Lemon Coconut Energy Bites

These lemony little gems were dreamed up out of necessity. I had three lemons in the fridge that needed to be used before I left for Victoria for five days. I had been meaning to try a raw lemon bar recipe with them, but I never got around to it. As lemon bars aren’t really portable I knew I had to save that recipe for another time. So I decided to use most of the same ingredients that would have gone into the lemon bars (lemon juice, coconut, oats, and dates) to make some energy bites for my trip.

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I have to say that I am very happy with how these turned out! Bright lemon flavour, a hint of coconut and nuttiness, and a natural sweetness from the dates and coconut. These lemony little bites of chewy goodness are perfect for travel and on-the-go snacks. Or you may just want to stand by the fridge and scarf a few down! Don’t worry, that’s okay too.

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Collage, lemon bars 1

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Lemon Coconut Energy Bites (Yields 32 small squares)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced/slivered/chopped almonds (raw or blanched)
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups pitted dates (20-25 dates)
Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
Optional: 1/4 cup vanilla or berry flavoured protein powder (I like Vega One)

Notes:
If your dates aren’t soft then you should let them sit in a bowl of hot/warm water for at least 15 minutes before using.
I prefer to cut these into small squares because they pack easily into storage containers and I can choose the size of my snack better, however you could also make larger bars, or roll the dough into small balls. Totally up to you.
For gluten-free, just make sure your oats and protein powder are gluten-free.
For nut-free, use sunflower seeds or more oats, in place of the almonds.

Add the oats, coconut, almonds, lemon zest, and protein powder (if using) to a large bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is at your desired consistency: less if you like a chewier bar with larger pieces, or more if you’d like a finer texture.
Add the dates and process until they are in small pieces and mixed up with the other ingredients.
Add the lemon juice and process until everything is thoroughly mixed and clumping together. It may be crumbly, but should stick together when pressed.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. I use a 11″x7″ pan, but the size doesn’t really matter as long as it is at least 8″x8″. Dump the mixture into the lined pan and press down until the top is relatively flat and even. With a sharp knife, cut into small squares or bars. Place the pan in the fridge for at least an hour, then transfer the squares or bars into an airtight container. Store in the fridge or freezer.
The energy bites will soften a bit when at room temperature, but they shouldn’t fall apart. Enjoy!

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I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (8/27/13), Allergy Free Wednesday (8/28/13)Gluten-Free Wednesdays (8/28/13)Raw Food Thursday (8/29/13), Healthy Vegan Friday, Wellness Weekends (8/29-9/2/13), Gluten Free Friday #55.

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Cranberry Orange Cardamom Muffins

Title, Cranberry Orange Cardamom Muffins

If you haven’t noticed already, I have been going a little crazy for cranberries lately. Cranberries turn up in my muffins and other quick breads quite often. Their sweet-tart flavour makes a great main attraction when paired with a little lemon or nuts, and I love the contrast they give in spiced pumpkin muffins.

But this time I wanted something a little different. Enter, the organic pure orange extract I just bought. Perfect! Cranberry and orange goes great together! But I still wanted something else to contrast the sweet-tart pairing of cranberries and oranges. Normally cinnamon would be the first thing I’d reach for. I find it very difficult to not add cinnamon to every single thing I bake. But then I remembered the little packet of ground cardamom I had hiding in my spice cupboard. Sold!

In need of a fall/winter muffin that is simple without being boring? Maybe a bit special? Try these! Both the orange and cardamom flavours are subtle compared to the bold bursts of sweet-tart cranberries, but they are definitely detectable and the combination is so good!

Cranberry Orange Cardamom Muffins (Yields 12 muffins)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
1 tsp pure orange extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Notes:
These muffins have subtle orange and cardamom flavours. For bolder flavours, try adding the zest of one orange or doubling the amount of ground cardamom.

Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a muffin tin. In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients: flours, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cardamom. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together the wet ingredients: milk, syrup, orange extract, oil, and applesauce. Measure out the cranberries so they are ready when you are.

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Pour the liquid ingredients into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients. Stir until about half-way combined. Add in the cranberries and gently fold in, until everything is just combined. Divide batter into a 12-cup muffin tin.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

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Nutritional Info (per muffin, using unsweetened soy milk and agave syrup): 230 calories, 7.2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 249 mg sodium, 36 mg potassium, 39.4 g carbs, 5.3 g fibre, 13.6 g sugars, 4.2 g protein, 1% Vitamin A, 17% Vitamin C, 5% calcium, 7% iron.

healthy vegan friday button

You May Also Enjoy:
100_3525Title, Blueberry Oat Scones100_3583
Ginger Snap Oatmeal with Instant Cranberry Sauce
Blueberry Oat Scones
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame

Yes, I know that title says almost every ingredient that is in this soup, but I really didn’t think it was fair to leave anything out!

Just like the title says, this miso soup is packed full of soba noodles, butternut squash, kale, and edamame. Lots of warm comforting goodness to get you through a chilly fall or winter day, or maybe a bad cold. I like my noodle soup spicy, and I think the heat pairs great with the sweetness of the butternut squash here, so I’ve added crushed red pepper flakes, but you could certainly leave them out if you’d prefer.

Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame (Inspired by Nava Atlas’s Miso-Butternut Squash Soup)
4-6 cups water
1 unsalted vegetable bouillon cube (I use Harvest Sun)
A quarter-sized bunch of soba noodles, broken in half
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
2 cups cooked butternut squash, cut into bite-size cubes*
1/2 bunch (2 large stems) kale, washed and chopped
1-2 tbsp miso paste
Roasted sesame seeds to garnish

*To roast squash, peel and cut into 1 inch cubes, spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want the squash to be fork-tender, but not overcooked, or it will fall apart in your soup (though it would still taste great). You can also steam the squash, but I’ve never done it so I’m not going to tell you how.

