Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble – feature recipe from Living Candida-Free

Just over a year ago, I reviewed Ricki Heller’s spectacular cookbook, Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free. Now, Ricki is celebrating the release of yet another book – Living Candida-Free. Actually, Ricki began celebrating back in January, I’m just late to the party. :)

Canadian cover on left; US cover on right

Canadian cover on left; US cover on right

If you own NS&GF, this new book is different. Living Candida-Free is more of a dietary guide than a dedicated cookbook. However, it does include 100 recipes as well as some recipe photos – so it’s a cookbook within a comprehensive lifestyle program.

This book delivers a 3-phase program to eliminate candida and restore health. What is candida?  Candida is a naturally occuring yeast in our bodies that is typically harmless. However, if candida becomes unbalanced, it feeds off of extra sugar in the body and multiplies, with serious health consequences. The symptoms can be so wide-ranging that it often goes undiagnosed by doctors. In this book, Ricki Heller outlines a detailed health plan and diet regimen designed to help people combat candida.

Even if you aren’t dealing with candida overgrowth and don’t need to follow the 3-phase program, Ricki shares knowledge and experiences that will interest you. If you are eating a vegan, plant-based, or gluten-free diet, and seeking optimal health and lifestyle balance, you’ll learn from Ricki’s insights. For instance, Ricki discusses strategies for quashing sugar cravings – which are useful for us all, and those approaches can be applied to other food habits and cravings we’d like to reduce. Also, Ricki thoroughly covers the anti-candida diet pantry list – and how to make cooking and baking substitutions for foods that aren’t permitted on the program. Beyond dietary considerations, Ricki also explains how to combat environmental conditions that can affect candida overgrowth.

Then, of course, there are the recipes! Ricki is a gifted recipe developer, and your tastebuds will not be disappointed with these wholesome, sugar-free recipes! I’ve already tried the cookie dough truffles and the crumble recipe (below). Both were incredible, and I’ve marked many more to try. Ricki focuses on flavour as well as wholesomeness, so you can count on her recipes tasting great.

If you are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free – or just plain food curious –  pick up a copy of Living Candida-Free. While you wait, indulge in this delicious crumble recipe that Ricki has allowed me to reprint…

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble from "Living Candida-Free" by Ricki Heller

Grain-Free Apple Berry Crumble

link to print/share recipe

This fresh, not-too-sweet dessert is a great way to enjoy fruit once you reintroduce it to your diet. Because the topping is grain-free, you won’t need to worry about consuming your coveted grain servings for dessert. Makes 4 or 6 servings

Filling
Coconut oil, for pan
2 small or 1 large sweet apple (I used Gala) or pear, cored and diced very small (about 1/2-inch [1.3 cm] cubes—feel free to leave the skin on)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) mixed fresh or frozen berries (not including cranberries)—I use strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; if cranberries are included in your mix, use 2 cups (480 ml) total
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
30 drops plain or fruit-flavored pure liquid stevia (I use 20 drops lemon and 10 drops cherry-vanilla)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) psyllium husks (optional—it prevents the juices from becoming too watery)
Topping
1/3 cup (55 g) raw natural almonds
1/3 cup (55 g) raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut flour
1/16 teaspoon (0.25 ml) pure stevia powder, or 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure liquid stevia, or to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) fine sea salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) virgin coconut oil, preferably organic*

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 4- to 6-cup (1 to 1.5 L) casserole dish with coconut oil.Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples, berries, cranberries, lemon zest, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, water, stevia, and psyllium, then drizzle over the berry mixture and toss again to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. (Note: You can just toss everything in the casserole dish instead of dirtying a bowl, but I found the mixture very hard to coat evenly when the ingredients were so cramped in the dish!) Make the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, blend the almonds, seeds, coconut flour, stevia, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the coconut oil and process until it’s incorporated. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling in the casserole dish. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the dish about halfway through baking, until the topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool somewhat before serving. May be frozen. From Living Candida-Free by Ricki Heller. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2015.

*Note: If you prefer not to use oil, try 1 tbsp nut butter – I did, and it worked fabulously!

Ricki’s book has gotten a lot of blogging love in recent months. Here are some additional recipes and reviews to check out:

Single-Serve PancakesChard and Chickpea SoupRaw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough TrufflesCreamy Crimson MousseThe Toronto SandwichHerbed Grain-Free Gnocchi. Also some reviews to check out about Ricki’s book.

Have you tried any recipes from Living Candida-Free? If so, please share your favourites! 

Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl (feature recipe from Plant-Powered Families!)

Our girls are on spring break this week and next, so I’m busy keeping them busy at home! They are spread out in ages (almost 14, 10, and almost 6), so I find they rarely want to do the same things. Sometimes the older two hang out, other times the younger two play together or do projects – today they are painting birdhouses. But, the girls are at a stage where they often don’t enjoy the same activities. Anyone else have this experience with their kiddos? Have any ideas or advice to share?

