Archive for Desserts

3 Minute Mini Coconut Pudding Pies

3 minute mini coconut pudding pies

Dessert is served! In about 3 mins flat. And it’s healthy! Not overpoweringly sweet either. It’s just enough to fill you up and hit the spot after a light plant-based meal. Perfect for Summer.

Here it is… the simple coconut pudding pie I was telling you about. Life Changing! Ok, not really in the grand scheme of things, but still pretty fast and fun. I was playing around with coconut flour in my last post Mandarin Coconut Dressing Over Spring Salad. Coconut flour is in many-a-vegan athlete’s cupboards and I know why. It’s low carb, high protein and high fiber. It’s filling.  A little goes a long way, so be warned. You can do so many things with coconut flour but who knew you could mix it with a non-dairy milk and get an instant “pudding”?

I must STRESS that this won’t taste the same with all milks… You need a sweet milk. I used Silk brand Soy VERY VANILLA. It made all the difference. I tried rice milk and it was pretty good. It was not good with regular almond milk.

I would definitely make this again with the very vanilla soy.

Next, it’s only going to take 3 minutes if you have pre-made mini crusts. Graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil or earth balance buttery spread is all that’s necessary to press into some mini pie pans. You can use those Keebler Ready Crusts. They aren’t perfect, but they are vegan. I’m still alive and I’ve used them before. However, I don’t prefer to use them. Just take a look at the ingredients. Not stellar. But, I saved the little cute tins and just make my own now. You can freeze the crusts so they are ready to go when you want them. Or just take the 2 extra minutes to press the ingredients freshly into a serving dish of your choice. This 3 minute dessert will now be a 5 minute dessert. How awful. Lol.

Here is a great recipe for healthy graham cracker crust over at Chocolate Covered Katie. She has a great vegan dessert blog!

If you want to know more about coconut flour and where to buy online, check out the awesome site Nuts.com

Ingredients and Directions

This is quite informal because it’s really so easy…. you mix coconut flour and very vanilla soy milk with a fork until the right smooth consistency is achieved. I think I started with 1 tablespoon or 2 of flour for three mini tins. Pour the pudding into the pie tins, top with coconut flakes, mini vegan chocolate chips and a few raspberries. Then watch your seven year old’s face light right up!

You could also refrigerate for a while before serving if you like it chilled.

Enjoy!

Christa

~The Karmatarian

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Blueberry Avocado Breakfast Muffins

Blueberry avocado Breakfast Muffin

How dare I switch up pancake Sunday and make blueberry muffins! I’m such a rebel! To be fair, these actually tasted like pancakes in muffin form with a sweet crumble topping.  I decided to go halfsies on the flour and add whole wheat. It gave a much denser batter that required more liquid. That’s just me striving to make everything healthier. You can certainly sub the flour. I am sure they would have been lighter and fluffier had I stuck with all purpose flour but we gobbled these right up regardless! They tasted great by our standards. We like our pancakes and muffins HEARTY. Biting in and hitting a fresh juicy baked blueberry made these a hit with me!

My friends wanted the recipe the other day when they saw my Instagram post. I was hoping to make them a few more times before I shared, uh cuz I was just playing around. But that may never happen, so oh what the heck… I will tell you what I did, and then share my notes.

Let’s talk about the avocado for a second… think of it as an oil or butter substitute. It’s a healthier fat and a whole food. It’s a better-for-you-ingredient and it didn’t even turn my final product green nor did it taste like guacamole *wink*.  You don’t taste the avocado at all. I have seen internet pics of avocado blueberry muffins that do indeed look green. Fancy lighting? Photoshop? It could be that I used whole wheat flour which absorbed too much liquid? I don’t know. Baking is not my expertise… I have been seeing versions of these around the interwebs and I just wanted to try. So I did. Here is my recipe:

Ok, I lied… first you need to watch this video.

I don’t think I can ever eat another blueberry without thinking of this poor sweet child! Blueberries, blueberries!!!

Blueberry Avocado Breakfast Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Black Salt
  • 1 Avocado, pit and peel removed
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 T Stevia in the Raw
  • 1 Flax “egg” (1 Tbs Ground Flax mixed with 3 Tbs water, let sit for 10 mins to gel)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1, 6 oz container of O’Soy Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1, 6 oz package FRESH Blueberries

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup Organic Sugar
  • 5 Tbs Organic All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbs Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners

Using a fork, blend crumb topping ingredients until well mixed and crumbly. Keep cold in the fridge until ready

In the bowl of your food processor, add the avocado, flax egg, vanilla, sugars, almond milk and soy yogurt. Give it a whiz until well blended. Transfer to a larger bowl.

In another bowl, add flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt, blend well with a whisk and add or sift into the wet ingredients. Only stirring to combine. Do not over stir. Gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter evenly into each muffin cup. Sprinkle crumb topping onto each.

Bake for 20 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let slightly cool.

Best enjoyed warm

*Notes* I have been using black salt in my recipes where an egg flavor might be present such as pancakes or omelets, quiche, french toast, etc… You can certainly sub regular salt. I try to cut sugar whenever possible so I subbed raw stevia for half. You can use all brown sugar or split half brown and half organic sugar. You can even add 1/4 cup MORE organic sugar to increase the sweetness. I didn’t want these to be too sweet. You shouldn’t use all stevia by itself because baking requires some moisture from the sugar.

If using all purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour, you may not need to add almond milk. Or just try 1/4 cup because most of the recipes I have seen that were similar, noted 8 oz yogurt. I only had a 6 oz container. So I was already short “liquid” so 1/2 cup almond milk worked for me. My batter was VERY thick. I could have used more liquid. So this may be a recipe in progress, playing with the liquid, but if you make this exactly like I did, it should come out great. Just remember to adjust the sweetener if you want the final product more dessert like. Or follow my directions for a slightly sweet breakfast muffin. Don’t forget there is a sweet topping that adds to it.

Enjoy!

xo,

Christa

~The Karmatarian

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Dad’s Zucchini Apple Bread – Vegan, Oil-Free

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I feel lucky to have such a talented Dad. He’s project oriented and not afraid of hard work. He also has a big heart for animals. He’s the one that instilled in me care and concern for our fellow creatures. Over the years, he’s nursed many sick or injured animals back to health and as a little girl, I witnessed this and took it to heart. You know those crazy kids, they emulate what they see. Anyway, I’m grateful for that!

