low carb snack plate (vegan, no sugar)

Earlier in the summer, I posted this recipe for low carb crispbread – a more nutrient dense alternative to traditional crackers. They’re packed with plant-based protein in the form of  seeds and are a perfect medium for transporting all sorts of yummy veggie snackage to your mouth. (I’ve dropped the crispbread recipe below in this post, too, for your convenience.)

I made a batch recently when my husband and went away for a long weekend to the Smokey Mountains because they’re sooo portable. From experience, I’ve learned I need to pack ample snacks or simple meals to keep my nutrition on track and avoid paying $9 for a salad (which I find to be insane!).

For the trip, I just snacked on them as is or with hummus, but here are some favorite toppings if you want ideas for a low carb snack plate, appetizer or even lunch!

And tell me below, which would be your top topping pick!

 

low carb vegan snack idea

 

1. The Garden Salad: red pepper hummus (the Sabra brand is my favorite), baby spinach leaves, cucumber, tomato, peeled carrot, drizzle of salad dressing (you can try this one that I often make)

2. The Smokey Avocado: baby spinach, sliced avocado and eggplant bacon. The recipe for the eggplant bacon is for my VIP readers. If you’re not a VIP already, you can become one by signing up here

3. The Eggplant Parmesan: regular hummus, roasted eggplant, pasta sauce, cashew parmesan. You can find the pasta sauce recipe I use on the regular here and the cashew parmesan recipe here

4. The Quick Cuke: regular hummus, baby spinach, sliced cucumber

5. The EST: Like a BLT, but a wee bit healthier…regular hummus, eggplant bacon, baby spinach, and tomato

6. The Spicy ‘Cado: baby spinach, sliced avocado, garlic powder, chili pepper flakes

 

low carb crispbread
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

An easy to make snack that is light on the carbs and heavy on the nutritional impact. So you can fuel your body and not just fill it up.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: cracker, low carb crispbread, snack, vegan
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add water and mix until everything is evenly moistened. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Spread a layer of parchment paper over a large baking sheet (a flat one is best vs a jelly roll pan). Spread crispbread mixture over the paper so it's in the middle and down the length of the pan and place another sheet of parchment paper over top (the crispbread mixture should now be "sandwiched" between the parchment).

  4. Using a rolling pin, carefully press and roll the crispbread mixture, pushing it towards the outer edges of the pan until it is very flat and thin and covers most of the pan.

  5. Remover the top layer of parchment and cut the crispbread "dough" into desired cracker sizer (square or rectangle). A pizza wheel is best for this.

  6. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 13 minutes, remove and recut the crackers then turn each over individually to bake the other side. Return to the over for another 13 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven and check each crispbread section for doneness. Depending on your climate and how thinly you rolled the crispbread, you may need to add on additional baking time. The crispbread should be completely dry with only slightly toasted edges. You may need to remove some of the crispbread (usually the pieces from the outer edges) before returning the remaining batch to the oven for additional drying time of 2-3 minutes. If more drying time is needed, return the pan to the oven, turn it off, close the door and let it finish crisping while the oven cools.

raw fruit crisp (vegan, no sugar)

raw vegan fruit crisp

(Printable version of this recipe are near the end of the post. This post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you.)

 

Last week, I shared one of my favorite go to recipes: raw granola. This week, I’m sharing one of my favorite ways to eat it, especially as a snack.

When you first “give up” eating certain foods, it can be hard not to lament all the foods you loved to eat B.D.C. (before the diet change). Like traditional fruit crisp.

While I’ve never been much of a pie person, I always adored crisp because of the topping. With added sugars (mostly) out of the picture, however, the traditional topping for crisp was no longer an option because it’s loaded with brown sugar.

Thankfully, I discovered this raw granola makes an excellent substitute. The dates for the brown sugar and the pecans add buttery crunchy notes. No need to find a sub for the oats, unless you need ones that are certified gluten free.

 

vegan raw granola

 

The “recipe” for this raw fruit crisp is simple:

  • one piece of raw fruit per person (e.g. apples, pears, peaches) or an individual serving size of berries per person
  • dashes of cinnamon
  • a few sprinkles of the raw granola

 

Besides the health benefits of eating raw fruit, another thing I love about this raw fruit crisp is that it’s more economical. LOL Whenever I make a cooked fruit crisp (apple, for example), I always use much more fruit than if I leave the fruit uncooked because the water evaporates as it cooks down. And with several hungry mouths to feed, ones that particularly love dessert, anything I can do to stretch our food budget is a bonus.