One thing we did enjoy this week was a walk through Redwood Park. This park is peaceful and beautiful in its own right, with majestic trees and serene paths…

 

fairy3

Recently, I heard about a “fairy kingdom” that has developed in the woods of the park. At some point, one or more children had the idea to put a couple of little wooden doors and wooden birdhouses on trees, where the fairies come to visit! Well, the idea caught on and now we have a wee enchanted forest with doors at the base of trees and painted birdhouses with charming personal touches. Here are a few examples, though the pictures don’t do justice to the entire scene:

fairy4

fairy6

We strolled through the kingdom, and all three girls were engaged with the fun. I was too! Of course, afterwards the younger girls were keen to paint their own contributions to the fairy forest. So, they started painting and decorating their little houses today. If you live in the South Surrey/White Rock area, go for a stroll in Redwood Park – the fairy fun is just beyond the treehouse.

peanutbutterpuddingtext

 

Now, when activities fail me, there’s one thing our girls always enjoy together… homemade treats! They all love this Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl. Ok, our middle daughter opts for the pudding without the berry swirl, no surprise there. :)

This is a new recipe from my Plant-Powered Families cookbook, but my publisher is sharing the recipe now. This pudding is very easy to whip together, and tastes like a PB&J sandwich – without the bread! It’s all whole-foods based, from the pudding to the swirl!

NEW! Plant-Powered Families cookbook by Dreena Burton

Oh, and for those of you possibly wondering… “uh-oh, is there a lot of peanut butter in this book? I’ve already preordered!”… No, there isn’t. In fact, I believe this is the only dedicated peanut butter recipe in the book. And, you can substitute a nut butter like cashew or almond if you have peanut allergies in your household.

And, if you missed my last post and don’t know about the preorder offer of a bonus ebook and special giveaway, check out my last post for details!

Peanut Butter Pudding with Berrylicious Swirl! from "Plant-Powered Families" cookbook by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree

Pudding photo credit: Nicole Axworthy

Enjoy the pudding, friends!

x Dreena

Nummy Brownie Bites

 

Hi friends, it’s good to be back! Thanks for your patience while I took an extended break through the holidays and beginning of this new year. That break was really crucial. I’m feeling more restored. and now easing back into work. I’m also preparing for the release of Plant-Powered Families, coming this May! I’ll have an announcement post about the new book for you next week, with a bonus preorder offer and giveaway, so stay tuned. *Updatepreorder now available!

But first, let’s bake. I created these Nummy Brownie Bites to include in my PPF cookbook. I had two brownie recipes, and had to make some content cuts, so I decided to share them here with you – right here, right now. Because we always need cookies in our lives, and brownies are particularly special!

Nummy Brownie Bites by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree

These nummy bites use almond meal and pulverized dates in the base. I know, not at all traditional! But, I promise, you won’t care once you taste them. They are a little crispy on the outside, then moist and chewy on the inside. Warning: The batter is incredibly irresistible! :)

Since this recipe was intended for my new cookbook, credit for the food photos goes to Nicole Axworthy. She was my food photographer for this book, more details in my next post. For now, enjoy the recipe…

Nummy Brownie Bites by Dreena Burton #vegan

Nummy Brownie Bites

Recipage link to print/share recipe

I’m a little in love with these cookies. They are a little crisp on the outside, and soft and moist and dense on the inside, like a fudgy brownie.

1/2 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter or other butter of choice (cashew butter, peanut butter, etc)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
2 tbsp raisins (optional)
2 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees (not 350). In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add maple syrup and dates (if your dates aren’t very soft, first soak them in the maple syrup, for about 1/2 hour)*. Process on low speed to first incorporate, and then increase speed slightly to fully pulverize and smooth dates. Since dates can vary by brand, this may take a few minutes or longer. It’s okay to see a little texture in the date puree, but no big obvious pieces – it will continue to smooth with the next step as well. Add the nut butter and vanilla and mix through again briefly to incorporate. Once smooth, turn off mixer and add almond meal, oat flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Process on low speed until mixer comes together, adding raisins if using, and chips. The mixture will be sticky, and that’s the idea. These are dense, brownie-like cookie bites. Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 tbsp in size) and transfer mounds of the batter on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-13 minutes, remove and let cool on the pan for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes about 13-15 cookies.

*If you don’t have a mixer with a paddle attachment (a hand-mixer will not be strong enough), first puree the dates with the maple syrup in a small food processor, and then add the almond butter and vanilla and puree through. Once the mixture is fairly smooth (doesn’t have to be silky smooth), transfer to a larger bowl, scraping out all the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and mix by hand until well incorporated.

