August 30, 2012

Refreshing Peach Lemonade


Welcome back Summer. I don't know how weather has been for you guys, but the past week or so the temperature has been a little on the chilly side. Except today. Today it's over 90 degrees. So while I sat in my apartment in front of my fan - I had a little craving for lemonade. The perfect Summer drink. So I ran to my kitchen and started mixing my concoction when I had another thought. You want to know what would make it even more perfect? Peaches. They're on sale right now at one of my local grocery stores - so I stocked up. I'm totally putting peaches in this lemonade.

I absolutely love peaches. They've been one of my favorite foods ever since I was a little kid. I remember going over to my Grandma's house about this time of year when I was younger and we would can peaches for the rest of the season. Then she would make these amazing peach pies, crisps, and cobblers. I gotta give her a call. We really need to do that again - and I really need to make some peach pie this Fall. So enjoy the recipe - I'm sipping on some right now. Oh yeah - and it's refined sugar free! Can't beat that!

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup of fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons or 6 smaller lemons)
  • 4 cups of ice
  • 1 peach cut into wedges for the pitcher
  • 1 lemon cut into slices for the pitcher

Mix the water, peaches, and agave nectar together in a big sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stir, and allow to simmer for three minutes. Once it's done simmering, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for twenty minutes. Once it's done cooling - pour it into a blender or use an immersion blender to create a puree. 

Juice your lemons until you've got 1 cup of fresh lemon juice. Pour the ice into a large pitcher followed by the lemon juice. Pour your cooled, pureed peach mixture into the pitcher and stir until well combined. Add in the sliced peach and lemon for decoration. Serve chilled.

August 27, 2012

3-Minute Microwave Brownie


I'm so happy I stumbled across this recipe because this is quite possibly the best brownie I have ever had. And I've had many a brownie in my day. Maybe it was the caramel sauce drizzled on top? I don't know, but it doesn't matter. I'm making this again tomorrow. Probably with chocolate chips stirred into the batter.

I love these single serving desserts so much! I'm someone who likes to limit the amount of refined sugars I eat - although it may not seem like it from all the desserts I post! So to me - having one serving of brownie is so much better than having a full pan sitting on my counter. Because I have no self control when it comes to desserts. The above brownie was gone in 2 minutes. Tops. I had to take this picture quickly before I ate the entire thing.

If you haven't seen my other single serving desserts - you have to check them out:


I have a few other ideas in store for more single serving desserts. I hope you guys love them as much as I do!

Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 2 tbsp light oil (or applesauce for a low fat version!)
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk)
  • a tiny dash of salt

Mix the dry ingredients together until well combined. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the oil and milk into the well and mix into the dry. Add the dash of salt and mix until just combined. 

Microwave for 1 minute 45 seconds - 2 minutes on HIGH. Allow to cool before eating.

August 17, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars


I have had a little bit of an obsession with PROBARS lately. Especially the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter flavor. It's like dessert for breakfast - which I'm all about. Except this dessert is much better for you than a slice of German Chocolate Cake and just as delicious! The problem with PROBARS is that they're so dang expensive. So I decided to try my hand at making my own version!

These bars are chock full of nutty and seedy goodness. They're rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants + Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids! If you're watching your calorie intake - I wouldn't eat these in excess, but it's definitely a good idea to add nuts and seeds into your diet and these breakfast bars are a great way to start!

If you don't like any one of the ingredients listed below try substituting with some of your favorite nuts or seeds. Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Pecans, Peanuts, or even Almond Butter would work great in this recipe. Use whatever you have on hand. It's that kind of recipe - you can't really screw this one up!

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl - mix together the oats, flax seed meal, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds. Mix until well combined. Pour in your agave nectar and toss all of the nuts, grains, and seeds until coated. 

Add the peanut butter into the bowl and mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. You may need to use your hands to properly combine everything. This is where it gets a little messy!

Grease an 8x8 square baking dish (or any other similarly sized dish). Pour the mixture into the dish and press firmly down. Press until the mix is an even layer. Allow to sit overnight to let the bars set. Cut into squares and serve.

