Vegan Chocolate-Mint Cups and a Woo-Hoo for Extended Nursing

Okay, so there are about a million recipes for vegan peppermint-patty-type desserts, and they’re all basically variations on the same general theme. So, there is nothing earth-shattering here, but these ones are A. easy – SUPER EASY B. quick C. made with common pantry ingredients and D. delicious.

First, running round-up: I ended up hitting the snooze button a few too many times yesterday and thus slept through Wednesday’s run. Oh well. 3 miles Tuesday, 5 today. My bookclub is taking a weekend trip to one of the SC islands, so I’ll get a good beach run in there. I never, NEVER understood the appeal of beach running until I moved to SC. Up north, at least in my native Massachusetts, the beaches tend to be rocky and debris-filled, which is not exactly ideal for beachy runs. However, here in SC the beaches are nice and smooth, so I finally understand the appeal of running on them.

makes 10-12 large (muffin-size) cups

4 tablespoons vegan margarine

1 tablespoon coconut oil (you could probably use more margarine)

2 tablespoons vanilla-flavored light corn syrup, or brown rice syrup

about 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla, if you’re not using vanilla corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (this is strong stuff, so use with caution! a little goes a looooong way)

approximately 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar

10-12 squares Trader Joe’s Pound Plus dark chocolate, melted (or use chocolate chips)

Line 10-12 muffin molds with muffin liners.

Cream together margarine, coconut oil, extracts, and salt. Add in brown rice syrup or corn syrup; cream together. Work in confectioners’ sugar. Melt chocolate; put a little in the bottom of each lined muffin mold, and move it gently up the side a little using a knife or spoon. Divide the filling into 12 balls; flatten gently, place on top of the chocolate, and pour more melted chocolate on to cover. Cool in the refrigerator.

I’ve been trying to come up with a good post about the whole Times breastfeeding cover controversy. I think I’ve been doubly invested in this particular debate, as both a nursing mom and a vegan. It just strikes me as very, very odd that people object to women feeding children from their own breasts, yet think it is a-okay to feed from the breasts of animals that are a completely different species from us, unable to consent to said feeding, and are animals the consumer will never, ever meet. To me, it is completely natural to nurse my child (or someone else’s who needs breastmilk); it seems completely unnatural to think of nursing from another animal, such as a cow. So, from a purely natural/evolutionary sort of perspective, I just don’t see why people get SO UPSET over breastfeeding moms.

Of course, a lot of it has to do with our society’s somewhat warped views on sexuality. I was in an airport once, nursing of my kids, and noticed a guy giving me some unpleasant looks (he never said anything to me). The magazines being sold at the airport’s Hudson News showed far more boob than I would ever show while nursing, yet people will criticize someone for nursing. It seems weird to me that we’re okay with all of the sex and breasts we see in the media, and even promote such images to our teenage kids, yet a breast being used for its intended use is somehow “gross” and “unnatural”. I heard a local radio station say, in response to the Times article, that past a certain age (before a year), the mom should just “pump and put it in a cup”. The announcers were acknowledging that breastmilk is best for babies and even toddlers, but thought it was (their word!) more ‘natural’ to pump rather than breastfeed! I nursed my first until almost a year and a half and am still nursing my second, and I really don’t see how nursing causes any sort of psychological damage. I think weaning abruptly and suddenly getting rid of the closeness of nursing would cause more damage than the nursing ever could.

Anyways….as a nursing, vegan mommy, I am proud of the woman in the Times story. In the rest of the world, kids routinely nurse to 3-5 years old.  The NYTimes published an article this week about how the US is the bottom of the developed nations for breastfeeding. Maybe stories like the ones in Times will help change this statistic.

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