Things That Matter

20 Latino Snacks We Grew Up With And Didn’t Know Were Vegan

Let’s say that the recent awareness of young and old folks towards healthier lifestyles isn’t really catching that much speed, but no doubt it is spreading like wildfire in a wind storm. So, how many of these latino snacks did you even guess is part of a vegan diet? And, by the way, a vegan is someone that does not eat any animal products or by-products just in case you didn’t know!

1. Plantain Chips

Credit: Mariquitas. Digital Image. quericavida.com.

You’ll find these delightful treats most anywhere subtropical South of the Rio Grande, and as long as they don’t have any cheesy toppings, they’re good to go (down, that is!).


2. Sesame Seed / Coconut Snacks.

Credit: Instagram @defynewyork

These famous Puertorican snacks are the perfect treat for any time of day, they come in different flavors (vegan and not) like Mango, Strawberry, Guava and Dulce de leche.

3. Tajín

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Speaking of chili powder, that’s the holy grail of them all! Worthy of a Nobel Prize, this mix of dried chilies is a classic! Everything, and I mean everything, is bettered by it.

4. Mazapan

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The delectable and crumbly puree of peanuts that is simply too good to believe is vegan. Hey! Who says vegan foods have to be bland? Not this kind… dig in!

5. Paletas

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Just about any fruit will do. Stuff an ice pop mold, layer in between with “chamoy”, that tasty and tart salsa mix and forget about the 100º heat ‘cause its game on.

6. Mangonadas

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Some things are soooo good looking, you’d have a hard time believing they’re also vegan. Chill a few mango slices, splash a bunch of tart salsas and powders on ‘em, put them in a cup and go.

7. Conchitas

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Originally a Northern Mexico snack, these corn chips will make you pucker up with their acidity. Follow the usual adding salsas and powders and you’re in yummy goodness.

8. Nachos

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Yeah, skip the sour cream and pour on the “pico” and beans and you’ll have a crowd pleaser like no other. Guac is optional and included in the sticker price!

9. Takis

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This Mexican snack took the country by storm and keeps getting better and better with their ever-changing lineup of hotter that hot combinations certain to build up a thirst!

10. Doraditas

Doraditas. Target.com. Digital Image. April 9, 2018.

This sweet and crunchy treat would look like it has non-vegan ingredients, but you won’t find them anywhere, so indulge along with almond milk laced coffee and binge-watch that show you love!

11. Soda and Peanuts

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It’s real, people do put peanuts in their pop and then down it in a hurry. Of course, it is vegan, but some folks think it isn’t real. Add some chili powder for an extra punch!

12. Chocolate Abuelita

Credit: Chcolate Abuelita. Digital Image. Mexican Cooking Mama. December 17, 2015.

Just make it with almond or soy milk, but the minute the temperature falls below 70º is reason enough to shake that legendary Abuelita chocolate tablet and get yourself some great pan dulce.

13. Sabritones

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The ultimate flour chicharron covered in a delicious spicy zesty powder. You’ll eat the whole bag, you’ve been warned.

14. Sorbet with Tajín

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A great refresher, this frozen dessert made with fruit flavored water becomes a marvel once you add some Tajin, chamoy and just about anything to liven it up. Amazing!

15. Cotton Candy

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Always vegan, always sweet, always irresistible, and never with a guilt feeling. Nothing says you’re in the mood for fun like a huge ball of sugar on a stick, party baby!

16. Tostada

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Top it off with refried beans, pico, shredded cabbage, and corn kernels. Skip the queso fresco and sour cream, top it off with some Valentina red sauce and dig in, it’s a delicious mess!

17. Roasted Nuts

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Switch the butter for margarine and rub a whole bunch of pecans, cashews, peanuts, even garbanzo, then broil a few minutes in the oven, toss with salt, pepper, a touch of brown sugar and Tajin, and get a beer (or 3!). It’s well worth it!

18. Michelada

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Use a Mexican beer first, then add the mixture: a splash of lime juice from a lime previously used to season the rim of the glass and add, of course, Tajin; tomato juice (no clam stuff!), a dash (or eight) of hot sauce, salt and pepper, more Tajin, and a lot of beer!

19. Original Salsitas Spicy Salsa Flavored Tortilla Rounds

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These will definitely satisfy your Tostilocos craving, give them a try. Be warned. Once you start it can be hard to stop.

20. Durito

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Smother these in beans, cabbage and a hell lot of salsa. You’ve got yourself a perfect, messy treat. There you have it, a whole bunch of goody treats that are vegan, for whatever reason you might be wanting to have them: whether you’re on a diet or are an animal rights activist. Just enjoy!

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Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

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A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Culture

A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Social media is where people can show off just about anything they create. This includes art in any and all media, like pancake art. Claudia, the creator behind Nappan Pancake art, is the latest artist watching their art reach the masses.

Claudia, the artist behind Nappan Pancake art, got her start because of the pandemic.

@nappancakes

casi ✨1 año✨haciendo #pancakeart 🥞 #parati #foryou #viral #trend #glowup #art #foryoupage

♬ Inox la bggg – ᗰᗩᖇIE ᗰOI ᑎᗩᖇᑌTO

The artist first started to play around with pancake art last spring break when the pandemic forced businesses and schools to close. Claudia wanted to get more creative with her kids’ breakfasts since they were now always at home.

“I started experimenting with making Pancake art,” Claudia recalls to mitú. “At first I only used the color of the natural dough and a little cocoa. At first, I just used the ketchup dispensers and little by little I learned.”

Claudia uses her pancake art to honor some truly iconic people.

@nappancakes

Responder a @detodoun_poco233 Cepillín ✨🥞✨ en nuestros ♥️ #parati #fy #HijosAdopTiktoks #adoptiktoks #viral #foryou @cepillintv #pancakeart ncakeart

♬ La Feria de Cepillin – Cepillín

Cepillín recently died and the loss was felt throughout the community. He made our lives joyous and fun with his music, especially his birthday song. Some of the creations are done for fans who request to see their faves turned into delicious pancake art.

The artist loves creating the edible works of art.

The journey of becoming a pancake artist has been a fun adventure for Claudia and her children. The more she has practiced, the more she has been able to do.

“Sometimes I scream with excitement and I go to all the members of my house to see it,” Claudia says about her successes. “Other times it’s just a feeling like “disappointment could be better” other times it just breaks or burns and then I just cry but it usually feels very satisfying.”

You can check out all of her creations on TikTok.

@nappancakes

Responder a @reyna100804santoyo siii🥞✨ díganle que me adopte 🥺 @ederbez #adoptiktoks #hijosadoptiktoks #parati #foryou #viral #fy #art #pancakeart

♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

With 350,000 followers and growing, it won’t be long until more people start to fully enjoy Claudia’s art. Her children can’t get enough of it and she is so excited to share it with the rest of the world.

READ: Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

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