{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Almond Carob Tahini Bars

almondbars1

These gluten-free, no-bake bars are reminiscent of tahini-based halva. They consist of a base and frosting.

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw pecans

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

2 Tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)

for the frosting:

1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 10 large)

1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup

3 tsp carob powder

Method

1. For the base: In a food processor, process the almonds and pecans for about 45 seconds. Add the tahini, coconut sugar, almond milk and vanilla. Process until well combined, stopping to scrape the mixture from the sides of the jug with a spatula if necessary. The mixture should stick together when you press a small amount between your fingers. It should not be grainy or crumbly.

2. Press the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper or foil. Smooth and flatten the surface of the mixture with the back of a spoon or your fingers. Put the base into the freezer for 30 minutes.

3. For the frosting: In a food processor, process the dates for about 20 seconds. Add the almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup and carob powder, and process until smooth.

4. Spread the frosting evenly across the base. Refrigerate for an hour.

5. Slice into bars, and serve. Store the leftovers in the freezer or fridge.

almondbars2The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

The tiny vegans enjoy date and nut-based treats, so there was never any doubt that they would enjoy this one.

The frosting is a little bit sticky, so you could make the bars without frosting if giving them to toddlers or young children, or if packing them in lunchboxes.

***

I’ll see you back here tomorrow for the last day of Vegan MoFo 2013. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the journey with me.

Ally

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Nutty Cinnamon Bites

nutty1

Ingredients

1/4 cup pecans

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

3 tsp raw carob powder (or raw cacao powder)

1 Tbsp organic coconut sweet spread* OR 1 Tbsp smooth nut butter

1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (about 5 large)

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

1. Add walnuts to a food processor, and process for 10 seconds.

2. Add pecans, pumpkin seeds, carob powder, dates, coconut spread, and cinnamon. Process for about 60 seconds. Do not over-process, as the nuts will release their oils and the bites will be greasy to touch.

3.  Press the mixture into silicone molds and place in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving.

4. Alternatively, roll the mixture into balls and coat in shredded coconut, almond meal or ground sunflower seeds, then refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

I store leftover balls in the fridge, and leftover bites in the freezer.

I use my limited range of silicone molds – hearts and Easter egg shapes – for most of the mixture. I roll the remaining mixture into balls, and coat them in almond meal or ground sunflower seeds.

nuttycinnamon2

My school-age kids are permitted to bring nuts to school in their lunchboxes, but peanuts are prohibited. My son’s pre-school excludes all nuts and peanuts.

For packing in lunchboxes, I prefer to roll the mixture into balls, as they are more sturdy. However, I have packed the bites in lunchboxes (inside an insulated bag), and my daughter assures me that they stay intact until ‘little lunch’ (when she eats them).

coconut spread

* Organic coconut sweet spread. Ingredients: organic coconut, organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic coconut nectar.

***

Ally

{Recipe, Vegan MoFo} Chocolate Almond Butter Fudge Balls

chocalmond1

To mark the first day of spring and the commencement of Vegan MoFo, I am posting a simple chocolate-based treat.

This is my first time as a participant of Vegan MoFo (the vegan month of food). For the month of September, I intend to post Monday to Friday, and Sunday. I am adhering to a gluten-free theme. This provides an opportunity to expand my repertoire of gluten-free recipes.

These simple treats are delicious and decadent. They are a yummy afternoon snack for the family or a late night chocolate-craving ‘fix’ once the kids have gone to bed.

They are free of gluten, added oil and refined sugar. They contain only a tiny amount of liquid sweetener – pure maple syrup.

Moreover, they are quick to prepare. You can eat them straight away, but I prefer the texture that is obtained by a short period of refrigeration (about 1/2 an hour). They are quick to disappear too!

Ingredients

Quantity- 9 or 10 balls

1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 10 dates)

1/4 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup raw cacao powder (or raw carob powder)

1 tsp maple syrup

a generous pinch of salt

10 raw almonds 

Method

1. To make almond meal: process the raw almonds in a small food processor until they almost resemble flour – you do want some chunkier pieces. Set aside.

2. Add the dates, almond butter, cacao powder and salt to a regular-sized food processor. Process ingredients for about one minute. After about 30 seconds of processing, drizzle the maple syrup through the chute while the machine is still processing.

