Mmmmm! Okay, so I have not reinvented the wheel here but what I did do is make two small cashew-based cheesecakes because I do not have the will power to keep a 9 inch cake in my house. I just don’t. Especially when chocolate is involved. Or peanut butter. I’ll eat it all.
I looked at several recipes to see how much cashews are needed to make a 9 inch cake. Most recipes use 2 cups. I wanted to make 2 cakes in a 4” tart pan (which is I estimated is about a quarter of a 9” cake) so I divided the amount of cashews by 4. Oops. Sorry for the math. I blame myself since I use to be an analytical chemist.
I have made cashew-based cheesecakes several times now, but I think I enjoyed this one the best. Maybe it was the chocolate. Yeah, probably all the chocolate. And peanut butter. Oh my. Be careful not to drool.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
2 large servings or 4 small servings
2-3 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds
4-5 Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup of cashews (soaked 4-6 hours)
1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil, melted
7-8 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon coconut nectar (any liquid sweetener), can be omitted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon cacao powder
Dash of salt
Water (up to ¼ cup)
Crust: In a food processor, add oats and process until it’s flour-like consistency. Add almonds until very crumbly (almost flour-like, but I have to admit I like the almond crumbs). Add dates until crust comes together. Press mixture down into a tart pan and put in the freezer until it hardens. The crust must be really firm before you put spread the cashew mixture into it so freeze for at least an hour.
Cashew mixture: Place cashews into food processor until crumbly (do not process too long). Put in coconut oil, dates, liquid sweetener, vanilla extract, cacao powder, and salt. Process so that mixture comes together. I ended up adding a tablespoon of water at a time until mixture became smooth. Spread cashew mixture over the crust. Let cheesecake harden for 2-4 hours.
* For the double boiler I used a small pot, filled it with water, placed a small heat proof bowl on top of the pot and brought the water to a low boil. For speed and less bowls, you could melt the coconut oil for each topping in the microwave.
Chocolate drizzle: In a double boiler, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil then add 1 tablespoon cacao and ½ tablespoon coconut nectar (or another liquid sweetener). I ended up adding more cacao because I like the bitterness but you should experiment with what you like.
Peanut butter drizzle: Melt 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in a double boiler ( I actually mixed in ~1 teaspoon of coconut oil so that it would harden later).
Drizzle all that yumminess over your cheesecakes. Top with cacao nibs. Enjoy the sensational chocolate peanut butter party in your mouth.
Homemade strawberry chia seed jam on a brown rice cake
The Doctor and I were watching the gorgeous cardinals eating from the new bird feeder. It only seemed fitting to be enjoying a delicious and satisfying popsicle from the strawberries I just picked.
Strawberry Lavender Popsicles
2 cups of sliced strawberries
2 tblsp of coconut nectar (or sweetener of choice; I prefer mine less sweet but you can add up to 1/4 to 1/3 cup)
~1/2 teaspoon culinary lavender (see note)
Mix strawberries and sugar and let sit for 15-25 minutes. Add strawberries and lavender to a sauce pan and heat for 5 minutes or so until the strawberries are soft. Take off heat and let mixture come to room temperature (this took ~45 minutes). Add to a blender and blend mixture until smooth. Transfer to popsicle molds and freeze at least 10 hours or overnight.
Note: I made these twice. One time with 1 tblp lavender and it was really strong. The second time with 1 tsp of lavender and I still preferred less and I really like lavender so it’s up to you. Experiment and have fun! :)
Vegan Chili Quinoa Wrap
For this chili quinoa, I did not measure anything except the 1 cup of quinoa which was about 2 servings. To the quinoa, I added:
~1/2 tsp of chili powder, ~1/16 tsp of garlic powder, onion powder, few dashes of hot paprika, and a few dashes of a smokey torula yeast (instead of the yeast, you could probably use a dash of two of liquid smoke if that’s the flavor you wanted). Adjust seasonings to your taste. :)
I used the Trader Joes Whole Wheat tortilla, then put down half a mashed avocado and added the quinoa (this way the quinoa stuck to the avocado), then added roasted red pepper, raw onions, carrots & spinach.
