Fudgy carrot banana cake

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I made this carrot banana cake for a picnic at the park this weekend and it’s been getting better and better as it’s been sitting in the fridge. It’s very moist and almost a fudgy-like consistency.

Ingredients:

2 large carrots grated
2 large ripe bananas mashed
3 TBS flax meal + 1/3 cup rice milk mixed together and set aside to ‘gel’. This will be the binding agent
1/8 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
Dash of maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour (I used chickpea flour, any combo of flours will work though)
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Handful of crushed walnuts

Combine the wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together. Pour into a greased cake pan or loaf pan.
Bake at a low temp for about an hour.

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I highly recommend a cashew frosting made by blending a cup or so or soaked cashews + lemon juice + a couple medjool dates + vanilla + cinnamon!!

Raw beetroot frozen delight

Raw desserts are one of my favourite things in life…one of a very large list of favourite things, but it’s on there, somewhere after my brother and sister and before devouring a pound of fresh blueberries on a sunny Vancouver summers day.

Raw desserts are probably my favourite thing to create in the kitchen because like baking, you get a sweet delectable treat to enjoy but unlike baking, there is no exact science to it..infact, it’s quite the opposite. Crazy, mad science. When I am making a raw dessert I am like a mad scientist and you should probably steer clear of the kitchen because I will have taken over every inch of counter space, I will have used every available spoon and I will probably (accidentally) knock you out of the way or smack you with the spatula; there will be stray cashews strewn on the floor, coconut oil in my hair a smile on my face and billows of cinnamon filling the air.

And the result, after all of this, is a really big mess (that i’ll be hoping Ali will clean up) and an amazing dessert that will put a smile on your face, excite your taste buds and nourish your whole body.

Today I wanted to make something great. I had no idea what but I knew it was going to be good. I had some beetroots that needed to be used so I began by shredding those in the blender and decided I was going to make walnut beet mince to go over pasta. However sometime during the blending process I suddenly had a vision of sweet, silky beetroot mouse…so I ditched the walnuts and instead ended up adding to the blended beets, (about 11/2cups) an array of ingredients including, (these measurements are all estimates as I was definitely NOT in a measuring state of mind), the following:

-coconut oil, couple of heaped tablespoons
-banana, 1 small
-avocado, 1 small
-coconut cream, 1 heaped tablespoon
-lemon juice, good squirt
-vanilla extract, few drops
-coconut sugar, tablespoon or so
– honey, until it tastes sweet enough for your taste buds!
– cashews, handful (better if they are soaked)
-chia seeds, good sprinkle

I just kept adding, tasting, adding, tasting until it was was the most beautiful shade of pink you’ve ever seen and tasted like heaven.

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At which point I blended up a quick crust of:
-dates
-oatmeal
-coconut flakes
-walnuts
-coconut oil
-a couple more tablespoons of beets to keep with the pink theme

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I pressed the crust into my cake pan, poured the pink beet mouse on top and placed it in the freezer to set so it was firm but not totally frozen.

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The coconut whipped cream really finished it off beautifully and I would highly recommend it. To make coconut whipped cream you simply put a can of coconut milk in the fridge, or of your house is freezing like our is, you don’t even have to bother with that step. The cold makes the coconut cream separate from the coconut water and when you open the can the thick creamy bit will be on the top. Spoon that into your blender with sweetener of your choice, I used coconut sugar. And whatever else you like. I added some vanilla and lemon juice.

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The sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut flakes were not only pretty but added to the whole amazing taste experience.

This dessert will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but it will also serve your body in an amazing way…here are some of the health benefits of beetroot:
It contains a host of nutritional compounds like magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium as well as small amounts of copper, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese, reduces blood pressure levels, aids blood flow to the brain and halts age-related ailments like dementia, amazing antioxidant and helps prevent the formation of cancerous tumors, detoxifies the liver and also cures diseases of the digestive system, widens blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during physical activity, very good source of folic acid and lowers bad cholesterol level.

What’s not to love…it’s pink, delicious and good for every inch of your body!

On another note, I realise I haven’t been posting much at all and I also realised the other day that I’ve been writing the blog for over a year!! My life is so much different then it was a year ago on a lot of levels.
Then I was nannying four days a week and partying the other three days. I had lots of time most evenings after work to cook and then blog about it and lots of time on the weekends when I was too hungover to do anything but write about food.
Now i’m studying design four days a week in Newtown, so between the commute, the hours at school and homework I just don’t have the time to blog.
Also, i’ve slowly but surely grown out of my partying ways and am so much more in love with my life because of it. Where weekends were once about getting drunk sometimes thursday, definitely Friday, most likely Saturday and often Sunday; waking up with regrets, a pounding head, exhausted liver and rotting stomach. Days would be a struggle to get through and would usually consist of eating a bunch of random food to try and fill the empty feeling that the booze left in my stomach, laying on the beach (if the hangover wasn’t TOO bad), napping and then doing it all over again, and only feeling better when the first drink hit my blood stream.
Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, and I don’t regret it.
But I’m happier now. I’m happy to have quiet nights, drinking tea and (eating liver detoxifying beetroot cake), and then filling my weekend days with fulfilling activities, doing artwork, running, surfing, tennis, cooking (but being too busy to blog about it) gardening, feeling alive, feeling healthy, waking up with a clear mind and a happy liver and tummy that craves a green smoothie, not a greasy fry up and ibuprofen.
So, that’s why I haven’t been posting as much. I do however post all my food pics on my instagram henrileee (that’s three e’s) so feel free to follow me for daily pictures of healthy cruelty fee delights!!!

