Cheers to a month of health, gratitude, and community!
As the dust of Halloween and elections settles, Americans are settling into the month of November. November is typically associated with gathering family and friends for a turkey dinner, focusing on gratitude, and of course, shopping.
This month, we’re celebrating the launch of SmartVine, having a healthy (and fun!) Thanksgiving holiday, and sharing with you some tips and recipes to make your November memorable and productive.
A Quick Thought on Gratitude...
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. It’s literally an opportunity to be present and thankful for the family, friends, and the successes you’ve enjoyed over the year. There is no pressure to bring gifts, just food and love.
Christine (certified nutritionist and SmartVine founder) found that one of the best ways to stay on a path of wellness is to be mindful of more than calories and diet; it takes a commitment to mental/self improvement as well. She even wrote a book on the subject!
Throughout this article, you’ll find inspiring quotes and reminders to carry with you well beyond the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Think of your mindset as a bank account and ask yourself how many positive and empowering thoughts you are depositing each day.” - Christine Fitzgerald (co-founder, SmartVine)
World Vegan Month
Interestingly enough, the month when the most turkeys are sold/eaten all year (46 million!), is also the month where veganism is celebrated. World Vegan Month was established in 1994 to fall right after Halloween and the Day of the Dead to honor those animals who had already passed to support human life.
So how do wine and veganism go together? Most individuals assume that ALL wine is vegan (I mean, it’s made from grapes!) but that isn’t the case. In the winemaking process non-vegan ingredients are used in the filtration and fining processes.
From a previous blog post, here is what you need to know about vegan vs. non-vegan winemaking practices:
Not all wine is vegan.
For a wine to be vegan, everything that goes in to the winemaking process and touches the product cannot have animal or animal byproducts in it. Most wines use animal byproducts to filter their wine. There are other options to filter out the wine, such a diatomaceous earth. Ingredients like this keeps the wine clean and vegan.
Why does wine need to be filtered?
Wine is filtered to improve its color and clarity. Most consumers don’t want to drink cloudy wine with sediment in the glass and bottle.
How is wine filtered?
To filter wine, fining agents are used. A fining agent is a product that’s added to wine to remove sediment. Even if clarifying wine is not a concern, some fining agents also reduce bitterness, help mellow unwanted odors, and remove browning caused by oxidation.
What are specific fining agents used for wine?
Some cellar practices for filtration can use animal-derived fining agents. This includes bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).
Fining agents that are considered vegan include diatomaceous earth (silica), bentonite (clay), and activated charcoal.
How do fining agents work?
Basically, the fining agent acts like a magnet – attracting the molecules around it. They cluster around the sediment and make it easier to remove.
Can fining agents linger in bottles of wine?
Yes, in trace amounts. This is why all wine is NOT vegan, as small amounts of fining agents can remain after they help collect sediment in bottles and improve clarity.
We hope this helps answer some lingering questions on vegan wine. When in doubt, look for the Certified Vegan seal on products, including SmartVine wine.
“You are your most powerful health hero and you are in charge of your physical well being: how you feel about it, how you view it, how you use it to your detriment or good fortune (the good fortune being the strength, healthy joy and agility). It's a choice. Health is what you decide it is." - Christine Fitzgerald (co-founder, SmartVine)
While the founders of SmartVine aren’t practicing vegans, they respect and support the expansion of individual’s palates and the awareness of environmental and social understanding. Below is a Thanksgiving/holiday appropriate vegan recipe Christine (certified nutritionist and SmartVine co-founder) has put together for vegan and non-vegans alike.
Want even more vegan, paleo/keto-friendly, gluten-free recipes from SmartVine? We have a FREE Healthy Wine Party Recipe Guide.
Roasted Roots Hummus - Vegan/Gluten Free
- Makes: 12 servings
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup dip
- Prep: 25 mins
- Roast: 25 mins 425°F
- Chill: 2 hrs to 3 days
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 small onion, cut into wedges
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea Salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) or peanut butter
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking pan with parchment paper.. Place sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, onion, and garlic cloves in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with the 1 tablespoon coconut oil; sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast about 25 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Let cool.
- In a food processor combine roasted vegetables, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, the 1/4 cup olive oil, the cumin, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Cover and process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as necessary and adding additional olive oil if needed to make a smooth paste. If needed, add up to 6 tablespoons water to thin to desired consistency.
- Spoon hummus into a serving dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; chill for at least 2 hours.
- Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve with cassava flour chips or fresh vegetables; celery, jicama, sliced radishes, cucumber, all very hydrating nutrient packed dippers!
Thank you from SmartVine
We launched in October 2018, and continue to learn every day more about you, our wines, and what we can do to improve.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. We hope you enjoy SmartVine on your Thanksgiving (vegan menu or not!) and we look forward to seeing and reading more of your #mysmartvinestory!
“When you view yourself through the lens of worthiness the world looks different. It looks like someplace you can find success and accomplish your dreams.” - Christine Fitzgerald (co-founder, SmartVine)