Saturday, December 3, 2016

New Product Alert: Silk Nutchello Nut-Based Beverage

We were close to the border celebrating Caitlin's birthday last weekend and we couldn't resist crossing over to do a little vegan grocery shopping (the USA has so much more selection). We saw this drink in Wegman's and we couldn't help but plop it in the cart. I just love seeing new vegan products. We were quite excited in the aisle haha.

At first, I was very concerned this drink would be too sweet but it isn't at all. It has a subtle caramel flavour and a nice hint of cashew. It's super smooth in texture, which I appreciate. It was a great find and look forward to trying it in a smoothie or some sort of iced concoction soon. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Icing

I absolutely adore scones. I think it's their subtlety. They are rarely overpowering in flavour or sweetness but they're always satisfying. I will forever associate pumpkin scones with the ones from Starbucks. The icing could be a little much with those sometimes, but this recipe has got it right. It's almost a light glaze and it provides the perfect bit of sweetness. Make these scones and you absolutely won't regret it.

Yes, that is a skull you see on that plate. 

Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Icing

Adapted from Killer Bunnies

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup almond flour/meal
¼ cup spelt flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp cold shortening
4 Tbsp cold margarine
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Maple Spice Icing 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp almond milk
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients together (including the brown sugar) in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the cold shortening and margarine until the mixture gets crumbly (I used my hands to do this).
Add in pumpkin and other wet ingredients. Combine gently.
Separate the dough into 2 disks, and cut each into 6-8 wedges. Separate and place on the baking sheet.
Bake until the scones are firm and slightly golden, 22-25 minutes. Cool scones on a wire rack.
Make the icing by combining all ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.

Drizzle icing over the cooled scones.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

Beans in brownies? Yeah, I know. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it is most absolutely not! To tell the truth I kinda like black bean brownies just as much as regular ol' brownies. I like a fudgy, somewhat dense brownie and black bean brownies are just that.

These black bean brownies are extra special because they have peanut butter in them and I'm a sucker for some peanut butter and chocolate.  

If you're skeptical of black bean brownies, I suggest you give this variety a try because the peanut butter masks the beaniness that much more. But, honestly, you can't really taste beans at all. Just make sure to get the batter nice and smooth, so there aren't any bean skins freaking you out :)

I posted a video of these brownies on instagram about a month ago (if you aren't following us already, check us out!) and have finally posted this recipe because: school work.

I could definitely go for a bite of these brownies right now! I hope you try them, you won't regret it!

Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl
adapted from Connoisseurus Veg

15 oz can of black beans,* drained and rinsed thoroughly
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-4 tbsp peanut butter, depending how peanut buttery you want it
1/4 to 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch square baking dish.

Place everything except the peanut butter and the chocolate chips in a blender/food processor. Blend until completely smooth, stop to scrape down the sides every once in a while.

Pour the batter into the baking dish and mix in the chocolate chips.

Smooth out the top. Plop some peanut butter here and there and swirl it about with a toothpick or knife.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, check after 22-24 minutes. If it doesn't come out clean after 24 minutes, bake at intervals of 2 mins, checking the centre after each time.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.

Let the brownies cool completely before cutting.

*I only had a 19 oz can, so I tossed the whole thing in. I added an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder in the hopes of balancing things out. It took a bit longer to cook fully. To get the best results use a 15 oz can and if you don't have one like me, take some beans out.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheezecake with Chocolate Brownie Crust

Mmmm cheezecake! This one is pretty divine. I mean... a brownie crust? What chocolate lover wouldn't jump at the chance to bake/eat this?

Everyone may need a little pick-me-up as the days get cooler and shorter (and now that Halloween is over), this will do the trick. 
No doubt about it!

The filling is perfectly peanut buttery and smooth. We added a little coconut whip on top and definitely didn't regret it. We used this variety of coconut whipped cream. It was new last year when we made this cheezecake (yes, that's how long this post has been in drafts), but it's old news now.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheezecake with 
Brownie Crust

Brownie Crust
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate 
4 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup AP flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch o' salt

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/3 ripe mashed banana
1 (12-14 oz) silken tofu package, drained
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
4 tsp cornstarch 
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan.

