Raw Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

Post by Megan Stulberg

(Posted in advance on our Instagram here)

I started a full-time office job soon after graduating university a few months ago. As much as I love what I do, I often end up living off of snacks throughout the day as a result! I’ve actually become quite addicted to the KIND maple glazed pecan and sea salt bars, which are sold at the convenience store in my building. I guess I liked the flavour combination so much that I accidentally turned it into one of my no-bake desserts.

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Ingredients…

    • 1 cup raw pecans, soaked overnight
    • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked overnight
    • 1 cup pitted dates
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 1/4 pure maple syrup
    • 1 tsp raw pink mountain salt, to taste

Directions…

1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Press mixture firmly into cake or springboard pan lined with plastic wrap.

3. Top with additional pecan halves for presentation. Sprinkle a bit more salt on top if desired.

4. Leave pie overnight in freezer to set.

5. Remove from freezer, pop pie out of pan and slice. Pie will stay soft when frozen, so serve chilled.

6. DIG IN! Makes approximately 6 servings.
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Raspberry Chia Jam Bars

By contributor Alexandra Courts 

Ch-ch-ch-chia! Chia seeds are packed with fibre and healthy omega-3 fats.

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Ingredients:

For the base…

  • 1.5 cups medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder

For the chia jam…

  • 1.5 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp white chia seeds

For the topping…

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Line a 9-inch square cake pan (bottom and sides) with plastic wrap.
  2. For the base: blend raw almonds, shredded coconut, cacao powder and flax meal. Add dates and blend until combined.
  3. Pack and level base mixture with fork tightly into bottom of pan.
  4. For the chia jam: blend raspberries, maple syrup, and water. Pour mixture into small bowl and mix with white chia seeds. Set jam aside in fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour until mixture obtains a gel consistency.
  5. For the topping: process ingredients listed above in high-speed blender until smooth.
  6. Remove jam from fridge and spread evenly across panned crust.
  7. Add topping layer. Top with frozen raspberry chunks. Let pan sit in freezer for 1 hour.
  8. Remove dessert from pan. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve and enjoy! Leftovers can be frozen.

Lemon Cheesecakes with Raspberry Compote (Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, No-Bake, Refined Sugar-free)

By contributor Alexandra Courts

I made these treats with a pal but didn’t photograph them until after we’d already gobbled up all the sauce. Oops! We’re on a raw dessert recipe rampage lately, so just go with it.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust…

  • 2 cups dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

For the filling…

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 2 cups soaked cashews
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup \For the compote…
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup

    DIRECTIONS:

    1) Blend almonds and coconut together until finely processed. Add dates and continue blending.

    2) Line a standard muffin pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture into each cup firmly and evenly to form individual crusts. Set aside.

    3) Blend all filling ingredients until smooth. If desired, add more lemon juice to taste.

    4) Pour filling on top of each crust, then place tray in freezer immediately for 1 hour to set.

    5) Blend raspberries, water and syrup together into a liquid. Set aside in fridge until serving.

    6) Thaw cheesecakes at room temperature for 30 minutes. Top each with a dollop of raspberry compote (or simply frozen raspberries, as pictured above).

    Makes 12 cupcake-sized desserts.

    WANT TO MODIFY IT?

    Feel free to change up the recipe a bit! We remade them and added 1-2 cups of frozen blueberries to the mix, seen below:2015/01/img_2353.jpg 2015/01/img_2349.jpg

Peanut Butter and Jam Mousse Tarts (Gluten-free, vegan, no-bake, raw option)

By contributor Alexandra Courts 

I’m not a huge fan of gluten-free bread, but sometimes I do miss being able to snack on peanut butter and jam sandwiches! These mousse tarts incorporate nothing but healthy and natural ingredients, making them equally appropriate for both dessert and breakfast.

