Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting (vegan, oil-free)

Yes, a long recipe name. Worth every syllable, because this cake is a PPF sensation!

I know I’ve posted quite a few sweet treats lately. But, we are leading up to the holidays, and I’m still involved in the Earth Balance Holiday Bake-Off. So, dessert it is, kids!

So, what’s special about this chocolate cake?

I mean, it’s yet another chocolate cake. How many do we need?

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting #vegan #wfpb #oilfree #dessert #cake #chocolate www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

You could say this one is special because it’s vegan, whole-grain, oil-free… and has nutrient-dense sweet potatoes in both the frosting and cake. But, I think it’s special in that the whole is far more than the sum of its parts. And, it’s special because of how readers are embracing it, and celebrating special family times with this recipe.

I was pretty fond of this recipe when I created it. My family was too. But, I truly didn’t know how all of you would feel about it. It’s not a classic chocolate cake with a hefty dose of sugar and fat. So, I wondered how well it would be accepted.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting #vegan #oilfree #cake #dessert #chocolate #dairyfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #plantbased

I had a fair idea through recipe testing, when one of my (very) oil-free-skeptical friends tried it for the first time. He didn’t know it was oil-free, and said he was shocked because it was one of the best chocolate cakes he had tasted! Then, other reports came in from testers – and now from many of you. Our facebook group has been posting pic after pic of this cake, and it’s become a bit of a sensation in the group!

That’s it, I couldn’t resist any longer. The recipe is now yours, all yours. 😀

I hope you love it! Don’t forget to enter the EB bake-off if you are thinking about it.

Thanks for your continued support of Plant-Powered Families and your generous reviews on amazon.

Dig in, guys! x Dreena

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting #vegan #dairyfree #cake #dessert #chocolate #oilfree #plantbased www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Sweets Frosting

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This cake is sweetened partially with cooked sweet potato, which also adds moisture
and a tender texture. Pair it with the Chocolate Sweets Frosting (below), and you have a cake fit for a special occasion! Makes 1 cake layer (double the batch for a 2-layer cake).

3/4 cup peeled, cooked, and cooled orange sweet potato (see note)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole-grain spelt flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup mini or regular nondairy chocolate chips
1/2 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat an 8” x 8” brownie/cake pan or a 9” round cake pan with coconut or other oil, and fit the bottom of the pan with a small piece of parchment paper. In a blender (or using a handheld blender and a deep cup or vessel), puree the sweet potato, 1/2 cup of the water, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut sugar, chocolate chips, and sea salt, then sift in the cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry (be sure to scrape out all the blended ingredients with a spatula, and use the remaining 1 tablespoon of water to rinse the blender jar and get out any remaining puree). Mix until just well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared pan, bake for 21–23 minutes, remove, and let cool on a cooling rack.

Sweet Potato Note: Orange sweet potato is a little sweeter and also a little looser than yellow sweet potato. I prefer orange in this recipe, but if you’d like to use yellow, add another 1–2 tablespoons of water, and another 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to
the wet ingredients to loosen slightly.

Chocolate Sweets Frosting

Yes, this frosting is made with cooked sweet potatoes! Once blended with rich nut butter and other  ingredients, it turns into a thick, irresistible frosting! Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

1 loosely packed cup peeled, cooked, and cooled sweet potato (see note)
2/3–3/4 cup coconut sugar or other unrefined sugar(see note)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 scant cup raw cashew butter or almond butter
1/4 rounded teaspoon sea salt
2–5 tablespoons nondairy milk (see tip)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the sweet potato, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, cashew butter, sea salt, 1–2 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. It’s best to use a blender or processor (versus a stand mixer) if using orange sweet potato, to fully smooth out the potato. Taste, and add more sweetener if desired, and also another 2–3 tablespoons of milk if needed to thin to preferred consistency (you may need more milk using yellow sweet potato as they aren’t quite as moist as the orange). Puree until smooth, scraping down the blender/processor bowl as needed. Puree until as smooth as possible. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. Or, get a spoon and dig in!

Sweet Potato Note: I prefer using yellow sweet potato in this frosting, but this is still ridiculously delicious with orange sweet potato.

