There are plenty of commercials we tend to remember from our childhood due to their ostentatious or subliminal ways, but one commercial that always irked me were the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter ones. If you’ve never heard of the product, I’m sure you would’ve surmised by now that given the product’s title, it’s obviously margarine. These commercials stuck with you with sexualized hands–I honestly don’t know how they did it, but it was even obvious for 10-year-old me to understand the sexual innuendos–& this surprised husband who would eat his toast with what he thought was butter. Fast forward to today, it’s no surprise that margarine, which is made up of hydrogenated oils, is 10/10 disgustingly horrible for you. However, that doesn’t mean that the vegan butter you see at your local health foods or specialty store are margarine. Take a gander at the ingredients list & if you don’t see anything with “hydrogenated oil,” or even partially hydrogenated, you’re okay!
So, why are hydrogenated oils so bad for you? Well, you could take a general chemistry class & then an intro to organic chemistry class to fully comprehend it, but the quick & dirty explanation is simple: hydrogenating oils means adding a hydrogen molecule to a molecular structure, making it more stable at room temperature after intensive science (adding metal catalysts, intense heat & pressure being added, etc). This new molecular structure is often compared to being similar to plastic, especially because the process increases shelf-life. Unless it’s honey, food should always eventually rot. But, what does all of this mean? Not very pleasant things for your body, so avoid it at all costs.
However, that’s where some of the other alternative vegan butters come in such as Earth Balance, Nutiva, & SmartBalance. In fact, I decided to change it up from Earth Balance & tried Nutiva for my two recipes. If you’re looking for an animal friendly product, search for some of these brands in the grocery store & you can get to cooking tons of vegan-friendly food without even realizing it! These two new recipes I’ve just added are absolutely perfect for the holidays & are vegan-friendly. Now onto pictures of my fancy mashed potatoes & gravy.
Rosemary Garlic Mashed Potatoes
For the past 3 years, I’ve made mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving & Christmas for my family. However, I always relied on a powder mix to make the gravy. This time around, I’m bringing you two new deliciously vegan-friendly recipes with a bit of a gastronomical flare. Add microgreens or edible flowers to this dish to dress these potatoes up or just keep it low key with some phenomenal gravy. Be sure to check out my recipe to recreate this simple side dish!
Mushroom & Sage Gravy
Look, if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, it’s time to become an adult & start actively eating more maturely, thus moving beyond eating mac n’ cheese or anything else within your comfort zone. You’ll never develop a good palate if you continue to eat like you did in your childhood, so expand your mind & get over the fact that mushrooms are fungus. Your mouth has hundreds of thousands of bacteria, but you still swap your saliva with someone when you kiss them. Your skin? HAH, crawling with bacteria. Cheese, milk, ice cream, & yogurt = b-a-c-t-e-r-i-a. Please remember that mushrooms need love too, okay? It hurts their feelings when you say you hate them. So, get over your strange abhorrence for them because of “texture” & just enjoy them. They’re delicious, nutritious, & absolutely healthy for you. I’m not saying you should show them you love them by eating them straight out of the forest–please, please don’t do that, some are actually poisonous–just try my savory Mushroom & Sage Gravy recipe to help you transition into adulthood. Some foods are love at first sight while others take a little bit of getting used to. You’ve only so much more to gain from falling in love with these incredible fungi, so give it a chance. They’ll never break your heart.
Also, my recipe is perfect for vegans, vegetarians, & meat-lovers alike. It’s delicious with biscuits, mashed potatoes, veggies, steak, or whatever else you eat gravy with.
Major Acknowledgement: I Love SORTED!
If you’re following me on Tumblr or on Instagram, you already know that I was featured on SORTED’s Foodie Spotlight! I’ve had a few of my photos reblogged hundreds of times & gained no followers nor hits from Tumblr, but when SORTED gave me a shout out, my website blew up. My stats were off the charts! I’m so grateful to their gratitude & their appreciation of their fans. Be sure to watch the guys on YouTube for entertainment & some recipe inspiration!
P.S. it’s completely normal for you to suddenly begin to develop crushes on all of them due to their British charm & their culinary skills. Just let it happen. Maybe even let it go?