Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carob Protein Bites and a Giveaway

Lately I've been experimenting with healthy protein snacks with a touch of natural sweetness. I've got more to share soon, but for now... these carob bites have a chewy, fudgey texture are filled with protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They get their sweetness from stevia and the slightly natural sweet taste of carob!

Carob Protein Bites

I added in some coconut flakes (not shreds) and slivered almonds to give some crunch and texture but you can add in whatever you like. Cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped nuts. The amount of stevia is completely up to you - different protein powders will vary in level of sweetness, so start with just a few drops of stevia and add to suit your preference. 

1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup carob powder
4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder*
1 tablespoon coconut milk
5 drops stevia, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons coconut flakes
3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Stir all ingredients together (from the first section) in a bowl, adding the oil last. 
Stir in the coconut flakes and almonds. 
Spread the mixture into a plastic wrap lined container (I used a container that could hold a sandwich). 
Chill in the fridge until it firms up, or even store in the freezer. 

*I used whey protein powder that is stevia sweetened. You can use a vegan/raw one or whatever you like.

Do you like carob??

If you're looking for more carob recipes, be sure to check out Raw Food Carob Desserts eBook

Recently, Sarah of Queer Vegan Food launched The Queer Vegan Cookbook, Fun Unique and Delicious Vegan Recipes. The book features recipes from many chefs, including me (you'll find my raw avocado lime cheesecake in it)! The coolest part is that Sarah is donating 100% of the profits to the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. I hope you'll check it out! 

Also, I've got a giveaway happening on Food and Yoga for Life. Pop over for a chance to win a natural sea salt scrub from the wonderful vegan skincare line, Arbonne. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blueberry Coconut Cupcakes

I have another raw vegan cupcake to share with you today! As I said in my last few posts, these are old recipes that never got posted and after a laptop crash scare I decided it's high time to get these out - oh yeah and back up my computer which I'm doing at this very moment. Have you ever lost all the content of your computer? It's a scary thought! My mac book pro is only 3 1/2 years old and I've had it in the shop three times. Not good.

Anyway, back to cupcake land... These cupcakes are super easy to make and are such a great snack or dessert. I made mini ones here with paper muffin cups placed inside silicone muffin cups for a cute presentation. 

Blueberry Coconut Cupcakes

I went very simple in my decoration. I let the piping bag do the magic and topped them with a blueberry. You can get as creative as you like. If you don't have a piping bag, simply spread the frosting with a knife or use a plastic baggie. Simply snip the tip. Coconut flakes would be a really nice garnish too! 

Coconut Cupcakes

1 cup dried coconut
2/3 cup cashews
3 tablespoons agave/ maple syrup, or to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
4-6 tablespoons freeze dried blueberries or dried blueberries, optional*

Grind the dried shredded coconut in a food processor.
Add the cashews and grind until both ingredients look like crumbs. 
Add the remaining ingredients, except blueberries. Pulse to combine. 
Fold the blueberries into the dough.
Lightly press into mini muffin cups.

*For a nice crunch throughout the cupcakes use the freeze dried blueberries. Use the dried blueberries (naturally dried without sugar) if you prefer chewy gems throughout the cake. 

Lemon Coconut Cupcakes: Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon lemon zest to the dough and replace the vanilla with lemon juice.

Coconut Cardamom Cupcakes: Add cardamom powder to the dough, to taste (it can be strong, start with only a little bit).

Blueberry Frosting

Creamy blueberry frosting with a white chocolate flavor from the cacao butter. 

1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup agave, maple, or coconut nectar
2 tablespoons agave powder (inulin)*
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
4 1/2 tablespoons melted cacao butter

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender, in order given (oil/butter are added last). Blend all until smooth, creamy, and warm.
Pour into a large shallow dish and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours. 
When firm, spread or pipe over the cupcakes. 

*This is not sweet. Helps to emulsify and thicken.

On a personal note, J and I enjoyed a little vacation last week. After spending a lovely Valentine's Day in Calgary, we traveled down to Montana for his friend's wedding.

It's such a beautiful area and I enjoyed being in the mountains.

We stayed in this cute little cabin which overlooked the lake in the picture above.

Here we are at the wedding reception which was held in a gorgeous big log cabin on the same property.

Make sure to enter my giveaway for an all natural sea salt scrub from Arbonne, a vegan skincare company. Check it out HERE!

