Vegan Fudge

VeganFudge

Who doesn’t love fudge?  I actually know a few of those silly people.  As a lover of chocolate I can never pass up the opportunity to have a taste of Vegan Fudge when offered.  I just love the smooth, creamy, melt in your mouth, delicious taste of fudge.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  I was inspired to make this tasty little treat after seeing @fresh.heather’s post on Instagram.   These squares are absolutely delicious and so easy to make.  I actually think this may be one of the quickest recipes I have ever posted on my blog.  So if you love fudge, get your food processor out and give this recipe a try.  I do not think you will be disappointed.

The Ingredients: Bottom Layer

3 tbsp ground cashews
1 tbsp protein powder
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp agave

Top Layer:

3 tbsp ground cashews
2 tbsp protein powder
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp agave

First grind the cashews in a food processor.  I used the “S” blade and pulsed until you get a powder-like consistency.

Next mix together the Top and Bottom Layer ingredients in two separate bowls.

Grab an ice-cube tray.  I find that the silicone trays work the best.

Spoon the mixture into the ice-cube tray and gently press the fudge down. You want to fill the corners of the cube and avoid air pockets. Then repeat with the next layer.

VeganFudge1

Place the tray in freezer until you are ready to serve (at least 20 minutes).  You can store these in the freezer up to several months but they may not even last a day in your house.  They did not in mine.

Enjoy!

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Carob Peanut Butter Ice Cream

CarobPeanutButterIceCream

This Carob Peanut Butter Ice Cream is amazing!  Recently, I have been in the mood for everything and anything peanut butter.  I am not quite sure why I am having this craving but chocolate and peanut butter just makes my mouth water.  My husband and I have a little routine each night.  Once we get our little guy to bed I will make us a tasty dessert.  It will vary between ice cream, almond milk shakes, bananas and peanut butter or just a bowl of fruit.  This dessert is something that we both look forward to after a day of working (for him) and chasing around our little monster (for me).  The other day I decided to add some peanut butter into our usual carob ice cream and it turned out to be a smash.  It was so good that now I cannot get enough and I want it every day.  I think I may have a problem.  Hah.  So I share this recipe with you in hopes that you too will become obsessed with it.  Kidding.  Well kind of.

*What is carob?  It is most commonly used as a chocolate substitute and although it is not as flavorful as cocoa there are plenty of things you can do to get it close.  Carob is caffeine-free and contains three times as much calcium as cocoa.

The Ingredients:

2 c almond milk
1/2 c raw cashews
6 dates, pitted
2 tbsp carob powder
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth and transfer to a medium glass dish.  Place it in the freezer, uncovered for 1 hour.  Stir and return to freezer for another hour.  If you like the consistency at this point, by all means enjoy!  Otherwise, stick the ice cream back in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes.  Scoop out into bowls or mugs and serve.

*It is important you stir the mixture otherwise it becomes icy.

Enjoy!

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Dairy-Free Chocolate Milk

VeganChocolateMilk

When my sister and I were diagnosed with Celiac Disease we decided that when the time came to have babies, we would raise them gluten-free until they were old enough to say, “My belly hurts.”  We had not considered the possibility of our babes needing to be dairy-free as well.  Very early on, my sister and I learned that her middle child (my nephew) and my little guy had dairy sensitivities.  We quickly researched all the dairy-free alternatives available and changed their diets accordingly.  It was easy for our boys to transition because they were too young to know the difference.

The other day I learned my niece, Izzie (my sisters oldest) also needs to get off of dairy for health reasons.  The news broke my heart.  How do you tell a 7-year-old they are no longer allowed to enjoy some of their favorite foods?  Izzie was the first baby of our family, the first niece, the first granddaughter.  I remember the moment I first held her in my arms.  The amount of love I instantly felt for this little girl was so overwhelming it brought me to tears.  My friends always refer to that protective mother instinct as “Mama Bear” and my sister and I certainly have that Bear in us.  We also have a severe case of “Aunt Mama Bear” when it comes to any of my nieces or nephews.

My Aunt Mama Bear kicked in and I quickly asked my sister for some of Izzie’s favorite foods that contain dairy.  I may live 1800 miles away but I wanted to help in any way I could.  Chocolate Milk and Cream Cheese are favorites and she does not like the alternatives my sister already has in the house.  Of course, right?  Hah, kids.  The cream cheese is a tough one, I will need to think about that.  However, chocolate milk, no problem.  I got this.  So I created this delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Milk in an effort to help this little sweetie have a smoother transition into a dairy-free lifestyle.  An alternative to the alternative.  (She gave it 5 stars.)

The Ingredients:

4 c almond milk
6 tbsp cocoa
8 pitted dates
1/2 c raw cashews

Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender until smooth.  Store in an air-tight container up to a week.

Enjoy IzzieB!

