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

Garden Vegetable Pizza with a 4 Ingredient Crispy Garlic Whole Wheat Crust || (Vegan, Fat-Free, Oil-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free)

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I love pizza. Who doesn’t?! It’s one of those foods that tops the list for just about everyone. Unfortunately it also tops the list of unhealthy, fat-filled, processed junk foods that we get to feel guilty about eating immediately after. Most pizzas are covered in sugary sauces, cheeses high in saturated fat, and greasy processed meats that literally pile on pounds. This is definitely not a meal you’d typically think of as being healthy, full of good complex carbs, bright colored vegetables, deep leafy greens, and packed with cell-fueling, cancer fighting ingredients. Well let me introduce you to my version!

This crust has just 4 simple ingredients. Let’s get to the recipe!

Crust:
3 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 packet rapid rise yeast
2 tsp garlic salt

Toppings:
Swiss Chard
Spinach
Kale
Zucchini noodles
Chopped zucchini
Chopped red bell pepper
Chopped yellow bell pepper
Chopped sweet onion
Chopped tomato
Chickpeas
Banana peppers

Instructions:

Combine 1 cup warm water and 1 packet of rapid rise yeast – let this set for 3 minutes then combine with your flour and 1 tsp garlic salt. Mix well, adding the 2 extra tbsp of water as needed.
Kneed well into a ball and separate into fourths – roll out one ball very thin and then sprinkle on the rest of your sea salt/garlic powder mix.

Bake on parchment at 400F for 5 mins, take out and add your toppings.
Place back in the oven and reduce heat to 350F. Bake for another 15 minutes or until crust is crispy and fully cooked.

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I like my crust very well-done and very crispy! You can adjust the cook time to your liking.

As far as toppings go, the more the merrier! Pile on your favorites vegetables. If you like pizza sauce, it’s so easy and simple to make your own – just find a recipe that suites you. I’ve also used things like hummus, pesto, and butternut squash puree in place of sauce, all of which are very good! But my favorite is just pure vegetables with a generous squirt of fresh lemon juice on top.

Considering there isn’t any salt in the actual dough, I am generous when sprinkling it on the top.
You can easily leave it off completely if you prefer!

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If you like a thicker crust, you can make a flatbread pizza using this same recipe.
Simply roll out the dough and leave it slightly thicker – it’s delicious as well! (Pictured below!)

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I served this flatbread with a simple zucchini noodle salad – zucchini noodles, Swiss chard, kale, spinach, peppers, lime juice, and garlic salt.

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I hope you try and enjoy! Have a blessed day everyone.
xo Sarah

Roasted Garlic & Smoked Paprika Okra

Any time I eat okra, I can’t help but think of my sweet Nana. I remember vividly as a child, watching her cook in her little kitchen – a small framed woman bursting with this warm gentle spirit. She made everything from scratch, and without measuring a single ingredient, her recipes came out perfect every time. A good motto for us in our kitchen is “WWND” (what would Nana do). She’s not with us anymore, but she is missed greatly by all the people she left behind here – that precious woman left her mark in many hearts.

One of my favorite things she use to make was her homemade crunchy fried okra. I can’t promise that her recipe was healthy, low fat, or low calorie – but it was delicious. Like, eat 3 plates full and crawl to the living room for a 5 hour nap/coma kind of delicious. My diet has evolved pretty drastically over the years, but my love for okra stays the same. My recipe is different though – I bake instead of fry, and use fresh seasonings instead of breading. It brings out the true taste of the vegetable that I love so much, and allows me to still enjoy a meal that brings back such sweet memories.

Take a bowl full of fresh okra and cut into large piece

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Add 2-3 tbsp vegetable broth to coat, so the seasoning sticks.

Sprinkle of garlic powder, smoked paprika, and natural pink salt.

Bake on non-stick foil at 375F for 40-45 minutes, flipping halfway through.

 

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Easy as that – delicious, oil-free, baked seasoned okra. I hope you enjoy, friends!

 

Have a beautiful day!

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

The Perfect Oil-Free Baked Potato Wedges with Vegan Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce

My goodness, is there anything more satisfying to the soul than warm carbs? A big plate of fresh baked wedges, my cozy bed, and a really good book (deep sigh..) – now, I know the typical french fry is seen as one of those foods we dare not eat unless we want it stuck to our thighs, but that isn’t even close to what the real thing is. I’m talking slightly crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, bursting with natural flavor – void of the excess chemicals and oils that our friendly fast food chains love to coat on. These are the kind of complex carbs our bodies thrive on!

Carbohydrates get a bad rap here in the US. I am constantly hearing about the fad “low-carb diets” that allow you to drop weight quickly – but there is nothing about these fad diets that will sustain a healthy lifestyle or a healthy weight in the long run. Our bodies need these complex carbs – GOOD carbs, to live an active life! So don’t quit the carbs, quit the chemicals. Quit the processed “foods” that are literally created in labs, and start indulging in more fuel from the earth. Your body will thank you for it, I promise.

 

The Perfect Baked Wedges with Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce| southernblondevegan.com

Baked Oil-Free Wedges:

Simply wash and peel 1 sweet potato, and 1 regular potato.
Cut into wedges and dump in a large bowl.
Pour enough vegetable broth over the fries to evenly coat.
Season with garlic powder and my favorite pink natural salt (pictured below) – bake at 375F for 45 minutes on non-stick foil, flipping halfway through.

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Let them crisp up for 3-4 minutes on the sheet after you take them out.

Sriracha Cashew Cream Sauce:

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1/2 cup soaked (overnight) cashews
1 tbsp Sriracha (more if you like more heat!)
1/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
1 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp pink natural salt

Blend on high in your food processor until creamy. Enjoy friends!

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I also recently did an interview with a herohealthroom.com – (Interview with Sarah Argo of SouthernBlondeVegan.com)-  about some of my personal reasons behind a vegan diet, raising my toddler vegan, and advice I would give to anyone interested in making the transition. Definitely check out this website for great healthy inspiration!

 

I hope your week is lovely. Life is good today.

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