vegan

Emy Desserts: Making Snacking Safe for Everyone

by Anne Maxfield on September 16, 2019

If you or anyone you know have ever suffered from a food allergy, you’ll want to know about Emy Desserts.

If you or anyone you know have ever craved delicious, sweet snacks, you’ll want to know about Emy Desserts.

Emily Horta the founder of Emy Desserts wants everyone to feel included. Her mission is to “provide desserts and snacks that EVERYONE can enjoy!”

Her treats are completely allergy friendly with no soy, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, gluten, crustacean or seafood. She goes a step further and makes it a healthier option by using no refined sugar, GMO, corn, sesame or coconut. To keep it safe, she buys from companies that are completely allergy friendly or have separate product lines.

While it will give people with food allergies something to cheer about, she’s not targeting people with allergies, she’s targeting everyone. Emily wants her customers to realize that “stuff can taste really good without allergens.

Emily graduated from the CIA about 1 ½ years ago with a degree in baking and pastry. She’s vegan and has dietary restrictions and knew firsthand that just going out to eat, “you see the lack of knowledge and ignorance about food allergies and eating restrictions in general. No one should feel left out, no matter if it’s choice or medical reasons. You should have something to eat that you feel safe eating and not a lot of companies realize that.”

She really wanted to make a difference, and with her knowledge and background she thought this would be the perfect way to do it. She’s been baking since she was 15. She did a lot of baking like wedding cakes and traditional desserts and then started to do research into food allergies and veganism and became vegan. She says, “I felt like I needed to make a difference because most of the stuff in bakeries and stuff I can’t eat.”

She comes up with all the recipes herself and develops them through trial and error, and what she feels safe eating. Currently there are 4 product lines, which we got to try:

Fudge cups—4 standard flavors and additional seasonal flavors

Protein bars—5 flavors (the trail mix was one of my favorites!)

Power bites—3 flavors

Truffles—6 flavors

The truffles and fudge cups also come in gift boxes, or she’ll handcraft a gift basket for special orders.

Besides ordering from her website, you can find Emily in person at 2-3 events a week– farmers markets, vegan festivals, craft fairs. She also sells at Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, local artisan bakeries, Zoe’s Ice Cream, Nature’s Pantry and wants to get into supermarkets and Whole Foods.

She’s active on all social media especially Instagram and tries to keep it personal and have a sense of humor.

Her biggest success? People that don’t have allergies really seem to like the products and become repeat customers even they don’t have need/allergies.

And if you go to Hudson Valley EATS, you’ll have a chance to win a gift box of Emily’s goodies!

Thanks to Emily for the treats and most of the photos.

 

 

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Easy and Delicious Grilled Mushrooms  

by Anne Maxfield on July 9, 2018

Accidental Locavore Marinated Grilled MushroomsThese grilled mushrooms on skewers will be one of your summertime favorites! It’s a simple recipe and will make you want to head right out and buy a bunch of mushrooms.

  • 2 pounds mushrooms, button or cremini
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Slice the mushrooms into about ¼” slices (on an average sized mushroom, I cut them into thirds). Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a container or Ziploc bag. Add the mushrooms and marinate for 30 minutes.

Skewer the mushrooms and grill over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes a side, until they are tender and slightly charred. Serve with just about anything and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Mushrooms and KnifeMy verdict: These were great!  Since there were just two of us (and we didn’t know how delicious they would be) I only bought a pound of mushrooms but kept to the same quantity of  marinade ingredients above.

We had them as a side dish and then I tossed some of the leftovers on some burgers we made the next day.

Being curious and impatient, I started to eat them before they were even grilled, and they were terrific. I’m not sure that eating them straight from the marinade was a good idea, but I survived and put some of the bits that were too small to skewer on a salad for lunch the next day.

If you don’t have a grill, a hot oven (425°) and a sheet tray would probably work fine and of course, a grill pan would too.

The thyme is a small amount and could be forgotten if you didn’t have any, or swapped out for some rosemary. Please don’t use dried thyme, it’s noxious and will ruin the dish. Better to go without.

Off to toss some more on the grill!

