Christmas, Desserts, Holidays, Omnivore Approved, Recipes

Chocolate Peppermint Bark – Feeling Festive!

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Chocolatey, pepperminty goodness ❤

Peppermint and chocolate is a decadent combination sent from heaven itself. Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit like good old-fashioned homemade sweets, especially when they include peppermint. Spatula-licking good; here are the steps to making your own peppermint bark!

Picking the perfect peppermint.

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When I am looking for peppermint candies I do my best to avoid unfavorable additives. For example, some peppermints are dyed using Red 4. Red 4 is created by grinding up insects. Another common colorant, Red 40, is tested on animals (as I’m sure many others are as well). I avoid red 4 and I do my best to avoid the later, but sometimes I find myself in situations where using it is unavoidable. Preferably, one might want to use natural peppermints dyed with fruit juices instead.  Just something to keep in mind if you care about that kind of thing!

Did somebody say CHOCOLATE? 

This week I was incredibly perplexed as to why it is so difficult to find vegan chocolate chips. I went to three (THREE!) different grocery stores; Shaw’s, Walmart, and Hannaford’s. They were even all out of the well-known / dairy-free “Enjoy Life” brand. I later ventured off to Marden’s and Reny’s. Luckily, I ended up finding two different brands of chocolate chips at Reny’s. The first one I found was called “Chef’s Select”, and admittedly I wasn’t a fan. It was incredibly waxy and flavorless; upon looking closer at the bag it appears that it is “chocolate flavored” and not real chocolate – woops. The second kind, that I actually used for this bark, is AMAZING! Not to mention it was cheaper than most vegan brands. Sweet, sweet chocolate.

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If you can find this brand, I highly recommend it!

Peppermint Bark


Recipe Type: Candy, Chocolate

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


What you’ll need

  • Parchment Paper
  • Glass Bowl & Pot, or double boiler.
  • 2 cups Chocolate chips
  • 2-4 Candy Canes

Instructions

  1. Crush your peppermint candies. I like to use a sandwich bag and my meat tenderizer. Lindsy, smash!
  2. Lay out your parchment paper on the counter for later. Prepare your double boiler, or add a bit of water to a pot (1-2 inches) and bring it to a simmer. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot making sure it isn’t touching the water; the steam is what will melt the chocolate. If you don’t have a glass bowl big enough to sit comfortably in your pot, no worries, you can use a spaghetti strainer and a smaller bowl! Sometimes we have to be crafty to get things done – and that’s okay!
  3. Add your chips of choice into the bowl and stir the chocolate constantly with a silicone spatula. This will help it melt evenly. Continue to stir until there are no more clumps.
  4. Immediately pour your chocolate onto your parchment paper. Spread it out carefully, making sure not to make it too thin. It’s okay if it’s a little uneven, we’re going to smash it anyway!
  5. Sprinkle on your crushed candies. You can allow the chocolate to harden on the counter, or place it on a pan and toss it in the freezer for a few minutes.
  6. Put your amazing home-made candy in pretty boxes and gift them to friends and family, or treat yourself to some sweets and Christmas movies.
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Happy Holidays!

 

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Family, Uncategorized

Nerdy For Plants

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My little family. One of my favorite photos from 2013 🙂

Nerdiness and Plants; They make a pretty good pear.

I couldn’t resist the pun.

Hi-hello, everyone! My name is Lindsy Wheaton, and I am the inhabitant of this shiny new blog. I’d like to start us off by telling you a little bit about me, my family, and why I am pursuing this inter-web adventure. So, without further ado… Drum roll, please!

“VegaNerds”?

I absolutely love being vegan and leading a vegan lifestyle, but that’s not all! I am a huge fan of all things nerdy; video games (Nintendo, anyone?), comic books, cartoons, crafts and more. Admittedly, for some reason I’m also a total nerd when it comes to studying nutrition. I’m really passionate about eating healthy and feeding my family wholefoods. It took me a little while to think of a name for this blog, but suddenly “Veganerds” popped into my head. I couldn’t shake this combination of my two of my favorite things, thus Veganerds was born! I’m excited to see how these two concepts will combine into my cooking and baking. (Vegan Skyrim sweet-rolls, anyone?)

Family

My nerdy veggie-lover family and I reside in the beautiful state of Maine in our little 3-bedroom, Ranch-style house. We moved into our first home on Mother’s day this year and life hasn’t been the same since; in the best way possible! I love having the freedom to decorate, and of course not getting the broomstick-wrath of our apartment-dwelling neighbors (We’re active people!). We’re so excited to celebrate our first Christmas together in our new home; spending as much time together as we can making memories and growing together. 2017 has been a blessing.

My fiancé and our 5 year old son are both omnivores. I’m very fortunate that they are both open to trying new things and enjoy my cooking; my son’s favorite food is broccoli and will even eat my homemade seitan. So if, like me, you are a plant-based eater living in an omnivorous family; you can be confident that each recipe is omnivore approved. And hey, if a 5 year old boy will eat it, it can’t be that bad… right? 😉

My Ideas For VegaNerds

There are so many things that I would love to write about that I wish I had enough time to write them all in a day. A couple of the main topics I plan to start with are of course recipes, but also my own personal health journey. So far since going vegan I have lost close to 20 pounds (and counting). I have more energy, my skin is clearing up, and I am an overall happier person! This subject not only includes physical health, but mental health as well. I also hope to motivate others to lead healthier lives, and maybe inspire at least one person to give a plant-based lifestyle a try. Even if I only inspire one person, I will know that this has been worth every minute.


A few more of my ideas. Please let me know if there is anything you would like for me to discuss in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

  • Grocery Lists; discussing what I purchased, and how much I spent. I have a very limited budget and I really enjoy finding ways to save money while also eating well. Believe it or not, you can eat cheaper on a vegan diet!
  • Family Shenanigans. I plan to visit an animal sanctuary soon, so I will certainly be documenting our adventures!
  • Crafts; I’ll have to find a way to fit this in here somewhere. I absolutely love sewing, drawing, and being creative in general.
  • Vegan starter tips; all the things I wish I knew before going vegan!
  • Mental Health
  • Weight Loss
  • Maine-Inspired vegan recipes… Wicked tasty!
  • Being vegan among a family of omnivores; recipes everyone will enjoy.
  • Cats, probably. Let’s be honest here.

Thank-you so much for taking the time to visit my little blog. I look forward to writing many more posts in the future, making new friends, and always becoming a better version of myself than I was yesterday… One day at a time.

Happy Holidays!