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.

peach melba popsicles with magical vanilla cake dust (vegan, added sugar free, gluten free))

vegan peach melba popsicles

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

 

 

I don’t know why I have this “thing” for peach melba. I don’t remember my mom ever making it or even trying it anywhere as a child. Maybe it’s my love for peaches and raspberries or maybe it’s this lingering desire I have to nail a peach melba – even if only in popsicle form – after I bombed my first attempt at it when I first switched to a plant-based diet.

Anyway…I’m in love with how these peach melba popsicles turned out and I know you’ll love them too!

Here’s why:

  • Peaches (organic, of course)
  • Raspberries
  • No added sugar
  • Gluten free
  • Chia seeds to boost your energy
  • Plant protein from my favorite unsweetened vegan yogurt
  • Fun magical vanilla cake dust coating

 

At first, I was going to keep them plain Jane with just the raspberry and peach flavors (although I love them this way too), but what is peach melba without the cake, right?

 

 

Since I wasn’t about to re-create my original disaster with the peach melba in cake form, I figured out a solution with just three gluten and added sugar free ingredients: coconut flour, almond flour and 100% pure stevia! So simple and it adds just the right nod the original dessert. If my children are anything to go by, they love the peach melba popsicles with the magical vanilla cake dust!

My tips for how to dust the popsicles with the vanilla cake “crumbs” are in the recipe instructions. While it’s fairly simple to do, it does take a little extra time, so be prepared for that.

The ingredient amounts for these peach melba popsicles are specifically for the popsicle maker I used, so quantity results may vary slightly with different mold. BTW, If you love the old fashioned mold as much as I do, you can find it here.

 

Peach Melba Popsicles with Magical Vanilla Cake Dust
Prep Time
30 mins
Chill time
2 hrs
 

These vegan, no added sugar peach melba popsicles with magical vanilla cake dust are gluten free and packed with sources of healthy plant protein to keep your summer energy up while cooling you off at the same time. Note: the prep time is longer if you choose to add in the cake dust, otherwise, these take less than 10 minutes to put together.)

Keyword: cashew yogurt, chia seeds, easy vegan dessert recipe, gluten free, no added sugar, peach melba, peach melba popsicles, peaches, raspberries, stevia, vegan child friendly, vegan popsicles, vegan snack
Servings: 10 popsicles
Ingredients
For the rapsberry part (make this first)
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cashew yogurt
  • 1 scoop 100% pure powdered stevia
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
For the peach part
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen peaches (organic is best)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cashew yogurt
  • 2 scoops 100% pure powdered stevia
  • 1-2 1" slices of frozen just ripe banana
For the magican vanilla cake dust
  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 scoop 100% pure powdered stevia
Instructions
  1. Mix the ingredients for the raspberry part of the popsicles in a food processor or blender until smooth and well blended. Distribute evenly between each popsicle mold.

  2. Rinse the food processor bowl or blender and mix up the peach part. starting with just one banana slice. Add the second one if additional sweetness is desired. Add to the top of the raspberry portion, distributing evenly between each popsicle mold. Add a popsicle stick if your mold requires it and freeze for at least two hours or until frozen solid.

For the magical vanilla cake dust (optional, sort of)
  1. Mix the three cake dust ingredients together. Remove the popsicles from the freezer and run the molds under warm water until they are all freed of the molds. (Depending on the temperature of your room, you may want to store the popiscles you aren't working with in the freezer.)

  2. Fill a bowl with very warm water and, using a pastry brush, brush the last 1/2"-1" of each popsicle  (on the peach part nearest the stick) with warm water on all sides. This helps melt the popsicle slightly so the cake dust will stick to it. Sprinkle the cake dust on, patting gently as needed to help it adhere. It's best to sprinkle the cake dust on over a dish that is both separate from the cake dust and the water.


  3. Since the popsicles can no longer be stored in the molds (otherwide the cake dust comes off), place them on a baking sheet to ensure the cake crumbs are frozen in place. Then store them in an freezer friendly bag.

 

 

 

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

  • Click here for my favorite food processor
  • Pure stevia: It’s critical to use 100% pure stevia with no additives or fillers (see this post). I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but try the NOW BetterStevia™ Organic Zero Calorie Powdered Sweetener — 1 oz brand here. Even though it appears pricey, a little goes a looong way, and my container lasted me for several years!
  • Almond & Coconut Flours: many stores are carrying these now, especially natural foods stores. However, if you can’t locate them near you, you can buy them online. Almond flour here and coconut flour here.
  • Old-fashioned Popsicle mold: this is the exact one I have so you know the quantities will match up exactly. Click here to get it.

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.

