Yum, yum, yum! The joke’s on you if you think eating vegan tastes bad. The joke is also on my husband because each day I change his mind and he’s gotten to the point where he just eats what’s in front of him and loves it. I made these one morning when he decided to sleep in. They were half gone by the time he woke up. He finished the other half before I could make myself another.
I make my own peanut butter. If you want to try, buy a bag of unsalted raw peanuts. Bake for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees on a cookie sheet to release the oil. Grind/mix in your Ninja for 5 to 15 minutes. If you forget to roast the nuts expect the time to double. Scrape sides every few minutes until peanut butter forms. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt because if you don’t, it tastes funny. Store unused portion in fridge. Don’t freak out if you go to eat leftover peanut butter and the oil has separated. Just heat a little and mix well. Peanut butter manufactures use chemicals to keep their peanut butter from separating. No chemicals for me!
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocao powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (can use another teaspoon of vanilla if you prefer)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans (or not)
Directions: Melt peanut butter and coconut oil in medium size pot on stove. Turn off burner when completely melted. Add all ingredients but pecans. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Poor into a backing dish covered with parchment paper. Smooth out (may be runny), place pecans on top and refrigerate for at least an hour. Break apart and enjoy. You need to keep these stored in the refrigerator or can freeze.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m making gluten, grain, and egg free apple pie. It’s supper simple and tastes great. Start with easy peasy pie crust made in your Ninja or food processor.
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour
4 tablespoons palm oil or ghee, or butter (melted)
1 tablespoon flax seed for egg replacement (1 egg)
3 tablespoons water for egg replacement. If you use an egg, discard water.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in Ninja and mix until a ball of dough forms. Press into pie dish and bake on 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
I use about 6 to 8 green and red apples because I like my pie a little tart and a little sweet.
6 to 8 green and/or red apples (pealed, cored and sliced)
2 tablespoons cinnamon (use to taste and cut back or add more as you prefer)
Natural Sugar (2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, or liquid or natural stevia, or monk fruit to taste)
Directions: Prepare apples while crust is cooking. Place about a tablespoon of water in the bottom of a pan and place the apples inside. Add the cinnamon and sugar. After cooking you can taste test to add more sugar if needed. I don’t like a lot and sometimes none at all. Cook the apples until they are soft but not mushy. I cook for about 15 to 25 minutes on low heat covered. Be sure to stir often so they don’t stick. The water is to help with sticking. When your apples are cooked, poor them into your pie crust and you’re done. Refrigerate or serve hot.
One of the things about becoming healthy is all the foods you must give up. I’ve had a love hate relationship with French fries my entire life. My taste buds love them and my hips hate them. Potatoes are something we try to stay away from and there are several reasons but I think the biggest is that potatoes clean the soil by leaching everything around them including pesticides. They’ve long been used in crop rotation when the soil is too damaged for other crops. Sweet potato fries are a healthier substitute but my husband doesn’t care for them. Last night I cooked a vegan dinner for both of us that included cucumber pasta salad and plantain fries. Plantains look like bananas but have less sugar. they also contain fiber and are a good source of vitamins A and C, and potassium. The secret is to buy your plantains when they’re green/yellow and not brown/yellow. No worries though, if your plantains ripen before you use them, you can cut up and freeze to use as pancake batter later. Please fry them in olive or avocado oil and stay far far away from bad oils such as vegetable, cotton seed, sunflower, etc. My husband loves these plantain fries so I consider them kid approved and it’s a vegan dinner he doesn’t complain about 😉
The second part of our dinner was the Cucumber Pasta Salad. My grown daughters are cringing right now because they know we don’t eat pasta (no grains at all) and they’re wondering what in the blazes I’m talking about.
I make the pasta out of an English cucumber. Add the yummy topping, and we eat. It’s thoroughly delicious. Here’s our vegan dinner breakdown:
3 – plantains (serves 2)
2 cups – olive oil (we save the leftover and reuse a few times)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: cut plantain into 3 sections. Slice one side and peal off the skin. Cut into French fry size. Place in a deep pot of hot oil and cook until golden (stir occasionally). Place finished plantain fries on paper towels to absorb excess grease and serve. Yes you can even dip these babies in ketchup.
1 – English cucumber (serves 2)
2 to 3 – small tomatoes
8 – fresh basil leaves
1 – clove garlic
1 – avocado
2 slices – lemon
Directions: spiralize your cucumber and place in a colander to drain, place tomatoes (cut into sections), basil, and garlic into your food processor and blend for about 30 seconds, pour on drained spiralized noodles, top with cut up avocado, and squeeze the lemon onto both servings.
