Making Not-tella with Hazelnut Flour and a Recipe for Vegan Nutella Swirl Ice Cream!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

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Behold: Hazelnut flour!
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Along with a giant honking bag of red quinoa, the nice people at IFS Bulk also gave me 48 ounces of hazelnut flour to play around with! Prior to this, it didn’t even cross my mind that hazelnuts might come pre-ground, flour style, similar to almonds, cashews, and the like. But they do! And of course I used the flour to make my absolute favorite: vegan nutella!

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My precious!
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So far the only recipe that’s worked for me is the Not-tella from Veganomicon – which, you might recall, I rocked to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a few VeganMoFos back. Anyhow, it’s the only version I’ve tried that actually results in a readily spreadable, creamy nut butter. And while it can be a little tough on ye ole food processor, it’s 1000% worth it.

Still, I wondered if maybe swapping out the whole hazelnuts for hazelnut flour might make the process a wee bit easier? After all, it’s the whole filberts that really make my food process jump and dance and just generally send me into a panicky tailspin. Once they’re processed, things go much more smoothly from there.

And you know what? Hazelnut flour FTW!

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Ooey, gooey, and spreadable at room temp.
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I made a couple of batches of Not-tella – one for ice cream, one for licking from the spoon – and each time the process was pain-free. I didn’t even have to take a break to let the motor rest. From now on it’s nutella with hazelnut flour for this girl.

(More below the fold…)

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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This flavor was inspired by Purely Decadent’s Cherry Nirvana flavor which, according to the internets, has been discontinued. (Boo!) Not that it much matters to me; while Kansas City is home to a surprising number of health food stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Green Acres, to name a few), their selection of vegan foods is uniformly sucky. Just before Halloween Shane trekked down to Overland Park in search of So Delicious’s holiday-flavored ice cream pops (Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn), and he came home empty-handed. Also MIA: Amy’s Daiya Cheese Pizzas; Nayonaise; and Tofurky frozen pockets. WTF!

/ rant.

Anyway, this Chocolate Cherry Chunk Ice Cream is in Cherry Nirvana’s ballpark, but I came up just short of nailing it. The cherry flavor isn’t quite the same, possibly because So Delicious uses a higher-quality cherry extract than I. But the chocolate-covered cherry bits are gangbusters! Pro tip: you may want to make extra for snacking.

The frozen ice cream proved difficult to scoop, but that was totally on account of the frozen bits of chocolatey goodness; the ice cream itself is smooth and creamy. For easier scooping, you can set the chocolate cherries aside and sprinkle them atop the ice cream just prior to serving. Either way. Awesome.

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: Sex Bites

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

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Quick! When I say “Parks & Rec,” which foods pop into your head?

Waffles? Check.

Eggs and bacon? You betcha.

Mac & cheese pizza? Hells yeah!

Bananas? Say what now!?!

Believe it or not, the unassuming banana has a long and storied history on Parks & Rec. From that one time Leslie demonstrated safe sex practices for Pawnee’s seniors with the assistance of a ginormous yellow banana,

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to Ron Swanson’s somewhat epic aversion to this healthy fruit,

bananas have made multiple appearances on Parks and Recreation.

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: Insanely Good Messy Brownie Bites

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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I would like to be president someday, so no, I’ve not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once at a party in college. It was intense. It was kind of indescribable, actually. I felt like I was floating. Turns out there wasn’t any pot in the brownie.
It was just an insanely good brownie.
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I won’t lie: for a second or two (or sixty), I was super-tempted to recycle my not-pot brownies (of VeganMoFo 2012 fame) for this post. I mean, they’re kind of perfect, right? The thyme looks like marijuana, but it totally isn’t! But because I’m not a cheater and (perhaps more to the point) those brownies didn’t photograph particularly well, I decided to make an all-new recipe instead.

I kind of wish I’d went with option A, y’all.

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In theory, the Mini-Rocky Road Brownie Bites from Betty Goes Vegan sound epically awesome: individual, mini-cupcake-shaped brownie bites stuffed with mini Dandies marshmallows, chocolate chips, and roasted peanuts, each with its own crispy round edges and delightful muffin tops.

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Artfully arranged with the least scrappy of the bunch on top.
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In practice? They made me cry. And not in a good way.

(More below the fold…)

Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

(More below the fold…)

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

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This recipe has a kind of funny backstory: I tried to whip up some coconut milk whipped cream, but didn’t realize that I had to separate the solids from the liquids first. Basically I ended up with grainy (because it was still chill) coconut milk. And because that was my last can of coconut milk, I had to put ice cream on my apple pie instead. So sad, right?