3. The mixture should stick together when you press it between your fingers. It should feel a little spongey. It should not be dry or crumbly.

4. With your hands, form the mixture into balls. Then coat each ball in the almond meal.

5. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

***

chocalmond2

I imagine you could replace the maple syrup with the same quantity of freshly squeezed orange juice, to create the delectable orange-chocolate combination. I intend to give this a try soon.

Are you participating in Vegan MoFo this year? Are you adhering to a theme? 

Ally

{Recipe} Pecan Date Nibblers | Cinnamon Date Slice

firstimage

Both of these recipes feature dates. One is raw, one is baked. Both are suitable for school lunchboxes, or an afternoon snack. Cinnamon Date Slice is gluten free and refined sugar-free, with an oil free option. My children adore this slice.

Pecan Date Nibblers are wheat free, oil free, and refined sugar-free. There is a variation to make them gluten-free. They are very popular in my household.  The recipe lists lemon or orange zest as optional. I always use orange zest. I think it should be compulsory! The orange flavour is very appealing.

pecan1

Pecan Date Nibblers

Recipe from: Let them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton (yes, another Dreena recipe!).

Quantity: 12-15

Recipe available here.

***

dateslice1

Cinnamon Date Slice

Adapted from a recipe in Fresh Blends, the book that accompanied our Blendtec blender.

Quantity: 20 squares

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw almonds

2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts

1 cup ground flax seeds 

1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup date paste, store bought or homemade (recipe below)

1/3 cup sultanas

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1 Tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)

Topping: 2 Tbsp ground almonds, 2 Tbsp shredded coconut, 1-2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 20 walnut pieces.

Method

1. Add almonds, macadamia nuts, cinnamon, and sea salt to a food processor, and process until nuts are ground.

2. Add nut mixture and ground flax seeds to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

3. Add date paste and agave (or maple) syrup to the mixing bowl, and stir until incorporated.

4. Add sultanas and walnuts. Mix well.

5. Line a large baking dish with baking paper* (parchment) and scoop the mixture into the dish. Flatten the mixture with the back of a large spoon.

6. Sprinkle the top with ground almonds, shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds.

7. Refrigerate (or place in the freezer) for a few hours before cutting into 20 squares. Place a walnut piece on each square. Store slice in fridge or freezer.

Date Paste

Quantity – approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

10 dates, pitted

2 Tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)

2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional, but the slice is drier without it)

1/4 cup dried apricots

1 cup of water (for soaking dates)

Method

1. Soak dates in water for 1-2 hours. Reserve 1/4 cup of the soaking water for step 2.

2. In a small food processor, add ingredients in the following order: soaking water, dates, agave (maple) syrup, coconut oil, and dried apricots.

3. Process until smooth.

Store the leftover date paste in the fridge. Date paste is yummy on bread or crackers, with macadamia butter.

dateslice2

* I had run out of baking paper on this occasion. It is much easier to extract the slice from the dish if you use baking paper, but it is not essential.

Each Monday, I feature a couple of delicious vegan recipes that are enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys them too!

Ally

My Little Valentine

AJ1

My precious Little Baker celebrated his 1st birthday today, Valentine’s Day. There were presents, laughs, cuddles, and….there was CAKE!

mochacake3

This cake is superb. Honestly! It will knock your socks off.

Thank you to Angela of Uberdish for introducing me to Mocha Almond Fudge cake. This cake is a Chef Chloe creation, and the original recipe is available here.

Uberdish’s gluten-free version is featured here.

As soon as I saw Angela’s post, I knew this would be the perfect cake to bake for Little Baker’s birthday celebration.

Recently, Susykat baked Mocha Almond Fudge cake for a friend’s birthday party. There were contented smiles all around. Many people were surprised that a vegan cake could taste so scrumptious. Of course, we vegans aren’t surprised!

Little Baker was very keen to live up to his name today:

mochacake1

***

Just in case you aren’t convinced that you should be making plans to bake this cake ASAP, I will leave you with some additional pics:

mochacake2

Go on! You won’t regret it.

{Recipe} Tamari-roasted Chickpeas | Nutty Veggie Burgers

My eldest children returned to school last week after 7 weeks of summer school holidays.

