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Best ever gluten free sugar free vegan carob slice nom nom nom

Photos to come!

I made up this recipe yesterday and it received rave reviews. I tried some and have to admit, it was one of the better gluten free sweets I’ve ever made. The best thing about it is that it only takes about 15 mins in the oven max, and about 3 mins to throw together! Oh, and did I mention it tastes amazing?

Because I was in a hurry I didn’t measure the ingredients as I went, I just went on consistency to check that it was ok. Read the method for texture details, and let me know how yours go!

Base:

5 cups soaked cashews (this is the volume AFTER they are soaked)

2 cups dates, soaked in boiling water

1 cup tapioca starch

50ml coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup dessicated coconut

Topping:

3 cups Soaked cashews:

1 cup coconut cream

1/2 cup carob powder

1 cup dates soaked in boiling water

stevia leaf powder – 2 small pinches

1/2 tsp chocolate essence

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

dessicated coconut, to top.

Method:

You could be organised and soak your cashews overnight, or you could do what I do and gently simmer them for 10 mins. Depends on how raw you like to be 😉 Either way, you’ll be baking this slice a little bit!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Drain the cashews and the dates. Put in food processor. Process until smooth. Then add rest of base ingredients. You should be able to easily mould it, and it shouldn’t be too sticky. It almost looks like you could eat it already. Press it into a lightly greased pan and bake for about  10 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drain cashews and dates. Process it all together in food processor. It should have a pudding like thickness- you should easily be able to smooth it over the base. If its too wet, add some more cashews. If its too dry, add some of the date water.

Spread it over the partially cooked base, and return to the oven for a few mins, about 5, until its hardened up a bit.

Sprinkle with coconut and serve!

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Carob pancakes with avocado carob pudding.. healthy enough to eat for breakfast!

I gave up sugar in January, cold turkey. After more than 10 months completely sugar free (everything, sucrose, honey, molasses, dried fruit, even fresh fruit for some of the time (I don’t recommend giving up fresh fruit, btw, was just what my body needed at the time)) I can report that after a while my desire to eat sweet tasting foods diminished HEAPS. Oh, and my health is way better!

However… as I am beginning to understand, even the seasoned sugar renunciant craves chocolate every now and then. When that happens, I fight back with these!

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Carob pancakes

2 cups buckwheat flour

2 tspn egg replacer

2 Tbspn soy milk

1/4 cup carob powder

10 drops liquid stevia

a dash of chocolate essence

About 2 cups water, maybe a bit more

A little oil, for frying.

Mix the flour and the carob powder. In a separate container, whisk together the egg replacer and soy milk. Now add all the wet ingredients to the flour mix. You might need more water- you want it to be nice and runny, easily pourable. Whisk well. Now, you know the drill. Put a little oil into either a non stick or cast iron frypan and set it to medium heat. Pour 1 pancake’s worth of batter into the pan and leave it alone until the bubbles pop. If you want a crepe instead of a pancake (like photo 2), use a spatula to spread to batter out so its very thin. It’ll cook really quickly.

Serve with avocado carob pudding:

1 ripe avocado

1 Tbspn carob powder

1 drop choc essence

4 drops liquid stevia (or if you have a really sweet tooth you can add more!)

As much water as required to make it your desired consistency.

Mash the avocado and add the rest of the ingredients. Serve on the pancakes! .

Voila! Chocolate cravings gone, breakfast sorted!

Fruit sushi- vegan dessert sushi

Strawberry dessert sushi? Why not!

We’re definitely in the lead up to summer now, so I have started to cook a lot lighter, and I thought these were perfect for a light, summery meal. I was cooking with Nicola yesterday for the last time in 3 months :S She is going to Tauranga until February. Will miss cooking with you Nicola! 😦

It is also strawberry season which is amazing, so it was nice to be able to feature them here. I got these little gems right out of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s book “The vegan table” (page 122.) I more or less made them to her recipe, but made a few little tweaks- like gently rolling the sushi in lightly toasted coconut, and changing the sauce from strawberry to raspberry. Also, her recipe says that 1 cup of rice will make 36 pieces of this, and I multiplied the recipe by 4 and it only made 38! Confusing. They also look the same size as the ones in her photo on page 120. Ah well, it’s a beautiful recipe, and people loved them!

Vegan, gluten free and seasonal!

Ingredients:

4 cups sushi rice

4 cups coconut milk

4 cups water

8 tablespoons raw sugar/ 48 drops liquid stevia

small pinch himalayan salt

Small amount of good quality seedless fruit jam, slightly blended so it’s smooth

500 grams fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

2 cups dessicated coconut, lightly toasted.

