Vegan Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispie Treats

Pumpkin luvahs, do you feel me?!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Spice Rice Krispie Treats
Yield: 1 dozen (approximately 170 calories each)

I don’t think my newest recipe needs much of a preamble except to say, what are you waiting for?

4 tablespoons vegan butter
10 oz vegan marshmallows (I use Dandie brand)
6 cups rice cereal (I actually use Erewhon brown rice but you could use the Rice Krispies brand)
Pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
Optional garnish: 12 pecan halves

Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake papers and set aside. In a large saucepan over medium to low heat, melt butter and marshmallows, stirring continually. Vegan marshmallows melt more slowly than regular marshmallows, so be patient and keep stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients, except pecans, until completely combined, and divide evenly among cupcake cups, pressing down firmly. Garnish each with a pecan half if desired. Cool to room temperature and store in refrigerator In an airtight container.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Mini Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes (almost raw!)

 Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

Vegan Almost Raw Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes…this one for the win!

I promised I would be back with you when I had refined my recipe for vegan pumpkin cheesecake enough to share with all of you vegan aficionados. I am thrilled to say my most recent taste test is a keeper! And NO baking reqired.

Plus, I got smart, and purchased a mini cheesecake pan at the kitchen Barn so that I could make partial recipes and not have huge cheesecakes sitting around.

I went a completely different route this time with an unbaked version. I can’t call it completely raw, though, because, of course, the canned pumpkin puree is cooked at the factory and I simmer the sauce to thicken it. But I am not a raw vegan anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

This cheesecake goes together so quick and easy and is beautiful enough for company. So put it on your holiday menu and impress your friends with both the taste and the appearance. Regarding appearance, be sure to press each layer down firmly or you will end up with a few air bubbles as I did. Still, I think it was ready for its close-up. You?

This recipe requires a 12-cup mini-cheesecake tin with removable bottoms.

Note: when coconut milk cans are shaken, you want to only hear a little sloshing indicating semi-solid cream at the top.

Crust:
1/2 cup raw pecan halves or pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened grated coconut
2 pitted medjool dates
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Process in food processor until mixture is texture of course cookie dough. Divide evenly among 12 mini-cheesecake cups and press firmly and evenly into bottoms.

Filling:
2 cups raw cashews
3 cups water
1/4 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-solid cream from top of 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (remaining tablespoons from second can will be used for sauce)
“Caramel” Sauce
Lightly salted and roasted pecan half

Heat cashews for 10 minutes on high power in large bowl in microwave. Drain and process in food processor until an almost smooth dough-like consistency forms. Add pumpkin, syrup, spice, and extracts and process until smooth, thick and creamy. Divide evenly among mini-cheesecake cups, pressing firmly and smoothing tops. Then divide coconut cream among each, also smoothing tops. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove mini-cheesecakes from tin and serve each with a drizzle of “caramel” sauce and a roasted pecan half.

“Caramel” Sauce:

1/4 cup semi-solid cream from second can full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
Optional: 1 teaspoon brandy, bourbon, or cognac

Vigorously simmer cream and maple syrup together over medium heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in alcohol if using. Cool to warm before drizzling over cheesecake.

Garnish:

12 lightly salted roasted pecan halves

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Raw Vegan Cinnamon-and-Sugar Donut Holes
(with an almost raw Chocolate Donut Hole variety)

Yield: 1 dozen donut holes

I had experimented with a recipe previously, but I wasn’t happy enough with it to post it. This time I am!

These are delicious, but bear in mind that they are far more calories than a fried vegan donut hole. Loaded with nutritious ingredients like walnuts, dates, unsweetened coconut, Chia and flax seeds, and for the chocolate ones, cocoa powder, they pack a punch of 150 calories each, almost as much as a regular whole vegan donut.

Yes, they are power-packed, but the scale doesn’t know that, so enjoy in moderation.

Blooming Platter Raw Vegan Donut Holes–
Cinnamon-and-Sugar or Chocolate

1 cup walnut halves and pieces
1 cup whole moist dates
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds or chips
2 tablespoons chia or flax seed meal, or a combination
1/8 to 1/4 teadpoon fresh ground nutneg (don’t omit; nutmeg lends the holes their distinctive donut-y flavor
Optional: for Chocolate variety, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or add 1 tbsp to 1/2 the dough if you want one half dozen cinnamon-and-sugar and one half dozen chocolate
Cinnamon-and-Sugar Coating Coating (recipe follows)

Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor and process until the mixture is homogeneous and holds together. Form into 12 tight balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar coating.  Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Allowed to come to room temperature before serving if desired.

