It’s January so we’re making things a bit healthier and tryna be be good, ya know? These adorable little cakes are perfect for a healthy treat or snack with coffee. They are simple to make and look so elegant when sprinkled with a little bit of powdered sugar.
Before I get into this recipe though, can I point out something guys?
So I started cooking and baking very young, I’ve been a food blogger for years, worked at restaurant for a good minute, (serving and working in the kitchen), worked in a bakery, and I’ve been vegan for about 3 years. Maybe that much familiarity with food and ingredients gives me an advantage in understanding basic food allergies/ways of eating, but my goodness! The funny thing that never fails to surprise me is how often the average person gets confused between vegan and vegetarian, or even vegan and gluten free.
I mean, I understand the first one might be confusing but vegan and gluten free are so different. I once had a head chef tell me that I should try his soup of the day because he made it vegan……it was a broccoli cheddar soup……*facepalm*. Just saying, please leave a comment if you’ve run across this same misunderstanding. Sorry for the tangent, just having a moment over here.
Okay, let’s talk about this cake.
I made you a totally non-dry (trying not to use the word moist so often. ;P) delicious, melty chocolate chip filled, mini cake with no dairy, eggs, or wheat. Honestly, it’s not as hard as some people might think to bake without those things and still get a decadent result. These cakes are proof of that. They have no oil and almost no refined sugar except what small amount is in the chocolate chips.
Yes, the texture you get with gluten free flours is going to be a little different than refined white flour but personally I really enjoy the difference. These save well for days afterwards and if you don’t want to use mini bundt pans (I used these Nordic Ware Micro Mini Bundts) you can bake these into muffins that are just as delicious.
If you decide to try this recipe I am always excited to know what you think. Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you share a photo. 😉
Mini Chocolate Chip Bundt Cakes (Vegan+GF)
These adorable little cakes are perfect for a healthy treat or snack with coffee. They are simple to make and look so elegant when sprinkled with a little bit of powdered sugar.Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 35 minutesServings 5 cakes
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup almond milk (or any plantbased milk)
- 1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of garbanzo beans)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- optional powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
In a medium mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and mix together until evenly mixed. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and if you're using muffin tins, line with paper liners. If you are concerned about the cakes sticking to the bundt pans you can spray them lightly with cooking spray (I didn't need to do this). Stir the wet ingredients together until mixed then add in the dry and stir until the batter comes together.
Bake for 25 -35 minutes, depending on your oven, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
When cakes are completely cool, carefully loosen from pan and place on a plate or tray. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve.
These are the pans that I used Nordic Ware Micro Mini Bundts but you can find many other options online or in stores.
There really is nothing like comfort foods to get through the grey months after the holiday season is over. If you’re anything like me January is a very sad month after all the excitement of December. It’s pretty drab where I live in Northern Idaho right now. I can usually count on at least having a white blanket of snow to brighten these months that seem so long. While I don’t like having to drive in snow it does improve my mood in the Winter. This year seems determined to be fickle and throw all kinds of weather at us. Earlier this week we had the craziest wind storm. Downtown Coeur d’ Alene was out of power all day and trees were falling everywhere. Such a crazy day. I’d be curious to know if your area is getting strange weather too. (let me know in the comments.)
So let’s talk about stroganoff…
Traditionally made with beef, it has always been a favorite of mine. If you think it impossible to make without meat, think again. This version is creamy, savory, and packed with delicious mushroom and onion flavor. The sauce is made with cashews as the base. I use cashews pretty often for their mild flavor. They really do make the best dairy free cream sauces that even impress my friends that swear all vegan food tastes terrible.
Mushrooms are the true hero of this recipe with that amazing umami flavor they bring to the table. They have always been a favorite of mine but I think they fall into the category of foods that people seem to either love or hate. I think it’s the texture for most people. I happen to love them but it you or your family happen to enjoy the flavor but not the texture, guess what? They can be blended into the sauce to hide them while keeping all that delicious flavor. I use that trick all the time when cooking for kids.
Okay, let’s break this simple recipe down before you try it…
Start by soaking the cashews. They only need about 4 hours if starting with cold water but if you’re in a hurry you can simply use boiling water and wait about 10 minutes.
While the cashews are soaking, get the water going for the pasta and chop the veggies. Get the onion and garlic cooking in a saucepan, I like to use vegetable broth as needed to sauté them but feel free to use oil if you prefer.
Now while everything is cooking, drain the cashews and put in a blender or food processor with the other random ingredients, then blend until really creamy.
By now the pasta water should be ready so add the noodles to the water and stir; once those are ready, drain them and rinse in cold water. But while those boil, add the mushrooms to the sauté pan and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. [Now, if you’re going to use my little blending trick to hide the mushrooms this is where you’d take the onion/mushrooms off the heat and cool enough to add them to the blender. If you want them whole then you just skip that.]