We spent the last week of the holidays at Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast. One highlight of the holiday was a ‘sky walk’ at North Tambourine in the Gold Coast hinterland.

tambourine mountain1

The walk commences on an elevated steel ‘bridge’, entering directly into the middle and upper canopy of the rainforest (photo, top left). It gradually descends to the rainforest floor, where we followed a designated track until we reached a creek (which was flowing fast after recent heavy rain; photo below).

creek

A highlight of the walk is a free-standing cantilever – 30 metres above the creek bed.

The cantilever sways from side to side as you walk out to the farthest reaches (hence why Mat is holding onto the railing in the photo above). This precarious swaying provides excitement for kids and adults!

After our skywalk adventure, we returned to Cardamon Pod Vegetarian for a late lunch of raw desserts and smoothies. The photos speak for themselves, but I have to tell you – the Tiramisu is amazing!

We spoke to the staff member who made the raw desserts. She told me that she uses coconut oil to ‘set’ the cheesecakes. She uses agave, dates and coconut sugar to sweeten the desserts.  The Tiramisu contains ground coffee beans.

I also ordered a Byron Chai smoothie but while I was distracted talking about raw desserts, Mousse Boy launched in and devoured most of it. I barely got a sip, let alone a photo! The desserts were served with fruit and coconut milk ice cream.

desserts1

***

I apologise for tantalising you with pictures of mango cheesecake and mousse. How can a veggie burger compete? Even if it is a Dreena Burton veggie burger! In fact, both of today’s featured recipes are delicious Dreena Burton creations.

Back to School

The end of the school holidays signals the return of a ubiquitous feature of daily school life – The Lunchbox. Oh, how I relished a 7 week break from preparing school lunches.

Today, I am highlighting two recipes that are suitable for lunchboxes – Tamari-roasted Chickpeas and Nutty Veggie Burgers.

Chickpeas1

Tamari-roasted Chickpeas

These chickpeas are very moreish and scrumptious – I enjoy snacking on them. They are quick and simple to prepare, and delicious eaten by the handful or tossed into a salad.

You can use canned chickpeas, but I prefer to use dried chickpeas that I have soaked and cooked. The recipe is gluten-free and has an oil-free option (I omit the oil).

This scrumptious recipe is available  here.

***

veggie burgers1

Nutty Veggie Burgers

Gluten-free

Yields 5-6 large patties or 10 small patties

Recipe available here.

Amendments that I make when preparing these burgers:

  • I double the quantities of dried sage and dried thyme (I don’t use poultry seasoning).
  • I use salt-free tomato paste rather than tomato sauce (ketchup).
  • I use 1 cup of rolled oats.
  • I omit the garlic.

The Tiny Vegan’s Verdict

My daughter enjoys these burgers.  They can be eaten hot or cold. When I pack one in her lunch box, I include a small container of hummus. I pack the burger on a bed of baby spinach, accompanied by ‘vegie sticks’ – carrots, capsicum and cucumber (not photographed). Unfortunately, our Least Adventurous Eater isn’t keen on these burgers. He prefers marinated tofu. Little Baker likes them broken into small pieces. Easy and tasty finger food!

Mat raves about these veggie burgers. I agree, they are very tasty.

Occasionally, I double the recipe and freeze a batch of uncooked patties. Healthy fast food!

lunchbox1

Every Monday I post a delicious vegan recipe (or two!), that is enjoyed by (most of!) my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too!

Ally

[edited on 20 August 2013, to provide link to nutty veggie burgers recipe.]

{Recipe} Raw Chocolate Tarts

A few years ago, a dear friend loaned me a book called Naked Chocolate. That’s all I needed to know.  Naked chocolate…. Naked. Chocolate…

A ‘special note’ on the back cover states:

‘The recipes in these pages allow you to find that perfect alchemical potion that causes all heaven to break loose’. 

I knew that tantalising, chocolaty delights awaited me. I actually still have the book! Sienna, if you are reading this, let me know if you want your book back. 🙂

The book, written by David Wolfe and Shazzie, basically pays homage to the wonders and magic of raw chocolate, otherwise known as cacao (pronounced ka-cow). It includes such delightful recipes as: chocolate pizza, chocolate cheezecake, chocolate banana bread, chocovanilla shake, mint and choc chip ice cream……chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….All of the recipes are raw, and all of them contain cacao.

In all honesty, it is enormously beneficial to have possession of a dehydrator if you want to experience the great heights of chocolate ecstacy that this book offers.