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Chocolate Ice Cream

ChocolateIceCream

This Chocolate Ice cream is amazing!  As a kid, my all-time favorite was vanilla with peanut butter swirl.  I would purposely let the ice cream get soft and melt so the peanut butter and vanilla would blend together and become a creamy, peanut buttery soup.  Ah, memories.  I remember, when I was much younger, sneaking into the kitchen when my parents weren’t looking to eat as much ice cream as I could fit into my mouth before I heard them coming.  I did not do this because my parents deprived me of ice cream, I ate my dessert with the family after dinner like a normal kid.  The thing was, the serving size just was not enough.  I wanted ALL the ice cream.  Later in life, I came to learn that sometimes the foods that we are most addicted to are the very foods our systems are intolerant to.  More on that later.  Giving up ice cream was much harder for me than giving up gluten.  Though it was the best thing I could have done for my body.

Lately, my husband and I have been obsessed with this vegan, raw Chocolate Ice Cream (inspired by Lipstick and Berries).  This is a quick and easy treat to make whenever you are in the mood for something sweet.  Best of all, it is ready to eat in 2 hours.  I typically start freezing the mixture as we are just about to sit down for dinner so by the time we are looking for dessert it is ready.

The Ingredients:

2 c almond milk
1/2 c raw cashews
6 dates, pitted
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.  Blend until smooth and transfer to a medium glass dish.  Place it in the freezer, uncovered for 1 hour.  Stir and return to freezer for another hour.  If you like the consistency at this point, by all means enjoy!  Otherwise, stick the ice cream back in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes.  Scoop out into bowls or mugs and serve.

*It is important you stir the mixture otherwise it becomes icy.

Enjoy!

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Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Last weekend my husband and I threw our dear friends a going away party.  To honor them and their little man I decided to make these delicious Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes.  I was inspired by FullyRawKristina’s raw cupcake recipe and just made a few changes.  These little cakes are a fun and fresh dessert everyone can enjoy and the perfect guilt-free way to end a party.  The best part, all those little babes who enjoyed this dessert had no idea they were eating a mini-cake of fruit and veggies.  Pretty sneaky!

The Cake Ingredients:

3 c finely shredded carrots (about 10 carrots)
3 c dates, pitted
1/2 c walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon

The Icing Ingredients:

Juice of 2 oranges
3 c soaked cashews
1 c dates
1 tsp vanilla

Other Essentials:

cupcake holders
cupcake trays

Soak cashews over night or at least for 2-3 hours.

In a food processor, shred carrots.  Remove them from the bowl, switch to the “S” blade, place carrots back in processor and blend again until finely shredded.  Add the dated, walnuts and cinnamon and blend until smooth.  Use a spatula to scoop our the carrot mixture and fill the baking cups about halfway.

Next, in a high-speed blender, add orange juice, cashews, dates and vanilla.  Blend until thick and smooth.  You want the consistency to be the same as traditional icing.  Scoop icing into a pastry bag (or bottom corner of a ziplock bag).  If using a ziplock, snip the corner of the bag and begin icing the cupcakes.

Raw Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Place cupcake trays in the freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.  If you freeze them overnight, take them out about 1/2 hour before serving. Otherwise they will lose their form.

*Note – These cupcakes can be stored up to a month in the freezer.  That is if there are any leftovers.

Enjoy!

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Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies are so yummy, they usually do not last in our house more than 2-3 days.  My husband Loves cookies and out of all the gluten-free, vegan cookies I make these are his favorite.  With this last batch we discovered our little guy is also quite the Cookie Monster.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like cookies?  Thankfully, these cookies have much less sugar than many cookies on the market and I do not have to worry about him having a sugar crash after eating just one.  This recipe is very similar to the Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Bites I posted the other day just slightly altered.  You could eat either recipe raw or cooked.  So enjoy!

The Ingredients:

1 c pitted dates
1 c boiling water
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1/4 c pure cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 c chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dates in a glass bowl and pour boiling water into bowl.  Let the dates sit for about 15 minutes.  Then place in high-speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

Transfer date puree into a to large mixing bowl and whisk in coconut oil, sugar and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips).  Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet to avoid clumps.  Once mixed well add chocolate chips.

Scoop out the dough in golf ball size portions and flatten the cookie to your desired size.  Remember, these are gluten-free and will not increase in size.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

Bake for 15 minutes then let cool.  These cookies can be stored in airtight container up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Bites

Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Bites

I was talking to one of my oldest friends the other day.  She had found a recipe online for gluten-free cookie dough balls and was really excited to give them a try.  Later on that evening, we talked again.  The recipe did not work out the way she had hoped.  She found the cookie dough to be gritty and not that tasty.  I told her, “Give me a couple of days, I will work on creating some Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Bites you will love.”  So my dear friend, this recipe is for you.  I hope these little bites are all you have ever wanted in a raw cookie dough snack.