Coconut Sugar Note: Because coconut sugar does not have a fine texture, it’s useful to first process in a blender to make it powdery. If you have a high-speed blender, simply pulse a cup or more until powdery (reserve the extra for another use). If using a regular blender, process 1 1/2–2 cups of sugar with 1–1 1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, until it becomes powdery.

Kitchen Tip: This is a thick frosting. If you want to thin out, add more milk. After refrigerating, you can also transfer to a mixer with a whisk attachment to add the milk and fluff up the frosting.

Idea: Add 1–1 1/2 teaspoons of orange zest or 1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract for a slight cherry flavor.

Apple Nachos Supreme! + Earth Balance Bake-Off 2015

Happy November, and Happy World Vegan Month! <3

The holiday season will soon be here. Holy hannah the baking begins, aprons on!


This year, I’m honored to be one of the judges for Earth Balance’s 5th Annual Holiday Bake-Off!  I have the privilege of judging the competition this year alongside Chloe Coscarelli and Emily von Euw.

If you’re unfamiliar with the bake-off, it gives vegan bakers everywhere the opportunity to compete virtually for a chance to win incredible prizes. This year there are 4 categories: pies, savory baked goods, cakes/cupcakes, and cookies and bars.

I’ll be judging the pies category, and I’m also participating in an an Instagram “takoever” this week! So, if you’re on IG, follow me for more!


Some of you may be wondering… “Dreena, your recipes don’t use Earth Balance butter or coconut spread… what gives?” True. My current recipes utilize whole foods ingredients. However, I have used some of these products in my earlier cooking days. Plus, Earth Balance has a line of peanut butter products that I do use. Plus-plus… have you tried their popcorn? 😉

Seriously, my philosophy about eating vegan is that as a family we eat about 90% whole foods. I talk about this in Plant-Powered Families and Let Them Eat Vegan. So, while I cook and bake with whole foods ingredients, we also enjoy some convenience foods as a family. For instance, we use some store-bought vegan cheeses for school lunches and parties (as nut cheeses aren’t possible with nut allergies), and our girls love taking the Earth Balance popcorn to movies with friends! As a mom, I love that they can have these treats with their friends rather than feel they miss out at parties and events. In short, I’m delighted to be a part of this event. I always encourage a vegan choice, as diet is a journey.

Speaking of the popcorn, I’ll now share a timely (and fun!) recipe from Plant-Powered Families. These APPLE NACHOSE SUPREME will be a hit at holiday parties!


x Dreena

Apple Nachos Supreme! #vegan #glutenfree #soyfree #wfpb #plantbased #oilfree #dairyfree #healthy #snacks www.plantpoweredkitchen.com


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Your kids will LOVE this treat. It feels so festive and special, yet is pretty easy to pull
together and is quite healthy! You can customize with toppings you like best. (Don’t be intimated by the length of the recipe, it’s just to give details, and I offer short-cuts!)

Spiced Caramel (see note for quick-fix option):
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon allspice (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
1/3 cup plus 2–3 teaspoons water

Apple Base:
3 apples, cored and sliced into thin rounds
2 teaspoons lemon juice

3–4 tablespoons nut butter of choice or peanut butter (see note)
1 1/2–2 cups popped popcorn (can pop yourself or use storebought)
3–4 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips
2–3 tablespoons chopped nuts (optional)
2 tablespoons cranberries or raisins (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 recipe prepared Spiced Caramel (or brown rice syrup, as in note)

To make the spiced caramel: Puree the dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, allspice, vanilla bean powder, and 1/3 cup of the water in a blender or small food processor (I use the Blendtec twister jar, which is the perfect size for this small batch—you can also use a mini food processor but it may not get as smooth). If it’s difficult to get the mixture moving, add another teaspoon of water, and more if needed. (Try not to add too much at once, or the mixture could become too thin.) Puree until completely smooth. Once smooth, transfer to a small zip-top bag (to later pipe onto the nachos). To make the apple base: Toss the apples in the lemon juice. Arrange on a large plate. To assemble with toppings: Add the nut butter to a small zip-top bag. Seal the bag, and push/twist all the nut butter to one end. Snip the smallest piece off a corner and you can then pipe the nut butter over the apples. Alternatively, you can gently warm the nut butter and drizzle with a spoon. Distribute the popcorn, chocolate chips, nuts, cranberries, and shredded coconut on top of the apples, as desired. Finally, take the prepared caramel in the zip-top bag, seal the bag, and twist/snip off a small corner. Drizzle over the apple nachos. Serves 3-4.