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Ingredients:

Crust…

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Filling…

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (alternatively can use raw almond or raw cashew butter, if preferred)
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Topping…

  • 1 cup strawberry or raspberry jam (organic if possible)

Directions…

  1. Combine crust ingredients (dates, almonds, coconut) in a high-speed blender until incorporated.
  2. Line 1 standard cupcake pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture tightly into bottom of each cup.
  3. Blend filling ingredients (cashews, nut butter, coconut milk and maple syrup) in blender until very smooth.
  4. Pour filling mixture into cups, equally coating each mini crust.
  5. Place tray in freezer for 1 hour to allow filling to set.
  6. Remove cups from pan and allow to thaw for 30 minutes.
  7. Top each tart with dollop of jam. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 cupcake-sized tarts.

Raw Key Lime Pie

By contributor Alexandra Courts 

This key lime pie recipe of mine is raw, gluten-free and vegan! And since it’s no bake, it’s a snap to make! What’s not to like?

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Ingredients:

Crust…

  • 2 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup raw almonds

Filling…

  • 2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (from 4-5 limes)
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup

Directions:

  1. In a high-speed blender, blend the raw almonds. Add the remaining crust ingredients and blend until combined.
  2. Line an 8 inch round cake pan with plastic wrap. Press the mixture into the pan to form the crust.
  3. Blend all of the filling ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  4. Pour filling into crust. Level the mixture with a spatula and place pie in freezer for about an hour or until it has set.
  5. Let the pie thaw before slicing. Serve and enjoy! Keep leftovers in fridge.

Makes 1 pie (about 6 servings)

Alexandra’s Favourite Summer Smoothie Recipes

By contributor Alexandra Courts

Smoothies are a healthy and refreshing way to start your day. The right combination of fruits (and sometimes vegetables) will give your body the fuel it needs to push through that dreadfully long morning.

Here are some of my favourite smoothie combinations! Just pop all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend away until a desired consistency is reached.

STRAWBERRY WATERMELON LEMONADE SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 4 lemons, juiced
  • 8 cups watermelon chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries

MIXED BERRY SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 2-3 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries

ORANGE MANGO SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup fresh orange segments
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup orange juice

CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 4-5 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder

TROPICAL GREEN SMOOTHIE

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Ingredients…

  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup orange juice

Meg’s Favourite Vegan Restaurants in Toronto

Review & photos by Megan Stulberg

If you follow us on Instagram, then you know that we partake in the slightly annoying habit of photographing our food in public places. No shame! We love having the opportunity to help fellow vegans in Toronto find restaurants they can comfortably eat at.

Here it is! My top five favourite places to grab gluten-free vegan food in Toronto:

1. Hibiscus (Kensington Market) 

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Hibiscus is located at 238 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market. Their entirely menu is gluten-free (bonus!) and they are well-known for having a variety of vegan crepe options to choose from. This is my favourite place to go to on lunch dates with new friends because the restaurant is usually pretty quiet and has lots of natural light. I always find the environment welcoming and friendly.

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WHAT I GET: I recently ordered the salad bowl on a whim and now I can’t stop. The dish includes quinoa, sweet potato, broccoli, beans, tofu, kale, carrots, beets, kelp, okara (okara is essentially creamy tofu) and a raw cracker. I usually pair this dish with a bowl of pumpkin ginger soup and an almond milk latte.

WHAT I RECOMMEND: Vegan crepes are hard to find, so if you’ve never been to Hibiscus then you should definitely get one! If you’re craving something savoury, try the crepe with vegan mozzarella, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil and spinach. If you’re craving something sweet, try a simple cinnamon lemon crepe and ask for a scoop (or two) of ice cream on top. All of their ice creams are dairy-free and made in house.

PRICE: Main dishes range from $6.70 to $10.70.

WEBSITE?: Here! 

MENU LISTED ONLINE? Yes.

2. Magic Oven (The Village) 

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When I first moved to Toronto three years ago, Magic Oven was one of the only restaurants I could eat at within walking distance. That being said, I ate there a lot.

