Vegan Oatmeal & Almond Cookies

If you follow my recipes  you know that I’m not a dessert creator however, yesterday was a bit of a change up. Movers arrived in the cold and I was doing my best to stay out of the way of the pandemonium of unloading our Canadian container into our house here in Pittsburgh. I though, well, I’ll put on some hot french press black coffee to start…then I thought “gee, some deliciously chewy/crunchy/oven fresh cookies would be nice to offer up”….I think I was channelling some 1950’s housewife for a minute.

After scouring my cupboards I thought I had what I needed to put some vegan cookies together. Lo and behold, after googling around for inspiration I found a baking time that I thought would work with the ingredients I had and – voila! Delicious, oatmeal cookies with very little effort.

Enjoy these and feel free to recreate the recipe to suit your own tastes or ingredients.

You could add cranberries, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, walnuts…go nuts!

Ingredients:

  • 1 .5 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy free earth balance
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract try my homemade version HERE
  • 2-4 Tbsp nut milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). If you don’t have a true 350 please try to find it or bump up your temps. My cooking time here is based on 360 degree oven temp.
  2. In large bowl mix oats, flour, coconut, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix together.
  3. In a smaller bowl cream earth balance and  sugar together then add  syrup and vanilla.
  4. Combine dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stirring until the mixture is crumbly.
  5. Add 1 tsp of nut milk at at time. If you can roll into balls while still a little dry this is perfect. If the mix is still too crumbly, keep adding small amounts milk until you can make balls that stick.
  6. Place the rolled balls onto a silpat on a large baking tray
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Edges will be firm and the cookies lightly browned. They will be softer than you think is ok but they will “set” while cooling.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  9. Dust with cinnamon

These are truly the nicest chew/crunch factor ever. I adapted this recipe heavily from one I found online.

Vegan Strawberry Waffles

Sweet Success
Sweet Success

Weekends are the only time I really try to shine at breakfast. I’m not a fan of sweets and I am by no means a pastry chef however, this adapted recipe turned out marvelously and tasted fantastic.

I made a heap of extras to freeze and throw in the oven later – I suggest you do the same. This recipe is for a double batch of the adapted Emeril Legasse recipe.

Prep time 10 minutes, cook time 4 minutes if your going vegan. This recipe is a little heavier sans eggs.

Ingredients:

4 cups cake flour ( I used a pre-mixed blend with baking powder & salt already added)

8 tbsp of egg replacer

1/2 cup water for egg replacer (or more depending)

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract – try my homemade recipe HERE

8 tbsp earth balance spread or unsalted butter, melted

3 cups almond milk

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced

Coconut oil cooking spray

Method: 

Pre-heat waffle iron according to instructions.

Prepare egg replacer by adding water slowly and whisking. Ensure that you add water bit by bit to keep an eye on consistency – you want the consistency of a beaten egg.

Next, add sugar, vanilla extract, melted butter and eggs to egg replacer mixture until combined.

With rubber spatula fold wet ingredients into cake flour gently until thoroughly mixed. Do not over mix or the batter will become tough.

Coat waffle iron with cooking spray.

Place 1 cup of batter with 1/4 cup of strawberry slices at center of iron. Close and allow to cook for 4-4.5 minutes depending on your iron – check in after 3 minutes.

Serve immediately topped with agave nectar or honey. Garnish with mint leaves or more fresh strawberry slices and powdered sugar if desired.

This recipe will serve 4 and allow for at least that many servings to be frozen and stored for at least a few months.

To re-heat: 

Turn oven to 350 and bake for 10 minutes.

Savoury Sesame Rye Bread

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Bread and I are not friends, we do not see each other often at all in fact. BUT, and that’s a big but because, food waste is my biggest enemy ~ bread sometimes makes an appearance. This recipe was born of cleaning out the pantry, some of the best ones are.

My favourite breads are fermented because they are easily digestible, have more mineral availability, more probiotics, are better for gluten sensitive folks {fermentation breaks gluten down into lactic acid}, naturally preserves itself with healthy bacteria ~ no preservatives and a great prebiotic!!

What’s more, they are vitamin packed with B-16, B12, Thiamin, folate, niacin, riboflavin etc…

Another little secret is that through the cooking process of the fermented bread, it actually becomes less “starch available” than conventional breads (the stuff that makes you gain weight) which lowers the postprandial glycemic response ~ type 2 diabetes prevention.

Typically, the best way to make this is by utilizing a sourdough starter OR by creating a starter. In the case of this loaf in particular, I had to use active dry yeast as I had no time to make a starter…well, you’ll see I pulled off a 1/2 and 1/2 deal.