Place chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each round. Add margarine and stir until silky smooth.

Stir in sugar, almond milk, and vanilla, then sift in the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake for 8 minutes or until the crust is puffed and crinkled. Move the pan to a cooling rack.

Puree all the filling ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Remove any air bubbles by lightly banging the pan upon the countertop.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly puffed and edges are golden.

Remove from the oven and let cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Move to fridge to completely cool.

Keep in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight, which is best. After that, you're free to top with whipped cream and slice 'er up!

Dig in!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Sometimes I get into a smoothie rut. Okay, maybe most of the time. So, it's really nice to switch it up every once in a while. What better way to switch things up than by taking inspiration from the seasons?

When everything and everyone is screaming Autumn, embrace it with a pumpkin smoothie.

This smoothie was super good and flavourful. The banana mellows out the pumpkin flavour a tad so if you're a bit wary of full pumpkin potency you may be alright, but have a pumpkin fan on speed dial just in case ;)

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
adapted from Hot for Food

1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
2 tbsp raw oats
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 large pitted dates or 4 small ones
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup ice cubes

Place everything in your blender and blen, baby, blend! until smooth :)

Top with granola or cookies crumbs.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vegan Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Continuing with the pumpkin theme, here's some yummy (and cute!) pumpkin cookies.

You could always go without the frosting on these cookies, but I would be lying if I told you I didn't prefer them with frosting. When you're having dessert why not go all in and really make it worth the calories, right?

Also, topping the cookies with frosting enables you to add cute festive sprinkles! I can't resist the opportunity to seasonally customize my desserts.

Frosted Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
adapted from Minimalist Baker


1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp AP flour
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp unsweetened original almond milk

1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1 tsp pumpkin butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 -3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp each cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
drop of unsweetened original almond milk

Add butter to large bowl and beat for 1 minute. 

Add sugars and vanilla, cream for another minute.

Add pumpkin and mix again. Sift in dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not overmix. 

Pour in almond milk, mix to combine once more. 

Freeze dough for 15 mins or refrigerate for 30 mins. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Scoop out dough with a tablespoon. Roll into balls and place two inches apart. They will spread.

Press down cookies either with your hand or the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 10-12 mins or until golden.

Once baked, take them out of the oven and let the cookies rest for a minute or so before transferring to a cooling rack.

Place butter into bowl, Beat until fluffy. Then add vanilla, spices, pumpkin butter and mix some more. 

Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup instalments, mixing in between. Add a dash of milk if it gets too thick. You want the frosting pretty thick though. 

Once the cookies have completely cooled, go to town frosting those babies up! 

Don't forget some festive sprinkles for added flair!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts with Hazelnut Crust

It's the most wonderful time of year! The time of year when pumpkins abound and the world has a golden glow. 

You really can't deny the beauty of Fall.

We've had some pretty unusually warm days so far this year, but the mornings are crisp.

Despite the sunny days and undeniable beauty of Fall, this has been an exceptionally hard one for us. Our grandmother (or Nannie as we called her), passed away in August. It's still so hard to believe she isn't here. She's been a constant in our lives, living with us for majority of our lives. We called her our second mom. All of the firsts are hard and this change in seasons has been no exception. So, while I love Fall and all of the pumpkin-y goodness it has to offer, I can't help but feel that bittersweet edge.  

It may not be the healthiest thing to do, but when I'm sad...dessert. Who's with me?

These tarts are delicious and the perfect use for pumpkin.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tarts
adapted from Peaceful Dumpling

1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold water

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup silken tofu
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly grease muffin pan.

In a food processor blend all crust ingredients except the water. Add water and pulse to form dough. 

Press dough into the bottom of the muffin pan. About 2 tbsp per section. Make sure to bring the dough up to create a lip around the edge.

Bake for 15 mins.

While the crusts are baking, blend together all the filling ingredients.

When the crusts are finished, take them out of the oven and add the filling. 

Place back in the oven and bake for 20-24 mins, until edges are browned.

Once done, remove from oven and let cool.

Top with pumpkin seeds if you so desire.

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