Enjoy! x

Dreena

Chocolate Gem Gingerbread

Chocolate and gingerbread. Delicious on their own, but when paired together – a quintessential holiday treat. For many years I made chocolate-ginger-almond-cranberry bark for Christmas gifts, and later I began a new tradition making Chocolate Gingery Cookies (from LTEV). With those goodies in mind, I created this new whole-foods Chocolate Gem Gingerbread!

Chocolate Gem Gingerbread #vegan by Dreena Burton

 

This gingerbread is delicious without the addition of the chocolate. So, if you are a gingerbread purist, the chocolate can certainly be omitted. I sometimes make it without the chocolate myself. Shocking, yes… but true! Or, try substituting currants or raisins for the chocolate chips. If you do use the dried fruit in the loaf, I’d recommend not adding the crystallized ginger topping. The crystallized ginger is balanced with dark chocolate chips, with the raisins it’s too much.

This whole-foods vegan gingerbread is moist and flavorful thanks to the addition of almond meal. It’s also not too ‘spicy’ for young palates. My girls don’t enjoy crystallized ginger, so I often omit it or add to just a portion of the loaf. If you enjoy more ginger kick, use the full 1 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger in the loaf, along with the crystallized ginger for the topping.

With the holidays almost here, you can add this to your menu as a brunch/tea treat. Or, if you pair with a vanilla non-dairy ice cream, it can be transformed into dessert!

Enjoy, guys. Do share any feedback in the comments, as well as sharing any of your favorite chocolate-ginger combinations.

(p.s. I announced my new book on facebook this week, if you missed it, link through. You can count on a more detailed post about the book right here, in the new year.)

x Dreena

Chocolate Gem Gingerbread by Dreena Burton #vegan #holidays

Chocolate Gem Gingerbread

link to print/share

1 cups whole-grain spelt flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp oat flour (or 1 cup more spelt flour; but I prefer spelt/oat combo)
1/3 cup almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 – 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1⁄2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
options: 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips or currants/raisins
optional toppings: 2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (omit if using raisins) OR 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon OR 2 tbsp chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, sifting in the baking powder and baking soda. Stir through until well combined. In another bowl, first combine the molasses with the apple applesauce and then whisk/stir in the maple syrup, non-dairy milk, and vanilla, and mix together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture (as well as raisins or chocolate chips, if using). Gently fold and mix through, until just combined (do not overmix). Transfer mixture to a lightly oiled loaf pan (lined with a strip of parchment also useful). If using any optional toppings, sprinkle those on. Bake for 37-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove, and transfer (keeping in pan) to cooling rack. Let cool completely, then remove from pan and slice. Makes one quickbread.

Ginger Note: I typically use 1 tsp ginger, that keeps it mild enough for the kiddos. If you love ginger, feel free to bump it up!

Chocolate Gem Gingerbread by Dreena Burton #vegan #wholefoods #plantbased

Photo credit: Shout-out to Emma Potts for assisting with all these food photos! Thanks Emma. x

5-minute, 5-ingredient Chocolate Gelato

This week I realized it’s the middle of August. I haven’t posted an ice cream recipe. #gasp!

If you know my work, you know ice cream is my favorite treat. Favorite. If there is another dessert to be had – cake, pie, cookies – it better be paired with ice cream!

In my early cooking days I watched a lot of Bobby Flay cooking episodes (I learned a lot about flavor combinations from his and a few other key cooking shows). I’ve heard him express a similar sentiment about ice cream, that he would choose ice cream anytime over any other dessert. Yes. Exactly.

5-minute, 5-ingredient Chocolate Gelato by Dreena Burton #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree

I do buy a lot of vegan ice creams. Coconut Bliss is one of my favorite brands (hello salted caramel chocolate), but I’m also very fond of Amy’s, So Delicious, and Nada Moo. There’s something special about making your own ice cream, though. It tastes – well – homemade. You can customize to your sweetness and ingredient preferences, and you can taste the love!

Tricky thing is most homemade ice cream recipes require an ice cream maker, and many of us don’t have this appliance (or we may not want to pull it out any given day)! I have a full ice cream chapter in LTEV, but most use the ice cream maker. This Chocolate Gelato needs no ice cream maker. It benefits from a high-speed blender, but more of us in the vegan and plant-based world have a rambo blender!

This is also one of those gem recipes that just “came together”. I tested it one day as a pudding, throwing a few ingredients together, and using dates as the sweetener (with my chocolate chia pudding in mind). It literally took 5 minutes to make. I decided to freeze it, just to see how it would turn out. To my delight it froze beautifully.  With 5 simple ingredients, and 5 minutes of prep (excepting freezing time), I was happy to retest. And retest. And retest. 😉

I think I’ve said enough. Time to make the ice cream! Happy scooping…

5-minute, 5-ingredient Chocolate Gelato - by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen. #vegan #glutenfree #dairyfree

5-Minute, 5-Ingredient Chocolate Gelato

ReciPage to print/share

This is by far the easiest frozen dessert I’ve ever made. It doesn’t require an ice cream maker, and it’s still scoop-able after freezing! It tastes so good after blending, you can opt to enjoy as a chocolate mousse or pudding straight away – or freeze to a soft-set for gelato.

