Friday, December 14, 2018

Breakfast Brownies and Smoothies


The Vita-Mix with both the liquid and dry containers may be best for this recipe. If using a food processor, this could be on the chunkier side which might work for the brownies, but maybe not for the smoothie. If you have a Vita-Mix but only one container, do the Dry “Flour” part first.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Liquid Base:
1 jar Applesauce (24 oz)
1 cup Water
1 Zucchini (peeled)
1/3 pkg frozen chopped Spinach
1 pkg frozen Raspberries

Blend until smooth in the liquid container.

Dry “Flour”:
1 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats
1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews

Blend until relatively smooth (coarse ground) in the dry container. Scrape into a medium to large mixing bowl. Add:

Brownie Mix:
6 tbl Chocolate Powder
2 1/2 cups Coconut Shreds
2 tbl Chia Seeds

Stir until well mixed. Add:

2 cups Liquid Base
1 pkg mini Chocolate Chips

Stir until well mixed.

I used a 2 L (2.2 qt) rectangular pyrex dish. I think a 2 qt dish is fine too.

Lightly coat the dish with oil.

Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and tamp it down firmly, making it as uniform as possible.

The subtotal bake time is 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Rotate 90 degrees every 15-20 minutes for a more even bake. Then there’s another 15-20 minutes or so of allowing it to stay in the oven with the oven off. Longer is fine - allowing these to cool in the oven works too.

Smoothie -

Add to the remaining Liquid Base:
2 Bananas
1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
2 tbl Chocolate Powder
Enough Water to blend to desired texture

Blend on high until smooth.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Carrot Ginger Soup - Personal Size


Feeling a bit under the weather today, so I decided to make a bowl of soup. I love having a Vita-Mix for this as it will make the ingredients smooth and cook the soup at the same time. I wasn’t planning on adding cashews but decided to in order to make the soup creamier. The amount of cashews can be adjusted to achieve the desired consistency or add more water as needed. Leave the cashews out for a nut-free version - you can add a little milk of your choice instead if desired.

13 Baby Carrots
2/3 cup Water
1/3 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
1/2 slice Onion
1 tsp chopped Ginger
1 tsp chopped Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Blend these ingredients until smooth. With a Vita-Mix, blend on high for 3 minutes to cook the soup. Without a Vita-Mix, blend as best as possible and heat in a sauce pan.

Holiday Cranberry Cookies


This recipe is a riff off the Flourless Cookies. I divided the base here and made two different cookies. One came out really good and the other was just okay - brown rice flour muted the flavor significantly.

I used cinnamon sticks in this recipe as the amount of ground cinnamon in the house was on the low side. An online conversion says 1 stick - 1/2 tsp cinnamon, so I’ll give both below.

Tip: For the base, use twice as much applesauce as cranberry.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Base:
1 pkg (12 oz) Cranberries
1 jar (24 oz) Applesauce
3 tbl Coconut Sugar (optional)
8 sticks (4 tsp) Cinnamon

Blend these ingredients until smooth.

For the okay cookies, I combined 2 cups base with 2 cups brown rice flour. I usually use almond flour for this, but I wanted a cookie that was nut-free. Less flour may have worked better in this case. These went onto a cookie sheet in 1 tbl mounds that got flattened into circles and baked for 40 minutes - flipped at 20 minutes. These came out more like tea biscuits with a very muted flavor.

For the good cookies, I combined the remaining 3 cups of base with 3 cups of coconut shreds. Using a 2 tsp cookie scoop, mound on a cookie sheet and leave as mounds. Bake for 40 minutes - flipping at 20 minutes. Flipping is a bit of a misnomer - basically get the flat part off the cookie sheet so it doesn’t burn.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Brownies


Using this brownie recipe, but replacing the chocolate powder with:

1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp Nutmeg
5 tbl Cinnamon

I also added a bit more applesauce - roughly 2 1/2 cups total - to balance out the bitterness of the cloves. The baking may need a bit more time. I gave it an extra 10 minutes, but I also threw in some coconut flakes which could be why it wasn’t holding together as well as I’d hoped. The flavor profile seemed spot on to me.

Cashew Cream Sauce - Salad Dressing Base


I wanted both cashew cream sauce and salad dressing last night, so I made a base that could go either way. Starting with this cashew cream sauce recipe, I put it all together except for the nutritional yeast. Also didn’t add any water but you may need to depending on how well everything is blending together.

For the dressing, I separated 1/2 cup of the base and added 1/2 cup vinegar. With that much vinegar on top of the lemon juice, it packs a punch. I like it that way. You may need to adjust accordingly. Perhaps a 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 base combination.

I finished off the cream sauce with water and nutritional yeast and poured that into a container. After I rinsed out the blender, I poured in the dressing mixture and blended in 1/2 banana.

And that’s it. Pasta sauce and salad dressing done at the same time. This dressing - without any avocado - lasts 3-4 weeks.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Coconut Cashew Milk


I've made vegan milks several times. For cookie recipes (when I use milk) I like to make an oat cashew milk. For latte purposes, that oat milk just didn't do the trick. There are links to other coconut milk recipes here - that post contains the links to the recipes that started me down the coconut milk path. One may also give you ideas for how to do this when you don't have a Vita-Mix.

Equipment needed:
Vita-Mix with the Liquid Container, 1 cup Measuring Cup, Spoon

Ingredients:
1 cup Coconut Shreds
1/2 cup(ish) raw, unsalted Cashews
4 pitted Dates
6 cups Water

Put all of the ingredients in the blender. Work up to high and leave it there for 3 minutes. Put the blender in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning (or several hours later), there will be a layer of fat at the top. Skim this off. I put it in a smaller container to save for trying to make butter. For one pass at making milk, it isn't much, but if I start making this regularly, I will build up a collection. I may need to freeze it in the meantime. This also may come in handy for making ice cream.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cashew Cream Sauce - Updated


This recipe is best if you have a mega-blender or a food processor. It can probably be done in a regular blender though you may get a more chunky sauce.

I’ve made several versions and posted some here. Today’s is my favorite, by far. Ingredient list first and then I’ll walk through the order that may be easiest.

Ingredients:

Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Zucchini - peeled and chopped
1-2 Carrots - peeled and chopped - yellow preferred but not required
1/3 medium yellow Onion
3-4 cloves Garlic
3 oz raw, unsalted Cashews
3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
Salt & Black Pepper to taste (1/4 tsp @ as a suggestion)
Water as needed

If you’re using a regular blender, soak the cashews in water overnight so they soften for easier blending. Drain before adding them to the recipe. If your carrots are on the small side, then use two. Yellow carrots are preferred simply due to the effect on the final color of the sauce.

Put the lemon juice in first, then add the zucchini. If you notice lemon seeds have jumped into your blender, try to fish them out before adding the zucchini. Blend on low so the zucchini won’t hop away from the blades. It doesn’t have to be blended completely yet. Add a little water to help - probably less than 1/8 cup. 

Add the carrots, blend a little more, but this time work up to high briefly. Add the onion and garlic, salt and pepper. Blend all of this on high until it’s smooth. It should be fairly thin.

Add the cashews and the nutritional yeast. Work up to high slowly when blending so the yeast gets pulled into the mixture instead of decorating the inside of the lid. Blend on high until smooth.

At any point that it seems this will not blend nicely, try a tamper or add a little water.

If it’s too thin at the end, add more cashews and/or nutritional yeast. If it’s too thick, add more water or lemon juice.