I have recently been intrigued by a website called Feasting on Fruit, where the author, Natalie, creates mostly sweet but also savory recipes that uses fruit to replace the fats or the refined sugars. After watching some of her videos, I was a little skeptical of these recipes because some of the outcomes looked a little dry, but I decided to try a few of her recipes and was pleasantly surprised with how scrumptious the desserts were. It is so difficult to fathom that these desserts are good for you and made with natural ingredients. I was inspired by Natalie to make up my own recipe, and using her techniques, which often involves using a date paste as the fat and sugar, I came up with a soft maple cookie recipe that is out of this world. I highly recommend you all to check out Natalie’s site, and without further ado, let’s get baking!
Soft Maple Cookies
yield: 8-10 cookies
- 1 1/4 c. oat flour
- 10 pitted dates soaked in hot water (any type of dates work)
- 1/3 c. non- dairy milk
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. maple extract
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Place the dates in a food processor and pulse while slowly adding in the non-dairy milk. Do not add all the milk in at once because it may splash all over the place out of the food processor. Then add in the maple extract. A sticky date paste will form.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, chia seeds, and cornstarch until evenly incorporated.
- Pour the date paste into the dry mixture and mix until a dough is formed.
- Using wet hands, roll the dough into balls and flatten to form a small cookie. You can decorate the top with some cacao nibs or sprinkle with nuts!
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Take out and enjoy!
These cookies taste best when they’re fresh out of the oven and piping with hot steam. They won’t have a gooey consistency, but will instead taste soft, moist, and cake-y. Let’s also not forget to mention that your entire kitchen will smell like maple 🙂
Soft maple cookies
When Vegans say nutritional yeast “really does taste like cheese!” I always mutter mmhmm under my breath and roll my eyes a bit. Cheese is cheese. I may be the biggest cheese lover in the world, so I WILL know if I am eating fake cheese. So the thought of some orange flaky bits being able to replace the gooey goodness of cheese seems too good to be true, but was it too good to be true?
OK. Yes. It was too good to be true and the nutritional yeast vegan queso was simply not up to par as the traditional non-vegan queso, but I do have to say it comes in a close second and serves as a wonderful guilt-free snack. I’ll still relish on my favorite Torchy’s show-stopping queso here and there, but nutritional yeast queso is something I’m going to eat pretty regularly since it actually contains the good stuff. The good stuff, you know? The B-vitamins, folate, zinc, and all other immune-boosting nutrients that trump all the saturated fat in real cheese.
Vegan Cheese (No Cashews)
yield: approx. 2 cups
- 1 1/2 c. potatoes diced
- 1 c. carrots diced
- 1/3 c. water
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
- pinch of pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (opt.)
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (opt.)
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
- Boil the potatoes and carrots together until soft and tender. I like to boil on high, turn the water off and let the remaining heat soften the vegetables to save energy!
- Drain the vegetables and let them cool a bit but not completely.
- Place the vegetables in a high-speed blender along with all other ingredients and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- The texture should greatly resemble queso. It should be gooey and melty.
look at that queso!
I’m not a food chemist so I don’t understand how this vegan queso gets its gooey consistency, but the resemblance with traditional queso is uncanny. Also, if you’d like to spice up your queso, by all means you may add a roasted pepper!! Now the holidays have rolled around, this is a great dip for parties so go ahead and deceive your friends!
almond flour cookies
Vegan AND gluten-free???? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. As much as I love “treat yo self” days where I can enjoy a warm, gooey pizookie with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, my GI tract often feels discomfort from the gluten and lactose gone into those cookies due to my unfortunate food intolerance to the two. However, when I made these vegan chocolate chip cookies, I felt more energized and suffered no discomfort at all because everything that went in to the cookie was really clean, pure, and minimally processed!!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF)
yield: 14 cookies
- 2 c. almond flour/almond meal
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 flax/chia egg (3 tbsp. water + 1 tbsp. flax meal/chia seeds)
- 3 tbsp. vegan sweetener (or honey if not vegan)
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- dash of vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, combine water and flax/chia and set for a minimum of 5 minutes for the chia egg to form.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt and combine well.
