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.

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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.

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Raspberry Matcha “Cheesecake” Bars (raw, gf, v)

Post by Alexandra Courts 

Matcha’s recent hype is well deserved! It detoxifies the body, boosts metabolism, calms the mind, lower blood sugar, prevent against diseases, lower cholesterol, and is rich in dietary fibre and antioxidants.

I whipped up a batch of raw treats with matcha cream, raspberry “cheesecake” filling and a chocolate cookie base. Keep reading for the recipe!
   Ingredients…

  • 3 cups raw cashews (soaked)
  • 2 cups dates, pitted and soaked overnight
  • 1 can of light coconut milk
  • 1 original K’s NRG bar
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup matcha tea powder
  • Optional: additional frozen raspberries for garnish

Directions…

  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with long strips of parchment paper.
  2. For the base: blend the almonds, cacao powder, shredded coconut, and dates until the pieces are finely ground and everything is thoroughly combined.
  3. Press and flatten this mixture into the bottom of the pan. Set aside in freezer.
  4. For the raspberry “cheesecake” filling: blend half of the soaked cashews with half the can of coconut milk, half of the maple syrup, and the raspberries until smooth.
  5. Pour, then spread the cheesecake layer out evenly on top of the chocolate base. Place back in freezer to allow layer to set.
  6. For the matcha layer: blend the remainder of the cashews with the matcha powder, as well as the remaining coconut milk and maple syrup, until smooth.
  7. Pour and flatten mixture overtop of the set raspberry layer.
  8. Allow this to set in the freezer for 1-2 hours or even overnight before slicing. Thaw in fridge at least 1 hour before slicing.
  9. Cut NRG bar into small bite-size chunks. You can either use a rolling pin to flatten the bar then roll into balls (as seen in photo), or use as is. Top each cheesecake slice with a few NRG chunks and frozen raspberries.
  10. Enjoy!

Serve chilled. Makes approximately 10-12 slices.

Pineapple Cream Dream Bars (raw, gf, v)

Recipe by Megan Stulberg

These treats got me through some hard times. I mean that! I was hired to draw 87 portraits in less than 2 weeks for a client (If you’re into it, check out my illustration work here) and kept taking snack breaks to refuel. I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that I’m still waiting to get paid for the project two months later, or the fact that I’m posting this recipe two months later.

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Ingredients:

For the base…

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

For the cream…

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 2 hours but preferably overnight
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks (can substitute for 1/4 cup pure pineapple juice)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup or blue agave
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine all “base” ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until finely chopped and thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Line a square pan with long strips of parchment paper that hang over the edges.
  3. Press mixture into bottom of pan, firmly packing down with fingers or a fork to form the base. Set aside in freezer for 30 minutes to set.
  4. Combine the cashews, pineapple, coconut oil, maple syrup, shredded coconut and vanilla extract until creamy in consistency.
  5. Smooth cream overtop of base evenly. Sprinkle additional shredded coconut on top.
  6. Leave in freezer overnight.
  7. Remove pan from freezer and use parchment paper to pop out of dish. Leave on a cutting board for half an hour to thaw, then use a large knife to slice into rectangles.
  8. Top each piece with an additional raw walnut chunk for garnish if desired. Serve immediately or let thaw an additional 30 minutes.

Serve chilled. Makes approximately 9 bars.

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No-Bake Gingerbread Men Cookies

Post by Alexandra Courts 

The holidays are approaching, so we’ve come up with a recipe for a no-bake version of a very classic treat. Say hello to these cute and fiesty little gingerbread men… shaped like ninjas, because why not? All you’ll need to recreate this festive goodie is a handful of ingredients and a dehydrator. Keep on reading for the lowdown!

  

Tools…

Ingredients…

  • 1.5 cups dates (pitted and soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 0.5 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Directions…

  1. Blend dates until a paste-like texture is formed. Set aside in small bowl while you complete next step.
  2. Blend raw almonds, rolled oats , flax and spices until a fine, ground texture has been reached. Combine with dates by folding “dough” repeatedly with hands.
  3. Roll out the combined mixture with rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper. Ensure that “dough”is at least of 1/2 inch thickness.
  4. Use cookie cutter to shape your cookies. Repeat the rolling process until all is used.
  5. Place the cookies in a dehydrator at 150 F for 2 hours.

Enjoy! Yields 10-12 cookies.

Raspberry Nanaimo Bars (Raw)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I am thankful to have photographic documentation of the peppermint nanaimo bars I made last spring, because otherwise my brain would be working in overdrive trying to create an accurate visual memory. Seriously, I think about them at least once a week. So six months later, I finally caved and made another batch! I don’t know which flavour combination is *technically* better, but this recipe is accompanied by some illustrations by my internet friend Amanda Spinosa, so it wins by default. Check out her work, she is one fabulous human being.

nanaimo raspberry nanaimo

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INGREDIENTS…..

For the bottom layer:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

For the filling:

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries (don’t use frozen)
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup or blue agave
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

For the top layer:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup or blue agave

DIRECTIONS….