1 cup refrigerated coconut cream (from can of regular coconut milk, see note)
1 cup (packed) pitted dates (see note)
1 cup frozen banana pieces
3 TB cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

optional: 1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder or seeds from one vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (see note)

In a high-speed blender (I use Blendtec and the twister jar), combine all ingredients (see note if using a standard blender). Puree until very smooth. Transfer to a container to freeze (see note for mousse/pudding ideas). It will take 4-5 hours to freeze to a firm set, but will soft-set like a gelato in less time (about 2-3 hours). Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Coconut Milk Note: Use regular coconut milk (rather than light) from a can in this recipe. Before using refrigerate it overnight, or for a few days. The thick cream will rise to the top and be easy to scoop and measure. Use only the thick cream.

Date Note: Dates must be soft to easily puree. Some pitted dates can be old and dry. If your dates aren’t soft, try presoaking them in non-dairy milk for a half-hour or so until they soften.

Vanilla Note: I prefer the flavor of vanilla seeds or pure ground vanilla bean, but you can also use vanilla extract if you want to add that touch of flavor.

Blender Note: A standard blender may have difficulty churning the dates and frozen bananas into a smooth mix. You might want to first process the bananas and dates in a food processor, adding a small amount of the milk and then transferring to a blender to achieve a smoother puree.

Idea: As a mousse, try serving topped with fresh fruit or layered in a parfait glass with Vanilla Cashew Yogurt!

Share your feedback anytime about this recipe, love to hear from you!

And thanks to Emma for assisting with food photos!

Choosing Raw: The Cookbook (& Recipe for Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream)

At last, the brilliant and creative soul behind the Choosing Raw blog has published her first cookbook. Many of us have been a fan of Gena Hamshaw‘s work for years. It’s hard not to be. Gena delivers posts that educate and inspire us, not with recipes alone, but also with her life observations and food knowledge. She is a bright light in our plant-based world, always offering a balanced approach to raw and vegan food.

Choosing Raw cookbook

When I think of Gena, a few words come to mind: integrity, compassion, and knowledge. You feel it in every post she writes, and in Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat, these qualities shine through in print. Gena shares so much within this book, from her wisdom of food nutrition to her passion of recipe creation, to her commitment to animal rights.

I received a copy of Choosing Raw last week, and know you will love its content. Not only visually appetizing with food photos, it is a lifestyle book, answering the why, what, and how of eating a raw and vegan diet. The book is broken down as follows:

  • Preface: Kris Carr
  • Introduction: My Story
  • Part I: The Why
    • Your Health
    • Beyond The Plate
  • Part II: The What
    • Vegan Nutrition
    • All About Raw Foods
    • Frequently Asked Questions About Raw and Vegan Foods
    • Myths and Misconceptions
  • Part III: The How
    • Setting Up
    • Getting Started
    • 21 Days in The Life
  • Part IV: The Food
    • The Recipes: 15 essentials, 5 Juices, 10 Snacks, 20 Dips, Dressings, Sauces, and Spreads, 5 Meal-Size Salads
    • Level 1: Tried and True: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Level 2: Something New: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Level 3: Brave New World: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • 13 Desserts for Everyone

Gena has cleverly partitioned the recipes into food preparation/cooking “levels”. This is one very special feature of her book, graduating home cooks from easier to more complex raw recipes. I also think her meal plans (21 Days in the Life) will be extremely useful for people new to raw and/or plant-based foods.

Of course, apart from the brilliant recipe planning Gena offers, her heart truly shines through in the introductory sections. This is especially true in her personal story, but also even evident in the FAQs and myths and misconceptions. Gena connects with us from a very personal level through every chapter.

CRinside1

Raw Cobb Salad, photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

CRinside2

Coconutty for Chocolate Chip Cookies, photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

Let’s talk about the recipes for a moment, though, because they are not to be underestimated. Gena is exceptionally creative, and  the recipes range from fully raw to high raw and cooked dishes. There is spectacular food photography (by Hannah Kaminksy) for many of the recipes, capturing the vibrance of raw foods. I have highlighted many recipes that I want to try out, including: Raw Vegan Bircher Muesli, Green Lemonade, Creamy Maple Chipotle Dressing, Zucchini Pasta with Quinoa Meatless Balls, Chickpea Tofu Tahini Scramble, Raw Pad Thai, Coconut Curry Kelp Noodles, Raw Peach Cobbler, and (last but not least!) Sweet Pea Hummus Tartines. Because #hummusisafoodgroup. 😉

So many enticing recipes! This week I tried Gena’s Raw Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream and Nut or Seed Pate. These were both fully raw dishes, both incredibly easy to make. One of the myths of raw foods dishes is that they involve tedious or complicated food preparation. Not always true. These recipes were quick for me to make (I need that right now with 3 girls on summer vacay and a very active puppy), and were instantly gratifying!

