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

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.


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.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Brownies - Part 3

Equipment needed: One medium to large Bowl, One 1 cup measuring cup, One 1 tbl measuring Spoon, One Spoon, One rectangular oven-safe Glass Dish, Oven

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

2 cups Coconut shreds
2 cups gluten-free Rolled Oats
8 tbl Chocolate powder
2 cups Applesauce (or flavored applesauce)
1 pkg Mini-Chocolate chips

Smidge of Oil (for coating the baking dish)

Put the first three dry ingredients in the bowl and stir together. Make sure the chocolate powder has evenly coated the coconut and oats. Add the applesauce and stir until that is evenly coating the coconut and oats. Stir in the chocolate chips. This will be a somewhat loose mixture.

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. Rotate 90 degrees every 15-20 minutes for a more even bake. Then there’s another 15-20 minutes of allowing it to stay in the oven with the oven off.

The original recipe had a mixture of coconut shreds and almond flour though it was mostly coconut shreds. Since then I made this with all coconut shreds and the texture was better after it was refrigerated. I like this texture even more whether it’s hot or cold. The oats are the glue holding it into a really nice shape.

For today’s brownies, I had a small jar of seedless raspberry jam that I added to the applesauce for flavoring. There was sugar in the jam, so it’s more than I usually add to the brownies.

I slice the brownies into pieces while it’s still hot. If I put the glass oven dish in the fridge, I may need to slice them again as the melted chocolate seals back together when cool. Still seems to be easier than trying to slice when cool.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Salad Dressing Basics

I’ve tinkered with the recipes a few times now and have found what works for me. The base of the dressing is a vinegar, an oil in the form of avocado and/or nuts, an optional sweetener (banana, dates), and water to achieve the desired consistency. The additions can vary pretty widely.

For some dressings, the vinegar/water measurements are: 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup water. When the mixture is thicker, then the measurements become: 1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water - especially if you have avocado, nuts, and banana in the recipe. Some vinegars may overwhelm the flavors if there’s more than a 1/2 cup. Lemon juice could be used instead of a vinegar as well.

In general the water is twice the vinegar.

1/2 cup Vinegar
1 cup Water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Nuts (cashews, walnuts, etc) - optional
1 Avocado
1 Banana - optional

Equipment choices and preparation: If you have a Vita-Mix, food processor, or equivalent, then you can thoroughly blend in most ingredients. If you’re using a standard blender, some ingredients would work better with a little prep. Nuts may need to be soaked overnight to soften them for blending. Carrots will most likely make a chunkier dressing, but it’s not the end of the world. People often put carrots on salad. Onion, garlic, and harder veggies like carrots may need to be chopped before being added to the blender.

For the flavor profile, it depends on what you wish. I like to add zucchini and carrots to give it more depth of flavor and add more veggies to my day.

Zesty dressing:
1 peeled Zucchini
2 peeled Carrots
2 tsp chopped Garlic or 3-4 cloves Garlic
1/4 yellow Onion
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Mustard dressing:
(I’ve made this with Amy’s German mustard but not yet with the mustard seed)
4-5 tbl prepared Mustard or 1-2 tbl ground Mustard Seed
1 Banana (extra sweetener for the Honey Mustard idea)
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Balsamic dressing:
(contains sulfites)
For this dressing, I added nuts, avocado, and banana so the base had 1 cup Vinegar and 2 cups Water
2 tsp chopped Garlic or 3-4 cloves Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Fruit dressing:
(I haven’t tried this yet, but here are my thoughts of what this would look like)
5-6 oz Fruit - could be frozen or fresh
Banana or Apple to taste - depending on the sour/sweet aspect of the fruit
Salt and Pepper to taste - optional

Because the oil is also a thickener, these generally don’t separate. The fruit one might because some fruits like to do that.

These dressings last about 1 week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mustard Salad Dressing

1 Avocado
2 Bananas
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ cups Water
4-5 tbl Amy’s German Mustard (or other mustard you like)
4 oz (~1 cup) raw Cashews


The Amy’s mustard has apple cider vinegar, so it should be safe if you can do ACV. If not, maybe use rice vinegar and skip the prepared mustards. Instead add ground mustard to taste - maybe 1-2 tbl. You might also need some salt and pepper if you go the ground mustard route.