Friday, October 19, 2012

Advantages to telling others that you're vegan...including vegan chocolate fudge balls

Some of you may remember that, prior to the middle of this year, the only person who knew about this blog was Mr Bite. I was quite happy with that arrangement, and in many ways it felt like the right thing. However, it did complicate efforts at photographing food in public and meant that even my immediate family didn't really grasp that I preferred vegan (rather than vegetarian) eating.

Having the blog be private also meant that my travel posts, and family-relevant posts, weren't seen by the people who might appreciate them most. I thus let my immediate family know about the blog around the time of my sister's 21st birthday, and Mr Bite let his immediate family know shortly afterwards.

For various reasons relating to work, and just my personality, I will never be fully public about blogging in my day-to-day life. At the same time, I have found there to be a number of advantages in having slightly more people know about this site.

For one, it allowed family to follow our honeymoon travels when we were away.

For two, it means that people grasp my approach to food and eating a little more, which is kind of nice.

For three, it means that I sometimes get to receive a vegan plate like this.


Definite advantages.

Interestingly, my pre-wedding vegan high tea also allowed some of my friends (who of course don't know about the blog) to grasp my eating preferences a little more. I was pleasantly surprised at how well received this was. I suppose that for non-vegetarians, vegetarian and vegan eating may go in the same broad category. For vegetarians, it may not be a great leap to see why veganism may appeal. This has had benefits too - at our last book club, there was plenty of fresh fruit to complement other snacks, prepared with me in mind.

There is not really any point to my thoughts above, other than a vague desire to organise and document them. I also thought it worth noting my experience because I know that some of you have a similar stance about blogging in private, even if most of you are more public about veganism (if you are vegan - not so much if you are not!).

Musings aside, the plate pictured above was made for us (with a heavy nod to me) by my mother. It includes the vegan vanilla cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which I use as my standard cupcake base and requested for my birthday last year. It also includes vegan chocolate fudge balls that came from a recipe in one of my mother's cookbooks, which she found and made completely independently. It was a really lovely thought and a lovely plate to come home from holidaying to.


With her permission, I have listed the fudge ball recipe below. The original recipe called for carob powder, and I suspect I would love a carob version too - those of you who share my carob tastes may like to try that option. The original recipe also used honey, so I have listed both agave or maple syrup as vegan options. They are rich balls, but one goes a long way to giving satisfaction!

Chocolate fudge balls
Tasting of chocolate and almond, these use almond butter to result in a creamy, fudge-like truffle ball with no food processor required
Vegan
Makes approximately 20 small truffle balls

Lightly adapted from Val Allen's Recipes to the Rescue

Print recipe

Ingredients
1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder (or carob powder)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla

Method
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine. 

Roll into small bowls and refrigerate until firm.


I say again, definite advantages!

I am linking this post into the 13th edition of Healthy Vegan Friday, both for the recipe and for my growing sense that being an 'out' vegan (and even an out mostly vegan) may be healthier than being a hidden one...

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For those of you who blog, have you changed your position on private / public over time?

And for those of you who are vegetarian / vegan, have you worried about telling others your eating preferences only to be pleasantly surprised?


This post is part of my Vegan Month of Food contributions for October 2012. 

39 comments:

  1. When I first started my blog, I wanted to tell everyone, but over time I have kind of kept it in a circle of small friends. Honestly, they don't even read it. My family does though.. :)
    How sweet that your mom made those cupcakes for you! The chocolate fudge balls looks amazing! :)

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    1. I don't think all of my family reads it either :-) My Mum and sister do, but sometimes in catch up stages I think. It's nice for them to just have the option I guess.

      The fudge balls really are amazing!

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  2. It took me a long time to "come out" with my blog, but now everyone knows...friends, family, coworkers, my boss. It makes explaining why I always have baked goods and crazy food around a bit easier for them to understand. :P

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    1. The baked goods and crazy food explanations are certainly helpful to have :D

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  3. Teehee, you know I've always struggled to wrap my head around you keeping your blog private (if you were blogging about, say, an endless stream of one-night stands and having lost your knickers, then that would be a different story), so I say hurrah! Be proud of your awesomeness! Hurrah! xo

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    1. Oh, how this comment made me laugh :-) For all our sake's, let us hope that concerns of lost knickers never need to be considered when weighing up whether to make blogging public! I do appreciate your support - and it was instrumental in the decision to tell my family - so thank you!

