honeycakes with lemon-lavender icing
last weekend, i attended a game of thrones season premier party [that was disguised as a birthday party to make us all feel a little better about ourselves] and we tracked down a recipe blog dedicated to GoT inspired dishes and everyone went. to. town. i made honeycakes with lavender icing and obviously decided i needed to start experimenting with the recipe to make them bananas + bellinis appropriate! here is what i’ve come up with… i think they are the perfect spring treat for a fun weekend breakfast or afternoon snack. they aren’t vegan, but they are dairy-free.
ingredients for honeycakes:
- 2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 c. vegan butter [I use earth balance sticks for baking]
- 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 c. applesauce
- 1 egg
- 3/4 c. honey
- 1 c. vanilla almond milk
preheat the oven to 350° and line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
- in a medium-sized bowl, sift all of the dry ingredients together until well-combined.
- in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter [which should be at room temperature], coconut palm sugar and applesauce.
- add the egg and honey to the butter/sugar mix and blend.
- beginning and ending with the dry mixture, alternatively add the dry mix and almond milk to the sugar/butter/egg/honey and mix until smooth.
- fill the liners 2/3 of the way up and bake for 25-30 or until you can stick a fork into the center of the cakes and it comes out clean.
- let cool completely before applying the icing.
ingredients for the lemon-lavender icing:
- 1/2 c. vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 tsp. fresh culinary quality lavender + extra for garnish
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. frozen blueberries, thawed and crushed [for coloring]
- 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- [you also need a cheesecloth for this part!]
- in a saucepan, combine the almond milk, lavender and lemon zest and bring to a boil.
- as soon as the milk is boiling, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.
- add the crushed blueberries and stir.
- strain through a cheesecloth to remove the lavender, blueberries and lemon zest and then place the milk back into the saucepan.
- whisk the powdered sugar into the milk in increments of 1/2 cup.
- use a butter knife to apply to honeycakes and garnish with fresh lavender
this recipe yields about 15-18 honeycakes. i recommend serving them as soon as possible, but they will keep for a few days if stored in an airtight container. they pair well with a cup of warm breakfast tea… enjoy!
vegan chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins
alright, i knowww that i just posted a banana bread recipe last week, but i whipped these muffins up over the weekend and they turned out so well that I felt obligated to share the recipe, especially after a few of my coworkers asked for it as well. these chocolate chip banana zucchini muffins can be made using one bowl, so clean up is super quick and easy and they’re vegan, low sugar and made with coconut oil and whole wheat flour, essentially making them equivalent to salad. this recipe makes about 12 medium sized muffins.
you will need:
- 1/4 c. cane sugar
- 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 c. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. mashed bananas [about 2-3 medium ripe bananas]
- 1 1/4 c. [loosely packed] shredded zucchini [i shredded mine with a veggetti]
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour [i like bob’s red mill]
- 1 tbs. baking powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 c. vegan dark chocolate chips [optional]
preheat the oven to 400° and grease a muffin/cupcake tray with coconut oil [liners are not required for this recipe].
- whisk together the first 6 ingredients [sugars, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon] in a large bowl.
- add the mashed bananas and whisk together.
- take the shredded zucchini and place it on a paper towel. place a second paper towel on top of the zucchini and press [with some muscle!] to draw out the excess water.
- add the zucchini to the bowl and mix together.
- throw in the flour [in 1/2 cup increments], baking powder and sea salt and mix with a wooden spoon, but be sure not to mix it too well.
- add chocolate chips [if using] and stir until evenly distributed.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop batter into muffin tray, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- bake at 400° for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350° for 8 minutes, or until you can stick a fork into the center of a muffin and pull it out clean.
- remove from the oven, let cool for 10-15 minutes, remove muffins from tray and enjoy!
dairy-free banana nut bread
who doesn’t love a good banana nut bread? i took this old favorite and made it a little bit healthier, without damaging the taste or quality… and it was actually super easy to do. i replaced the butter with applesauce, used less sugar than most traditional recipes typically call for and replaced white flour with whole wheat flour.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. palm sugar
- 1/3 c. applesauce
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts + extra for topping
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 4×8 bread pan with coconut oil.
- peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl.
- add the sugar, applesauce, egg, vanilla and baking soda to the bowl and combine well with the mashed bananas.
- fold in the flour 1/2 c. at a time until a thick batter has formed.
- add the walnuts, making sure they are evenly distributed in the batter.
- pour the batter into the bread pan and sprinkle the extra walnuts on top.
- bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes or until you can stick a fork into the center of the bread and it comes out clean.
- let cool, slice and serve with a side of coffee, tea or almond milk… enjoy!
happy thanksgiving + apple pie dip
happy thanksgiving! the holiday season is officially upon us and i hope that everyone will be spending the long holiday weekend celebrating and spending time with family and friends. my family is arriving from pennsylvania this afternoon and i couldn’t be more excited to cook dinner at my apartment with them and for all of the other fun things we have planned for the weekend. when i first moved to new york city i worked in retail which meant i had no choice about working on black friday, so going home for thanksgiving was never an option. even though i no longer work for a company that requires their employees to work on holidays [and any companies that do are jerks], it became our little family tradition to spend this holiday in new york and i have to say, i love it.
