So, for nearly four months I've been cooking and eating vegan. I'm mostly happy with my options, but there's one stumbling block I haven't gotten over and that's the tendency of vegan recipes and foods to be sweeter than I want them to be. I like a dessert now and then, I live for sweet potatoes in the fall, I sweeten my oatmeal in the morning, and fruit is part of my diet, but my favorite flavor is salty and/or umami and I'd rather not have a meal without one or both. And I'm worried about burning out on soy. When my stomach pouts at the thought of another cup of miso or more tempeh, I'm inclined to listen. I've been particularly disappointed by the taste of cooked soy sauce/Bragg's.
So this post is a two-part request:
Tell me your favorite vegan umami foods and/or ingredients that don't involve soy, and how you use them; tips for using nooch and seaweeds are particularly welcome.
What is your favorite vegan broth, from scratch or from powder (I live in the US), that's not sweet? I used some Trader Joe's vegetarian broth concentrate over the weekend and it tasted awful to me, like watered-down molasses. I've been wanting to experiment with making stock out of mushrooms, celery, and other non-root vegetables, but I'd be grateful for any tips from someone who has gone that way before.