True fact: One time I deleted someone from my twitter feed because she said she didn’t like food. It’s not like I think she’s a bad person, but, really, what more could she have to say that would be of value to me?! Food plays a very important role in how I connect with people. I love cooking for and with people, talking about food, and, oh, of course eating. If these aren’t a few of your favorite things… Well, I don’t know your life.
This past spring, I was totally stoked to find out a food swap was beginning in my town– And, a little pukey because even just thinking about new social interactions makes me nervous. Mostly stoked, though.
The basics of a food swap are these:
- Make foodstuffs
- Bring foodstuffs to swap
- Trade with other swappers 1-for-1
- Go home with your new yum-yums (and maybe some new friends… AWWWWW)
It has only been a few months, but I am definitely head over heels for my local food swap. Every month I get to step away from my family and go to an event that feels like it is just for me. We meet at a yarn store; everyone sets up their swap goods while gabbing with new old friends; and, there is a real sense of warmth and camaraderie in the air because we are there for mutual, obsessive love of food– Okay, sometimes the warmth is a broken A/C unit in the middle of July, but usually it is camaraderie.
The swap I go to is a monthly event, and, no, it isn’t exclusively vegan. But, it is a lot more vegan-friendly than you might think. My vegan baked goods have always been well received, but probably the most popular items I ever brought were ginger syrup and candied ginger. Homemade condiments are very often vegan, and they get a ton of love. There are a number of people who bring intentionally vegan fare, but there are also plenty of popular items that are accidentally vegan (jams, salsas, and extracts to name but a few). Alls I’m saying is, if you avoid mixed-diet potlucks like the plague (and I feel you on this one) you may find more middle ground at a swap. Of course, there’s no reason we couldn’t make vegan food swaps the next big vegan trend…
Whaddaya say? Want to find a food swap in your city or mayhaps start swap of your own? Author and Blogger, Kate Payne, and other fabulous swappers have a new food swap website, Food Swap Network, how-to and a list of swaps in cities nationwide. I especially like the link she includes to a Chow.com article about effective food swapping. It is a great excuse to make some new recipes and meet some new friends!
Food Swap Sized Batch of Cookie Dough Hummus
(made 4 servings for swapping and one for sampling)
NOTE: This recipe was increased and modified from Chocolate Covered Katie‘s Cookie Dough Dip. If you have not started following her yet now is the time. She balances healthy and sweet in a way most people would like to but few actually do. And, that’s coming from someone who, 9 times out 10, would rather pack it on than eat a “healthy” cookie.
- 3 1/2 C chickpeas (I was using beans I cooked. Two cans would be about 3 cups, and this recipe is flexible enough that you can do without the extra 1/2 C)
- 1/4 C rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 C brown sugar (or add the sweetener of your choice to taste)
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 T sunflower seed butter
- 2 T oil (preferably with a mild flavor)
- up to 1/4 C almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
- chocolate chips (I never measure chocolate chips, but in this instance I added just over half a bag)
In food processor/blender blend* oats, salt, baking soda, and sugar (unless you sub in liquid sweetener) until oats are coarsely ground.
Add the beans, vanilla, oil, and sunflower butter. Blend until smooth.
Add milk 1 T at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Note, It will thicken a little if left overnight.
Pour into a bowl and stir in those chocolate chippies. Add as many as it takes. You read me right. AS MANY AS IT TAKES!
NOTE: If you don’t care about big ol’ chunks of rolled oats getting up in your grill or have, like, a Vitamix you can totally just blend everything but the milk and chips all at once.
I eat this “hummus” straight from the bowl, but I wanted to give people options. I swapped this at the November Saratoga Swap, so I made graham crackers from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I wrapped them in wax paper and tied them with cooking twine.
DECEMBER FOOD SWAPPERY INFORMATION
Due to the holidaze, we are having our food swaps early this month: Sunday December 4th & Wednesday December 7th. To mix things up, we are hosting a traditional cookie & recipe swap at both locations (FUN!)
* “Cookie” is the theme, you can interpret that anyway you want. Sweet, savory, crispy, chewy. A bar, a piece of fudge- whatever. Have fun with the theme of “cookie”.
* In the hopes that we all take home a variety of items, please package your “cookies” in 4′s. That way if you swap 1 or 2 dozen cookies you will be swapping for 3 or 6 different “types” of cookies. (6 sets of 4 = 24 cookies)
* Please attach a recipe with each set of cookies to swap- that way if swappers want to recreate your cookie recipe for the holidays, they will be able to. It doesn’t matter if its an original recipe or from a cookbook or a blog- just reference where you got the recipe from if not original!
Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the cookie & recipe swap to past swappers (who get first dibs at the tickets) we have no tickets remaining for the SARATOGA SWAP.
I should also mention, that like other months, our wine sponsor is Exit 9 Wine & Liquors.
Stay informed on all our food swaps by liking our dedicated Facebook page, FSC Swappers.