here on Dora’s Table! Before I share my recipe for these delicious and easy Vegan Tequila Truffles, I thought that I would give a little background about myself and my recipe inspiration.

These Vegan Tequila Truffles are rich, creamy, chocolaty and simple. They are easy to make and perfect for the holiday season.

I first discovered authentic Mexican food when I started dating my Husband Hector, who is from Mexico City. I immediately feel in love with the cuisine and culture of Mexico. I grew up in the Midwest and ate a pretty typical American diet. There wasn’t much variety and we never had true authentic Mexican food. I learned a few recipes and the basics of Mexican cuisine from Hector’s Mom Adela. Since I was already Vegan when I met Hector I began to research Mexican recipes that were naturally Vegan or that could easily be made Vegan.

 

These Vegan Tequila Truffles are rich, creamy, chocolaty and simple. They are easy to make and perfect for the holiday season.

I love traveling to Mexico as much as I can, especially to Mexico City. It is the first place that I visited in Mexico and it holds a special place in my heart. After Hector and I got married, we decided to move to Mexico City for awhile. It was one of the greatest experience of my life. On my blog, you’ll find that many of my recipes are inspired by Mexico.

Now, let’s talk about these Vegan Tequila Truffles. When Dora asked me to share a holiday recipe with you, I immediately knew that I wanted to share a Mexican inspired truffle recipe. Truffles are easy to make and perfect for the holiday season.

These Vegan Tequila Truffles are rich, creamy, chocolaty and simple. They are easy to make and perfect for the holiday season.

The Recipe: Vegan Tequila Truffles

The truffles start by melting dark chocolate in warmed coconut milk. You want to look for chocolate that is at least 70% cacao. After most of the chocolate has melted, the rich ganache is infused with Mexican vanilla and tequila. It is completely optional but for a little kick add chili powder to the ganache. I like to use guajillo chili powder.

After chilling the fridge for a few hours, the truffles are rolled into balls and then coated in cocoa powder.

You’ll find these Vegan Tequila Truffles to be rich, creamy, chocolaty and simple.

These Vegan Tequila Truffles are rich, creamy, chocolaty and simple. They are easy to make and perfect for the holiday season.
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Vegan Tequila Truffles

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Author Jeni Hernandez

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Coconut milk, full fat
  • 12 oz. Vegan Dark Chocolate at least 70% Cacao, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp. Tequila
  • ¼-½ tsp. Chili Powder, optional
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa powder, for dusting

Preparation

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the the coconut milk over medium heat. When the milk comes to a low boil add the chopped chocolate and continually stir until about ¾ of the chocolate has melted. Turn off the heat and add the pinch of salt, vanilla, tequila and chili powder if using. Keep stirring until all of the chocolate has melted. 

  2. Pour the chocolate into a loaf pan or shallow dish. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the chocolate is almost solid. If the chocolate is still wet in some spots continue chilling until firm. 

  3. Once the chocolate is chilled and firm, prepare a dish with the cocoa powder for rolling. Use a tablespoon sized scoop to scoop out small balls; I like to use a cookie scoop. Scoop out the tablespoon size balls then gently use your hands to roll into a round ball shape. Toss in cocoa powder to coat and shake off the excess. Transfer to a cookie sheet or pan lined with wax paper. Continue until all the chocolate has been scooped out. Depending on the size of the scoop, you should get about 14-16 truffles. 

  4. Enjoy the truffles right away or store in a tightly covered container in the fridge. Let the truffles come up to room temperature before serving, about 10-15 minutes. 

Chef's Notes

It is completely optional but for a little kick add chili powder to the ganache. I like to use guajillo chili powder.

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The Best Vegan Marranitos

I have done it! After three failed attempts, here is the best vegan marranitos (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. Ok, I might be a little too excited about this one, but hear me out. This is my favorite pan dulce, you can ask any of my family members, and they will be sure to tell you I have eaten many marranitos in my life! A marranito is a Mexican pastry shaped like a piggy. It can be soft like a sweet bread or more on the hard side like a cookie. This version is more like a pastry than a cookie. It is made with a combination of whole wheat and white flour and infused with a piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon syrup.

Here is the best vegan marranito (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. They are infused with piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon.