Two (of among many) of my dad’s talents are baking and gardening. When you add those two things together, what do you get? Zucchini bread, of course… and a lot of it.

Every year, marking the end of Summer, it has been zucchini bread for everyone! Meaning my dad generously bakes and gives to many friends. However, my dad has since adopted a plant-based diet and I’m proud to say it’s been well over a year and a half! Go dad, go!! Nothing but good results in return!

Switching to a vegan or plant-based lifestyle does not mean giving up tradition. You may have to change things up a bit but it’s really the act of doing something meaningful over and over, not the actual end product necessarily. Change is easy to adapt to if you go with the flow. There are vegan versions of everything and anything! I believe, if there is a will, there is a way.

I told my dad that I would take his recipe and play with it because I love the challenge. He has played with it too. We both came up with applesauce in place of oil which works fabulously, although it changes the bread to a more zucchini – apple flavor since it called for so much oil – now applesauce. Luckily, these flavors are wonderful together.

The recipe calls for 4 eggs! That would scare any new vegan away. Not me. I chose a blend of Chia and flax eggs which add nutrition and depth. Whenever I replace eggs in baked goods with these ingredients, I always bump up the baking powder. It usually does the trick.

Next is the sugar. The original recipe calls for three cups of sugar. I cut it down to two cups of organic sugar, just because. Three cups seems excessive! My dad used liquid Stevia in place of sugar with success. I am not a huge fan, so I probably won’t try that. Mind you, this bread is a sweet bread, it’s a treat, and it’s not every day that I eat it, so I don’t mind the sugar, sugar ;) I suppose we could sub maple syrup or what about Succanut? Maybe for my next attempt? It turned out so perfect my way, I hate to mess with it.

Let’s talk zucchini. My dad gave me a bag of frozen shredded zucchini that he previously prepared. He grated six cups zucchini. The original recipe calls for three cups. When I thawed the six cups, I ended up with two cups of concentrated zucchini, so I used it all, even though the recipe called for three. When I make this again and use fresh zucchini, I will use three to four cups fresh. Probably four. The more the better!

I baked two loaves using standard loaf pans. My dad usually makes three mini loaves out of one batch of batter. Do whatever you prefer.

My review of this bread… OH MY! Divine. It has flavors of apple, hints of cinnamon the crunch of walnuts and of course zucchini. It’s not dripping in oil like the days of old, but who cares. It’s low fat! And to use my least favorite word…. it’s still Moist. Absolutely still a keeper – now just veganized! Bam!

I am grateful my dad started this tradition. After all, it’s the small things in life that can be very meaningful. I will definitely take this on now that I know it’s just as amazing, vegan and oil free.

I hope you enjoy this zucchini bread… our “new” family tradition.

Dad's Zucchini Apple Bread Dad's Zucchini Apple Bread

Dad’s Zucchini Apple Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs Chia Seeds + 6 Tbs Water
  • 2 Tbs Ground Flax Seeds + 6 Tbs Water
  • 3 – 4 Cups Freshly Grated Zucchini or 6 Cups Frozen (2 cups concentrated/thawed – see written notes above)
  • 2 Cups Organic Sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups Apple Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Cups Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (I used 365 Whole Foods Brand)
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray two standard loaf pans with oil (I used a spray grapeseed oil) and dust with organic cornstarch.

Combine 2 Tbs chia seeds with 6 Tbs water in a small bowl, stir and set aside to gel (about 10 – 15 minutes). In a separate bowl, combine 2 Tbs ground flax seeds with 6 Tbs water and set aside to gel (also about 10 – 15 minutes).

In a large bowl, stir together the applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chia and flax “eggs”. Stir in the shredded zucchini.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

Pour batter into the two loaf pans, dividing evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!

NOTES* I had better luck making this in metal bread pans rather than glass. Also BE CAREFUL not to over-mix the batter. Use a wooden spoon.

~the Karmatarian

 

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Vegan White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

vegan white chocolate chip cranberry cookies

It’s not every day that you get to graze a cookie buffet with a clear conscious. A few girls happened to get our sugar buzz on at a vegan Christmas cookie exchange the other night. This is really exciting stuff! A big thanks to my girlfriend Sue for being such a fun hostess providing a chance to meet new people.

I came home with a nice variety of vegan homemade treats for my family. Gratitude feels good! And today I am proud of myself for displaying a ton of will power, because I could easily eat this whole dang tray!

Vegan Christmas Cookies

You may notice a few store bought cookies in the mix, because not everyone who showed up was a vegan baker. It’s just nice to see everyone participate with vegan spirit.

My contribution to the exchange was a cookie that I have been wanting to veganize for a few seasons now. A white chocolate chip cranberry cookie. I think it turned out really good! At least that’s what they tell me.

My cookies are a vegan spin on this recipe I found years ago at www.all recipes.com. It’s really just a spruced up basic chocolate chip cookie. White and red being great colors for the holiday make a nice presentation. The key ingredient is the orange flavored liquor. The original recipe calls for brandy or vanilla. I have even used orange extract in the past, but this time I used Grand Marnier… I had plenty left over from our Thanksgiving feast. This was a good call.

Vegan white chocolate cranberry cookies

I found it a bit tough to find vegan white chocolate chips. I ordered mine online from Amazon.com  If you are looking, I would also check your local health food store, natural food store in your area or Whole Foods.

I had a lot of fun baking this year, mostly due to my friend Melanie who joined me in the kitchen for a comical adventure. We also created some vegan gingerbread men and women. The cookie itself was excellent, the decorating, not so much!

Decorating cookies takes a patient and steady, steady hand. We were in a little bit of a hurry. Of course we only took the best to the party, but now I’m thinking about how funny it would have been to show up with a tray of these hilarious misfits with a straight face.

Vegan gingerbread misfits

 

Vegan gingerbread cookies

If you would like the recipe for the gingerbread cookies, message me or comment here and I’ll be sure to get it to you! The mini vegan versions are so cute, and perfect for dunking in your tea.

