Raw Vegan Carrot Cake. That’s right, I said it, and I meant it! (Also gf!)

P1030080_2I’ve been following this blog for awhile, and some of the things the author comes up with look absolutely amazing! This carrot cake has been taunting me for some time, and I finally decided to try making it. Good news, it’s easy, it’s delicious, and aside from freezing time to let the first couple of layers set, it’s super fast to make (and eat).

P1030083_2A few modifications I made:

Subbed raisins for dates (mainly because I didn’t have any on hand)

Used a mix of almonds and cashews for the frosting

Used a mix of oat and buckwheat flour for the filling.

I also added a bit of maple syrup to the filling (about 2 Tbsp) and did not use the pineapple chunks (my belly decided pineapple is bad news a couple years ago).

What I would change:

Add more carrots! And I might consider shredding them, though it could be that my food processer is not primetime top choice quality, and I don’t have a high speed blender to make the frosting super smooth and creamy. All of that said, this ended up SOOOOO well. I highly recommend it! Here’s a link to the original recipe.

P1030081_2

P1030084_2

P1030082_2playing pac-man with my cake…:)

P1030078_2

Nom!

Advertisements

Vanilla Cashew Apricot Bites. Dee. Licious.

P1030077_2This week has been fantastic. A whole week with only work, and no school. Hooray!!!! That said, it’s all ending tomorrow. But, I only have two terms left, and the end is in sight. Again, hooray!!!! Anyway, today was filled with time with friends, fresh air, SUNSHINE (it’s a miracle!), lots of good food, and one killer spin class, and it was a great reminder that unwinding and de-stressing is so incredibly worth it even when it seems like there’s not possibly enough time.

These little bites were inspired by some bites I read about in a magazine, I wish I could remember which, but I’ve been waiting to make them for a long time. They’re dense and flavorful, and a great pre or post workout snack and SUPER easy to make. Seriously and for reals.

P1030076_2To make them you need:

1 cup of soaked cashews (soaked for at least 2-3 hours, up to overnight)

3/4 dried, unsweetened, unsulphured apricots (soaked for at least 15 min, up to an hour)

1/3 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut (ground into a flour if you prefer)

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

P1030069_2

P1030071_2First, drain apricots and cashews and place in food processor. Process until a thick paste is formed.

P1030073With paste, roll a spoonful at a time into a ball and roll in coconut to coat. If you prefer to grind the coconut into flour (I did a mixture of fine coconut flour and shreds), just place shreds in a food processor to grind to the desired fineness. After coating each bite, place them all in the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge. Eat, relax, and enjoy!!!P1030074_2YUM!

 

 

 

 

Mango Coco Kiwi Smoothie. Sunshine In a Cup!

P1030066March in Seattle means gray, windy, rainy, and often unpleasant. So for the past few mornings I’ve been mixing up this little sunshine smoothie not only because it tastes super good, but it makes me feel like I’m in some tropical climate, even if just for a few minutes. Come summer, I guarantee I’ll be posting more about how awesome the PNW is and how I’d never want to leave.

P1030061What you need:

about 3/4 cup of frozen mango chunks

1 sliced kiwi

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp sliced or whole almonds (preferably soaked in H20 overnight)

1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup coconut water

2 Tbsp light coconut milk

P1030060Put all ingredients in your blender (I used my magic bullet). Blend. Seriously, that’s it. 🙂

P1030067Drink and enjoy!!!!

 

 

 

 

For the tolerant of gluten, non-vegans, and pie lovers everywhere…

P1030042Friends, this is an exception to the general theme of the blog (gf and vegan/vegetarian) that I just had to make for two reasons. Reason 1: these little mini pies were winners last night; and Reason 2: they’re adorable. If you’ve got some kind of event and most folks eat gluten and don’t mind buttery, flaky pie crust, with delicious fruity innards (and really, who hates pie?) these are such a nice easy option. Also, did I mention they’re really, really cute? 🙂 My man’s birthday party was last night, and these were pretty much the perfect little pie-friends to celebrate with.

I’ll start off by saying that when you’re short on time, making pie crust from scratch is very tricky, so I just used Trader Joe’s frozen pie crust. A little time economy was worth it so that I could actually make these.