Caramel Note: For a quick fix, substitute brown rice syrup for the caramel. Use 1/4–1/3 cup, and you can choose to stir in some of the spices, or leave as is.

Serving Suggestion: I like to drizzle one layer of nut butter on top of the apples, to help the toppings stick, and then a drizzle of the caramel last—it looks so lovely! You can switch it up, using the caramel first and then the nut butter last if you like. Also,
another option is to make a nut caramel, blending the nut butter straight into the date caramel. You may need to add a touch more water to get it moving in the blender (depending on your blender).

Kitchen Tip: These are best served soon after making. The lemon juice will help preserve the color of the apples, but not for long. You can prepare the date caramel in advance, and get the ingredients prepped in advance, then simply assemble before serving.

Apple Nachos Supreme! #vegan #dairyfree #healthy #snacks #dessert #wfpb #glutenfree #oilfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

So… do you have an original recipe that you think is a contender for the bake-off? I encourage you to submit it

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Dreena’s Peanut Butter Cups (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)


So many of the foods we love are connected to memories. Favorite meals and desserts we had as children, foods we shared with friends, dishes during the holidays, and more.

Dreena's PB Cups #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

While I’ve talked about some of the junky foods I ate as a child, I have many memories of home-cooked meals and treats. I remember my mom putting a lot of love and time into making stews, casseroles, and more. She is famous for her mac ‘n cheese,  cod au gratin, and rhubarb jam. She had six girls, so I cannot even fathom how much food she had to buy and prepare to feed us all. She also had a husband who loved good food. I remember many family dinners, and how much my father would appreciate those meals. Even if he didn’t get seconds because of six growing girls.

My father passed just after my 11th birthday. Today is the anniversary, it’s now 34 years since that day. Our middle daughter (Bridget) is almost the exact age I was when it happened. Charlotte and Hope are quite close to the ages of two of my sisters. I haven’t written much about my family history and childhood. My dad was a recreational pilot, and died in a helicopter accident (my three cousins were also with him). It was a single, tragic, inexplicable event that changed our lives forever. There were other things going on that hurt our family life and relationships – some related to our dad’s tragedy, some not. But, they all took a very heavy toll on our family, and our hearts and souls.


I find it hard to believe it’s been 34 years. Moments can trigger a memory that brings me to tears in seconds, and yet most of my days I’m carrying on with my life as an adult (as we do). I mentioned in my last post that it was my birthday this week. For years and years I didn’t enjoy my birthday because it felt so close to my dad’s death. There were other deaths in October for our extended family when I was young. So, October has always felt very dark and emotional for me.

Last year I realized how much I was connecting the two, and this year I made a conscious effort to separate them. I’ve been joking with friends that I’m making it my “birthweek” or “birthmonth” rather than birthday. I figure if my actual birthday isn’t great, or the few days before or after, I can certainly celebrate the person I am on other days. We should all be doing this, don’t you think? It doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly efforts. Just finding ways to appreciate and love ourselves. This year I did enjoy my birthday. I still think of my dad, and my mom, and my sisters at this time. How could I not? But, I’m feeling differently this year, and maybe that’s why I am choosing to write about it today.

I mentioned my dad loved hearty home-cooked meals – and he also loved his treats! My mom made the best jams, date squares, and pies. And, I remember my dad having a good stash of chocolate bars in the house. Dad was also a huge prankster. He would have loved how Halloween has become this big event of spooking out your house! He’d be part of it, in full character. He’d also be scoring his favorite treats from the stash.

