Monday, June 25, 2012

Crumb Cake

I'll admit that this wasn't my first choice of recipes to try today.  I only made it because I was in the mood for some type of chocolate cake, but was out of chocolate.  Don't get me wrong, I like crumb cake. There's nothing like a warm slice for breakfast!  I'm actually glad now that I was out of chocolate because this turned out delicious, and my sweet tooth is quite satisfied!  

Did I just say I was happy to be out of chocolate??  I must be losing it. ;-)

This recipe is adapted from Post Punk Kitchen, and is refined sugar free.

Crumb Cake
3/4 cup rice milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut oil 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

For the topping:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 375.  Lightly grease a 9 inch round baking dish and set aside.

For the cake:
In a large bowl, add rice milk and apple cider vinegar.  Stir to mix and let sit for 5 minutes to curdle.  After 5 minutes have passed, stir in the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Stir until well combined.  Pour batter (it will be a bit thick) into prepared dish and set aside.

For the topping:
In a small bowl, mix together flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.  

Add the coconut oil and stir it in just a bit.  Finishing working the coconut oil into the mixture with your fingers, forming little crumbs with the dough.  Sprinkle the crumbs evenly on top of the cake mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took the full 40 minutes)  Let cool on wire rack before slicing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Avocado Potato Salad

I love avocados!!  I love them almost as much as chocolate.... almost.  I had one lying around about to go bad so, rather than using it as a homemade hand cream, face or hair mask (yes, you can!), I decided to put it to better use and substitute it for mayo in a potato salad!   I planned on having veggie burgers for dinner, so the timing was perfect.  I threw together a bunch of veggies I would normally use in a regular potato salad and blended the avocado to go on top.

Avocado Potato Salad
(serves 2)
2 small, red potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks
2 small celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/8 cup onion, chopped   
1 avocado, skin removed
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

Combine potato chunks, celery, cucumber and onion in a medium bowl, set aside.

Combine avocado flesh, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a blender/food processor.  Blend until smooth.  

Top potato/veggie mixture with avocado mixture and stir to combine.

While the picture is not so pretty since my avocado was already going bad (notice it's not bright green, but darker??), the taste is delicious!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

(Not The Girl Scouts') Samoas

Count me in as someone who loves Girl Scout cookies!  I even used to love Edy's special addition Girl Scout cookie flavored ice cream.  But that's another story. ;-) I came across a recipe for Samoas that was already vegan, but I wanted to cut down on the sugar and make it refined sugar free.   This version doesn't have the shortbread base, but everything else is the same.  If you're a Samoa fan, you're going to love these!

This recipe is adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar

**Please note that these can be made Gluten Free as well.  I made a batch using oat flour and it turned out just as delicious!!**

(Not The Girl Scouts') Samoas
(makes over 2 dozen *about 28)
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp organic, Grade B, maple syrup
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*1 cup white whole wheat flour (all purpose should work too)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For topping
1 cup chocolate chips, melted
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

*You can substitute oat flour to make these Gluten Free.  I tried it and it works beautifully!

Preheat oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium/low heat, toast the shredded coconut until it turns a light golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Stir occasionally, careful not to burn. Remove from heat and stir occasionally as it cools.

In a large mixing bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, flax seeds and vanilla. Stir until smooth.  Mix in the flour, baking soda & salt until a thick batter forms.  Stir in the toasted coconut.

Scoop 1 tbsp of dough onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten each cookie with the back of a measuring cup and make a small hole into the center of each with your fingertip.  Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. *They will still seem soft when you take them out of the oven, but will continue to harden as they cool.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.  

For the topping:
While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate chips on either the stove top or microwave.  Stir in the coconut oil.  Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes to thicken up.

Line a firm surface (that can easily be slid into the refrigerator), like a cutting board, with parchment paper.

Dip cookie bottoms into the chocolate, allow excess to drip off, and place them on the waxed paper.  Once all cookie bottoms are dipped, drizzle remaining chocolate over the cookies using a fork, spoon or by pouring the chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a very small round tip.  

Place cookies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to completely firm up the chocolate.  

Store cookies in a loosely covered container in the refrigerator.