Raw Vegan Mini Peanut Butter Caramel Pies

I absolutely love making raw vegan desserts! When I first began creating my own recipes I had many, MANY failures. In fact for every recipe I loved there were at least 2-3 failed attempts (just ask my husband and appointed “taste tester”, poor guy). Over the past year of using these ingredients I’ve come to learn more about combining them – what works, what doesn’t, what’s too sweet, what’s bland etc. Now it’s fairly easy for me to get in my kitchen, see what we have one hand, and create something pretty delightful. Trust me when I tell you, these bad boys are pretty delightful!

You could easily make this recipe one larger pie, but I like to make things mini size for my daughter. It’s just easier to portion things out that way, plus she thinks they’re cute! This particular recipe is so forgiving. In all honesty, I usually don’t ever measure out my recipes. I eyeball everything and taste test as I go. I think one of the best things about raw vegan desserts is you can munch on it as you make it – no raw eggs to worry about and it doesn’t have to be baked! So I encourage you to taste test along the way and make adjustments as you go. That’s the easiest way to ensure a recipe turns out the way YOU like it. Speaking of recipe, let’s get to it..

 

 

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Ingredients:

CRUST
1 cup ground gluten free oat flour
10 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp raw cacao
2 tsp raw maple (add more as needed for blending)

Blend all in your food processor until well combined. Press in the bottom of your lightly oiled cupcake pan.
(I dabbed my finger in a bit of coconut oil and lined the bottom/sides).
Freeze for 20 minutes.

FILLING
1 1/2 cup soaked gooey pitted medjool dates
(very important that they are juicy and soft – using quality dates make all the difference!
Soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes to soften even further then drain before using.)
2 tbsp raw peanut butter
1-2 tsp almond milk
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp raw maple
2 squirts vanilla creme stevia (or 1 tsp of pure vanilla)

Top with cacao nibs

Blend all together until creamy, adding almond milk as needed to help blend.
Fill tins and top with Vitacost cacao nibs. Freeze for 2 hours.

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I use a butter knife to loosen the sides and they pop right out. Let them set at room temp for 10 minutes and then enjoy!

After they’ve been frozen and removed from their tins they can be stored in the fridge.

I hope you all are having a great day!!
xo Sarah

Vegan Oil-Free Refined Sugar-Free Banana Pecan Bread

I love a good, dense, soft, sweet, banana bread (can I get an amen?). The entire process of making it is therapeutic to me! We had 6 big bushels of super ripe spotty bananas sitting on our counter, so I froze half for banana ice cream, saved a couple bushels to much on, and used the rest to bake up some goods for the week. I love all the different ways you can manipulate a simple banana to create so many wonderful, delicious treats!

I wanted to come up with a recipe that was very low fat, no oil, no eggs/dairy of course, no refined sugars, but still FULL of flavor. I wanted something that tasted like dessert, that could also be eaten for breakfast. We finished the last of these off this morning and my husband is already begging me to make it again, which is always a good sign!

These are not a typical bread you buy from the store – definitely not a light and fluffly, slightly dry, make a sandwich with it kind of bread. These are dense and moist, creamy and filling, sweet and almost brownie-like. My favorite. Give me a big mug of my vanilla caramel chai tea and a warm slice of this, and you have a pretty perfect start to a day!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup fine oat flour
1/2 cup Vitacost gluten free multi-purpose flour (or buckwheat flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 very ripe sweet bananas
1 1/4 cups gooey pitted medjool dates (make sure they are super soft, if not soak them in hot water for 15 mins)
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup apple sauce
4 squirts vanilla creme stevia (Or 1 tsp pure vanilla)
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/4 cup chopped pecans (to top)

Directions:

Mix first 4 ingredients well, then separately mix the rest of the ingredients in your food processor until completely smooth. Combine wet and dry and stir well. Pour into your baking pan and cover with your chopped pecans.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up, then slice and serve.

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To store, I wrap them individually in paper towels and put them in ziplock baggies to store in the fridge.
Trust me when I say, these only get better the second and third day (if they last that long, which in our home usually doesn’t happen!). We take them out and heat them up in their paper towel for 20-25 second/until warm in the microwave.

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I hope you try, hope you enjoy. Have a great day everyone!!
xo Sarah

Vegan Gluten-Free Refined Sugar-Free Vanilla Maca and Chocolate Chip Chai Layered Pancakes

It’s pancake Sunday in our house, which means this mama bear is busy in her kitchen experimenting with different ingredients trying to figure out the flavor of the week! This week, vanilla Maca and chocolate chip chai win by a mile. If you have a reluctant husband or child that is convinced healthy pancakes can’t possibly taste good I beg you to make these for them. It’s a game changer!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Vitacost gluten free vegan pancake mix
1 tsp OrganicBurst Maca powder
1 ripe banana
1 cup + 2 tbsp almond milk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 spoonfuls of Vitacost coconut sugar (or stevia, or sweetener of choice)
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp salt (optional)

Use half for pure vanilla pancakes and in the other half add:
2-3 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1-2 tsp Vega Chai powder

We topped with raw almond butter, pure maple, raw pecans, and cacao nibs.