It took me so long to get the recipe right because I wanted it to be low-fat. I tried substituting the fat with beans and the result was as weird as it sounds. Then I tried substituting the fat with apple sauce and added a flax-egg, which was a big mistake because they turned out super gummy. I finally gave up and went with the apple sauce and 2 tbsp. of oil. I am pretty happy with the result. They taste just as they should, so much so, that the kids ate them so fast I hardly had time to photograph them. We dunked them in the thickest Mexican hot chocolate.

Here is the best vegan marranitos (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. They are infused with piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon.

School starts this week in Hawaii and we are not ready for summer to end. After many weeks of deliberation we have decided to homeschool. We did not make this decision lightly, but I think this is the best choice for us right now. I am terrified and hopeful at the same time. We are getting everything set up and we should be ready to go in the next few weeks. The good thing is that we still have a lot of Hawaii to explore, so that will keep us very busy.

Here is the best vegan marranitos (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. They are infused with piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon.

The Recipe: The Best Vegan Marranitos

I recommend eating the marranitos while they are still warm out of the oven and dunking them in hot chocolate or coffee. If you would like to make these with fat you can substitute the amount of apple sauce with vegan butter or coconut oil. Enjoy!

Here is the best vegan marranitos (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. They are infused with piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon.

Here is the best vegan marranito (Mexican piggy cookies) recipe ever. They are infused with piloncillo, star anise, clove, and cinnamon.
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Marranitos

Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 large marranitos
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Piloncillo, 4.5 oz
  • 2 Cloves, whole
  • 1 stick Mexican cinnamon
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. Flour, all-purpose
  • 1 cup Flour, whole wheat
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt kosher
  • 1/2 cup Apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Place water, piloncillo, cinnamon, clove, and star anise in a medium sauce pot set to medium heat. Simmer slowly and stir until the piloncillo dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat and all purpose flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Strain the piloncillo syrup into a medium bowl. Add the apple sauce and oil and mix well.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begin to comes together.
  5. Use your hands to incorporate the dough together and form a ball. The dough will be on the wet side.
  6. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for 30 min.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F.
  8. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.
  9. Use a large pig shaped cookie cutter to cut out the dough and place them on a parchment lined sheet tray.
  10. Reform the dough scraps into a ball and roll out again to cut out more marranitos. Repeat this process until you cannot cut out any more.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes or until the marranitos are golden brown on the bottom.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Chef's Notes

These are best eaten warm out the oven or dunked in hot chocolate or coffee. If you would like to make these with fat substitute the apple sauce with vegan butter or coconut oil.

 

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Corn Paletas

Corn Paletas? What kind of weird sorcery is this? When you think about it a little bit, it makes total sense. We tend to associate corn with savory, but what about corn muffins and corn bread. Corn can also be sweet. Corn is sweet, so why not make paletas out of it.

I didn’t come up with this myself though. Corn is a common flavor in the paleterias of Michoacan and Central Mexico, where you can find ice cream as well as paletas. The first time I had one I was a little thrown off by the visible chunks of corn, but the flavor won me out at the end. Kind of like the first time I had Korean shaved ice with sweet red beans. You will have to make them in order to decide whether you like them or not. One of my kids loved them, and the other hated them.

This recipe for corn paletas takes all the sweet goodness of corn and transforms it into a an icy treat. They are super easy to make.

Cooking Mexican food in Hawaii hasn’t been to difficult. I have been able to find most of what I need at the regular grocery store, but dried chiles eluded me. I had to drive 40 minutes to the one Mexican grocery store in all of Oahu to find them. It turned out to be a little hole in the wall shop, and it became instantly smaller as soon as I brought my two kids in there. They were touching everything and running around like the crazy kids that they are. The lady, who I assume was the owner, was very nice, but I could tell she was worried about her livelihood with my kids in there. I picked up some dry chiles, spices, and some Mexican candy and ran out as quick as I could. It was a hot sticky day, so I bought two Jumex juices for the kids and we sat outside the shop to drink them. What is your favorite paleta flavor?

This recipe for corn paletas takes all the sweet goodness of corn and transforms it into a an icy treat. They are super easy to make.

The Recipe: Corn Paletas

This recipe for corn paletas takes all the sweet goodness of corn and transforms it into a an icy treat, and they are super easy to make. I used almond milk to make these paletas, but you can use coconut milk for a more decadent version. If this is your first time making these I would recommend pureeing the mixture until it is completely smooth and straining it. Once you decide if you like them or not you can play around with the texture. Enjoy!

