Tag Archives: vegan

AmazeBalls

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These delightful little balls of decadence have all the good stuff in them, and are the most enjoyed treats I make for anyone!

Dates have become one of my go to sugar ingredient when making treats. While they are full (80%) of sugar, they are a whole food and rich in antioxidants (polyphenols) and are not going to reek havoc on your blood sugar or overall health like processed and granulated sugars will. This doesn’t mean to go buy a pound of dates and chow down,  but rather instead of reaching for the candy bar or can of soda, grab a date. Dates also provide fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.  Check out this quick video: Dates

Now on to these AmazeBalls! One of the best things about these is there is little ingredients,healthy option for a treat, dates are nutritious, and they do not take much time. Our friends love these little balls of awesomeness and so do we!

Depending on size, makes about 20 – 25

amazeballs2

Ingredients:

About a cup of pitted dates (7-8 ounces)
2-3 teaspoons of almond butter (or any nut butter of choice, be sure it isn’t full of oil and sugar.  I prefer raw nut butters)
About 1/3-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)
Optional, sea salt or chia seeds or cayenne to sprinkle on top of chocolate

Directions:

In a food processor, process the dates and almond butter until well combined. Should be sticky and forms like a ball of paste.

Scoop all the mixture out and put it on a plate or in a bowl lined with parchment paper and form the balls and place them on a large enough plate so they don’t stick together. Place toothpicks in each one and them place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes so they firm up.

back into the freezer

After about 10 minutes, melt the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Stirring continuously.  When most, about 2/3 of the chips have melted, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring until fully melted.

Remove balls from the freezer and dip them in the saucepan to cover with chocolate and place them back on the parchment lined plate/platter. Sprinkle immediately with either chia seeds or sea salt or both or nothing after they are dipped.

Then put them all back in the freezer when done for about 20 minutes so chocolate firms up. Then it is time to enjoy some amazing awesomeness!

If you have extra chocolate, toss in some cashews or almonds in the chocolate pan and place on parchment paper and place in the fridge to set. Another yummy treat!

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (from The Vegan8)

Oh MY! These mashers are not just for the Holidays! But the holidays are upon us, so add this to your menu!

There was never much mash potato making in our kitchen, until I tried these. We are not a family who eats a ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving meal but there is a  love for mashed potatoes. Since these were so simple and flavorful, I have decided that this is definitely a recipe to be made whenever mashed potatoes are requested!

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Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

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Sweet potato??? really??? was my first thought when I came across this ice cream recipe. I was very intrigued by it because of the ingredients… ONLY 4 INGREDIENTS!!! Now who wouldn’t want to make this??

I have had great success with Brandi at The Vegan 8 recipes which was another reason to test this one. Well we have been blessed with another heat wave :( and we want something cool and sweet. I typically do not use coconut milk, but with this being ice cream, I felt it would be necessary for the full creaminess effect.

After I had blended everything (which BTW, you just put it all in a blender, so easy!) I had to taste test. Um, well I could have kept taste testing, this stuff is seriously delish! so I can only imagine how it will be when it is ready to come out of the freezer… DEVINE!!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

Yup, that is sweet potato and dark chocolate!

 

Even though the coconut milk adds fat, it isn’t very much compared to the cream in packaged ice cream.  The processed fat and dairy which comes with a price to your health.

Our bodies can digest this easier as it is plant based. The sweet potato is loaded with Fiber, Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and also has protein and carbs, all of which come from the natural source. All the more reason to splurge once in a while with a cold treat!

 

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

Waiting for the chocolate to melt.

 

Ingredients you will need: Serves about 4 cups

Canned coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk) be sure to shake before opening
Dairy free chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels
Cooked mashed and packed sweet potato (not yams)
Pure vanilla extract
Sea salt

 

Recipe here: The Vegan 8 – click here for recipe

 

Directions:

Cook the sweet potato however you prefer. I used a microwave because I want to make this quick and I was excited to get it in the freezer :) If you choose to bake it, bake at 400 degree F with skin on until soft. Do not steam or boil it.

Once the potato has cooled, peel and mash it really well. No lumps or skin. Pack it into 3/4 cup and add it to the blender.

Continue with adding the vanilla, coconut milk and salt. But do not blend yet.

Melt your chocolate chips your preferred method. Be sure to not get the chips too hot as they will burn easy and will be useless. Also try not to eat all the chocolate ;) I used my setting on my microwave, heat for about 15 seconds then stir and heat again until about 90% is melted then remove and continue to stir until all chips are melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the blender, scraping every bit of chocolate you can from the bowl into the blender.

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

Adding the melted chocolate to the blender

 

Blend all ingredients until completely smooth. Taste test, and adjust if needed. I didn’t add anything extra to it, it tasted amazing just as is and I could have kept tasting it!

I poured mine into an ice cream storage container as I do not have an ice cream maker. If you have an ice cream maker, use it! Using the storage container, be sure to return every 30 minutes to stir to get your desired consistency. Best to set a timer for 30 minutes as a reminder and it may take at least 2-3 hours to get it to set.

Now it may not last long enough to be in the freezer overnight, but if you do have some just take it out to thaw for about 20-30 minutes to soften. Also, remember every time the ice cream is removed, thawed, and then put back in the freezer, ice crystals form. My guess is that there won’t be much to worry about that. You could always pour it in individual containers for single servings.

making choclate ice cream

Mexican Tahini Sauce

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Veggie burgers are made almost once a week, per request. I do my best to change them up, but sometimes it needs a sauce or topping that just gives it that BAM! Well, this Mexican Tahini Sauce from the lovely The Vegan 8, just knocked my socks off! Bonus, lots of savory flavor and it is oil-free!!

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Artichoke Pesto Pasta

Artichokes are not usually a request in this family, except for the hubs who likes them on the pesto pizzas or in salads.  Therefore I do not stock them very often but the nutritional benefits of artichoke hearts are something that should not be dismissed. I didn’t know much about artichoke hearts and found them to be a high source of Vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant. I don’t mind the flavor, but definitely have had to acquire a taste for them. I decided to try them in a pesto that I make and see how it goes. It worked well and was a super quick and easy meal that could be great for lunch or dinner.  Adding a variety to some basics will add beneficial nutrients.

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Chocolate Peppermint Cake

The end of school and the holiday break have given me some projects that are not blog focused, so now I am getting back to my routine after some holiday travel.

The girls helped plan the Christmas dinner and dessert for the four of us.  We had Rolled Tacos for dinner and Ava had picked Chocolate Peppermint Cake from the Vegan8. Brandi over at Vegan8 is a frequent guest in our kitchen (not physically, although I wish) her recipes have been some of the most used with our family and we have had some great success with the end results. So when this recipe came through, I showed the girls and they said, that’s dessert!

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Pesto Pizza

Try a twist on your ordinary pizza with tortillas… yes tortillas. This recipe was discovered when my “what am I going to make for dinner?!” turned into Wednesday try something new night.  I usually have the weekly dinners planned and ready because it makes my life easier,  but this particular week just got away from me

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Taco Salad

What I enjoy about this recipe is that it will go with greens, taco shells, tortillas or nachos depending on what you are in the mood for. Our family prefers eating it with greens. Ingredients: Taco Meat: 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked in water for about 4 hours 1 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp cumin