Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vegan Nutty Fudge

This fudge is healthy, with the base from almond butter instead of powdered sugar/condensed milks, and could be easily made into a raw fudge treat, if you didn't melt the almond butter with the agave nectar. Most importantly, it is the best fudge we've ever had, and is so gooey, chocolaty, and nutty!

1/2 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup no-salt added nut butter (we used almond butter)
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (can use other nuts or some chocolate chip)
1/2 tsp flavoring extract (Vanilla extract usually. Also try mint, maple, coconut, etc...we used maple extract)

In a small stove pan, heat agave and nut butter for a few minutes just until creamy and mixed together. Turn off heat and add cocoa, walnuts, and extract. Mix thoroughly and quickly before starts to thicken, and then pour into a small square pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spread eveny, then place in fridge to harden. Once chilled, cut into squares. We enjoyed these in the freezer - they were firmer yet gooey. Enjoy!

Makes a good amount, but small enough for two people to enjoy over the week. We had halved the original recipe adapted from Gluten Free Vegan Cookbook.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Chai Crunch Pancakes with Cherries

3 Tb flaxseed meal
3 Tb water
2 cups Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Pancake Mix
1 Tb chai seeds
1 Tb finely ground nuts
2 cups cold vanilla soymilk
2 bags Organic India Red Chai Tea, seeped in the soymilk
2 Tb safflower oil
1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen cherries, warmed in the microwave
cinnamon for sprinkling
powdered sugar and/or agave

In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseeds and water and mix to make a pasty "egg". Let sit for a few minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, add pancake mix, chia seeds, and nuts. Add milk, oil, and the "egg" mixture into the medium-sized bowl, and mix everything just until blended.

Preheat a large skillet at medium heat. Spray with cooking spray, pour batter onto the skillet, making two or three pancakes at a time. Flip the pancakes when the edges begin to brown and bubles show in the center. Cook the other side until slightly-browned.

Sprinkle powdered sugar and cinnamon, top with cherries, and serve with agave, if desired. Enjoy! Makes 10 pancakes (depends on how large/flat you make them!).

Note: We each had two pancakes with 1/4 cup of cherries, and then froze the other servings to have on hand for another breakfast!

Quinoa-Oat Date Porridge

1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup steel cut oats
Bob's Red Mill Date Crumbles (to your liking - 1/4 cup?)
~ 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (could add more depending on how thin/thick you like your oatmeal)
lots of cinnamon
optional: hemp seeds

Bring milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa and oats, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Portion into two bowls, add dates and cinnamon, and sprinkle hemp seeds if desired. Makes two servings.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Almond-Graham Apricot Bars with Dark Chocolate Glaze

These bars contain very little ingredients (all organic) to make it simple and natural. You could adapt it to keep it more raw by not baking it.

~ 2 cups dried apricots, unsulfured

1 cup almonds, no salt added

1 cup crushed graham crackers, ~24 graham squares (We use Health Valley's Oat Bran Graham Crackers)

8 Tbsp natural creamy almond butter, no salt or oil added (We usually use Eastwind Creamy Almond Butter, but the store didn't have it this time, so we used Maranatha's Almond Butter)

~1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (We used Simply Organic brand)

~1/3 of a 71% Dark Chocolate bar, about 8 squares (We used Equal Exchange Organic Very Dark Chocolate)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F.

Step 1:
Soak apricots in water in a small bowl for a few minutes.
Place soaked apricots in a blender or food processor. Add vanilla extract, and process till blended and chopped up nicely. It will be like apricot paste!
Put the apricot "paste" back into the bowl.

Step 2:
Grind almonds in the food processor till chopped up finely. Place in a medium-sized bowl.

Step 3:
Grind graham crackers till crushed into graham cracker crumbs. Place in the bowl containing the almonds.

Step 4:
Mix graham cracker crumbs and almonds, then add the almond butter to bind the mixture together.
Place graham-almond mixture into a square baking pan and press down to make a crust.

Step 5:
Bake crust till slightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 6:
Place apricot paste on top of the crust and try to spread it over the whole area to make an apricot layer.

Step 7:
Bake 7-8 minutes.

Step 8:
Melt chocolate. We just put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Make sure to stir and check on the chocolate periodically so it doesn't burn. Just heat till melted throughout.

Step 9:
When the apricot bars are done baking, drizzle the melted chocolate over it to your liking.Step 10:
Let the bars cool in the fridge for a while before slicing them. The first bar you'll cut will crumble just because it would be difficult to get it out of the pan. Actually, as time passes, the crust gets less dry/crumbly and holds together better.

Note: This was our first attempt at these bars, so we may make some adjustments next time to make the crust less crumbly (agave?) or add more apricot layer. You could even sprinkle some shredded coconut on top. It still is very tasty and a nice & healthy treat!