Archive | February, 2012

Chewy Fruit-Cashew Macaroons (sugar free, oil free)

22 Feb

I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted a macaroon before. But when I was deciding what to call these, I realized they look a lot like macaroons, so that’s the name I’m goin’ with! These were born from my desire for something sweet, healthy, and quick while watching How I Met Your Mother re-runs… and NOT from the desire to go to the grocery store for extra ingredients. So I just used what I had on hand.. and it was worth it! These are sugar free, oil free, and could even be wheat-free if you sub oats for the shredded wheat.

Chewy Fruit-Cashew Macaroons

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried apples
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup water

1/4 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 cup shredded wheat cereal (I used Barbara’s brand)
Sunflower seeds, as needed for garnish.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine apples, apricots, raisins, dates, and water in a food processor and blend until incorporated but not necessarily smooth. Add garbanzo beans, cashews, and 1/2 cup of the wheat cereal. Blend until smooth.

Add remaining 1/2 cup of cereal and stir in with a spoon until evenly mixed. Pull of walnut-sized pieces of the mixture and plop on baking sheet in messy blobs. (Note: These don’t need to be perfect circles; in fact, they will be too sticky to roll into balls.) Add 3 or more sunflower seeds to the top of each macaroon and press lightly so they stick.

Bake these suckers for 20 minutes. Watch closely for burning, but the outsides should look toasted.

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Yummy Banana Bread! Vegan, sugar free, oil free.

19 Feb

Moist, chewy, and super filling!

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Sugar Free, Oil Free Banana Bread

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

Wet ingredients:
3 1/2 bananas
2 cups prunes or dates + 8 tbsp water
1 tbsp flax seed + 3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

To make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 cake pan with no-stick cooking spray.

2. Whisk flax seed with 3 tbsp water and set aside.

3. Using a food processor or high-powered blender, blend prunes with 8 tbsp until smooth.
In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Add flax seed mixture, prune puree, and vanilla. Stir until
incorporated.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

5. Add wet mixture to dry and stir until just combined. Pour into cake pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Enjoy!

Healthier Puppy Chow

6 Feb

Healthier Vegan Puppy Chow
(adapted from PETA.org)

4 1/2 cups Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls cereal

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+
6 tbsp Better n’ Peanut Butter

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+
1/2 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips

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+
1 tsp vanilla
+
1/2 cup powdered sugar

To make:
Microwave chocolate chips and peanut butter for 30-45 seconds, stopping to stir every 15 seconds. Stir in vanilla.

Pour cereal into a large bowl and pour the chocolate/pb mixture over the cereal, stirring very gentle until all cereal is coated.

Lastly, slowly pour powdered sugar over everything, stopping to stir around some more until coated nicely. Then place the puppy chow in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

Voila!

This is one of my favorite desserts to make because it’s quick and easy and satisfies my taste buds easily with the chocolatey-salty-crunchiness. However, this may be one of the most un-healthy recipes I’ll be making for a while. Lately I’ve really been staying away from added sugar (which I thought was impossible for me) and the results have been incredible. My skin is clearer, I have way more energy – in fact, I’ve upped my usual workout time and have even been going to the gym in the mornings! – and i’m more focused because I don’t “crash” on extra sugar in my diet. Just as exciting, it’s given me a lot of creative ideas for healthier desserts! That’s not to say that I won’t have my healthy puppy chow sometimes, but probably much less frequently.

I’m really hoping to devote more time to this blog, now that I feel like I’m getting a better hang of it. I want to reach out to other vegans out there, or anyone who is interested in being healthy. And I want to share more tips on how I use my health to get through college in one piece.

So that’s my plan for now! Stay healthy and happy, my friends. 🙂