• Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Soft Serve Nice Cream [Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free]

    Welcome back to weekday life guys, how went your weekends? I’ve gotta tell you, I’m SO excited about this recipe today! Good news, this one is genuinely healthy enough that you could feel good eating it for breakfast. That’s right, ice cream that the kiddos will love and won’t know is actually healthy! Oh, oh, and even better news! It’s only got 5 ingredients!!!

    Well okay, so there are some nuance ones that are optional but the point is that if you only use the base 5 it would still be amazing and it’s so easy to make. You may find it hard to believe that it can be so good once I tell you what’s in it, but you’re just gonna have to trust me on this one. I mean, the truth is that if all foods were made equal and you were going by taste alone, yeah, you’d obviously still choose the real stuff, but since chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is on almost every no-no list there is, this is a wonderful alternative. Should I spill the secrets? All right, here’s the breakdown; dates, cashews, bananas, coconut cream, and dairy free chocolate chips, that’s it! Then optionally, you can add a little extra yumminess with salt, vanilla, and cinnamon but it’s not a have-to.

    Guys, I discovered something when making this……I love dates!!” Haha, I asked my Mom if she could find me some dates the other day and then realized when everyone around started laughing, including me, how it could have multiple meanings. I tried to fix it by clarifying that I meant the edible kind and then it just started getting weird, oops. Being a depressingly single lady right now, I told her I’d be pretty okay with either one she was able to bring home and she promised to do her best. Thanks Mom, for always having my back.

    But anyway, speaking of the food variety, you should probably be warned that it’s highly probable I’ll be forming an obsession with dates or at least having a really, really long moment with them. I remember my grandma buying them when I was little and I used to think they looked like cockroaches so I downright refused to ever try them. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I even first tasted them and I seem to remember not being overly impressed. You know what though, that’s because I had never tried using them in a recipe until now. I’m totally hooked.

    So this is really fast and easy and all you need are the ingredients and a blender or small processor. If you’ve got one of those magic bullet things I bet that would work. First you puree the nuts and dates together and add the chocolate. Then you press that together and chop it into little bite-size pieces and get them in the freezer to get sold. After that you throw the nanners and coconut cream into the same blender (no need to clean it out, yay!) and pulse until it’s like soft serve. Then mix in your cookie dough and devour!!!

    If you want to eat it more like solid ice cream you can freeze it for later but it does get a bit icey when simply frozen as is. However, if you have an ice cream machine I’d use that as churning it should give you a really good result for scoopable ice cream. Honestly, I’m usually too forgetful to put my ice cream machine in the freezer so I did try just freezing the extras and it was still good. Throwing it back in the blender helped revive it too, but you lose your perfect cookie dough chunks that way. It’s best to try to make and eat it fresh. There is also the no heating or cooking factor that makes this even more perfect for heat season when you’re trying to stay cool, but the flip side is that it’s full of good nutritious energy that will help you warm up for us southern hemispherians.

    Bottom line, you just need to make this!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Soft Serve Nice Cream [Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free]

    It might sound too good to be true but healthy cookie dough ice cream is a thing! Bonus points that it's easy to make!

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 23 hours 46 minutes
    freezing time 1 hour
    Servings 6 servings

    Ingredients

    Cookie Dough:

    • 1 cup shelled raw cashews
    • 1 cups pitted dates
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt optional
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract optional
    • 1/4 mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate check brands to make sure that it fits your dietary restrictions if necessary[optional]

    Nice Cream:

    • 5 - 6 very ripe bananas frozen
    • 1 cup coconut cream ice cold [not milk, see note]
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt optional
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract optional
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional

