Frosted Blueberry Cake: MMAZ #30

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For this week’s Meatless Monday from A-Z the mission is to cook a recipe that features blueberries. I haven’t made any of the recipes yet from last week’s Create with Blueberries linkup, but I did make this gorgeous Frosted Blueberry Cake from Healthy Happy Life.

For the past couple of years I’ve volunteered to make the birthday cakes (one for each sister) for my sisters’ birthday. Birthdays are a great excuse to try out a sweeter-than-usual dessert that I’ve been eyeing, and doing the baking, guarantees I’ll actually be able to eat something come dessert time. This year I couldn’t pass up Jem’s request for this Frosted Blueberry Cake.

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What I really love about this cake is that the actual cake is not too sweet, and pretty darn healthy. The flax, oats, applesauce, blueberries, and walnuts do the double duty of making the cake taste great, and providing some actual nutrients, instead of just empty calories. Without the frosting, this cake is more like a snack-cake than a true dessert, but as soon as you add the amazing coconut frosting, it is elevated to a beautiful dessert, perfect for any occasion. And the frosting really is amazing!

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I did make a couple of minor changes to the original recipe:
– I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I rarely even buy all purpose flour anymore, and I’m always pleased with the results I get using whole wheat flour. As usual, when substituting whole wheat flour, I just had to add an extra little splash of nondairy milk when mixing the wet and dry together.
– I used ground flaxseeds.
– I choose to use coconut sugar.
– I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the soy milk.
– I couldn’t find any fresh blueberries, so I used frozen blueberries in the cake, and fresh raspberries for decorating.

In regards to the options listed in the original recipe, I used almond extract, I didn’t use any cinnamon, and I used walnuts.

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We really enjoyed this cake, and I will absolutely be using both the cake recipe and the frosting recipe again!

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I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday 4/23/13.

You May Also Enjoy:
Title, Berry Chia Jam

Title, Blueberry Oat Scones

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Tart

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Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread

Yes. Another zucchini bread recipe. I know there are a gazillion flooding blogs these days, and during every zucchini season. But one thing I have not seen is a quick healthy vegan Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread.

Despite hot summer weather I still find myself wanting warm, cozy, spiced bake goods. So, instead of relying on something apple or pumpkin based (as I did all winter) I decided to try something with zucchini, by adapting a couple different zucchini bread recipes together and then adding chai spices. I’m all for loading my baked goods with lots of fruit and veggies, especially when they are in season locally and really cheap!

This is not strongly spiced bread. The flavour is subtle at first, but it builds up. This moist bread is great on its own, or with a bit of vegan margarine (Earth Balance or Becel). It also freezes really well. And yes, as with most zucchini bread, you can see the zucchini (especially if you don’t peel it) but you will NOT taste it. Promise.

Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread
Makes 1 large loaf.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sorghum flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups shredded zucchini (you don’t have to peel it)
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/2-3/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar) [depending on how sweet you would like it]
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease a large loaf pan. In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In a smaller bowl stir together the zucchini, oil, apple sauce, water or milk, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.

Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients, along with walnuts (if using). Stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes:
Both the white sorghum flour and the chickpea flour could be replaced with all purpose flour or a different flour of your choice. The idea is to use a lighter flour that will balance the heavier whole wheat flour.
There are a lot of spices in this recipe. Leaving out one or two of these spices won’t result in the same chai flavour, but would most likely still taste really good. Use your own discretion.

Nutritional Info for 1/12 of this recipe (with 1/2 cup coconut sugar, and walnuts): 215 calories, 19g carbs, 11g fat, 5g protein, 8g sugar, 260mg sodium.

This recipe has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #10.

the veggie nook

Questions
Are you scared of zucchini bread like I used to be?
Of course, when I was younger I thought the idea of putting shredded zucchini in a bread or muffin was crazy. And gross. So I avoided it for a long time. Then a couple of years ago, in the spirit of healthy baking, I tried making a zucchini bread and it really didn’t work! I don’t know what quite went wrong but it was dense and just really not good. So I once again avoided it until this summer, when I tried my hand at this Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Loaf and fell in love! I use whole grain flours and don’t add chopped chocolate but other than that the recipe is perfect as is! It’s very moist and chocolatey, tasting really bad for you, but actually not too bad at all!

Do you have a great zucchini bread recipe you’d like to share?

Do you have a great tea-inspired (chai or otherwise) recipe you’d like to share?

Chipotle Lime Cashew Cream & Kale Pesto

In case you are wondering, I did not make these or eat these together. Though it probably wouldn’t be a terrible combination. I have a pretty long list of recipes I want to post so I just thought I would put the two sauce/spreads together.

