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Vegan Kaya Toast ビーガンカヤトースト [Recipes Sweets スウィーツレシピ]

日本語のレシピは ビーガン、ベジタリアン情報満載の Hachidory から ご覧下さい。

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The scorching hot summer is here !

I came back from Malaysia and Singapore two weeks ago.

Both are the tropical countries and it is hot all the year round.

Though I could enjoy the morning dew and cooling air in early morning, the temperature goes up rapidly soon and the daytime was very hot. 

However, when I came back to Japan, I reaffirmed the summer in Japan is hotter than those countries. 

Yes, I am feeling much hotter now. 

I know from my experience that I do not feel hot compared with other people and seldom require the air conditioner to cool down the room temperature. 
I felt too cold wherever I visited both in Singapore and Malaysia and needed to carry a thick long sleeve jacket and even a neck warmer as the setting of the air conditioner was too strong everywhere. 
But I need to switch on the air conditioner in the afternoon these days, otherwise I get drowsy and can’t do my work.

You can imagine how hot this summer is !

When the weather is like this, I feel like eating something tropical.
I do not want to eat yang food, in other word, something heavy or something that tends to keep the heat inside the body.

So I use a tropical ingredient in today’s recipe.

I usually insist on eating locally and seasonally for our health, for the environment, for the animals and for our planet.

But once a while we can explore something foreign, and satisfy our interests and color our lives to pinkish, though we still need to select the ingreients that minimize the sufferings of others.

“Kaya Toast “is the popular breakfast menu in Singapore (and probably in Malaysia too.)

It is the sandwich made from kaya jam, light texture thin sliced bread, and butter.  Kaya jam is made from eggs, coconut milk, sugar and pandan leaves which has the unique sweet fragrance.

 

Today’s recipe is the vegan version of this “Kaya Toast”. 

Though it may look and taste a bid different from the original one, I bet many of you would love it.   As for me, I can’t resist eating a few pieces of it at a time !


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Ichigo Daifuku, Japanese Strawberry Rice Cake 苺大福 [Recipes Sweets スウィーツレシピ]



日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト”Hachidory” から ご覧ください。


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Do you like strawberries?

I'm sure most of you do.

They look so pretty and are pleasing to palate of most of the people.

The season of the strawberries looks fading away in Japan, but on the contrary, it is going to start soon.

Visit this page that I posted a few years ago if you want to know why.

 

The strawberries are not only pretty and tasty, but very useful ingredient too. 
They humbly help me when I want pink color in my sweets making.

 Sakuramochi

 

Today, I'm going to share my "Ichigo Daifuku" recipe with you.

 

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"Daifuku" is the glutinous sticky rice cake stuffed with the sweet red bean paste, and it is a traditional Japanese sweet.

But "Ichigo Daifuku" is not a traditional one.

Somebody invented this and it was spread all over Japan not so long ago.
When I first saw it, I was in shock, Oh ! the combination of a strawberry and sweet red beans ?  No Way !!
I shut it out.

But the times passed… I love it now!

May be my taste bud changed or I am more generous to the new idea or both....?

 

To make it look cute, I let only one strawberry sit on Daifuku, but when I eat it, I need to pop in another strawberry into my mouth.

This way, Ichigo Daifuku is tastier twice much !!


 

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Vegan Piggy Cookies ビーガンブーちゃんクッキー [Recipes Sweets スウィーツレシピ]


日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報誌と”Hachidory" をご覧ください


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Happy Lunar New Year ! 


In many Asian countries, the new year is celebrated according to the lunar calendar.


Japan also used to celebrate it during this season until early Meiji Era which is not so long ago.


It is the season that early spring is starting, and the plum blossoms are blooming.


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But I had never thought why we celebrate the new year on January 1of the modern calendar until I was asked by some of my friends while I lived in Singapore why Japanese people do not celebrate the Lunar New Year.   


In Singapore the biggest new year is Lunar New Year which is also called Chinese New Year.  (Singapore is a multi-racial country, so there are several new years to be celebrated.) 