 

This recipe for corn paletas takes all the sweet goodness of corn and transforms it into a an icy treat. They are super easy to make.

This recipe for corn paletas takes all the sweet goodness of corn and transforms it into a an icy treat. They are super easy to make.
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Corn Paletas

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 paletas
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Corn kernels fresh (about 4 ears)
  • 3 cups Almond milk
  • 3/4 cup Sugar, granulated, or other vegan sweetener
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Place corn, almond milk, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once it simmers, turn the heat off and take off the stove.
  2. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Place mixture in the blender, add vanilla, and process until smooth. (You can leave chunky if that is your preference.)
  4. Straining the mixture is completely optional.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

If you are using popsicle molds without an insert, refrigerate popsicles for 45 min. then insert wooden popsicle sticks. You can use coconut milk for a more decadent version. If this is your first time making these I would recommend pureeing the mixture until it is completely smooth and straining it. Once you decide if you like them or not you can play around with the texture.

 

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Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream

This vegan purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

There’s a beautiful Hawaiian purple sweet potato, also known as okinawan sweet potato, and it is incredibly sweet and full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. When I tried one for the first time all I could think about was that it was as sweet as candy. It turns out, there is also a purple sweet potato that is cultivated in Mexico. It is not the same variety, but I thought it would be fun to take something that both Hawaii and Mexico have in common and run with it.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

This ice cream is also inspired by a famous Mexican candy called Camotes de Santa Clara. It is candied sweet potato (purple, yellow, or orange) and citrus, rolled into a tube and wrapped in wax paper. Often fruit and nuts are mixed in as well. This candy is sold on the streets of Puebla, where the Santa Clara convent originally produced them.

After high school, I was a missionary for a year in Mexico City, and the nuns would often take us to Puebla on field trips. We would walk the market and buy a bunch of candy. That’s where I first tried the Camotes de Santa Clara. I don’t really remember them as being my favorite, but I know I did enjoy them.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

The Recipe: Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream

This ice cream is especially creamy and sweet, even when it has almost no fat at all, because of the starch and natural sugars of the sweet potato. The pineapple adds a welcome tartness to it and the pecans a crunchy texture. If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes you can use any other variety of sweet potatoes. I  have used almond milk, but you can use any plant-based milk. Enjoy!

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream
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Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 1 pint
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 3/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp. Vodka or tequila reposado, optional
  • 1/4 cup Pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple, chopped

Preparation

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender, combine the sweet potatoes, almond milk, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, lime juice, and tequila. Process until smooth. The mixture should have the thickness of a heavy cream.
  4. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator, then pour into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. You can mix in the pecans and pineapple in to the ice cream after the machine has finished spinning or you can add them to the machine when the ice cream is about to be done.
  6. Eat right away or freeze up to 5 hours to let the ice cream harden a bit.

Chef's Notes

The addition of the alcohol is completely optional. It is added to make homemade ice cream softer, because this ice cream has no preservatives or gums it will get hard in the freezer. Before eating it, take it out of the freezer fro 5 to 10 minutes to soften it up a bit. If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes you can use any other variety of sweet potato

 

 

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Vegan Coconut Paletas

These vegan coconut paletas (paletas de coco) are super easy to make and have only 3 ingredients. They are creamy, without being too rich, and full of toasted coconut flakes. These were my favorite growing up, now I can’t decide between these and the mango-chile paletas. However, I do think this vegan version is even better than the versions made with cow’s milk. They are definitely kid approved!

This recipe for vegan coconut paletas (paletas de coco) is super easy to make and has only 3 ingredients. They are creamy, but not too rich.

I had a kitchen nightmare the other night. I hadn’t had one in years! A kitchen nightmare is common among professional cooks and chefs. They usually entail something forgotten in the oven, the ticket machine spitting out ticket after ticket, or chef yelling at you. I don’t even know what caused me to have one, but chef was yelling at me. I was trying to explain myself and only digging the whole deeper. You should know, even in dreams, your response should always be, “Yes, chef.” I woke up a little freaked out, only to realize that my sweet two year old was trying to wake me up with kisses. I cannot even explain to you the huge relief I felt.

Sometimes I miss being a cook in a restaurant, but then I see how hard and tirelessly my husband works and how much we miss him, and I forget about it. Sometimes being a mom entails many tedious and repetitive tasks, and a great exercise in patience, but those sweet kisses cannot be replaced with anything. Not even the rush of adrenaline you get from working the line on a busy night, or the first sip of beer after getting your butt kicked on a Saturday. That morning I was really grateful that I get to be a stay-at-home mom/blogger, that is until I had to wipe up some poop off the bathroom floor!

