No-Bake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pie

By contributor Alexandra Courts

This was the perfect dessert to finish off a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with my family over the weekend! They couldn’t believe this dish was gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free and raw. Try the recipe out and you’ll be in shock, too.

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Ingredients…

Crust

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 2 cups dates, pitted and soaked
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 standard can pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked
  • 1 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp nutmeg

Directions

  1. Blend walnuts, shredded coconut and raw cacao powder together. Add dates and vanilla and continue blending until thoroughly combined.
  2. Move mixture from blender to a round 8-inch pan lined with plastic wrap. Press mixture down evenly in a thin layer to form crust. Set aside in freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Blend cashews until creamy. Add pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, and spices. Continue blending.
  4. Remove pie crust from freezer and add mixture evenly overtop the crust. Top with chocolate chips if desired.
  5. Freeze pie for 1 hour until the mixture has settled. Serve immediately.

Makes 1 pie (6 serving).

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Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 10

By Megan Stulberg

I may not miss drinking regular milk, but I do miss milkshakes. I used to do this disgusting thing where I’d dip onion rings into a chocolate milkshake from Harvey’s. Whatever, it was delicious.

Follow this recipe, whip up a milkshake for your vegan beau and he/she will be begging to kiss you under the mistletoe. Guaranteed.

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Chocolate Peppermint Milkshake (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan) 

Ingredients:

  • 3 scoops dark chocolate Coconut Bliss ice cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened light original almond milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, agave syrup or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tbsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 20 pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup ice, crushed

Directions:

1) Combine ice, ice cream, almond milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract (or sweetener) in a blender for 30 seconds until smooth and frothy.

2) Carefully add peppermint extract. Taste after every drop to ensure that you don’t add too much, or else your milkshake might be too bitter. 1 tbsp should suffice.

3) Pour milkshake into glasses or mugs. Sprinkle the coconut and pomegranate seeds on top. Enjoy!

Serves 2.

Life Tip: You should listen to this while making your drink. Obviously.

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 8

By Megan Stulberg

What’s the point in making a healthy dessert from scratch for the holidays, and then ruining it by adding a bunch of food colouring? I personally don’t find anything remotely appealing that is covered in neon pink icing and rainbow sprinkles. Artificial food dyes are extremely bad for your body: many of the most commonly used artificial food colourings have been linked to potential cancer-causing chemicals and can trigger severe reactions in those with allergies. To read more about the dangers of food colouring, click here.

Just because you’re avoiding food dyes doesn’t mean your holiday meals have to look boring. Try using foods that are naturally vibrant in colour like I did:

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The Perfect Christmas Day Lunch 

This is the perfect meal to serve midday on December 25th. It’s packed with nutrients, won’t leave you too full to thoroughly enjoy a hearty Christmas dinner, and is 100% colour appropriate!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of gluten-free bread
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Dash of pepper
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and cut
  • 3 tbsp peanut, almond or cashew butter
  • 1 handful raisins
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and cut
  • 8-10 strawberries

Directions: 

1) Toast the bread to desired brownness and set aside.

2) Combine avocado and lemon juice in bowl, mashing thoroughly into a basic guacamole. Spread evenly onto toast and add pepper.

3) Spread the nut butter onto each stick of celery and sprinkle raisins overtop. Why mess with the perfect snack?

4) Add fresh fruit to the plate. Chow down!

Serves 1, takes 5 minutes to make.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that the richer your food is in natural colour, the better it is for you. Here are some other fruits and vegetables that can easily be incorporated into your holiday meals:

  • Red options: Beets, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, red grapes and red potatoes.
  • Green options: Asparagus, broccoli, kale, limes, spinach and zucchini.

Easy Vegan Holiday Season: Day 1

Post by Aine Davis (The first in a 12 Days of Christmas recipe series!)

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a recipe for delicious and rich hot chocolate!

Hot chocolate has always been my drink of choice during the holidays, as I am sure it is for many. I was so sad when it dawned on me that I wouldn’t be able to partake in the tradition this year after going vegan!

I was so stumped. I mean, I’m Canadian! Everything comes prepackaged here, and I’d never made hot chocolate from scratch before!

So, off to Google I went.

And let me tell you, Google was kind to me.

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Spicy Vegan Hot Chocolate

Adapted from allrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients together in a pot.

2) Heat the pot on a stovetop over medium/low heat.

3) Let the ingredients simmer together until the mixture is hot.

4) Pour and enjoy! Add some vegan marshmallows if you’re feeling extravagant.