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Gluten Free Vegan Desserts

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Mmmm, another vegan Polish Easter. Always a treat. :)

This Easter, as is often the case when bringing food to a potluck or shared meal, I was tasked with making the desserts. No problem there! I enjoy baking, and it’s nice to not be the only one partaking of a fresh pan of cookies, etc., LOL.

Special attention was to be paid to the following criteria: gluten and soy free, and no GMOs please. A fun little challenge. Soon I had a gazillion tabs open in my browser checking out recipes and thinking which I could combine or modify. Here’s what I ended up making:

Buckwheat Banana Bread

Buckwheat Banana Bread

Vegan Banana Bread

This was a moist and flavorful bread with a nice texture balance from the walnuts. The buckwheat flour was not at all overpowering, leaving the starring role to the bananas. The adults quite enjoyed it, but unfortunately, the little one isn’t a fan of bananas.

The recipe can be found at The Next Course. I used 4 large ripe bananas, dramatically cut back on the baking powder and soda to reduce the sodium, and replaced the coconut oil with applesauce (who needs all that saturated fat?).

Raw Carrot Cake

Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake

This “cake” made only from dates, walnuts, almonds, carrots, and spices with a date/cashew/vanilla frosting was a huge hit. My friends’ 7-yo daughter asked for seconds and thirds. :)

The recipe can be found at Trinity’s Kitchen. Here again, I skipped the coconut oil. I also doubled the recipe and added a bit more carrot to make a 9×9″ cake. Lastly, my blender wasn’t quite up to the task with the frosting, so I used some cashew milk to help it along.

Mixed Berry Cobbler

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The following is a quick and easy, low-fat dessert from Off The Reservation by Glen Merzer, a novel with 20 vegan recipes by the author’s wife Joanna Samorow-Merzer, reprinted with permission.

I was sent a review copy, but have not had a chance to read it yet (sorry about that). On the other hand, there’s always time for a new recipe! :)

Recipe: Mixed Berry Cobbler

Ingredients

  • ½ C all-purpose flour (or for gluten-free version, rice flour)
  • 1 Tb arrowroot starch/flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ C almond milk (or soy milk)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tb maple syrup
  • 1 tsp zest of fresh lemon
  • 1½ C mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries: frozen/thawed, or fresh)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. To create the batter: combine all-purpose flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, and sea salt, and mix well in a bowl.
  2. In a measuring cup, mix and stir the almond milk, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and lemon zest.
  3. In the bowl with the dried ingredients, create a well in the middle.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the well.
  5. Stir gently until the consistency is smooth.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Put 1¼ C of the berries in a small baking dish.
  8. Spoon the batter over the berries.
  9. Scatter the remaining ¼ C of berres on top of the batter, and sprinkle with coconut sugar.

  10. Bake uncovered until lightly browned — about 40 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and to retain moisture cover with a cotton cloth for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  12. Serve if desired with a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

 

The result was a light and sweet treat that CRON-o-Meter calculated at 300 calories per ¼ recipe serving.

Note: If you use the book link above, I get a small cut of the sale (at no extra cost to you). Thank you.

Feed A Cold, Starve A Fever

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

So sayeth the old wive’s tale. But what happens if you have both at the same time? That’s the boat I recently found myself in this week, and I ended up doing a little of both since I was able to keep food down, but didn’t always feel like making or eating anything.

It’s been ages since I’ve had a cold, I forgot how not fun they are — And one in the summer? That’s even worse. I make up for it though with migraines, which have a tendency to ruin my weekend at least once a month. (The best thing I’ve found for keeping those to a minimum, by the way, is good ‘ole feverfew. It reduces their frequency and severity, so long as you take it regularly.)

Anyway, I digress. First, let me say, this isn’t a pity party. Actually, I’m pretty happy with how my body managed, fever and all, and just wanted to share a few of the things that worked for me in case it can help others.

Things started out with a sore throat, so off I went to the grocery store to get some as-natural-as-possible menthol drops. They only helped a little.

While I was there I also looked around for a green drink that would keep me nourished without having to do so much as even blend stuff up. What I found is something I’m definitely going to keep in mind.

I used to drink these little bottled smoothie concoctions when I was rushing from work to a poker game, so I remember them being tasty, but it’s been years since they’ve seen my shopping cart.

The one that seemed most jam-packed with goodness was a big bottle (52 oz) of Bolthouse Farms Green Goodness Fruit Smoothie. The consistency being smooth and thick, it was soothing to my sore then later just dry and irritated throat, and it felt like I was getting some good nutrition. Here’s what’s in it:

pineapple juice from concentrate, apple juice from concentrate, mango puree from concentrate, banana puree, kiwi juice, spirulina, natural flavor, chlorella, zinc monohydrate, green tea, spinach, broccoli, ascorbic acid, barley grass, wheat grass, echinacea, garlic, blue green algae, jerusalem artichoke, lemon bioflavonoids, novia scotia dulce

My “prescription”: 8 oz in the morning, 8 oz in the early evening.

A few days in I noticed that fever I mentioned. 100.6°F (“low-grade”) with chills. Rather than taking some medication to reduce it, I tend to agree with Dr. Schulze that it’s there for a reason, i.e., to knock out those bad guys, so I just watched it to make sure it didn’t get into the “high-grade” range (103+) and drank plenty of fluids.

One of the homemade remedies that really helped was warm water with a bit of lemon juice, liquid sweetener of your choosing, and a touch of cayenne pepper. As for food, I kept it real simple with oatmeal, bananas, soy milk, berries, and raisins. Oh, and supplement-wise, extra Vitamin C.

The final ingredients to recovery, rest (could have done better here) and exercise — save for a single skipped day (probably should have been two), I still walked on the treadmill.

I’m feeling much better now. Still traces of symptoms left, but nothing like the incessant sneezing, coughing, runny nose, sinus pain, etc., from earlier in the week.

The human body is an amazing thing, at once so fragile and yet so resilient; just give it the right things to work with and nothing more and don’t fight its defenses, and it’ll take care of the rest.

Roasted Cauliflower

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Here’s a simple, low-calorie, yet satisfying, meal featuring the “tofu of vegetables,” cauliflower. OK, I’ve never heard it called that before, just made it up, but like tofu, cauliflower’s subtle flavors are good at sharing the stage. It can bring a bit of crunch to both savory and sweet dishes.

Roasting cauliflower helps accentuate its contribution and softens it up a bit in a delectable way.

Roasted cauliflower recipe, if you can call it that:

  • Preheat oven to 350-400°F.
  • Cut half a large head of cauliflower into 1½ inch thick slices.
  • Arrange on a lightly-oiled, tinfoil-lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping over halfway thru.
  • Eat plain or season to your liking.


Roasted cauliflower with tomatoes, onions, and squash

I just tried a bunch of different toppings here, including my favorite Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast, malt vinegar, hot sauce, and vegan mayo. It filled my plate and my stomach. :)


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