 

And here’s the printable version of the recipe for you:

Raw Fruit Crisp
Prep Time
5 mins
 

Simple to prepare and excellent as a snack or dessert, this raw fruit crisp contains only five ingredients!

Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: easy vegan dessert recipe, raw vegan fruit crisp
Servings: 1 per person
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 1 piece/serving raw fruit (e.g. apples, pears, peaches, berries, cherries)
  • dashes cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup date paste*
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup whole rolled oats gluten free if needed, organic is best
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients for the raw granola to a food processor or blender and blend until it becomes crumbly. Don't overmix or the pecans will release their oils. Can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for a couple weeks.

  2. Prepare fruit as needed (e.g. washing it, slicing/dicing) and add to an individual serving bowl along. Sprinkle cinnamon over top and add topping.

Recipe Notes

*If you can't find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using. See post on why I prefer using date paste.

raw granola (vegan, no sugar, raw)

vegan raw granola

(Printable version of this recipe are near the end of the post. This post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you.)

Word on the street is that most people who visit recipe blogs want the goods up front and without the life stories. I get it. I often do that too. #guiltyascharged So I’m making a slight change in posting format to get you to the recipe faster.

However, I know there are a few of you who also enjoy learning more about the blogger behind the recipes. If that’s you, then you’ll definitely want to join my VIP newletter list where I share more about life plus give you insider tips, content and recipes. You also can find me on Instagram here.

 

Now for that granola…

This raw granola is incredibly easy to make and comes together in minutes. It can be made gluten free, if needed, simply by using gluten free oats. The best part? It satisfies your craving for something sweet, because of the dates, but without any added sugar.

You’ll notice in the recipe below that I use date paste which is just a blend of softened dates that I buy from a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern market in our area. You can find the specific brand I use here. I like to have a softened form of dates ready to go as they blend more readily, but you can make your own I’ve included the how to below and in the printable version for your convenience.

Here’s how to make the raw granola:

  • Add 3/4 cups of date paste, 1 cup of pecans and 1 cup of whole rolled oats (organic is best) to a food processor (this one is my favorite) or high speed blender (like this one).
  • Blend on high speed until the mixture becomes just crumbly. Be careful not to over-mix or the pecans will release their oils. Refer to the picture for the texture you are going for.
  • That’s it! All done.

 

While you certainly can eat it as is and straight from the jar (and I absolutely adore these tulip jars by Weck!) which I occasionally do, I think it’s best when combined with other foods, like fruit – here’s the recipe for my favorite apple crisp – or vegan, unsweetened yogurt or sprinkled over oatmeal. The raw granola can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks.

And here’s the printable version of the recipe:

Raw Granola
Total Time
3 mins
 

This raw granola is added sugar free and so easy to make it comes together in minutes.

Servings: 2 cups
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup date paste*
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup whole rolled oats, gluten free if needed, organic is best
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until it becomes crumbly. Don't overmix or the pecans will release their oils. Can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Recipe Notes

*If you can't find date paste, you can make your own by soaking 3/4 cup of Medjool dates in warm water for 1-2 hours and then blending until smooth. In this case, it's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them and simply remove the pits just before using. See post on why I prefer using date paste.

*See post for suggested uses.

low carb crispbread (vegan, oil free)

low carb crispbread vegan

(this post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you)

 

I’m absolutely crackers over this low carb crispbread!

When I grabbed a package of crispbread from Trader Joe’s a couple of months ago, it was love at first bite and I knew I had to try and re-create it at home. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but was ecstatic with the results the first time I tried it.

Why all the excitement?

When I cleaned up my diet by going plant-based, one of the interesting “side effects” was a desire to cutting back on my bread consumption. It was something I swore I’d never do (along with going vegan, cutting out added sugars, giving up cheese, eat Brussels sprouts… ), but I  lost interest in eating bread, crackers and any heavily wheat-based foods, except for the rare occasion.

It’s like my body naturally began to recognize the difference between eating foods that are fillers and foods that are fuel.

