Friday, August 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Cashew Cookie Bites

My Chocolate Chocolate Chip Coconut Bites have been so popular (both in my apartment & with readers), & they are so yummy, that I decided I needed to create another flavor. These little gems of rawness are sweet and oh-so satisfying and not at all naughty. They will make your skin glow & your tummy smile! And Shhh! but I think they taste even better than larabars.

  • 20 Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon raw peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract or fresh scraped vanilla pod

  1. Pulse the dates in a food processor until they become a sticky dough like consistency.
  2. Add the peanut butter and vanilla to the dough and blend until fully combined.
  3. Add the nuts, and pulse again a few times, until they are evenly blended through. Don't over process, you want them still a bit crunchy. They aren't as fun to eat if the nuts are processed too finely.
  4. Transfer the dough to a bowl for the fun part, messy (& a tiny bit sticky)... but fun! Break of small chunks of the dough and roll them into bite size balls, placing them on a baking sheet.
  5. Refrigerate until set.
  6. Enjoy! :)

Like these? Why not turn them into Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cashew Cookie Bites by adding 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder to the food processor with the peanut butter.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Raisin Bars

I always try to have a batch of these (somehow chewy & crunchy) oatmeal bars baked up, they are great for snacks, or on the go breakfasts if you're in a rush. They have no sugar either so they are so much healthier than store bought cereal or granola bars. Try them as an alternative to cookies with a glass of almond milk too!

  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1//2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (some vegans don't eat honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a shallow square baking pan with baking parchment paper.
  3. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl, and press firmly into the baking pan.
  4. Bake for approximately 35 mins or until golden brown, turning the pan around halfway through.
  5. Let cool for 5 mins, cut the bars to whatever size you fancy, and then let them completely cool before storing them in your cookie jar!
Why not try out your own flavor combinations? Pecan & maple syrup? Chocolate chip & cranberry? Peanut butter & banana? The chocolate chip one is so yummy served warm & gooey with vegan ice cream for a dessert. :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chocolate Shake

Smooth, thick & 'ice'creamy, chocolately, and oh so yummy! oh and can't forget... HEALTHY!

(makes 1)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond/soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder or carob (more if you like it extra chocolately!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw peanut butter 
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • Sprinkling of carob or vegan choc flakes (optional)
  1. Place the frozen banana in a food processor, and pulse until it resembles frozen soft serve ice cream. (don't whizz it up so much it melts).
  2. Add all the other ingredients, and whizz until fully combined. It's that simple! If you want it even thicker add an extra half tablespoon peanut butter).
  3. Pour into a chilled glass, pop in a straw (or a spoon might be more appropriate really), sprinkle on a few carob or vegan chocolate flakes and serve. :)
To make it a thick and 'ice'creamy vanilla shake, leave out the cocoa powder and add an extra half teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you need to make it a tiny bit sweeter... a teaspoon agave nectar or sweetened vanilla almond/soy milk will do the trick!

I got super excited today, as the rock star of an actress, Dawn Olivieri, asked me on twitter if I knew how to make a vegan malt shake. I love that people are getting as excited as me over these recipes. So here goes... If you want a malted milk shake, use this recipe, omitting the peanut butter and using 1 1/2 tablespoons barley malt syrup or powder extract instead. This does contain gluten though... so it's not suitable for celiacs, or for people with a gluten allergy.... sorry! But celiacs can still enjoy shake without the malt.... it still tastes reallly really good! :)
Gym bunnies could also add a scoop of vegan/ gluten free protein powder for a yummy pre- or post- workout snack!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Banana Cream Pie

Craving pie? Well look no further! This Banana Cream yumminess is for you. It's actually good for you as well, so you can indulge with non of the naughty-ness. It's so healthy, you could even have it for breakfast! Raw, and packed full of fruit & nuts... your skin will glow, your step will be springy, & your smile will be beaming! :)