The Ingredients:

1 c pitted dates
1 c boiling water
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp pure cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 c chocolate chips

Place dates in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over the dates.  Let the dates sit for 15 minutes.  Then place in high-speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

Transfer date puree into a large mixing bowl and whisk in coconut oil, sugar and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips).  Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet mixture to avoid clumps.

Scoop out a teaspoon size of dough and roll in hands to make little cookie dough bites.  Then set aside on wax paper.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips.  Place melted chocolate in pastry bag or the bottom corner of a ziplock bag snipping off the tiniest corner of bag.  Then drizzle chocolate over each ball.  Let chocolate cool and serve.

Enjoy!

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My Valentine’s Day Surprise

Valentine's Day Surprise

Typically, my husband and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense.  We made a deal a while back (over 5 years ago), to avoid the holiday craze and as a gift to each other we would make a “green” change in our lives.  Whether it be starting a garden, replacing the windows in our house, or (this year) starting the xeriscaping process of our front yard.  So you can only imagine how taken aback I was when I received My Valentine’s Day Surprise.

Yesterday afternoon my husband asked me to check my email where I would find my Valentine’s Day gift.  I came to find a beautiful article written Regan Fletcher at News360 about my blog.  I want to thank everyone over at News360 for writing such a great article.  It was such a wonderful gift.  Thank you for taking the time out of your very busy day to make this happen and with such short notice.  You are the best!

I especially want to thank Kevin, the love of my life.  You made my Valentine’s Day very special.  I feel so lucky to have married my best friend, a man who always believes in me and supports me.  I love you more than anything!

So if you missed it…here is the article.

Here are some Heart-Shaped Chocolate Covered Bananas for the man who stole my heart.

The Ingredients:

1 banana
5 oz chocolate 

In a double boiler (see my Chocolate Covered Strawberries for instructions) melt chocolate.

Slice banana in half (long ways), with a paring knife, cut out little banana hearts.

Gently dip bananas in melted chocolate and spoon chocolate to completely cover each heart.  Scoop up chocolate covered bananas with two forks so excess chocolate can drip off.  Place on a plate lined with wax paper and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

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Banana and Almond Butter Sandwiches Dipped in Chocolate

Banana and Almond Butter Sandwiches Dipped in Chocolate

Look at these delicious little gems.  Heaven.  Banana and Almond Butter Sandwiches Dipped in Chocolate.  What?!  Amazing!  Best part, there are only three ingredients!  This delicious treat is loaded with nutritional goodness.  We already know that bananas are good for us and how great almond butter is for us.  So, it is sometimes hard to believe dark chocolate can be so good for us too.  I mean it is chocolate.  Most diets forbid it.  How could this stuff truly have health benefits?

Well the truth is dark chocolate is great for your heart and brain.  It is full of amazing antioxidants.  It is high in copper, magnesium, potassium and iron.   Rich in fiber, reduces stress, improves mood (no kidding!).  Dark chocolate also improves blood flow and lower blood pressure.  Lastly, (yup another one) it slows signs of aging.

So, eat your dark chocolate!

The Ingredients:

1 banana
1/4 c almond butter
5 oz chocolate 

In a double boiler melt chocolate.

Slice banana, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick rounds.  Spread 1/2 tsp of almond butter on banana rounds to make little sandwiches.

Gently press sandwich together then place them in melted chocolate.  Spoon chocolate over sandwich until completely covered.  Scoop up chocolate covered sandwich with two forks so excess chocolate can drip off.  Place on a plate lined with wax paper and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cashew Icing

Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Cashew Icing

Who doesn’t love chocolate?  I love chocolate, my husband loves chocolate and from the way our son inhaled his first birthday cake, he too loves chocolate.  Fruit dipped in chocolate equals heaven, in my opinion.  Especially chocolate covered strawberries.  I saw the idea a few months back and thought, what a perfect Super Bowl dessert.  How cute are these little footballs?

Please note: I am not a pastry chef, so these are not as perfect as I’d like them to be.  Though, I must say, not too shabby.

The Ingredients:

1 pack of organic strawberries
1 c baking chocolate
1/4 c almond milk

The Icing:

1/2 c cashews
5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 c warm water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

If you have a double boiler, it would come in handy here.  I don’t.  So this is how I did it.  Pour about an inch of water into a medium sauce pan and place a glass bowl inside.  Ideally, you’d like the glass bowl to fit perfectly in the pan to avoid splash back from the boiling water.  Then, place chocolate in glass bowl and start melting over medium-low heat.  Once chocolate is almost completely melted, add almond milk.  I found this made it a bit more creamy.

Once chocolate is melted, dip strawberries in chocolate on at a time.  Place dipped strawberry on wax paper and let cool.

The Icing:  

Place all ingredients in high-speed blender.  Blend until creamy and smooth.  Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.  I typically make the icing the night before I plan to use it.  When icing is ready and if you do not have a pastry bag.  Grab a ziplock bag, spoon icing into the corner of the bag, snip the tiniest corner off the bag and squeeze the bag to make your design.

Enjoy!

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