Directions:

  1. In food processor pulse dates, pecans, shredded coconut, coconut oil and cacao powder until a crumb-like consistency has been reached.
  2. Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap tightly that covers the bottom, sides and over the edges. Pour crust mixture into pan. Press down with a fork to pack an even layer. Let set in freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Blend together cashews, coconut oil, maple syrup and fresh raspberries until creamy. Pour on top of crust and spread out evenly. Put back in freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. Blend together cacao, coconut oil and sweetener until liquid in consistency. Pour on top of raspberry cream layer evenly.
  5. Place pan in freezer for 30 minutes to semi-set. Hold onto plastic wrap and pulling upwards to pop bars out.
  6. Using a large knife, slice into 8-10 rectangular pieces. Place bars on a plate and keep in freezer for at least 3 more hours to set.

Let thaw at least 1 hour before serving.

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THANKSGIVING FEAST ON LOCK: 6-PART RECIPE POST

Alright, so I went a little wild this Thanksgiving. Hell, I go a little wild every Thanksgiving. I made butternut squash risotto, mushroom gravy, maple sweet potato mash, kale caesar salad and (*drumroll please*) raw pumpkin pie topped with coconut whipped cream. Please note that all the food below was: a) made for 2 people and b) consumed within 24 hours. I will be signing autographs all week, thanks.

Two of these recipes have already been posted on Vegan Girlfriend! For the maple sweet potato mash, view the original post here. For the kale caesar, add fresh lemon to the original post here.

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BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO

INGREDIENTS…

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup chopped kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cook arborio rice re: instructions on packaging. Risotto is unique because you have to cook rice in a saucepan, not a pot. Slowly add white wine and 2 cups vegetable stock while cooking. Be sure to stir regularly, as arborio rice sticks and burns easily! Drain and set aside.
  3. Place cubed squash in pot of boiling water on medium-high heat. Cover, then let cook until squash is tender with fork (approximately 10-15 minutes). Drain, then set aside.
  4. Blend squash, 1 cup vegetable stock, “butter,” almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper into a puree.
  5. In a large saucepan, saute garlic and onion in EVOO until browned. Add rice and kale and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Add squash puree and turn up to medium heat. Cook 5 minutes while stirring regularly. Once rice has absorbed, remove from heat.
  6. Transfer everything to casserole dish and bake in oven for 15-20 minutes until top layer firms up.
  7. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 heaping servings.

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IMPROVED MUSHROOM GRAVY: 

INGREDIENTS…

  • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1.  Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes until browned. Add sage, garlic, mushrooms, almond milk, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned, stirring regularly. Add vegetable stock and vegan butter-style spread, lower heat to simmer. Once most liquid has evaporated, add vegetable stock and brown rice flour. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional few minutes. For thicker gravy, feel free to add additional flour by the tbsp.
  2. Remove from heat. Top with additional sage. Serve hot!

Makes approximately 2 cups of gravy (4 servings).

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RAW PUMPKIN PIE WITH COCONUT WHIP:

INGREDIENTS…

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Pinch of raw pink mountain salt

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1/2 large can pure pumpkin puree (not technically raw, but cut me some slack)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger

FOR THE WHIP:  

  • 1 standard can full-fat coconut milk, left in fridge overnight
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla extra

DIRECTIONS…

  1. To make crust: pulse walnuts, shredded coconut and dates in food processor until crumb-like consistency has been reached. Line a small 5-inch round pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Press mixture into bottom of dish firmly to form an even crust.
  2. To make filling: blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread onto crust and let set in freezer overnight until set. Additionally, leave can of coconut milk in fridge overnight to set.
  3. Next day: Leave in refrigerator for 2 hours to thaw, or room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Make coconut whip while pie is thawing. Carefully open coconut milk without tilting or shaking the can. Scoop out all the cream from the top, leaving the coconut water that has separated at the bottom of the can.
  5. With an electric mixer, beat cream together with maple syrup and vanilla extract until sharp peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip.
  6. Serve pumpkin pie sliced with dollops of coconut whip on top. Leftovers can be kept in fridge.

Makes 1 small pie (4 servings).

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Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake Blondies 

Recipe by Alexandra Courts 

It’s about time that we posted sometime pumpkin-related! Ditch your Starbucks PSL (wow, what a pity) and make these sweet treats instead.

   INGREDIENTS:

For the blondie base….

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight
  • 2 1/2 cups dates, soaked if desired
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed

For the pumpkin cheesecake filling…

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (including coconut oil at the bottom of the can)
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger

Directions…

  1. Blend macadamia nuts, dates, coconut and flax until thoroughly ground and incorporated. Press mixture into the base of an eight-inch square cake pan lined with wide strips of parchment paper. Ensure that base is flat to form an even crust.
  2. Blend cheesecake filling ingredients until smooth and creamy in consistency. Add more agave if necessary to further smooth.
  3. Pour cheesecake filling onto base and allow blondies to freeze for 1-2 hours or overnight if possible. If freezing overnight, allow blondies to thaw at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before slicing.
  4. Garnish with toppings of choice. Pictured is a dash of cinnamon and shredded unsweetened coconut.

Enjoy! Makes approximately 12 blondies.