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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,

My husband needs to loose weight and get his cholesterol down. I sure would like to see him get off those pills--if that's ever possible. Do you have any ideas for what he can spread on his toast instead of butter, margarine, or cream cheese?


Howdy there, Alyssa,

I surely do admire yer carin' 'bout yer husband's health an' I have a mighty fine recipe fer his mornin' toast. First, darlin', make shure his toast is whole grain. Eatin' plenty o' fiber helps ya lose weight. Then, cook him up some ole fashioned oatmeal 'cause it's got plenty o' soluble fiber that works on gittin' that cholesterol down.

Now, fer what ta put on that toast, I jes love usin' dried fruit fer makin' up a spread that's even better'n' butter. It keeps fer a long time, too. Now, haul out a few fixin's an' make up this here l'il recipe. It only takes a few minutes an' I think you'll enjoy it, too.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


    2 C. (480 ml) dried apples, packed down
    1 C. (240 ml) golden raisins
    1 C. (240 ml) water
    3 heaping T. peeled, chopped fresh ginger
    3 to 4 T. evaporated cane juice

    1/4 C. (60 ml) water

  1. Combine apples, raisins, water, ginger, and evaporated cane juice in a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Turn heat down to low and steam 10 to 12 minutes or until tender.
  3. Transfer fruit and its liquid to a food processor. Add 1/4 C. (60 ml) water, and process for 2 full minutes until mixture is completely blended and ginger is no longer visible.
  4. Spoon into an attractive serving bowl and enjoy as a spread over toast. Makes about 2 cups. (480 ml) Refrigerate leftovers. Keeps well for about 1 month.

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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