Predicting a Vegan Miami by 2050... or Not
Will all of Miami be vegan by 2050? If you're in the minority of people who consider the Magic City to belong to the United States, at least one source says yes.
Kathy Stevens wrote a blog post for the Huffington Post Monday titled "No Lie Can Live Forever: Predicting a Vegan America by 2050." Stevens pointed to a plethora of evidence -- from investor trends to the ubiquity of vegan catering companies to the fact that we have a black president -- as evidence that vegan America will become a reality before the turn of the century.
While I can't think of anyone less biased or more qualified than the founder/director of an animal sanctuary to map out the future of veganism in America (no offense, Stevens), I do question whether her forecast will be less accurate in Miami than in other parts of the nation. I harbor this doubt as a direct result of Miamians' international love of the least-nutritious foods in the world, none of which are vegan. So, pastelito-loving reader, if you find yourself trembling at the thought that a vegan America might rob you of your most beloved tropical tastes, read on to find one delicious and simple recipe that can help ease you through the transition.
Before we get there, though, I want to point out that Stevens is not the first to make a prediction like this. Scientists at the Stockholm International Water Institute gave a similar prognosis in August 2012 when they estimated there wouldn't be enough water to sustain current high animal protein diets for the 9 billion people who will likely inhabit the Earth by that time. Since it takes five to ten times more water to produce animal foods than to produce plant foods, all humans -- not just Americans -- will be forced into vegetarianism by 2050, experts say. In other words, Stevens might be right, but the plant-based shift might not be the glorious voluntary awakening she envisions.
Anyway, if you're of the Miami school of eating -- the one that insists on adding pulled pork to nearly everything, loading at least three animal species onto every breakfast plate, and employing lard even in bread recipes, it's time to prepare yourself for the inevitable. Let's start small, with a dessert that borrows the fresh tropical flavor of the papaya but loses the leche in favor of a nut-based cream. This recipe is raw, vegan, gluten-free, and of course dairy-free.
Papayas are ripe when they squish to the touch and their skin has slightly yellowed.
Icy Papaya Spice Cream
- 3 cups fresh papaya
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for one half hour and drained
- 2 tsp. Chinese five spice (usually a blend of anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, and pepper; substitute cinnamon, anise, and/or cloves if you can't find this blend)
- ½ inch piece fresh ginger root
- 32 oz. ice cubes (or amount needed to fill blender to top)
Layer ingredients in blender as specified above (papaya first, ice last). Blend at high speed until totally creamy, stirring between "blends" as necessary. See pictures and tips below.
Use medjool dates -- they're sweeter than deglets -- but you'll probably have to pit them yourself.
I soaked these cashews in water for about an hour, then rinsed, to ensure they'd blend easily and creamily.
Once your blender is loaded and topped off with ice, you're minutes away from papaya heaven, sans dairy.
The finished cream is icy, spicy, exotic and sweet.
Follow Camille at camillelamb.com.
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