    Instructions

    1. Before making be sure to put your bananas and coconut cream in the freezer to make sure they are as cold as possible. (Although, don't leave the coconut cream in the freezer for more than an hour or two or it will freeze too much)
    2. Combine the cashews, date, and if using, salt and vanilla in a food processor or blender (a small one works best) and pulse together until as smooth as you'd like. I left mine a bit gritty for texture but if you'd rather, you should probably be able to get it completely pureed. Pour in chocolate chips and pulse just to combine.
    3. Now scrape the "dough" out onto a plate or cutting board and press it into a rectangular slab. Use a sharp knife to chop it into small cubes then place them in an air-tight container and freeze for at least 30 minutes. (Alternatively, if you want perfectly round balls, you can take the time to roll it by hand but the other method is faster.)
    4. Now, using the same processor (Yay, less dishes!) add your bananas, coconut cream, and if using salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Process until smooth. Stir in cookie dough balls and serve as soon as possible.

    Recipe Notes

    If you can't find coconut cream you can buy full-fat coconut milk and chill it in the fridge for a few hours. Then just use the thick white cream that separates to the top and reserve the rest for another purpose

     

     

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chia Oat Banana Pancakes (Vegan & Gluten Free)

    I have something healthy to share today guys!!!

    Let’s talk about banana pancakes. They’re a huge staple in the frequented recipe department, or at least they are in my house. Liv told me she was craving them a few days ago and after thinking about it I realized that, not only has it been way too long since I posted a pancakes recipe, but I’ve NEVER shared one for banana pancakes! How is that even possible? They are such a go-to when we’ve got too many ripe nanners and I’m feeling unimaginative or just needing some serious comfort food. What have been doing with my life?

    I mean, good grief, Jack Johnson even sings about banana pancakes! Okay, so he probably wasn’t thinking about vegan ones with chia seeds and oats involved, but still. you know that something is good when it makes you want to sing, right? I’ll have to put some classic banana pancakes on the list to share on another day, but these healthier ones seemed more relevant for today since I know some of us may still be trying to stick to their new year’s resolutions and it’s almost April.

    A quick note on the recipe though, if you aren’t familiar with vegan baking you may have never used a flax or chia egg. It’s the simplest thing ever to just mix the flaxmeal or chia seeds with water and let it thicken but I find it works much better if you give them plenty of time to figure stuff out because vegan “eggs” are never really sure about their lives. Actually, I found that the best results with this recipe were when you mix part of the batter the night before and let it get really thick in the fridge overnight. It cuts the cook time in half. Of course, if you’re like me you may forget to think about these sort of things ahead of time, in which case you can just let the batter soak as long as possible and know that the pancakes will just take a little longer to cook.

    Okay, so I think that’s about it. Go make some pancakes that you can feel really good about!

    ?Waking up too early, maybe we can sleep in, make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend now…?


    Chia Oat Banana Pancakes (V+GF)

    Start your morning with something healthy and delicious. These pancakes are perfect for topping with all your favorite fruits and syrups.

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Resting Time 1 hour
    Total Time 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
    • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
    • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 2 cups oat flour *see note
    • 1 1/2 cups almond milk coconut water or plain water work as well
    • 3 large very ripe bananas mashed
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup honey or agave work as well
    • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

    Optional Toppings:

    • fresh berries
    • banana slices
    • maple syrup
    • coconut shreds

    Instructions

    1. Combine chia, flaxmeal, oats, and oat flour in a medium mixing bowl and add the almond milk (or water if preferred). Allow mixture to soak for at least 1 hour at room temp (or store in fridge overnight).
    2. Mix in remaining ingredients right before cooking and stir until batter is smooth. Heat a large skillet or pancake griddle over medium heat (about 325F/160C) and grease lightly with oil. Pour 1/3 cup size scoops onto griddle and and spread with a spatula then cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side until dark golden brown.
    3. Serve hot with your favorite pancake toppings!

    Recipe Notes

    If you don't have oat flour you can simply pulse 3 cups of oats in a food processor of blender until fine.