For the pie crust:
  • 1 1/2cups medjool dates
  • 1 cup almonds (walnuts or pecans work too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly scraped vanilla pod
For the cream filling:
  • 1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked in water for 4 hours)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 small ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
For the topping:
  • 2 bananas
  1. Place the dates and almonds in a food processor, and pulse until fine.
  2. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and pulse again until mixed in.
  3. Press the almond mix into a pie pan, forming  a crust. Place into the refrigerator while you make the filling.
  4. Drain the cashews, place them in a food processor with the water, and blend together until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed (it should take about 3 mins).
  5. Add the vanilla, coconut and maple syrup, blend until combined.
  6. Slice the banana, add that to the food processor and blend again until fully combined, it should be creamy and very smooth.
  7. Spoon the filling into the pie crust, and spread evenly. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set.
  8. Slice the bananas for the topping just before you're ready to serve it, (otherwise they will start to go brown) and place them evenly over the set cream filling. It's also better to portion the pie while it's still a bit chilled, as it keeps it's shape a lot better.
  9. Serve and Enjoy!  :)
Wanting to make it even more decadent and luxurious? Why not add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the cream filling or sprinkle with coconut shavings to serve?! Utterly yummy and oh so good for you too.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Great Gluten Free Vegan Sandwich Dilemma

Those of you that have visited my blog before will know I've been vegan for a while, (vegetarian for even longer), but after my diagnosis, and the doctor making me go gluten free things started to get complicated, particularly in the sandwich department!

Problem 1.... The bread!
Always read the nutritional info and check the ingredients when you buy bread at the market or grocery store, because just because the packet is advertised as vegan or gluten free doesn't necessarily mean its both (quite a few gluten free breads have egg in). But there are still plenty to choose from, corn tortillas and buckwheat or millet bread rocks! Or, why not forget the bread and make a wrap using collard greens or lettuce instead?! (it's lower carb too).

Problem 2.... The filling!
When I was first diagnosed, I found it so hard to find yummy fillings for sandwiches that were both vegan and gluten free, especially as most vegan meat substitutes are made with wheat gluten. So, I have to admit, Peanut butter and Jelly quickly became my go to option. But, however yummy, my trusty pb and j quickly got boring. So here are a few other sandwich ideas I've tried out...
  • Burger patty spread with hummus and salad (tastes good warm and cold). Amy's Kitchen do a great gluten free vegan 'Bistro' burger, their 'Sonoma' version is also v/g-f .
  • Roasted Mediterranean vegetables, (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onion, mini tomatoes).
  • Soy cream cheese with mango or grape.
  • Mashed roasted butternut squash, garlic, sauteed red onion and black pepper.
  • For a variation on the classic PB and J, I love almond-nut butter, grilled banana, and my blackberry chia jelly.
  • Bean Chili with grated vegan cheese.
Or, of course, there is the best kind of sandwich.... THE ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICH!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sweet Apple Kugel & '2 Broke Girls'

A good giggle is super good for you and I love the TV show '2 Broke Girls', (thank you CBS, you rock!) and even though I doubt Max and Caroline's cupcakes are vegan and gluten free... I still think they look delicious! (I just wouldn't be able to sample them).
But it wasn't their cupcakes and frosting that caught my attention one Monday night. It was the Kugel they were fed! It was the episode entitled...'And the Kosher Cupcakes', and Max was going nuts for the stuff! I have to admit I had never heard of it before this episode, well I'd heard of it, I just didn't know 100% what it was, and I have to say, it had me intrigued!
The Kugel didn't sound very vegan or gluten free, so, I got to work! After a few tries, some culinary magic happened. Cue my Sweet Apple Kugel.... (P.S. Thank you CBS for the '2 Broke Girls' pics)