It’s finally time to add the cashew sauce. Pour it in and scrape as much of that goodness out of the blender (I’m so bad about this, I’ll spend way too long scraping bowls. ;p) Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce with everything in the pan for about 15 minutes to let the flavors develop. Now you’ll want to add as much salt and pepper as your heart desires and taste the sauce. You might also need to add a little more vegetable stock or milk if it’s gotten too thick.
Last step, add the pasta to the sauce and stir it all together. Serve topped with fresh parsley for aesthetics if you like (I totally forgot to buy fresh for these photos so it’s definitely dried in the pics. Go me.*facepalm*)
If you decide to try this recipe I am always excited to know what you think. Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you share a photo. 😉
Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff (Vegan+GF)
Stroganoff, traditionally made with beef, it has always been a favorite of mine. If you think it impossible to make without meat, think again. This version is creamy, savory, and packed with delicious mushroom and onion flavor. The sauce is made with cashews as the perfect cream base.Prep Time 20 minutesCook Time 30 minutesServings 6 - 8 servings
- 8 ounces rotini pasta use gluten free if you like
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups mushrooms sliced
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos can be replaced with tamari or soy sauce if not gluten free
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- 2 cups plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or cornstarch if you don't have it
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked for at least 4 hours in cold water or 10 minutes in boiling water
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 - 2 cups vegetable broth
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Once done, rinse in cold water and set aside.
While the pasta cooks, combine the onions and garlic in a non-stick saucepan and place over medium high heat and add enough vegetable broth to prevent them from sticking. Stir over heat until the onions are translucent, adding more broth as needed. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to cook.
Drain and rinse the cashews then combine with milk, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, onion powder, vinegar, and starch in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Add the cream mixture to the saucepan.
Reduce heat to low and stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Add additional liquid (milk or broth) as needed if sauce gets too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once the sauce is ready, stir the pasta in and serve topped with chopped parsley if desired. Leftovers last well for up to a week in the fridge.
Well, I think we can agree that we never thought 2020 would actually end. Although, the joke is kind of on us since 2021 is starting out to look pretty similar.
But we’re not going to talk about that. Let’s talk about these delicious scones. I’ve been working at a bakery part time for a while now and we bake so many flavors of scones. I always end up thinking about how I haven’t made a scone recipe in ages and how many flavors of scones that I would like to try. My favorite part of coming up with recipes is that I can go to the ingredients I have on hand and get inspired to try a new flavor.
So what’s the first thing you think about when you think of a scone? I’m guessing you’re thinking “dry”, “bland”, or just generally “meh”. Well, let me tell ya, that’s probably just because you haven’t tried these scones.
They’re lightly sweet, soft not dry, and they aren’t loaded with unhealthy ingredients. In fact, they fit pretty well for January being a month of better health choices. I’m personally not huge fan of the January reset mindset because I feel like it’s not the best way to think about goals. To me, it’s better to live life in balance and not be thinking it’s all or nothing and if you fail your New Year’s resolution you can’t just keep making good choices. Healthy living doesn’t mean perfection.
The texture is different from what you’d expect from a “normal” scone due to the almond flour but personally I love the texture and nutty flavor. I had to adjust the bake times and temperatures to make sure that they baked in the center without burning on the edges so you may need to increase the bake time a bit depending on your oven.
If you try them be sure to let me know what you think.
Chocolate Cherry Almond Scones (Vegan+GF)
These scones combine the perfect balance of flavors and textures for a perfect tea time or morning treat.Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 40 minutesServings 8 scones
- 3 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 100 g about 2/3 cup dairy-free semi-sweet dark chocolate roughly chopped (or chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (plus additional for topping)
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (190 C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Add almond flour, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, cherries, and almonds to a large mixing bowl and mix well until you have a course, crumbly mixture.
Add the maple syrup, vinegar, coconut milk, and extracts to a small bowl and stir to combine, then pour into dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula just until it comes together.
Scrape dough onto a lightly dusted with arrowroot starch or cornstarch. With well dusted hands because the dough will be a bit wet, flatten into a circular disc shape, about an inch high. Do your best to handle the dough as little as possible in order to keep it cold. (If you're having trouble with handling it you can chill it for about 30 minutes in the fridge or even the freezer to make it easier to work with.)
Make 4 cuts, straight, across, and diagonally, in the circle so that you have 8 equal triangles (see photos) Separate them and place each triangle about 2 inches apart on prepared pan.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
While the scones are cooling, whisk all ingredients together for the glaze until smooth. When they're completely cool, drizzle with glaze.
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Every holiday season needs gingerbread cookies to be complete, can we agree? If they’re vegan gingerbread cookies that’s even better in my opinion! So grab your ugly sweater apron (actually a thing btw, haha) and put on a sappy Hallmark Christmas movie so you can get baking.