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Banana Pudding & Homemade Vanilla Wafer Cookies (Vegan)

    I think this is very possibly going to require you to go and dig out your fat pants and maybe even practice your pudding dance. Just a thought……

     

    I’m kind of hoping that you’re all just here for the food though, because I honestly don’t have a lot of words today. That’s a common thing that happens to me when I’m sharing something as classic as this dessert is. Banana pudding pretty much speaks for itself, don’t you think? I mean, it would be like introducing you to someone who you’re already good friends with to tell you much about it. Like really, what is there to say about banana pudding that hasn’t already been said other than that you really need to be stuffing it in your face right now?

    It seemed like the perfect thing to make when I was staring at our pile of about 25 over ripe bananas, not even kidding. What’s really crazy is that we usually go through that many bananas really fast but for some reason there’s been a glitch in the family’s banana eatage recently. Don’t ask me why, but my gang of peoples goes through food fads all the time. One week everyone’s hooked on a certain thing and then the next it can be forgotten like someone flipped a switch. Is that just us?

    I will say that part of it is probably due to all of the fruits that are in season right now. During the summer I try to keep a fresh watermelon cut in the fridge at al times, and then there are all the berries and stone fruit that we buy in huge amounts so that I can freeze a bunch for the cold season. It’s still annoying though, trying to keep up with the yoyo-ing back and forth, but when life hands you piles of nanners……..

    When it comes to non-chocolate desserts this is definitely up there with the best of the best. If something is so beloved around here, and yet doesn’t contain a single ounce of chocolate, you know it’s amazing. Which brings me to another one of the little food related phenomena that sometimes makes me feel insane trying to comprehend.

    I like to make a lot of variety to please everyone so I’ll often bake something chocolate and something non-chocolate at the same time. When I do this it seems like the chocolate item always makes the one without chocolate become obsolete and when the chocolate runs out the other is strangely invisible, even if it’s something that I know is just as good. It’s the weirdest thing you guys. My brother and I developed this theory that I need to have a break from chocolate to ween everyone off of their addiction so this doesn’t keep happening. I’m not seriously trying to do it but I have been making a lot fewer chocolate-heavy desserts this summer, because if there is ever a time for chocolate to be less appealing (I said if), it would be during the hot months, don’t you agree?

    So did you know that you can make nilla wafers at home (and they’re like 20 times better than store-bought ones I might add)? For reals guys, I have proof! These are so incredibly delish and yet super fast and easy to make at the same time. Even if you don’t want to make the pudding you should at least try these because they make the perfect staple cookie for all your dipping, crumbling, and munching needs. They’re the bomb-diggity! I made the first batch or two of wafers bigger using a dough scoop but then I decided I wanted them to be closer to the size of actual nilla wafers so I split the balls in half and they were perfect.

    And here I said I didn’t have many words today. Okay, so are we all clear on what needs to be going down in your kitchen tonight? Yep, you’ve got some pudding to make and since bananas are pretty much available all year long in most places, you should have no excuse. I know you got this; ready, set, GO!!!!

    Banana Pudding & Homemade Vanilla Wafer Cookies (Vegan)

    A classic like banana pudding and wafers can't be done halfway. That's why making it from scratch is the perfect option.

    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Cooling Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Servings 8 -12 servings

    Ingredients

    Pudding:

    • 1 1/2 cups plant-based milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 cup coconut cream *see note
    • 1 1/2 teapoons vanilla extract

    Vanilla Wafer Cookies:

    • 1 stick vegan butter softened
    • 1/4 cup coconut cream *see note
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

    Whipped Cream:

    • 1 cup coconut cream ice cold (*see note)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon sugar

    -

    • 8 medium ripe bananas peeled and sliced

    Instructions

    Pudding:

    1. Whisk sugar, salt, and milk in a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in cornstarch until very smooth.

    2. Pour mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat until the first bubble pops and splutters. Turn off heat and continue stirring rapidly as it will start to get really thick, then remove from heat and stir in coconut cream and vanilla. If lumps have formed pour pudding through a sieve into a clean bowl or if your pudding is smooth you can skip the sieve. Cover with plastic wrap directly on top to prevent it from forming a film.