Nut or Seed Pate (from Choosing Raw cookbook)

First up, the Nut or Seed PateI enjoyed snacking on it straight up with crudite, but it looked super lovely as I was assembling a sandwich, so I pulled out my iPhone to snap some pics! This particular recipe is very flexible, you can use a combination of nuts or seeds. I chose to use a combo of raw almonds and raw pumpkin seeds, and it was delightful.

choosingrawnutpate

The same day I made Gena’s Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream. I mean, who am I to resist ice cream? :) My all time fave dessert, sweet, treat. Period. This particular recipe is one of the GORGEOUS featured food photos on the cover. It’s a cinch to make, does not require an ice cream maker, and is wonderfully refreshing and tasty. I reduced the fresh ginger a little so the girls would spoon in too, as they aren’t super fond of ginger. The flavor is bright, fresh, and still creamier and more luscious than a fruit sorbet.

Gena allowed me to share the recipe with you today. We had some fresh cherries and blueberries on hand the day I took a photo. After taking these photos, I thought this would be a very beautiful (and easy) Fourth of July dessert!

Raw Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream (from Choosing Raw cookbook)

Raw, Vegan Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream (link to print/share)

This ice cream tastes entirely too delicious to be dairy free and made without an ice cream maker! Ginger and blueberries are a surprisingly harmonious combination, and the color of the finished ice cream is phenomenal. Garnish with fresh mint or a few extra blueberries before wowing your friends. Makes 4 Servings

1⁄2 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more and drained
4 frozen bananas
2 heaping cups frozen blueberries
1 1⁄2 tablespoo

ns fresh, grated ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger powder if you’re using a food processor)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons almond or hemp milk (may not be needed for the food processor version)

If you’re using a high-speed blender:
Blend all the ingredients together in a highspeed blender. Use the tamper attachment to facilitate blending. Add a little more almond milk, if necessary, to facilitate blending.

If you’re using a food processor:Place the cashews in a food processor and process until they’re broken down. Add the bananas and let the motor run until they’ve turned into soft. When you have soft serve consistency, add the blueberries, powdered ginger, and lemon, and blend until totally smooth. Add the almond milk only if you need a thinner consistency; you may not. Serve.

Leftover ice cream can be transferred to a sealed storage container and frozen for up to a week, then reprocessed in the food processor just prior to serving.

From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014.

Raw Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream from Choosing Raw

I encourage you to add this genius work to your cookbook collection. Gena will welcome you into the world of raw foods, demonstrating that it can be very simple to include raw meals and snacks in your daily meal plans. It’s not about attaching to a label or being rigid with a dietary regimen. With her heartfelt approach to eating healthy, this is far more than a cookbook. It offers guides, meal plans, scientific support, and a lot of heart. No matter where you are with plant-based eating, we can all enjoy – and benefit from – Gena’s talent and insights in Choosing Raw.

Do you have a copy of Choosing Raw? If so, what recipes have caught your eye, or have already become favorites? 

Dreamy Baked Bananas: Featured Recipe from “The China Study All-Star Collection Cookbook” (plus giveaway)!

Many years ago I read The China Study. It was before social media, before the surge of blogging, before the “rise” of the plant-based world. Yes, we are still quite a minority as vegans, but things are drastically different than they were 10 or even 5 years ago. Vastly different than 20 years ago when I began this journey. There is more awareness, more products, more online support, and more acceptance.

I remember feeling quite ‘alone’ as a vegan and a plant-based mom at that time. There was indeed information to support a plant-based diet for health, but nothing like the information available today. I was blogging, and did have that built-in community. But, in my day to day life and beginning to raise vegan children, I felt quite isolated in my choices. Nevertheless, I felt it was the best dietary choice. Not just for me, but for our growing children.

Then, I picked up a copy of The China Study. I read it whenever I could. I remember watching our eldest swim, indulging in another few pages every lesson. It was the most powerful book on plant-based nutrition that I had read. It solidified all of my beliefs, and empowered me to continue with my work. I recommended it to countless people through personal conversations and emails and on my blog (and still do). I felt everyone needed to read this book (and still do).

To this day, The China Study is a meaningful book for me. I hope to meet Dr. Campbell one day, because his work has certainly inspired my recipes, and influenced my evolution as a cookbook author.

