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I have a bit of a complex about feeding nonvegans vegan food if they know it is/I am vegan. I get all kinds of paranoid about how it’s my responsibility to show them that veganism isn’t all about eating lettuce and carrots and that it can be delicious and decadent and not at all restrictive. This usually winds up with me making some kind of dessert because really, who doesn’t like dessert/baked goods? Unfortunately that also usually means making something not so healthy, which doesn’t jive particularly well with my normal mode of baking where I try to sneak in as much good stuff as I can. I fear that I have ‘healthy’ tastebuds and even the baked goods that I think taste good (with flax seeds, spelt flour, etc.) won’t be sufficient for my vegan wowing aspirations. All that to say that I have an event on sunday which is causing me a bit of trauma in that department so if you have any veggie dish and dessert recommendations, let me know!
I baked this up to use up some of the colony of overripe bananas overtaking my kitchen counter and initially was thinking of going for a low sugar/stevia sweetened loaf but then remembered my sunday event and thought I could potentially bring this if I didn’t monkey with healthifying it. Alas, I think I need to get some groceries before truly beginning to embark on my amazing vegan recipe quest – currently the pantry houses no white sugar, a little bit of all-purpose flour (unbleached), and a smidge of brown sugar, no good! 😀
Anyways, those of you with fellow healthy tastebuds should be a-okay with this recipe, and really I don’t think it is that healthy tasting, but what do I know! 😉
Gingery Banana Bread
4 ripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar (or sucanat) not packed
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons minced ginger root
2 cups spelt flour
1/3 cups wheat germ
1/4 cup flax
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl, add brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract and ginger root. Mix.
Combine flour, wheatgerm, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl. Add to wet ingredients in batches stirring between each addition.
Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Wait until the loaf cools to slice as it is quite delicate and will break (or just resign yourself to banana bread crumbles to top your oatmeal with the next morning! ;))
My trip at the end of October took me out to visit relatives on my maternal side of the family. My uncle has an orchard and sent me back with a big bag of apples (among other veggies, I may or may not have had to acquire another bag in order to lug all of my foodstuffs on the plane! :D) that I have happily been munching through. However, I decided that such special fruit needed to be used for more exciting purposes than snacks and oatmeal add-ins, which is when I came up with the glorious plan of making apple caramel bars.
Think a peanut butter oatmeal crust topped with a delicious spiced caramel apple mixture. Oh it was a glorious fall treat in my minds eye, alas, in real life I had some issues. I made a peanut butter oatmeal cookie-like dough, pressed it into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan and cooked it up for about 20 minutes until it was browned. In the meantime I thinly sliced up three of the gifted apples, tossed them with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, and got to work on the caramel. I used the caramel recipe from Ricki’s Sweet Freedom cookbook . It was this step where I started to run into trouble. I don’t have a candy thermometer (well, that’s a lie, I found out post baking adventure that our household actually does have one, but for the purpose of the story, no candy thermometer) but figured I could go by her description of the consistency and the times listed just fine. Once my caramel got to that stage, I wanted to pour it over the apples that were spread on top of the crust, unfortunately my timing was poor and the crust wasn’t ready yet. When all parts were finally ready the caramel was past the pouring stage so I kind of spooned globs over the apples and hoped for the best, despite the fact that the bit I had nibbled off the spoon hardened in my mouth rather quickly. Fortunately after another stint in the oven, the caramel did soften up a bit more, though not enough to spread around and glue all the apples onto the crust. Anyways, after all that it was pretty darn tasty, although not the most photogenic (see below). I would like to give it another go because I think in theory it is quite a workable recipe, but I am giving it a bit of a rest for now. Let me know if any of you give it a try, or have a similar recipe. 🙂
If you’re not Canadian, I think it might be a safe assumption that you’ve probably never heard of nanaimo bars. (correct me if I’m wrong!) If this is indeed true, don’t worry, I’m here to show you the light! 🙂
Nanaimo bars are a very rich, very Canadian dessert bar that originated from the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. They consist of three layers – the bottom, which is a dense chocolate/coconut/nut/crushed vanilla cookie affair, then a layer of vanilla custard-y icing, and finally a thin layer of chocolate. I grew up eating these (my mom’s recipe actually uses raw egg, yick!), and they were definitely something I was thrilled to have (very!) successfully veganized.
When I made these earlier this year, the pan was scraped clean at a truly embarrassing speed. Now, for the sad part: I didn’t write down the recipe! I’m really kicking myself for not having recorded what I did, because I know I went to great lengths to make these really delicious – even making my own cookie crumbs, etc.
