Gelatin is one of those sneaky non-vegetarian things. That’s a huge bummer since it’s in fun things like tons of candy, marshmallows, Jell-O and fruit snacks. That last one is especially dire if you’re the parent of two crazy little boys who just happen to LOVE fruit snacks. I mean, really. What kid doesn’t?! Luckily, pectin based fruit snacks are becoming easier to find. Annie’s Fruit Snacks are some of our favorites but we can easily finish an entire box in one sitting! That’s ok if it’s the only way your kids will chill out and let you walk around Target for a bit but they definitely can get expensive as a daily snack. But…
<cue the fanfare> Agar Agar to the rescue! It’s a plant based thickening agent that is often used in Asian cuisine and a vegetarian mother’s best friend. You can find Agar Agar flakes in the Asian section of most grocery stores. This recipe calls for Agar Agar powder which is a bit more difficult to get your hands on. I suggest checking out your local Asian grocery store. I love that place!
I hope you and, more importantly, your kids enjoy these! Even if you’re not vegetarian/vegan, if you’ve got agar agar and some fruit juice, you’re halfway there to a super quick and healthy snack. Any mother can appreciate that! :)
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Tutorial: Waste-Free Snacking, The Green Phone Booth
Jim is a huge fan of snacking. Me? Not so much. I’m pretty good with about 5 small meals a day but Jim eats that plus snacks before and after each meal. His absolute favorite has always been crackers and cheese but since we’re cutting back on our cheese consumption (remember?) we’ve been making a ton of nut spreads. More nut spreads = crazy amounts of crackers being consumed in our house.
We usually buy Multi Grain Bretons which aren’t too bad. (Oh crap. I take that back. I just looked at the nutritional information…not good.) They’re pretty tasty but the crackers from The Green Phone Booth? Even better! I didn’t have any rosemary so I added a few sprinkles of Italian Herb Seasoning. The nutritional yeast adds a nice “cheesey” flavor, I think, but we’re huge fans of NY around here.
I would suggest just cutting them in squares like the recipe suggests. Although pretty, the leaf cutout I used took forever and weren’t even really appreciated enough before Jim popped them in his mouth. They made for nice pictures though.
As for taste, I thought they were good right out of the oven but the true test would be if Jim liked them. Considering he came home and ate every last one of them with vegan cream cheese and sun dried tomatoes, I think he approved of the cracker experiement. Who knew crackers were ridiculously easy to make?!
In an effort to cut back on our cheese usage (and believe me, it was much needed!), I gave these Fresh Taco Wraps a shot. Oh. My. Goodness. They were amazing!
I’ve grown up around great Mexican food so to say I’m a bit particular with this type of cuisine is to put it lightly. Seriously, there isn’t a restaurant on Earth that can beat my Mom’s enchiladas. I’m sorry, it’s just a fact. So when I saw this recipe, I was interested but almost certain that would just be so-so. The cashew “cheese” sauce really does satisfy that queso craving you get every once and a while (or if you’re me, every other minute) and the walnut “meat?” Can you even tell it’s not ground beef in the picture? I didn’t think so.
I only had time to make a quick one before JackJack woke up and I’m surprised how full I felt. The article said something about raw foods filling you quicker since cooking breaks down the water and fiber in foods. I believe it!
I definitely recommend you give this a shot. It’s a great stand alone snack or part of a meal and with all those nuts in there, sure to pack a protein punch. A great recipe to start giving raw foods a try!