This post is all about chewy vegan gingerbread cookies
My family’s Christmas Traditions:
When I was a kid it was a family tradition to make gingerbread houses every year. We usually had a little friendly competition to see who’s house was the best. It was fun motivation for the little ones to not give up as soon as they got bored and also to not eat all their sweet decorations before the process was done.
The downside of our tradition was always that we’d use those pre-assembled kits that tasted like drywall. They’re so convenient if you have kids and don’t want to spend hours baking and assembling, but for eating they are a no-go. That’s why every household should have a classic gingerbread cookie recipe to make when eating is the goal. These cookies won’t realistically be stable enough for house building, but that’s just because they’re so soft and chewy. It’s a positive negative, if that makes since.
About the recipe:
This recipe is so quick and easy. I’ve probably made it a dozen times this season by popular request. They’re good iced or not iced, you can decorate them with the kids, they don’t need any fancy ingredients, and….they’re vegan gingerbread cookies. Need I say more?
Have you been following for a while? If so, you may remember back in the day when I used to have time to make EPIC GINGERBREAD HOUSES. I will do a post at some point on how to make an entirely vegan gingerbread house. Let me know in the comments if that’s something you’d like to see. These cookies won’t really be house-building material. I mean, if you bake them extra long it might work but there are a few ingredients I’d change. Probably best to just make these for devouring.
Hope you’re ready for your house to smell like Christmas. Baking holiday cookies really brings families together and creates great memories with the kids.
Let me know what you think if you try them!
If you need some decorating things you can find all kinds on Amazon super cheap. These are some of my favorite essentials for vegan Christmas cookies.
Let’s get to the recipe.
Soft Baked Gingerbread Cookies (Vegan)Nothing says Christmas quite like the smell of gingerbread cookies coming out of the oven. These are a family favorite that always brings smiles and requests for more.Prep Time 45 minutesCook Time 15 minutesServings 24 cookies (about)
- 1/2 cup room temperature vegan butter
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ginger
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling cookies out
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plant-based milk
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Beat butter, molasses, and sugar together until creamed. Mix in milk until combined then add vanilla, soda, and spices. Add in flour and mix only just until combined, trying not to over-mix.
Roll dough out to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Cut cookies with your chosen cookie cutters. Place them, at least 1-inch apart, on a parchment lined baking tray.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly darkened on edges. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.
Stir together the ingredients for the frosting until completely smooth. If it seems a bit too thick add a few drops more of milk, if it seems a bit to thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.
Frost cookies as desired. You can add food coloring or sprinkles if you like. Allow icing to dry completely for about 45 minutes (or just eat them right away ;p). Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
This post was all about chewy vegan gingerbread cookies
I can’t believe how quickly this month has passed by. I’m struggling to keep up with the season because the area I live in tends to switch between Summer and Winter and forget all about Autumn. We just had a record breaking first snow and I’m loving the beauty but also…..like seriously? I really wanted more Autumn. I feel jipped. 😐
Anyway, it’s making think about Christmas season and we’re not even to Halloween yet. Don’t worry, I’ll reign in my obsessive love of Christmas for at least a few more weeks. ;P Despite it feeling like Winter here already, I’m still in the mood for pumpkin spice everything.
I was trying to decide what to make with this really cute little pumpkin mold I have and candy seemed the obvious choice. However, I didn’t want to just go with a basic Reese’s style pumpkin, I wanted spice. Chocolate and spice may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to be honest I think it works pretty well!
Alright, a quick note about the mold. I wasn’t able to find the exact mold I used but I do know I got it from Michael’s craft store a few years ago so maybe they still have it. I did however find a very similar Pumpkin mold that would work just fine.
I hope you decide to try these. They’re a really fun treat to make for Halloween, especially if you won’t be going out this year. Let me know what you think!
Chocolate Coated Pumpkin Spice Cups (Vegan+GF)Dark chocolate and pumpkin spice may not be the most common combo but it works wonderfully in these delicious Autumn treats!Prep Time 45 minutesServings 20 servings
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup all natural almond butter or another nut butter of choice
- 1/3 cup gluten free oat flour
- 1/4 cup powdered almond butter **see note
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup powdered organic sugar
- 1 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
For this recipe you will either need a silicon pumpkin mold or cupcake pans and paper liners or silicone cupcake molds. I prefer silicone molds. This recipe makes about 20 pumpkin cups. (*see note)
Combine almond butter, pumpkin, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt and mix until smooth. Add in the powdered almond butter and powdered sugar, and gently fold in until it all starts to form a dough-like mixture. Place the mixture into the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil slowly in a double boiler over low heat. Now use a spoon or pastry brush to coat the sides and bottoms of each pumpkin, cup liner, or paper, being sure to fill in any holes. Repeat with all.