I created these PB Cups as a healthier (but still delicious) alternative to Reese’s for Halloween. I think my dad would have loved them. I think you will too.

x Dreena

Dreena's PB Cups #vegan #glutenfree #oilfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Dreena’s PB Cups

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These little cups are much like an open-faced Reese’s cup – made much healthier! Makes 15–18 cups

Chocolate Base:
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
2 1/2 tbsp coconut butter

Peanut Butter Topping:
2 tbsp coconut butter
1/3 cup natural unsalted peanut butter (see note for substitution)
3 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 rounded tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder

Line a mini-muffin pan with 15–18 small muffin liners. To make the chocolate base: Set a heat-proof bowl over a small pot or double boiler with a few inches of water in it. Turn heat to medium. Add chocolate chips and coconut butter to the bowl. Stir through until well combined and melted. Remove from heat, and
spoon roughly one tablespoon of chocolate mixture into each liner. Once finished, transfer the pan to the fridge to cool completely. Reserve saucepan with hot water or double boiler (still with just a small amount of water in it). To make the peanut butter topping: Add the coconut butter to another small bowl, place over the saucepan/double boiler, and allow it to melt. If needed, turn on low heat to help melt. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter mixture. In a mini food processor, puree the peanut butter, coconut sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add the melted coconut butter to the peanut butter mixture and puree until fully incorporated.
To assemble: Once chocolate cups are chilled and firm, spoon about 11/2 tbsp peanut butter mixture on top of each of the chocolate cups. I use a small cookie scoop, and then gently smooth out the peanut mixture to cover the chocolate. Place the cups in the fridge until completely chilled, about an hour.
Peanut Butter Note: You bet you can substitute a nut butter – try almond or cashew! If your peanut butter/ nut butter does contain salt, reduce the salt measure to just under 1/8 tsp.

Food photos credit: Nicole Axworthy

Back-To-School Giveaway… Blendtec and Plant-Powered Families!

In my last school post I hinted about a big giveaway. It’s here!

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Blendtec to share my ideas for packing nut-free school lunches. In their post, I share 3 of my favorite blender-friendly, nut-free recipes from Plant-Powered Families, plus a bunch of my lunch ideas from the book.

Double giveaway! Blendtec Designer 625 plus Twister Jar and copy of Plant-Powered Families cookbook! #blendtec #backtoschool #plantbased #vegan #healthy #plantpoweredfamilies

Jump over to Blendtec’s blog for these tips and recipes, including this YUMMY Chunky Monkey Smoothie!

Chunky Monkey Smoothie recipe from Plant-Powered Families #vegan #dairyfree #smoothies #blendtec #wholefoods #plantbased

Then, enter to WIN your own Blendtec Designer 625 with Twister jar, and a copy of Plant-Powered Families! You can enter over on Blendtec’s blog, or right here, below!

Thanks Blendtec for the giveaway, and good luck kids!

x Dreena

Plant-Powered Kitchen & Blendtec Giveaway

Plant-Based Lunchboxes: 5 Tips to Get Organized!

Update: I just found some practical, well-design water bottles – at Winners! I’ve updated the image and linked to the amazon page.

I’ve shared some posts with my top baking recipes for back-to-school, and also my go-to foods and tips for packing plant-powered lunches. Today, I’ve decided to help you with the logistics of packing lunches, from kitchen gear to organization.

Packing lunches seems to strike either anxiety or grief with parents – or a bit of both. It’s understandable, between school allergy issues, eating a vegan diet, and individual weegan food preferences, it can feel like all too much. A little planning goes a very long way.

5 Tips to Get Organized for Packing Healthy School Lunches #plantbased #lunches #backtoschool #healthy #kids #vegan www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

So, here are my 5 tips to help get you 0rganized to pack plant-powered lunches:

1. Batch Cooking and Baking. I talk about batch cooking in some detail in Plant-Powered Families. It’s not just helpful for planning dinners, but also for packing lunches. The benefits apply to both ingredients/individual foods and specific recipes. Are you…

Baking potatoes? Bake another 5-6 spuds. You can use them in lunches – sliced in sandwiches, cubed to dip in hummus, mixed with veggies or beans as a salad, added to a thermos soup, etc.

Making hummus? Do at least a double batch. Refrigerate and freeze portions so you don’t have to make it every week.