… On to theee recipe

vegan white chocolate cranberry cookies

Vegan White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Earth Balance margarine, softened
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Organic White Sugar
  • EnerG Egg Replacer for 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1  + 1/2 Cups Organic all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 tsp Water
  • 3/4 Cups Vegan White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl cream together margarine, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.

Beat in the egg replacer and Grand Marnier.

Combine the flour and baking soda (I usually whisk it together) and stir into the sugar/margarine mixture.

At this point I use my hands to really mix the dough because I don’t have a mixer yet. Add the water gradually just until the dough starts coming together nicely. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. It is best to do this by hand.

Form the dough in to not-so-perfect balls (they can be full of texture) and flatten just a little. Place on prepared sheets and bake anywhere from 8-11 minutes. My magic number is 10 minutes.  Please keep in mind that these cookies will come out of the oven seemingly airy, soft and very much not set, but they do firm up as they cool due to the egg replacer.

*Note 12-18-15 I just baked these again this year! I doubled the recipe which yielded a little over 48 cookies. I added 3 Tbs Grand Marnier this time and 1 tsp Orange extract for the double batch. The orange is a new addition. The orange compliments the Grand Marnier wonderfully and brings it out. So really these cookies should be renamed, White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Orange Essence. Merry Christmas!


Vegan Christmas Cookies

This recipe yields 24 cookies

Enjoy your holidays!

~The Karmatarian

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Chocolate-Marbled-Vanilla No Cheese Cake

Snuggle Bug, Cuddle Monkey, Baby Bird, Love Pie, Sweetums, Cupcakes, Pumpkin Pie, Sunshine… I just can’t call him by his real name (most of the time) or I get in BIG trouble. My silly little boy and his love of nick names…

My husband asked our 4 year old recently “why do you call mommy Flowers?”, he said “because she smells like flowers”. Awwww… I hope he calls me Flowers until the end of time. It melts my heart!

So what will you be making your Cuddle Monkey for Valentine’s day?

Well, if you are a fan of cheesecake but not the cholesterol, 59 different hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and scary stuff you find in your typical dairy cheesecake but enjoy rich and creamy, then it’s time you try a raw style cheesecake. So now, we can have our cake and enjoy it too!

Pinnable or not, this turned out presentable aaand tastes like heaven… so I am quite happy. This happens to be my second attempt at a raw “cheese” cake. And I think it turned out good enough to post. Nothing impresses me more in the raw food world than the cheesecakes! Yet, there is no cheese. How do they do it!?

I’ve been playing around with some recipes and I am determined to perfect the “cheesecake” but I’ll admit, I still need practice. Like mad science but without the mad ingredients, funny how so few natural ingredients can still be challenging to perfect. It goes to show that not everyone can just “be” a raw food “chef”. It actually takes practice but I think it’s worth the effort. Raw food is impressive and if there is anything that will get you hooked on the wonders of raw food…. it’s the dessert!

This cheesecake is raw and vegan because I cheated… I know. But I did. I just don’t want the dairy and sometimes not the soy and I am fine with vegan chocolate chips so that’s what went in it. Maple syrup too. Oh, don’t be a snob. It doesn’t have to be all raw or nothing all of the time. If you are a die hard raw foodist, then I am sure you already have your perfect cheesecake recipe. Won’t you be a sweetie and share it? I would love to try it!

I really like the idea of using Irish Moss in a raw cheesecake to make it extra firm, but being so close to Valentine’s day, I thought I would make it simple so my friends who want to try this don’t have to order the moss if it’s not already stocked in the pantry. It’s not exactly something you can run out to the corner grocer for!


Chocolate-Marbled-Vanilla No Cheese Cake

For the Crust

  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Tbs Agave
  • 2 Tbs Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and process into a crumb texture

Press evenly into the base of an 8″ spring form cake pan OR find a non-stick mini heart spring form pan set, 4.25 inches wide. (I found these at Target and they were a set of 3).

For the Filling

  • 2 Cups Cashews
  • 1/2 Cup Agave
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup melted Coconut Butter
  • 2 Vanilla Pod Scrapings (I used 2 Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans I had from Trader Joe’s. This gives it that speckled vanilla look along with the vanilla flavor)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth

For the Marbling

  • 1/4 Cup Non-Dairy Vanilla Almond or Hemp Seed Milk (I love to use Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk)
  • 6 Oz. Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup, Grade B

Directions

Bring the nut milk to a gentle boil in a small  sauce pan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips and maple syrup. Mix until fully melted and smooth. Pour into something with a spout and handle like a glass measuring cup. Set aside.

*Note: The key to marbling is to try to get the consistency of the marble mixture and the main cake mixture similar. If the chocolate mixture is too thin, it won’t drop into the cake properly. You can easily adjust by adding more chips if it needs thickening.

Directions for putting it all together

Pour the vanilla filling over the crusts in the spring form cake pans

Next, from about an arms length high, drop/pour the chocolate mixture into the cake, moving the cup or container around as you go and getting closer to the cake as you finish so you get chocolate on top (you may not use all of the chocolate, but I am pretty sure you can find other uses for it!).

Using something like the end of a wooden skewer, swirl the top of the cake but be careful not to over-swirl

Place in the freezer to set

*Note: My chocolate mixture was thinner than I wanted this time, it ended up not going real deep into the cake but it looked good so that was fine with me.

Enjoy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~The Karmatarian

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Blueberry Chia Pudding

I can’t believe that I have been using Chia seeds as long as I have and haven’t run across a recipe like this until now! I found a great breakfast blueberry chia pudding recipe by Brendan Frazier posted on One Green Planet that I LOVE! I slightly adapted the recipe to make it quicker and I will be adding this baby to my recipe rotation. The pudding base is amazing on it’s own and will be used as the base for many different flavors that I have in mind to experiment with! This is fast and easy. I know you will love it too!

Although nothing new… yet still new to many… this is for my friends who may not have discovered the wonders of the Chia seed.