It was a kind of surprising and interesting fact for me that people there preserve each race’s tradition as I got the impression that the country and people there were more westernized and progressive than Japan and Japanese people. 


At that time, I was a young Japanese language teacher.


“The language is deeply related with its culture, and without knowing, understanding and being able to explain it, one cannot really teach the language well to the foreign students. “   


That is what I found after I started teaching Japanese to foreign people in a foreign country.  


“Why do Japanese people celebrate the new year on January 1st of the modern calendar, not the lunar calendar?”


My search had started. 


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My favorite lunar calendar that I pusrchase and use each year

 

It was unfolded that many of the traditional events I had been celebrating since my childhood are not following the actual dates, which means they are celebrated irrelevant to the seasons and do not make any sense.  May be obon/the day to honor the ancestors, and otsukimi/moon viewing day are the only two events that Japanese people are still following the lunar calendar.


I think very few Japanese people are paying attention to these facts and most of the people are using unsuitable words to express the natural phenomena of the seasons and practicing unmatching seasonal events.


The words we often use for the new year such as


迎春/geishun/welcoming spring”,


干支/zodiac”,  


七草粥/shichikusagayu/porridge with seven kinds of wild spring plants”


are effective only when they are used during the new year of the lunar calendar. 


Spring is too far away from January 1st, zodiac is the concept that was born from the lunar calendar, those seven kinds of wild plants are not showing their faces yet in January of the modern calendar, so the farmers have to grow them artificially in the green houses using unnecessary fossil fuel to meet  the demand of people to make the porridge on the 7th of January.


I mentioned in previous post that the year of pig had started.


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Esther who was born as a farmed animal but is now living happily as a family member 


When I said it, I was following the current custom that general Japanese people are practicing.


But, in fact the year of pig has just started.


Ironically, Japan is now on full alert of the outbreak of classical swine fever/hog cholera, and 16000 piggies have been culled so far.


It is normal that those farmed animals are treated as mere commodities, therefore no medical attentions are given and they just have to endure their pains and sufferings.


All the media is reporting how big the damages are and sympathizing with the farmers and business owners. 


What about piggies? 


They are the ones suffering the most.


They are a living creature who feels pain and fear just like us.


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My heart sinks whenever I hear the reports and opinions with no regretting words towards them.


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Visit these sites to learn more about pigs.


A Pig's Perfect Day


Dot, the piglet


 


How did you find ?


Aren't they adoreble ?


O.K, let me share the recipe of vegan piggy cookies now to be compassionate to them.


After making, may be you can also share them with somebody and start your conversation about piggies and pass those information that you gained from those sites.


Anyway those cookies look so kawaii and taste yummy, no one could resist eating them. 


( or some might think too cute to eat them ! )


Here you go !


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Vegan Tofu Cream ビーガンクリーム [Recipes Sweets スウィーツレシピ]


日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト Hachidory を ご覧ください。



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The festive season is here !


Which song comes to your mind first when the Christmas season has arrived ? 


for me, it is 


"♫♬ Dashing through the snow ♩♫, in a one horse open sleigh...♬♪" 


or


♫♬  We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas...♫♬ ” 


or  


♫♬  Silent night, Holy night, all is calm, all is bright...♫♬  " 


or  


♫♬ I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...♫♬ "


Many old days’ Christmas songs come out from my mouth.


However, Christmas is not the festival we traditionally celebrate in Japan as most Japanese are not Christians.   


But it is the day that many kids are looking forward to.


Why ?   Because they can eat the whole decoration cake, and receive the presents !


When I saw the present from Santa beside my bed in my childhood, I was so excited, and regretted that I missed to see him again.  


I used to envy my friend from bottom of my heart, who told me she saw him after hearing the sleigh bell approaching to her.   


After growing up and had my own family, I gave the presents of the same pleasure to my kids like my mother did for me, though it was a tropical Christmas, not a white Christmas like I had.


I suppose Christmas is the biggest childhood fond memory for them too.   


However, unfortunately this season is not a happy one for all of us.


There are many beings who are suffering because of this festival.