TCScover

You can imagine my delight when I was asked to contribute recipes to the new China Study Cookbook: All-Star Collection… I was STOKED! I have contributed some brand new recipes in this collection, as well as a few “oldies but goodies”. It’s quite an honor and privilege to be included in this cookbook. (Confession: There’s also a little piece of me that believes Colin and I are now BFFs. Shhh, don’t tell him!) :)

This book is by Leanne Campbell, author of the original TCS cookbook. In this second book, Leanne invites a selection of “all-star” plant-based chefs to contribute recipes. This offers quite a diverse range of dishes and recipe styles in one whole-foods, vegan cookbook. Flipping through the book, I’m in awe of the creative spirits we have in our plant-based world. You’ll find wonderfully delicious and nutritious recipes from folks like Ani Phyo, Chef Del Sroufe, Christy Morgan, Mary McDougall and John McDougall, MD – and more! The book features over 100 whole foods plant-powered recipes, with color photography throughout.

Here is a glimpse of a few of my recipe contributions, expertly photographed by Nicole Axworthy:

Mellow Lentil Sniffle Soup_1

Gingerbread Granola_4-crop

Creamy Fettucine_3

roastedtomatoandgarlichummus

Today I’m sharing one of my newbie recipes in TCS All-Star Collection. One that I think you’ll really enjoy – my testers sure did!

Dreamy Baked Bananas. Baked bananas have always been appealing to me, irresistible in fact. They are typically baked in wads of butter (or margarine), and with so much sugar they can be sickly. This is a much healthier version, and possibly (albeit oddly) more decadent than traditional recipes. Whenever I make these, our girls squeal, and they try to wriggle in the kitchen to lick out the dish. Of course, I won’t have any of that behaviour! That dish is MINE. 😉

And now, it’s yours…

Dreamy Baked Bananas by Dreena Burton

Dreamy Baked Bananas

reprinted from The China Study All-Star Collection — link to print/share

It seems silly that something so basic, so “real,” and so effortless can taste so impossibly dreamy. But dessert food dreams do come true, and this one is especially memorable in the morning if paired with a nondairy ice cream. Serves 2-3

2 tablespoons macadamia nut butter (or raw cashew or raw almond butter)

1/4 cup nondairy milk

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

3 ripe bananas (but not overripe)

2 tablespoons raisins or chopped dates (optional, can substitute or add chopped nuts)

1–2 tablespoons coconut sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the nut butter, milk, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. It will be thick but should be smooth.
  3. Transfer to a baking dish or glass pie plate.
  4. Peel the bananas and slice in half lengthwise.
  5. Place banana slices in the mixture, then gently flip so both sides are coated.
  6. Sprinkle on the raisins or chopped dates, followed by the coconut sugar, if using.
  7. Bake for 17–20 minutes. Serve hot or warm preferably. While still good cooled, this dessert is definitely best a little warm—ice cream prefers it that way!

TIP: When I make this recipe, our girls polish off the entire dish in a blink. So I’d say it can serve three, but more likely two… or maybe that’s just in my house!

Before you zip off to bake those nanners, you have a chance to win a copy of TCS All-Star Collection! Leave a comment to enter, tell us what recipe you’d like to try from this cookbook. Or, if you’ve tried some recipes already, share your favorites! Contest rules noted in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Orange Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, oil-free, nut-free)

Hello friends! My blogging has been minimal these past two months, sorry I’ve been a little absent. I have missed communicating with you all! My absence has been for good reason, though.

I’m finishing the manuscript for my next cookbook, due March 1st! It’s been tricky finding productive chunks of work time, because my day is fragmented with preschool and school drop-offs and pick-ups, and then the after-school chaos of homework and activities. So, I’ve really had to scale down my blogging in order to work on this book. I’ll share more about the book in March, but for now I want to get to a recipe!

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and beyond cupid and hearts and flowers and romantic stuff, there’s chocolate! So, I’m sharing a chocolate recipe with you to share with your luvvies!

Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton

Here’s the thing with Valentine’s Day recipes: sometimes the treats take a lot of time to make, and they are often very rich and high in sugar. Many of us are just coming down from the holiday-sugar-high, and also don’t have time for making specialty desserts and confections. So, I have a recipe that will delight your chocolate cravings, can be made in minutes, and is healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast. You’ll also feel good about giving this one to your kiddos!

This Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding is from LTEV. I’ve tried taking photos of it before, but darn it’s hard to take a good photo of chocolate pudding. Emma to the rescue! Thank you Emma for helping me share this recipe with everyone today. :)

Bit of background on this pudding… When I first experimented with avocado in chocolate puddings, I could taste the avocado. Have you had that experience? Yes, the avocado made it incredibly creamy and thick, and yes, it was healthy. But the avocado flavor was too prominent for me, even in the chocolate base. So, I played with this recipe and realized that the addition of fresh orange juice improved the flavor profile immensely. Orange and chocolate pair beautifully together anyway. Here, the orange flavor comes forward with the cocoa muting the avocado flavor for a delicious, chocolatey, creamy, dreamy, thick vegan chocolate pudding – that’s also good for you!

