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.


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.

Base:
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

Blend


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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flourless Brownies


The amount of almond flour in this Coconut Brownie recipe seemed to be too small to make enough of a difference. So I made them again, but this time with 4 cups of coconut shreds and no flour.

The only other difference was that I turned the pan 90 degrees every 15-20 minutes so that it would bake evenly. This is optional.

These brownies seem to hold together better after they’ve been in the refrigerator. I’m assuming, given the final texture, that they would do well as mini-muffins or cupcakes too. It’s easier to tamp this down firmly in one solid pan though. If you do try a different container, keep in mind that these do not rise.

Salad Dressing


I played with two different versions of a salad dressing. The first one was probably too heavy on the vinegar and it contained oil. When poured on salad, the vinegar taste was diminished enough to be quite enjoyable. If I make that particular one again, I’ll cut the amount of vinegar in half and leave out the oil.

The second recipe came from the desire to play with a new acquisition - ginger juice - and an avocado that was at the use it or lose it stage.

Nut Free: Because both the avocado and the cashews add the creamy consistency, the cashews are optional. Cut back on the initial amount of water and then add as needed for the desired consistency.

Ingredients for recipe 1
1 cup ACV
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 very small Zucchini
2 yellow Carrots
1 small Avocado
2 tsp chopped Garlic
1/4 yellow Onion
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
Water to achieve desired consistency

Ingredients for recipe 2
1/2 cup ACV
1 cup Water (more later if needed to achieve desired consistency)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
1/2 tsp Salt (I added a little bit more at the end to brighten the flavor)
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 Avocado
1/2 tbl chopped Garlic
2 tbl Ginger Juice (or other desired flavoring)

Put everything in the blender and blend on high until creamy. This may require adding more water to allow the blender to keep going strong. I used the dry container on the Vita-Mix to help get the cashews well macerated. If your blender is not up to macerating nuts, I suggest soaking them in water or ACV to soften them up first.

I’m a big fan of strong flavors. If mild is more your style, cut the amount of ginger juice down to 1 tablespoon. Once this is on salad though, it should lose more of the flavor’s strength. 

This lasts roughly 1 week in the fridge.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Carrot Hot Dogs


Just heard about these Carrot Dogs and they look good.

https://www.peta.org/living/food/carrot-hot-dog-recipe/

Personally, I would skip the liquid smoke (carcinogenic) and replace the soy sauce with tamari (no wheat). To cut out the soy, maybe use salt instead. If sulfites don’t bother you, try a little balsamic vinegar. Sometimes figuring out what tastes you fancy and creating a marinade based on that is your best bet.

The bun is another story altogether. Something to think about for a future recipe.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Blueberry Pudding


Going for a simple recipe with minimal ingredients. I did something nearly identical for Raspberry Yogurt but that was more yogurt than pudding because it was on the sour side and I blended it for a long while to get more air into the mix.

2 small Bananas
1 small Avocado
1/3 pkg frozen Blueberries (roughly 3 oz)

Blend the bananas and avocado together until creamy. Blend in the blueberries.

And that’s it. Takes very little time to throw together.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Coconut Brownies


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Stir together in a medium to large bowl:

3 ½ cups Coconut shreds
½ cup Almond flour
8 tbl Chocolate powder
2 cups Applesauce
1 pkg Mini-Chocolate chips (can probably use any chocolate chips)

I stirred the dry ingredients together first, then added the applesauce. The chocolate chips went in last. It’ll be somewhat loose, but make sure it’s stirred up completely. Have to get the applesauce spread as uniformly as possible.

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 olive oil (or whatever oil you wish)

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


Bake for about 75 minutes until the edges start to get dark. Turn off the oven and allow it to sit inside while the oven cools down for another 20 minutes or so.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Green Cashew Cream Sauce


We’re out of zucchini and I wanted a pasta sauce, plus I needed breakfast smoothies for this week. 

First I made an unsweetened cashew oat milk.

1 cup raw, unsalted Cashews
1 cup gluten-free Rolled Oats
6 cups water

Blend this on high in a Vita-Mix liquid container for 3 minutes to cook the oats. This can be done on the stovetop. Check the links here for vegan milk to find the stovetop directions link. That might mean making the oat milk first and then adding the cashews in the next step below.

I poured the milk into another container and then started on the cashew cream sauce in the Vita-Mix.

2 cups unsweetened Cashew/Oat Milk (see above)
1/2 pkg frozen Spinach (~8 oz)
3 peeled Carrots

Blend this on high until smooth. Add in -

1/2 medium Yellow Onion
4 cloves Garlic
2 tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Blend this on high until smooth. Add in -

1 cup Nutritional Yeast

Blend on medium or whatever it takes to get the mixture spinning. If you want a creamier texture, add more cashews.

The rest of the milk became smoothies by adding the other 1/2 pkg of spinach and a bunch of different fruits.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Flourless Cookies


I wanted something that was a cross between a cookie and a candy bar. The results are amazing, especially given how easy these are to make.

Equipment needed: Bowl, Spoon, Cookie Scoop (optional), 1 cup Measuring Cup, 1 tbl Measuring Spoon, Cookie Sheet, Turner (optional), Oven

4 cups unsweetened, unsulfured Coconut shreds
3 cups Applesauce
8 tbl Chocolate powder or Cinnamon
1 pkg Mini-Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Use the measuring cup for the dry ingredient (coconut shreds) first so it can be easily reused for the applesauce.

Stir everything together in the bowl.

A cookie scoop is helpful as you can squish the “dough” inside it and snap it out onto the cookie sheet. If you don’t use a cookie scoop, the stirring spoon will work. I’ve done the cookies two different ways. One is to keep them as the sort of ball shape that comes out of the cookie scoop. The other is to carefully flatten that ball into a more traditional cookie shape. The first is much less time consuming and the cookie turns out crispy on the outside and soft in the center. The second yields a more uniformly crispy cookie.


Bake for 1 hour. For the ball shape, you can let it bake the full hour without disturbing it or you can get a turner under each one to unstick it from the sheet at about the 40 minute mark. For the more traditional cookie shape, I suggest flipping them at the 40-45 minute mark.