Place the molds in the freezer and chill for at least 5 minutes. Once the chocolate has hardened, fill each slot full with the pumpkin mixture and press down to flatten with a spatula and smooth the top. After you've filled each cup, use the remaining chocolate to coat the tops of each cup to seal them in chocolate. Allow them to harden (you can place them in the freezer to make this fast. I recommend waiting until they are very solid and cold before trying to take them out of the molds or they'll smash), then peel off the molds or paper liners and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container. (P.S. these are so good chilled!)
*Here is the Pumpkin mold I used or you can purchase silicone cupcake liners online or you can also buy cupcake pans and paper cupcake liners.
**If you don't have powdered almond butter you can use powdered peanut butter if you don't mind a bit of peanut butter flavor.
Guys, guys, omg I’m just really excited Autumn is here!
So this year hasn’t exactly given us much to look forward to but over my dead body is 2020 going to ruin the Holiday season for me. You feel me?
Okay, this granola is probably my new favorite and that’s saying something because I make granola pretty often. Baking anything and everything with pumpkin and spices is always the quickest way to get into the Autumn mood.
The only thing I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t do with this recipe is add some pecans or walnuts. I just didn’t have any on hand because I’d already used them all. I mean, it’s still killer delicious without them, but you can never go wrong adding some nuts to granola. Definitely add some if you decide to make this. I don’t think most people realize how many possible combinations there are for granola. You can add just about anything in your baking cabinet and it’ll probably still turn out amazing. (Lol, please don’t take that too literally. I’m thinking like chocolate chips here, not like a cup of salt. ;P)
Another perk with this recipe is that it’s gluten free, dairy free, and pretty low in fat. It’s not like, low low fat, but it’s oil free and pretty much the only fat is in the coconut and pepitas. And if you couldn’t care less about any of that, then great! It’s just a really good granola that tastes like Autumn and is delicious to eat in so many different ways.
Pumpkin Spice Granola (Vegan+GF)
Skip buying the overpriced granola at the store and make this delicious one at home. Add some chocolate chips and you'll have a snack to put Reese's puffs to shame.Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 1 hourServings 12 servings
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup coconut palm sugar (you can also use raw cane sugar or brown sugar but only use 1/2 cup if substituting)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or more if you like it extra spiced
- 1/2 cup unsweeted, dried coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
In a small bowl, mix pumpkin, syrup, sugar, salt, vanilla, and spices. Add in the oats, coconut, and pepitas and stir until evenly mixed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C) and line a baking tray with parchment or non-stick liners. Spread the final mixture out onto your tray and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring in 15 minutes intervals until crunchy and golden.
Allow the granola to cool off completely then serve however you like to enjoy granola!
Store in an air-tight container.
How is it already getting into September? And how is it that this year seems to be taking forever and yet flying by all at the same time?? It’s definitely a strange year and I think we can all agree it hasn’t been the easiest.
Making meals at home is definitely a form of therapy for me that helps to get through hard times. I’ve especially enjoyed my time in my own kitchen since my schedule makes that a more rare thing right now than it used to be. This pesto pasta is something that I made a recently when I was craving some comfort food. Pesto is one of those foods that is very open to interpretation. As much as I love a traditional pesto with pine nuts, I have to admit I find it hard to shell out the cash for them very often.
Other nuts, however, make a really easy replacement without being quite as pricey. What can I say, I’m cheap. So I’ve made pesto with walnuts before, so good, but this time I was wanting an even creamier consistency so I decided to go with some cashews.
This pasta comes together really easily. I mean, you just throw the pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender, boil the pasta and broccoli, and combine it all. Basic, easy, delicious! If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity then any shape of gluten free pasta can be replaced. I used whole wheat spaghetti but it’s a simple swap. I also love this recipe because it’s a great sneaky way to get in some extra green veggies that are blended into the sauce.
Broccoli & Cashew Pesto Pasta (Vegan+GF)
This simple pasta makes the perfect weeknight meal with lots of hidden veggies.Servings 8 servings
- 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti noodles (replace with any shape gluten free pasta if needed) cooked according to package instructions
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup shelled sweet peas
- 3/4 cup plant-based milk (I used almond)
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, plus more for topping
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
Cook pasta according to package instructions and steam broccoli until tender. Set aside.
Combine the ingredients for the pesto sauce in a blender or food processor and blend until nearly smooth, but still slightly textured.
In a medium to large saucepan and heat over low heat, warm the pesto until hot then add in the noodles and broccoli. Gently stir over heat until everything is hot. Top with the pine nuts and some more nutritional yeast and serve.
This salad is best served fresh. If you need to prepare it ahead, simply store the pesto in an air-tight container separate from the veggies and toss together just before serving.