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.

IMG_3099

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.

IMG_3094

Collage, lemon bars 1

Collage, lemon bars 2

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!

IMG_3124

IMG_3101

IMG_3126

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.

Advertisements

Pineapple Mango Creamsicles and Mixed Berry Ice Pops

It is definitely summer around here and while I’m loving the sunshine, I’m not a huge fan of the heat. What better way to beat the heat than with an icy totally guilt-free treat?! (Really didn’t intend for all the rhyming there!)

IMG_2554

Store-bought popsicles may be fruit-flavoured, but they are usually just frozen sugar-water, without any actual fruit in sight. These home-made popsicles taste even better than store-bought, are almost completely all fruit, and therefore completely guilt-free! They are also super quick and easy to make. If you know how to turn on a blender, than you can make these in about five minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to freeze!

Pineapple Mango Creamsicles
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or more coconut milk, for an even creamier creamsicle)
1/2 tsp orange extract
Optional – sweetener to taste

IMG_2544IMG_2546

Mixed Berry Ice Pops
1 cup blueberries
1 cup other berries (raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries…) – You can choose one kind, or a mixture.
2 cups water or non-dairy milk
Optional – sweetener to taste

For both kinds, just throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide into whatever ice pop molds you have and place them in a freezer to freeze. Wait impatiently. Enjoy!

IMG_2555

IMG_2560IMG_2562

Notes:
– For both recipes, you can use either fresh or frozen fruit, or a combination of both. 

IMG_2729

IMG_2724

IMG_2727

I’ve shared this post with Raw Food Thursday (7/18/13), Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays (7/17/13), Healthy Vegan Friday #52, Gluten Free Friday #49, and Wellness Weekend (July 18-22).

Questions
Ice cream or popsicles?

What is your favourite popsicle flavour? Or the craziest flavour you’ve tried?
Feel free to share or link to the recipe!

Vegan Delish: App Review and Giveaway!

Vegan Delish sized for blog use

Recently, Carrie (Carrie On Vegan) offered me the chance to try out her recipe app Vegan Delish for free and of course, I said yes.

I’ll let Carrie tell you what Vegan Delish is all about. The following comes from the press release that she sent me a copy of.

“For new and veteran vegans and vegetarians, plus those wanting to explore the benefits of a plant-based diet, Vegan Delish is a recipe app available for iPhones and iPads featuring innovative tools such as a digital shopping list and searchable categories…Vegan Delish inspires users to make whole food, plant-based meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious…

For the introductory price of only $1.99, users of Vegan Delish receive over 70 recipes including California Kale Salad, Easiest Slow-Cooker Applesauce, Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Butternut Harvest Stew. Plus, once the app is purchased, access is included to all of the new recipes that are added monthly. Best of all, all of the dishes are 100% vegan and made with whole food ingredients.”

iPhone screenshot

I’ve only been using Vegan Delish for a week, but so far I have nothing but praise for it.
I found it very easy to browse through the recipes. This can be done either through an extensive list of categories, an alphebetical recipe list, or a keyword search.
I love that there is a photo for each recipe, and that the photo accompanies the recipe title in each way of viewing the lists of recipes.
I’m finding the ‘Favourites List’ function very helpful. I used it when browsing recipes to keep track of the ones that I want to try first, so they are quick to find next time.
I like the inclusion of user ratings and reviews included within the app (on the pages for each recipe). It’s nice being able to see what other people think about a recipe, and be able to leave your own feedback as well.
It is really nice being able to instantly change the amount of servings you wish to make of each recipe, which then alters all of the ingredient measurements for you. This is particularly helpful for those, like me, that are cooking for one. I like having leftovers, but usually when trying a new recipe, I like to scale it down just in case.
The ability to easily create a shopping list is also a really useful feature, especially since it is so customizable. With a single tap you can add an entire list of ingredients from a recipe, or choose just the ones you need. You can also add your own items to the shopping list.

iPad screenshot

So far, I have tried four different recipes from Vegan Delish, and I really enjoyed all of them. They all tasted great and I’m really loving how easily all of the recipes come together.
Though it was a little thick, the Peanut Butter Sauce was a great addition to my sweet potato and lentil sprout hash. The combination of peanut butter and balsamic vinegar is an unexpected combination that worked way better than I thought it would.
The No-Cook Apple Oatmeal was delicious and perfect for a quick filling meal on a busy morning. I will definitely be making oatmeal like this again.
The Almond Date Balls make great little portable snacks for on-the-go and were perfect for a pre-workout burst of energy. There are recipes for these kind of fruit and nut balls all over the place, but I really like the combination of flavours in these ones and will be making them again, this time in a larger batch.
My favourite recipe so far has been the Avocado Chocolate Pudding. It is rich, creamy, and satisfying with a great chocolate flavour. My blender did have trouble with the dates, but I didn’t mind having little chunks of date in my pudding. (I may try my food processor next time) And I would definitely recommend topping with the cacao nibs if you can, as that chocolatey little crunch is a perfect complement to the pudding. This totally satisfied my chocolate craving and I will definitely be making this again!

IMG_1208IMG_1243

IMG_1239

Overall, I’ve found Vegan Delish to be a great recipe app and a steal for $1.99. It looks great, is simple to use, has lots of great features, and an ever-growing selection of whole food plant-based recipes. I really can’t even think of anything that would make it better.

In addition to giving me Vegan Delish for free, Carrie was also kind enough to provide a copy of her app for one lucky reader. To enter to win a free copy of Vegan Delish just comment on this post telling me either a meal you’ve had recently that you really enjoyed, or one you are looking forward to.

This giveaway will only run for 2 days, until 9pm PST on Friday March 22 and I will randomly draw a winner shortly thereafter. We’ll have to act fast because the code I have expires on March 26th. Good luck! Update: this giveaway is now closed.

Vegan Delish is available in the iTunes store for just $1.99.

 

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

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #15

Yes! Chocolate and almond again! Apparently I don’t get tired of this combination.

This Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding is quick to throw together, tastes like a great chocolate dessert, but is healthy enough to be eaten for breakfast. As documented in this WIAW post, I actually did eat it for breakfast one day mixed with some Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal and covered in blueberry sauce (recipes coming at some point, I promise).

This chia pudding uses ground chia seeds, because I don’t really like the texture of the whole seeds. If you like the texture of tapioca pudding, you’d probably be fine using the whole seeds, you just may have to adjust the measurements a little bit.

Also, I decided on chocolate and almond because I had some unsweetened chocolate almond milk on hand, but any non-dairy milk would work.

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding (Yields 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp carob powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
10 drops liquid stevia

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and stir well. Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour to thicken. Stir once more before serving. I like to garnish my pudding with something like nuts or coconut, to add some texture. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info for 1/4 cup (using Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Breeze): 68 calories, 9g carbs, 4g (healthy) fats, 4g protein, 1g sugar, 46mg sodium.

the veggie nook

This has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #14.

You May Also Enjoy:
Chocolate Almond Porridge
Almond Joy Cookie Bars
Chocolate Vega Macaroons