Shazzie and David clearly love and respect cacao. The introduction to the book announces:

‘There is nothing in the world like chocolate. It is luxurious, sensuous, delightful, passionate, inspirational, sexual and exciting to all senses’. 

Naked Chocolate discusses comprehensively the history, uses, and properties of chocolate, before launching into the sensuous recipes. The book comes with a warning:

‘Reading this book may cause you to have The Best Day Ever!’ 

Ah, their enthusiasm is infectious.

raw choc tarts

A recipe that has become a personal favourite is Chocolate Tarts.

The recipe requires a dehydrator. I am fortunate to have a dehydrator in my kitchen, so I use it whenever I make these tarts. However, I experimented with preparing the tart shells in a low oven, instead of a dehydrator, and I achieved a good result . I have included the oven option below, in case it appeals to you.

I varied the chocolate sauce by adding macadamia nuts, coconut water and vanilla. This tempers the bitterness of the cacao, without the need to add more sweetener. The shells are reminiscent of a chewy, apricot muesli bar.

These tarts are luxurious, delightful, and sexual…ah, I mean sensuous!

Sienna will definitely want the book back now.

CHOCOLATE TARTS

Recipe from: Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Shazzie

(quantity – a dozen)

You Will Need:

1 cup dry oat groats OR rolled oats*

1 cup raw almonds (do not soak)

1 tsp flax seed

15 dried apricots, soaked for 4-6 hours (whole dried apricots, not halves)

1 serving of dark chocolate sauce (recipe to follow)

12 almonds (for decoration)

tart collage 2

Method for tart shells:

1. Add the flax seed, almond and oats to a food processor, coffee grinder or high speed blender, and grind until a fine flour consistency is achieved.

2. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour, and set aside to assist with rolling the dough (step 4).

3. In a food processor, process the flour while dropping the soaked apricots down the chute. As the apricots are processed, a dough-like consistency will form. If the mixture appears dry rather than doughy, add a tiny amount of the apricot soak water. Once a ball of dough has formed, turn off the food processor and remove the dough.

tart collage 3

4. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour onto a wooden board, and place the dough on the board. Sprinkle the remaining flour on the ball of dough. Flatten and roll the dough with a rolling pin, until it is about 4mm thick.

5. Cut 12 circles with a cookie cutter.

6. Place a sheet of cling wrap over a tart (or shallow muffin) tray.

7. Place the circles of dough into the sections of the tray, moulding the pieces with your fingers (see photos below).

8. Set the dehydrator to 105-115 degrees F or 40-46 deg C.

tart collage4

9. Place the tart tray into the dehydrator for 2 hours. The tart shells will harden. Remove the shells from the tray and turn them upside down on a dehydrator  tray, and leave for one hour.

***

Oven option for tart shells:

IMG_0577

‘Oven-hardened’ shell

If you do not have access to a dehydrator, you can use a low oven heat to harden the shells. Once you have used the tart tray to mould the shells, remove the shells from the tray and place them on a baking tray.

In my pre-heated, fan-forced oven the shells harden in about 15 minutes. I set my oven for the lowest temp that is achievable on the dial (80 deg C), placing the shells cup side up for 10 minutes, then turning them upside down for 5 minutes.

***

Dark Chocolate Sauce

Adapted from: Naked Chocolate

You Will Need:

4 heaped tbsp of cacao powder 

4 tbsp liquid sweetener (eg. agave syrup, maple syrup,** etc. )

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tsp coconut water OR water

2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 4-6 hours

Seeds of 1/2 a vanilla pod OR 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 

1-2 tsp additional liquid sweetener (optional) 

2 tsp additional coconut oil (optional)

Method for chocolate sauce:

1. Add all ingredients (except additional liquid sweetener and additional coconut oil) to a small food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion (hand-held) blender.

2. Taste the sauce. If it requires more sweetener, add an additional 1-2 tsp of sweetener and blend until combined. If a smoother consistency is desired, add an additional 2 tsp of coconut oil, and blend again.

To assemble the tarts:

1. Scoop the chocolate sauce into the tart shells, and top each one with an almond. Serve.

2. Store leftovers in an air tight container.

3. Leftover chocolate sauce can be added to smoothies.

Notes:

* Use certified gluten-free oats if you want to ensure that the tarts are gluten-free.