Coating:
2 tablespoons demerera sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix together in a small cup.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan 4-Ingredient Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream
(its base is frozen bananas!)

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: app. 130/serving (however, you can eat the whole recipe for  only 520 calories which is equal to or less than a small meal!)

This recipe was inspired by one making the rounds via video on Facebook.  A while back, lying in bed very early one morning, I watched how it was made with the sound off–Bob was asleep–and then just went for it last night, propelled by this oppressive heat and humidity.  Around here, we call the heat index the “misery index.”

The original recipe called for 4 bananas and what appeared to be 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 of cocoa powder.  I’m not a big peanut butter and chocolate fan.  My aversion dates from a childhood incident that resulted from eating way too many peanut butter-and-chocolate eggs out of my Easter basket on the heels of blueberry shortcake.  I nonetheless added one tablespoon thinking it might be necessary for texture.  It wasn’t.  For the chocolate, I used  Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, but if you prefer a more reddish-brown color, then just use regular cocoa powder.

But whatever you do, peel your bananas before freezing them.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but when I pulled four banana-shaped ice cubes out of my freezer, I realized my mistake.  So, I thawed them, peeled them, cut them into chunks and refroze them.  The texture was still silky and glorious.

My two additions to the recipe are quick, easy, and absolutely necessary in my opinion.  After I tasted the ice cream, I felt it seemed a little flat or one-note.  I tend to like more complex flavors,though not fussy ones.  So, I added a hint of both almond and vanilla extracts and that did the trick.  However, I look forward to experimenting with other extracts like mint, orange, and perhaps rum or brandy.

If your summer promises to be as hot and humid as ours in Eastern, VA, this recipe is likely to become a staple.  A friend said that his daughter used to make a version and eat it for breakfast.  It is certainly more nutritious than most of what I see folks eating for breakfast.

Whenever you decided to enjoy a couple of scoops, I hope you will enjoy it as we do.

4 large bananas, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks and frozen

2 tablespoons regular or Special Dark cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional garnishes: walnut halves and mint sprigs

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy right away or freeze in an airtight container.  Thaw for two 30-second intervals in the microwave before trying to scoop.  Top, if desired with walnut halves and mint sprigs.

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Vegan Nutella and Puff Pastry Christmas Tree

I can’t see Santa’s Forest for these adorable trees.

Apparently they are all the rage this year, but I was evidently a little late to the pastry tree party.  Make yours with pizza dough or puff pastry and spread with the sweet or savory filling you most crave. Just be sure to include a creamy base to adhere the layers together.

My version is sweet–but not too–uses only three ingredients and, after the pastry thaws, is ready to devour in under 30 minutes.  I left a Middle Eastern dinner and this tree last night for our dog sitters (yes, we are those dog owners) while we joined friends for their Christmas Eve Eve tradition: a salad and sip of wine followed by a Christmas light-lit walk over to the Naro, an independent film house, to see “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The twins left some of the tabouli salad but not a crumb of the pastry. It was a huge hit with these 19 year olds.

My take on this new classic was inspired by its key ingredient: Rigoni di Asiago’s Nocciolata Oraganic Dairy-Free Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread, generously sent to me for product review purposes. With a deeply nutty and chocolatey flavor–its richness undiluted by dairy–and a thick and creamy–but spreadable–texture, this product is tops in my pantry (it needs no refrigeration).  It is also gluten- and palm oil-free.

Recipe

1 box Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (2 sheets), thawed according to package directions

4.5 to 5 ounces vegan Hazelnut-Cocoa spread (1/2 jar Nocciolata)

1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On baking stone or parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet, stack the two pastry sheets.  With a sharp knife, cut into a triangular tree shape with a 1-inch or so wide trunk at the bottom. Remove top sheet, spread bottom sheet with hazelnut-cocoa spread, replace top sheet, lining up edges, and press down gently.

