VEGAN SAUSAGES

The good stuff:

  • (First generation) vegan sausages are nothing new- you have them at some supermarkets already, in the refrigerated or frozen aisles. But have you stopped and read the ingredients on those so called “health foods”? Ya- you get my point.  There are of course much better options coming out- but that’s not the case in all countries just yet.
  • These vegan sausages are 100% plant-based, low in fat, cholesterol, high in fiber & protein. They are flavourful and are super fun to make.
  • While some vegans choose to consume soy products (which I respect), I don’t- so this product contains no tofu or soy or any of the sorts. It’s bean based with a ton of flavour add-ons! Have fun making this! And be patient in the process 🙂

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You’ll need: (please understand these are somewhat eye-balled proportions so PLEASE please taste as you go and use your hands to check texture! This recipe serves as a guideline!)

  • 1 can of butter beans (or white lima beans), rinsed carefully and drained*
  • 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste*
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped*
  • 1/2 cup of garbanzo flour (keep some extras incase)*
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs- OPTIONAL. Only if you are OK with gluten in the sausages.
  • Herbs & spices of your choice: THE FUN PART!
  • Salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Plastic wrap (aka Saran wrap)
  • Food processor OR potato masher OR a large fork + your hands.

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The process:

  • In a pan, drizzle some coconut oil and cook the onions & garlic until translucent. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mash the beans (using a food processor OR a potato masher OR a large fork + your hands). The beans have to turn into a puree-ish consistency. Smooth but thick. Do NOT use a blender. A blender will mash up the life out of the beans.
  • Now add the onions/garlic you cooked, the tomato paste, garbanzo flour and breadcrumbs and mix everything together. At this point, it should look like pork: pinkish in colour (isn’t that kind of amazing?) Remember the breadcrumbs are totally OPTIONAL. They make the sausages firmer and easier to handle- but you can omit if you want to. 
  • Next is the herbs & spices party! Because there is no raw flesh in this recipe, the great thing is that you can taste as you go!
  • Along with some salt, add the seasonings of your choice. Here is what I personally used: thyme, cumin, pimento, paprika & some salt. I actually cooked the thyme WITH the onions & garlic. But you can really customize the flavour profile to YOUR desire.
  • Mix everything- it should be a pink-ish super duper flavourful paste by now- that is firm enough to “roll” into sausages.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Now we are ready to form the sausages! Remove the bowl from fridge and start rolling the paste into sausages that are the same thickness as a hot dog type sausage. This recipe doesn’t work for thick sausages like a bratwurst. Wrap with the plastic wrap and set aside.
  • Now that we’re done forming & wrapping the sausages, it’s time to steam them! If you have a steam basket- please go ahead and use that. If you don’t (like me) then find two pots, one that is smaller than the other and that can fit into the larger pot. Fill the large pot 1/4 through with water. Cover and let boil. Once it has boiled, place the sausages carefully in the smaller pot. Place the smaller pot INTO the larger pot, cover and cook for 1 hour on MEDIUM heat.
  • So we’ve now “cooked” the sausages. They need to rest overnight in the fridge- do not skip this step. It will help develop flavour & texture.
  • Fast forward to next day: Voila! Your sausages are now ready 🙂 Unroll the plastic wrap, give them a quick sear in a pan before enjoying them! You can also freeze them if you wish, they should hold well for a month or so.

 * Important notes- please please read:

  •  *Beans: you can obviously choose to cook your own beans, but I try to share user-friendly recipes 🙂
  • *This recipe calls for tomato paste– not sauce. Paste can be found at any supermarket. It’s just tomato paste and some citric acid – a natural preservative.
  •  *Most recipes call for this thing called “vital wheat gluten” to firm up the sausages. Vital wheat gluten is oddly expensive in Jamaica- and as you know, I tend to boycott this idea of healthy food being a luxury… so I experimented with garbanzo flour instead (as garbanzo flour has good binding properties). In Jamaica, you can find garbanzo flour at most of the big supermarkets. Otherwise it is found at Indian food shops (look for gram flour/besan) If you’re not gluten intolerant, the most effective thing would be to add a bit of breadcrumbs with the garbanzo flour and you will end up with a perfect texture.
  •  *You can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Just add the garlic powder with the herbs & spices in that case (don’t cook it with the onions)
  •  *If you are just starting to integrate plant-based foods into your life and you can’t deal with the way some things taste (and that’s OK, it’s a process), you can add a bit of brown sugar to this recipe. I’d much rather ONE spoon of unrefined, brown sugar than TEN different chemicals and artificial ingredients 😉 Get my point? And remember, everything is a process.
  •   *I have never grilled these sausages so I have no idea if they will hold up. I think they will if you treat them delicately. Pan searing works just fine (2-3 minutes, doesn’t need more than that). Remember: this is a minimally processed sausage that you cannot compare to conventional, mainstream pork sausages. Set your expectations differently.
  •  *Leaving the steamed sausages in the fridge overnight is a very important step- please do NOT skip it! 
  •  *Please play around with the recipe and have fun! The most important thing really is texture- it can’t be too soft. Taste as you go, use your hands to get the right texture. I’d love to see what you come up with- tag me on Instagram @missmariannaf  if you share on there!

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