** Maple syrup is not a raw product, but it works well in this recipe if you do not have agave syrup available.

final pic

What is your favourite raw dessert? Do you enjoy cacao? 

Every Monday I post a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

 

Ally

This recipe was submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check out the other delicious recipes.

 

{Recipe} Sensational Smoothies

Our new, shiny, RED Blendtec blender arrived last week!

blender

***

Lately, our Powermill blender has been acting up, demonstrating to us that it is ready for early retirement. It has served us well for 5 years. I had always been happy with the texture achieved by the Powermill, but the Blendtec makes the silkiest, smoothest green smoothies. It leaves the Powermill for dead.

When the Blendtec arrived, we eagerly opened the box and began excitedly discussing possible smoothie combinations.

Mat decided on an orange, carrot, rockmelon, banana and baby spinach blend. Yes, a whole carrot. The Blendtec took it in her stride. I was enraptured from that moment.

Blenders get heavy use in our house, but the excitement of a new blender (that is so easy to clean) has resulted in an escalation of smoothie making. It’s so easy to clean! Did I mention that? Moreover, the jug and motor are much lighter than the Powermill’s.

I am posting a sample of the smoothies that my family enjoyed last week. I don’t usually measure ingredients when making smoothies, but I did last week in order to provide you with adequate instructions.

First up, my favourite. Green smoothies!

***

1. Green Smoothies

Mango Citrus Berry

 Mango Citrus Berry Smoothie is a standard green smoothie at our house.  All of my green smoothies contain bananas as a base, the riper the better, and usually frozen. Frozen bananas provide a beautiful, creamy texture. I also add oranges and frozen blueberries. Mangoes are cheap and abundant at the moment, so they have been featuring regularly in our smoothies.

Mat and I prefer to use coconut water, but are happy to use filtered water if coconut water is not available. I always add ground flax seeds (linseeds) and chia seeds to my smoothies. Mat likes Maca powder so I usually add that too. The greens don’t vary considerably. I always add baby spinach leaves. If we have kale, I add 2 leaves. Otherwise, I add baby cos or cos lettuce.

You will need:

(Serves 2)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

flesh of 1 mango

2 bananas (frozen is preferable, for a creamy texture)

1 orange, peeled and cut in half (remove visible seeds)

1/4 – 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed

6 baby cos lettuce leaves, washed

1 heaped tsp of ground flaxseed or chia seed (or use a combination, as I do)

1 heaped tsp Maca powder

Method

1. Pour coconut water (or water) in jug;

2. Add maca powder, flax seeds/chia seeds, orange, bananas (if unfrozen), mango, and all of the leaves;

3. Lastly, add blueberries and banana (if frozen).

4. Blend until smooth (obviously, the time it takes to achieve a smooth blend will depend on the power of your blender).

***

Summerrain1

This blend reminds me of summer. It is the perfect summer drink, containing mango, nectarine and pineapple. I was going to name it Summer Smoothie, but it began to rain as I took the photos, so a new name was bestowed upon it. 

You will need:

(Serves 2)

5ooml coconut water or filtered water, cold

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

flesh of 1 mango

1 nectarine, seed removed

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple

20 (approximately) fresh mint leaves

5 cups of baby spinach leaves

1 heaped tsp of ground flax seeds or chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add the flax seeds/chia seeds, mango, nectarine, pineapple, and all of the leaves;

3. Add banana (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

Just to set the record straight, I don’t drink green smoothies out of wine glasses. I use this….

IMG_0909

….which gives you an idea of the portion size of my smoothies. No small glasses for me!

***

2. Coconut water/water-based smoothie (not green):

Mat's smoothieA

Mat usually has a green smoothie each day. Depending on the particular workout he has endured, he may also make this smoothie.

I usually have some too because it is scrumptious! Or he shares it with the kids.

You will need:

(serves 2)

15 raw almonds, soaked overnight

5 dates, soaked overnight

15g goji berries, soaked overnight

1 cup frozen blueberries

3 bananas (preferably frozen)

500ml coconut water or filtered water, cold

1 heaped tsp maca powder

3 heaped dessertspoons of protein powder (we use Vital or Sun Warrior)

Method

1. Pour coconut water or water in jug;

2. Add maca powder, protein powder, dates, goji berries, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, bananas (if frozen) and almonds;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

3. Non-dairy Milk-based Smoothies

Mango Berry

Mango Berry is one of my daughter’s favourite smoothie concoctions. She’s not too keen on green smoothies, unfortunately. She will drink a tiny amount because she understands that they are healthy but she doesn’t request them. She prefers rice or soy milk-based smoothies.

