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 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

Vegan Gluten-Free Southwestern Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas

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Holy guacamole. I think quesadillas should have their own food group. Since going plant-based vegan a few years ago this is the first time I’ve recreated them in a healthy animal-free way, and I have NO CLUE what took me so long! These are wholesome, filling, guilt-free, low-fat, PACKED with nutrients (sweet potatoes are one of the best foods you can possibly eat), and even better than I remember them being in restaurants. I will also add  my really simple guacamole recipe, because it should be smothered on most everything – especially these!

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Ingredients:

1 Food for Life Gluten Free Brown Rice Tortilla
1/2 mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup slow cooked black beans
1/2 clove minced garlic
1 tbsp minced onion
1/4 diced seeded jalapeno (more of less depending on how hot you like it)
1 diced Roma tomato
1 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. In a skillet, cook minced garlic and onion on low for 3-5 minutes, then add black beans and cumin powder. Cook until beans are heated through. Skin your steamed sweet potato and mash half, then stir in your black beans, and all the other ingredients. Spread the mixture on half of your tortilla then fold over the other half and bake for 8-10 minutes on each side. Serve with a big scoop of guacomole and fresh pico de gallo.

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Creamy Guacomole:

1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp diced seeded jalapeno
2 tbsp diced cheery tomatoes
1 tbsp diced sweet onion
1 tbsp fresh minced cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
cracked pepper/sea salt to taste

Combine all and mash until you get your desired consistency.
I like mine very creamy and easily spreadable, so I add a bit more lime juice as I go to get a creamier texture. Do what you like!
This makes a small batch – double or triple to make more at once. It keeps well sealed in the fridge.

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I always have some pre-made to spread on toast, salads, fresh vegetables, or whatever else is laying around! Avocados are such an excellent source of healthy fats and this delicious side dish is full of great vitamins and nutrients for your body.

 

If there are any of your favorite dishes you’d like to see “veganized” please comment them below! I always love a good challenge. Have a great week 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

Cinnamon Roasted Figs and Fuji Apples

How heavenly are figs? I have yet to meet someone who eats them and doesn’t respect their gooey creamy delicious sweetness! I love to really play these bad boys up by slow roasting them with my favorite apple (Fuji, of course!) and let the flavors intensify and melt together like the heavenly gifts from God that they are! If you think I’m being dramatic, you just need to try this. You’ll become a bit zealous for them too!

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Simply slice 3 organic figs and 1 organic fuji apple into bite size chunks and sprinkle with cinnamon
and a bit of organic Stevia (optional) – roast at 375F for 15 mins on foil.
Take out of the oven and fold foil over to steam them together. Eat warm. Eat slow.

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I hope you enjoy! God bless the rest of your day.
xo Sarah