This recipe for vegan coconut paletas (paletas de coco) is super easy to make and has only 3 ingredients. They are creamy, but not too rich.

The Recipe: Vegan Coconut Paletas

I was going to go all out and buy a fresh coconut to make these, since they are so accessible here in Hawaii, but I quickly changed my mind when I imagined trying to crack a coconut with my two kids pulling at my legs. This is the easy version. I used light coconut milk to minimize the amount of fat, but feel free to use full fat coconut milk if that is what you desire. Enjoy!

This recipe for vegan coconut paletas (paletas de coco) is super easy to make and has only 3 ingredients. They are creamy, but not too rich.
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Vegan Coconut Paletas

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 (3 oz) popsicles
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 (13.4 oz) cans Coconut milk, light
  • 2/3 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 2/3 cup Shredded coconut, unsweetened

Preparation

  1. Combine the coconut milk and sugar in a medium sauce pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Turn heat off and let cool in fridge. Once completely cool, strain.
  3. Add coconut and mix well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 5 hours

Chef's Notes

If you are using popsicle molds without an insert, refrigerate popsicles for 30 min. then insert wooden popsicle sticks. Coconut can be toasted or untoasted.

 

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Strawberry Paletas

It’s strawberry season here in SoCal and there are plenty of places to go strawberry picking. Every year we make a huge batch of strawberry preserves and popsicles or paletas. (To this day I sometimes call lollipops popsicles, because in Mexico paleta can mean both popsicle and lollipop.) The kids love them and so do we.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

Is there really a difference between a Mexican paleta and a popsicle? YES! A popsicle can be made with fruit juice, fruit concentrate, and depending on the brand you buy it can also have glycerine, maltodextrin, guar gum, food coloring, and natural and artificial flavors. A Mexican paleta is usually made with fresh fruit, sugar, and water or milk. They are made locally and sold in paleterias (popsicle shops) and popsicle carts. The flavors vary from region to region according to what is available and in season at each location. Some of the flavors are a little crazy or unusual like sweet corn, avocado, rice pudding, and cucumber and chile. They are well know for being very generously filled with cut fresh fruit.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

Believe it or not, there are some paleterias in the Orange County/LA area where you can go experience first hand what a paleta really is. In the following months I will be posting many paleta recipes so you can make them at home yourself. My grandparents owned a paleteria more than 30 years ago in my hometown and I’m trying to track down pictures and recipes of that time for you.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

In the mean time there is one amazing book by a Mexican chef, Fany Gerson, that should be a part of your cookbook collection. The book is called Paletas. No surprise there!  It has many classic Mexican flavors of paletas, as well as aguas frescas, and raspados. One of the best ones are precisely these strawberry paletas which I have adapted for you. Fany Gerson suggests that if you don’t have special popsicle molds you can use shot glasses, and that is precisely what I did. Keep your freezer stocked this summer with these beauties for a refreshing treat. Enjoy!

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

The Recipe: Strawberry Paletas

These paletas are 100% vegan and use only natural ingredients. I have made two versions, one with just strawberries and one with light coconut milk. They are just the right amount of sweet and they are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.
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Strawberry Paletas

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 paletas
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Strawberries, fresh, hulled, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup Cold water
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Place strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle sugar over them. Mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Place strawberries in a medium sauce pot and add 1/2 cup of water and place over medium eat. Simmer softly for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the mixture is cool, place in a blender, add the lemon juice, and process to desired consistency. Your paletas can be chunky or smooth.
  4. Pour into your molds, snap on the lids, and freeze for at least 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

If using shot glasses (like in the pictures) pour mixture into glasses and freeze for 1 - 2 hours. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 4 more hours. If your strawberries are not very sweet you can add 1/4 cup more of sugar. Recipe adapted from Fany Gerson’s book Paletas.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.
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Strawberry Coconut Paletas

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 paletas
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Strawberries, fresh, hulled, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup Cold water
  • 1 cup Coconut milk, light, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Place strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle sugar over them. Mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Place strawberries in a medium sauce pot and add 1/2 cup of water and place over medium eat. Simmer softly for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the mixture is cool, place in a blender, add lemon juice, coconut milk, and process to desired consistency. Your paletas can be chunky or smooth.
  4. Pour into your molds, snap on the lids, and freeze for at least 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

If using shot glasses (like in the pictures) pour mixture into glasses and freeze for 1 - 2 hours. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 4 more hours. If your strawberries are not very sweet you can add 1/4 cup more of sugar. Recipe adapted from Fany Gerson’s book Paletas.