Cooking pasta for dinner? Make extra and use another day in a lunch (many ideas in PPF).

Making snack cookies or muffins? Double batch and freeze some for next week. This will save you time in the long run, and you’ll get into a groove with some regular lunch fixes that your kiddos love.

Red Lentil Hummus #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Red Lentil Hummus – a reader fave from Plant-Powered Families!

2. Lunchbox Picks. What will work best for you to pack lunches? We’ve had some discussion on this in our PPF FB group. Some of us mamas love the bento style boxes. I recently got a PlanetBox, and while it’s a little pricier than some other lunchboxes, I think it’s worth the price.

PlanetBox Rover #backtoschool #lunch #healthy #lunches #lunchbox www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

PlanetBox Rover

It’s stainless steel, very durable, and with a smart design. In the past I’ve used boxes with lidded containers, and the girls often lost components. It’s a bit of a nuisance to replace those pieces, so that’s something to consider. For another option, choose the widely available ziploc or glad containers. They are BPA-free now, and come in many different sizes. I’ve found that useful for the past number of years packing for bigger and smaller appetites. I also pack hubby’s lunch, and send him off with 5 or 6 containers. I also re-use containers from vegan yogurt and dips for things like grapes, crackers, segmented oranges, and other small lunch items.


Copco BPA-free water bottles

Copco BPA-free water bottles

Having two or three BPA-free water bottles per kiddo is also very helpful. Many times bottles are left behind in the classroom. I like to fill the girls’ water bottles the night before. It saves just another few minutes in a frantic school morning! *After writing this post I stumbled on the coolest water bottles – at Winners. Actually, Charlotte found them. She’s at that age where some water bottles are just ‘not cool’… anything with patterns or worse, flowers! What I like about these copco bottles is that they are compact, fit in backpack side pouches easily, and yep, they are BPA-free. Also, they unscrew about 1/3 of the way down for easy cleaning, and also to add ice cubes or citrus slices! And the attached cap is brilliant. 

3. Keep It Simple. Kids love their favorite foods, and lunch times at school are not the time I “experiment” with new foods. Unless the girls ask to try something in their lunches, I stick to the foods I know they’ll love and eat. Why? Because they have very little time to eat (about 10-15 minutes), and I want them to actually eat! I prefer to use dinner hour and weekends as times to work in some new food choices or work on those picky food tendencies. So, keep it simple for yourself and your kiddos. You’ll save yourself some money – and a lot of stress.

4. Rotate Key Recipes. On that note of keeping it simple, make a list (either on paper or mental notes) of some key recipes to rotate week to week. As the school year progresses, you may want to freshen up the recipes with some new ones you’ve discovered and the kids really enjoy. But start now with a list of some favorites. For us, it’s Chickpea Nibbles (PPF, recipe also here), Simplest Marinated Tofu (PPF, recipe also here), muffins and snack bars, Super Cheesy Sprinkle (PPF) and plenty of hummus recipes!

Simplest Marinated Tofu #vegan #glutenfree #nutfree #kids #lunches www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

Simplest Marinated Tofu

"Cinnabon" Muffins by Dreena Burton #vegan #nutfree #wholefoods

Also don’t hesitate to rely on some quick fixes for weekly rotation. Some of ours: *Amy’s Baked Beans (stir in another cup or more of cooked beans, stretch that sauce!), whole-grain fig/fruit bars, and nut-free veggie burgers. (*As a side, I often make sandwiches with the Amy’s Baked Beans (+extra beans). Put a layer between whole-grain bread, add a slice of Daiya cheese if you like, voila! Baked bean sandwich.)

Chickpea Nibbles #vegan #wfpb #glutenfree #nutfree www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

A weegan favorite: Chickpea Nibbles!

5. Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again… there are a couple of kitchen appliances that make my food prep a lot easier. First, a large capacity food processor. I have a Breville, it’s 16-cup and BPA-free. I don’t think you need a 16-cup, but at least a 12-cup (and preferably 14). This is how I triple, and even quadruple, batches of hummus. I also make double batches of veggie burgers and protein power balls (also from PPF, nut-free for school!). Second, a very good blender. Preferably high-speed. I use a Blendtec. and I’ve had it for about 8 years now. Yes, it’s more expensive than a standard blender. But, it does a heck of a lot more! I use mine daily (usually 2-3 times a day), for morning smoothies. Then, I use the twister jar for things like sauces, salad dressings, chia puddings, nut butters, and the nut-free super cheesy sprinkle the girls love so much. We lost power recently for a full day, and I felt lost without my Blendtec! I use it in many recipes throughout PPF, as well as here on the blog. If you don’t yet have a Blendtec, stay tuned – giveaway coming up! :)

Blendtec blender - stay tuned for giveaway!

Blendtec blender – stay tuned for giveaway!

I hope these tips help you get a little more organized for the school year. Please share any tips that you think might help others reading – and me too! 


Back with more soon…

x Dreena

Giveaway: VEGA Gift Pack + Plant-Powered Families (over $200!)

Giveaway of VEGA bundle and Plant-Powered Families cookbook www.plantpoweredkitchen.com Many of you know I love my green smoothies. I’ve been making them daily for about 10 years, and so far haven’t tired of them! I pretty much make the same combination most days. No recipe needed, just a general sense of ingredients and proportions, and modifying as I go.

Initially when I started making green smoothies, I didn’t add any protein powders. Later, I started experimenting with Vega products. Over time, I found a few favorites I really enjoyed – and over time, I noticed that the flavor profiles of Vega really improved. Now, Vega has quite a wide range of products from nutritional shakes to sport drinks to incredibly delicious snack bars.

Why do I use Vega? I just love it! It’s not that I feel we “need” the protein. I do appreciate its nutritional profile, especially when days are busy for us and the kids. But I also just love the flavors. Is that peculiar? When I make my green smoothies and add the vanilla, coconut almond, or tropical powders, the flavor is elevated… tastier! Plus, because of its nutritional profile, adding vega to our smoothies does make them more satisfying when “on-the-go”.

After experimenting with my favorite vanilla and tropical flavors, I turned to chocolate. (What took me so long?) 😉 I tried the chocolate powder and created this Chunky Monkey Smoothie recipe, now in Plant-Powered Families.

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

…and then used it in these Protein-Power Balls (also in PPF)…

Protein Power Balls

I use the vanilla and tropical Vega powders in a couple of other PPF recipes as well. Given my love for Vega, and use in PPF, it seemed a natural fit to bundle a giveaway of my Plant-Powered Families cookbook with some of my favorite Vega products.

The cool cool folks at Vega agreed, and we have put together a fine prize pack for you!

The winner of this giveaway will receive:

1 Large Tub of Vega One Vanilla
1 Tub of Protein & Greens Tropical (my fave!)
1 Tub Vega Sport Mocha Protein
1 Box Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts & Sea Salt Snack Bars – (these are dangerously good!)
2 BPA-free Shaker Cups (we have these and love ’em)
1 copy of Plant-Powered Families

Giveaway of VEGA bundle and Plant-Powered Families cookbook www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

This Vega bundle is valued at over $200! 

Lucky for us, the folks at Vega are super cool and offering not just this giveaway, but also giving us plant-powered families 20% off plus FREE shipping on any orders until August 2nd in their online store (you won’t get a better discount than this).

To get the 20% off and free shipping, enter this code at checkout: PPFamilies 

Here’s the link again to their online store: Vega e-store. I’m stoked, I’ll be ordering myself – and have my eye on this tee. :)

Take advantage of this sweet deal. and then enter to win this enter prize pack below. Tell us which Vega product you love the most – or which you’re most keen to try!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I have not received monetary compensation to post this discount and giveaway with Vega. I simply love Vega products, and Vega is supporting my work with this offer and gift bundle. Thank you, Vega!

Why We Shouldn’t Eat Meat and Dairy: From 10 Year-Old

Why We Shouldn't Eat Meat Or Dairy - from a 10 year old www.plantpoweredkitchen.com

With school coming to a close this week, I want to share something pretty remarkable that took place this year.

