Recipe: Vegan Carob Cake

With the holidays coming up, a delicious dessert that can be served to nearly everyone in your house (vegan and non-vegan alike) is always a blessing. This recipe has never failed me yet.  Many of my friends and family were/are chocolate fans, and they all tend to say this cake hits the spot for them. My mother-in-law first shared her version of this recipe with me, but I tweaked this just a bit to suit me.  Its super simple, easy and delicious. A bigger bonus is most of the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen as we speak.

 

Vegan Carob Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe was adapted from: Sweet Little Bluebird

Ingredients

  • Dry:
    • – 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
    • – 3 tablespoon carob powder
    • – 1 cup sugar
    • – 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Wet:
    • – 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • – 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • – 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • – 1 cup water

Directions

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8″ square baking pan.
  1.  Mix your dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2.  Mix all your wet ingredients in a small bowl.
  3.  Next add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix well until smooth.
  4.  Pour into your greased 8″ square baking pan.
  5.  Bake on middle rack of oven for approximately 35 minutes. To ensure its finished, check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  Make sure to check it, so you do not over bake it.
  6.  Cool
  7. Lastly, enjoy!!! Its really that simple. Try it out and serve it to your vegan (plant-based) eating friends this coming holiday season or even just as a simple treat for your family and friends

    Delicious plain or topped with a frosting or topping of your choice.

Recipe:  Oat Date Squares

When I was a child my mother used to buy these delicious soft date filled oatmeal cookies.  I think the company went out of business or something because those delectable cookies stopped making an appearance in my house.  To this day it saddens me that I cannot find them, so I have been scouring the internet over the last few months in search of something similar that I could make plant-based.  While I have yet to find something really close, I did stumble across this delicious recipe that I tweaked to fit my dietary changes.  Let me tell you they were delicious!!!!  This will be placed in my special reportoire of recipes that I do atleast once a month, maybe twice…okay… maybe once a week.  While we ate these as a breakfast bars, it can easily be used as a healthy alternative to a delightful dessert.  So good!

Its so awesome when I find a delicious alternative to the regular pancakes, french toast and typical breakfast cereal meals.  While I now there is a big fuss over whether coconut sugar is truly a healthy alternative or not, when looking it up you can find many health benefits like low glycemic index.  However like any sweetener its still considered sugar and needs to be used sparingly; as too much sugar causes problems and weakens a persons immune system making them more susceptible to things like a common cold.  We must practice temperance in all things and a well balanced diet, making sure God is always glorified in our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20) even through simple things like our diet.

 

Now on to one of my new favorite recipes.

Oat Date Squares

  • Servings: makes 1 - 8*8 pan
  • Difficulty: easy
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quick and easy date bars


Ingredients

For the Filling:

2 1/2 cups pitted dates, chopped & lightly packed (I only had 2 cups and soaked them it worked fine)

1 cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons  coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon natural baking soda

For the Crisp:

1 3/4 cups  quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

3/4 cup coconut oil, softened (I needed 2 extra tablespoons)

 


Directions

  1.  Preheat the oven to 350 °F with the oven rack in the middle position.
  2.  Line an 8*8 square baking dish with parchment paper and lightly grease it.
  3. For the Filling:

  4.  In a saucepan, place the dates, water, lemon juice, and coconut sugar.
  5.  Turn to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the baking soda and simmer for about 5 more minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  It will begin to bubble vigorously.  Continue until you see the dates get soft.
  6.  Once the dates look very soft and mushy, let them cool while you make the crisp.
  7. For the Crisp:

  8.  In a medium sized bowl, place the oats, flour, coconut sugar, and aluminum-free baking powder, stir to combine.
  9.  Once combined add the softened coconut oil and mix together until it resembles soften bread crumbs. (After I added the 3/4C coconut oil and combined it I noticed it was still a bit too dry, so I added 2-3 more tablespoons)
  10. For the Layers:

  11.  Place half of the crisp mixture in the lined baking dish and press firmly.
  12.  Next, pour your cooled date mixture, spreading it evenly across.
  13.  Cover the date mixture with the remaining crisp and press lightly. Pressing too hard will bring the date mixture to the top and you don’t want that in your pretty layers.
  14.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until your top crisp layer is a beautiful golden brown.
  15.  Let it cool for about 4 hours or overnight, you want the crisp to set.

After the time, cut, devour and enjoy!!  We sure did ☺️

 

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Adapted from:  http://www.ricardocuisine.com

Banana Bread Cookies 

In our household there is one fruit that is a must have for my little people…bananas!  Which I don’t mind since they are so full of many nutritional benefits, better than candy, right?  However, they would eat them all day every day if I let them, but of course that’s not healthy nor practical (have to practice temperance and self-control even in healthy foods😊).  Check out my health tidbit at the end!

During this holiday season I have jumped on the banana bandwagon with my children because, I have been craving banana bread.  We don’t normally make it in our household, so I wasn’t exactly sure how my little people would like it.  Therefore I opted for the next best thing, banana bread cookies!  Not exactly the same, but it definitely introduced them to another way to eat bananas and was definitely a hit.