Cut 1 star from scraps and whatever other shapes you like fir nibbling or to serve as croutons on salads. Place pastry shapes on a separate stone or lined baking sheet.

Make 3/4-inch wide horizontal cuts from outer edges of triangle toward the center, stopping even with outer edges of trunk leaving a 1-inch or so wide trunk up the center. Twist each long cut strip twice and the shorter ones once, pressing tips firmly against baking stone or sheet.  Brush very lightly with non-dairy milk, press star onto top point, and brush star with a tiny bit more non-dairy milk.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, but remove shapes cut from scraps after 10 or 15 minutes or they will burn. Remove baking sheet with pastry tree from oven, cool slightly, and slide tree onto serving platter. Serve warm or room temperature.

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Vegan Mini-Chutney & Cocowhip “Pies”
Ready in a (Ginger)Snap

These pretty little mini-pies make holiday pie “baking” a snap. A gingersnap.

I am so happy to share this cheater “recipe” with you, the brain child of my good friend, Mary Beth Watson. It is really just a 3-ingredient lickity-split process.

After one bite, no one will care how little time you spent laboring in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

Anna’s or your favorite brand crispy scalloped (preferably) vegan gingersnaps

Chutney (apple-pecan or, for Christmas, cranberry-orange-walnut “sauce” works nicely)

So Delicious brand Cocowhip or your favorite vegan whipped cream

To make each mini-pie, top one gingersnap with a spoonful of chutney followed by a dollop of Cocowhip. That’s it! Make as many or as few as you need just before serving time.

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Best Vegan Salted Maple Brandy (or Bourbon) Pecan Pie
(Classic Texture)

 

If a traditional pecan pie–with even more pecans–is what you crave, this pie is perfection and as easy as, well, you know.

Most recipes call for 2 cups–or even just 1 1/2 cups–pecans. Why?  Mine calls for 3 for the best filling-nut ratio. This is no time to skimp.

A week ago, I published my other favorite pecan pie, though that one has a more custardy texture, as it is made from a tofu and cornstarch-based custard. Bob the omni liked that one but he much prefers this one, which he eats with his chocolate ice cream that is always in the freezer. He did admit that another flavor of ice cream would be optimal.

So serve either pie with vegan vanilla ice cream and/or vegan whipped cream–perhaps a little drizzle of brandy or bourbon–enjoy, and then let us know what you you think. Happy Holidays!

Note: If you eschew booze, just replace it with 3 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, as Veganegg has a somewhat pronounced, slightly savory, flavor that needs countered with the assertive flavor of alcohol or with an acid.

1 prepared vegan pie crust, homemade or purchased

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Non-stick spray

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

6 tablespoons Veganegg

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup brandy or bourbon

3/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup demerrera sugar

3 tablespoons melted vegan butter

2 tablespoons molasses (not blackstrap)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Topping: vegan vanilla ice cream, vegan whipped cream like So Delicious Cocowhip

Set out pie crust if frozen. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet, spray with nonstick spray, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and toast for 3 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together Veganegg with water and brandy or bourbon. Whisk in all remaining ingredients. Set aside 32 pecan halves and spread all the rest into pie crust. Sprikle with sea salt remaining on baking sheet.  Place pie pan on baking sheet, pour filling evenly over the top. Decorate the top with concentric rings of pecan halves and bake for one hour. Pie will seem quite “loose” but will firm up as it cools.  Because of this, you may need to gently reposition some of your decorative pecan halves.

Cool completely, cover, and chill for a couple of hours.  Serve topped as desired.

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Best Vegan Plain New York Style Cheesecake
Adapt a Million Ways!

Yield: 8 to 12 servings

I have loved baking–and now vegan baking–for as long as I can remember:  both the art and the science of it.  Experimentation and solving culinary puzzles have kept the excitement in the relationship.

This New York Style cheesecake represents a veganization triumph.  I think my mother–who considered her dairy-based recipe the iconic version, the one to which all others were compared–would be proud.  Or maybe, like the omnivorous Bob, she would say, “Not bad.”  Though I don’t think so.

Please note two things: 1) while I love demerera, coconut and other less-processed sugars as much as the next gal, this recipe needs white granulated sugar for it’s pure color and clean taste; and 2) I use coconut cream in this recipe and can’t detect a pronounced coconut flavor, but feel free to substitute a non-dairy creamer of your choice.