Raw Chocolate Orange Pudding from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton

photo credit: coconutandberries.com

Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding

ReciPage link to print/share

This chocolate mousse (or pudding, depending on your opinion), is incredibly healthful, with a foundation of avocado and dates to create a smooth, sweet consistency. Kids will love it, and will have no idea how good it is for them!

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (or 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract)

1 cup peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped ripe avocado (about 1 large or 1 1/2 medium avocado)

1 cup pitted dates

1/3 cup raw or regular cocoa powder

1 tsp orange zest (zest orange first and then juice)

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/8 tsp sea salt (don’t omit, balances flavors)

In a food processor (or using the Blendtec twister jar, if you have it), puree all ingredients. Puree until very, very smooth, stopping processor to scrape down several times throughout processing. This pudding is very thick. If you’d like to thin it, you can do so with more orange juice, or a splash of nut milk or water. Serve or store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

For some other decadent (and healthy!) Valentine’s Day treats, check out this post from last year – some great ideas for the kiddos too!

What are you planning for Valentine’s Day, anything special? Share your food and fun!

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge (vegan, whole foods plant-based, gluten-free)

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen. Photo credit: Emma Potts, coconutandberries.com

I think you’ve all waited long enough! As promised in my 12 days of Christmas Cookies post, today you can enjoy (and gift) that Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge.

Before you scroll down, I must mention that until creating this recipe I’d never made a vegan fudge. :-O

Dreena, that’s crazy-talk!”, you say.

I know! My sweet tooth is lecturing me.

While I’ve always loved sweets, fudge has never been on my recipe radar. I love the idea of fudge – something dense and sweetly-satisfying – but it’s always been too sweet. You know what I mean? Too sugary, gritty, and sickly and yet not a lot of flavor. Almost makes that sweet tooth hurt! So, I didn’t have much interest in creating fudge recipes. Until now.

I was thinking about the frostings for my raw brownies and raw chai squares. With a few switch ups, I knew I could create a dense, sweet fudge-like square. Like fudge, but using whole-foods ingredients and healthier, lesser processed sweeteners.

On to the recipe! I hope you enjoy it, and also enjoy gifting it.

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge by Dreena Burton #vegan

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter Fudge RECIpage to share/print

I’ve always loved the idea of fudge, yet always find it too intensely sugary. This fudge is dense, satisfying, and sweet, but not sickly – and is made with much healthier ingredients than traditional fudge. The addition of vanilla powder is divine – try to use it if you can! Makes 14-18 bars/squares.

1/2 cup raw almond butter (see note)

1/2 cup coconut butter (not oil, you want the whole-foods coconut butter such as Artisana or Coconut Manna)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt

1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (can use vanilla bean or extract, see note) (I use Organic Traditions, but found this one on amazon, fyi)

1/2 tsp (roughly) extra vanilla bean powder for dusting top

Set a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Add all ingredients except that extra vanilla for dusting. Stir through gently until the coconut butter melts and the ingredients come together smoothly. Transfer mixture to a glass loaf dish (lined with a broad strip of parchment for easy removal – also helps to wipe a little extra coconut butter or oil around the inside surface for easier removal). Use a non-stick spatula to gently smooth/even out the mixture. Then, take pinches of the remaining vanilla powder and dust it over the top of the mixture. Refrigerate until completely firm. Cut into bars or squares and enjoy! Keep chilled until serving.

Almond Butter Note: Raw almond butter really tastes best in this fudge. You can substitute regular (roasted) almond butter, but be sure it’s unsalted – or you will want to reduce/omit the salt used in the fudge. Raw cashew butter would also work well.

Vanilla Note: If you don’t have vanilla powder, use 1/2 – 1 tsp vanilla extract in the mixture. You can omit the vanilla dusting for the top – or, if you have a vanilla bean you can remove the seeds and dust some of those on top. They won’t distribute evenly, and that’s ok! It’s looks lovely when the vanilla seeds are somewhat patchy over the top. Vanilla powder is pricey, but it goes a long, long way. It’s much more convenient than removing seeds from a vanilla bean too.

Note: These squares will hold at room temperature, but will soften. So, it’s best to keep chilled until just before serving. You can also freeze extras to enjoy later.

Photo thanks to Emma Potts!

 

The 12 Cookies of Christmas! (with dietary options)

Well, kids, the holidays are almost here! I’ve been thinking of my own version of The 12 Days of Christmas:

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

The 12 vegan cookies of Christmas! by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

Cookies!

Yep, I’ll take 12 days of vegan cookies over maids-a-milking and lords-a-leaping! How about you?

I thought so. 😀

These are my 12 top vegan cookie selections for you – for gifting, cookie exchanges, or just for you to enjoy! I offer the dietary labels for each, to help you identify cookies that are gluten-free, raw, nut-free, oil-free/plant-strong, and soy-free.