P1030044What you need:

2 frozen pie crusts (or prep your own and make these gf)

about 6 small apples, chopped (or any other fruit that’s calling your name)

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp flour (I used whole wheat, and it felt so wrong, I won’t lie)

a standard muffin tin

flour to cover your rolling surface

P1030029First thaw the crust according to the package, and roll it out. Then using a mug or glass roughly the size of the top of the muffin tin, make 12 circles in the crust and remove each circle (these will be the bottoms of the pies). Roll each out until you have about an inch of overhang when they’re fitted to each muffin spot. Repeat the process with the second crust to make tops.

P1030030Mix fruit, flour, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl and spoon into muffin tin.

P1030031Wet the edges of each pie top, and pinch the top and bottom edges together until bonded. Make a slit in the top of each mini pie. Now, very important, chill these little guys for at least 30 minutes! While they’re chilling, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. After the 30 minutes, pop them in the oven and bake for about 30-40 min until tops are golden brown. Let them cool about 20 minutes and remove from the tin.

P1030036P1030037P1030040Share and be the happiest! Vegans and gluten-free’s, I promise I’m working on a pie for us. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Almond Chia Chocolate Cookies! (Gluten-free and vegan!)

P1030021_2   Today is not going super well. 3 finals are due today, for all of which I’m way behind in terms of preparation (one of which I thought I had till Sunday to finish), yesterday I just announced I’m changing jobs…it’s been kind of a tough week. And thankfully it’s almost over! 🙂 So, while I’m re-listening to lectures, I decided to do a little baking.  Because why not. And it’s better than sitting here stressing while I have to be tied to my computer anyway.

P1030025_2These cookies are really less sweet treat, and more power snack. They’re tasty and the almond meal gives them a nice almost cakey texture, but they’re not very sweet. If you’re looking for  a sweeter cookie, I might send you back to my Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies instead. That said, if you’re looking for something that you can grab before running out the door to workout or something, these might be the winners.

What you need:

1 cup almond flour

1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s, though King Arthur is my favorite)

1/2 cup gluten-free oats

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 Tbsp chia seeds (2 of which will be whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel and set a aside)

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

P1030016_2First, whisk together your chia gel and set aside for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl. In separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (including chia gel and melted coconut oil). Add wet to dry ingredients, and mix. Add chocolate chunks and remaining chia seeds.P1030018_2Place parchment paper over cookie sheet, and spoon dough (it’s very thin dough) onto parchment. Place it all in the oven, and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.P1030024_2Build a leaning tower of cookies and eat them up!!!

P1030022

Ice Cream Cake = Birthday Happiness (Vegan, Raw, Gluten-free!)

P1020931_2

Yesterday was my birthday, and while I may now be 32, some things haven’t changed since I started eating solid food. For example, my undying devotion to ice cream cake. It may be one of the most perfect foods. Somehow, even though I don’t really like cake, when you add ice cream and freeze the whole deal, it’s amazing! This year ice cream cake from the DQ wasn’t going to cut it though. My days of dairy and gluten and buckets of sugar are now days of yore. I took it as a challenge and came up with this insanely, stupidly delicious “cake.”

So, what  do these ingredients have in common? Well, they make a wicked tasty cake. Duh.

P1020937_2

Let’s go layer by layer, shall we? Layer one is a mixture of oats, almonds, dates, and maple syrup, all ground down to a granola bar consistency. Layer two (this one is the real surprise winner) is chocolate avocado mousse. What?! Avocado mousse?! YES. Totally amazing and weird. And finally, layer 3 (this is where I get lazy) is my favorite vegan ice cream from Molly Moon’s here in Seattle, vegan coconut chunk. Oh, I should also mention that between each layer is a very thin layer of coconut shreds. Mmmmmmmm….

P1020930_2

So, to make this baby, let’s also go layer by layer by layer.

Layer 1:

1 cup oats (gluten-free)

1 cup almonds

5 soaked dates, pitted (soaked at least 3 hours)

2-3 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Layer 2:

1 avocado, very ripe

4 Tbsp raw cacao powder

5 soaked dates, pitted (as above)

2 Tbsp maple syrup

Layer 3: 

Your favorite vegan ice cream, softened to an easily spreadable texture

To make, find either a cake pan or I just used a parchment-lined pyrex dish. Start by combining all ingredients for layer one in a food processor or magic bullet until you can easily mold the mixture into a ball and have it stick together. Press it into the bottom of the parchment-lined dish. Place in freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours, until hard.