Anyway, this is a coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream with a coconut-chocolate bark. The trick is to break up the bark into super-tiny pieces so you don’t break a tooth on it once it’s frozen (says the girl with all the crowns). Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

P.S. Is this an adorable ice cream dish or what? Goodwill, people!. Good. Will.

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Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut + extra as needed

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, remaining soy milk, sugar, and coconut powder; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the “crunch”! Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook for 90 seconds in the microwave, pausing to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. When done, spoon the chocolate out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading it as thin as possible. Sprinkle the coconut shreds on top, pressing down gently with a spatula or spoon. Put the baking sheet in a freezer to chill for about an hour. When cold and hard, break the sheet of chocolate into bite-sized pieces using your hands or a knife. Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. You can add the chocolate chunks to the batter prior putting it in the ice cream machine, if that’s easier for you, or as you dispense (or scoop) the frozen ice cream from the machine. Depending on how chunky you like your ice cream, you may have a handful of chocolate-coconut bark left over; these are great on a sundae, or just for snacking!

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

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Cocoa Crunch Soft Serve

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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After I saw some people on tumblr making ice cream sundaes with sugary cereal, I got to thinking: why not skip a step and put the cereal right in the ice cream? I could make whole flavors based on my favorite cereals! Sadly, I haven’t had much chance to experiment – current weather conditions are more conducive to hot chocolate and hotter tea than they are to ice cream and milkshakes – but I did give Cocoa Puff cereal a whirl. Or rather, Cocoa Roos or whatever the generic, cereal-by-the-bag version is called. Sadly, Cocoa Puffs contains the non-vegan version of Vitamin D (D3), so I had to switch to the store brand, which isn’t quite as tasty. But no sheep parts, yay! (Or at least that I know of; the label doesn’t specify. Damn fortified cereals!)

In addition to the cereal, I added some cocoa powder for an extra-chocolatey taste. It’s really good, and you can definitely detect the cereal’s distinct flavor over all that chocolate. And between the cereal and the bananas, I think we can all agree: this is totally a breakfast food. Dessert at 7AM, does it get any better than this?

 

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Cocoa Crunch Soft Serve

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 cups generic Cocoa Puffs cereal
3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Place one cup of the cereal into a food processor and pulse until it’s almost powdery.

2. Add the bananas to the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

3. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

4. Add the cocoa powder and pulse until blended. Add the rest of the cereal and pulse until it’s broken up into bite-sized bits. Sample the batter and add extra cocoa powder or sugar to taste.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 
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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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Normally I wouldn’t try to claim that ice cream in November is “seasonal,” but pumpkins! Or pumpkin pie spice in this case, which is pretty much the laziest way to make pumpkin pie ice cream. And I’m okay with that! Lazy is good, especially this time of the year. (But if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix on hand, you can totally make your own.)

By the way, don’t you just heart my foam pumpkins? They’re an old family decoration – I’m pretty sure they’re older than I am, much like 25% of my parents’ holiday swag – and my mom gave them to me when I moved out of the house. I’m pretty sure she has a bunch more, including some ginormous, life-sized one. Note to self: raid the attic for Halloween decorations the next time you find yourself in New York.

 

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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the cocoa powder and pumpkin pie spice and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra seasonings to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Serve topped with cocoa powder and cinnamon!

 

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K is for Kelly’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

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With no fewer than six different chocolate chip cookie recipes (not to mention a chocolate chip cookie cake!), you’d think that it would have been difficult for me to choose just one from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur. Alas, it was a no-brainer: I went with Kelly (Peloza’s) Chocolate Chip Cookies, since I belong to the not-so-elite club of Kellys, too. (Growing up there were at least half a dozen other Kellys in my grade. Half of them were also Kelly Anns!)

A veganized version of a cookie Kelly enjoyed in her childhood, this is a chocolate chip cookie unlike any other I’ve tried. It’s light and airy, and basically bakes as-is: the cookies don’t expand at all in the oven.

At first I was concerned that the tops of the cookies didn’t bake all the way through – they seemed a little soft and chewy, like cookie batter – but they firmed up well enough overnight. Still, next time I think I might shoot for smaller cookies, and flatten them down with the palm of my hand before baking. These are some super-thick cookies, since they more or less retain their original shape.

Either way, super-tasty, much like every other recipe I’ve tried from this book. If you like cookies – and c’mon, let’s face it, you know you do! – you should totally give it a try.