Buuuut, the one thing I miss about crackers especially, is their perfect snackability for a quick pick-me-up or to satisfy a craving in-between meals.

Which is why I love this low carb crispbread!

It gives you all the benefits of a cracker but without the empty calories and carbs. It’s also incredibly easy to make and I worked the kinks out of the baking process to give you perfectly crispy crispbread every time. (Hint: using a pizza wheel, flat baking sheet and parchment paper.)

 

 

The health benefits:

  • Combined the seeds in this low carb crisp bread give you these nutrients: Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, maganese, zinc, folate, phosphorous molybdenum, selenium and vitamins B1, B2, B6, E & K.
  • All of these seeds provide a hearty helping of plant-based protein and fiber
  • Zero oils makes it heart healthier and is easier on the waistline
  • Since the oat bran is whole grain, it’s fuel, not a filler.

 

 

So, go ahead, make a batch! What are you waiting for?!!

 

Oh.

 

The recipe. Right. 😉

low carb crispbread
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

An easy to make snack that is light on the carbs and heavy on the nutritional impact. So you can fuel your body and not just fill it up.

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: cracker, low carb crispbread, snack, vegan
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add water and mix until everything is evenly moistened. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

  3. Spread a layer of parchment paper over a large baking sheet (a flat one is best vs a jelly roll pan). Spread crispbread mixture over the paper so it's in the middle and down the length of the pan and place another sheet of parchment paper over top (the crispbread mixture should now be "sandwiched" between the parchment).

  4. Using a rolling pin, carefully press and roll the crispbread mixture, pushing it towards the outer edges of the pan until it is very flat and thin and covers most of the pan.

  5. Remover the top layer of parchment and cut the crispbread "dough" into desired cracker sizer (square or rectangle). A pizza wheel is best for this.

  6. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 13 minutes, remove and recut the crackers then turn each over individually to bake the other side. Return to the over for another 13 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven and check each crispbread section for doneness. Depending on your climate and how thinly you rolled the crispbread, you may need to add on additional baking time. The crispbread should be completely dry with only slightly toasted edges. You may need to remove some of the crispbread (usually the pieces from the outer edges) before returning the remaining batch to the oven for additional drying time of 2-3 minutes. If more drying time is needed, return the pan to the oven, turn it off, close the door and let it finish crisping while the oven cools.

 

serving up sides: smashed potatoes and roasted broccoli (vegan, gluten free, dairy free)

(this post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you)

 

I was working on this post two weeks ago and then life happened. Or rather, bed bugs. Let’s just say “don’t let the bed bugs bite” is so not funny or cute to me anymore. Thankfully, we have the little buggers taken care of, but it was a lot of work. Good, but tiring at the same time. And now back to our regularly scheduled program…

It’s the night before the Royal Wedding and this feels like a very fitting recipe to share – so British, but with an nontraditional twist. I am most definitely an Anglophile since one of my grandmothers was British and we lived in England for a few years. I still miss it.

Something I don’t miss is meat. Which really surprised me at first. Before switching to a plant-based diet, I never gave veggies much thought other than I knew I was “supposed” to eat them and mostly as a side dish.

But now, I would (and have!) eat these smashed potatoes and roasted broccoli as a main dish because I love making a meal of sides! I mean, why not? They’re usually easy to pull together, give you variety and allow other family members to load up on their favorites and nibble on the rest.

 

Let’s serve up those sides, shall we?

 

 

Smashed Potatoes: If my meal doesn’t contain lentils or beans as the main feature, then it will have potatoes! Gold, russett or sweet. For these smashed potatoes, I went with organic gold potatoes which are creamy, have a lovely thin skin and are the perfect size for a side dish. Organic because potatoes are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list and I like my veggies with out an extra dose of pesticides thankyouverymuch. To make them, you simply scrub them up, pierce them with a knife or fork and roast them in a 375 degree oven for 40-55 minutes are until very tender when pierced with a fork. After you smash them (with your hand or a potato masher, I highly recommend serving them with this easy vegan sour cream recipe and sprinkle of rosemary, salt and pepper.

