Tag Archives: dessert

Maple whisky freezer fudge

Freezer fudge is the lazy girl’s perfect dessert. No, it’s not rich and dairy-decadent like traditional fudge (and there is more “traditional”-textured vegan fudge out there, for sure), but with a few simple ingredients you can create a dessert that is creamy, melt-in-your-mouthy, satisfying and adaptable to so many flavours!

I wanted to do something St. Patrick’s Day-themed, and originally planned on stout cupcakes, until I remembered that I’ve never been a cupcake girl. I don’t even own a small cupcake tin! My friend Alex can tell you about the time I brought cupcakes to his birthday (made from the Bunner’s cookbook) that I tried to make with cupcake papers but no cupcake tin. Well, they were chocolate, so they looked, well, you can imagine…

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Peanut butter and banana cream pie

Another weekend, another fun series of adventures to talk about. And by “fun series of adventures” I merely mean one very fun dinner with my sister and her husband (and my partner, of course!) where we ate tons of yummy food (my sister is the queen of appetizers), played fun board games and laughed at her silly cats.

I was in charge of bringing the dessert (for the record, my sister is not vegan, but had fun making some vegan mains and apps for me — for the record, she found all of the vegan food delicious too) and wanted to REALLY impress the crowd. At first I was just going to make some banana soft-serve, but obviously the logistics of that were a bit too stressful. Then I started to think of one of the pie recipes from my various vegan cookbooks.

But then, I thought, if there’s ever any time to try something new, it’s now! Especially because my sister will have NO CHOICE but to be polite about my dessert.

(Just kidding, she’d be rather blunt).

I love peanut butter and banana. When I was a kid, it was my favourite sandwich. Unfortunately, I was always heartbroken when I couldn’t bring them to school because the bananas would go brown. So PB&B was a “weekends only” thing.

This pie is DEFINITELY a weekend kinda pie — perfect for now when our days are getting longer and warmer, and you just want to chill out (hah!) with a nice, cool pie that is a hybrid of creamy/comforting with fruity/fresh.

It actually didn’t end up taking all that long — a combined 40 minutes for the crust from the start of making to the cooling, and maybe 20 minutes to actually make the filling. Add a few hours for freezing (during dinner will do ya) and you’ve got yourself a peanut butter and banana pie!

Peanut butter and banana pie, makes one medium pie

Ingredients – nut and seed crust

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener (I wouldn’t recommend using coconut nectar or brown rice syrup as you want something with a runnier consistency)
  • 3-4 tbsp softened coconut oil
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Ingredients – creamy banana filling

  • 2-3 medium-ripe  bananas (I used two large)
  • 8 oz silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup (you can use maple syrup or agave, but it will be a lot thinner)
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, Earth Balance or vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Ingredients to assemble

  • 1 large banana
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
  • 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a pie tin.
  2. In a food processor, process your hazelnuts (aka filberts!) to a fine crumble.
  3. Add the nut crumbs, flax seeds and sea salt to a bowl. Mix in the coconut oil and the maple syrup. Add more if needed to get the mixture even and consistent, and pat it firmly into the tray to make a nice, even crust.
  4. Bake the pie for 10-12 minutes or until the moisture of the oil has evaporated. Once removed, allow the pie crust to cool for up to 20 minutes before adding your filling.
  5. While all that’s going on, make your filling by combining all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blending until smooth. Pour into the cooled pie crust and let freeze for several hours.
  6. Remove from the freezer for about 20 minute prior to serving (or else cutting the crust will NOT be a fun experience).
  7. To assemble, adorn with another sliced banana (we sliced them into medallions) and some whipped coconut cream. To make the coconut cream, remove your chilled can (it has to be chilled in order to get the fat and the liquid to separate) and scoop out the top, thick layer. Add to a bowl and mix (it is far easier to mix with an electric beater than by hand). Add a little bit of powdered sugar as you go so it can penetrate the thick cream more easily and really fluff it up.
  8. Eat it and love yourself for it.

Cinnamon mocha swirl soft serve

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Is anyone really surprised that despite all of my pep on Friday, I did not end up eating pancakes? In fact, I hardly ate anything all weekend. Turns out, even when norovirus passes through you, eating, drinking and doing much of anything is about as appealing as a root canal for a few days afterward. I managed to have one meal yesterday, but other than that, it’s been a series of small, sweet and cold snacks.

Bananas, though, bananas are like a gentle, loving hug from nature. And banana soft serve? Oh my.

Banana soft serve is not a new concept, nor am I claiming to have invented banana soft serve. But I’m still amazed at the number of people — usually non-vegans — who aren’t aware of it. The best thing about banana soft serve is that it honestly doesn’t need a flavour. You can just do pure bananas and it’s still amazing! But now that I’m no stranger to the banana soft serve life, I like to experiment with flavours, and I wanted to share with you this concoction I whipped up on the weekend.

Cinnamon mocha swirl banana soft serve, serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas, chopped and frozen for 1-2 hrs beforehand
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener, but maple gives it a really distinct flavour)
  • 3/4 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine grain sea salt
  • Water, as needed
  • Nuts, cacao nips, chocolate chips or any other toppings you desire

Instructions

  1. Peel, chop and freeze bananas for about 1-2 hours
  2. In a large food processor, begin processing the bananas, nut butter, cinnamon, espresso, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt until the chunks begin to disappear. You’ll probably have to scrape off the sides quite a bit, especially at first.
  3. Gradually add water 1 tbsp at a time until you’ve reached the consistency you desire. Just under 2 tbsp got me a consistency that was like soft serve without being too liquid.
  4. Divide into two bowls and add your toppings.
  5. Embrace your inner child!!