Try my SOURDOUGH STARTER RECIPE if you’d like with this, just sub rye flour!

This recipe will still take 2 days to make, so be prepared.

Ingredients & Method Day 1: 

1 1/4 cups dark rye flour

2 packages of active dry yeast OR 1/2 cup starter

3/4 cup warm water

**Mix well, mould into a mound, cover with breathable cloth in bowl & allow to sit at room temp (20 degrees celsius) over night / 12 hours. 

Ingredients & Method Day 2: 

Add to your dough:

1 3/4 cups rye flour

1 tsp sea salt

2/3 cup hot (not boiling) water

3 tbsp sesame seeds or 1 tsp caraway or both

**Mix well, adjust dry and wet ingredients as needed to get a doughy but not sticky texture. Ensure the loaf is lightly dusted with flour. Cover & allow to sit for a few more hours. 

Baking: 

Preheat oven to 425.

*This bread will not leaven like others so be prepared. I see no reason to use a loaf pan as it will not rise like a white or wheat bread. Using the regular, ancient method of hand forming, make a small round loaf and place in the centre of a lightly greased cookie sheet. I use spray coconut or avocado oil to grease.*

Place in middle rack of oven covering with foil.

Bake using foil for 15 minutes, then remove and bake for at least another 30. You could go up to 40 but I find that 30 still leaves it a little softer – just ensure you check it is fully cooked before taking it out.

I would allow this to sit for at least a few hours or over night before cutting into it ~ really makes a difference to taste.

 

Sourdough Revival

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I have seen a lot of folks looking for sourdough starter cultures in the last while and I decided to post about how to revive a dried culture here as I have been mailing out some to folks who do not have one to start with – these directions will come in handy.

If you’re looking for a kombucha, ginger beer or sourdough starter ~ I could be your guy. Send me an email or post a comment on this blog and I’ll be more the happy to help you out.

What you have to know is that reviving a dried sourdough starter can be a pretty bulletproof and simple task – most of the time. Like all cultures that go dormant however, you do not know if they are “alive” again until you go through the process to wake them up. Some have gone to sleep forever and you need to start all over again. No big deal – just let me know and I can ship you out another.

Day 1 Instructions: 

Soak 1 tsp. dried starter in 1 Tbs. lukewarm purified or spring water for a few minutes to soften

Stir in 1 Tbsp. all-purpose or bread flour (orgainc), cover loosely with a tightly woven cloth or Abeego wax/cloth wrap and let sit at 20 degrees (plus) for 24 hours. If you stir the mixture a couple of times during the 24 hours you will aerate and push the process along a little further.

Day 2: 

Stir in 1 Tbsp. of flour and 1 tsp. of purified water and let it sit as in day 1. Bubbling should start within 48 to 72 hours of this process. If not, your culture might be stagnant. Try again.

Day 3: 

Add 1/3 cup flour and 1/4 cup of water to activate culture.  Build the starter one or two times per day until you have what you will need for baking – remembering you will need to keep some to set aside for future batches. Equal amounts (by weight) of flour and water usually give you the best culture consistency for baking.

Aftercare: 

Your starter can be stored in the fridge with a loose fitting lid or Abeego. You can then feed it once weekly to keep it alive. You may also go the route of drying your culture out on a silpat if you feel that you are done with baking.

Vegan coconut cream – HOLIDAY SERIES

 

I swear you will never make regular whipped cream again. This recipe is SO simple and really works. I’ve used a few recipes as inspiration but have managed to cut the fat content down without any issue so I thought it would be a PERFECT time to share this one with you all.

Minimal ingredients, maximum flavour.

Ingredients: 

3 cans low(er) fat coconut milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract – my homemade recipe HERE

1 cup icing sugar

3/4 cup cornstarch or tapioca flour

Method: 

DAY 1: You will need to separate and chill the coconut milk in the fridge over night. Empty the contents of three cans into a deep bowl and ensure you do not tip it over/move it too much or the cream & oil will get mixed up.

DAY 2: Chill a mixing bowl in the freezer and bring out your hand mixer! You can also use a traditional beater. The hand mixer worked famously.

Next, you will need to skim the coconut milk from the top into your chilled bowl. My milk didn’t really harden up too much and because it wasn’t full fat, there wasn’t much to separate at all! You’ll notice the oil poking through if you go too deep into the liquid.

Start beating/blending the cream until it starts to become creamy. Without FULL FAT cream this took me about 1.5-2 minutes. You will start to notice it will peak (as in the picture above) just like traditional cream.

