Vegan Double Chocolate Cookies
Cookies do not make a visit to my house regularly. But every now and again, I stare into the cupboard at the chocolate chips and just can't help myself. These cookies are vegan.
This double chocolate chip cookie doesn't taste vegan, though. It tastes delectable. This recipes hails from a billion places and eventually has become my own as I have rearranged to fit our lifestyle.
Cookies can be really 'bad' for you. Loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat. Tons of added sugar. Ew. When I make cookies, I make yummy, good for your soul cookies.
For these cookies, I use coconut oil, bananas, almond flour, and almond milk in exchange for the 'normal' ingredients. Don't worry. These cookies turn out just fine. If you are not used to using these ingredients feel free to swap in what you have.
The warm fire and the cozy sweater that my nanny got me for Christmas was all that I needed this morning to make a fresh loaf of banana bread Goodness, do I live for baking. The combination of measuring ingredients out as a chemist would in a lab alongside the musical stylings of AWOLnation just gets me worked up. And not to mention greasing my favorite bread pan...the one that I bought ten years ago when I began baking.
This banana bread follows a standard recipe that I created years ago for cranberry walnut bread. That is the beauty of the recipe. It interchanges without fail and can be a staple for any design that you create (hello, zucchini bread, carrot bread, and even lemon poppyseed lavender bread). My suggestion for this bread is to watch the oven carefully to avoid burning the bottom of the delectable bread.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie
Shoot me in the head and call me crazy. This might be my favorite recipe ever! And that is saying a lot because I love to cook. After reading several vegan cookbooks such as Forks Over Knives, Veganomicon, and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, I recreated bits and pieces of pies and mousses to make this oh-so-delightful dessert.
Since I have a little helper who loves loves loves to "stir" everything that I am cooking, I knew that this chocolate mousse would be the perfect dessert to make...it really is great for kids.
The wonderful asset about this mousse is that it is quick to make and so good after any meal. We made it to be served after a light white bean and kale soup.
Ultra-Portable Bread: Pita Bread
Portable food is a must in my house. Not because we are all over the place or anything, but because I need go-to food at a moment's notice...I have one of those kids who is always hungry, you see.
And having something on hand is makes feeding such a child efficient. She can go into the fridge and grab a wrap, a burrito, or a sandwich without having to ask me about it. When she has eaten two bites because that's all she ever eats, she can put it back in the container and get it again later.
No fuss for me. No grumbling tummy for her. Win-win.
Since we make so many on-the-go meals, I have found it better to make the wrap at home. We save a lot of money doing this since I can make a dozen or more pita breads on Sunday and freeze half of them for the second week. Easy peasy.
My pita recipe comes out warm and delicious every time and you can easily make this recipe in your kitchen too. The pita bread is a little time consuming, so I recommend making it on the same day you do meal prep. Preferably start it in the morning, let the dough rise while you are grocery shopping, and then come back to finish the bread.
Need I say more? I guess I should. If you thought that I liked oats, well you'd be surprised to discover that I love peanuts even more. Peanut butter is my very best friend. And I don't care how much Paleo folks tell me peanuts are "bad for me" because peanuts and I will not be parted.
I wake up every morning and scoop a spoonful of peanut butter into my mouth. I use peanuts to make fresh peanut butter. And I stockpile peanut butter (the kind made with JUST PEANUTS) when it goes on sale at the store. I have an entire cupboard dedicated to my peanut butter "habit".
Needless to say, I love peanut butter. I also love chocolate. I'm not sure which one I like more, but I am pretty sure it is peanut butter. But the combination of peanuts and fudgey chocolate make it hard to decide. When I am unsure if I want a scoop of peanut butter or a tablespoon of chocolate chips, well, I'll just have my cake and eat it too.
My peanut butter fudge brownie bites are ideal for quick fixes, lunch boxes, and more. Heck, after I make these, I wrap them up and put them in the freezer for a "rainy" day...which is all of the time where I live. Bonus points for living in the PNW.
Enjoy the recipe!