  • 12oz vegan gluten free pasta (check the label for egg!) I used noodles but any pasta would work. Why not try kugel lasagna?
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 15oz silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla soy milk
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 4 medium apples (my favourites are pink ladies)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (and extra to dust if you fancy)
  • 3 tablespoons vegan dark chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and drain.
  3. While the pasta is cooking peel and cut the apples into small cubes or slices.
  4. In a food processor, blend together the silken tofu, soy milk, applesauce, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
  5. Toss the pasta with the apple and raisins until evenly distributed. Place half of the noodle mix into a casserole dish or tray.
  6. If your using choc chips, sprinkle them over the noodles, and then cover with the other half of the pasta mix. I sandwich the chocolate chips in the middle, because I think they make an oh-so-satisfying gooey melty surprise, plus it stops them burning if some end up near the top. But,  you could always toss them with the pasta, raisins, and apple if you want them distributed through  the dessert.
  7. Pour the tofu batter evenly over the noodles making sure they are fully coated, and dust with extra cinnamon if you fancy.
  8. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden and (I can't think of a better way to describe this, so I apologise in advance) 'not sloppy'.
  9. Let cool slightly, and serve warm! YUM!
As I can't sample the regular Kugel to taste the difference, I took some to work with me for my Jewish colleague to taste test, and he said, "although it's not quite as good as [his] Bubby's [Grams], it is a close second". He said it didn't taste vegan or gluten free either. So, for a first attempt, I'd definitely call my Sweet Apple Kugel a success! It was so good, I snook some leftovers for breakfast the day after. I know what your thinking, noodles and choc for breakfast?!?! But please don't judge.. I was in a rush. And, there is some fruit in there too! :) xo

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bit Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

I know what your thinking... these little yummies can't possibly be vegan and gluten free, they sound too delicious!? Because even I think that, and I've baked them, (and sampled them). But they are... they really really are! (They are just as delicious as they sound too).

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup (smooth) peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablspoons unsweetened vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup vegan gluten free mini pretzels

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse the peanuts in a food processor until they are small pieces, or put them im a zip lock and bash, and set aside.
  3. Place the pretzels in a ziplock, bash into small pieces, and set aside.
  4. Puree or mash the banana and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the peanut butter, soy milk, vanilla, and maple syrup to the banana and mix well.
  6. Add the oats, and flour and stir through, until fully combined.
  7. Add the choc chips, pretzel bits and peanuts and stir through the cookie mix.
  8. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used an ice cream scoop), and bake for 12-15 mins or until golden.
  9. These taste best if you let them cool slightly and serve warm, maybe even with ice cream for an extra treat, but they will stay fresh for a few days in a cookie jar!

Hot Chocolate Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Chocolate for breakfast? Oh yes, yes, yes! This is a really yummy alternative to oatmeal in the mornings, it gives you a quick chocolate fix too... and if you're like me I need atleast 3 chocolatey hits a day!

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla soy/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp raisins

  1. Mash or puree the banana and set aside.
  2. Put the quinoa, milk, and water in a saucepan, bring to boil, then turn down to a low heat and simmer for 15 mins.
  3. Add the oats, and simmer for a further 10mins.
  4. Stir in the raisins, cocoa powder and pureed banana until fully combined.
  5. Spoon into a bowl, and serve warm. Yummy in your tummy!
This also tastes amazing with a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter stirred through... packs some extra protein in there aswell!  Perfect for a pre- or post- workout breakfast.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


One of the best things about summer? Why, popsicles of course! And just because you're vegan and gluten free doesn't mean you can't indulge. Even if you aren't, you will still love these fudgsicles, they are super easy to make, and they are heaps healthier for you too! Bonus!

  • 5 bananas
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla soy milk

  1. Peel and slice the bananas and freeze them in a ziplock bag for about an hour.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor, and blend until they are all combined, and a suitable texture to put in your popsicle mould. It should be soft but not too runny.
  3. Spoon your chocolate banana mixture into the popsicle moulds, and freeze until set (mine took about 3 hours).
  4. Enjoy... YUM! :)