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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. Since 2009 Aunt Nettie has known people were struggling to stretch their dollars during the recession. So she focused her tasty recipes on low-cost ingredients that would still offer delicious, healthy, stick-to-the-ribs foods, yet were affordable.

With the economy improving and more people back at work, Aunt Nettie felt the time was right to ease up a bit on strict bargain-bin shopping and gussy up the menu with a few small splurges.

Aunt Nettie is still happy to answer questions that come her way, but what she loves most is offering seasonal fixin's that inspire her while shopping at the farm stand.

Howdy there darlin's,

Well my, my, my, it's a new day and a mighty fine new year fer ya. An' it's my deeeeelight to wish y'all a very happy new year. I surely do hope this year will be filled with a heap o' good things yer wishin' fer.

Fer some folks, I know this year was mighty hard ta git through, and I surely hope this year will be a tad better. I wanted ta do my best ta start the year off with somethin' good ta eat that jes might put a smile on yer faces an' ease yer trubbles-at least fer a spell.

I figgered it would be a good idea ta start the year with somethin' good ta eat that was also gonna be good fer ya, too. So I rummaged through my pantry an' pulled out a few goodies I thought might-could be rolled up inter one nice l'il ole sweet thang an' sure e'nuff it did come together jes fine.

Now darlin', don't ferget ta share the sweet treat--it's mighty important ta spread the good times, not jes fer the holidays, but all year long, startin' with this month. An' if y'all kin start the year with a smile, why it jes might last all year long.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Everyone enjoys a little sweet treat once in a while. Here's a sweet little snack that's also made from healthy whole foods that are good for you. It's quick to assemble but will test your patience while it chills for several hours in the fridge to firm up enough to slice. How many servings will it make? That depends on how thick you decide to slice the logs, but between the 2 logs, at least 1 dozen people will be able to enjoy a tasty reward.

Plum Good Peanut Roll


Yield: two 8-inch (20 cm) logs

Plum Good Peanut Roll

    1 cup (240 ml) finely snipped pitted prunes using kitchen scissors
    1/2 cup (120 ml) chunky peanut butter
    1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup

    1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 2 tablespoons almond flour or almond meal
    1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Pinch salt

    1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped unsalted peanuts
    Sprig of fresh mint leaves

Plum Good Peanut Roll

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the almond flour, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  3. Tear off a sheet of waxed paper about 18 inches (46 cm) long and place it on the countertop. Spoon half of the peanut mixture onto the center of the waxed paper and form it into a log about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
  4. Sprinkle half the crushed peanuts on the waxed paper, and roll the log in the peanuts to coat it completely.
  5. Wrap the log in the waxed paper and fold the ends under. Repeat the process with the remaining half of the peanut mixture and put both wrapped logs on a dish. Chill the logs in the refrigerator for several hours to firm.
  6. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the logs into slices, and put them on a serving dish. Garnish with mint leaves. Refrigerated the logs will keep for up to 1 month.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with megabytes 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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