Hello, blogging world! I’ve taken a looong break from posting – but not from reading! Fortunately, lazy summer blogging seems to be a popular trend, so I don’t feel too guilty!

I know most people are probably in the middle of some hot weather right now, and whether you love it or hate it (me, I’m fine as long as I don’t have to move. Ever. Cold showers are good too.) you’re probably thinking about drinking plenty of fluids. My new favourite thing is to drink iced tea. It’s a great alternative to water – and if you drink it unsweetened, it’s a flavourful drink without all the sugar in juice! I brew up a big pitcher, which usually lasts me a couple of days. Here’s a nice big glass of chilled sencha green tea:

My current favourite tea to ice is the Taza Passion Tea – buy a box and save yourself the $$ by making a Starbucks drink at home – but with no sugar! Just be sure not to steep it too long, as it gets bitter quite quickly. It reminds me of fruit punch!

If you do dare to get near the oven, make sure you bake yourself something delicious! I admit, I can’t seem to avoid the lure of the stovetop, even on the hottest of days – I’ve certainly made my fair share of curries and roasted vegetables this summer – not great warm weather fare. Call me crazy, but all I can think about is fall temperatures, when I can drink hot chocolate and eat stews and wear sweaters to my heart’s content!

My latest take on the aforementioned baked deliciousness is these Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are based off of this tasty recipe from the awesome Diet, Dessert, and Dogs blog – but made even healthier by using almond butter and nixing the refined sugar. They’re even gluten free!
IMG_1456Preheat oven to 350F

Combine wet:
-1/4 c. almond butter
-1 tbsp. neutral oil, like grapeseed
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 c. + 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Combine dry:
-1/4 c. buckwheat flour
-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch (or arrowroot)
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-pinch salt

-1/4 c. non-dairy chocolate chips

Stir together, add chocolate chips, and plop spoonfuls onto a nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet. Use the back of the spoon to flatten down the tops a bit, more into thick discs. These spread quite a bit, so space accordingly! Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are firm and browning – the centre should still feel a bit soft, as they firm up as they cool. Makes 5 crispy-crunchy (with slightly chewy centres!) delectable cookies. These are remarkably similar to peanut butter cookies – certainly they do not have an overwhelmingly ‘almond’ flavour like plain almond butter does (to my mind). Wonderful!

I want to use this post to give a shout out to all the other ethical vegans that are out there in the blogging world. Certainly the health and environmental benefits of a plant based diet are swell, but even if that weren’t the case, I would still be a vegan – it’s the right thing to do! As long as I blog, my posts will be full of vegan thoughts, recipes, and tips, and completely devoid of non-vegan food pictures, excuses for omnivores, and statements like ‘diets are such a personal choice’. Sure, I’m not going to force it down your throat, and I go out of my way every day to make sure I am the super friendly ‘surprise’ vegan – the one that breaks every silly stereotype, and then some. But, I am SO into being vegan that I cannot fathom pandering to non-veg family and friends. I know I can’t be alone in feeling like vegan blogs that have pro-omnivore posts (implied or otherwise) are  disappointing and somewhat perplexing. Holla, vegans!