Crust:

4 cups whole vegan gingersnap cookies (the crispy/crunchy kind), shortbread cookies, or graham crackers broken into cookie-sized pieces

1/2 cup nuts (pecans, almonds, etc.) or another 1/2 cup cookies; graham crackers

Optional: 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

Pulse cookies or graham crackers in a food processor until coarse crumbs are formed.  Add optional nuts and sugar and continue pulsing until finer crumbs are formed.  Drizzle in butter and pulse just until moist crumbs are formed.  Distribute mixture into the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the pan.  Freeze while you prepare filling.

Filling:

14 ounces firm tofu, drained

16 ounces vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti brand)

1 cup granulated organic white sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup thick coconut milk (I use So Delicious Culinary Coconut Cream purchased at Whole Foods)

Juice of 1/2 to 1 whole large lemon (taste after adding 1/2)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Topping:

16 ounces or 2 cups vegan sour cream

1/4 cup organic white sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

 

Garnish:

Fresh chopped fruit or berries, macerated in sugar and liqueur (like Bailey’s Almande) or not; the dessert sauce of your choice (e.g. chocolate, salted caramel, etc.); and fresh mint sprigs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rinse and wipe out bowl of food processor.  Process tofu and cream cheese until smooth.  Add all remaining filling ingredients and continue processing until creamy and silky smooth.  Pour into frozen crust and gently smooth top.  Place cheesecake on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes or until set, very lightly browned around edges, and slightly jiggly only in the very center.  During last five minutes of baking, whisk together topping ingredients in a medium bowl until completely combined.  Turn off oven, slide out oven rack, gently spoon topping over cheesecake and seal to edges, and slide rack back in.  Open oven door halfway, and allow cheesecake to cool completely in the oven to avoid cracking and sinking, which will take about 3 hours.  Chill for an hour, uncovered, and then chill for at least another hour, covered.  (This will prevent condensation from dripping on surface of cheesecake.)  When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake, remove it from the pan and place it on a serving platter.  Serve in slices garnished as desired.

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Vegan Pumpkin Flan with Pepitas–
A Twist on Thanksgiving Tradition

pumpkin-flan

After my husband, Joe passed away, I joined with friends–old and new–to create a number of new traditions, among them in–home dinners with all-in gourmet cooks, Juan and Barbara Gelpi.  How fun to, as of September, fold my extraordinary new partner, Bob, into the mix.

Most recently, we convened at the Gelpi’s lovely home to cook and consume a delightful fiesta of homemade pico, guacamole and chips with Coronoas shots of tequila (for Juan and me–my first in my entire life, late bloomer that I am), tortilla soup with roasted pepitas–veganized from a recipe my mother got from the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas–Juan’s seitan mole over herbed rice, homemade tortillas, and, for dessert, Barbara’s apple-oatmeal crisp and my flan.

I adapted it from a recipe I found online, adding the pumpkin, spice, and more agar to make sure it set properly with the additional liquid from the pureed pumpkin.  I also tinkered with the caramel to make sure my preferred sugar–demerera–dissolved.  The results were a huge carnivore-approved hit: absolutely delicious with an incredible texture.  The genius of this recipe, for which I cannot take credit, is to create a cold custard that sets up beautifully, rather than a baked one which is very tricky when no eggs are used.

Betsy’s Pumpkin Flan

For the Caramel:

1/2 cup granulated sugar (I use demerera)
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and let dissolve  for a few minutes. Then place over medium heat, stirring until melted. The demerera will already be golden in color, but if using granulated sugar, cook until golden. Pour into the bottom of 6 ramekins.

For the Custard:

2 cups plain soy milk
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon agar-agar flakes
1/2 cup firm or extra-firm silken tofu (I used firm)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I use demerera)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt

Pour the soymilk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle with the agar flakes. Let sit for 10 minutes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the agar has dissolved.  Don’t worry if the milk breaks and separates. It will come together in the food processor.

Place the tofu, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and soymilk-agar mixture in a blender and blend until very smooth. Pour into the ramekins over the syrup, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.To remove from the ramekins, run a knife around the edge of each and dip the bottom in hot water for about 15 seconds.  Invert a desert plate on top and turn out.

pumpkin-flan-partially-eaten

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