 

chocolate peanut butter mousse (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no added sugar)

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

“We go together like birds of a feather…”

If chocolate and peanut butter ever had a theme song, that would be it. They were simply made for each other. #Godsagenius

And if you were playing Family Feud and had to name a food that went with peanut butter, I’m pretty sure “chocolate” would be a top answer. (“Jelly” might have the edge, numbers-wise, but taste-wise chocolate has “j” beat hands down IMO). You too?

So it was only a matter of time before I gave my go to chocolate mousse recipe a slight makeover to transform it into a chocolate peanut butter mousse.

 

 

There are three things I especially love about this chocolate peanut butter mousse recipe:

  1. It’s easy to make. With so many things on the go…four kids, two business, plus life and laundry, I want as many easy recipes in my life as possible.
  2. It’s a crowd pleaser. Whenever I hit on a recipe that satisfies many palettes, it quickly becomes a go-to and I love that this chocolate peanut butter mousse works as a snack or can be dressed up for company.
  3. It’s healthy but decadent. It’s my mission in life to prove that you can have a healthy dessert and eat it too without the sugar rush and crash and regretting that last bite, piece or helping. Dates and stevia stand in for added sugars but without fueling a sugar addiction and the fats from the avocado, peanut butter and coconut milk give a richness to the dessert that we often crave but with more substance and nutrients than we receive from butters and oils.

 

I’m giving you an option for a peanut butter mousse layer if you want to get all fancy pants and dress it up for guests. I’m perfectly content either way, but definitely run with the second option when I want to add a little wow factor. Mixing it up in food processor (this one’s my favorite), is my preferred way to make it because I find it easier to scrape than a blender. If you do go with the blender option, make sure it’s one with a motor powerful enough to handle blending the ingredients, especially the dates.

If you’re opting to add the peanut butter mousse layer, then you definitely want to serve this in a clear glass container. I used a Weck canning jar in this picture, which you can find here. For a slightly smaller size, these Weck tulip jars are my favorite. Yep, I totally crush over beautiful containers. And for parties, these jars make great portable, classy and environmentally friendly individual portion sizes. They’re my favorite party trick. For a party, though, you’ll want to double or triple the recipe depending on the number of guests.

 

P.S. Typically, I prefer using full fat coconut milk in my recipes, but because of the fat content in the peanut butter, I opted to use low fat coconut milk for this chocolate peanut butter mousse.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse
Prep Time
10 mins
Chilling
1 hr
 

Easy but decadent, this chocolate peanut butter mousse whips up in a jiffy and satisfies all the cravings.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, easy vegan dessert recipe, no added sugar dessert recipe, vegan chocolate mousse
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 just ripe avocado
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup date paste
  • 1 15-oz can low fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 scoops 100% pure stevia
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. If making without the peanut butter swirl, add all ingredients to the food processor or blender and mix until smooth and creamy and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.


  2. If making the mousse with the peanut butter swirl, add all ingredients EXCEPT the avocado and cocoa powder to the food processor and blender. Blend thoroughly, then remove 1/4-1/2 cup and set aside. Then add the cocoa powder and avocado to the remaining mixture and blend until smooth and creamy.

  3. In clear glass containers, fill each 2/3 full of chocolate mousse, add enough peanut butter mousse to create a layered effect and then top with more chocolate mousse. Chill for at least one hour in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

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.

 

 

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

  • Click here for my favorite food processor
  • Date paste: I usually buy mine at a local Mediterranean/middle eastern store. If you don’t have one near by, you can make your own using Medjool dates (see Recipe Notes) Happily, Aldi has been carrying Medjool dates lately, but you can also find them here.
  • Pure stevia: It’s critical to use 100% pure stevia with no additives or fillers (see this post). I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but try the NOW BetterStevia™ Organic Zero Calorie Powdered Sweetener — 1 oz brand here. Even though it appears pricey, a little goes a looong way, and my container lasted me for several years! This link will save you $5 on your order…comment or message me if you want to know which products I stock up on to get the free shipping

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.

 

 

 

no bake chocolate mint squares (vegan, no added sugar, paleo, gluten free)

 

There are three things I have to do before I start writing a blog post: get my pictures purdied up, make sure my nails are clipped short and fix my hair in a ponytail. The pictures are essential. The other two? Just a couple quirks that minimize distractions for me. LOL

Now that those are out of the way, let’s chat about these no bake chocolate mint squares.

They are a minty take on a couple of recipes I frequently use for desserts and are fast and simple to whip up. The only downside, perhaps, is waiting a couple of hours for them to set in the fridge. Which is why it’s always a good idea to leave a little bit of the mousse filling in the food processor bowl.