 

Roasted Broccoli: I feel like roasted veggies is a millennial thing. And I couldn’t be happier. Growing up, we mostly ate raw or boiled veggies (a kickback to my grandmothers’ generation) which were good, but it meant we hadn’t discovered how amazing roasted veggies are. This is the first time I tried roasting broccoli and was thrilled with the results! As with the potatoes, I prefer mine simply dressed with salt, pepper a teeny bit of avocado oil. Why avocado oil? Because it’s better for high heat cooking and I love it’s slightly buttery flavor! Other oils (like olive) become unstable and hydrogenated at much lower temperatures. If you can’t find it locally, try this one by Chosen Foods.

 

Roasted/pan-seard Leeks: I’ve always love potato and leek soup (get my simple recipe for it here), but it never occurred to me to serve them with baked potatoes until now. I did these in our cast iron skillet (like this one) with only a little avocado oil, but you could try roasting them with the potatoes and/or broccoli too.

 

And here’s the printable version of the smashed potatoes and sides for those of you who are old school like me (give me paper over digital anytime!)

 

Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

Simple, yet satisfying sides that also can eat as a meal.

Course: Side Dish
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • yukon gold potatoes
  • broccoli
  • leeks
  • salt
  • pepper
  • rosemary
  • avocado oil
  • vegan sour cream (optional)
Instructions
Smashed Potatoes
  1. Scrub the, pierce them with a knife or fork, place on a pan and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 40-45 minutes are until very tender when pierced with a fork. After you smash them (with your hand or a potato masher, I highly recommend serving them with vegan sour cream recipe and sprinkle of rosemary, salt and pepper.

Roasted Broccoli
  1. Rinse the broccoli well then cut the broccoli "trees" from the stalk. Peel the stalk and cut into bite-sized rounds and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until the broccoli turns a little crispy on the edges and becomes tender. You can add the broccoli to the oven during the last 15 minutes that the potatoes are cooking.

Roasted/pan-seard Leeks:
  1. Rinse the leeks and slice into rounds (use the white and light green parts). If you don't like waste, save the dark leafier part for soup stock or stews. To pan-sear the leeks, heat a pan (cast iron is best for this!), add a little avocado oil and then the leeks. Sear over medium-high heat until lightly browned, then flip and do the same with the other side.

    To roast, lightly dress them in avocado oil and add them to the baking sheet along with the broccoli. Flip once during cooking time to ensure even browning.

easy vegan sour cream (nut free, sugar free, gluten free)

(this post contains affiliate links which help fund this blog but at no cost to you)

Today it’s easier than ever to eat a plant-based diet. There are so many products on the market and new ways of approaching food (think aquafaba) that it’s possible to eat your way through life without really missing the animal-based version.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy plant-based diet.

Take sour cream, for instance. A quick glance at the common store-bought brands and you’ll find ingredients like: maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, oils, gums and added sugar (whyyyyyy???). It’s this last one that has me turning to my own kitchen for a solution because even the “better” vegan sour cream brands contain added sugars – something that I avoid as much as possible ever since I detoxed from it several years ago. So while these store-bought products might taste closer to the real thing, they aren’t something I want to put in my body.

Which is why I decided to try a homemade version instead.

 

 

Instead of using tofu or cashews which many vegan sour cream recipes include as the main ingredients, I choose sunflower seeds since they are less allergenic and is budget friendly. As an added bonus, sunflower seeds are high in selenium which is an antioxidant and beneficial for thyroid health. I was excited by how well they worked for this easy vegan sour cream!

While it doesn’t taste like the “real” sour cream (I’d be lying if I claimed that), this easy vegan sour cream does add that same tangy creaminess to a meal without the side effects that come with eating dairy or sketchy ingredients from a lab. The key to a smooth sour cream is soaking the sunflower seeds overnight and using a high speed blender. I find it also is better when eaten within a week.

As a side note: Isn’t that jar the cutest? It’s a Weck Tulip Jar and I found it while thrifting for food props at my favorite thrift store in our area. Since I’m chalking that up as a rare find, you can find a set of them here. Also, if you want to see what I’m up to on more of a daily basis, I love sharing to Instagram stories (you can find me on Instagram here). And I’m also on Pinterest where I love pinning vegan recipes that catch my eye along with other healthy living and blogging-related topics. Click here to connect with me on Pinterest.