I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!
xo Sarah

Vegan Chocolate Chip Maple PB Swirl Brownies – So long 2014!!

Wow, I cannot believe it is the last day of the year! 2014 has brought so many unexpected blessings to my family. I cannot even begin to thank God enough for how faithful He is, and all of the beauty He continues to weave through my life. I was able to spend another year watching my daughter grow into a happy, healthy, friendly, sassy, kind-hearted, compassionate, joyful little human. I fell even more in love with my precious husband, who continues to grow into a man of deep rooted integrity. I have never felt love like I do from that man. I have had the pure joy of connecting with countless of you incredible people from all around the world who share similar passions and outlooks on life and the way we live it, gaining so much inspiration from each one of you. I am excited and optimistic about whatever God wills for my life in this new year! I think the best two words to sum up how I feel about 2015 are OPEN and GRATEFUL – I am 100% open to whatever adventures God brings our way and 100% grateful for both the good and bad times to come.

 

This morning I got in my kitchen and decided to whip up a delicious treat for New Years Eve tonight. The ingredients are simple and wholesome! I chose to omit the use of oil to keep it lower in fat, but kept it FULL of delicious rich flavor.

 

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The texture is fudgey and creamy (my two favorites!).
These are best made a few hours before serving, and honestly I like them even better the next day!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Vitacost gluten free multi-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup fine oat flour
1/2 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
1 tbsp dark roast ground coffee
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 packed cup soaked pitted medjool dates
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw PB + 3 tbsp for swirling on top
1 1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup Vitacost coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp pure maple + 3 tbsp for swirling
1/4 cup Vitacost cacao nibs

(Note: these can be made gluten-free easily, just use gluten free oat flour!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine first 6 ingredients in food processor and blend well. Dump into a separate bowl.

Add the next 6 ingredients (minus cacao nibs and the 3 tbsp PB and 3 tbsp maple for swirling) – blend well. Combine wet and dry ingredients.

Line your pan with parchment paper and pour it in/spread it. Mix your remaining PB and maple and spoon in top, then swirl with a butter knife. Sprinkle on cacao nibs.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. I like them best after they have cooled in the fridge!

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I sincerely hope your year has been BLESSED, and I pray that 2015 is a year of great things for you! Please know, if you’re reading this, I am grateful for you. God bless you guys!

xo Sarah

Raw Vegan Coconut “Snickers” || Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan

There is something about this time of year that makes me want to hibernate in my kitchen and whip up a storm of vegan treats! One of my favorite things in the world is creating something new and delicious with my little girl, and being able to teach her about the beauty of real foods and the transformation they can take when manipulated the right way. Cooking is an art, and I hope to pass that passion on to my daughter!

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Yesterday we came up with our own healthy vegan version of one of my husband’s all-time favorite candy bars – Snickers. The minute a Snickers hits your mouth you can no doubt identify it! Melting chocolate, gooey creamy caramel, crunchy peanuts.. what’s not to love?! Oh yeah, the fact that they’re packed full of unhealthy fats, added sugars, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservative. But there is a way to still enjoy this classic “junk food” in a way that won’t sacrifice your health or your waist line!

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Ingredients:
ALL ingredients used (aside from the dates and almond milk) are from Vitacost – I love their brand, and they ship straight to your home for a low cost. If you have trouble finding any of these ingredients I highly suggest ordering online from them!
For the chocolate –
1/4 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
2-3 tbsp raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on how much of a “dark chocolate” flavor you like)
2 squirts of vanilla creme stevia

Melt the coconut oil and stir in the rest. Pour into small round containers and pop in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until solid.

Caramel –
10 large pitted medjool dates
1/3 cup raw almond milk
2 squirts of vanilla creme stevia or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla

Soak your dates in the almond milk/vanilla blend for 20 minutes and then blend in your food processor until completely smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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(This caramel is awesome for dipping, spreading, or drizzling on desserts!)

Mix a spoonful of your caramel with raw peanuts and add a dollop on top of each chocolate. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and enjoy!

These are 100% husband approved, which is not always an easy task! He has a very picky sweet tooth, and absolutely loves these little mounds of gold.

Today Maizy and I decided to use the leftovers to make “coconut snicker sandwiches” – they were a little bit incredible. Okay, maybe a lot a bit incredible.

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I hope you all try and enjoy!!
xo Sarah

Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Brownie Batter “IceCream” || Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Egg-Free, Vegan)

I love throwing healthy delicious vegan ingredients in my blender and somehow coming up with something that tastes even better than the rich sugar-filled desserts I grew up eating. I named this chocolate pistachio “brownie batter” ice cream because it literally tastes like cold, thick, creamy brownie batter! I also believe chocolate and pistachios belong together whenever possible. There is a delightful dance of flavor combinations in this “dessert”, which is actually healthy and nutritious enough to be eaten for breakfast!

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Ingredients:
4 frozen RIPE bananas
1 1/2 tbsp raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (whichever you prefer)
1 handful of raw pistachios
2-3 squirts of vanilla creme liquid stevia (optional, but soooo good)
Small splash of cold strong brewed coffee
Additional crushed pistachios for topping

Directions:
Blend your ingredients, and too with crushed pistachios. Way too easy!

