Healthy & Decadent Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Another fun snack with the kiddos 🙂 It took a little bit to get the right texture. First I used just a silken tofu and it was more like A DELICIOUS chocolate milkshake (which we loved drinking!), but not the pudding we were looking for! By adding the firm tofu, it was pretty perfect and had that pudding/mousse consistency and chocolatey deliciousness!! Plus considering the ingredients I was super happy for us all to snack out on this! YUM!!

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Healthy & Decadent Vegan Chocolate Pudding

1 package silken tofu (the aseptic packaging kind)
1 package firm (or extra firm) tofu
4 heaping Tbsp raw cacao powder (adjust to taste)
6-7 Tbsp agave or maple syrup (Start with less and then adjust to the sweetness desired)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp pink himalayan sea salt

Super simple! Blend together and adjust to taste 🙂

Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins

Crazy Blizzard prep! Been playing inside all day, what else to do! Bake 🙂 I love to cook & bake with my kiddos. It can often be twice my mess, sometimes involves a meltdown or 2 but it really is fun and I love teaching them about their food. We wanted to bake but I still wanted to keep it healthy. Thank you Oh She Glows for these Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins!  They were super excited to make (and eat!) muffins! We loved grating the zucchini together and measuring all the ingredients.

I used twice the zucchini so ended up with 10 mini muffins on top of the dozen full size ones. But my kiddos loved the “baby muffins” too.

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Oil-Free Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Muffins
Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows
Yield: 1 dozen muffins

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 & 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on (I doubled this) 
  • 1 & 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose) (I used 1 1/4 WW Flour and 3/4 cup AP)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

 

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin with oil or grease with Earth Balance.

2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.

3. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a small bowl and set aside. It will curdle, but this is the point as we’re making vegan buttermilk.

4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).

5. Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and shredded zucchini.

6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool. (Mine took a bit longer because double the zucchini made it a little more moist, so took about 5 extra minutes to bake) 

 

No Bake Chocolate Macaroons

Oh how I LOVE Oh She Glows! Just amazing! I am a huge fan of raw desserts, but not everyone is. Thankfully my family loved these macaroons for Passover. They definitely are not your traditional but they were super yummy and even considered healthy! How fun! Another one of our recipes that can be enjoyed anytime!!

I doubled the recipe and used small and big ice cream scoopers to make big macaroons and mini ones 🙂 (or baby ones as my kiddos would say!) 

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No Bake Chocolate Macaroons
Recipe from ohsheglows.com
Raw, Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, grain-free

12 macaroons

  • 1 banana, finely mashed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)*
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)(I used)
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana until most of the clumps are gone. Stir in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  2. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir until combined. Now stir in the coconut, optional chia seeds, and fine grain sea salt to taste.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat. Using a spoon or retractable ice cream scooper, scoop rounds onto the sheet. Place sheet in the freezer for around 20 minutes, or until macaroons are firm. Store in the freezer until ready to enjoy. They will soften at room temperature.

Note: 1/4 cup pure maple syrup results in a lightly sweet macaroon. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to your own taste buds, especially because some cocoa powders may be stronger than others.

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Apple Cider Caramel Dipped Apples

No I am not joking with this! SOO good! This is one of those awesome desserts that no one would believe is actually vegan 🙂 Perfect for this beautiful Autumn Apple Season!

I whipped up the caramel sauce, sliced some apples and deelish!

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This is just a basic recipe that you can then play around with for many variations.

  • You can change up the cider to another liquid (chai, vanilla soy, pear juice, coconut milk, tea, etc)
  • Use 1 tsp to up to 3 Tbsp corn starch – the more you add, the thicker the sauce will become. (I am going to use more next time since as it warms up out of the fridge it became a bit runny – see picture below)
  • The lemon juice is optional but really complimented the warm apple cider flavors quite nicely.

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Vegan Apple Cider Caramel sauce
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com (love this site!!!)

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup vegan shortening (I used Earth Balance shortening sticks)
1 cup vegan dry sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-3 Tbsp corn starch (I used 1Tbsp – next time more – see above)
1 tsp ginger powder
Dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt (opt’l)
1 tsp molasses (opt’l)

1. Dissolve the corn starch into the cider.
2. Add the cider/starch to a sauce pan with the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil – stirring constantly. When the bubbling becomes intense, reduce to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens a bit. Optional – use a food processor or (better) an immersion blender to add some air into the sauce.  If you don’t have anything to whip the caramel with it will still turn out fine – just a bit less airy.
3. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, use sauce as you wish in recipes!

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Mushroom Gravy

Just reading the name of this recipe makes my mouth water with how good it was!!!! To me this was perfect date/impress/romantic/thank goodness for leftovers food.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Coconut Mushroom Gravy
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers – half recipe to serve just a few, but if you are like me make the whole thing!)
Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) – rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you’d like a thinner gravy

1. Using a large pot – bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

2. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

3. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

4. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

5. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It’s OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

6. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa – or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

7. Plate your risotto and then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. ENJOY!!

Plated Risotto

Plated Risotto

Risotto

Risotto

Gravy

Gravy

Super Fast Emergency Almond Milk

With traditional almond milk, you soak the almonds overnight and then blend and strain the next day. (not hard but not instant) We were all out of almond milk and my kiddos have a new LOVE for Chia Pudding (Banana Date Chia Pudding) so I needed to fix some up Fast!! This was so delicious! We were so happy that there was extra for us as well 🙂

This really helped me out in a pinch but it is something you can make all the time and so much better than almond milk from a carton!!

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Super Fast Emergency Almond Milk

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 4 cups of water
  • small handful of dates (you could use agave or maple syrup as well)
  • teaspoon of vanilla
  • dash of salt

Blend & Enjoy!

Maple-Balsamic Tofu & Spinach with Saffron Quinoa Pilaf

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I have always valued a quick and delicious meal but now it is more important than ever! This was a great meal where I could cut and marinate the tofu in just a few minutes while the kiddos were playing and then whip this all up as soon as they went to sleep. Perfect! I was also able to use the marinade twice; cooking the spinach quickly after the tofu. I have always loved Saffron Rice Pilaf  and thought a quinoa twist on it would be fun!

Maple-Balsamic Tofu & Spinach with Saffron Quinoa

Tofu & Spinach

  • 1 block of tofu, pressed to remove water and cut in triangles
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • dash of salt
  • 6 ounces of baby spinach

Combine and marinate anywhere from 1 hour to overnight. Heat a frying pan and sear the tofu for a few minutes on both sides. Remove from pan and add spinach and any remaining marinade. Stir for just a few brief moments to wilt spinach and coat in the sauce. Remove and serve.

Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 cups quinoa (4 cups water or stock)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • lemon juice to taste
  • sriracha, to taste (optional) (I love that extra kick!)

Combine water and quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add saffron, tumeric and salt, and cover to cook for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Stir in other ingredients and serve.

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