Here are the stats on these no bake chocolate mint squares:

  • chocolatey
  • minty
  • vegan
  • gluten free
  • paleo option
  • raw option
  • no added sugar
  • plant protein
  • higher in fat (thanks to the avocado, coconut milk and nuts)

 

I’m giving you two options for the finished look: naked…

 

 

 

…and fancy.

 

Truthfully, I often go the low-key route and let the taste of these squares do all the talking (especially if I’m in a hurry), but occasionally it’s fun to dress things up a little, especially if you’re bringing these along to a friend’s house or potluck.

To make the fancy version, be sure to follow the steps in the instructions carefully which will save you time and ingredients. Trust me on this one.

If you use peppermint essential oil (like I did), make sure it is a high quality one and approved for internal consumption. My favorite brand is by Young Living with the extra bonus of being able to support my friend in her business. If you use peppermint extract, you’ll need more than the EO since it isn’t as strong.

Now for the recipe, shall we?

 

No bake chocolate mint squares
Prep Time
10 mins
Chil Time
2 hrs
 

These vegan chocolately minty squares are easy to make, free of added sugars and can be suited to a gluten free and paleo diet.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Servings: 16 squares
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
For the base:
  • 1 cup almonds (raw if preferred)
  • 3/4 cup date paste*
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 scoops 100% pure powdered stevia
For the filling:
  • 1 just ripe avocado
  • 1 15 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup date paste*
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 scoops 100% pure powdered stevia
  • 2 T peanut butter (or almond butter for paleo)
For the green drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup reserved avocado/coconut mixture (see instructions)
  • 2-3 pinches 100% pure powdered stevia
  • 1-2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1/8-1/16 tsp matcha
For the chocolate drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup reserved chocolate mixture (see instructions)
  • 3 tsp unsweetened almond milk
  • cacoa nibs (optional)
Instructions
For the base:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until the nuts are chopped fine and the ingredients just hold together when pinched between your fingers. Be careful not to over mix as the nuts will release their oils.

  2. Pour into an 8x8 glass baking dish and press down firmly and evenly to form the base. Set aside.

For the filling:
  1. Add the coconut milk and avocado to a clean food processor bowl and mix until smooth. If making the fancy version of the squares remove 1/4 of the mixture, add to a clean jar and set aside.

  2. Add remaining filling ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the bowl a couple of times. If making the fancy version, remove 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture, add to a clean jar and set aside.

  3. Pour filling over the base, cover with foil and chill in the fridge for at least two hours to set. Cut into 16 squares and serve. Store in the fridge for up to two days (if they last that long 😉 )

For the fancy version of the squares:
  1. Combine all green drizzle ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover the jar with the lid and chill until ready to decorate the squares.

  2. Thin the reserved 1/4 cup of chocolate mixture with almond milk. Cover the jar with the lid and chill until ready to decorate the squares.

  3. Once the squares are chilled and set, pour the green drizzle into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Alternatively, you can use a plastic sandwich bag by spooning in the mixture, sealing and cutting off a tiny corner of the bag. Drizzle over the squares in a loose zigzag pattern.

  4. Repeat for the chocolate drizzle using a clean bag. If desired, sprinkle cacao nibs over the squares.

Recipe Notes

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

  • Click here for my favorite food processor
  • Date paste: I usually buy mine at a local Mediterranean/middle eastern store. If you don’t have one near by, you can make your own using Medjool dates (see Recipe Notes) Happily, Aldi has been carrying Medjool dates lately, but you can also find them here.
  • Pure stevia: It’s critical to use 100% pure stevia with no additives or fillers (see this post). I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but try the NOW BetterStevia™ Organic Zero Calorie Powdered Sweetener — 1 oz brand here. Even though it appears pricey, a little goes a looong way, and my container lasted me for several years! This link will save you $5 on your order…comment or message me if you want to know which products I stock up on to get the free shipping

sunshine bliss balls (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, no added sugar)

 

It’s funny, but often I get my recipe inspiration when I have an event or theme to work with. Probably because the possibilities are endless when it comes to dreaming up recipes and it’s one way of narrowing things down. LOL

I created these Sunshine Bliss Balls as I was preparing to head to Cincinnati a few weeks ago for a Bible Study Fellowhship leaders retreat. If you’re not familiar with BSF, it’s an international Bible study program and one that has been an ah-mazing resource for me and thousands of others around the world.

Anyway…

Whenever I travel away from home, I always prepare myself by packing “survival” foods because I’ve learned that most places are at a loss of how to accommodate a vegan diet in a way the stretches beyond a salad. Now, I never mind eating salads (see my last post), but when I’m paying for it, I want something more than I can easily make at home…and for much cheaper.

So I’ve learned that if I want to balance my diet, I need to supplement what is available with what I can bring.