I quickly threw together this creamy cashew spread to put on some wraps with a black bean and brown rice mixture I’d taken out of the freezer (actually leftover filling from my homemade frozen burritos). It has a bright tang from the lime juice and a mild chipotle flavour, because my bean and rice mixture was already quite spicy. Feel free to up the chipotle if it suits you.

Ingredients

Chipotle Lime Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
pinch of sea salt
3 tbsp water (or more if you would like it more sauce-like)

Add all ingredients to a food processor (I used my mini one) or blender and process until smooth. Add more water if desired and process. If not using at once, transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. This will firm up a bit when cold, but you can bring it back to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

This spread went really well with my Mexican-spiced bean and rice mixture, and would go well with anything of similar flavour. Try it as a creamy salad dressing for a taco salad, as a spread on burgers (I really like these Southwest Quinoa Veggie Burgers, especially with sweet potato instead of potato), sandwiches, and wraps, in a (vegan) quesadilla, or maybe stirred into some black bean soup.

I made this kale pesto a couple of weeks ago when I had a bunch of kale lurking in my fridge and no time (or need) to make any meals with it. It only takes a few minutes to make the pesto, and it can be frozen if you don’t need it right away (I freeze it in ice-cube trays then pop out into a plastic bag). I’ve found having pesto on hand in the freezer is very helpful when I’m in need of a quick meal. It can quickly liven up any pizza, pasta, or tofu scramble, and gives a great flavour boost to wraps and sandwiches as well.

Kale Pesto
1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 cup walnuts
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

Thoroughly wash kale and remove the leaves from the stem. Discard thick stems. Place everything, except for the kale, in a food processor. You will not be able to fit all of the kale in at first, but add about 1/3 of it (amount will depend on your food processor). Pulse a few times until your processor no longer looks full. Scrape pesto down sides of the bowl, and add more kale. Keep doing this until you’ve added the whole bunch of kale. You will be finished when there are no large pieces or walnut, basil, or kale left.

Sorry I didn’t take any photos while making this, but it should be very quick and simple, and you’ll end up with a  gorgeous green spread/sauce.

Enjoy!

Here, I used the Kale Pesto on pasta with some crumbled Chile Lime Tofu Nuggets (recipe coming soon):

Spiced Banana Bran Mini Loaves

So, this recipe actually started out as these Pumpkin Bran Muffins from Chef In You. While Chef in You is mostly a vegetarian blog they do have quite a few vegan recipes and most of the recipes for baked goods are quite low in fat and sugar. Last year before I went vegan, I was experimenting with baking healthier treats and found this site very helpful. Now that I am vegan, I like using recipes from this site because I usually just have to replace the dairy and/or eggs but don’t have to worry about changing flour and decreasing/replacing sugar and oil as I do for most recipes.

These Spiced Banana Bran Loaves are moist and chewy thanks to the combination of banana and bran, and are lightly sweet and spiced. The bran will also make the tops crisp up nicely. I love the dark rich colour the molasses gives these little loaves.

Spiced Banana Bran Mini Loaves
3/4 cup non dairy milk
1 tsp white vinegar
1 cup mashed banana (or try pumpkin puree)
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
6 tbsp water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 cup chopped walnuts or raisins (or both)

*You might notice small amounts of strange flours popping up in my baked goods recipes. Because I don’t buy whole wheat pastry flour and don’t want to use white flour, I have been experimenting using smaller amounts of different lighter flours (chickpea, millet, brown rice, white sorghum) in combination with regular whole wheat flour in my baked goods. Feel free to substitute these with white flour, more whole wheat flour (in which case you will probably need to add a little more liquid to the recipe), or a different flour of your choice.

Preheat oven to 375° and lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans (6″ x 3.5″ x 2″ or 15cm x 8.5cm x 5cm) or a 12 count muffin tin. In a measuring cup whisk together the nondairy milk and the white vinegar and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the mashed banana, bran, molasses, sugar, and the milk mixture.

Add the ground flax and water to a food processor or blender and blend until thick and creamy.

Add this flax mixture to the large bowl of liquid ingredients and stir in. Now add the prepared dry ingredients and chopped walnuts and/or raisins to the liquid ingredients. Gently stir until everything is just mixed together.

Divide batter into prepared pans and place in oven. Bake mini loaves 32-37 minutes and muffins 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info: 1/3 of a mini loaf, or 1 muffin contains 140 calories, 23g carbs, 5g fat, 4g protein, and 7g sugar.

This recipe has been submitted as part of Healthy Vegan Fridays.

the veggie nook