One of the things I love about healthy eating is guilt-free dessert. On an average day, I drink green juice when I wake up. Have two shots of ginger orange an hour later, and another shot of green juice before heading to the gym. Two hours later I come home and shower then sit down with a green juice smoothie and enjoy it on my back deck before my writing day begins. At around one in the afternoon I have a handful of nuts (usually cashews) and my last smoothie of the day comes at three. We eat dinner between five and six but the highlight of our evening is dessert.
Never skip dessert!
Our delicious tummy extravaganza is one of the following:
chocolate chip cookies
lemon meringue pie
Homemade ice cream
and the newest edition… German chocolate cake
Eventually I’ll have the recipes listed for all of these delightful desserts but today it’s all about the cake. Snacking is one of the bad things we do in our daily life and if you think back to your childhood (if you’re over 50), you’ll remember a time when snacks had to be prepared. They didn’t come in small snack-size packages nor did they have harmful chemicals. You were also more likely to eat a piece of fruit for your snack because your mother slapped your fingers if they went near the cookie jar. Green juice fasting took away our need for snacking throughout the day so dessert is a favorite in our house.
2 1/4 cups – almond flour (blanched is better in this recipe)
Grease bottoms and sides of two cake pans with olive oil. Place parchment paper in the bottom by cutting to pan size
Prepare flax seed/water egg replacement and set aside
Mix dry cake ingredients
Mix wet ingredients with flax seed and water
Pour together and mix well by hand, add chocolate chips if you’re using them
Bake for 40 minutes (I bake at high altitude and you might want to check sooner) bake longer if needed. Cake might fall and that’s okay. Check center with fork or toothpick and it will come out dry when ready. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans.
2 cans- coconut milk, full fat, refrigerated 24 hours before preparing (we always keep 2 to 4 cans in our fridge)
1/2 cup – pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons – vanilla extract
2 tablespoons – arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
2 tablespoons – shredded coconut
1/2 cup – finely chopped pecans
Turn cans of coconut upside down and open with can opener. Drain off clear liquid until the white coconut fat is left. Poor into medium size pan and turn on low to medium heat.
Mix in maple syrup, vanilla, starch and whisk together while heating. As frosting heats it will thicken. Add coconut and pecans once thickened and continue stirring for a few minutes, remove from heat.
Once cake is completely cooled add frosting and enjoy!
We live for these and use them as a meal replacement and also as a treat at night when we fast.
Start with my maintenance green juice recipe here to make the smoothie yummy and packed with nurtrients.
We freeze old bananas by the quart bag full and also freeze fruit before it goes bad so we can put it in our smoothies. We’ve tried everything from mango to watermelon. My favorite is wild blueberry because it’s so good for my tummy.
2 cups green juice
2 inches frozen banana (we cut them into 1 inch sections before freezing)
1 cup fruit (the green smoothie below has strawberry. The purple is blueberry)
Mix all ingredients together in a blender or Ninja and enjoy. I like mine frozen and thicker. My husband likes his a little runnier. Fix it the way you like it.
*Side note: My granddaughter Shaylee does not like these. She’d rather drink her green juice on its own but the other grandkids love it.
1/2 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts (I buy my SALT-FREE organic nuts from nuts.com so I know they’re certified gluten free). *There should be NO added oil. If so, don’t buy.
Preheat oven to 350. Stir coconut, cinnamon and nuts together in a 9 by 9 baking dish. Cook ten minutes, stir and cook ten more minutes. Allow to cool and you’re ready. Don’t forget to add berries to that fruit bowl, they’re very healthy. The picture below was my breakfast this morning. I sprinkle about 2 tablespoons on mine but you’re allowed to go a little crazy on this one if you want.
4 teaspoons yeast in ½ cup warm water prepare at the beginning and set aside
3 tablespoons flax seed (Amazon & and one of the few I could find certified gluten free) & 9 tablespoons water mixed and set aside (replaces 3 eggs. You can use eggs if they don’t bother you). My husband can eat eggs with no problem but he prefers to bake with flax replacement too because he says it tastes better. Give it a try.
Mix dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients (I add the honey to the warm yeast mixture so it pours easily into the batter. Mix thoroughly. Cover bowl with a thin cloth and set in a warm place for an hour. If you have rapid rise yeast follow the directions on the package. After one hour, punch down and allow to rise for 30 more minutes.
Place your dough into the french bread pan and shape. I get my fingers wet and smooth down the top. Then I use to fingers to make impressions along the bread followed by using a sharp knife to cut 1-inch slits in the top. This probably doesn’t make sense but if you look at the picture below, you’ll get the idea 🙂
Bake on 350 for 25 to 40 minutes. You want your loaves golden brown.
We slather the first loaf with butter and enjoy as soon as it comes out of the oven. The remainder we cut in half and freeze for garlic toast made in our air fryer. I’ll make a fresh batch when going to dinner parties too. It’s a great way to share grain-free bread.