- 10 dates, pitted and soaked in water for about an hour
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 4 apples of your choice, sliced
- combine dates, chia seeds and cinnamon in a food processor until well blended. [the mixture will be thick, so you might need to stop, move things around with a spoon a little bit and start up the food processor again.]
- slice apples.
- place on serving platter and serve!
image #1 courtesy of popsugar
happy halloween + healthy candy recipe
halloween is tomorrow and over the last few years, it’s become one of my favorite holidays. i usually know what i’m going to dress up as months and months ahead of time and I’ve gotten really into making/building my own costumes rather than buying something pre-packaged at the Halloween store… it’s more fun that way!
another thing i love about Halloween? the candy. duh. unfortunately, the typical halloween candy that you find in stores and probably remember eating as a kid is just… sh*t. sorry, there’s no way around it. so, instead of buying yourself an industrial sized bag of absolute garbage this weekend, you should try making your own healthy candy! the recipe below is incredibly easy to follow, takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is customizable based on what you have on hand/what you like. i can’t stand milk chocolate because a] it tastes like wax and b] it’s terrible for you, so I used dark chocolate [which actually has some health benefits when eaten in moderation] to make my own healthy versions of crunch bars, almond joys and chocolate turtles… with some other variations in there, as well!
for about 24 pieces, all you need is:
- 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips [i used these from enjoy life]
- your choice of fillings [i used pecans, almonds, and brown rice cereal]
- your choice of toppings [i used pepitas, coconut flakes, goji berries, caramel sauce, and fleur de sel]
there are just a few, really easy steps to this:
- line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
- place your fillings in little piles on the cookie sheet in whatever arrangement/combination you would like.
- using a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring constantly, until fully melted and smooth.
- drizzle the melted chocolate onto your fillings, covering the piles completely and then add the toppings.
- place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before devouring… and be sure to share!
what are your halloween plans? what are you dressing up as?! i’m off to new orleans for the weekend… i’ll be sure to share the details of my trip [and my costume] next week.
first image courtesy of cute autumn
fall favorites: vegan apple crisp
apple crisp is one of my favorite fall dishes that i had never made myself… until this week! since i was an apple crisp rookie, instead of experimenting and creating my own recipe, i followed one from damy health that I found on pinterest [because where else do I find anything of value these days?] and just swapped out some of the ingredients to suit my preferences.
this is a vegan apple crisp that contains no refined sugar [just raw honey!] and can easily be made gluten-free if you just swap out the flour and oats for gluten-free variations. here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 medium apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- pinch of ground ginger
- 4 tbsp. raw honey [or other natural sweetener of your choice]
- 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil [melted]
- pinch of salt
- optional: your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream
pre-heat the oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9×4 bread pan with coconut oil.
- in a large bowl, toss the apple slices with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and 1 tbsp. of the honey.
- place the apple mixture into the bread pan and bake for 10 minutes.
- in the meantime, mix the remaining honey, flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, coconut oil and salt together in the bowl.
- when the apples are done baking, remove them from the oven and sprinkle the oat mixture on top of them, distributing evenly.
- bake for another 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
- remove from oven and let cool [but not too much, this is best served warm!].
- place on serving dishes, top with a scoop of non-dairy ice cream and enjoy!
blueberry coconut bliss chia seed pudding
over the past year, chia seeds have become a staple in my diet. i always have them in my kitchen and use them in pretttyyyy much every meal i eat. chia seeds are one of those super trendy superfoods that we hear so much about these days… but not without good reason! here’s a quick rundown. chia seeds:
- contain lots of different nutrients including fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium and omega-3s
- are naturally gluten free
- are low in calories [about 140 calories in two tablespoons]
- are loaded with antioxidants
- support healthy weight loss due to the high fiber and protein content
best of all, they are really, and i mean really, easy to work into your diet. personally, i like to sprinkle them on toast, salads, and oatmeal and incorporate them into my baking experiments, but my favorite way to eat them is by making this delicious blueberry coconut bliss chia seed pudding that can be eaten for breakfast or dessert depending on what kinda mood you’re in! this chia seed pudding is vegan, gluten free and only contains natural sugar, but is still sweet and decadent enough to make you feel like you are indulging just a little bit. wanna give it a try? thought so! these measurements will make four servings [feel free to cut it in half or double it depending on how many you are cooking for] and you will need:
- 2 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 c. chia seeds
- 1/4 c. pure maple syrup [raw honey or another natural sweetener of your choice is fine, too!]
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. fresh blueberries, puréed in a food processor
- extra handful of blueberries for garnish
- unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish
first, purée the blueberries in a food processor and set aside. in a mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla, add the puréed blueberries and mix together well. pour the mixture into mason jars [small bowls or mugs will work just fine, too] and refrigerate overnight, stirring the contents of each jar after several hours [or once the pudding has thickened a little bit] to re-distribute the chia seeds, as they tend to float to the top. in the morning, garnish with blueberries and coconut flakes before serving and, as always… enjoy!
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