Stir it Up!

February 6th was Bob Marley’s birthday. It was also Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s National Day. What better way to recognize these 2 occasions than with food? Here are my vegan versions of Jamaican Chocolate Tea and New Zealand ginger crunch, a perfect combination for a winter treat.

Jamaican Chocolate Tea is basically hot chocolate. It is usually drunk at breakfast and there are no tea bags involved.
Weal Food’s Stir it Up! Jamaican Tea Recipe

  • 1/2 cup each of water and non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, oat, etc. So many to choose from nowadays!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice (if you have the bark and berries, you can use those instead. You may wish to take a mortar and pestle to the solid pieces so that the aromatic oils which contain the flavour are released.)
  • a pinch each of nutmeg and salt
  • a couple drops of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Use the good stuff-this is not time to skimp.
  • 1 generous Tablespoon of coconut milk
  • brown sugar to taste (about 1 Tablespoon)

Throw everything except the coconut milk and sugar into a saucepan. Heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer for a minute or two. Pour the mixture into a mug and add the coconut milk and sugar. Stir it up! and drink.

You can add a little (vegan) Appleton rum to the mixture if you wish to warm up real quick. The original recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk. If you are lacto-vegetarian you can simply use that instead of the coconut milk and sugar. If you can get your hands on sweetened condensed milk (or make it yourself) then use that instead.

New Zealand Ginger Crunch is a 2 layer bar with a spiced cookie base topped with spiced icing.
Weal Food’s ‘Sweet As’ Vegan Ginger Crunch

Base

  • 1/4 cup each of Earth Balance buttery spread (softened) and granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of powdered ginger

Cream buttery spread and sugar until fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until fully combined. Press into a square pan and bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 20 minutes (until a light brown colour appears). Five minutes before done, make the topping…

Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons of Earth Balance buttery spread, softened
  • 1/3 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of golden syrup (or rice syrup)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of powdered ginger

Gently heat the buttery spread and golden syrup. Stir in the remaining ingredients until fully combined. Pour over the warm base and leave for about 20 minutes. The bar should still be slightly warm; this is a good time to cut into individual serving sizes.

*Option to use 1/4 cup of diced candied ginger. Use in base, topping or both.

This combination of ginger treat and spiced drink is ideal for a mid-winter warm-up.

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