  • Chia seeds absorb 9 times their weight in water and when soaked create a tasteless gel that can help to keep you more hydrated
  • Chia gel is 90% soluble fiber allowing a slow release of carbs into the body. Great for controlling sugar levels (diabetics) and great for keeping you feeling full and controlling your appetite!
  • Chia seeds have twice the protein of any other grain or seed and 5 times the Calcium of cow’s milk. They contain Boron which helps absorb this Calcium
  • Essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6
  • Chia gel can be used for many things including smoothies, puddings, desserts and as chia “eggs” (egg replacer)

Lets not over look dates which are used in this recipe as our sweetener. Dates are a powerhouse of nutrition as well. Read more about dates here.

This Chia pudding recipe is quick, nutritious and a must try!

What You’ll Need

2 Tbs Chia seeds… white or dark seeds

3/4 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Cashews

3 Medjool Dates soaked and pitted

Pinch of Cinnamon

Pinch of Sea Salt

1/3 Cup of Fresh or Frozen Blueberries plus more for garnish

This is makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings

Directions

Soak Chia seeds in 3/4 Cup water for 15 minutes. At the same time soak dates in very warm water for 15 minutes. When dates are finished soaking, slice in half and remove pits. In a blender, combine everything except blueberries. Blend until smooth. Add blueberries and blend again, top with blueberries and dig in!

*Notes*  Try this pudding before adding blueberries! You may love it plain and simply want to add your fruit on top. This is the base I refer to above that you can add many different flavors to. Experiment and have fun!

If you have a Vitamix, you can enjoy warm pudding straight from the machine…. Mmmm, I feel so lucky! I put frozen blueberries on top of my warm pudding and it was heavenly. Or if you don’t want it warm and it got a bit too warm for you in your Vitamix, place it in the fridge for a bit before serving.

I would love to know some of your favorite ways to use chia seeds and also your favorite pudding recipes and creations! Please share!

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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Almond Apricot Cupcakes

Wow, three posts in one week!!! Not sure you should get used to this!? I just wanted to post this recipe because I have been talking about these aaaand… it’s  vegan cupcake week on my facebook page. I also posted a recipe there from a friend for vegan pumpkin cupcakes with orange glaze (under discussions). Mmmm, can’t wait to try those!

Apricots are a fruit I overlooked in the past. Then I read up on nature’s gift of the apricot kernel. Do you know about this?!? Vitamin B17. Vitamin B17, also known as Laetrile and Amygdalin is found in most fruit seeds, namely apricot seeds. Apple seeds have some too. The apricot seed was claimed as the cure for all cancers over 35 years ago. The pharmaceutical companies pushed the FDA into making it illegal to sell “raw” apricot seeds or vitamin B17 with information about its effects on cancer because they could not patent it being natural. You’ll notice that you can’t get raw apricot seeds in your health food store, only dried which have all the important enzymes killed off. Cancer is a big $ business $. Sure makes one wonder? It is known scientifically that B17 targets cancer cells like a missile on a mission and destroys them while leaving healthy cells alone.

Because of the information I have read on B17 I started keeping my eyes peeled for apricots which I rarely seem to find. I ended up with an entire bag of ripe apricots from the farmer’s market for 3 dollars this summer and needed to think up ways to use them!  Yes, I saved all of the apricot pits! If you take a nutcracker and open one up, you will find a kernel that resembles an almond. It tastes like a bitter almond. Eat that sucker! I think you can consume 4-7 per day without harm but there is a limit and you should look into that. I don’t eat that many so I don’t know off the top of my head what the limit is, although I will get back to you on it. I know it can be dangerous to consume too much B17. I eat these kernels whenever I get the chance and also throw my whole apples into the Vitamix, seeds and all because apple seeds also contain vitamin B17. Or when eating an apple, I eat the seeds too!

This almond cupcake part of the recipe here is the same as my recipe for the cupcakes for the raspberry filled almond cupcakes with chocolate frosting. You can fill the almond apricot cupcakes two slightly different ways and frost them two different ways. Your choice. I like the second way, glazed, because it tastes like you are biting into marzipan! Mmmm. These are pretty sweet… if you like sweet.

Here’s what you need for the cupcakes

1/3 Cup organic Canola Oil

3/4 Cup organic Sugar

1 Cup of Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk by Living Harvest (It’s my favorite but you can use Vanilla Soy Milk too)

3 tsp Almond Extract

1 Cup organic All Purpose Flour

1/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, hemp milk, almond extract. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I use a whisk and mix until the batter is smooth. Add almond flour and mix lightly to combine. Fill each cupcake liner two-thirds full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or the center bounces back with the finger test. Put on cooling rack and cool.

Ingredients for the Filling

8-10  Ripe Apricots, pits removed

1/2 Cup of Water

2 Tbs Apricot Fruit Spread

3 Tbs Organic Sugar

1 Tbs Arrowroot 

3 Tbs Water

*Or… skip this if you don’t have fresh apricots and just use apricot fruit spread

Directions

Place apricots and 1/2 cup of  water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and cook down and blend well, add apricot fruit spread (you can try it without if you prefer) and sugar and cook a little longer on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and everything blended.  In a small bowl, add 1 Tbs arrowroot and 3 Tbs water and blend with a fork. Add to apricot mixture, stirring constantly and cook until a nice thick filling consistency is formed. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Fill Your Cupcakes

When cupcakes are cooled, push a hole in the top and center of each with your thumb. Using a small spoon fill each well with the apricot fruit filling and push down in there if you need to. Level the tops with your spoon.

Frosting #1 – A thick buttercream frosting

1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening such as Earth Balance, softened

1/2 Cup Margarine such as Earth Balance, softened

3 1/2 Cups Organic Confectioners Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract

1/4 Cup Vanilla Hemp Milk or Almond milk

Sliced Almonds for garnish

Directions

Beat together shortening and margarine until combined and fluffy. Add sugar and beat for 3 more minutes using an electric mixer. Add the almond extract and hemp milk and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes. Frost the cooled and apricot filled almond cupcakes and top with sliced almonds for garnish.

Frosting # 2 – A glaze for a classy looking cupcake! (I preferred my cupcake this way but I go both ways ;) just kidding…)

2 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine, softened

1 1/2 Cups  Organic Confectioners Sugar

1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract

1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 to 2 Tbs warm Water

Sliced Almonds for garnish

Directions

In a bowl, combine margarine and confectioners sugar, blend with an electric mixer or fork, slowly add warm water and keep mixing.  Add extracts and blend until a creamy glaze consistency is reached. It will be very sweet on it’s own and look a bit runny! Don’t worry, the glaze hardens a bit on the cupcakes.