In the spring, our 10 year old, Bridget, came to me after school about speeches taking place in her class. The conversation went something like this:

B: Mom, we are doing speeches in our class and get to pick our own topic.

Me: Ok, well, what do you think you’d like to talk about?

B: I already know. I want to talk about why people shouldn’t eat meat and dairy.

I paused for a minute. Then I replied “Are you sure?? We can think of other ideas?

In other words, I wasn’t sure. While we talk about many aspects of food at home, I don’t expect our girls to be activists in school or with their friends. I don’t ask them to preach the values of a plant-based diet. But this came up entirely organically for her. Despite my questioning her readiness, she was certain. She was passionate to share why she felt, in her heart, why people shouldn’t eat meat and dairy.

She presented her speech to her class, and was then chosen to present her speech to the school and parents.

I’m posting her speech for you to read and share:

Good morning / afternoon teachers and fellow students!

Raise your hand if you eat meat or dairy. Raise your hand if you think you have to eat meat and dairy to be healthy.

My name is Bridget, and today I’m going to share 3 important reasons not to eat meat and dairy: our health, the environment, and animals.

Meat and dairy are not good for us like people think. Studies have shown that our biggest health problems are linked to eating meat and dairy – including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. We don’t need to eat meat or dairy, we can get all the nutrition we need in other foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains. Not only can you be healthier without eating meat and dairy, it is also better for our environment, and kinder to animals that share our world.

In order for us to eat meat and dairy, animals have to be raised in factory farms. These are not farms with grass and sunshine. Instead, animals are kept in buildings that are factories, and people are cruel to the animals. Animals suffer and are tortured every day of their lives on these farms. On milk farms, baby cows are even torn away from their moms so the mommy cows can produce milk. If they don’t produce enough milk they kill the cows. The baby cows never see their mothers again.

Eating meat and milk products is also bad for our environment. We all want to do things like recycle, and use less water to help our environment. But, the one thing that makes the MOST difference? How much meat and dairy we eat. Consider this: skipping just one burger saves enough water to drink for 3 months!

Chickens, pigs, and cows feel and love just the same as animals like cats and dogs. They bond with other animals, and with people too. They value their lives just as much as we do, and they feel pain just as we do. If people treated our cats and dogs the way cows and chickens are treated on factory farms, they would be arrested! Yet, we eat these animals every day, but we would never imagine eating our dog or cat.

I have been raised without meat and dairy. I’m healthy, happy, and just like other kids. I eat pizza, hot dogs, burgers, ice cream, and so many other delicious foods, without any meat or milk! Every time we make a choice not to eat animals, it helps our health, our planet, and the animals. Please think about this. Thank you.

She asked if she could wear the “Plant-Powered” t-shirt for her speech. I didn’t encourage that one, either! Here she is on her way out the door that morning…


…and here she is delivering her speech to the school (see the raised hands?)



As a parent, we wonder whether our children are receiving the lessons and messages we are communicating. When days are tough, we feel our efforts are wasted, or that we are doing a terrible job as a mother or father. Then, we have moments where we see our children blossoming, developing into their own person. We see their heart, their courage, their care, their beautiful spirit.

This was one of those moments for me. Bridget feels more compassion about animals than any of our daughters. It’s just “in” her. She wants to free every bug or fly that enters our home, and she wants to start an animal rescue this summer… at our house! (We’ll talk about that one, lol.) But, this child has a heart for animals. More than I ever impressed upon her or ever expected. She was proud to present this speech, and I was beyond proud to listen to her.

Who knows, next year we may revolutionize hot lunch. Baby steps. :)

Feel free to share this speech! 

x Dreena

Bananascotch Pudding


It feels like I haven’t posted in weeks! I thought things would settle down after my signing, but it continues to be very busy. End-of-year is always busy at school (right mamas?) and I’m still pretty active with the book release.

"Bananascotch" Pudding by Dreena Burton www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #vegan #glutenfree #wholefoods #plantbased

Plus, last weekend I was away for Ottawa VegFest! It was incredible, I’ll share some pics and details in my next post. For now, I want to share a new vegan recipe with you.