- Add the solid yet softened coconut oil, sweetener, vanilla, and egg until all the contents are mixed throughout. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees C. Form the cookies and place on a non stick baking tray.
- Bake the cookies for approx. 11 minutes or until the cookie is baked completely through.
These cookies are really to die for and I’ll often eat one as part of my breakfast or as a snack on the go. They also freeze really well so you could make a big batch and save them up, but I honestly finished all these cookies in just a few days
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
This is a recipe taken from Big Man’s World that is absolutely simple, foolproof, and healthy! I have made these for breakfast multiple times and they never disappoint. The great thing about this recipe is that it is low-cost, vegan, and gluten-free so it’s an ideal bread alternative for someone with Celiac’s disease. All the ingredients used are natural and are a great source of fiber from rolled oats and alpha-linoleic acid from the chia seeds. I ended up making an eggs benedict-type of breakfast with the English muffin, it goes great with almond butter (check out how to make homemade almond butter!), jam (check out how to make homemade chia jam!), honey, ricotta… really whatever you have on hand would serve as a great topping for the muffins.
Microwave English Muffin (Vegan + GF)
yield: 1 large English muffin
- 1/3 cup rolled oats (gluten free, if necessary)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds or flax meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (I used a quick homemade apple sauce where I microwaved apple slices and placed in a food processor)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk
- In a blender or food processor, process the oats, chia/flax seeds, and baking powder until a fine and evenly mixed powder forms
- Transfer to a small cup, bowl, or ramekin, and add the applesauce and nondairy milk, and mix until dough forms. Flatten the top of the dough.
- Microwave for 2 minutes on high.
- Let it cool for 2 minutes and then slice, toast (optional), and enjoy with your toppings of choice!
On a side note, I made my English muffin breakfast a tad crazy as I loaded on the toppings, but I am all for creativity so top as you please! I included caramelized onions, tomatoes, goat cheese, cucumber slices, and turkey bacon.
a close up on the goodness
Packed with protein and fiber!
The best way to use up downright blackened bananas is to make desserts because they are far too soft to enjoy, yet they are the sweetest at this point. In the past couple weeks, I’ve been terrible at consuming my bananas at their peak aesthetic and have been forced to make banana bread from the charcoal-black colored bananas. However, I am shocked to find myself say that I’ve gotten tired from banana bread, since I’ve baked a surplus of loaves, but today two blackened bananas lay on my counter and I couldn’t stand tossing them in the compost bin. Making banana bread was obviously not an option, so I decided to make some banana carrot cake breakfast bars, which also helped me use up some carrots in my fridge! A win-win situation, and I know have scrumptious to-go breakfast bars!
Banana Carrot Cake Breakfast Bars
yield: 12 squares
- 2 c. rolled oats
- 3/4 c. almond meal
- 3 tbsp. vegan sweetener (agave/ maple syrup)
- 2 tbsp. almond butter (check out how to make homemade almond butter)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 c. grated carrots
- 1/4 c. flax seeds
- 2 overly ripe bananas
- 1 tbsp. applesauce or flavorless oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Place the rolled oats and almond meal into a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse crumbs, but has not completely turned into oat flour yet. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, and flax seeds and pulse until the flax seeds have become slightly chopped.
- Add in the sweetener, almond butter, bananas, and applesauce/oil and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together and is thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour in the grated carrots and pulse for about 10 seconds, or until the carrots are combined into the mixture.
- Pour into a square baking pan lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. I also used a pan that cuts the bars before baking, which is convenient.
- Optional: Top your bars with walnuts, chocolate chips, or any toppings of your choice. I put dark chocolate chips on half of my bars.
These breakfast bars are perfect on the go and a great option for breakfast because they’re low in sugar and high in fiber and protein, certain to keep you full for your busy mornings!
