Sunday, 19 April 2015

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins

I have to share this recipe because it is so simple, delicious and extremely popular with kids! And healthyish...

These were thrown together to take to a picnic when I didn't have much in my cupboards (a recurring event in my life), and I've made them many times since. I find that my kids always enjoy simple and plain baked goods over fancy or complicated ones.

I really like these too. They have that trademark dense yet cakey muffin texture and a purity that is rare in my baking because I usually try to boost the nutrition in my baking my adding seeds, nuts and whole grains. I still ultimately prefer whole grain and refined sugar-free muffins, but these are very, very good and perfect for kids!

Easy Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 7 large muffins)

1.5 cups plain flour (I have also included wholemeal spelt flour with success - you can also use self-raising flour and omit the baking powder)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup vegan choc chips
pinch of salt
3/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp oil
dash of vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until just mixed. Put the mixture into greased or lined muffin tin (makes about 7 large muffins). Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

7 Easy Raw Dessert Recipes

I must admit that I tend to glaze over when I'm reading a raw dessert recipe that requires ingredients I don't usually have on hand (like Irish Moss paste!), equipment I don't have (Vitamix or food processor that is less than 12 years old) and seems overly involved (10 layered raw cakes).

I love the process of making up raw sweets that are reasonably simple to make (along with interruptions from kids!) and are satisfyingly sweet in a nourishing and healthy way.

As you will see, I've been doing this a lot lately!

I really need to spend less time creating raw desserts, and more time planning dinner. My kids will have memories of me running around the kitchen like a mad scientist, rummaging through the cupboards and fridge for ingredients and blending very loudly, with no dinner to show for it!

Here are some of my recent raw dessert creations. I've been posting them on Instagram, but I want to record them all in one place here. The only advanced prep you may need to do is soaking, and they can all be made in about ten minutes flat. There's freezing time of course, but if you're impatient like me you'll end up sampling them before they've properly set!

Raw Lime Mini Cheesecakes (makes 12-14)

1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup packed soft medjool dates
pinch of salt

1 cup soaked cashews
1/2 cup chopped avocado (about half a large avo)
1/4 cup lime juice (about 3 large limes)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4-1/3 cup water, as needed to reach smooth consistency
4 tbsp melted coconut oil

To make the base, grind almonds and coconut to a coarse powder in a blender. Transfer to a food processor and process with the dates and salt until the dough starts to stick together. Press into 12-14 mini muffin cups.

To make the filling, blend all filling ingredients until smooth. Pour onto bases and freeze for about 2 hours.

Raw Coconut and Ginger Squares

1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup walnuts
2-3 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used rice malt syrup)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
dash of vanilla and salt

1/2 cup soaked cashews
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 tbsp liquid sweetener
1-2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger (depending on how strong you want it - taste as you go!)

To make the base, grind the coconut and nuts to a coarse powder. Transfer to bowl and add sweetener, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Press into a small square dish lined with baking paper.

To make the topping, blend all ingredients until smooth. Spread on top of base and freeze for about two hours. Cut into squares!

Apple Pie Balls (makes about 10 small balls)

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds
4 soft medjool dates
3/4-1 peeled and chopped apple
dash of cinnamon and salt

Grind oats and almonds to a coarse powder in a blender. Add dates, apple, cinnamon and salt and process in food processor until the dough starts to stick together. Roll into balls.

Raw Plum Pudding (makes 2 small servings)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup chopped plums
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/8 cup water
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Put into two small dishes (or 1!) and refrigerate for about an hour. I topped mine with coconut yoghurt and more plums!

Raw Lime Strawberry Cups (makes about 10)

1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries
1 tbsp nut butter (I used peanut butter)
pinch of salt
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
3 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/3-1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries
juice of 1 lime
dash of vanilla

To make the base, grind almonds, oats and freeze dried strawberries to a powder. Mix in nut butter, salt, maple syrup and coconut oil. Press into a mini muffin tray (makes about 10).

Blend all filling ingredients until smooth and spoon on top of each base. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

Vanilla "Nicecream" with Date Caramel

4-5 frozen bananas
Liquid sweetener to taste
Non dairy milk as needed
dash of vanilla

Date caramel
4 soft medjool dates
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
3-4 tbsp water as needed
dash of vanilla and salt

In a food processor, process frozen bananas with sweetener to taste, dash of vanilla and non dairy milk until smooth and ice cream-y.

Blend all caramel ingredients until smooth.

Top the nicecream with caramel and walnuts!

Fig Lemon Bliss Balls (makes about 12 balls)

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup dried figs (about 7)
pinch of salt
squeeze of lemon
grated lemon rind from one lemon

Grind the cashews and almonds to a coarse powder. Transfer to a food processor and the rest of the ingredients. Process until the mixture sticks together. Roll into balls.