Annie’s Almond Butter Chocolate Oat & Seed Squares from An Unrefined Vegan – April’s ‘Nut Butter Bash’ entry

Annie’s Almond Butter Chocolate Oat & Seed Squares from An Unrefined Vegan – April’s ‘Nut Butter Bash’ entry

April’s ‘Nut Butter Bash’ entry comes from my long time Virtual buddy Annie; Creator of An Unrefined Vegan. She never fails to disappoint after 3 years of my monthly blogger entries.  These squares are no exception.   Check ’em out: When Angela invited me to participate in her annual blogger/foodie event (this year’s is called Nut Butter Bash), I hesitated. For about 30 seconds. This gave me an opportunity to just go (with my sincere apologies) a little nuts with ingredients that were verboten in our household. The recipe below is just about everything we no longer eat. And it is one decadent, devilishly delicious dessert. Coconut oil, chocolate chips, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and of course – the star of the show: almond butter. Creamy, luscious, rich, chocolatey. I ate one purely for testing purposes, you understand, and then quickly wrapped them up and gave them to a neighbor. I couldn’t be trusted with the whole batch. The (bitter) irony is not lost on me. The woman who devoted a whole month to peanut butter-themed recipesis no longer eating nut butters of any kind. It is not an allergy that stopped me in my nutty tracks, but the health and well-being of my…

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Mandy’s Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies – from BeSolefulLiving.com, December’s ‘Family Favorite Dessert’ entry

Mandy’s Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies – from BeSolefulLiving.com, December’s ‘Family Favorite Dessert’ entry

In 2015, Canned Time is featuring a new recipe from a different blogger each month again. This year’s theme: Family Favorite Desserts – Veganized. My final entry for 2015 comes from the sweet Mandy over at BeSolfulliving.com.  Today Mandy is sharing: “Triple Chocolate Peppermint Brownies” When my friend Angela, over at Canned Time, invited me to be a part of the Family Favorites Dessert series, I was over the moon and excited for my chance to try NuNaturals Stevia products. So, thank you, Angela, for the opportunity and challenge. I knew that my dessert had to be something super chocolate-y because I swear chocolate runs in my family’s blood. My mom used to have to hide the bags of chocolate chips when I was growing up because my dad would eat them straight out of the bag…I’d be lying if I didn’t say I used to do the same. When I think back to my childhood, I’m reminded of my mom’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and brownies – we’d devour them right off the baking sheet, melted chocolate all over our fingers. Since I’m fairly comfortable with creating cookies, I wanted to move outside my comfort zone and attempt brownies…but not…

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July 4th Cherry-Ice Watermelon Mocktails and No-Bake Salted Chocolate Cherry Doughnuts

July 4th Cherry-Ice Watermelon Mocktails and No-Bake Salted Chocolate Cherry Doughnuts

ALOHA! Today, just in time for the July 4th celebrations I have some Cool Summer fresh healthy treats for you! Having grown up in the Washington D. C. Metro area, I’ve seen my fair share of July 4th festivities.  My family would drive down to The Mall, early in the afternoon so we could get a spot on the grass near the Washington Monument with a good view of the fireworks and music most years.  Some years, were better than others as I remember.  Some years, the weather would be unbearably hot and humid.  In the late 60’s, there were Hippies, Police scuffles and things were a little less family friendly….  But they all had that swelling of patriotism,  family groups from all Nationalities, hot summer sun and plenty of food and drinks.   Now that I’m still in D. C. but have a little less tolerance for heat and crowds, I prefer to enjoy just as much food and fun but most likely it’s from right in our own back yard.  The music is traditional, the food… a lot more healthy, and the drinks are now less sugary and fresh from the farmer’s market.    “July 4th Cherry-Ice Watermelon Mocktails” …

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Chunky, Chocolatey Burdock Brownie Bread and Ice Cream

Chunky, Chocolatey Burdock Brownie Bread and Ice Cream

 Chocolate Cake.  Evil right?  Only for those special occasions when you don’t give a hoot about your waistline, nutrition or any number of other vices we constantly attempt to control.  Well, maybe not.  My quest continues today, attempting to add iron rich ingredients in any way that I can to my diet.   Re-enter my good friend from last week:   Burdock Root Flour.    I swear if you’ve ever seen this plant in the wild you’d never in your wildest dreams put it with my new friend, Chewy, Chocolatey Burdock Brownie Bread.   Read on:   If you do know a bit about the benefits of adding a little (or a lot) of Burdock into your life, you’re probably thinking Hot Tea, Dandelion & Burdock soda, potassium or folic acid even.  If you’re really up on your Burdock, it’s about blood purification, diuretics, skin conditions or throat and chest ailments.  Furthermore, it also contains a decent amount of good minerals like Iron, as I mentioned, manganese, magnesium; and small amounts of zinc, calcium, selenium and phosphorus.   All hidden in a chewy chocolatey slice of delicious sweet bread.   You say you can’t do chocolate without a scoop of…

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Fran Costigan’s ‘Vegan Chocolate’ – A Review + A Giveaway