I won’t lie these wraps are being held together by toothpicks. Hah! It’s much easier to wrap when you have a large tortillas. :)
I have recently fallen in love with cherry-chocolate combination anything. Today I felt like making a raw snack/dessert and this is what I came up with. The only thing I did measure was the almonds and cherries to make sure the ratio came out okay.
Raw Vegan Cherry Chocolate Balls
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 to 1 cup of dried pitted cherries
3 pitted Medjool dates
3 tablespoons raw almond butter
1 tablespoon raw agave
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Unsweetened dried shredded coconut (optional)
Place almonds in food processor until a meal consistency starts to form. Add pitted dates and pitted cherries and process until the almond meal and dried fruits come together. Add almond butter, agave, cacao, and cinnamon and process until everything comes together. I transferred mixture to a medium size bowl. Take ~1 tablespoon of the mixture and start to roll it between your hands to form a ball. I rolled some of mine in shredded coconut. Place balls on a small cookie sheet and freeze for 2-4 hours until firm. They are delicious!
VEGAN DONUTS! Okay, so I bought a $15 donut maker. Don’t judge me. I am sure this recipe would work if you had a donut pan and an oven. I like the donut maker because I don’t have to turn on the oven (lazy? efficient? awesome?)
I didn’t wait for the donuts to cool before putting on the glaze so don’t make that mistake. I don’t have a recipe for the glaze because I didn’t measure anything but I will try to lead you in the right direction. It’s about experimentation right? Being a vegan kitchen chemist?
Oh and did I mention these donuts are lower-in-fat!?
Vegan (lower-in-fat) Blueberry Coconut Donuts
Makes 8 mini-donuts
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour or mixture)
2 tablespoons evaporate cane juice
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons organic canola oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup of unsweetened milk (you can use coconut for the full coconut effect but I used almond milk)
1/2 flax egg (1/2 tablespoon flax meal + 1 1/2 tablespoon water)
3 tablespoons frozen blueberries, chopped
Unsweetened shredded coconut, for topping (optional)
Prepare flax egg in small bowl and set aside. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl, add wet ingredients and flax egg. Fold in blueberries. Use donut maker according to directions. It took me about 6-8 minutes in mine and the donuts turned a golden color. I should have cooled them on a baking rack then added the glaze but I was impatient. Like I said, no measurements for the glaze but the ingredients were: vegan powdered sugar, almond milk, and lemon juice. I will add lemon zest next time.
To bake in the oven, I suggest heating oven to 350F and baking for ~10 minutes until golden.
More lower-in-fat vegan donut recipes to come! :)
Vegan veggie stir-fry over rice noodles with sriracha, cilantro & dulse.
Vegan Lower-in-fat Chocolate Chip Stout Cake Brownies!
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 8x8 baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 cup cacao, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt.
In a medium size bowl, mix 1 cup of packed vegan brown sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*, 2 tblsp oil, 1/2 cup vegan stout (beer), & 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Add wet to dry, fold in 1/2-3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips, and pour batter into dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 20-30 mins. I cut mine after 20 mins and had no problems.
*You can sub in 1/2 cup nondairy yogurt + 1/4 cup applesauce OR 1/2 cup of blended silken tofu + 1/4 cup applesauce.
I haven’t made this recipe multiple times so I cannot speak for its consistency, but I enjoyed it as written above.
I had to make something green for St. Patty’s Day. I don’t think I have ever celebrated but it sure is fun to think of things to make green! I love pancakes on weekend mornings so here is my rendition of what some may call a Shamrock pancake. The base recipe is adapted from “Vegetarian Cooking from Everyone” by Deborah Madison. There were some really good vegan shamrock pancakes on Instagram this morning and provided that extra push…out of bed. :)
Vegan Peppermint Chocolate Chip Pancakes (makes ~12)
2 tablespoons flax meal (+ 2 tablespoon water)
1 1/2 cup nondairy milk
1 large Swiss chard leaf (washed and destemmed) or 1 cup of another green
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 1/2 cup flour (I used half whole wheat pastry and unbleached AP)
1 or 2 tablespoons sugar (see note 1)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
2 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon of oil (see note 2)
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips (or more)
Combine flax and water in a small bowl and set aside. Combine milk and destemmed Swiss chard leaf in a blend until blended and liquid has turned green (you could probably add more greens if you want or use another green, like spinach). Transfer to a medium size bowl, add vinegar and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
To the nondairy milk mixture, mix together the applesauce and oil, peppermint, and flax mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix. Fold in chocolate chips (I somehow forgot to do this and ended up adding them as I was adding the batter to the griddle).
