This Vegan Arepa recipe is for “mi Tierra querida” for Colombia. Three weeks ago I went back to Colombia and got reminded of what it means to be part of this beautiful country. We are a society that grew up being realistic instead of positive, that has seen injustice, blood and a cruel reality occur in our direct environments. Pain built us, and it surely made us stronger. That’s part of our history, our past but that does not dictate our vision and goals. Our present is love, passion, warmth, unity, and happiness. A country that’s in love with its people and its traditions. A country that is family oriented, that’s humble, hard working and strives to survive every single day. But the best of it all is our ability to dance, to enjoy a party in unison no matter your age or gender. A party is a festival not matter its size, you are not there to impress, you are there to dance. And that energy, that drive to enjoy the moment, to be in the moment, makes of Colombia one of the happiest countries in the world –statistically proven.
To remember my heritage and to invite you to dance I created this morning my own take on arepas. Vegan of course and using coconut oil instead of shortening or butter as the typical arepa recipe calls for.
The key ingredient to make arepas is the “Masa Harina”. Be very weary of what brand you purchase corn products from since corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in the US. That doesn’t mean that corn is bad for you, it just means that we have to be sure to buy quality and non GMO corn. My brand of choice for my flours is Bob Red Mill. I found the Masa Harina from Bob in Whole Foods.
– 1 C + 1/4 C of Masa Harina
– 1/2 C of Polenta Flour
– 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
– 1/4 C of Coconut Oil
– 1/2 C of Hot Water
– 2 Flax Eggs
– Create the flax egg by mixing 2 Tbsp of ground flax with 6 Tbsp of water. Mix it with a spoon and set aside.
– On a big bowl throw in all dry ingredients and whisk.
– Then fold in liquid ingredients except for the flax egg.
– Mix well with a wooden spoon, then add in flax eggs and mix again.
– Mixture should be moist, and you should be able to roll balls of dough with out this sticking to you fingers. If fore some reason dough is crumbly add Tbsp of water at a time. If too moist, add tbsp of Masa Harina.
– If making thin 2.5″ use 1/4 C to scoop the dough. Form balls and the flatten them out with your hands. By doing this you will end with aprox 8 arepas. Or you can combine two of those thin arepas and make a stuff one like mine as shown in photo. I stuffed them with Daya Cheese. I’m not a fan of cheese substitutes but I got it this time to experiment with it.
– After rolling and padding your arepas you can saute them on a cast iron skillet or bake in the oven or broil. Around 5 – 10 min according to how crispy you want them.