Next on my to-do list: the Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies. Or maybe the Root Beer Float Cookies. SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!

K is for Kelly's Choc Chip Cookies [Vegan Cookie Connoisseur] (0030)

 
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Mint Chocolate Chip Banana Ice Cream (with Spinach!)

Friday, June 21st, 2013

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The inspiration for this dessert was simple: I had a huge tub of spinach from Sam’s Club that I needed to use up. Tired of salad, I decided to make it into ice cream. And what taste pairs better with spinach’s bright green coloring than mint? Success! While you can’t taste the spinach, its addition makes this already healthy dessert even better for you.

I still have ~ eight cups of spinach left, though. Chocolate spinach ice cream, anyone? (You think I’m joking, but no so much.)

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
4 cups fresh baby spinach*
1 teaspoon mint extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chocolate bark
powdered sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Place the chocolate chips in the food processor and pulse until broken up into smaller pieces. Remove and set aside.

2. Place the spinach and the mint extract in the food processor and process until the spinach is broken up into small bits and resembles a paste.

3. Add the bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. Sample the batter and add extra mint extract or a bit of sugar if needed. When satisfied, add the chocolate chips and pulse several times – just enough to mix them into the batter.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

* Pro tip: Since spinach is 92% water, the more spinach you add, the more the finished ice cream will resemble sorbet (it’s the water crystals, yo!). I used four cups here – seeing as I had so much on hand – but feel free to adjust the amount to your own liking. Even just a cup or two is sure to give the ice cream a nice, refreshing, minty green tint!

Chocolate Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

Friday, June 7th, 2013

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Raspberries aren’t really my first choice for ice cream – all those annoying little seeds, sticking in between your teeth and interrupting the otherwise smooth, creamy ice cream texture. Nevertheless, it was only a matter of time before I decided to try a raspberry banana ice cream flavor! (I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF.) In order to keep the seeds to a minimum – or at least concentrate them in one area – I cooked the raspberries down into a thick jelly, added some chocolate chips, and swirled the resulting sauce into a batch of chocolate ice cream. As you can imagine, the result was rich and indulgent and totally worth tolerating a few pesky raspberry seeds.

fwiw, the chocolate raspberry sauce also makes a pretty awesome ice cream topping, warm or cold. The more you know!

 

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Chocolate Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Begin by making the chocolate raspberry sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries and sugar. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until the raspberries break down and the sauce thickens up a bit (about 15 minutes). Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and cook until melted, continuing to stir all the while. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Once the sauce has cooled, make the ice cream base. Place the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

3. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and pulse until blended. Same the batter and add extra cocoa or vanilla to taste. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for you (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream and chocolate raspberry sauce to an airtight container. Alternate layers of ice cream and chocolate raspberry sauce, gently stirring with a butter knife as you go. (Four to six layers works well.) Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Pro tip: if you don’t use all the chocolate raspberry sauce, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It makes for a most delicious ice cream topping!

Orange Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Friday, April 19th, 2013

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I was happily snacking away on an orange-flavored chocolate bar when I realized that I’d yet to try a similarly flavored banana ice cream. Clearly that COULD NOT STAND!, and so I remedied the situation asap. Which, in Kelly speak, means a week or so. The tortoise wins the race, yo!

As you can imagine, this is super-delicious and will no doubt become a staple in my freezer. Especially if I get that shiny new Yonanas machine I wishlisted for my birthday. Mom, if you’re reading this….

 

Orange Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/3 cup orange juice concentrate, frozen but thawed slightly
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
orange and/or lemon peel to taste (optional)
maple syrup or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Place the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but maple syrup is perfect here.

3. Add the cocoa powder and orange juice concentrate and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra cocoa powder or orange juice concentrate if desired, as well as orange and/or lemon peel to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Mocha Cappuccino Cookies

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

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From The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur! They didn’t spread out quite as much as I expected – I think the cookies are supposed to be a little thinner, though it’s hard to tell from the picture in the book – but they’re still quite good. Crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the instead, just how cookies ought to be!

I was really craving some soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies, the likes of which you’d find in the store, but most of the chocolate chip recipes in VCC call for applesauce, and I’m all out. Been pounding it with my morning bran flakes something silly. Ah well. Next time fer sure.

On another note, the older I get the less I seem to appreciate chocolate in my cookies. I’m seriously starting to think that there’s something wrong with me. Like, none of my favorite recipes in The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur contain chocolate. Iced Caramel, Chai, Eggnog, Oatmeal Cream Pies – not a flake of chocolatey goodness to be found. Crazy, right? I thought this was supposed to work in reverse with us ladies. Maybe I should talk to a doctor or some food about this?