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    2. Oh my gosh, really? That makes me feel so relieved! I always find myself worrying, after pressing "submit", that you'll think I'm being rude. I'm so glad you know that it's just that I think you have nothing but pride to feel over your blog, and also my family experience sometimes leads me to assume that *everyone's* family is uber supportive and wonderful. Which I'm sure yours is. See? Teehee. :P

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  4. I feel like it is a sign that I feel comfortable with people if I mention my blog. I have so many more photos with my family because they all know about the blog whereas in other company I am often more shy about taking any photos!

    I love these fudge balls - a definite sign of a mother's love! I have a similar recipe that has soy sauce and coffee to make it really rich but it doesn't have coconut and I have some almond butter hanging around so do you know what I am thinking I might do with it!!!!

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    1. Having more photos has been a definite advantage - not so much the billions of food ones clogging up my computer, but the people ones that get taken when the food has been shot!

      The fudge balls were about as good a summary of mother's love as you can get in food form :) If you make them, I'd love to hear how you found them! I think I'll be trying them again before too long.

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  5. What a lovely post! So nice of your mum to make something vegan for you. I was a vego for over ten years, prior to restaurant serving even 1 standard vego dish, I can't imagine how hard it would be to be vegan, especially if no one else knew. Good luck with the public blogging life, I will be watching and cheering you on.

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    1. Thanks so much! I think I have been lucky with vegetarianism at least being more common now than it used to be - I imagine it was really tough a decade or so ago.

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  6. I haven't told heaps about my blog but all my close friends and family know. Being "out there" does put us in the public arena and sometimes I'm a teensy bit uncomfortable about being labeled but it's who I am. :)

    These fudge balls would please anyone I know.. they sound fantastic.

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    1. Thanks Maureen :) The labeling contributes to some of my reluctance to I think, but as you say, I suppose it is part and parcel of blogging!

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  7. How sweet that your mom made you a plate of vegan treats! It's so nice when people go out of their way to make you something that you will really enjoy. People at work always ask me what they can bring in that I will eat, I just tell them bananas, haha!

    NutriDude and I try to stay anonymous on our blog due to work related reasons as well. Both our families know about our blogs but only one of them really reads it. I've told friends about it before but find they are not interested in hearing about our vegan eats (I'm sometimes lucky if people around me actually know what vegan means).

    But I've found that I've made a lot of new friends via the blog and that has been the most rewarding thing about blogging :)

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    1. You're spot on with the online friends - it is almost like having two completely different social circles, the online one that really gets the food / blogging situation and the real life one that often has no idea at all :P

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  8. All good vantage points!!And yes, NutriWife is right, the virtual friends have been awesome, it is great to connect with those that you have so much in common with.
    My blog has always been open..BUT for the vegetarian thang, I am just in the transition of meat eater to vegetarian. I have been meat free 7 weeks but have not yet tagged myself with that title. When is it appropriate to actually 'confirm' myself vegetarian??? 3 mo?? IDK!!!
    Great post and a beautiful dessert!!!

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    1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on transitioning to vegetarian eating in detail some time - it is such an individual process but also such a big one! I struggle with labels to be honest - I use vegetarian and vegan labels because they make description easier - but I myself don't fit neatly into either category sometimes, and I have no idea when one would start to say they're vegetarian! I'd say 7 weeks is long enough though, myself! Say it and be proud :)

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  9. These look and sound delicious - say the word "chocolate" and I am there. I enjoy reading your blog, so I am glad that you made it public.

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    1. Thank you so much - that was a lovely comment to read!

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  10. YUM!!! Wow, your Mum is so sweet to make you vegan-appropriate goodies. Those little fudge balls sound incredible.

    I DO let people know I have a blog... but sometimes I am still a little hesitant to promote it - I don't know, I feel a bit "look at me!!" "look at me!!" in that sense, which is totally NOT my style.

    It's a funny one, huh?

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    1. Funny indeed - I definitely get the hesitation over not being self-promoting (but sometimes also wanting people to know your blog posts exist!). I figure it will be a trial and error process like most things, and probably an evolving one over time too.

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  11. You had me at "no food processor required"!

    I think I've mentioned before how I go back and forth about publicising my blog to people I know offline. In the last few weeks I've posted links to blog posts from my facebook page, which has been interesting - no extra comments, but plenty of facebook likes! But I'm reluctant to do it for all posts... I haven't linked to my most recent post yet, for example. I can't really articulate why!