When your cupcakes are cooled and filled with apricot, spoon the glaze over top and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Wait a few minutes until the glaze hardens a bit and serve.

*Note these cupcakes can be made gluten free by subbing an all purpose gluten free flour for the all purpose organic flour I used. Let me know if you try these, I love hearing from you!

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~


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Raspberry filled Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

This was an accidental discovery. My intention was to tweak the almond apricot cupcake I meant to post long ago. Ahh, something was just “off” about those. While I was re-baking a batch this weekend, I decided to change things up and fill half with raspberry.  Oooh yah, now this is what I’m talkin’ about! Took my first bite, and as my teeth sank through the three layers of sweet and different textures my taste buds instantaneously sent a message to my brain… MUST-HAVE-MORE! I didn’t have to think about it. That’s when I knew these were blog worthy.

Fabulous lesson learned as I’m kind of new food blogger. Never bake stuff when you have only a few taste testers around. And without having a fun place to go and spread the vegan love, I must of eaten a half dozen within a few hours! Normally I have great self control. WTH? Bad, bad timing. I am headed to my 20 year high school reunion this coming weekend! As if that’s not scary enough.  I’m totally giving away my age here…

I hate dry cake

I hate dry cake and dry cupcakes that think their fancy frosting will somehow make up for it. Usually never an issue with vegan cupcakes. I just love vegan cupcakes! I said this before in my very first post- Chocolate Cupcakes Sent from Heaven with Fluffy Cookies-n-Cream Frosting. Never dry. Oh nooo.

I was asked by a friend who is a Chef how it was that I could deny myself of milk, eggs and butter. She really needs to try these! The only thing I’m denying, baby is high cholesterol, a heart attack, a disease from an endless list of diseases related to eating animal foods and cruelty to factory farmed animals. I may have eaten 6 cupcakes… ok, maybe more, but I don’t have to worry about cholesterol… though my butt might get bigger! Thankfully I don’t do this often.

Back to vegan baking. No, I don’t think that every baked good out there can be veganized but cupcakes are fantastic, and one of many vegan indulgences. As a culture, we over indulge. Look around. Wouldn’t you agree? Not much is special anymore. Most, if not all baked items call for dairy, eggs and butter. Imagine going back in time when recipes were first being developed and what if we had no access to animal ingredients. Vegan desserts would be the end-all-be-all! We wouldn’t know any different. We would be kind to our health, planet and animal friends and still get to indulge. But something went terribly wrong. People went a little Coo-Coo somewhere along the path of recipe evolution. Heart-breaking, literally! Dairy, eggs and butter, butter, dairy and eggs… every baking recipe! It’s kind of like a crack addict getting high every single day and thinking it’s normal. No, we don’t have to consume animal foods to enjoy yummy treats.  We surely don’t need to smoke crack either. But we could! And just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

So eat a vegan crack-cake… I mean cupcake, and do something positive for the world. Get your good karma and sweet fix all at the same time! Just try not to become a vegan crack-cake junkie like me! Totally kidding of course.

Raspberry filled Almond Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

What you’ll need for the cupcakes

1/3 Cup organic Canola Oil

3/4 Cup organic Sugar

1 Cup of Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk by Living Harvest (It’s my favorite but you can use Vanilla Soy Milk too)

3 tsp Almond Extract

1 Cup organic All Purpose Flour

1/3 Cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

Raspberry Filling:  I used 365 Brand (Whole Foods Brand) Raspberry Fruit Spread

What you’ll need for the frosting

1/4 Cup Margarine such as Earth Balance, Softened

1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening such as Earth Balance, Softened

1/2 Cup unsweetened Raw Cacao Powder sifted

2 1/2 Cups organic Powdered Sugar

3 Tbs  Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk

1 1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Whole Almonds or Sliced almonds for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, hemp milk, almond extract. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I use a whisk and mix until the batter is smooth. Add almond flour and mix lightly to combine. Fill each cupcake liner two-thirds full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or the center bounces back with the finger test. Put on cooling rack and cool.

When cupcakes are cooled, push a hole in the top and center of each with your thumb. Using a small spoon fill each well with raspberry fruit and push down in there if you need to. Level the tops with your spoon.

Make the frosting

Cream together the margarine and shortening until combined well. Add cocoa powder and incorporate as best you can. Add confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup batches and beat well with an electric hand mixer adding hemp milk after each addition. Add Almond extract and beat until light and fluffy about 3 minutes or so.

Frost your cakes

Using a spoon, dollop a large enough amount of frosting onto the tops of each cupcake to cover all of the fruit spread filling. Then smooth in a circular motion being careful not to mix the fruit spread filling into the frosting. Top with whole almonds or sliced almonds for garnish. Sink your teeth!

So I declared it vegan cupcake week on my Karmatarian Facebook page. Why not? Vegan cupcakes spread love, hope and sweet kindness and post 10th anniversary of 9/11 we could all use a little. I’ll share a few past cupcake creations and also get working on my almond apricot cupcake recipe post for you.

What is your favorite vegan cupcake recipe. Please do share!!!

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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Multi-Grain & Chia Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce

Treat yourself. You deserve it!

Wedding season is in full swing and mama’s been working hard. Hair styling can be downright physically exhausting! Missing my son over the weekend, I wanted to treat us to something yummy on Monday, which was to be like our Sunday. Relaxed and lazy. I threw out some pancake flavors like blueberry and cinnamon pecan but he was not hearing it. I should have known he’d request the dreaded C word… CHOCOLATE. He reminds me of the Snipe, Kevin from the movie “UP” who’s nuts about chocolate. We watched this movie together on our lazy day.  So stinkin’ cute… and how fitting, as my three year old freaks for chocolate. It’s a scary treat because chocolate tends to make him E-V-I-L! Oh, he will tell you this, with a giggle if you ask him. However, I’ve noticed that vegan chocolate seems to bring out more manageable behavior than say M & M’s which my very loving, but non-vegan family members tend to slip him from time to time.