So, let’s pull out our fancy holiday aprons and get baking!

1. “Snifferdoodles” Dietary: soy-free, nut-free

Lightly spiced, but not as spicy as gingerbreads, these snickerdoodle cookies are festive and loved by kids and adults alike. They have just the right amount of sweetness, and are very special for gifting. If you love the flavor of anise, try the Biscochitos variation.

Snifferdoodles (aka Snickerdoodles) from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton, Plant

Snifferdoodles, photo credit: tahinitoo.wordpress.com

2.  Creamed Cheese Brownies with Salted Dark Chocolate Topping Dietary: soy-free

These are brownies to make when you want to WOW friends or guests. The ‘cream cheese’ filling is not made with vegan cream cheese, but rather a cashew blend. You’ll just have to make ’em to believe how good they are! (p.s. Many of you have emailed me loving the Gingery Cookies that are also pictured here. If you have LTEV, add those to your baking list too!)

Creamed Cheese Brownies with Salted Dark Chocolate Topping - from LTEV by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

3. Award-Winning Frosted B-raw-nies Dietary: raw, oil-free, gluten-free, soy-free

I talk about these a lot. For good reason. They are yummy. Easy. Gluten-free and raw, and sweetened with only dates and pure maple syrup. I know many of you already love these. If you haven’t tried them, it’s really time. Really. If you’d like something chocolatey like these b-raw-nies, but cannot have nuts, try the nut-free modification in my Cocoa Cookie Dough Balls. You can press the mix into a pan rather than make balls – and yep, you can top them with the frosting used for the b-raw-nies!

Award-Winning Frosted B-raw-nies, from LTEV by Dreena Burton - Plant-Powered Kitchen

4. Sticky Almond Blondies. We have brownies, we must have blondies! I absolutely love these, they are so dense and satisfying, and yet made with whole-foods ingredients and also gluten-free. They are in my Plant-Powered 15 ebook, which many of you have. The Coconut Pillows are another to try – very easy to make!

Sticky Almond Blondies by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

5. Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies Dietary: soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free (link through to GF version)

My original version of these cookies might be my most popular cookie recipe ever. They are a cinch to make, and please just about everyone! The ultimate classic chocolate chip cookie recipe, just made much healthier and of course, vegan. For those needing a gluten-free version, I’ve got you covered.

Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

photo credit: veganeatsandtreats.blogspot.ca

6. Chocolate Mint Melties Dietary: nut-free, soy-free

Think of these as your double-chocolate-mint-infused cousin of the Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you enjoy that chocolate-mint combo, you just must make these!

Chocolate Mint Melties by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

7. Nicer Krispie Squares Dietary: gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free

No kidding, these look and taste SO much like traditional rice krispie squares. Not just made vegan, but made withOUT vegan marshmallows or margarine. I think these are one of my most inventive cookie recipes ever, and I have a nut-free version coming in my next cookbook. I want everyone to enjoy these!

Nicer Krispie Squares by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

8. Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies Dietary: soy-free, oil-free

These are a robust cookie, nutty and oaty, but still sweet enough to be a pure cookie treat. You can also substitute nut butters, and I offer a nut-free modification as well!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

9. Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites Dietary: soy-free, oil-free, gluten-free option

When you’ve had enough of chocolate (did I just write that?) and want a sweet treat that tastes bright and vibrant and not sugary – these wee bites are just the thing! I think they are lovely for gifting too!

Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

10. Raw Chai Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Dietary: soy-free, raw, oil-free, gluten-free

There are some hidden gems in LTEV, and this is one of them. I hope to eventually bring you photos of all the recipes in that book because the photo is what usually inspires us to try the recipe! My thanks to Lisa Pitman for the visual inspiration to try these yummy bars…

Raw Chai Bars with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting - photo by Lisa Pitman

Photo credit: Lisa Pitman, veganculinarycrusade.com

11. Gingerbread Folks

What’s Christmas without Gingerbread? These are not too spicy, and not overly fussy to make. Decorate as simply or elaborately as you like!

Gingerbread Folks by Dreena Burton, plant-powered kitchen

12. Vanilla Bean Almond Fudge

Ok, I cheated just a little. This recipe is coming next week. It’s worth the wait, promise! #suchatease 😉

Vanilla Bean Almond Fudge by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

I can’t finish just yet. A post about gifting cookies and treats just isn’t complete without mentioning the new Edible Gifts ebook from Nicole Axworthy and Lisa Pitman.

ediblegifts

I adore these ladies, and adore their new ebook. Beautifully designed and filled with imaginative and exciting recipes. If you love to gift goodies, during the holidays or anytime of year, have a look at this book. You will really enjoy it!

Do you have a very favorite Christmas cookie? Or, do you have a cookie that is your signature holiday cookie? Or a Christmas baking tradition? Let’s hear it! (and stay tuned for that almond fudge!) xx