 

Ready to make this easy vegan sour cream? Here’s the recipe:

 

Sunny Sour Cream
Prep Time
5 mins
soaking time
12 hrs
 

An easy to prepare vegan sour cream that is nut-, added sugar- and gluten free and gives you a creamy tanginess to your favorite plant-based dishes.

Course: Condiment, Topping
Servings: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened organic soy milk*
  • 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp, scant salt
  • 1/8 tsp apple cider vinegar (unfiltered is best)
Instructions
  1. Add the sunflower seeds to a glass bowl and cover completely with water (about 1.5-2 cups. Cover the bowl and let them soak overnight at room temperature.

  2. Drain and rinse and add to a high speed blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, scrapping down the sides a few times.

  3. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge for up to one week.

Recipe Notes

RECIPE NOTES: *If you prefer not to use or are allergic to soy milk, you can replace it with an unsweetened nondairy milk of your choice but you might need to adjust the other ingredients since other nondairy milks tend to be naturally sweeter than soy.

 

 

 

rainbow brownie pizza (vegan, no added sugar, gluten free)

 

Rainbows and bright colors have been on my mind lately because here in Ohio, this time of year can be really hard. Those of you living in northern and cloudy climates who struggle with winter blues will know what I mean. #wink

Which is why the more color I see on my plate the better, like this recipe I shared last week. And this rainbow brownie pizza? It’s like a sweet reminder of the promise that summer is coming.

 

So let’s dig in, shall we?

 

To make the rainbow brownie pizza, I started with a base made from my favorite brownie recipe and spread on a generous helping of date caramel. Both recipes are free of added sugar and gluten free.

If you’re wondering why date caramel instead of the cream cheese often used on fruit pizzas, it’s because I try to avoid processed vegan products which often contain ingredients that are just as unhealthy as animal-based products. And I have yet to find a homemade cream cheese recipe that I’m happy with.

 

 

We could stop right there and I would be perfectly happy, but since this is a pizza, we need some toppings, right?

For this rainbow, I chose strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries and blackberries. Of course, if these aren’t your favorites, simply swap them out with a fruit of the same color. Easy peasy.

Regardless of the fruit you choose, I highly recommend going organic for the berries because of the high pesticide content conventional berries contain. The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list is my favorite resource for verifying which foods I want to prioritize buying organic. And since this recipe requires only a small amount of each fruit, it won’t break the bank to make this switch.

Since we don’t have a traditional round pizza pan, I chose to make the brownie base in a 9″ cake pan, filling it only half way. If you do the same thing, either make only half the brownie batter or fill two 9″ cake pans. I personally recommend the second.

To keep things simple and added sugar free, I thinned a little of the date caramel with more unsweetened almond milk for the drizzle and sprinkled cacao nibs on top. I’m working on a chocolate sauce recipe and once it’s ready, you can bet I’ll be updating this recipe to include chocolate drizzle too!

 

Rainbow Brownie Pizza
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Cooling Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Chocolate, fruit and date caramel come together in this easy to assemble dessert, snack or even breakfast recipe that gets rave reviews and pleases a crowd.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
  • 1 Rockier Road Brownie recipe (without the topping)
  • 1 Date Caramel recipe
  • 1 package organic strawberries
  • 6-7 mandarin oranges, peeled
  • 1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 5-6 kiwi, peeled
  • 1 package blueberries
  • 1 package blackberries
Instructions
  1. Make the brownie recipe and either press onto a well-greased round pizza pan or spread batter into two 9" round cake pans well greased and lined with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom. Baking time 5-7 minutes less if spreading batter onto a pizza pan.

  2. While the base is baking, make the date caramel and prepare the fruit. Rinse the strawberries and slice in half, peel the oranges and pull apart each section. For the pineapple, cut into bite-sized wedges. Peel the kiwi and slice into rounds. Rinse the blueberries and blackberries and gently pat dry.

  3. When the base is done cooking, let it cool before spreading on the date caramel. To speed up the cooling, you can place it in the fridge.

  4. Arrange the fruit in a rainbow pattern starting with the strawberries around the outside and working your way inward with each color of fruit. Let the orange, pineapple and kiwi slices overlap slightly.

  5. For the caramel drizzle, take 1-2 tablespoons of date caramel and thin slightly with unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice. It should be just runny enough to pour easily off a spoon and over the fruit. If desired, sprinkle with cacao nibs.