Put the rice, coco milk and water in a pot. Bring to the boil. Stir often otherwise it will stick. Then, simmer for about 20 mins until all liquid is evaporated. I needed to add about another 2 cups of water more than the recipe said. Especially when almost all liquid is gone, stir often.

Now add the sweetener and salt, mix thoroughly and put into a long shallow tray to cool. I just whacked it in the fridge for an hour. 😉

After an hour, take a small handful of rice and mould it into an oblongy shape. Toss it in the coconut. Now, on top of each piece, spread a small amount of jam, and into the jam, stick the strawberries! Genius!

Serve them with this sauce

Raspberry reduction sauce:

1L frozen raspberries

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3/4 cup more of the jam you used (optional)

a big pinch black pepper

1/4 cup orange juice (I actually used orange and mango and it was wildly successful)

1 cup water.

Boil everything until the raspberries are all broken down and the liquid has reduced heaps. It should look syrupy. Blend with stick mixer for a couple of seconds, and serve with the sushi.

So all in all an excellent recipe!

 

Sugar free date and carob cake with avocado frosting!

Happy 22nd birthday to a wonderful best friend/ all round good chap Jamie- date and carob cake!

So. It was Jamie’s birthday yesterday, and it definitely called for date (the fruit) cake. Jamie and dates go together like.. uh.. fish and water? Anyway, you get the point, they are her favourite. Jamie is also on the wholefoods buzz and so I decided to make a datey- caroby sugar free cake. Ok, so it still contains white wheat flour and oil, but hey, what better day to eat white flour?! This would be a cinch to make gluten free too with buckwheat flour, rice flour, tapioca starch and xatham gum flours. It may just be slightly drier than the glutenous variety.

Ingredients:

3 cups pure plain flour

3 tspns baking powder

1 cup carob powder

1 Tbspn egg replacer

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 cups dates soaked in 3.5 cups water

1.5 cups suflower oil

1 few tbspns soy milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Soak the dates in warm but not boiling water (you are going to add them to the cake mix soon and don’t want them too warm so that they react with the baking powder)

Meanwhile, mix the flour, baking powder, carob and dry egg replacer.

With a stick mixer/ blender, mix the date and water mix so it is a smooth thick paste. To this, add the sunflower oil and apple cider vinegar.

Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix well. I needed a few tablespoons of soy milk to get it to the perfect consistency.

Pour mixture into two greased and lined cake tins.

Bake for.. (I forgot to time it, I ate breakfast while they baked).. I think it was about half an hour. Anyway, I baked them until a knife stuck into them came out clean. It won’t be totally smear free.. this is a very moist, fudgy cake. Someone (I think it was GT) said it had an almost cheesecakey texture. Hmm, I don’t know about that!

Yes, this is a very moist cake…and dense. If you’re a sponge cake kind of person, perhaps this is not your piece of cake 😉

Now, to top it all off.. Avocado and carob frosting

Ingredients:

2/3 cup dates

1/2 cup carob powder

1 large ripe avocado

3 tbspns maize cornflour (cornstarch), mixed to a thick paste with 3 tbspns water

10 drops liquid stevia

Method:

put everything into a food processor and process!

If you want it thicker, add more corn starch and water mixture.

Use 1/3 of the frosting to stick the two cakes together (once they are cool of course), and the rest to cover the top and sides.

Decoration:

To decorate I put on some halved apricot, date, cashew and coconut bliss balls, and a big sprinkle of coconut- oh, and a few fresh flowers!

Datey caroby coconutty cake, part way through demolition..

Anyway, it must have been ok, because Jamie and I went out, and when we returned, half of the cake had been eaten by some unknown rascal! 😛 Or rascals. It’s ok rascals, we forgive you, apparently it was too rich to eat much more anyway.

World vegan day.. sushi and cupcakes anyone?

It’s world vegan day. I admit, I completely forgot. This happens every year 😛  Still, I cooked a vegan meal for 30 so that’s not a bad way to spend world vegan day! I would never have posted something as boring as I did this morning if I had remembered *face palm*. Ahem, onto bigger and better things like… this little beauty!

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The menu today was

  • sushi
  • wasabi sauce (waaay toned down wasabi!)
  • asian-y stir fry
  • Japanese coleslaw with tofu mayo
  • Homemade cola drink

aaand.. vegan jammy vanilla cupcakes topped with carob mousse. These babies are definitely a sometimes food. Don’t be fooled by the word “carob!” But anyway, what better day to blog a treat than today?

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I know you’re all perfectly capable of making sushi/ googling how to make sushi! I won’t insult your intelligence. :d

Vegan mousse cakes:

Don’t let the innocent cupcake fool you: these are a vehicle for mousse.