    3. Allow it to cool until you can handle the bowl comfortably without burning your hands, then place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. (If your in a rush you can put in the freezer for aboout an hour to chill it faster.)

    Vanilla Wafer Cookies:

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Beat butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add coconut cream and mix well. Beat in salt, baking powder, and vanilla; then add flour and beat until dough is thick and creamy.
    2. Use a dough scoop and scoop out scant 1 tablespoon scoops and drop onto prepared pan about 1 inch apart. (If you'd like them closer to the size of nilla wafers do half as much. I simply dropped my scoops and them divided them in half.) You should end up with about 22 larger scoops or 44 smaller ones. Press each ball down with your palm until they are flattened to about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until edges just start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely.

    Whipped Cream:

    1. Pour the chilled coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment fitted with whisk attachment and beat on high for 1 to 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Add in sugar and vanilla then beat until you get fluffy stiff peaks, about 1 more minute. Chill until ready to use.

    Assemble:

    1. Layer your pudding, bananas, whipped cream, and wafers in individual glasses or one large dish. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Chip Banoffee Cake with Caramel Buttercream (Vegan)

    Happy Friday peoples!

    It’s weekend time and that means bring it! Bring on the tons of sugar, and the truckloads of chocolate, and the vats of caramel, and the mountains of frosting….. Oh, and if it could all be in the form of a cake that would be awesome!

    I’m kinda freaking out a little bit here. I so many things to plan for and so many things I want to make, but I feel like I’m almost more unorganized at this moment then I’ve ever been. I made it a new years resolution at the beginning of this year to get things together, but apparently I wasn’t very resolute about my resolution because it didn’t work.

    Yep, I’m still just making it up as I go with hardly any planning involved. I mean, I can’t say this method of doing things doesn’t have it’s merits, but now that the holidays are just around the corner I’m going to be in some serious trouble if I don’t at least think a few things through. Speaking of the weekend, can you guys believe that it’s already so far into September? I put in a request for them to stop time for a little while and let us all catch up, but clearly it didn’t make it to the right people. Better luck next time I guess.

    That’s it, effective immediately I am going to get organized. Uh huh, yeah right! No, I mean it this time. I’m always making lists and jotting down ideas or things I need to get done. Really, I’m a very talented list maker, got that part covered. My problem comes in when it’s time to actually refer to a list. Not only do I forget to do this, but I have so many lists that I usually forget which is which and I sometimes even forget why I wrote it down in the first place. The cycle of scribbling and noting repeats over and over and is always followed by me getting so fed up with the stacks of lists that no longer mean anything to me that I throw them all away and start the vicious circle over.

    So yeah, I need to get it together, but it’s Friday so cake. This cake is what happens when you make too much caramel for trials of your latest recipe, you have a bunch of overripe nanners, and you live in a household that has a very high minimum requirement of daily chocolate necessary to keep the peace. The banoffee cake. It can best be described as a banana bread on steroids!

     

    Vegan Chocolate Chip Banoffee Cake with Caramel Buttercream

    Banana bread just took on a whole new meaning. This chocolate and caramel explosion of a cake is the perfect way to use some overripe bananas!

    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Cooling Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Servings 1 cake (18 - 24 servings)

    Ingredients

    Cake:

    • 3 large or 4 smaller overripe bananas mashed
    • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar or 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
    • 1 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1/3 cup non-dairy caramel sauce *see note
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1/4 cup black coffee
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Frosting:

    • 1/2 cup 1 stick vegan butter, slightly softened (can replace with coconut oil or organic vegetable shortening)
    • 3 cups powdered sugar
    • 3 tablespoons non-dairy caramel sauce *see note
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons black coffee
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    Ganache:

    • 2/3 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate roughly chopped
    • 3 tablespoons coconut cream
    • 1 ripe banana sliced
    • 2-3 tablespoons more caramel for drizzling *see note

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180C) and grease 3 - 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with oil. Cream coconut oil and coconut sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add bananas and stir until combined. Stir in apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, caramel sauce, and vanilla extract, and coffee. Add in baking powder then flour one at a time until well mixed then stir in chips and divide batter evenly into prepared pans.