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Don’t ever feel like you have to give up delicious foods to live a healthy plant-based life! It’s just not true. This lifestyle provides so much flavor and indulgence, stay tuned and I’ll show you!

I hope you try and enjoy!
xo Sarah

Raw Vegan Mini Snickers “Cheesecake” Two Ways || Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free

 

When it comes to quenching my husbands insatiable sweet tooth, I find the challenge intriguing. It never fails – around 8:00 pm he wanders into the kitchen and opens the pantry, giving it the “maybe if I glare at you long enough you’ll produce something sweet and delicious” stare.  I like to have some type of vegan treat made up for those moments, so he has a healthier option to go to than the typical desserts we both grew up eating.

Needless to say, when he found out there were snickers cheesecakes in the freezer he didn’t wait until 8:00 that night to eat them! I believe the term is “wolfed them down”. These were so fun to create, and the different variations you can make with this simple recipe are endless. So, let’s get started..
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Ingredients:

Crust:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
4 large pitted/soaked medjool dates
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp gluten free oat flour
1 tbsp mini cacao nibs

Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake mix:
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp agave
1/4 cup raw peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
palm full of raw peanuts

Chocolate PB Snickers Cheesecake mix:
Same ingredients as above, add 1-2 tbsp raw cacao.

Instructions:

For the crust – In food processor, process first 4 ingredients then stir in cacao nibs.

Sprinkle oat flour in the bottom of each mini cheesecake dish or one small/medium size dish (this helps it to not stick to the bottom).
Press the crust into each tin and set aside.

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Next, blend all PB Cheesecake ingredients (minus the raw peanuts) – add raw peanuts nuts over the crust and pour PB cheesecake mixture in two ramekins.

Use the left over mixture and add 1-2 tbsp raw cacao to it – blend and add to last ramekin.

Put each cake into the freezer for 3-4 hours.

 

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Once frozen, pop out of the ramekins and let set for 1-3 minutes to soften before eating.

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And there you have it folks, creamy dreamy deliciousness.

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I hope your Wednesday is beautiful!

xo Sarah

Vegan Cinnamon Berry Fig Bars | Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Fat-Free, Dairy-Free

Well friends, it is officially the first day of fall. I am so looking forward to all the things this season brings – chunky knit sweaters, homemade soups, cool evenings at the park, orange colored trees, and baking like it’s my job. This is such a comforting time of year. I wanted to kick it off with a new recipe, so I got my little 3 year old sidekick in the kitchen and we came up with these – cinnamon berry fig bars. The perfect “first day of Autumn” breakfast.

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Ingredients:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup mixed frozen berries
2-3 figs

To a large bowl, add:

3 ripe organic bananas
1/2 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cup organic gluten-free oats
1/4 tsp natural salt
1 tsp organic baking powder

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Pour into bowl and mash all together. Add 1 tbsp ground cinnamon.

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Mix well. Spoon half the oat mixture onto parchment paper and spread into desired shape.

Next, to your food processor add:

1 cup blended frozen berries (I used pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
2/3 figs (fresh or dried)
Blend on high until all if combined and easily spread.

Spoon your berry mixture in top and spread evenly.IMG_5904.PNG

Add the rest of your oat mixture in top and spread to cover the berry layer. Bake at 375F for 30-35 mins or until firm in top.

Let cool and then cut and serve!

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Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did this morning. Happy fall to each of you – from my little one and me!

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xo Sarah

Homemade Marbled Vegan Chocolate Espresso/Cinnamon Vanilla Creme Banana Bread

The smell of banana bread filling my little house, permeating every corner is enough to ensure a good day ahead. There is something so comforting about baking to me – just getting in the kitchen and experimenting with all my favorite flavors and textures until I come up with something new. A new recipe to add to the book I plan to hand down to my daughter, that she can add to, and one day and hand down to her babies. Getting in the kitchen with her and watching her little hands as they carefully add in the flour, try to peel the bananas, and attempt to spoon in the cacao powder (which spills out just a bit, every time) – just does things to my mamma heart. Life is about these little moments. These sweet little moments, that create richness and a calm to these crazy lives we lead.

So here is our creation of the day. Our hands got messy, our counters got dirty, and our tummies got full. That is a successful Sunday morning my friends.

Homemade Marbled Vegan Chocolate Espresso/Cinnamon Vanilla Creme Banana Bread

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (can sub for gluten free flour if you need to!)
4 super ripe bananas
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp pure raw maple (can use raw agave if you prefer)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cacao
1tbsp strong brewed coffee
1 squirt vanilla Creme Stevia
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

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Instructions:

Blend together first 6 ingredients and divide in half. To one half – add cacao and strong brewed coffee and blend. To the other half, add vanilla creme and cinnamon and blend. Add chocolate espresso mixture to oiled bread pan, then add cinnamon vanilla creme mixture on top and swirl together. Bake at 350F for 40 mins. Serve warm.

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I hope your Sunday is sweet – full of delicious little moments to calm the busy in your life.

All the love,
xo Sarah