No-bake chocolate mocha cream cups

Post by Megan Stulberg

Last year I went to a naturopath because I had a hunch that something I was eating daily was unknowingly making me sick. Turns out I have to avoid amaranth and sesame, but honestly I breathed a sigh of relief because I was worried that I might be allergic to chocolate or coffee. Chocolate and coffee are two of my favourite flavours, so it only makes sense for me to combine them into one super dessert.

12355150_10156262727795133_1725199590_n

Ingredients…

For the base:

  • 1 cup honey dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almonds, soaked 1 hour
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (if possible, or at least 2-3 hours)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Sprinkle of additional ground coffee
  • Approximately 20 whole coffee beans (optional)

Directions…

  1. Combine all “base” ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender.
  2. Line cupcake sheet with long strips of wax paper or cling wrap. Press mixture into base of each cup firmly with fingers or fork to create an even layer.
  3. Set tray aside in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. While waiting for base layer to set, blend together all “cream” ingredients until, well, a cream-like consistency has been reached!
  5. Remove tray from freezer. Scoop dollop of cream onto each cup, then smooth out evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle additional ground coffee on top, then garnish with 2 whole coffee beans per tart.
  6. Let cups set in freezer overnight, or at least 1 hour. Remove and let thaw before serving.

Makes approximately 9 tarts. Serve chilled, store chilled.

Advertisements

Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters Review

Post by Megan Stulberg 

It would be understatement to say that I am a big fan of coffee. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that I am such a big fan of coffee, I got a tattoo in its honour. I am a pseudo-coffee fanatic: I love its taste and thoroughly appreciate its caffeinated qualities, but am not a snob about it. I don’t understand what things like “cortado” mean and I’ve never been to a cupping. But I do know what a good cup of coffee tastes like.

Coast to Coast Coffee is Canada’s local roaster. The beans are organic, fair trade and freshly roasted in small batches.
12180197_10156145452550133_1288249636_n 12181871_10156145452680133_218003291_n
12170535_10156145451145133_1869883062_n
DISCLAIMER: This is a paid product review.
 ——
I tried Coast to Coast’s Superior Dark Blend. It took me a long time to wean my way off of refined sugar and gradually switch to drinking my coffee black, but I’m glad I’ve crossed over to the dark side. I was pleasantly surprised by the deep, rich taste of this blend! Once you try a cup of full-bodied coffee, it’s really difficult to have anything but. I’d recommend drinking this coffee black, with a touch of maple syrup or served as a full-blown cappuccino — made with almond milk, of course.
I ground the Coast to Coast coffee beans immediately before brewing it in a french press (also known as a coffee plunger, but that sounds surprisingly gross). I like to use this technique whenever possible it keeps the coffee pure and concentrated, and its built-in filter produces less waste.
12181890_10156145452770133_273215954_n 12179838_10156145452945133_1503908455_n
Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters has a variety of unique and convenient ordering plans to choose from. You can order on a weekly, bi-monthly, monthly or one-time basis. All plans include free delivery to your mailbox, and same day roasting and shipping (literally the freshest coffee you could ever dream of). The plans are pay-as-you-go, and you can pause or cancel your plan at any time.
WANT A SWEET DISCOUNT? Use our code ‘vegangirlfriend5’ while ordering here for $5 off your first order when signing up for any recurring order (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) from now until the end of November! 
Coast to Coast Coffee Roasters has this killer home delivery program, which I experienced myself when they sent me samples. Coming home to a box of fragrant coffee beans? Yes please!

12181971_10156145452695133_1989832_n 12180008_10156145451160133_1395974244_n 12177700_10156145540130133_1943381413_n

No-Bake Mocha Brownies

By Alexandra Courts

We’ve done it! We’ve figured out a delectable and healthy way to satisfy your chocolate cryings!

These no-bake babies are free of any oils, artificial sugars, gluten or animal products. We replaced all of these nasty ingredients with dates, which provide the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They’re killer sources of energy, natural sugar and fibre.

