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:

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(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.

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Easter Weekend Dessert Series: Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

By Contributor: Alexandra Courts

The first in our Easter food series! Why spend time decorating eggs when you can bake treats instead?

Buy a doughnut pan. Seriously. It will change your life…or at least the way you think about homemade doughnuts. Ditch the deep fryer and opt for a light and cakey version that is both vegan and gluten-free!

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This plain doughnut recipe that I’ve adapted from bonappetit.com is so simple, yummy, and healthy that you will ditch that love affair you might have had with your local bakery.

The recipe is as follows for these little cinnamon sugar babies:

Ingredients…

Doughnut Batter

  • 1 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (Melt a little extra to coat the trays with to prevent sticking)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions…

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush doughnut tray with coconut oil and set aside.

2) To make a “flax egg” (egg replacement) mix 1 part ground flax (1/2 tsp) with three parts (1 1/2 tsp) hot water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Once combined, add flax egg, melted coconut oil, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla extract and remaining hot water.

4) Spoon about 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into each doughnut mold.

5) Bake for 8 minutes, flip, then continue baking for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Let the doughnuts sit for 10 minutes before removing from tray.

6) Whisk together coconut sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Dip each doughnut lightly into the sugary coating before serving.

Yields 12-15 doughnuts. Enjoy!

Raw Energy Balls

Post by Alex Courts

It’s the middle of the day. Too late for lunch and too early for dinner.

You’re hungry and you’re faced with the decision of what you should have without spoiling your dinner.

Chips? Cookies? Candy? No!

Opt for something natural, nutritious, and filling! These little babies are vegan, gluten-free, and raw!

Good news is that these are quick to make and can be stored and enjoyed later on!

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Yield: approx. 2 dozen snack balls

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 1/2 raisins
  • 1 cup sliced raw almonds

Directions:

  1. Run the first four ingredients through a food processor for a full minute (or until well-combined).
  2. Add the almonds and process for another full minute.
  3. Place mixture in bowl and start forming (squeeze and roll) and form 1 tablespoon into a ball.
  4. Repeat process until all the mixture is used.
  5. Suggested: Roll the balls into any remaining shredded coconut.

Store any uneaten balls in the freezer for up to a month.

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 12

By Alexandra Courts

Snickerdoodles. If you don’t know what they are already, you really should.

Essentially, snickerdoodles are cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar, made with the holy trinity of baking: butter, sugar, and flour. I was eight-years-old when I first discovered them at my grandmother’s Christmas dinner. I downed about twenty of them in one sitting. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

My Christmas would not be complete without these, so I present to you: my gluten-free/vegan alternative!

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Adapted from OhSheGlows.com

Makes about 20 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup gluten-free flour (if you use regular flour, just omit milk from ingredients)
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance non-dairy butter (room temperature)
  • 1 – 1 1/2  cups of almond or soy milk (I used almond)
  • Cinnamon sugar: 2 tbsp sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon, mixed together

Directions:

1) In a small bowl, mix the flax egg. Set aside.

2) In a medium sized bowl cream the sugar, butter and vanilla together. Add in the flax egg and beat for about 60 seconds.

3) In a third bowl (so many bowls!) whisk the dry ingredients together (cream of tartar, baking soda, flour, and cinnamon). Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir well. Add non-dairy milk. Use your hands to knead together the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 1 hour until chilled.

4) Preheat the oven to 375F and take about 1.5 tbsp of dough and shape into a ball. Roll in cinnamon sugar and then press the ball with the palm of your hand. Repeat 20 times! Spread the balls out onto a baking sheet.

5) If you want your cookies chewy, bake for 10 minutes. If you want them crispy, bake for 12 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before eating.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 7

By Alexandra Courts

Twenty centimeters of snow has fallen. To me, that just means that I get to stay inside and cook up something comforting and hearty. Growing up, Christmas dinner with my family was not complete without some sort of roast or meatloaf in the centre of the table. Now, seeing how that is no longer an option for me, I was desperately searching for something that would replace and become the main portion of my holiday meal. Lentils were my go-to. They are both filling and delicious!

Here I transformed lentils into a loaf that is perfect for the holidays.

Keep warm, stay full, and be joyful!photo 5Adapted from ohsheglows.com

Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf

Yield: 1-2 large loaves, or a number of mini loaves

Ingredients:

Loaf…

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped and toasted
  • 3 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup peeled and grated sweet firm apple
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (Robin Hood Gluten-Free Flour/flour of choice)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (gluten-free option: grind plain gluten-free cereal/bread)
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste

Glaze…

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Rinse and strain lentils. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and season with salt. Place lentils into boiling water and stir. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 40-45 minutes. Stir frequently & add touch of water if needed. You want to overcook the lentils slightly. Mash lentils slightly with a spoon when ready.

2. Toast walnuts at 325F for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.

3. Whisk ground flax with water in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the garlic and onion for about 5 minutes. Now add in the diced celery, shredded carrot and apple, and raisins. Sautee for about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.

5. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Season with  salt and pepper to taste.

6. Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk glaze ingredients and then spread half on top of loaf. The remaining mixture can be used as dipping sauce.

7. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. The loaf is ready for slicing! Enjoy!