I’m a big tease, please forgive me. At some point, I promise I’ll try my hand at them again – if you don’t beat me to it! 🙂
I love the idea of raw desserts. I love how rich and flavourful they can be, and I love how it is possible to create delicious treats with no baking whatsoever! However, what I don’t love is the ingredient requirements of most raw dessert recipes. 4 cups cashews? No thanks! 1 cup coconut oil? As if! 1/2 cup agave? Do I look like I’m made of money? And so on….
To compound the issue, most of the time I’m cooking for one, so there is no way I need a full size anything floating around the kitchen! Fortunately, raw desserts lend themselves well to being downsized. Here is my recipe for a totally delectable Raw Tropical Cheezecake for One:
makes 4 small servings
-1/8 cup almonds
-2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
-1 medjool date
-1/2 tbsp. agave
-1/4 tsp. vanilla
Combine in a food processor or blender, and grind until it forms a ball with no big chunks of almond. Grease a small container (I used a tupperware) with coconut oil and press the crust into the bottom.
-1/2 cup cashews (soaking is probably a good plan if you aren’t using a high powered blender)
-5 chunks fresh pineapple, or about 1/4 cup packed
-2 tbsp. agave
-1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
Combine in a blender and process until totally smooth and custard-like. Pour onto the crust and smooth out the top. Cover and freeze (I left it in overnight), or until totally firm. It won’t freeze solid or feel frozen, so it is likely best served straight out the freezer. I ate mine with some fresh pineapple coulis. Enjoy! 🙂
This recipe is from my mom, who says she got it from the Dutch neighbours that lived next door in the tiny Quebec logging town she grew up in. Given that, I feel confident enough posting it here – but if you recognize it as your family recipe, let me know! This is reasonably simple to put together, but is fancy enough to make for guests. It’s also delicious – the running joke in my family was that we had no idea how well this lasted, since there were never leftovers past the next day’s breakfast.
Dutch Apple Cake
Preheat oven to 425F and grease a pizza pan.
Prepare the apple slices first:
-Peel and core 4 large apples (I like Braeburn, but my mom always used McIntosh), and slice them into medium-thin slices. Each apple should yield around 14 slices. Toss with a dash of lemon juice and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine:
-1 ener-g egg replacer, prepared as per package instructions (1 1/2 tsp. powder whisked with 2 tbsp water)
-2/3 c. non-dairy milk
In a mixing bowl, measure:
-1 1/2 c. a.p. flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
Combine these, and then add:
-1/4 c. COLD non-dairy butter
With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until well combined – until it resembles sand, with no lumps of butter.
Quickly add the egg replacer/milk liquid to the flour/butter bowl, and stir until just combined- don’t overmix! It will be quite moist. Scoop the batter/dough onto the greased pizza pan, and use floured hands to press it into the pan. Cover with the apple slices (start at the outside of the pan, and work in!) and bake at 425 for 25 minutes.
-1/4 c. room temperature non-dairy butter
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
It will resemble a thick paste.
When the 25 minutes are up, remove pie and turn the oven down to 350F. Spoon the butter/sugar/spice paste over the hot pie, and spread it around so that everything is evenly glazed. Return to the 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the edges look like they might burn before everything else cooks, cover them with a tin foil edging.
This is wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla non-dairy ice cream, but I strongly encourage everyone to try at least a sliver of this, served cold, for breakfast the next day!
Another festive goodie! I like this one because it’s actually pretty good for you, so eat guilt free! The texture is best on the day of baking so don’t leave it too long before eating. Feel free to substitute the flours with what you have.
Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread
5 tsp ground flaxseed
9 Tbsp water
1/2 cup silken tofu
1 tsp lemon juice
3 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup wheatgerm
1/4 cup each quinoa and whole wheat flour
2 cups spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup each of brown and granulated sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9″ by 5″ loaf pan and set aside.
Combine flaxseed, water, tofu and lemon juice in blender. Mix until well combined. Add bananas one at a time, blending between each addition. How smooth you make it at this point depends on personal preference. I don’t like banana chunks in my bread so I made it completely smooth.
Combine wheatgerm, flours, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
Mix sugars, applesauce, vanilla and spices together and combine with blender mixture. Stir into flour mix in a few batches. Don’t overmix. Fold in walnuts and cranberries.
Pour into pan, smooth top and bake for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.