What’s your favourite food when you’re sick? When I was a kid, it was banana popsicles.


Homemade salted caramel Clif Bars (no bake!)

Processed with VSCOcam I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — give a climber a Clif Bar and we’ll be your friend for life. So when I show up to the gym or crag with these bad boys, I’ll have a million friends for life. Unless I haven’t eaten them all by then. There are a million different ways you can make homemade Clif Bars (or any snack bar, really). But the salted caramel flavour of this makes it unique, something you can’t buy in the store. I’ve actually had a hard time finding a vegan caramel that’s not date-based, since dates are not exactly a fructose-friendly food. But this mix of 1/2 brown rice syrup and 1/2 peanut butter with just a small bit of virgin coconut oil makes a pretty convincing dupe.

Salted caramel Clif Bars (makes 8 large bars)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crispy puffed rice cereal (I used 365 Organic)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if celiac)
  • 1 cup crushed nuts (I recommend a mix of nuts; all I had was walnuts, but almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia, whatever, man, they all sound great!)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used a mix of sunflower and pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life, which are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free)
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
  • 1 cup nut butter
  • 1 cup brown rice syrup (or coconut nectar)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, softened
  • A dash of fine grain sea salt

Instructions

  1. If not already crushed, run the nuts through a food processor quickly to get them into crumbs.
  2. Mix the oats, rice puffs, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut and cacao nibs in a bowl. Shake around to get it nice and even.
  3. Meanwhile, soften the coconut oil. To make this a truly “raw” recipe and avoid zapping your food, simply fill a medium-sized saucepan with hot water and sit the jar of oil in it to soften.
  4. Fill another large-sized saucepan with hot water from the kettle and sit a large pyrex measuring cup (at least 3 cups) in the hot water. Add your peanut butter, brown rice syrup, soft coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt.
  5. Mix the liquit thoroughly, as quickly as possible — that’s the only way you can get it nice and soft without having to zap it.
  6. Line a deep rimmed baking dish with parchment paper. Once your “caramel” mixture is soft enough, pour it into the dish.
  7. Add your dry mix and use a fork to move it around, incorporating everything.
  8. Put in the freezer for about an hour to really solidify, then transfer to the fridge. And try not to eat it too quickly!

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Perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

Processed with VSCOcamIt always makes my day when I go to a coffee shop and they have vegan treats — more so when they don’t just have a single treat, but they have multiple vegan selections to choose from! That’s why I love Broadview Espresso at Broadview and Danforth — I can either have a vegan brownie, a vegan blondie, OR one of THREE “shockingly healthy” cookies.

I’m a chocolate chip fan. You know, there’s just something about chocolate chip that’s familiar and comforting. And it could be any kind of chocolate chip — chewy, crunchy, melty, even a chocolate chip cookie that’s a week old is better than no chocolate chip cookie at all.

Know what I’m saying?

Anyway, I realized recently that I could dupe the shockingly healthy cookies at home going off a basic non-vegan, yes-gluten chocolate chip cookie recipe. The result? They don’t taste exactly the same, because I used a few different ingredients, but they’re a chewier texture, so that’s a BIG win!

I will start off by saying that because of the use of coconut oil, these cookies are a tad high-maintenance — which is only fair because the recipe itself is really easy (I didn’t even have to go out to buy anything — I literally had everything at home). Coconut oil, as we all know, hardens when cold and liquifies when warm. This means that I actually had a bit of a mess on my hands. And yet, as you can see, the cookies still turned out! So here’s a very clear step-by-step set of instructions that I really, really hope you pay attention to.

Perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, makes 8 medium cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, sucanat or organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic white sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax+3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, processed into a meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, processed into a flour (or, for a nut-free option, use an entire cup of rolled oats processed into a flour and omit the almonds)
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats left whole
  • 1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Instructions

  1. Warm the coconut oil slightly by sitting the jar in some warm water. I actually ended up warming it too much to the point of liquifying it, so I just poured out my 1/2 cup and put it in the fridge for about 5 minutes — the texture was like soft butter.
  2. Mix the coconut oil and the two sugars. Crush with a fork or a masher until everything is well-incorporated and there are no “chunks” of coconut oil.
  3. Add in your almond/oat flour mixture and your 2 tablespoons of whole oats.
  4. Pour in the flax egg and mix until all is incorporated.
  5. Fold in your chocolate chips.
  6. This is the first really tricky part. You’ll need to let this mixture sit and get a little harder before you bake. The problem is, if it gets too hard, it’ll be like slicing into a hockey puck and dividing the cookies will be very difficult. Cover the mixture (not the bowl, smack that plastic wrap right on the mixture) and let refrigerate for max 20 minutes. I let mine refrigerate for closer to 60 minutes and it ended up being really hard, but I WAS able to slice into it and shape my cookies without too much trouble, so it’s not the end of the world if you leave them in too long.
  7. Now this is the second tricky part. While the mixture is chilling, preheat your oven to 325. Remove the mixture and shape into eight cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place your cookies on, and bake for 12 minutes.
  8. After you take them out, the coconut oil will have expanded and YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE A GIANT TRAY OF COOKIE MUTANTS MELTING INTO EACH OTHER LIKE I DID. This wasn’t actually too difficult to fix. Using a butter knife, while the cookies are still hot, push them back to a smaller form and then leave them alone for about half an hour. The cookies will harden in a much more sensible shape.
  9. (Or do like I did and leave them alone on your balcony in the winter).
  10. If you choose to not do that, once they are a bit more solid (they will still be a little melty), transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. When you bring ’em out? PERFECT COOKIES.

I realize that this seems like a lot of work for, well, cookies. But trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll have your own little café-worthy vegan cookies. <3