Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cranberry Applesauce Cookies











These simple trail mix-esque drop cookies were invented from a need for a quick cookie to bring to my grandmother, who seems to subsist mostly on orange juice, bananas, and packaged items from Trader Joe's.  She'll eat almost anything I make so I like to supply her with hearty granolas, bars and cookies.  I packed various seeds and nuts in these in order to sneak in some nutrients and protein for her, while still making her think she is enjoying dessert.

(Side note: Apparently when you're over 85 you get a little testy if your family tries to push veggies and healthy foods on you).  Basically, she does what she wants.  She loved these though, and they are a good cookie to "trick" people into enjoying dessert that's a little healthier and lighter than your average cookie.  The applesauce also lends a great fluffy chewy texture, and replaces most of the sugar.  Feel free to reduce or omit the sugar for a hearty little cookie--just be warned your granny may not approve.



Cranberry Applesauce Cookies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut butter or other nondairy butter
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon flax or chia mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cranberries (preferably apple juice-sweetened)
optional: 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
optional: 1/4 cup nondairy chocolate chips
1/3 cup walnuts or pumpkin seeds


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 325 and line or grease two cookies sheets.
2.  Cream nondairy "butter" with sugar and add in applesauce and flax/water mixture.
3.  Add in dry ingredients, stirring just until combined, and then fold in cranberries and seeds or nuts of your choice.
4.  Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

Yields about 25-28 small to medium-sized cookies.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gluten-Free Vegan Nutmeg Chocolate Doughnuts

These donut (or faux-nuts, haha) are deceivingly healthy.  They have a delicately spiced taste that is complimented nicely by rich cacao.  It is a sponge-y, light treat that can be glazed or dipped in chocolate for a more decadent version, and best of all, completely allergen-free!  Well, except eggs I suppose.  You can always swap in chia seeds with water or mashed banana to replace those egg whites.

These made a divine breakfast, especially when paired with a rich black tea or strong, bold coffee. 
Be warned though; they disappear fast.

This post is being re-posted as an entry in the 30 Minutes or Less category of the So Delicious contest Fast and Fresh Time Trials Recipe Contest.   They seriously make the best coconut milk, and this is a startlingly fast and easy recipe to make!





Gluten-Free Vegan Nutmeg Chocolate Doughnuts
yields 1-1/2 dozen donuts

Ingredients:

2 cups gluten-free flour (I used 1 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour and 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder + 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder (or 1/2 cup cocoa powder)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites


Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 390 degrees and lightly grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil.
2.  Sift flour, cacao, baking powder and salt. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients.
3.  In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients. (Melt oil before adding).
4.  Combine wet and dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
5.  Fill doughnut pan 3/4 of the way full.
6.  Bake for 6-9 minutes or until they are slightly puffed and not gooey in the center. Be careful not to over-bake.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cacao Power Smoothie




Super easy light breakfast or snack: the Cacao Power Smoothie!  I enjoyed a midmorning break while attempting to knit (a new skill I am trying to learn...so far, a pretty pathetic attempt--it looks like my little 25 lb poodle mix will be wearing a new scarf soon).

Anyways, throw these ingredients in a blender and boom!  Instant breakfast.

Cacao Power Smoothie

1 medium banana
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened sunflower seed butter
3 dates
5 ice cubes
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
optional: 1/4 of a frozen avocado..mmmm!

Directions:
Blend!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pumpkin Espresso Cookies





These turned out to be the perfect filling treat for a late night in class.  I've recently enrolled in a weekly 6:30 to 9:30pm writing course, and determined I would stay alert to absorb every detail of the expensive but very useful teaching, I loaded up on green tea and these lightly caffeinated treats.  Needless to say I was alert the entire time, and the cookies weren't too coffee-heavy.

They also provided a perfect breakfast this morning and store well. (I feel very clever for stashing some in the mixer bowl; my little brothers didn't think to check there).

P.S. apologies for the poor photo quality; maybe the caffeine did affect me a little, after all...

Pumpkin Espresso Cookies
yields about 2-1/2 dozen little cookies

Ingredients

1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon cold-pressed coffee
1 teaspoon finely ground espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups gluten-free oats
1/3 cup mini rice chocolate chips



Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  In a food processor, grind oats, coconut and chia seeds (and dry espresso grounds if desired).
3.  In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.  Spoon cookies in a heaping tablespoon-sized mound onto lined or greased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, let cool and enjoy!



Monday, January 6, 2014

Vegan Carrot Muffins





Oh, carrots.  You are so delicious, and so good for me.  I've always loved baking with carrots, and the most amazing ones are the sweet and crunchy ones fresh from my mom's vegetable garden, though organic carrots from any grocery store will also suffice.

Somehow I seem to either have no carrots or about 5 lbs of them, so this recipe was thrown together just to use up carrots, and it turned into surprisingly delicate and fluffy little carrot muffins.  (In fact, they disappeared within the hour amongst several siblings, and I am now tempted to make them again).  They are great for a breakfast muffin, and keep well for a couple days in an airtight container, although they seem to vanish too fast for storage, usually.  I've learned when my brothers are around that if I want to enjoy my own baking, I have to hide them in the back of the freezer or actually in my kitchenaid mixer underneath the paddles.  (I am confident they never read my blog, so hopefully my hidey place is still safe).




Vegan Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves (opt)
2-1/2 cups carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons flax meal plus 6 tablespoons water (or chia seeds)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2.  Sift together flour, baking soda, powder, salt and spices.
3.  In a small bowl, set aside flaxmeal and water to thicken.
4.  In a larger bowl, whisk oil, vanilla, maple syrup and carrots.
5.  Fold dry ingredients into wet. Divide batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool a minute or two before transferring muffins to a wire rack.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Raw Sunflower Protein Bites






These were created on a whim when I wanted "dessert" yet needed a little protein post-trail run.
Simple and fast, almost anything can be thrown into the food processor with enough delicious sunflower seed butter and banana and still taste good.  (I have yet to make a raw bean cookie; I'll let you know how that turns out).

I popped these into the freezer to firm up before eating; you can remove them right away and enjoy as is or roll them in additional cacao powder for a prettier and more nutritional snack.

Raw Sunflower Protein Bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter
1/2 of a banana
1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2-4 tablespoons water or nondairy coconut milk as needed

Direction:

1.  Food process sunflower seeds and chia seeds until coarsely ground.  Add in sunflower seed butter, 1/4 to 1/2 of a banana, coconut, splash of water or nondairy milk, vanilla, and cacao.

2.  Roll into little balls and freeze for at least an hour to firm.