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!
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!
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.
Blend the 2 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of the strawberries until smooth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.