I used a griddle at ~350F and cooked each pancake about 4-6 minutes on each side until bubbly and browned. Flip and repeat. :)
Note 1: I didn’t add any sugar to the batter since I was going to be drizzling maple syrup over them.
Note 2: You can use all applesauce or all oil as opposed to the mixture.
Irish Creme Kisses from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar!!!
GO VEGAN ON MARCH 20. Why go vegan for one day?
“FOR THE ANIMALS: In the United States alone, approximately 10 billion land animals are killed every year in food production. Moreover, the average American consumes roughly: 25 ½ chickens, 1/8 of a cow, 3/8 of a pig and 43 fish a year. Not only are we consuming animals at an extremely alarming and dangerous rate, we are also supporting an industry that is inherently cruel.
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Leading scientists and organizations are now conceding that a plant based diet is the based way to end our environmental problems. In fact, the United Nations itself has endorsed the vegan diet as “vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst impacts of climate change.”
FOR OUR HEALTH: There is no question that the United States is facing an epidemic in health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering 11.8% of adults in the United States suffer from heart disease. It is the number one cause of death in the United States and is the result of nearly 600,000 deaths every year. Even more startling is the fact that more than one third of American adults are obese, often suffering from preventive conditions such as type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. According to Vandana Sheth, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, “properly planned vegan diets are healthy, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of many diseases.” The plant based diet has unlimited potential in positive changes to health but it’s most notable for it’s ability to lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, weight reduction, and reverse heart disease.”
This was summarized from meatout.org. You can find more information there! :)
Check out some of my vegan body products/chemicals that I use on a daily or weekly basis:
From left to right:
MOOM Spa Hair Remover: ‘Cause hey, sometimes you got unwanted hair. I know I’m not the only one. It’s organic and 100% natural. Ingredients are organic cane sugar, organic chamomile tea, organic lemon juice and organic lavender. What I love is the reusable fabric strips and the water soluble wax. It makes everything so easy!
Kiss My Face Coconut Hand Soap: this is actually my kitchen hand soap right now. It smells so nice! :)
Jason Soothing Aloe Vera Deodorant: this is the only natural deodorant that doesn’t stink-ify (my word) me up AND doesn’t give me a rash.
Cortas Rose Water: I use this to make things smell fresh. Usually me. Sometimes I spray my sheets or bedroom while the breeze is coming through. Smells wonderful. I also use it in cooking. Rose water cookies anyone?
Nourish Organic Body Wash & Body Butter (both in Wild Berries): Usually I use bar soaps but my mom (Hi Mom!) got me this fancy soap along with their body butter. It smells and works great.
Coconut Oil: Usually I add this to my hair as a leave-in conditioner, to prevent hair frizz or to my dry skin. I limit this in my baking because it contains a very high amount of saturated fats. I’m a chemist. I know my lipids.
Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay (calcium bentonite): this has been helping tremendously with my acne that came from nowhere (well, it came from somewhere, but I would really like to go back to 2012 when I didn’t have to wear makeup). I am using it everyday and I really love it. I am thinking of adding avocado as a moisturizer as post-treatment to the mask. Now if only I could find a drain protector that didn’t allow the small bits of clay to go through…
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): I was using this for my facial routine but ditched it after 3 weeks of seeing no changes. I have been using it as hair conditioner and I am loving the affects on my hair. I also mix this into my clay mask.
Sodium Bicarbonate (aka Baking soda): It’s quite a magical chemical! I have been using that to wash my face and it’s doing a better job then any soap out there. I have even been using it to wash my hair and wow! I am going to continue the baking soda/ACV for my hair. (I do have vegan shampoos and conditioners, but I am trying to save $$$).
What do you use? Favorites? Products to avoid?