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Food it is.

Chocolate Hazelnut Soft Serve

Friday, April 5th, 2013

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This isn’t quite the same as Nutella ice cream, but it’s pretty damn close! I was feeling too lazy to whip up a batch of “No-tella” for use in ice cream, so instead I just threw in some of the ingredients (chocolate, hazelnuts, and hazelnut extract) piecemeal. Since Nutella also contains no small amount of oil, this is probably the healthier way to go. And it’s pretty yummy, even if it’s not Nutella-awesome!

Still gonna make Nutella Banana Ice Cream – just not today.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Soft Serve

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

1/2 cup hazelnuts
4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
maple syrup or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until they’re broken up into smaller pieces (roughly 1/8 the size of the original nuts or smaller). Remove from the food processor and set aside.

2. Place the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

3. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I prefer maple syrup or powdered sugar.

4. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and hazelnut extract and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra spices to taste. Add the hazelnuts and pulse to mix.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Chocolate Grape Soft Serve

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

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So this recipe came into being one afternoon when, upon rummaging through the fridge, I discovered that there were no fewer than five jars of jam taking up valuable real estate on the door. Of all the flavors – cherry, raspberry, strawberry, apricot, and grape – it was the combination of grape and chocolate that most appealed to me. I mean, they make chocolate covered grape truffles, right? And so Chocolate Grape Soft Serve was born!

One half of a cup of jelly results in a grape flavor that’s subtle yet distinguishable. Use more or less according to your own tastes. Since the jelly has sugar, it’s doubtful that you’ll need to add any extra sweeteners – but if you do, go with maple syrup or agave nectar. The liquid really helps to get things moving.

Photographed with my adorable Halloween plate since it really hasn’t gotten much play, seeing as I bough it during the 2012 post-autumn clearance sale – and with a ginormous Supernatural coffee table book in the background, because it matches in both colors and content. Witches and ghosts and familiars, oh my!

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Chocolate Grape Soft Serve

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup of grape jelly
more maple syrup or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Place the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. Add the cocoa powder and jelly and pulse until blended. Sample the batter to taste an add extra cocoa powder or jelly to taste. If the ice cream isn’t sweet enough, add a little sweetener; maple syrup works well here!

3. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Chocolate Cinnamon Spice Soft Serve

Friday, March 1st, 2013

2013-02-18 - Chocolate Cinnamon Soft Serve - 0001

A little bit of sugar, a little bit of spice – and a whole lotta chocolate! This banana ice cream is reminiscence of Mexican Hot Chocolate, just a little bit colder. (Think: frozen.)

I used the smallest dash of black pepper, but you can add more or less according to your own taste. Make it cayenne, if you’re feeling daring. Serve topped with chocolate syrup, Dandies, and a light dusting of cinnamon sugar.

 

Chocolate Cinnamon Spice Soft Serve

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of black or cayenne pepper
more maple syrup or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Combine the bananas and maple syrup in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but maple syrup is perfect here.

3. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pepper and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra spices to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

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The idea of avocado pudding never really appealed to me – that is, until the day I found myself with three quickly mushifying avocados on my hands. (Leftovers from my veganmofo blogging. Guacamole, anyone?) One went straight onto a pizza (naturally!), while the other two were beaten into a mushy beige pulp by my trusty Cuisinart. I found a number of avocado pudding recipes on the interwebs – including not a few from paleo websites, oy – and what I came up with is a mashup of my favorites.

All in all, it’s pretty tasty. My main complaint is that the pudding remained a little lumpy, even after a few minutes in the food processor. Probably mine just doesn’t have the juice to liquefy an avocado? No idea. Maybe next time I’ll swap out an avocado for a ripe banana, or perhaps a brick of silken tofu. Either one should make for a creamier pudding, don’t you think?

Pro tip: I have an insatiable sweet tooth, so you may want to start with a tablespoon of sweetener and work up from there. (To save you the trouble of googling it, there are four tablespoons in a quarter cup.)

Serve with chocolate chips, sprinkles, or – if they’re in season – fresh berries. Mmmm, fresh berries.

 

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into medium-sized pieces
1 cup nondairy milk, divided
1/3 cup cocoa powder + extra to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine the avocados and 1/2 cup of the milk. Process for about thirty seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add more milk if the pudding is too thick. Repeat until you’re happy with the results!

2. Once the pudding has reached the desired consistency, add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until smooth and creamy. Sample and add any extra seasonings (vanilla, sweetener, etc.) to taste.