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    1. I do remember your mentions of variable public posting...and admire you for it actually because I know our lines of work have some similarities in common even if the focus is quite different. It's quite lovely to hear that your FB links have been well received, because it goes to show that others can be interested when they know about posts. At the same time, I do grasp your desire not to link to all of them, even if you can't articulate why (and neither can I, despite understanding it)!

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  12. i'm like u and keep most of my personal stuff out of my blog. one is because i just don't want to share it ALL but then also because i use my blog as a part of my writer/art platform...so trying to look all professional and stuff. tho, i'm pretty sure i miss on all accounts there, we all know i'm just a goof!! :) yummmm, i always want to be eating when i come here! :)

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    1. You do have a double challenge with your blog, I hadn't thought of that extra aspect given I don't have it to worry about - but your art skills come through loud and clear so you don't need to worry about that :-)

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  13. My first blog was a travel blog that I specifically wrote for family and friends to keep up with a 7 week trip I did around South America. So when I started my current blog, I guess I was just used to it being openly about me. I've always been of an attitude that I'm quite out and proud about my blogging but that is also possibly to do with being an extrovert.

    I think the key is that my blog is by no means a warts and all tale of my life. It shows very select, happy things. At times I feel like this limits my writing. When my dog died last Christmas I really wanted to write about it, however it felt inappropriate given the tone of my blog. So it will forever be a tiny slice of my life and that is one I'm happy to share.

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    1. That is a good point, and I think makes an important difference - over time, my blog has included more and more of my day-to-day life and that isn't a shift I had expected when I started out. I like your approach and think having that clarity in what your blog is (and isn't) is really sensible. I may need to ponder myself...

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  14. I didn't tell many people about my blog when I first started as well. I wanted only strangers to find it! I was so worried about what those who knew me would think. Now I don't let it bother me - they can always stop reading! xx

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    1. That is so interesting (and a bit reassuring!) to hear, because I think of you as being very confident in your blogging. You are right though, nothing forces people to read if they don't like the content!

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  15. Being open and honest about who you are is one of the most freeing things ever! I bet the advantages will continue to flow in :)

    Those fudge balls look delicious! I hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for sharing these on Healthy Vegan Friday!

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  16. Good on you for coming out about blogging Kari! And how sweet of your Mum to make the fudge balls. I can imagine that your blog would have been so helpful for your family to get updates whilst you were on your honeymoon.

    My family still have no idea about my blog, I'm sure I will let them know about it one day...

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    1. I found that when I decided to tell my family, it felt right, but before that, it really didn't. I'm sure if you reach a point when you want to tell them then the rest will flow from there :)

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  17. I started my blog to keep in touch with family and friends from a distance (a nice safe distance ;) ) and it grew from there. Honesty about veganism is the only way to be...a rabid card carrying vegan who lambasts others about their food choices is NOT! Living in Tasmanias North I dare say I would be lynched by the first forestry mob that were enthusiastic enough to head out this far out of town should I stand up on a podium in the centre of Launceston and tell everyone to stop eating meat (let alone smoking...the sacred hallowed habit of the native Tasmanian) so I don't. I go with the live and let live theory. You don't mess with how "I" want to live, and I won't mess with your choices.

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    1. I laughed at your comments about forestry mobs...I can just picture it ;) Live and let live is how I roll too, I don't think everyone needs to be a vegan / vegetarian and I like it when people can accept that I am!

      (Also, thanks so much for stopping by, it is great to discover another Australian!)

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  18. The BEST reasons for telling people that you are vegan come far away from home. When you are trecking Anthony Bourdain style into the tundra's and you meet a family of yak herders who want to press their aged and fermented green yak's butter on you...when you are in China and they pull out the crickets... when you are in Japan and ANYTHING with intestines as the predominate ingredient floats in your soup...when some "regional delicacy" with hearts, spleens, lungs, viscera floating in a sea of white fat appears...we don't ALWAYS lose out by being vegan ;). Swings and roundabouts...

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    1. In those situations I have no trouble at all declaring my vegan nature, believe me :-) I have always been far more open with strangers / people in cafes etc than with those close to me - and you're right, when away, you really don't want to end up with some of the meat-based regional 'delicacies' on offer!

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