Our 3 year old will drink any type of smoothie. Our 6 year old went off green smoothies a couple of years ago (after enjoying them as a toddler), but in recent days (yay!) he is enjoying them again -it must be the new blender! 

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk or protein-enriched rice milk

flesh of 1 mango

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

5 ice cubes

Method:

1. Pour non-dairy milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, mango and banana (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, raspberries, bananas (if frozen) and ice cubes;

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Chocberry1

Raw cacao powder is delicious in smoothies. Bananas and frozen blueberries complement the rich chocolaty flavour. I don’t use cacao powder in my green smoothies (maybe I should!), but I do like using it to make hot chocolate (in winter) and raw desserts.  My kids enjoy it in their milk-based smoothies. I really enjoyed this smoothie, and will probably indulge in it again soon.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

1 cup organic soy milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (preferably frozen)

1 heaped tbsp avocado

1 heaped tbsp cacao powder

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour soy milk in jug;

2. Add flax seeds/chia seeds, avocado, cacao powder, bananas (if unfrozen);

3. Add blueberries, and bananas (if frozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

Peanut Butter Chocolate

My sons are enamoured with peanut butter and bananas sandwiches, so I suggested that they may like a peanut butter and banana smoothie. Of course, they thought it was a brilliant idea! The addition of raw cacao powder gives this smoothie a richer flavour.

You will need:

(2 child-size serves)

2 cups protein-enriched rice milk (or your preferred non-dairy milk)

2 bananas (Yep, you guessed it!…preferably frozen)

1 tbsp cacao powder

1tbsp natural peanut butter (sugar-free, salt-free);

1 heaped tsp ground flax seeds/chia seeds (or a combination)

Method

1. Pour rice milk in jug;

2. Add ground flax seeds/chia seeds, cacao powder, peanut butter.

3. Add bananas (frozen or unfrozen);

4. Blend until smooth.

***

What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Please share it with all of us!

If you recently posted a smoothie recipe on your blog, I am happy for you to share the link in the comments section if you would like to. 

I know that a few of you are trying to establish a regular green smoothie habit. If you would like some tips or ideas, please use the comments section too. I am sure that the seasoned green smoothie drinkers among us would be happy to help! I am all too happy to spread the green smoothie joy. 🙂

Every Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my family – I hope your family enjoys it too!

RP

Thank you to eveyone who has been voting for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Vegan and Vegetarian Moms 2013. I really appreciate your support. 

If you enjoy my blog, I would be thrilled if you voted for me. You can find my entry here. Also, there is an icon on my home page, and you can click on that too.

You can vote more than once! You can vote for me once every 24 hours. You are not required to register, or provide your email address. You just click. It’s really quick!

The competition ends on 7 February. Thank you. 🙂

 

Ally 

{Recipe} Nut Roast with Lemon and Garlic Stuffing

nutroast1

Nut Roast with Lemon and Garlic Stuffing is a versatile, cruelty-free dish for Christmas.  It serves 4-6 people, and is delicious accompanied by a homemade tomato-based sauce. It can be frozen cooked or uncooked. Nut roast can be enjoyed hot or cold.

This nut roast is adapted from a recipe in the pages of the very first vegan cook book that I owned. The book was pre-loved when it came in to my life in the mid-90’s. The Vegan Health Plan: A Practical Guide to Healthy Living by Amanda Sweet was published in England in 1987 (this book is now out of print):

The Vegan Health Plan

As you can see, my copy is very well-loved and well-worn. Held together with masking tape!

I have been making this nut roast for Christmas day lunch for over a decade. Mat enjoys it, as do two of our children. Unfortunately, our Least Adventurous Eater is not susceptible to the charm that is nut roast. Suffice to say, it is popular with vegans and non-vegans alike.

On Friday morning, I awoke to rain and a mild day. Perfect weather for using the oven. I knew it was my nut roast day! After dropping the kids at school, I carted my ingredients and my two littlest boys to my parents’ house for a morning of cooking.

nutroast2

Ingredients

225g/8oz  finely ground nuts (I use a combo of pecan, walnut, almond. I use a food processor to grind raw whole nuts, but you can take a short cut by purchasing nut meal if you prefer.)