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Did you know that January is National Oatmeal Month? Thank god because all we do in this house is eat oatmeal. And to make it extra special this month, I am going to feed my kids cookies for breakfast. At least that's what they think they are...but not to worry-- these aren't your traditional, sugar-loaded cookies
My vegan oatmeal cookies are loaded with protein and packed with fiber. And you know what? My kids love them and they make great portable meals for when we are out and about --- because I have one of those kids who grazes all freaking day long and she is never not hungry. Seriously. The kid has a six pack too! Geez...
These oatmeal cookies contain protein powder, peanut butter, oats, honey, soy milk, vanilla, and raisins...which are totally optional because I hate raisins. Just swap it out for dark chocolate.
And if you are concerned about soy in the diet, take a look at this article to a fuller view on the current soy information.
Hearth bread is one of our favorite breads to bake. Hearth bread is a fancy way of saying calzone dough. This bread is used to wrap fillings inside and serve piping hot alongside a huge salad (unless, you are like me and put your salad inside your calzone). Calzones are ideal for portable, hearty meals. You can make them for breakfast, lunch, or dare I say it, dessert.
As with any yeast bread, this is a time-intensive recipe. Loads of waiting. I like to start this one in the morning before we head to the garden because I know that I can complete the next step when we get back from picking tomatoes and infant-sized zucchini. The dough is a blank slate. Add herbs to the dough. Knead in some cinnamon and nutmeg...you get the point. Be daring with this one. You'll thank yourself later.
Eggless Chocolate Cake
Most people who know me know that I don't like cake very much. Really at all anymore. What I do like is that cake that is nearly brownie...fudgy, screaming with unbaked swirls of chocolate ribbons throughout its body. mmm...chocolate cake has to be just right for me to eat it up.
Many egg-free recipes that I've tried fall short of my expectations of a moist chocolate cake. Ever since I was a kid, my cakes had to be fudgy. Dry, crumbly (or even close to crumbly) cakes bored me. As I grew older and chose to stop eating eggs for a number of reasons (mostly the smell/idea of it all), I searched for eggless cakes that highlighted moisture. Because we all know a gooey chocolate cake isn't delicious unless it has the perfect cake-to-fudgyness ratio.
After many years of creating and searchin, I finally stumbled upon my idea of the perfect eggless chocolate cake. This chocolate cake is oh so yummy and works well for any celebration! Read on for the recipe...
My freezer had about four pounds of frozen blackberries leftover from last summer's picking frenzy. With the next season coming up, I knew that I had to work through them to make space for this year's frenzied frenzy.
We love to pick blackberries. Everywhere that we've ever lived has been abundant in blackberries. (Sigh. Sadness may take over when we move next! No blackberries where we're going). But hey, at least I'll get to pick berries for one more season.
Back to the cooking. I've made blackberry oat bars, blackberry oatmeal, blackberry sauce for banana ice cream, blackberry sorbet...well, I've made blackberry everything and my family has just about had enough of me. But, I had ONE more bag left and just enough inside to make mini blackberry crumble pies.
That's right. Mini Blackberry Crumble Pies. I named them this because they truly combine the heavenly crumbleness of a crumble, the butteryness of a pie crust, and the rich fruit flavors of blackberries.
And guess what? No added sugar. We don't use sugar here. I'd rather have a tart berry over a sucrose-laden lollipop attack any day of the week. If you like sugar, you might add some honey to the berries, but really, do you need to? Can it wait?
The recipe will make 12-14 mini pies. I made 12 in my cupcake pan and a breakfast "galette" with the leftover crust and berries, so the family could nibble on it whenever they please.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
As I mentioned before, this summer we are doing a summer-long baking unit study. The kids are learning about units, measurement, chemistry and food safety. Oh, and they are definitely learning about the five senses as well as business skills (they have had several bake sales).
This week, we baked these yummy banana chocolate chip cookies. They have no added sugar and can be made gluten-free with the appropriate flour substitute. We tried these cookies with wheat flour and almond flour. Both ways were delicious...actually, I preferred the almond flour cookies. But almond flour can be expensive, so flour will suffice.
The cookies make the entire house smell like a chocolate covered banana baking inside warm brioche. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?