We have to think of them as Christmas is the day that we share our happiness with everyone.


The consumption of the chickens and cow’s milk drastically goes up during this season in Japan.  (I guess it is same in your country too.)


I told you that Japanese people do not really celebrate the Christmas, but many of us eat the whole cake decorated with thick cow’s milk and strawberries on a day of Christmas, so the all the cake shops increase the production to twice, triple of usual to cater for the needs of those people. 


You might be thinking the cows can produce milk anytime, but the fact is they can produce milk only when they gave birth to a baby like we humans.


Why do mothers produce milk ?


It is to feed their babies, their own babies.


However what is happening in the dairy industry is that the babies are taken away from their mother straight away, and mothers, no matter how much they cry for their babies or not, their nipples were geared with the machines to suck up their milk for humans.


Those cows are artificially inseminated every year and are forced to give birth until their bodies are too worn out to produce the babies any more.  What is waiting for them next is to be sent to the slaughter house, though they can still live, may be next 6 years if the circumstances allow them to do so.   


I do not write about those babies here today, but their fates are even more heart breaking.


 


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just born-baby that I witnessed at the farm



Normal Dairy Farm


Humane Dairy Farm


 


The bond between mothers and babies is profound for any species. 


Nobody should interfere this sacred bond. 


Do we need to drink milk ?


No, It does harm than good to humans.


There are many studies indicating that, and I also have heard many actual experiences that the physical condition improved after stopping the intake of dairy.  I myself felt it.


There’s no need to hurt the cows. 


For those who still miss the cheese, cream and milk, there are many kinds of alternatives available nowadays.  


You can easily obtain them by searching net and YouTube. 


Here’s my small contribution too. 


There are several ways to make vegan cream for decoration, but today I am showing the one made mainly from tofu.


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Here you go….


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Vegan Okara Caramel Cake おからキャラメルケーキ [Recipes Sweets スウィーツレシピ]



日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト "Hachidory" から ご覧ください。


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Rice field



The humid summer has come.


The cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, corns are showing off their green, red, purple and yellow bodies, saying "Look ! here I am !!" .



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My petite daughters, Tomato Chans


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My son, Cucumber 



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My younger son, Eggplanto 




Those summer vegetables are considered yin as they cool down our heaty bodies.


The climate of summer is yang, that's why the nature blesses us those vegetables.


In other word, it is the law of the nature.   


Therefore it is best for us to set those seasonal and local food as a pillar of our diet together with grains.


We can be more vital and healthy with those food  because we are a part of the nature.


The exotic food imported distance away from other countries can be enjoyed once a while to satisfy our curiousities and cravings.  


This is the fundamental idea of Macrobiotics.



I usually introduce the recipes of summer vegetable during this season as my table is always with those colorful and appetizing dishes.


But today it is not a vegetable recipe.


I am sharing one of the okara dishes that I showed you in my previous post.


Some people requested me to share one particular dish.


Guess what it was.


Mock sausage ?


Caramel cake ?



Japanese traditional simmered okara with vegetables ?


Cookies ?


Quiche ?


Bread ?


Carrot cake ?






It was a caramel cake!


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They said it looks so delicious !


Yes, it is delicious !!



Actually making vegan sweets is  easier  than making normal sweets.


(There are many more advantages of making and eating vegan sweets, but I'll tell you what they are in other occasions.) 


But this cake may require a bit of experience to get the satisfactory result.


You need to make caramel sauce first to make this cake.


The taste of the cake varies dependig on the degree of the temperature of the sauce when it is made.   


If it is too low, the cake does not taste like caramel.

If it is too high, it tastes very bitter.

If it is moderate, it would be perceived "nice caramel cake" in general.


But after all it's all up to individual preference.

I personally prefer the bitter one when I use it for the cake, which color is black and might be considered "burnt and failed " by other sweet making teachers. 


So be brave to make any types of caramael sauce.


However you need to be careful not to burn yourself or damage your pot as the temperature of caramel can go up highter than 100℃.


Here's the recipe step by step.

 


 

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