It’s tough being a mom, my heart breaks when I have to deny my cutie of his favorite treat 99% of the time. But I must. For the sake of my sanity.

So Mommy Caved! Chocolate it is…

I take pride in the fact that I made this a bit healthier using multi-grain pancake mix.  Chia seeds are an excellent egg replacer plus fiber, hydration and 5 times the calcium of milk. Yep, you heard right. Although the Chia seeds don’t steal the show here, they are barely noticeable, really. The pancakes themselves are no biggie either. It’s the coconut cream sauce! I must tell you about this Amazing versatile treat! Coconut cream is another healthy addition to this breakfast. Don’t freak. Coconut cream does have saturated fat but it’s a healthy fat which your body can turn to energy very quickly. It will not clog your arteries like animal fat. It will not raise your blood cholesterol and it actually helps you loose weight. It speeds up your metabolism and helps in the bowel function department.  It also helps to boost your immune system against many diseases and fight cancer and viruses due to it’s high Lauric Acid content, a property found in human breast milk. We can’t say the same great things about dairy… so whats the worry?

Multi-Grain & Chia Chocoalate Chip Pancakes with Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Pancakes

  • 1 Cup Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tbs Chia Seeds plus 3 Tbs Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Non Dairy Milk such as my favorite for baking Tempt Vanilla Hemp Milk

Coconut Chocolate Cream Sauce


Directions

Place the can of coconut milk into the freezer first. Heat your griddle. Put the pancake mix and baking powder into a bowl and whisk to blend together. In a small bowl, add 1 Tbs Chia seeds to 3 Tbs water and stir and let sit for a minute. Stir again. Let sit for another minute. Let it get nice and gelatinous. This will act as the egg replacer. Add the chia egg to the non-dairy milk in another large bowl and whisk until everything is well blended. Next add the dry pancake mix to the wet ingredients and whisk to blend well. Fold in the Chocolate Chips. When your griddle is hot and ready. Make your pancakes!

Note* I am not a pancake professional! I don’t even want to tell you how to go about it.  Pancakes are too close to baking and baking and I have unresolved issues. I do my best, but usually screw up the first few cakes due to adjusting the heat for the pan. If your vegan pancakes are not cooking all the way through or seeming flat or too wet, add more baking powder, or dry mix which works for me.

When your cakes are stacked, keep them warm while you prepare your cream sauce. Take out the can of coconut milk from the freezer, open and scoop off the top cream that has risen to the top of the can and solidified a bit. It should be about a 1/2 Cup. Add this to a mixing bowl and add the sugar, cacao powder and vanilla and with an electric hand mixer, beat on a high speed until well blended and creamy. Since it won’t be in the freezer that long while you prepare your pancakes, you should end up with a creamy/thick sauce that you can serve over your pancakes instead of syrup. The hot cakes will melt the sauce even more… Mmmm!

The versatility comes into play with the left over cream. Place in a small container and store in the refrigerator. The longer it refrigerates the thicker it becomes and the the flavors blend together. This makes a fantastic, frosting or whip cream replacement. I ate the rest of my chocolate whip cream with strawberries the next day! Be creative and be grateful that we don’t need the dreaded dairy to enjoy an amazing dessert!!!!

You can always prepare your Coconut Chocolate Cream in advance and let is sit out a while to soften or warm it up a bit if you like.

You can also make this coconut cream plain without the chocolate to replace whip cream. Just use the vanilla and sugar. I have also meant to experiment with organic powdered sugar for an even smoother outcome but I haven’t done this yet…. maybe I’ll go do it right now!

Enjoy this clip from the movie “Up”

Damnit Disney… for making me cry. The best message: Ellie to Carl~ Thanks for the Adventure. Now go have a new one! Awwwwwwww

And a few of my favorite  “Up” movie lines ~ 

Ellie: ” You know him. Charles Muntz. When I get big, I’m going where he’s going. South America… It’s like America… but South”!

Russell: “This is fun already isn’t it? By the time we get there, you are gonna feel SO assisted”

Carl: “if you don’t hurry up the Tigers will eat you” Russell: “Damn those Tigers in South America”

Dug: “Oh yes, oh yes, since I have said that I can see how you would think that”

So enjoy and remember…  “A wilderness explorer is a friend to all, be a plant or fish or tiny mole!”

The Karmatarian~



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Mini Raw Chocolate Dream Pies

Raw chocolate pudding made with avocados is nothing new in the raw food world, but it is to me! It blows my mind how nature can give us just a few ingredients (minus any help from animals) and we can come up with friggin pudding! Mousse! Whatever you wanna call it… I call it smooth, creamy, awesome chocolate mousse pudding!!! WHY wasn’t this handed down through generations in my family? How is it that my ancestors did not know this EASY secret? It is so disappointing how we think we need to out smart mother nature and change it all up when we can create something this good and so simply.  Move over Bill Cosby, it’s time to think outside of the old commercial pudding mix “box”. Try this and prepare to be amazed!

Mini pies are a fun finger food that’s great for a party or pot luck. Tell people who are unfamiliar with the raw food world what this is made from and I bet the reactions will be quite interesting! I make the raw chocolate pudding a few ways: Just the pudding and lick the bowl clean. You will too, trust me! Fill the nut crusts to make mini pies or the lazy vegan version, using Keebler’s mini graham ready crusts which would not be an option for the gluten free folks. I know what your thinking. The Keebler mini crust ingredients are not uber healthy, but a good alternative for the nut allergies out there! If I were making a large pie, I know there are healthier crusts sold at places like Whole Foods or I could spend the time to make one myself. But time is tight for most and I would rather see someone do it vegan any way they can. A Keebler crust every now and then (but far in between) won’t kill anyone.  Not on the spot anyway. Lol. It’s fast, convenient and quite delicious.  I can’t claim perfection with my diet and although I have type-A tendencies, I try not to be over-the-top strict with myself all the time. But do as you do. There are many ways you could go about the mousse pudding in this recipe: straight up, over fruit in a festive glass, parfait style or pies.  Have fun and be creative.

Nutritionally, avocados provide about 20 essential nutrients that include fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They act as a “nutrient booster” enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, from foods that are eaten along with them. Dates also contain a lot of potassium per serving  along with 3 grams of fiber. They also contain magnesium, iron and calcium, B vitamins and trace minerals. Cacao is high in iron, antioxidants and have compounds that act as anti-depressants because they help increase the levels of specific neurotransmitters in our brains. Can you say all this about the old box mix?