Happy Sunday!
Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Friday

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Raw Chocolate Raspberry Love Cupcakes

Valentine's Day is just around the corner so why not celebrate with a healthy dessert? Chocolate and berries are a classic combination associated with romance and Valentines, and I think these cupcakes fit the bill. This is another really old recipe that never got posted - in fact, two years ago I was in the process of creating a raw vegan cupcake recipe ebook but it never got finished, and so the recipes and photos have remained dormant all this time. Since I haven't made any new creations lately I think it's the perfect time to bring forth this tasty recipe.

Chocolate Raspberry Love Cupcakes
Raw Vegan

I better add that this recipe is a great way to use your leftover almond pulp from making almond milk!

Raw Chocolate Cake

1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup packed almond pulp*
6 tablespoons date paste (below)
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted cocont oil
Pinch of salt

In a food processor grind the walnuts into crumbs (do not over process or it will turn to butter and oils will be released)
Add the date paste, pulp, cacao, vanilla, and salt. Process into a dough.
Add the coconut oil last and process briefly to incorporate. Taste. Add more sweetener if needed or more cacao powder if you like a darker chocolate.
Lightly press the cake dough into mini muffin cups or silicone muffin cups (here I placed a paper cup into the silicone cup and then pressed the dough in).
If you prefer it to be more dense, pack the dough in. If you prefer the cake more fluffy lightly press in.

*leftover from making almond milk

Date paste

1/3 cup pitted, packed dates
2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut nectar
2 tablespoons water

In a food processor combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.

Ooh how I love lots of frosting! 

Raw Raspberry Frosting

1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon lecithin, optional

Combine all but the coconut oil and lecithin (if using) in a high speed blender until completely smooth.
Add the oil/lecithin and blend again.
Pour into a large shallow pan and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Pipe or spread over the cupcakes.

I hope you try these little gems!

Or how about raw chocolate covered mini cheesecakes for a Valentine's treat?!

These are also made made in mini silicone muffin cups. Here I made strawberry cheesecakes (recipe HERE) with a black berry in the middle of each. I then froze them briefly before dipping into melted raw chocolate (recipe in Raw Chocolate Dream). I garnished them with a freeze dried strawberry. Yumm!!

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chewy Oatmeal Crunch Bars

I have another oldie treat recipe to share with you today. No time for new things lately, but this is a good chance to pull out old recipes that never got posted. Just how old? The date on these photos showed they were made November 29th, 2009. Quite a while ago!

This is a raw vegan bar that combines a chewy oatmeal/granola type bar with a thick crunchy layer and a drizzle of rich hard dark chocolate on top.

Oatmeal Crunch Bars

These are a great snack. Dense, chewy and satisfying - naturally I like to drizzle mine with chocolate but that's optional. They're still easily portable with the chocolate since it hardens at room temperature.  
Feel free to play around with the topping, substituting the buckwheat for nuts or adding any other dried fruit like chopped apricots, raisins, or mulberries. 

Oatmeal Base

1 cup ground cashews
1/2 cup ground oat groats
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup agave
3 Tablespoons lucuma
1 teaspoon vanilla water
Pinch of salt

Stir ingredients together into a dough. 
Press the mixture into the bottom of an 9"x 9" square pan. 

Crunch Topping

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave, coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup dehydrated, sprouted buckwheat
1/2 cup goji berries
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4- 1/2 cup cacao nibs

Stir ingredients together in a bowl. Spread over the oatmeal base.
Dehydrate the bars for 12-16 hours at 115F. Slice into bars. 
Note: I think you could get away with NOT dehydrating these and just chilling in the fridge. The coconut oil will allow them to set. I'm going to try it next time.

Chocolate Drizzle

Make up the basic chocolate recipe HERE from Raw Chocolate Dream and drizzle on top of finished and chilled bars.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! There's still time to order my organic raw vegan chocolates for your sweetheart of yourself. All info HERE. All orders must be in by February 6th.

And check out this review by Chef Amber Shea of my chocolates including my recipe for easy chocolate fudge.

Another chocolate review by Gabby of Veggie Nook.

Download a copy of Raw Chocolate Dream ebook and make your own chocolates!

Make cake pops for your kids or friends for Valentines Day!

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wellness Weekend, Healthy Vegan Fridays