 

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Vegan Strawberry Tamales

This past weekend I went to my first blogger conference. I learned so much and I met the most amazing people. The conference was hosted by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats and I loved her insight on how she grew her blog from 0 to 1 million views in 18 months. There’s so much to do on this little blog, and I am incredibly motivated to get it done.

There was only one other vegan blogger at the conference, her name is Jenn and her blog is Veggie Inspired. Please go check out her site and don’t forget to follow her on Pinterest, she has some great recipes on there. There’s one other blogger I would love to mention and that is Mimi from Mimi Avocado, even though her blog is not vegan you should go over to her site and read a little bit of her story. She lives on an avocado ranch. If you live in California you could have Mimi’s avocados delivered right to your door through her son’s company: California Avocados Direct!

Me and Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats

Our ebook: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is coming along nicely and I can’t wait for you to try all of the different tamal recipes. This recipe for vegan strawberry tamales is one of the best ones in the book. Apparently they taste like Capt’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, according to my husband.

The Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Tamales

These strawberry tamales are soft, tender packets of ground corn, filled with sweet strawberry jam. The aroma of the tamales steaming is irresistible. They are great with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate or an atole. Enjoy!

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Vegan Strawberry Tamales

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 18 tamales
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups Almond milk, warm
  • 1 cup Vegan Butter, room temperature, 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Masa harina, 1 lb. 2oz
  • 1 cup Water, warm
  • 1 ½ cup Strawberry jam
  • 30 Corn husks

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  2. Blend the 2 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of the strawberries until smooth.
  3. To make the dough: beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder and salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  4. Add half of the masa harina then add the strawberry almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of the masa harina and the water. Add the remaining cup of chopped strawberries, and beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  5. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
  7. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  8. Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  9. Place 1 tbsp. of strawberry jam in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the jam, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  10. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the open end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  11. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Chef's Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa and use only 1 cup of almond milk. To substitute the fat you can use 8 oz. of coconut oil. For tamales without fat, substitute with 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

 

 

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Vegan Chocolate Tamales

It’s that time of year again, when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal. If you have never tried a sweet tamal you are in for a treat.  These vegan chocolate tamales are made by beating vegan butter and sugar, adding corn masa flour, ground Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and warm almond milk. It is filled with bittersweet chocolate chips and chopped pecans. The best tamal is a warm tamal just out of the steamer, and the scent of cinnamon and the melted bittersweet chocolate interior of this tamal will surely conquer your tastebuds.

These vegan chocolate tamales are perfect for when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal.

For the last 3 months I have been working like crazy to deliver our latest project in time for Christmas. I have poured my heart into this project and I am excited to share it with you. On Dec 12th we will be releasing our first e-book: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped. This book contains over 18 different vegan tamal recipes for you to enjoy this Christmas season, with a step-by-step picture guide to making the dough, wrapping the tamales, and placing them in the steamer. The recipes include both savory and sweet tamales.

These vegan chocolate tamales are perfect for when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal.

In the next following weeks I will be sharing with you some of the recipes found in the book. I hope you like them!

The Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Tamales

If you would like to make these tamales with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa.

https://youtu.be/Zomy6h7ZiBI

 

tamales chocolate
Print

Vegan Chocolate Tamales

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 18 tamales
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Vegan Butter room temperature, 8 oz.
  • 1/3 cup Sugar granulated
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2oz) Masa harina
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican chocolate ground, 9 oz
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups Almond Milk, unsweetened, warm
  • 2 cups Water, warm
  • ½ cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups Chocolate chips, bittersweet
  • 30 Corn husks dried

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  2. Chop the Mexican chocolate into small pieces and grind to a powder in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the chocolate with a standard kitchen grater.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  4. Add half of the masa harina then add the almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and water. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  5. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels.
  7. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  8. Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  9. Place 5-10 chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  10. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the folded part of the tamal on the bottom. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  11. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Chef's Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa. You can also use 8 oz. of coconut oil or 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin to replace the fat.