Behold:

IMG_3695 IMG_3717

(Recipe has been adapted from The Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients…

  •  2 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 cup chopped raw walnuts, pecans, or nut of your choice
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp finely ground organic direct-trade coffee
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Directions…

  1. Pulse almonds in food processor until finely ground. 
  2. Add raw cacao powder and ground coffee to mixture and continue to combine with food processor. Set mixture aside in separate bowl. 
  3. Process dates separately, then add mixture back to food processor and pulse until a dough-like texture is reached. Stir additional nuts, coconut and vanilla extract into batter.
  4. Pour batter into a lined square cake pan. Spread evenly.
  5. Chill brownies in fridge for 2 hours or freezer for 1 hour. Serve cold.

Enjoy! Makes about 12 brownies.

Te Amo, Te Aro

Post by Aine Davis

As a life long coffee lover, I felt like a kid in a candy shop when I moved to Toronto a few months ago. There are so many good things about Toronto cafés: the aroma, the atmosphere, the pastries.

As a recent vegan, I was miffed when it dawned on me that I wouldn’t be able to buy a treat with my coffee as easily as I used to. Vegan baking is difficult and I commend anyone who even attempts it! And yet, here I sit in Te Aro, sipping on a delicious soy cappuccino and chowing down on a tasty, moist, homemade banana rhubarb vegan muffin.

Not only does Te Aro bake their own tasty treats, but they roast their own coffee beans. Way too darn good. They’ve won a slew of awards this year including Roaster of the Year (2013) and Pilot Coffee Roasters. Their coffee? Undeniably amazing.

Te Aro (983 Queen Street East) is located in the quiet and charming neighborhood of Leslieville. It’s set back away from the hustle and bustle of Queen Street, giving it a calm and cozy feel. The interior is beautifully designed featuring slick black counters, hardwood tables and dangling exposed light bulbs. It’s pretty much like you’re sipping a coffee in the coolest log cabin of all time.

 IMG_6494

IMG_6491

With an ever changing seasonal menu, who needs Starbucks? Just look at all the options!

The kid’s menu is an interesting touch too and brings in quite the cute clientele. A popular drink among Te Aro’s youngest customers is the ‘Vanilla Fluffy’, which is steamed milk with vanilla syrup. Sounds delicious, right? Can adults order from the kid’s menu?! (I have asked and yes, in fact they can.)

IMG_6498

Te Aro offers a ton of different espresso options. You get to choose which espresso blend you would like for your drink. Personal recommendation? Big Bro.

Although I do not live in the east end, I enjoy heading out there to visit Te Aro from time to time. It’s like taking a mini vacation or visiting an old best friend. If you’re ever in the east end, do yourself a favour and stop in for a shot of espresso or two or fifty.

I ♥ ICP <3

Post by Aine Davis

Let’s face it, Toronto is filled with coffee shops. Choosing which caffeine oasis is for you is a lot harder than it should be. There are just so many options! As an aspiring coffee shop entrepreneurI often find myself wondering how some of these tiny, almost unnoticeable cafes can thrive the way they do, and how great of a struggle it is for those that do not.

That’s where the Indie Coffee Passport comes in. Making things a little easier…

“ICP ❤ is a new twist on a cool concept. It is [the] Indie Coffee Passport for coffee shops younger than 3 years. Since 2010, The Passport has introduced you to many wonderful independent coffee shops – new and old – around the city. The idea was that once you discovered places you loved, you’d return to them even without your Passport. With ICP<3, we’re introducing you to some of Toronto’s newest and best independent coffee shops. We hope you’ll enjoy discovering the new places while returning to those you already love.”

eyeemfiltered1386268479348

Once you get your Passport, you’re entitled to one free drink from a designated menu at each cafe. Sound like a dream? It gets better. It’s only $22 for 22 drinks. You can purchase your very own Passport at any of the cafes included on the Passport, listed below:

I’m so excited to start using mine! Keep following Vegan Girlfriend for coffee-related updates as I hit each of the 22 cafes. Challenge accepted.