    2. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are firm. Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes, then use a knife to loosen sides of cake from pans and invert cake pans onto large plates and lift off the pans. Place on a cooling rack and cool completely before assembling cake. You can wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge or freezer for an hour or two to speed this up.
    3. Frosting:
    4. Beat butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamed. Gradually add remaining sugar and continue mixing in. Add remaining ingredients for frosting and slowly increase speed to high and beat until light and fluffy.
    5. Assemble:
    6. Place one of the cake layers on a serving platter and spread a moderate layer of frosting on top. Add second layer and repeat with frosting then cake then frosting again.
    7. Melt the chocolate and cream for the ganache in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until well mixed then slowly pour over cake and allow a bit to run off the edges. Top cake with banana slices and drizzle with caramel. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Recipe Notes

    You can use any caramel sauce recipe you like but for this recipe I used this one.

     

     

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Oatmeal Pomegranate Banana Bread (Vegan+GF)

    How was your weekend? I had a really great one and now I’m back feeling inspired and ready to make this a good week.

    I spent friday making way too much pizza (no joke, I made like 12) for our pizza night with some new friends and a birthday cake and cupcakes for my beloved grandma Meme. Oh, and then sorting lots and lots of strawberries. On saturday, I did my best to nothing but as I have way too many inspirations going on to for that I settled for staying in pajamas all day while I made coconut pancakes and then some fun snacks that I will be sharing soon. Anyway, have I ever mentioned the fact that I grew up hating bananas. Well, I did. In fact, they used to make me gag.

    Of course, now that I’ve gotten older, I can see that I was missing out all of those years like I keep trying to tell one of my sisters that she’s missing out on peanut butter. It’s a shame, so now I will have to spend my life trying to make up for the years I spent in oblivion to the goodness of a ripe banana. Oh, and is it strange to get excited about a pomegranate?

    Yeah, I think most other girls my age would prefer things like new clothes or boys. Which I’m by no means opposed to either, but I’m currently over the former as I spend most of my time turning the act of getting food stains on your clothes into an art form and the latter is kind of non-existent at this moment. However, pomegranates are very real and in season down here. I warned you last weekend that they’d be popping up, didn’t I?

    I feel poms are terribly undervalued and should get more love. For one thing, they are completely gorgeous, don’t you think? I mean, I felt like I was bedazzling my banana bread with ruby red jewels while I was making this. Plus, there’s the aspect of getting to shove numerous arils in your mouth while making this bread and sprinkling them into the batter. I may have even gotten a little carried away with the last part but I’m not complaining.

    Oatmeal Pomegranate Banana Bread (Vegan+GF)

    Trying to find a unique use for pomegranate. This banana bread is a really great use for them.

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 55 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings 1 loaf (about 12 servings)

    Ingredients

    • 4 very ripe bananas divided
    • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
    • 1 tablespoon flax meal
    • 1/3 cup raw sugar
    • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup pomegranate arils or more if you want
    • 1/2 cup pecans roughly chopped optional
    • 1/2 cup gf old fashioned oats
    • 1 cup gf oat flour

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak the chia seeds in 2 tablespoons of water and set aside. Mash sugar the bananas in a medium bowl with a large fork. Stir in the coconut milk then add the remaining ingredients (except pomegranate and pecans), including the soaked chia seeds, and stir just until you have a thick batter, don't overmix. 

    2. Fold in pomegranate and nuts now just until combined. Grease a 5x9 inch loaf pan and scrape the mixture inside and spread evenly. 

    3. Bake the bread for 45-55 minutes until the top is starting to brown then remove and cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Store in an airtight container.