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I hope your day is beautiful!!

Ultimate chocolate cupcakes

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Vegan. Gluten free. Sugar free. The best thing you might ever put in your mouth.

These cupcakes prove in one bite that white sugar is simply unnecessary. They also smash any stereotypes that some people may have of what vegan baking is, and of what gluten free baking is.

There is this idea that if you’re vegan, you’re depriving yourself, that if you don’t eat sugar you can never have dessert, and if you’re gluten free then it may just be the end of the world.

I’ve been all of these things for quite sometime now, and I promise you, it’s not the end of the world, but a beginning of a whole new world really.

A world in which food becomes your fuel and your energy, your medicine, your defence against disease, your free card to longevity, a world where, free of artificial flavours, sodium and sugar, your taste buds come alive, a world where the planet doesn’t suffer because of your food choices and in a world of so much violence, promotes a little peace and love for our four legged inhabitants.
I’m passionate about this world, and I’m passionate about these cupcakes and everything that they stand for.
So please, make them, eat them, you’ll see what I mean…

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Makes 23 cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Wet ingredients:

2 cups non-dairy milk. I used rice milk
1 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil or combo
1 cup mix of honey/agave syrup/maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Egg replacer equivalent to two eggs

Combine and set aside

Dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 3/4 cup cocoa
3 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS instant coffee granules

Mix well. Add wet to dry slowly. Whisk until very smooth. Spoon into a cupcake pan. Alternatively you could make it as a cake. I’d probably make two and stack them.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until firm-ish but not too firm! They will firm up as they cool, resulting in a fudgy, moist texture that is still fluffy and soft.

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For the icing I mixed up some natural peanut butter, cacao, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, corn starch and rice milk.

Let cool before icing.

Put in your mouth, enjoy.

Almond crusted tofu and vegan chocolate cake

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We usually have a nice salad for dinner on ballet nights and last night was no exception. It turned out to be one of the best salads yet as well!! Hands down the best tofu I’ve had and the dressing was amazing.

The cake inspiration came from baking a cake with the little girl I nanny earlier in the day. It was a boxed cake with refined sugar, flour and dairy etc so needless to say I didn’t have any but it smelt pretty damn good and I was proud of myself for not even having a taste, so I decided I would have to make a ‘healthy’ vegan cake that I could enjoy after ballet.

First, the salad…

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The salad itself was made up of: lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, purple cabbage, grilled eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. The veg combo was really good but the star of the show definitely went to the tofu closely followed by the dressing so here’s the breakdown…

Almond crusted tofu:

Drain as much moisture out of your firm tofu as possible and slice it into triangles.

In a shallow dish, mix up a marinade of:

3 TBS soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 minced garlic clove
Paprika, ginger and pepper

Place the tofu in marinade, covering all the sides. Leave in the fridge for as long as possible. (I put it in before work so it had a good 9 hours!)

For the almond crust:

3 TBS flax meal
2 TBS nutritional yeast
3 TBS finely chopped almonds
Himalayan rock salt and pepper

Flip the tofu around in the marinade to get all the sides wet. Press all sides in the almond crust mix and place on a lined baking tray.

We cooked ours under the griller in our oven for about seven minutes each side.

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Seriously. So. Good.

For the Tahini Miso dressing:

2 TBS Tahini
1/2 TBS Miso
Pinch of Garlic powder
1 TBS Nutritional yeast
2 tsp Ginger
Almond milk as much as you need for a good consistency
Paprika
Honey (optional if you like slightly sweeter dressing)

Whisk till smooth adding milk as you go to thin.

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Yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm

Alright, so the dinner was really really good and I highly recommend you try the tofu and dressing for yourself!!

After dinner I quickly made the chocolate cake as I wanted it to be done before we left for ballet so it would be cooled and ready to be frosted and mowed when we got home.

When I started baking it I thought it wasn’t going to work because the top was kind of burning and the middle wasn’t really cooking. I put some tinfoil on it and cooked it as much as I could before I thought the top was looking too burnt and left it to cool.

When we got home, after biking through a bit of a monsoon, I really wasn’t expecting it to be very good. I was wrong. It was moist, rich and delicious.

Once again I got my inspiration fromthe This Rawsome vegan lifeblog

This makes one quite small cake. If I was making it for a big group, I would double it and make a stacked cake.

