Single serving banana nut muffin

Banana nut muffin in a jar

Well, I had every intention of posting this week. Really, I did. But then I got caught up in the packing (because I’m moving) and organizing (because I’m a neat freak) and cleaning (because dirty floors give me anxiety) and posting was the last thing on my mind. And, in case you weren’t aware, baking in a half packed kitchen will make you crazy. 
I’ll be back with recipes next week, I promise. Until then, head on over to Sweet Road for a single serving banana nut muffin recipe. And take a look around Jaime’s adorable and simple blog.
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Raw apple cream pie

Raw apple cream pie

If I had to pick one flavor of pie to eat for the rest of my life, it’d be apple. Kind of boring, I know – but the combination of flaky crust, juicy apples and freshly ground cinnamon makes me salivate just thinking about it. I am literally drooling all over my keyboard right now. Ok, I’m not literally doing anything over my keyboard right now, except for typing – but you get the idea. Apple pie is good. Damn good.

Since real apple pies don’t exactly make my guts feel the greatest, I decided to make a raw version to satisfy my craving. I couldn’t decide between a traditional apple pie, or a creamy version, so I went for the latter. Because cashew cream makes everything taste better. So much better.

Raw apple cream pie

If you’d prefer this to be more like a traditional apple pie, omit the cashew cream and make date caramel instead of date syrup. You can do this by reducing the water in my date syrup recipe to 1/4 cup. At this point, you should all be well aware of my dislike for sweeteners in raw desserts. So – as always – if you’d prefer something sweeter, replace the nut milk in the cashew cream with a raw liquid sweetener of your choice.

RAW APPLE CREAM PIE (GF)

1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup raw nut milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
3-4 medjool dates
1-2 apples, peeled
3-4 tbsp date syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place the cashews in a small bowl; cover with water and let soak for 6-8 hours, or overnight. After they’ve soaked, drain the water and add the cashews to the container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the nut milk and lemon juice, and blend until smooth; about 30-45 seconds. Transfer the cashew cream to a small, air tight container and store in the refrigerator.
Lightly grease two 4″ tartlet pans with coconut oil; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the almonds and walnuts into a fine meal. Add the dates and blend for 30-45 seconds; if you want a crumble like crust, add 3 dates; for a dough like crust, add 4 (my dates were slightly larger than circus peanuts). Divide the dough between the prepared tartlet pans and press into the edges. Wrap pans with plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
Just before you’re set to remove the ingredients from the fridge, prepare the apple filling. Chop the apple(s) however you’d like. Toss them in a small bowl with the date syrup and cinnamon. To assemble the pies, spread half of the cashew cream onto each pie crust. Divide the apple topping between each pan, then serve. Pies can be kept frozen, in a freezer safe container, for up to 6 months. Before eating, remove from freezer and let thaw for 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 2 4″ pies

How to make date syrup

Datesyrup

Date syrup is my go to sweetener of choice. I use it to sweeten my yogurt, top my morning oats, smother my waffles, etc. It’s an excellent, all natural sweetener and is really the only “sweetener” I ever use. If I’m not using it in a specific recipe, I’ll scrape in half of a vanilla bean – which really makes for a delicious syrup. And obviously I’m sharing this recipe for a reason. Come Wednesday, you’ll be able to make a damn good pie with this date syrup – so get to work.

DATE SYRUP (GF)

8-9 medjool dates (1/2 cup, packed)
1 1/4 cup filtered water
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
Place the dates in a small bowl; cover with warm water and let sit for 30 minutes. Once the dates have soaked, drain the water then add all of ingredients to the wet container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend for 45-60 seconds, or until smooth. Transfer to an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Yield: 1 1/3 cups

Chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

If I could choose one dessert to eat for the rest of my life, it’d be chocolate chip cookies. Because they’re my favorite dessert in existence. Partly becuase they’re so damn delicious, but mostly becuase I’m lazy. And making anything that requires more than one bowl couldn’t possibly be my favorite.

I could go on and on about these cookies; they stay soft for days, go perfect with a tall glass of milk (and yes, I mean almond milk) and flat out make me swoon. Since these things contain gluten – and I’ll have you know I’m not much of a fan of self torture, these days – I can’t touch ’em with a ten foot stick. But you probably can. So you should make them, and gloriously stuff them into your face. Because that, my friends, would be the right thing to do. So I can live vicariously through each and every one of you. And I promise it was not my intention for that rhyme.