This one is very easy. It was another recipe I had intended for PPF, but the puddings section was amply filled. My testers loved this plant-based pudding. The ingredients are ones we usually have right on hand, and with a quick blender blitz: a pudding that is a cross between… banana pudding and butterscotch pudding!

"Bananascotch" Pudding by Dreena Burton www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #vegan #glutenfree #wholefoods #plantbased

Bananascotch Pudding 

link to print/share recipe

This pudding tastes like a cross between butterscotch and banana! It’s incredibly quick and easy to make, and kids love it for dipping fruit, slathering on waffles or pancakes, or eating straight up as pudding.

2/3 cup soaked and drained cashews (soak for 3-4 hours, drain fully)
1/2 cup overripe banana, sliced
3-4 tbsp coconut sugar (adjust to taste)
1/8 scant tsp sea salt
3/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean

Blend cashews, banana, 3 tbsp of coconut sugar, sea salt, yogurt, and vanilla in a blender. If using a high-speed blender, this will take just a minute or two. With a standard blender, you will need to scrape down the blender a few times and work the mixture. Taste, and add more coconut sugar if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 2-3

Serving Suggestions: Serve with fresh fruit, or top portions with shredded coconut or chopped nuts. Also, try layering with plain or vanilla non-dairy yogurt and granola in parfait cups!

Enjoy, guys! Before I sign off, below are some recent reviews, giveaways, and features of Plant-Powered Families. If you are loving the book, would you take a minute to add a review on amazon? Thanks!

x Dreena

Bits and Bites
The Blender Girl review and recipe for Creamy Fettucine
Ricki Heller review and recipe for Baconut
Kathy Patalsky of Healthy, Happy Life review, giveaway, and recipe for Cinnamon French Toast
Love Fed review, giveaway, and recipe for Savory Chickpea Omelets
Kiwi Magazine recipe for Baconut
Veg Kitchen recipe for Polenta Pizza Crust
Pure Thyme review, giveaway, and recipe for Artichoke Sunflower Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce and No-Bake Granola Bars
Taste Space review and recipe for Chickpea Nibbles
Vegan Mainstream review and Q&A
Heartwise Ministries Radio Interview

Video: Plant-Powered Families Releases Today!


Today is the official release of Plant-Powered Families! I’ve made a brief video to talk about the book, and also to thank you for your ongoing support.

Few notes from the video:

I’ll keep it short today. I have a whole lotta’ house to clean up here. Been a busy week with wee girl’s birthday party and getting ready to for the book launch.

My gratitude, once again, to all of you for your support and community over the years. And, my thanks to the incredible team at BenBella Books for helping me bring this book to print. <3

x Dreena

Plant-Powered t-shirts, “weegan” onesies, and more!


Do you have a “weegan”? Are you a plant-powered cook? Do you want spread the word about eating vegan and Living plant-powered?

Now you can… with these energetic, bright t-shirts, totes, and aprons. Yes, even onesies!

Since I started writing Plant-Powered Families two years ago, I’ve wanted to bring out some feel-good vegan t-shirts and items. So, a couple of months ago I hired a designer and an assistant to help out with these designs. I’m really pleased with them, and hope you like them too. Here’s just a few of the items (link through to see ALL).

"Plant-Powered" t-shirts and more! via Dreena Burton www.PlantPoweredKitchen.com #vegan

"Weegan onesie! via Dreena Burton www.PlantPoweredKitchen.com #vegan



My favorite so far is this bamboo tank! Yep, I ordered one for myself (and an apron, and kiddo tee, etc). And, if I had still had a wee babe, I’d have defintiely ordered that onesie too!

It’s almost cute enough to try for a 4th. Almost. 😉

These items and more (including mugs and aprons) are now available through this page. Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Also, remember you have a chance to win a selection of these goodies! Check out my post for details.

Stay tuned, next week I have a wicked giveaway for Mother’s Day… and a site makeover!

Plant-Powered shirts, totes, mugs, and aprons for the whole family! www.plantpoweredkitchen.com #vegan

Please tell me… do you like the designs? What else would you like to see down the road? More quotes? Different items? Please send along your feedback so I can create more designs for your plant-powered self and loved ones! 


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