Vegan chocolate cake:

Combine and set aside:

1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Just under 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Just under 3/4 cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Combine and add to above mixture:

3/4 cup mix of brown rice and amaranth flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional:

Tablespoon or so of maple syrup (if you want it sweeter)
Tablespoon of instant coffee granules (if you dig mocha flavoured things)
1/4 tsp cayenne (If you like your chocolate with kick)

Ours was with all of the above and it was amazing. I think I will try sans cayenne next time because we were borderline about whether it added to or hindered to the flavour.

Bake at 180 for about 30-50 minutes, covered, checking often. Let cool Completely before frosting.

Frosting:

This frosting is so good, it could be a desert all on it’s own!

1/4 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup cacao
2 TBS honey
1 fig (or just add extra honey)
11/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS instant coffee granules

Blend until creamy and smooth over the cooled cake!!!! You will probably have extra. I ate my extra by the spoonful the next day!!! Hey, it’s the healthiest and tastiest frosting you will ever encounter, it deserves to be eaten by the spoonful!

Let them eat (vegan gluten free) cake!!

Chocolate peanut butter cream pie

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Five reasons why you should make this:

1. It’s as good as it looks
2. It’s free from any refined sugar or anything else sketchy
3. it’s kind (no animals or animal fluids used in the making)
4. It’s high in protein, antioxidants, fibre and healthy fats
5. It takes 15 minutes to make start to Finnish
6. It’s chocolate…and peanut butter…in a pie…why WOULDN’T you make it?!

I slightly adapted this fromEmily’s (this rawesome vegan life) recipe. If you haven’t been to her site, you are missing out!! She comes up with the most heavenly vegan desserts, which is where I get a lot of my inspiration from.

My life is actually better since I discovered raw desserts. They are just so much better then their cooked counterparts in so many ways…much healthier, way quicker to make, fool proof in that you can measure by eye and play around with different ingredient combinations and it will still usually come out tasting ridiculously indulgent and amazing.

For example raw pie crusts are made by blending nuts/seeds with dried fruit. As long as you roughly follow the amounts you can use whatever you want/have. I didn’t have any nuts left (sad day) so I used seeds. Also, lately I have been adding rolled oats as part of the nut quota just to lower the caloric load a bit. Again though, if you want it supa nutty, ditch the oats and add almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecan, pistachios etc etc etc!!! You could also use coconut flakes as part of the dry. Dates are my preferred dried fruit because I like the taste. I happened to have some prunes so I chucked those in as well. I’m not a huge fan of raisins (sultanas) as I find them too sweet but they would obviously work just as well!

Crust guideline (don’t be afraid to tamper):

In a blender, process till a sticky ball forms. Press into pie shell.

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup prunes
1/2 cup dates
Big heaped tablespoon coconut oil
Small pinch of sea salt and cinnamon

Filling:

Combine in blender till smooth and silky. Taste and adjust richness/sweetness by adding more cacao or more sweetener.

About 5 heaped tablespoons of cacao
1/4 cup maple syrup/honey (or other sweetener)
1 package organic GMO free silken tofu
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
Pinch of cinnamon
Dash of stevia
Heaped tsp mesquite powder (a superfood powder high in protein and calcium with a sweet, caramel like taste…not essential to the recipe, but adds extra yum factor and extra nutrients)
Himalayan rock salt, (just a touch to bring out the flavours)

Spoon into pie shell. Lick the remains off the blender and spatula. Best chilled for a bit before eating, if you can wait!!

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Ali keeping herself busy while waiting for the pie to chill.

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Oh baby.

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Movie night with pie and tea=perfection.

Awesome quote:

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

-ALBERT EINSTEIN

And he knew it before factory farming even starting wrecking havoc on our environment. Clever dude!!

…so I guess another reason to make this pie then is that it will benefit your health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth. No big deal.

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Update***Serving suggestion!!! Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, the banana and coconut flakes take it to a whole other level!!!

Pumpkin cashew ‘cream’ pie

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We had a bit of a belated and small thanksgiving dinner last night, which was of course finished off with delicious decadent pumpkin pie…surprise surprise, it’s also healthy!

For the crust:

1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
3/4 c dates
1/4 c raisins

Process until crumbly and sticky. Press into pie shell and set aside in the fridge.

For the filling:

2 cups soaked cashews
2 cups cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp cinnamon

Blend until creamy and pour into prepared pie shell and smooth out with a spatula. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon on top and sprinkle with nutmeg and extra cinnamon. Arrange pumpkin seeds around the rim 🙂

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YUM!!!!
Oh by the way. Both the crust and the filling made a bit extra so I made some mini pies in little crescent tins. After that I STILL had extra filling so for breakfast we made pumpkin pie porridge…

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…with left over cranberry sauce!!!! Double YUM!!!!

Hope everybody in Canada had a thankful thanksgiving!!