Chocolate chip cookies

The trick to these cookies is to take them out a bit early; they’ll appear to be underdone, but do not stick them back in the oven. I repeat: DO NOT STICK THEM BACK IN THE OVEN. They don’t necessarily require a stand mixer, but I like to use one, as the creaming process is rather lengthy. So I let the stand mixer do it’s job and I take a 5 minute coffee break. And for you gluten freebies, you can easily substitute your favorite gluten free flour blend (and xanthan gum) for the all purpose flour. But, I’m not gonna lie – they just don’t taste the same.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (GFO)

1 cup vegan butter
1 cup cane sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp unsulphured molasses
3 tbsp soft silken tofu
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and molasses on high speed, for 5-6 minutes. Mix in the tofu, just until combined. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt; blend. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time and mix, on medium speed, until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (I was able to fit 24 cookies at once). Bake at 350˚F for 9-10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in an air tight container for up to one week.
Yield: 45 cookies

Toasted quinoa bowl

Toasted quinoa bowl

When it comes to eating, I’m a pretty lazy person. I don’t make fancy meals, ever. And I’d eat a plate of raw fruits and vegetables every night if I wasn’t trying to maintain my abdominal muscles (contrary to popular belief, they require significantly more than a plate of produce). Anyhow, this meal reminds me of a healthier version of a burrito bowl. And although I’d choose an Illegal Pete’s burrito bowl to most meals, any day – you really cannot beat this toasted quinoa bowl. It’s loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, and takes 30 minutes to prepare; most of which are spent waiting for the tempeh and quinoa to cook. 
You can add any variety of vegetables you have on hand – the more veggies, the better. I usually throw in some diced tomatoes and fresh ginger, but I was out. And going to the store would have been entirely too time consuming for my lazy ass. Despite the fact that I had nothing to do all day. Confession: I spent it sprawled out on my couch with this quinoa bowl, while continuing my month long Grey’s Anatomy marathon. It’s really getting pathetic over here. I hardly watch television, but make every season of Grey’s Anatomy available to me via Netflix and my eyes are glued to the damn thing.

TOASTED QUINOA BOWL (GF)
1/2 block tempeh, crumbled

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp almond meal
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced onion
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup chopped cabbage
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1 avocado, diced
1/2 small carrot, chopped
Salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the tempeh, worcestershire and tamari. Toss in the almond meal, garlic and onion, then spread evenly over the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 400˚F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. While the tempeh is baking, prepare the quinioa. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the oil to a simmer. Add the quinoa and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and boil for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the water.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the quinoa, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, cabbage, spinach, avocado, carrot and tempeh. Divide between two bowls and enjoy. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Yield: 2 servings

Buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits (GF)

The night I made these biscuits, I made a half batch because I was so certain they wouldn’t turn out. And then I kicked myself in the face because they turned out exactly as I hadn’t expected – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside – really, kinda perfect. Ok, so they’re not nearly as fluffy as gluten containing biscuits, but hello! we have biscuits, people. Biscuits that taste like normal biscuits, but don’t contain normal biscuit ingredients. Which is pretty rad, if you ask me. WE HAVE FREAKING BISCUITS. And I may or may not have done a little dance as I stood in my kitchen, smothered one of these biscuits with blood orange cardamom jam and stuffed it into my face. Then I ate the entire (half) batch becuase they were that good.

Buttermilk biscuits (GF)

These biscuits can easily be made with all purpose flour, but you’ll have to omit the xanthan gum and 1/4 cup of the almond milk (most likely). Start with 3/4 cup and, if needed, add the additional 1/4 cup of milk. This recipe is very particular, so follow the instructions carefully. You MUST chill the dough, or the biscuits will be flat. And no body likes flat biscuits, y’all.

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS (GF)

2 c. gluten free flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. vegan butter, cold
1 c. almond milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
Fresh ground pepper, optional

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Stack two large baking sheets and line with a silicon mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, then chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the cider vinegar and milk; chill in fridge until the flour mixture has finished chilling. Remove the flour from the freezer and the milk mixture from the fridge; create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Scoop the dry ingredients from from the bottom of the bowl and fold over the wet ingredients. Repeat this just until the mixture is combined; be sure not to overmix as the biscuits will be flat, if you do. And if the dough feels too dry, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk; fold in carefully. Allow the mixture to chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Using your hands, pat out the dough to 3/4″ thick and cut with a 2-3″ round cookie cutter. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with pepper, if desired. Bake at 400˚F for 12-14 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack then store in an air tight container. Serve with your favorite jam.

Yield: 12 biscuits