Matcha energy bites
Here I am, yet posting another matcha recipe because matcha is a gorgeous, dainty ingredient that provides antioxidants for the body. Today’s recipe is matcha energy bites, which I played around with by gradually adding ingredients I believed would accompany each other well. On first attempt, the result was divine: perfect consistency, not too sweet, and packed with flavor! Pleased and legitimately overjoyed, I devoured four energy bites in one sitting and uncontrollably reached for more. I really do hope you try this recipe out because these bites are delectable!
Matcha Energy Bites
yield: 16 balls (1 in. diameter)
- 1 1/2. tsp matcha powder
- 3/4 c. rolled oats
- 7 medjool dates soaked in hot water
- 1/2 c. almond flour
- 20 almonds
- 1 tbsp chia seeds.
- t tbsp. flax seeds
- Remove the pits from the dates and soak in hot water for at least 10 minutes. This helps soften the dates, adding moisture, and making them easier to blend.
- Place rolled oats in a food processor and process until a fine oat flour is formed. Add in the matcha powder, almond flour, chia and flax seeds, and pulse until the flour is well incorporated.
- Add the soaked dates and pulse until a smooth, dough-consistency mixture forms.
- Place the mixture into a medium-sized bowl.
- Place the 20 almonds into the empty food processor and pulse until the almonds become “roughly chopped”. This will add crunchy texture to the energy bites and also cleans any leftover sticky mixture left in the food processor. Add the chopped almonds into the mixture in the bowl and thoroughly incorporate with a fork or spatula.
- Using clean hands, damp with a little bit of water, and roll the mixture into balls. You can also dust with a little bit of cocoa or matcha powder if you’d like!
These energy bites are great for a snack and can last in the fridge for up to two weeks!
Soft and chewy
Pulse the mixture
Topped with chia jam and avocado
Nuts and seeds bread
Loitering among the miscellany of breads and baked goods in Central Market continuously induces contentment because wheat-infused air and the overwhelming display of intricately-crafted balls of gluten rings perfection. I’m a bread enthusiast, constantly exploring the art of bread-making. In front of my eyes was a glut of bread samples, and I shamelessly began the carb-adventure with a plain ciabatta bread, working through hatch pepper cheddar scones, lemon ricotta cookies, purple wheat bread, and ending with a “seed bread” packed with poppy and sunflower seeds. Instantly, I fell for the seed bread as I reached for seconds and thirds because seeds in bread provides an earthy taste and crunchy texture that I love.
However, stores rarely add enough seeds and nuts to my liking, and if they do, they loaf costs around a whopping $11. It only seemed sensible to make my own, packed with nuts and seeds, resulting in a high-protein, high-fiber, healthy loaf of bread. I formulated a vegan and gluten-free recipe, inspired by a Paleo, Stone-Age Nordic Bread Recipe, which comprises a variety of nuts and seeds.
Nut and Seed Bread
yield: 1 loaf
- 1 c. pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 c. flax seeds
- 1/2 c. nuts (almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts; any nuts work) I used raw almonds
- 1 c. gluten-free rolled oats
- 4 tbsp. ground flaxseeds
- 1 c. water
- 1 tbsp. agave or maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. oil (I used coconut oil, but you can use olive oil if you would like an olive scented loaf)
- Cut the nuts in half (I found this to be beneficial because whole almonds made the loaf a bit more difficult to slice). Then, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let the loaf sit for at least 5 hours.
- Bake the loaf in a pre-heated 350 °C oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the pan and bake on the wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Cool the loaf on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes, which will allow the bread to firm up, making it easy to slice.
A little of this bread goes a long way because it is packed with protein, fiber, and OMEGA-3s that cause satiety for a long period of time. You can top your bread with any toppings you would like, but a couple ideas include avocado and strawberry chia jam, which I will post a recipe for tomorrow.
Two breakfast toast options