Next, add vanilla extract and continue to beat for 30 seconds. Next, add your icing sugar and mix until smooth.

At this point, if you are noticing that your mixture is not creamy enough, start adding tapioca flour or cornstarch 1 teaspoon at a time and continue to mix until you reach the right consistency.

You can use this right away or refrigerate for use later. This stores easily for 1 week…maybe 2.

I topped my chocolate pie with this – deeeeelish.

Vegan apple crumble

Sunday afternoon delight
Sunday afternoon delight

 

Well isn’t this a relatively simple delight to put together!

I tried out a new recipe that included coconut butter instead of regular butter. I have to say I needed to get a bit creative before it turned into something decent however, I have managed to pull a success out of thin air! Man those kind of days in the kitchen tickle my fancy.

Ingredients: 

Filling

1 dozen apples peeled, cored and sliced – I used ambrosia

1 tbsp cornstarch or alternative

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice – trust me, all else is GROSS

1/3 cup honey or agave nectar

1 tbsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Coating

1/3 cup sugar of choice – brown, coconut, palm

1/2 cup flour of choice – gluten free, organic whole wheat

1 cup oats

1.5 cup mixed nuts or straight up pecans (this recipe I used mixed nuts including chopped cashews & tamari almonds)

Pinch salt

1 1/4 cup coconut butter or 1 cup coconut oil

1 cup of warm water set aside

 

Method: 

Preheat oven to 375.

Coat apple slices in filling ingredients, transfer to baking dish and set aside. ( I used 1 large baking dish but you could use two 8×8).

Mix topping ingredients until it becomes sticky/mealy. Do not worry if it is a little bit dry when using coconut butter, this stuff is harder to work with. Sprinkle over apples and bake for 45-1 hour.

Near the end of baking time, remove from oven to see if flour ingredients have softened. (I used coconut butter and mine had not)

If not, top with 1/2 cup warm water and return to oven OR mix dish with 1 full cup of hot water and return to oven for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Saskatoon & Rhubarb Pie – Vegan

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I’m not a sweet tooth, so when I bring you a dessert recipe, it’s usually because it was so good, I just had to….and, lets face it, I make them tops 3-4 times per year. This month, while at the CSA picking up our share I found a wicked deal on saskatoon berries. I also had a horrific hail storm at my house that killed off nearly all of my rhubarb, so I decided to put together the remnants of my prized patch, into this pie.

Before you start please note: YOU MUST CHILL THE FLOUR AND PASTRY BLENDER AS WELL AS FREEZE YOUR BUTTER/BUTTER SUBSTITUTE FOR AT LEAST 1 HOUR. 

 

Ingredients:

 

Filling: 

2 cups chopped rhubarb

3 cups saskatoon berries

1 cup raw organic sugar

3tbsp corn starch

Coconut oil for brushing the top

pinch salt

 

Pie shells (top & bottom) – use only 1/2 recipe if you prefer to go topless. 🙂

1 3.4 cup all purpose flour (organic if able)

1 cup frozen earth balance or butter if not veggie

Ice water on hand

 

Method: 

 

Preheat oven at 425

Ensure your flour, pastry blender and butter are chilling.

 

Toss all filling items together and let sit.

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Set out 9 inch pie pan.

Cut frozen veggie spread into flour with pastry blender. Rub together mixture by hand until butter is absorbed. Add ice water if there is too much flour – just a tsp at a time. Handle dough as little as you can, mould into one big lump, cut in two.

Place ball 1 of dough between wax paper and roll out.  Place in 9 inch pie dish and allow to drape slightly over sides. Do the same exercise for top shell if using & set aside. Thanks to my pal Andi for the wax/parchment tip!

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Add filling to pie dish.

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Top with pastry if using. Create 3 slits to allow for breathing in top of pie. Brush/spray with coconut oil.

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Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce to 375 and bake for 50-60 more or until pie is bubbling.

Set aside and allow to cool, serve as is or with ice cream/whipped topping.

Vegan Banana Bread

Another easy recipe! Great for winter…great for summer…great for being great.

Ingredients: 

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted earth balance spread
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 egg’s worth of egg replacer
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups all purpose flour – wheat
pinch of salt

Option: hemp seeds, cashews, carob chips…

Method:

Prehead oven to 350

Mix earth balance & mashed banana. Mix in sugar, egg replacer and vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda and sat over mixture.

Add flour last.

Pour into bread pan.

Bake 1 hour or until knife/toothpick comes clean from middle of loaf. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

ENJOY.

Makes one loaf.