August 9, 2012

Tiramisu Cupcakes


Hey guys! I hope everyone is doing well and you're having a great week! This past weekend my sister came to visit me again, so I had to come up with a delicious treat to make for us. I love it when she comes over - she loves trying all of the new stuff I make! She loved the Double Chocolate Waffles I made for her last weekend! Anyway, the people over at The Vegg had sent me a packet of their product the week before and I've been trying to figure out what to make with it. I wanted it to be special - so I started brainstorming.

What dish has a lot of eggs in its ingredients list? Tiramisu. Now - I have to be honest. I've never actually had tiramisu, but my Mom and Sister rave about it. I was such a picky little kid. With a name like Tiramisu - I wasn't going near it. Plus it had coffee in it, which was just a gross bonus. Luckily my taste buds have evolved a little bit. I know a lot of you guys have wanted a tiramisu recipe - granted this isn't a classic tiramisu recipe, but it's as close as I'm going to get for now!

I've heard a lot of people talking about The Vegg the past couple of months and I was so excited when they decided to send me a sample. I have to tell you, when I was mixing it together, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the mixture look like eggs - it even smelled like eggs! I don't know how they do it, but I'm glad they figured it out. I know a lot of people are going to be so happy with this vegan egg replacement. I can't wait to experiment more with it. Maybe scrambled "veggs" next?

To purchase The Vegg - visit Vegan Essentials here. It's my favorite online vegan retailer!

*Makes 12 Cupcakes - Adapted from this recipe*

Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 9 Vegg Yolks (3 tsp of Vegg + 3/4 cup non-dairy milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp shortening

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 

In a small bowl whisk together the non-dairy milk and vanilla. Set aside. In a blender or food processor mix together the 3 tsp of Vegg powder and 3/4 cup milk. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar until well combined then add the shortening. Mix until light and fluffy.

Fold in the dry ingredients into the Vegg mixture in the three stages to allow for proper mixing. Once the dry ingredients are properly mixed into the wet - add in the milk and vanilla. Stir until just combined - don't over mix! Divide the batter into a lined and greased cupcake pan - filling each liner about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 325˚ F for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire wrack before applying the glaze.

Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 3 tbsp Kahlua
  • 6 tbsp sugar

Combine the coffee, Kahlua, and sugar. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. Once the cupcakes have cooled slightly - poke the tops of each cake with a wooden skewer 4-5 times. Brush the glaze on top of each cupcake five or six times.

Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan cream cheese at room temperature
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (for dusting)

In a medium sized bowl blend the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until well combined and the frosting is light and fluffy. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag and top each cupcake with the frosting. Lightly dust each cupcake with cocoa powder or top with shaved chocolate! Refrigerate until you're ready to serve!

August 1, 2012

Double Chocolate Waffles


Happy August everyone! Is everyone surviving the summer heat? It's been insanely hot here in Minnesota. I sort of took an impromptu month off from blogging since I dreaded turning my oven on. Someone remind me to never move into another apartment without air conditioning. I really do LOVE Summer, but I'm sort of welcoming the cool temperatures of Autumn. It's Winter that I'm dreading. I'm trying not to focus too much on that though. Enjoy the summer while it's here...by eating chocolate for breakfast!

I made these for me and my sister when she came to stay with me for the weekend. They were absolutely delicious! Almost like having cake for breakfast, which I've been known to have in the past. I'm sure there's much less sugar in these waffles though. Either way - I hope you guys enjoy the recipe! Keeva enjoyed the few bites of waffle that she dug out of the garbage. Don't worry - she's ok! I was a little nervous there for a while. I wasn't sure how she'd react to the chocolate, but she was just fine. I guess that's the perk of being a 90 lb. dog!

This recipe made 5-6 large waffles in my waffle maker.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch**
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Almond Plus Milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup light oil (I used Safflower Oil)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

* *If you don't have cornstarch on hand - feel free to just use another 1/2 cup of all purpose flour. The cornstarch helps make the waffles more crispy, but using more flour would be just fine!

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Once well combined, set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, vinegar, sugar, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and oil. 

Using a spatula, blend in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. It's ok if your batter has lumps. Don't over mix! Fold the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter onto a greased waffle maker and bake according to your machine's instructions. Once the waffles are done cooking - top with maple syrup and enjoy!