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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about vegetarian food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I've got an avocado tree that's pumping out avocados faster than my fork can mash guacamole. What else can I do with avocados besides chopping them into salads?


Howdy there Andrea,

My, my, my! Y'all are mighty lucky to have a whole avocado tree in yer own back yard. Why, them avocados cost an arm and a leg in the market these days!

Now, I do make a wonderful avocado soup that's a heap o' good eatin' fer summer. It's nice 'n light an' soooo creamy you'll think yer sippin' somethin' from a fancy chef's kitchen.

I knows yer gonna like this soup, 'cause it's mighty easy on top o' being so delicious. Jes remember ta make it ahead an' give it plenty o' time ta chill before servin'.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Chilled soups make a great hit during blazing hot summer days our when appetites decline and we yearn for lighter, cooler foods. Turn to this easy soup for ultra-creamy comfort in a bowl. It takes minutes to prepare ahead for this chilled delight that's rich, satisfying, and nutritiously packed with healthy monounsaturated fats.


Yield: 5 to 6 servings

    1/2 cup (120 ml) whole almonds

    1 quart (1 liter) water, divided
    2 dates

    2 medium avocados (about 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) chopped)
    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    Pinch cayenne

    2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, dill)

  1. Create a creamy almond milk by grinding the almonds into a fine powdery meal in batches in an electric mini-chopper/grinder or coffee grinder and transfer to the blender.
  2. Add 2 1/2 (600 ml) cups of the water and the dates and blend on high speed for a full minute. Strain the almond milk through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the pulp.
  3. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the avocados, the remaining 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) water, and the remaining ingredients. Blend on low for a few seconds, switch to high speed, and blend for a full minute. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl and chill thoroughly.
  4. To serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls and garnish with dash of paprika and a pinch or two of fresh herbs.

Almond Pulp Topping: Don't discard the almond pulp left over after straining the almond milk. Place it in a bowl and add 1 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Mix well and serve for breakfast over oatmeal or fruit salad.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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