Mini Nut Crusts

1/3 Cup Cashews

1/3 Cup Almonds

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

Water

Mini Cupcake Pan

Plastic Wrap

Easy to Prepare

Put the cashews, almonds and dates into a food processor and process until a crumb like texture. Add just enough water, (start with a sprinkle) so the mixture combines. You don’t want them soggy so be careful here. You just want to be able to press and form them into your pie pan. Line your mini cupcake pan with plastic wrap and portion evenly among each section. It’s approximately 1 Tbs of crumb mixture for each. Take more plastic wrap and lay it over everything and begin to press in with your fingers and shape each mini crust.  You may try doing this without plastic wrap but good luck. It’s a sticky mess.  The plastic wrap also helps to pop these babies out with ease. When you are done forming the pie crusts, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or longer if desired to set firm.  Now you are ready to fill.

Raw Chocolate Mousse Pudding

2 Ripe Avocados

8 Medjool Dates

1 Cup of Hot Water

2 Tbs Cacao Powder, Raw and Organic

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Raw Agave Nectar or Raw Sugar to Taste

Dried Coconut flakes or berries as garnish if desired

The Procedure

Using a knife, cut and remove the pits from the dates. Soak the dates in one cup of very hot water for 20 minutes. Do not discard the water. Next using a blender add avocados, soaked dates, cacao powder, vanilla, agave or sugar and half cup of the date water. Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add more date water and sweetener as needed. Just a little note: You can sweeten this to match your sweet tooth’s preference. The nut crusts are not that sweet so it wouldn’t hurt if the filling was extra sweet to make up for it. You should then refrigerate this mixture for at least an hour for the flavors to blend. I usually can’t wait if it’s just a casual batch but you will get a better end result. I usually put my crusts into the refrigerator after I freeze them, while the pudding is setting. After your pudding sets, you can fill your pie crusts. Sprinkle with coconut flakes or garnish with a berry if desired.

Feel free to play around with this recipe.  Omit the dates and water, add coconut oil or coconut butter in it’s place along with maple syrup or raw sugar instead of agave. Raw food is very creative!

What are some of your favorite versions of raw chocolate mousse/pudding?

Find Raw Cacao powder and other ingredients here

Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

P.S. Another version of this chocolate mousse can be found at the Soul Searching Vegan. Even though I have seen many different recipes similar to this and wanted to try them, I have to say that it was Chelsea who inspired me to do it and create something with it to share with you. I hope you will check out her fun blog at her newest blog address.

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Earl Grey & Citrus Vegan Truffle ‘Pops’

Vegan Truffles

I recently perused through a local bridal show to do some networking and gain a little inspiration for my hair business.  This adorable chocolate company and their “certified green” sign caught my eye. So I stopped and asked, “what exactly makes you green?” the lady at the booth exclaimed that they proudly get all of their ingredients from local farms. That’s great. My next question naturally was “do you have any vegan chocolates?”. No? Hmmm, not my lucky day. I wondered…  is it really that hard to create vegan chocolates when we have such fabulous dairy alternatives?

I’m not going to lie, I tasted their tea infused chocolate. In fact, it was my inspiration for this recipe and yes,  it tasted a little bit like heaven, but upon rising the next morning, my inner ears went ballistic from the dairy! That’s right. After kicking dairy, I finally figured out that in fact, it is the source of that annoying allergy which I down right refused to believe was from dairy, way back when. After all, I was an addict, like so many. When you are unaware, as I was back then of the amazing world of vegan cooking, cheese is just about in every single friggin standard American recipe there is! So you go with it. Lying to yourself. Because of course, it couldn’t be the dairy! Then you do your homework! Let me just throw this out there: Hey moms, ever wonder why your little ones get all those ear infections?

Earl Grey & Citrus Vegan Truffle ‘Pops’

I have to say, truffle making is fun! Determined to recreate the Earl Grey experience and make it even better I added an orange chocolate ganache coating to compliment the delicate lavender like bergamot flavor. I dressed these babies up for Valentine’s day and thought a ‘pop’ would be a fun way to enjoy a much larger truffle … more chocolate… Oh yaaah… but without getting your hands all dirty. Truffles can be such messy little things! But there’s no reason you can’t present a classic truffle that’s not a ‘pop’ using this recipe. It actually screams to be rolled in powdered sugar. The whole point of this creation is that I used coconut milk (instead of blended cashews which seem to be a popular vegan recipe) due to it’s good fat and good for you fat content. Since coconut oil has such a high heat point I figured the milk might melt the chocolate perfectly… and it did. If you are in the mood for coconut you won’t taste it here, unless of course that’s what you crave. Then go right ahead and change it up. The beauty of a truffle recipe is that the variations are endless… I’ll talk about these in a bit.

What You’ll Need

1 can Coconut Milk. You need 1 Cup after it’s all said and done

14 oz Dark Chocolate, high quality (70% or so)

10 tea bags or more, Earl Grey Tea. I used Stash brand

8 oz additional Dark Chocolate

1 tsp flavored Orange Oil

Lollipop Sticks

Paper Candy Cups

Directions

Break or chop 14 oz of the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl.

Bring the coconut milk to a light boil and place 10 tea bags into the pot. If there are strings, cut them off or keep them outside the pot. Steep the tea in the boiling milk for 2-3 minutes and use a potato masher to gently squeeze the tea from the bags into the milk. After the tea bags are squeezed of all flavor you can get out of them, gently squeeze the tea bags again up and against the side of the pot to remove what coconut milk you can salvage and discard the tea bags.

Bring the coconut milk to a faster boil. This won’t take but a few seconds… Pour the boiling coconut milk over the chocolate in the large bowl and keep stirring until all of the chocolate has melted and the batter is smooth.

This will be the base for your Earl Grey Truffle. Thicken the creamy ganache by whisking it, or putting it into the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes or just until it is thick enough to form truffle balls using two spoons or your hands, or other spherical device. Shape into smooth round balls and put them on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper and place your lollipop sticks into the centers.