Make a batch of regular vegan vanilla cupcakes such as these.http://whippedbaking.com/2012/04/11/very-vanilla-vegan-cupcakes/.  If you plan to make them gluten free, substitute 1/3 rice flour, 1/3 quinoa flour, 1/3 buckwheat flour and on top of this 1 tspn xantham gum and 1 tbspn tapioca starch. Fill each muffin case up 1/3 full, fill with strawberry jam and add a bit more batter over top. Bake like the instructions say..

Now, mousse.

250 grams firm silken tofu

170g extra virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup soy milk

1/2 cup carob powder

3/4 cup raw sugar OR 75 drops liquid stevia

1 tspn vanilla essence

Method:

Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Meanwhile, in a food processor, mix the rest of ingredients until smooth. Add melted oil and process. Transfer to a bowl (stainless steel is good, it makes it firm up faster) and let it set in fridge for 2 hours.

Once cupcakes are cool, pipe a swirl of mousse around them, and sprinkle with coconut.

Happy world vegan day!

Chewy carob coconut cookies.. sugar free, oil free!

Today we all moved out of the flat I’ve called home for months, and for the occasion I decided to make some cookies. Sugar free ones of course! Somehow, a sweet treat or two takes the edge off a day like this. Anyway, this move is the reason I haven’t posted in a few days… it’s been a full on week.

Date cookies- in nz we call them biscuits.. sugar free, oil free, gluten free, vegan but not taste free.

Carob, date & coconut chews

3 cups dates

1 cup carob powder

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

3/4 cup rice flour

1.5 tspn baking powder

1/2 cup soy milk

1 Tbspn vanilla essence

pinch of cinnamon

1/3 cup dessicated coconut

 

 

Method:

Soak dates in enough boiling water to cover them. Pour off water (you can use it in something else if you like) and mash dates to a smooth paste. You can use your hands for this, but a food processor/ stick blender is the easiest way and yields the best date paste.  Now add all dry ingredients, and then the soy milk!

The batter for these was quite moist- like really sticky. I had to drop spoonfulls of it onto the baking tray, I couldn’t roll it into balls. If your mixture is too solid, you should add some water. The moist batter yields chewy  cookies, otherwise they’d be like little rock cakes..!

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 mins. They’ll firm up a little more when you take them out.

Oh, and these last for ages without going off! Yay! Last time I made them I made a huge batch and we ate them for about a week, and they were still great after 7 days. Then they ran out, so I couldn’t continue the experiment!

Enjoy these healthy “treats!”

Pumpkin brownie with avocado frosting- the healthiest cake in the entire world perhaps?

Pumpkin and avo sugar free cake anyone?

 

 

A good friend of my, Guy turns 21 today. Happy 21st Guy! Like me, he is also gluten free, sugar free including sweet fruits and mainly dairy free. However, I was still determined to celebrate his birthday with cake! I made the icing (frosting) out of avocado, an idea which I can’t take credit for- the inspiration came from the lovely Nicola who I was cooking with yesterday. It proved to be an inspired choice!

This is my pumpkin brownie from a couple of weeks ago, modified.

 

Ingredients:

2.5 cups pumpkin puree

100 drops liquid stevia

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

3 eggs worth of no egg (egg replacer)

1 cup buckwheat flour

1.5 cups all purpose gluten free flour

3 tspn baking powder

pinch salt

1 tspn vanilla essence

3 tspn cinnamon

1/2 a whole nutmeg

handful of cashews, chopped

3 tbspn thick coconut milk or runny coconut cream

3/4 cup water

 

Icing (frosting)

3 ripe avocados, mashed

40 drops liquid stevia

little bit lemon juice

2 tspn vanilla essence

1/2-3/4 cup maize corn starch (depending on how thick you want it)

vegan food colouring of your choice (optional)

Variation: Add carob or cacao powder for choc icing!

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celicus. Grease a round cake tin.

Cook and mash the pumpkin. Add all the wet ingredients except water, then dry ingredients, then water. (You can check the consistency this way) It should be just in between runny and thick, and you should be able to easily pour it into your prepared tin.

Place in preheated oven for around 45- 50mins.

Meanwhile, using a stick mixer, whip your avocado so its lovely and creamy, and then add corn starch a little at a time until it reaches your desired consisteny. Then add vanilla, optional food colouring (or carob if you wanted!) and lemon juice (the lemon juice stops the avos from going brown- I didn’t do this, and my icing went from being bright pink to maroon, whoops!)

Let cake cool, then ice, top with some dessicated coconut or carob powder and serve!

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