A Couple More Cookbooks

cornbread

Adding to the 52 cookbooks list. First up, cornbread from Peter Berley’s The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. I posted my adapted version of his recipe already and often make this when we have chili for dinner.

energy_bites

Next up, Energy Bites from Robin Robertson’s Quick Fix Vegan. This is the very last recipe in this book and it’s a good one. They’ve got cashews, sunflower seeds, dates, cranberries and peanut butter (which I substituted for the tahini). The kids ate them at first and then lost interest but I thought they were great right through to the last one!

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Aquafaba Sweetness

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Clockwise from top left: Fried Doughnuts, Sweet Whipped Topping, Lemon Meringue Pie, Swiss Buttercream

We were thrilled to have an opportunity to test recipes for Zsu Dever’s newly released Aquafaba book. We tested a mix of sweet and savory recipes and they were all delicious. It’s amazing to think that the water we were draining off our chickpeas all these years could be so versatile. Since receiving our copy of the book we’ve tried a few more recipes and have yet to be disappointed. In fact the Swiss Buttercream is our new favorite cupcake topping. It’s light and fluffy and not overly sweet.

This past weekend we went to Carter Mountain Orchard to pick apples. In addition to apple picking their specialty is apple cider doughnuts. Unfortunately these are not vegan. Aquafaba to the rescue! We wanted to bring a treat for the kids and the Baked Apple Cider Cake Doughnuts were perfect. Especially with the addition of some leftover Swiss Buttercream we had on hand after making cupcakes for a birthday party. The big kid has been bringing these for lunch this week and loves them.

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On another note, I started the year with the idea that we’d try at least one recipe from 52 different cookbooks this year, an average of one per week. I’ve fallen hopelessly behind on this effort but this will certainly count. We’ll see how many more we can add before the end of the year and maybe we’ll keep at it into next year.

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Fig Apple Crisp

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It’s apple season! And that means it’s also fig season. Four years ago we planted a tiny fig tree in our yard and finally this year we’re getting a decent amount of fruit. Yesterday I combined the figs with some local apples from Carter Mountain Orchard to make a simple crisp. For the filling I used about a pound and  a half of apples and about a half pound of fresh figs, then I just added a tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The topping was 3/4 c. rolled oats, 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbs. canola oil, 1 tsp. agave, and another 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. I think some nuts would be good in the topping so next time I’ll add some chopped walnuts. Then bake in a covered baking dish at 375° for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

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Cookies!

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When we wanted to make some snacks to bring on a recent trip it was a good excuse to check off two more books from our 52 cookbooks list. There are many great recipes in both of these books (and many great cookie recipes in other books) but the Coconut-Lime Cookies from Vive le Vegan! and Big Gigantoid Crunchy Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance are the cookies we make most often. The peanut butter-oatmeal cookies are filling and substantial while the coconut-lime cookies are lighter and we just love the flavor combination. You can’t go wrong with either one and especially not with both!

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Sweet Stuff

banana_muffins

Time to add some more sweet treats to our 52 cookbooks list. First – Better Banana Nut Muffins from My Sweet Vegan. There are most certainly more interesting and decadent recipes in this book (Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombs anyone?) but this is the first recipe in the book and we had some overripe bananas so I went with it.

chocolate_chip_cookies

Next up is what has become my go-to cookie recipe – Wholesome Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. There are definitely more impressive recipes in this book too but the kids love chocolate chip cookies and these are made with 100% white whole wheat flour. I cut way back on the sugar too because honestly, the amount of sugar in the recipe isn’t so wholesome. The kids still love ’em though and I’m sure they’d eat an entire batch if I let them (I don’t).

Happy snacking!

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Protein Power Balls

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Next up on our 52 cookbooks endeavor is Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families. We’ve been fans of Dreena’s books ever since her first one came out long ago, and now that we have kids we especially like her books for their many kid-friendly snack ideas. The recipe for these Protein Power Balls was posted here by The Green Mama. We’ve been thinking about making these for quite a while and today we finally did. They’re sweet because they contain a lot of dates but they have no added sugar and they’re packed full of healthy proteins like hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Best of all, the kids love ’em. So here’s one answer to that question so commonly asked of vegans, “where do you get your protein?”

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Granola with Almond Pulp or Okara

Since we got our soy milk maker we’ve been generating a lot of okara (the leftover pulp after straining the soy milk). We like to make almond milk too and of course there’s also pulp leftover from that process. A lot of this stuff has ended up being composted but we do try to make use of it as much as we can. We do love to make granola too. So much so that we’ve been buying oats in bulk by the 50 lb. bag.

Now we’ve taken our favorite granola recipe and modified it to include okara. On another note, we also cut way back on the sweetener. We’ve been trying for a while now to limit our sugar intake and have found that in many recipes we can halve the sugar called for and that tastes just fine to us. The thing about cutting back on sugar is that your taste buds adjust and soon anything that has a “normal” amount of sugar tastes sickly sweet. So go ahead and make this as is. If you find you want it sweeter  you can always drizzle a little agave or maple syrup on top when you eat it. Also, feel free to cut the recipe in half. This makes a LOT but we go through it fairly quickly in our house.

What you need:

6 cups rolled oats

3 cups nuts (use all one kind or mix it up – chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or cashews are all good choices)

1 1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbs. agave or maple syrup

1/4 c. canola oil

1/2 c. okara or almond pulp

1 c. raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

What you do:

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and salt. In a small bowl, mix together the agave, oil and okara. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until all the oats are coated. Spread out evenly onto two baking sheets and bake at 300° for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the granola inside for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for another 20-30 minutes. Now you can mix in the raisins or other fruit if you want.

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