The basic ganache will be sticky and wet but dries quickly! Don’t let it cool too long if putting it in the refrigerator! I panicked because these dried faster than I could shape them nicely, then I realized if you put them back in your hand and roll, the heat from your hand melts them again just enough to re-shape them perfectly!

Last Step

dipped vegan truffles

In a double boiler, melt the remaining 8 oz of chocolate and add the orange oil extract. Dip and roll your truffle into this melted mixture and place to dry on parchment or wax paper. When your truffles are dry, you can place them in colorful candy cups for a cute presentation.

*Note: These truffles have just a hint of Earl Grey. If you want them stronger, use more tea bags and more coconut milk, maybe 4-5  oz or more. The tea bags soak up and remove a lot of the coconut milk and you want to be sure you end up with 1 Cup for melting your chocolate.

Variations

  • You could skip this last step and roll your Earl Grey truffle into powdered sugar or a good cocoa powder (which will add a bitter flavor) when its still warm from rolling in your hands and then place them in the candy cups.  If you go this route try adding the orange oil to the main truffle recipe if you still want the hint of orange with your Earl Grey
  • Dip into the melted chocolate and then into crushed nuts
  • You can skip the Earl Grey all together and just dip the plain truffle into the orange chocolate. Or make the truffles orange chocolate and just dip them into the powdered sugar or a good bitter cocoa powder
  • Go ahead, go the coconut route… add coconut extract to either part of the recipe  instead of the Earl Grey and orange and roll in coconut flakes! Or just plain dark chocolate truffles rolled in coconut flakes

If you get creative and try flavored alcohol, research it a bit as the alcohol tends to stiffen the main truffle ganache and then you might have to start all over! Oil extracts are better to use, so I have read.

This was an inspiring experience in the kitchen for me because so many ideas came to mind! But I guess I should note that these will appeal more to bitter dark chocolate lovers. You can certainly sweeten your experience. Try adding Agave?

Happy Valentines Day and I hope you enjoy,

The Karmatarian~

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Chocolate Cupcakes Sent from Heaven with Fluffy Cookies-n-Cream Frosting

Chocolate vegan cupcakes with cookies ~n~ cream frosting

Life~ It’s unpredictable. Eat Dessert First!

In celebration of my first real blog article let’s do dessert!  I want to share  with you one of my most favorite chocolate cupcake recipes which you absolutely won’t believe is vegan! It means that no animals were harmed in the making so you will earn your wings while baking them and just one bite will send you straight to heaven! I am so impressed by these it’s not even funny. Thankfully I didn’t let the word vegan scare me from trying this recipe when I found it waaay back by accident because it  helped me to broaden my awareness and realize there is an awesome world of baking out there that does not involve harming animals or needless added cholesterol! Who ever started that whole baking trend that must consist of eggs and dairy? Well it doesn’t! How exciting is that!?!

I love the idea of cupcakes because they are so trendy yet they never seem to go out of style. I have to be honest, I really wasn’t a huge cupcake fan until I Close up chocolate vegan cupcake with sprinklesbaked these. No joke. I can’t stand a dry cupcake and that’s usually my luck when I bite into one. Times have changed and I see many batches of vegan cupcakes in my future as my son enters his grade school years and if I can find any reason at all to bake these, I will! This is a cupcake that visits me in my dreams!

I would love to take the credit for these cupcakes but I can’t. Truth is I only changed the recipe slightly, baked a few batches and then got creative and baked a whole cake. That’s right cake fans, this recipe can be turned into the most impressive moist chocolate cake! Credit for this cupcake and frosting recipe is due to the must have cupcake cook book called: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. Tempting creations like Green Tea, Banana split, Chai Latte, Smores, Tiramisu, Chocolate Mint, and tons more, 75  to be exact. There’s a cupcake flavor for everyone! I originally found the Basic Vegan Chocolate Cupcake recipe at Chow along with the Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting.

The Chocolate Cupcake

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla hemp milk. I used Living Harvest brand. You can use soy, almond or other non-dairy milk

1 tsp  apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup vegan organic granulated sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tsp  vanilla extract

1/2 tsp more vanilla extract. You can use almond or chocolate here but I chose more vanilla

1 cup all-purpose organic flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, I used Hershey brand cocoa before I found organic cocoa

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt

Directions

 Preheat  oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together the hemp milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes (if using soy milk this will make it curdle which is what you want, I didn’t notice any curdling with the hemp milk but did not want to chance omitting the apple cider vinegar as they came out so perfect with it). Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, more vanilla or other extract to the hemp milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large clumps remain (a few small ones are ok).

Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

 
Single chocolate vegan cupcake
 

Cookies -n- Cream Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening. I used Earth Balance vegan natural shortening sticks

1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine. I used Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks

3 + 1/2  cups vegan, organic powdered sugar, sifted

1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk. You can use plain soy or soy creamer

1/2 cup finely mashed vegan chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies. I used Back to Nature organic brand. You can use Newman-O’s or even Oreo which are vegan. About 5 cookies = 1/2 cup mashed

Directions

Leave the shortening and margarine sticks out to soften at room temperature for a bit. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and hemp milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. Stir into the frosting 1/2 cup mashed vegan chocolate cream filled sandwich cookies. Frost cupcakes generously and top each with half of a sandwich cookie.

I put the frosting in a big Zip-Loc and cut the corner off and piped my frosting on (a real baking Pro! Ha ha). I froze the remaining frosting for when I get a crazy craving for this amazing treat! It defrosts pretty decently at room temp. You can halve this frosting recipe if you are spreading rather than piping as it  makes a lot!

For a fun variation: I frosted a few cupcakes before I added the mashed cookies to the Cookies-n-Cream frosting recipe and just topped with sprinkles.

 

To make a dChocolate vegan cupcake cakeouble layer round chocolate cake, I made two batches of the cupcake batter, one for each 9 inch round baking pan and baked for the same amount of time (adjusting if needed). It came out perfect! You can get pretty creative with fillings for the middle or  just use some of the same frosting.


 
 
 
 
 
chocolate vegan cupcake tier


I would love to hear from you! Any favorite vegan cupcake recipes out there? Please do share :)

 
Enjoy!

The Karmatarian~

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