Fran Costigan’s ‘Vegan Chocolate’ – A Review + A Giveaway

  I had the excruciating task of trying out a few recipes last month from Fran Costigan’s ‘Vegan Chocolate’  It was tough.  I managed to get through the book, several times in fact.  And now I can share some of my experience with you.  Fran will share a free copy of her book with one lucky reader as well.  Details on that at the end of the post.  Fran Costigan is an internationally recognized culinary instructor, recipe developer, and innovative vegan pastry chef, and author of 3 cookbooks.  A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and the Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef in both traditional and vegan restaurant kitchens.  Today Fran teaches her distinctive courses (including her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®) in her hometown of New York City at the Institute of Culinary Education.   This woman knows her chocolate! You can almost taste the pages……..   Fran is generously sharing one of her recipes from the book with my readers as well. ‘Very Fudgy Chocolate Chip Brownies’  Once you’ve tried this brownie version, it will be hard to go back to any other.  The fudgy brownie contrasts with chewy nuts and the deep, rich…

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Zsu Dever’s “Everyday Vegan Eats” – Fudge Brownies with Caramel Sauce

Zsu Dever’s “Everyday Vegan Eats” – Fudge Brownies with Caramel Sauce

This giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for all the entries! I recently received a copy of a wonderful new Vegan resource cookbook for review.  Everyday Vegan Eats: Family Favorites from My Kitchen to Yours”  by Zsu Dever. I call it a resource book because it is like an encyclopedia for Vegan cooking and baking.  Zsu really takes us through all the aspects of Vegan food prep and beyond with everything from sweet to savory, menu planning to getting your pantry ready to eat a plant based diet.  She’s broken down the basics like recipes for broths, sauces, cheese, dressings, tomato sauces.  Everything is organized in the book for a great kitchen to cook in. Soft Pretzels, Mushroom Stroganoff, a Deli Reuben, step by step instructions for Bacon Tofu,  Soups, Everyday Main dishes, Casseroles and  of course, desserts….  this book has  it all.    Zsu even has a reference section for the Vegan kitchen with menu planning, basic ingredients to keep on hand, nutrition and cooking techniques. Before you get your hands on her new book, Zsu’s website, Zsu’s Vegan Pantry will give you a good idea of just how talented she is in creating beautifully well written recipes and vegan living ideas.  She has…

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Blondies

  I’ve always wondered what the difference between ‘brownies’ and ‘blondies’ is.  Now I know, it’s just a little molasses.  Or Brown Sugar.     Creating a Vegan Blondie wasn’t too tricky, but this version is also Gluten Free so I was very pleased that it turned out moist and cakey.  Gluten free and I are not friends yet in the kitchen………..but we’re talking at least The flax ‘eggs’ worked well, I added both yeast and baking powder to make sure the batter had some lift.  And homemade brown sugar makes them as fresh as possible. I mixed up my first batch of brown sugar last year and am truly addicted to the difference from store bought.   If  you’ve never tried your own, here’s some details on how easy it really is to mix up and have fresh on hand anytime:         Homemade brown sugar makes up in about 5 minutes and only has two ingredients. You can make it dark or light, store it just like store bought and more importantly you’ll know what’s in it……….you can use the molasses of choice and sugar of choice for that matter.  Check here for more details.  It’s…

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Brownie Date Nut Bread with Strawberry Butter

 A wonderful pair up:  Cocoa, Strawberry, Dates and Butter. Enjoying every little sweet, tangy bite! PrintBrownie Date Nut Bread with Strawberry Butter Yield: 1 1/2 Lbs. loafServing Size: 1 inch slice This Brownie Date loaf will be more bread like than cake. It’s very dense and filling. The Strawberry Butter goes well with a slice fresh from the bread maker and lightens up the dessert with it’s tang and fluffy texture in contrast to the dense heavy bread. I sliced up my loaf and wrapped individual pieces to take as a mid day snack. Not overly sweet and it’s relatively sugar free with the Stevia.What you will need for this recipe:1/2 Cup Stevia Baking Blend (I used NuNaturals Fiber Blend brand) 1/2 Cup High Quality Cocoa Powder 1 1/4 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour 1 Cup Chopped Dates soaked in 1 Cup Boiling Water (reserve soak water) 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts 3 Tbs. Ground Flax Seed mixed with 6 Tbs. Water) 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract InstructionsSoak chopped dates in boiling water. Add ingredients to bread maker in this order: Vanilla, Flax w/water, Dates w/ soak water, Sea Salt, Cinnamon,…

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Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix Review w/ Pumpkin Puree / Vegan Options

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix Review w/ Pumpkin Puree / Vegan Options

I’ve seen so many pins for brownies made with just a can of pumpkin puree, no eggs, milk, oil….just a can of pumpkin.  I wanted to see how it would work.  So I picked up a box of brownie mix the other day at Trader Joe’s. I’ve heard you can substitute the egg and water in a cake for canned beans but I’ve never tried Pumpkin puree so this was a fun experiment for me.  It worked out great. Just replace  the Eggs, Oil and Water with 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, just puree.  Stir the pumpkin into the batter until all the dry ingredients are mixed.  Pour into an 8 X 8 pan and bake per the boxed brownie directions. This change in recipe also makes the dessert into a Vegan option. Never leaving good enough alone, I added Sugar Free Chocolate Chips onto the top of the brownies when they were still warm.  Then I sprinkled the melting chocolate chips with flaked coconut.  It turned out to be just too much sweet for me.  But, the pumpkin brownies worked out great.  Very moist, very spongy and fully cooked. If I made these…

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