One of the ways I do that is with snacks. Especially energy balls. Like these Sunshine Bliss Balls.

 

 

The beauty of an energy ball is they are extremely portable, typically contain a good mix of carbs, fats and protein and can satisfy a sweet tooth, snackish craving without any added sugar or empty calories.

This recipe took it’s inspiration from a date-orange slice recipe that my mom found years ago when we lived in England. I wanted to replicate the tanginess but take it in a different direction as well. Like adding fresh turmeric which is inflammatory and an antioxidant.

In these Sunshine Bliss Balls you will find:

  • dates
  • dried mango
  • dried apricots
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • almond butter
  • sesame seeds
  • fresh turmeric
  • orange juice

They are a little on the stickier side, so you definitely want to coat them in the unsweetened shredded coconut and keeping them in the fridge is a plus (although they can hold up at room temp). If you make them to travel, packing them in a sturdy container is essential.

Okay, ready for the recipe? Here you go!

Sunshine Bliss Balls
Total Time
10 mins
 

When you need a bright boost of macro- and micro-nutrients on the go, these Sunshine Bliss Balls are just the things.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried mango
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup medjool dates*
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated turmeric
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1/16 tsp sea salt
Instructions
  1. If the mango, apricots or dates are on the dry side, briefly soak them in warm water to soften them. Drain, then add them to a food processor or strong blender along with the remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. You will scrape the bowl a few times to ensure easy mixing.

  2. Spoon out enough mixture to form 1" balls. Since the "batter" is sticky, have a bowl of water next to you to lightly dampen your hands as you roll each ball.

  3. Roll each bliss ball into unsweetened shredded coconut and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

RECIPE NOTES

I highly recommend buying only dried fruit that is free from sulfur, additives and sugar.

It's best to buy Medjool dates with the pits still in them as they are more moist than the pre-pitted kind. Obviously, you'll need to remove those pits before soaking/blending. 😉

 

 

 

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

  • Click here for my favorite food processor
  • Happily, Aldi has been carrying Medjool dates lately, but you can also find them here.

 

 

 

 

easy weeknight meal: sweet potatoes with cheesy pistachio dust (vegan, gluten free)

 

As a food blogger, it can be tempting for me to post oodles of complicated, fancy recipes that have a big wow factor. Because those are the things that get a lot of splash and attention.

But, that’s not reality.

As a mom of four and business owner two times over, I don’t have time most days for complicated and fancy. I’m guessing you don’t either.

Which is why I’m sharing more of a meal idea than a “recipe” with you today. It’s an easy weeknight meal that is uncomplicated, but tasty. Simple, but satisfying. Light on ingredients but packed with the nutrients your body needs to fuel itself for all the things you do.

That’s the beauty of an easy weeknight meal, isn’t it?

First we start with a sweet potato. Packed with vitamins, fiber, potassium, sweet potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. I like to prepare them either by baking them whole or cutting them in half and placing cut side down on a baking sheet to get a be-you-ti-ful carmelization, like you see with the sweet potatoes in the picture above.

Next comes a side of salad. Here’s where you can find the dressing and basic to a chop salad that frequently makes an appearance on our table. It’s one the kids like, especially since I let them customize their toppings. Just ignore the picture…clearly, I’ve been working on my photography skills.

To amp up the protein and keep this meal from being ho-hum, I whipped up and added some cheesy pistachio dust (dairy free, of course) to both the potato and the salad. You’ll find the recipe for that below.

 

 

If you’re pressed for time during the week, you can prep much of this meal ahead of time over the weekend by pre-baking the sweet potatoes and mixing up the pistachio dust and salad dressing. I don’t recommend prepping the veggies ahead (unless you’re having them the next day) since they start to lose some of their nutrients after being cut. Instead, chop them up while you’re warming the sweet potatoes (I always do this in the oven, as I ixnayed the microwave for food years ago).

So there you have it! An easy weeknight meal that can be partially prepped ahead of time or simple enough to come together even in a pinch.

 

vegan nut Parmesan

A trio of nut Parmesans to get your cheese fix even without the dairy.

Course: Topping
Author: Andrea Anderson
Ingredients
Pecan Parmesan
  • 1 c. pecans, toasted
  • 4 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 3 tsp. avocado or olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
Cashew Parmesan
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 8 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp avocado or olive oil
Pistachio Parmesan
  • 1 c shelled pistachios
  • 9 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp avocado or olive oil
Instructions
  1. For each Parmesan (separately)...add the ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse or mix until the nuts are finely chopped. Do not over mix or the nuts will begin to release their oils and stick together.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.

 

 

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

  • Click here for my favorite food processor for the cheesy pistachio dust