Bring water to boil in a pot. Add the soba noodles, edamame, bouillon cube, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the boiling water, and boil over medium-high heat until the noodles are cooked. Reduce to low heat. Scoop some of the hot broth into a small bowl or cup, whisk the miso paste into it, then transfer back to the pot. Stir the butternut squash and kale into the soup, cover, and let simmer on low for a few minutes, until kale has wilted and the squash is warm. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over each bowl before serving. Enjoy!

This recipe is for Meatless Monday A-Z: Miso.

MMAZ Better With Veggies


You May Also Enjoy:
Kale-Millet Croquettes, Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup, Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes with Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #19Only one more to go! Barring an unexplained lengthy interruption tomorrow (knock on wood), I will actually have succeeded at writing 20 posts in one month! I don’t think I actually thought I would make it!

I have never really been interested in pancakes. They’ve always seemed way to doughy for me, and then as soon as you pour syrup over top, way too soggy. No thank you!

The only pancakes I’ve ever really enjoyed were the mini pancakes my grandma used to make for my sisters and I. They were nice and thin, probably more like a crepe batter, and we always ate them with butter and icing sugar, rather than syrup. Unfortunately, my grandma has passed away and I have absolutely no idea what the recipe was for her special pancakes. So I’ve pretty much given up on pancakes and focused on other breakfast food. Like waffles, which I absolutely love!

Definitely not the most attractive breakfast, but so good! My Natural Vega One turned these green!

Anyway, these protein pancakes from Sensual Appeal attracted me because they didn’t look like those thick cakey pancakes that everyone seems to enjoy so much. Plus they have chocolate chips! Even though I couldn’t even remember the last time I had pancakes, or wanted pancakes, I wanted to try these ones. So, with a couple adjustments and some lovely Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce I enjoyed these for breakfast one morning. I hope you do too.

I do suggest making the blueberry sauce before you start the pancakes, to give the chia seeds time to work their magic.

Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes (Serves 1-2)
1/4 cup protein powder (I used Natural Vega One, which has a light vanilla flavour)*
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water
Vegan chocolate chips, to taste (I used 2 1/2 tsp Enjoy Life Mini Chips)
*You can use whatever protein powder you like here, just make sure its one that you enjoy the flavour of, because you will be able to taste it in these pancakes.

Mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the water. Warm a pan on medium heat and spray lightly with oil. Pour the pancake batter onto the pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. You can make a couple of large-ish pancakes or some smaller ones, like I did. The pancakes are ready to flip when they will move easily around on the pan. Flip, and cook for another minute or two. Repeat.

Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 tsp ground chia
5 drops liquid stevia

Place blueberries in a microwave-safe dish (I use a glass measuring cup) and defrost in the microwave. They should yield to pressure, and look like the second photo, after a good stir. You want at least half, but not all of the blueberries to be squished. Stir the ground chia and stevia into the blueberries and set aside until ready to use.

When pancakes are done, plate and cover in your Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce. Enjoy!

I may just have to rethink this whole no-pancake thing.

You May Also Enjoy:
Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding, Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars, Cinnamon Power Granola

My Breakfast This Morning: Chickpea Flour Omelette

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #16

This morning I woke up hungry, but with no clue at to what I wanted for breakfast. I staggered around the kitchen a bit but none of the usual suspects like toast, fruit, cereal, tofu scramble, or oatmeal seemed very appealing.

So I turned on my computer and took a look at my Vegan Breakfasts to Try board on Pinterest. As soon as I looked at the recipe for this Chickpea Flour Omelette from Vegan Richa I knew I had found my breakfast. This is exactly why I love Pinterest! Even half asleep I could easily choose my breakfast from all the beautiful photos laid out for me!

This was more like a savoury stuffed pancake than an omelette (though I think the black salt would have given a more eggy taste) but it was delicious! I stuffed mine with spinach, bell peppers, diced pickled jalapeño, and Earth’s Island Vegan Cheddar. So good!

This was also very quick and easy to throw together, which is especially appreciated in the mornings. In the few months before I went vegan last year I was pretty much obsessed with veggie and cheese stuffed omelettes, and this recipe was the closest I’ve come to recreating that. I would eat this any time of day, and will definitely be making it again!

Anyway, while I did change a couple minor things, the recipe is essentially the same, so I’m just going to share my changes instead of writing out the whole recipe again.

As Richa suggested, I used ground chia seeds in place of the oat flour. I did have to add about 1/8 cup extra water to my batter, probably because of this.

I left out the black salt, as I don’t have any (yet).

Also, I chose to sprinkle my veggies and cheese on top of the batter once it was spread in the pan, rather than mixing it right into the batter. Because of this I didn’t flip my entire omelette over. I just cooked it for longer on the one side, and then folded it in half.

You should definitely try this Chickpea Flour Omelette!

Updates (Nov 24, 2012):
I’ve made this Chickpea Flour Omelette a few more times in the past month and it has been wonderful each time!
I’ve used both a combination of ground flax and chia seeds, and just flax seeds and both ways worked well. The only difference I noticed is that I had to add a bit more water when using the ground chia seeds.
I finally found some black salt and tried it in this omelette yesterday. It really does have an eggy sort of taste. I was scared it would taste too much like eggs, but it was just enough. I will definitely be using the black salt in this from now on, but if you don’t have any, sea salt works just fine.
And while we’re talking salt, I’ve been using only 1/8 tsp salt, instead of the 1/4 tsp stated in the recipe, only because I like putting some vegan cheese in my omelette, which is already salty enough for me.