These little bites are not only delicious, they are quick and easy to make, plus can be eaten as a breakfast cookie since it’s packed with so many nutritious ingredients.  Who doesn’t love a cookie you can have for breakfast and dessert?  Another added bonus it contains no animal products like traditional banana bread recipes.  Give it a try!

</u></b>Banana Bread Cookies<b><u>

  • Servings: makes 12 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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quick and easy cookies


Ingredients

1/2 cup creamy almond butter (I make my own) 1 very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup) 3 tablespoons ground flax seed 1/2 rounded teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder 1/8 teaspoon cardamom + 1/8 teaspoon coriander 1/4 cup chopped raw walnut pieces (optional) dash sea salt

*if more sweetness is desired 1 rounded tablespoon of brown sugar

Directions

  1.  Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2.  In a medium bowl, smash the banana really well. Then add all the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  3.  Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes– letting the flax “gel” into the batter.
  4.  Using a tablespoon, or cookie scoop, drop the cookie mix onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They are going to look wet, that’s fine they bake beautifully!
  5.  Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning the pan halfway through the baking time for even browning.  I live in Bermuda and have to bake them for about 15 minutes.  So definitely watch and keep an eye on them.
  6.  After they are done baking, let the cookies to cool on the pan for approximately 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
  7.  

      

    • Over a day or two these cookies will darken to a beautiful dark brown, it’s due to the bananas.  So no need to worry and throw them out!

Enjoy!  We sure did.

HEALTH TIDBIT:

This time of year, with back to back holidays, temperance and self-control in eating are the most difficult things to practice. However they are both definitely needed in order to maintain health and a sound mind. How many times have we over eaten and became “drunk” from too much food in our bellies? We either try to sleep it off in a stupor or just allow our drunkeness to run rampant with no filter. Either way isn’t the most beneficial and the poor stomach is taxed and overworked. Think of when you overwork your mind at the job or over exercise your muscles, it becomes an issue with mental fatigue & stress or pain & possibly injury, respectively. Now think about your stomach muscle having to overwork with a continuous huge load. Poor stomach! Just something to think about this holiday season and in the new year.

 

God Bless,

The Family Blueprint



Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

Recipe:  Heavily adapted from Detoxinista

Recipe: Gingerbread (“Vegan”)

One of my favorite desserts growing up, that I used to love from my grandmother’s kitchen was her gingerbread.  It gives me a warm, fuzzy, happy, feeling just thinking about it.  I remember visiting Bermuda and watching her make it, then lingering around the kitchen until I heard the timer ring for it to be finished…My grandfather then introduced me to placing cinnamon applesauce on top of my fresh warm slice as a topping…SUPERB!!!

Since changing our lifestyle, cutting out dairy and meat products, my beloved gingerbread was cut as well seeing that it contained eggs…UNTIL TODAY!!!!  I had a craving for some gingerbread this morning and was able to find a recipe I could tweak to satisfy my taste buds and still abstain from the dairy/meat products.

BASE INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

WET:

2 flax “eggs” (2 tablespoons grounded flax seeds + 6 tablespoons warm water, mix & let sit for at least 10 minutes)

1/2 cup dehydrated cane sugar or light brown sugar

1/3 cup oil (vegetable or coconut oil)

DRY:

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose unbleached flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon (*stomach irritant, subsitution – 1/2 teaspoon cardamon + 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed)

1 teaspoon grounded ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT OVEN – 350 degrees, line 8 *8 dish w/ parchment paper or spray it with non stick cooking spray

1.  Make the flax “eggs” first as it needs to sit a while.  Place 2 tablespoons grounded flax seeds in 6 tablespoons warm water, stir until mixed.  Let stand 10 minutes minimum, stirring occasionally to ensure thorough mixing.

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2.  Place all the ingredients listed under dry and sift together into a large bowl.  I don’t have a sifter so I used my strainer 🙂

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3.  In a small saucepan boil the applesauce for approximately 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.  Next add the molasses, stir until thoroughly mixed, then add the baking soda.  This mixture will begin to foam and bubble vigorously, set aside until cool.

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bubbling and foaming vigorously
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after mixture has cooled (applesauce, molasses and baking soda)

4.  In a large bowl, add all the ingredients listed under wet:  the “flax eggs”, sugar and oil.  Whisk together until thoroughly mixed.image

5.  Place “base” (applesauce mixture) ingredients  into a large bowl.  Alternating add the “dry” (flour mixture) in 3 parts (1/2 cup each) and the “wet” (flax “egg” mixture) in 2 parts (half/half).  Whisk after every addition until combined.

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After first addition of flour mix + flax “egg”
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After second addition of flour mix + flax “egg”
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After third addition of flour mix

6.  Pour your final mixture into the 8*8 dish and bake for about 35 minutes.  I ended up having to increase the time by about 15 minutes due to my climate (Bermuda)

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I’ve never lined with parchment paper before, I see for next time I will have to be more “neat” for a clean finish.
Final product, turned out the parchment paper
Final product, turned out the parchment paper

ENJOY!!!

Source:  adapted from the Joy of Cooking and few other online recipes compilation

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31