 

 

 

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Sweet Potato Dog Treats (or Vegan Jerky)

by Anne Maxfield on March 25, 2016

Accidental Locavore Sweet Potato TreatsThis was one of those too-good-to-be-true recipes, or, why didn’t I think of that? The Accidental Locavore was reading a blog post about making dog treats from sweet potatoes. Here’s how it works:

  • Preheat the oven to 175°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – figure one pan per potato, depending on their size.
  • Wash and dry 1-2 large sweet potatoes and slice very thinly the length of the potato. If you have a mandolin, this is the time to use it. If you’d rather practice your knife skills, slice a small piece off one side to give yourself a steady base.
  • Arrange the slices in one layer on the baking sheets (they can touch but not overlap).
  • Bake for 8 hours until they’re dehydrated.
  • Let cool overnight, serve or feed to the dog and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Sliced Sweet PotatoesMy verdict: Depending on how many sheet pans your oven will hold, as long as you’re running it that long, you might as do as much as you can fit. I did two large sweet potatoes because we’ve got a big dog, but you might want to use smaller potatoes if you’re eating them yourself or you have a small dog. Along with being low calorie (and knowing exactly what’s in them), these have the advantage of being really chewy so it takes a dog a little longer to wolf them down. After I did the sweet potatoes, the two butternut squash on my dining room table (since Thanksgiving) got peeled, sliced and dehydrated too. I took a bite and promptly spit it out, but my brave friend tried both and preferred the sweet potato. She thought they were both too chewy though.

Rif’s verdict: Woof, woof, woof! Worth sitting for. Nice and chewy and I’m a fan of sweet potatoes in any form. Not sure they replace a classic large Milk Bone and definitely no contest when it comes to a smoked pigs ear, but since the humans think they’re better for me, I seem to get a couple extra. Butternut squash was pretty good too, but not as chewy. Keep up the experiments, mom, but please no kale!Accidental Locavore Rif

 

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Do You Eat Vegan? Why I Can’t

by Anne Maxfield on March 21, 2016

Accidental Locavore PETA Vegan MagRecently, my mother gave me a copy of the Peta Vegan Starter Kit, a magazine to get you started on a vegan diet. Now, the Accidental Locavore loves cheese and meat, so the chances of me going vegan are slim to none. It’s a free country and if you choose to eat vegan, that’s your choice (like supporting certain loud-mouth politicians), but don’t expect me to.

Accidental Locavore PETA Vegan ChickenMy biggest problem with it, and something that is conveniently overlooked, is the reliance on processed foods. By page 3, Peta is promoting faux chicken and beef, along with vegan margarine (when was the last time anyone even used margarine?). It reminded me of one of the most shocking episodes of the Oprah show I ever saw.

She had convinced her staff to go vegan for a week. To illustrate the point, Kathy Freston, an author of vegan cookbooks, went to a staffer’s house, cleared out everything non-vegan and went shopping at Whole Foods with the staffer. There they piled a shopping cart full of food, but the cart wasn’t full of vegetables and fruit. Instead, Kathy eagerly pointed out the tofu Italian sausages, tapioca mozzarella, fishless fish sticks, etc. It looked like every single thing in the cart was processed food.

Accidental Locavore Vegan PhotosWhy would you give up simple food—meat, fish, vegetables to eat a “Cheerful Log” Vegan Ham Loaf with a list of ingredients that includes: Vegan chunk (non-GMO) soy protein, soy fiber, wheat protein), non-GMO sunflower oil, tapioca starch, vegetable protein (sweet pea, carrot) , vegan seasoning (licorice, kelp) red yeast, sugar, trehalose*, soy sauce (non GMO) sea salt?

At least the soy is non-GMO, although since the Cheerful Log is made in Taiwan, you might be skeptical about that claim. Although tofu is considered to be good for you, 94% of soy beans in the US are GMO, so not as good for you as we might believe.

Accidental Locavore Vegan IdeasAnd being vegan takes a lot of time. A lot of time. It’s hard to find truly vegan food and then, if you care, probably harder to find food that tastes good. While I have had a couple of dishes where tempe and tofu star, for every one of those, I’ve endured glop that resembles chipboard (probably vegan) more than a Black Angus burger. What about you, could you do it?Accidental Locavore Noshis Burger

*also known as mycose or tremalose, is a natural alpha-linked disaccharide formed by an α,α-1,1-glucoside bond between two α-glucose units. Whatever that means.

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