Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

It’s October and I miss having a real “fall” out here in Phoenix.  The weather back in New York is currently cool enough to wear jeans and a sweatshirt and to break out my fantastic fall wardrobe.  I yearn to feel an autumn breeze while picking pumpkins and apples.  I miss driving along I-95 with the vibrant hues of fall painted on a canvas on either side of the road.  Instead, it is 95 degrees in Phoenix, I am still wearing shorts and a tank top, and the air conditioning is pumping in my apartment. 

At this time of year, I go into a fall cooking frenzy to compensate for the lack of what I consider real seasons in the Southwest.  Butternut squash, sweet potato, apple, and, of course, pumpkin dishes are a terrific way to celebrate my favorite time of year, even if there is no authentic autumn weather.  The following is a recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin bread that I modified from one on my go-to site, www.VegWeb.com.  It’s a very simple recipe:

Ingredients:

    1 ¾ cups unbleached flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    ¾  teaspoon nutmeg
    ¼ teaspoon allspice
    ¼  teaspoon ginger
    1 and ¼ cup pumpkin puree
    ½ cup Earth Balance, melted
    ¼ cup applesauce
    1/3 cup vanilla soy milk
    1 cup vegan chocolate chips      

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease one loaf pan.

2. Combine dry ingredients. 

3. Mix wet ingredients. Then stir in dry ingredients. 

4. Fold in chocolate chips. 

5. Pour into pan. Bake 45-50 minutes.


The result is a concoction of gooey, chocolaty, vegan goodness.  Wait a few minutes after taking it out of the oven and scoop it right out of the pan, or enjoy after allowing it to cool completely.  Either way, you will not be disappointed.  This is some seriously good pumpkin bread and a delicious treat, whether or not you are pining for autumn. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vegetarian Awareness Month

October is most commonly known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  As a Women’s Studies major in college, I also helped promote Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  But low and behold, I just recently learned that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, too!  Here are ten things you can do to spread awareness and join in the celebration, whether or not you are a vegetarian or a vegan:

  1. Cook a delicious vegetarian or vegan meal for your family and friends.
  2. Read one article or book about the benefits of an animal-free diet.
  3. Check out a vegetarian or vegan website or blog (holler!).
  4. Try the meatless option on the menu at a restaurant.
  5. Try to go at least one day per week without eating meat (Meatless Mondays).
  6. Peruse a vegan or vegetarian cookbook.
  7. Check out a documentary, such as Food Matters, Food Inc., or Forks Over Knives.
  8. Try one of the delicious desserts I posted about in “Cruelty-Free Desserts.”
  9. Pledge to go vegetarian for a day, week, or the entire month, and enter to win between $250 and $1,000 at worldvegetarianday.org!
  10. If you are already a vegetarian or a vegan, pat yourself on the back for helping animals and the Earth every day!