IMG_8978

Sprinkle layer 1 with shredded coconut. Now, in a food processor or magic bullet, combine all ingredients for layer 2. Evenly spread across layer 1, sprinkle with coconut shreds, and freeze for 1-2 hours.

IMG_8981

For layer 3, taken softened ice cream and spread over layer 2 (make sure layer 2 is fully frozen!). Freeze for another 1-3 hours and serve! Keeps well in freezer, but I won’t lie, it nearly didn’t make it past day 2 in our house.  Enjoy! 🙂

P1020932_2

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-free!) Say what?!

P1020881_2

Oatmeal, raisins, dark chocolate. There, that’s my post. It’s all you really need to know, and maybe all anybody really needs to know when it comes to cookies AND life.

Okay, that’s probably not true. Except the cookie part.

Anyway, today’s been one of those exceptionally grey Seattle days, a little bit drizzly, and absolutely no discernable patches of clear sky anywhere. I’ve been holed up working on school, and cookies suddenly seemed absolutely necessary. In times of such necessity, it’s best to just make the cookies.

These little delights are super easy, and through a combination of gluten-free all purpose flour, almond meal, and oatmeal, have the best texture; a little chewy on the inside, a little crispy on the outside, with lots of raisins and big dark chocolate chunks. I won’t lie, it’s taking most of my willpower not to eat about 10.

P1020878_2

Let’s make cookies! What you need:

1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1.5 cups gluten-free oatmeal

1/2 cup almond meal

4 Tbsp chia seeds (2 combined into 6 Tbsp of rice or almond milk to form a gel, and 2 folded into batter)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup coconut sugar

3/4 of a broken dark chocolate bar

1/2 cup raisins

3 Tbsp maple syrup

9 Tbsp rice, almond, or other non-dairy milk (6 for chia gel, the rest added to wet ingredients)

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch each of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

P1020874

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While chocolate bar is still wrapped, smash it to pieces with the bottom of jar. Very satisfying and keeping it wrapped prevents chocolate from flying everywhere. You can also use chocolate chips, I just didn’t have any.

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. A note here about almond meal…you can buy pre-mealed almonds at Trader Joe’s or, if you have whole almonds, pulse them in a food processor or magic bullet until a crumbly flour is formed. Don’t go too far or you’ll make almond butter, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what you’re going for here. The conversion is 1:1 almonds:almond meal (or flour). Whisk together 2 Tbsp chia seeds and 6 Tbsp rice milk, let sit a few minutes until a gel is formed.

P1020876_2

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, chia gel, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk together and add wet to dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate and raisins. Spoon onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Eat and be happy!

P1020882_2

P1020884

Almond Coconut Date Chia Seed Pudding. YES.

P1020819_2

I’m a snacker. An every 2 hours snacker. If I don’t eat every 2 hours (maybe a slight exaggeration, but not that far off), I can get “hangry” and weak, and that’s a bad feeling. To fend off hangriness and keep myself going strong, I’m on a lifelong quest to find and make a multitude of healthy, delicious, and easy snacks to keep me going throughout the day. And luckily for me, I just got my new bulk bag of chia seeds, which led to this tasty little dish.

Pudding can be a hard texture for me to like, but I love chia gel, especially when it’s combined with my go-to MVP players, coconut and almond. Dates add a delicate sweetness, and vanilla rounds things out. Even better, it’s just about this simplest recipe ever and takes all of 5 minutes to make plenty.

P1020813_2

What you need:

2 cups of almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup chia seeds

5 dates, chopped

1/2 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut

handful of almonds

apple slices and cinnamon for garnish

P1020821

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except garnish) and whisk. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until chia seeds have expanded and the gel is set. Spoon into bowls and garnish with apple and a dash of cinnamon. Eat and be happy, avoid hanger. Keeps in an airtight container in refrigerator for 3-4 days, though at my house, this doesn’t last long.

P1020818