I decided to do what I do best - experiment!
I have had some puffed millet in my cabinet for several weeks now begging to be used in a baking recipe. Along side the puffed millet was a bag of Teff flour. I knew I had to make something…anything! I decided to go with an oatmeal/puffed millet texture keeping it lowfat and with raisins. I did end up using oil since it was my first go. Feel free to exchange the oil for applesauce. I used raisins but you could use chocolate chips!
Makes 16 cookies
1 cup brown Teff flour (I haven’t tried but you could sub brown rice flour or try whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup puffed millet
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tblsp organic canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk dry ingredients (flour, millet, oats, baking powder, salt and coconut) in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the raisins. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well (I ended up sprinkling ~2 tblsp more of coconut in). Fold raisins in.
Scoop batter (~2 tblsp) and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for ~12-15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on baking sheet to cool for at least 5 minutes. Take pictures of the cookies and put on Instagram! :)
My one year veganniversary is coming up this weekend and I have been thinking (for quite awhile) that one way to celebrate was to make foods that I don’t normally eat. I have already tried purple sweet potato and napa cabbage this week and loved both! Check out my purple sweet potato with hemp seeds! I love purple…anything.
I had some mangoes that I wanted to use in a baking recipe so immediately I thought “oooo upside-down cake!” This is something I haven’t attempted as a vegan baker. I think I made some sort of strawberry upside-down thingy but I remember it had gelatin in it – eeekkk. I won’t lie, the idea of “flipping” the cake is kind of nerve-racking…especially for an upside-down newbie. Will it or won’t it?! Well it did. And this is the delicious, low-fat vegan result. This is based on a recipe from bitemevegan (http://bitemevegan.blogspot.com/2011/07/mango-cherry-coconut-upside-down-cake.html)
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 fresh mangoes (1.5-2 cups)
½ cup blueberries (optional)
Extra mango and blueberries (optional)
2-4 tablespoons dried unsweetened coconut
1¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup evaporated cane juice
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8x8 glass dish.
Chop mango into slices. Sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of dish then place mango slices down. If using blueberries, scatter them on top of mangoes otherwise use more mango slices! Then sprinkle coconut over that. Mmmmm.
What it looked like before I sprinkled the coconut on top:
Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk well. Add dry ingredients to wet in batches and allow dry mixture to mix before adding more. This avoids over mixing but it isn’t completely necessary. I had leftover mangoes that I diced up and blueberries that I folded in. Pour batter into glass dish.
Bake for 50 minutes (my toothpick came out clean). Then allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate.
It was really good and moist. I almost burned my mouth because I couldn’t wait to eat some. I hope you all enjoy this recipe!
I was inspired by The Sweetest Vegan’s black bean cupcakes with avocado frosting! I wanted to make them low-fat so here is an adapted version of The Sweetest Vegan’s recipe. I hope you enjoy :)
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
scant 1/2 cup sifted cacao powder
2 tablespoons sifted carob powder (see note 1)
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using canned beans)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained very well
Heaping 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon oil (see note 2)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/8 cup vegan sugar (see note 3)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sifted vegan confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350F and line cupcake tin with liners. Add vinegar to milk in a small bowl and wait ~5 minutes so that it curdles.
In a large bowl, whisk flours, cacao and carob powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt if using.
In a food processor, add beans, applesauce, oil, milk/vinegar mixture, sugar, maple syrup, sugar, and vanilla extract and blend very well. The batter was a thick mousse consistency. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fill cupcake liners 75% full and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Mash avocado with fork, add lemon juice and sugar then use an electric mixture to blend until fluffy. Add to icing bags and pipe onto cupcakes.
Note 1: You can omit the carob powder and use a full 1/2 cup of cacao powder (or cocoa)
Note 2: I used coconut oil but you can omit oil completely and increase applesauce. I did not experiment with this so maybe add a total of 1/4 cup of applesauce? And obviously you can make them not low-fat by replacing the applesauce with oil. :)
Note 3: The sugar ratio is odd, I know. If you want to omit using the sugar, increase the maple syrup but you will have to increase your flour a bit. The cupcakes were not very sweet but the frosting makes up for that. :)