Operating multiple locations in Toronto, Magic Oven serves pizza, pasta, sandwiches and more with tons of wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options available. If you have a friend that’s all “I want to hang out with you but please don’t make me eat kale”, then take them here.

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WHAT I GET: I love getting the ‘Vegan Magic’ personal pizza (tomato pesto, zucchini, artichokes, portobello mushrooms and roasted peppers) with added Daiya on a gluten-free crust. I usually get an order of oregano french fries on the side.

WHAT I’D RECOMMEND: I’d definitely suggest getting a pizza, as good vegan pizza is hard to come by. Magic Oven offers a variety of interesting toppings that you’d normally never be able to get on a pizza. Sweet potato? Avocado? Edible gold leaf?! Go crazy. Let your vegan freak flag fly.

PRICE: Relatively expensive, but considerably less expensive if you refrain from being an idiot and ordering martinis with your meal like myself.

WEBSITE? Here.

MENU LISTED ONLINE? Yup! For additional gluten-free/vegan options, ask your server.

3. Kupfert and Kim (Financial District) 

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Okay, Kupfert and Kim is technically not a restaurant…it’s a take-out spot but it’s really good, I promise. Their slogan “meatless and wheatless” sums up their entirely gluten-free and vegan menu. Kupfert and Kim offers filling grain bowls, hot drinks and raw desserts.

The only part I don’t entirely love about Kupfert and Kim is that they’re located in the financial district and therefore are only open on weekdays.

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WHAT I GET: I always get the First Canadian bowl — quinoa, tempeh, kale, pomegranate seeds, rainbow radish, purple cabbage, carrots, beets, roasted sweet potato, pea sprouts, sunflower and black sesame seeds.

WHAT I’D RECOMMEND: The Oaxaca bowl! It’s their most popular dish — brown rice, spiced black beans, kale, corn, beets, daikon, lime wedges, organic tortilla chips, hemp seeds, guacamole, spicy pico de gallo and cashew cream.

PRICE: About $9 a box.

WEBSITE? Here.

MENU AVAILABLE ONLINE? Yes.

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4. Rawlicious (Yorkville) 

Although I’ve been to both Rawlicious locations in Toronto, I prefer the one in Yorkville. A few weeks ago I went in by myself, ordered dinner, and then hung around for a few hours afterwards to avoid a thunderstorm and the staff was completely cool with it. Too sweet.

Everything on their menu is gluten-free, vegan, and raw. That’s right! Nothing cooked, just dehydrated.

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WHAT I GET: The pizza. Cashew nut cheese, tomato marinara sauce, and daily toppings on a sprouted buckwheat and flax seed crust. It’s so good that you’ll forget you’re eating something uncooked.

WHAT I’D RECOMMEND: Split an order of spring rolls as an appetizer with a friend, then try the soft corn tacos filled with walnut refried beans, romaine, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.

PRICE: Raw restaurants tend to be a little pricy, so expect to spend around $20 for an entree and a drink.

WEBSITE? Here.

MENU AVAILABLE ONLINE? Uh huh honey.

5. Live Organic Food Bar (the Annex)

Another raw food restaurant! Live Organic Food Bar operates a restaurant at Dupont and Spadina, a market in Liberty Village, and offers their products in grocery stores across Toronto and the GTA. The majority of their menu is raw, but they do offer a variety of cooked dishes if you’re a little skeptical.

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WHAT I GET: The tacos, always. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit. Flax corn wraps filled with sunflower refried beans, walnut taco meat, guacamole, corn & tomato salsa and cashew sour cream.

WHAT I’D RECOMMEND: If you’re indecisive like me, the ‘Raw Combo’ dish is perfect because it gives you the opportunity to taste their most popular dishes — the manicotti, pizza, tostados, and portobello steak. Want something cooked? Try the okonomiyaki, a savoury vegetable pancake I ogled all throughout my Japan trip last year.

PRICE: Entrees range from $15-20.

WEBSITE? Here.

MENU AVAILABLE ONLINE? Yes.