100g/3.5oz wholemeal breadcrumbs (I process slices of wholemeal bread in a food processor)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 heaped Tbsp wholemeal flour

150 ml non-dairy milk (I use soy or almond)

150ml vegetable stock (I use half a Massel salt-reduced vegetable stock cube dissolved in150ml water)

1Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Black pepper

for the stuffing:

75g/2.5oz wholemeal breadcrumbs

50g/1.5oz vegan margarine, melted

1/2 small onion, finely grated

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp lemon zest

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Grease and line a  loaf tin with baking paper.

Make the nut meat mixture first:

2.  In a large saucepan, saute the onion in a tablespoon or two of water, until soft. Add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.

3. Remove saucepan from heat and gradually add the milk and stock, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened.

4. Add the tamari (soy sauce), nutmeg and pepper. Stir well.

5. Add the nuts and breadcrumbs to the saucepan and mix thoroughly to form a thick but moist mixture.

6. Prepare the stuffing: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients, and mix well.

7.  Put half of the nut meat mixture into the loaf tin and press down firmly with your hands or a spatula. Pile the stuffing on top and press down with your hands or a spatula. Lastly, put the remaining nut meat mixture on top of the stuffing and smooth the top.

8. Bake for approximately 60 minutes until the loaf is brown and firm (in my oven, it is ready at the 55 min mark). Cool slightly in the tin before removing.

9. Turn the nut roast out onto a board or plate, upside down (ie. the bottom of the nut roast when it was in the loaf tin, is now the top).  Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

If freezing the nut roast, ensure that you thaw it before baking.

nutroast3

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too. 

Ally

[post updated on 13 Nov 2013]

{Recipe} Raspberry and Pecan Muffins; Almond and Date Slice

I am posting 2 recipes today.

My sister is visiting at the moment and we have had an enjoyable weekend – lots of laughs and yummy food.

Raspberry and Pecan Muffins: 

 ***

Almond and Date Slice (no bake):

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A couple of friends visited me recently -while Mat and the kids were away – and I wanted to serve something sweet for morning tea. I decided on muffins – quick to prepare, and suitable for freezing.

I scoured my pantry and fridge for muffin ingredients. I found raspberries and blueberries in the freezer. We had a good range of raw nuts.  Ultimately, I decided that pecans would complement raspberries. So, I whipped these up.

They were delicious, served with chai tea. One of my (non-vegan) friends ate two. That’s a good sign, right? I froze the rest for my children’s lunch boxes.

I made them again this weekend while my sister was visiting. They turned out beautifully. We enjoyed them with Kahlua soy lattes (Oh yum!).

Raspberry and Pecan Muffins

Quantity- A baker’s dozen (13)

You will need:

2 cups wholemeal flour

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

12 pecan halves, chopped

1 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or rice syrup)

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), chopped

13 pecan halves (for decoration)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F.

If using frozen raspberries, remove from the freezer. Set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients, including chopped pecans, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Combine all liquid ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients with a fork.

Add wet ingredients to mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until ingredients are incorporated. Add raspberries, and fold in to the mixture with spatula:

Scoop batter into silicone baking cups. Place a pecan on top of each muffin:

Bake in oven for 12 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 10 mins before removing from baking cups. Serve with chai tea or soy lattes, or your favourite beverage:

***

Here is my Little Baker (and yes, that is a Raspberry Disaster on the floor!):

‘Pick me up, Mummy’.

***

During the weekend, my mum prepared a slice that she adapted from a non-vegan recipe.

Almond and Date Slice (no-bake)

You will need:

200g of vegan plain biscuits (eg. Digestive biscuits)

500g date paste, store bought or home made

1/2 cup vegan margarine

1/2 cup flaked almonds

1/2 tsp cardamon

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

Process biscuits in food processor until they form crumbs.

In a large saucepan, melt margarine, add date paste and stir.

Add almonds and spices, mix well.

Add crushed biscuits, mix well.

Spread mixture into a 9 x 11 inch baking dish. Place in fridge for approximately 30 mins.

Sprinkle a light coating of icing sugar over the top (optional).

Cut into diamond or square shapes.

Delicious on its own or…

We served ours with vanilla soy ice cream and slices of fresh strawberry:

Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe – one that is enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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