3. Serve immediately, or let chill in the fridge for an hour or more for a firmer dessert.

Eat to the Beat: Not-Pot Brownies & Willie Nelson

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

The song: “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” by Willie Nelson (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Not-Pot (it’s Thyme, yo!) Chocolate Chip Brownies (recipe below)

The connection: Weed. Pot. Dope. Grass. Ganja. THC. Cannabis. Skunk. Hash. Mary Jane. Chris Christie. Mexican Lung Confetti.

 

Liberal activist. Long-haired hippie. Lovable stoner. Country rock legend. What can you say about Willie Nelson other than FUCK YEAH!? (Or, perhaps more to the point, I wish he’d adopt one of my parents so I could have the coolest grandfather of all time?) Nothing, that’s what. He’s Willie Fucking Nelson!

 

Not-Pot Brownies (b-0021)

With denim, cuz that’s how Willie rolls.
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When I think of Willie – in the context of food, that is – the first thing to come to mind is a big, fat pot brownie. Or a space cake. Or maybe a hash cookie. Basically all the foods with the drugs. (As it turns out, there’s quite a few of ’em!) So in Willie’s honor, I’d like to share with you a batch of Chocolate Chip Brownies. But they’ll have to be Not-Pot Brownies, seeing as my state doesn’t have a medical marijuana law (boo!).

While oregano is the usual hilarious prop stand-in for pot, I chose thyme since it goes well with chocolate. That’s what a chef told me, anyway, when I accidentally put thyme on my chocolate coconut milk ice cream and posted the evidence for its comedic value.

 

Chocolate Sprinkles vs. Thyme (0001)

Exhibit A in my case against Edward & Sons.
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(Not my fault! I was going for the chocolate sprinkles and grabbed the thyme by accident, on accounta Edward & Sons puts their sprinkles in these ridiculous little cellophane packages and I needed a container to store them after they were opened because the bag isn’t resealable and so I used an old spice container that’s identical to the thyme and you do the math! Like I said not my fault! Okay, maybe 20%. But that’s all I’ll concede!)

And she was totes right. These brownies are pretty damned tasty. I started with my old stand-by brownie recipe (anyone remember this from last MoFo’s Iron Chef? Bueller?) and added some ground thyme to taste – as well as dried thyme to garnish. That easy! I imagine that baking with pot is a little tougher, but probably you don’t care because POT. Everything is rainbows and unicorn farts.

This brownie recipe is a little on the cakey side, so if you prefer your brownies chewy or fudgey or whatnot, just add a teaspoon of ground thyme to your own favorite version for the same effect.

As far as the tunes go, any Willie Nelson song is a fine choice because WILLIE NELSON. In keeping with my unofficial, not-quite-a-theme, mini-Supernatural-theme-within-a-theme, I’m going with “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” tearfully dedicated to Cas and Dean.

 


 

THEIR LOVE IS LEGENDARY!

(More below the fold…)

Eat to the Beat: Not-tella & Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

 

The song: “Black Tongue” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Not-tella from Veganomicon

The connection: This vegan nutella is so addictive you’ll be sneaking it by the spoonful – and your black tongue will totally Cindy Brady you!

 

A few months ago – after downing a very expensive jar of Justin’s Hazelnut Butter in record time – I ordered a five pound bag of hazelnuts online and resolved to make my own damn vegan nutella! Using various recipes found on the interwebs, I spent a several consecutive Sunday afternoons experimenting, with little success. No matter what I did (or did not do), the nutella came out the same: thick and pasty and not at all creamy like the name brand stuff. (Not even the vegan name-brand stuff, which prides itself on not being reminiscent of cake frosting – like a certain other non-vegan brand which shall remain nameless. To which I say: what’s wrong with frosting for breakfast, hmmm?)

My spread? Un-spreadable!

And so I despaired, gave up. Decided to use my failed batches in banana ice cream – where they were slightly more edible – and call it a day. That is, until I found the recipe for Not-tella in Veganomicon. (Waaaay in the back. Further. Further. Right…there!) Though it requires some hard(er)-to-find ingredients that I had to order online – namely, hazelnut oil and liquor – I couldn’t resist. Didn’t even wanna. If anyone can perfect the art of homemade vegan nutella, I thought, Isa and Terry can.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (1-0011)

Fresh Not-tella with Windmill cookies and Dandies. Fight you for it!
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OH MY DOG, Y’ALL, THIS RECIPE IS GENIUS! Seriously, it worked like a charm. After my second failed attempt I worried that perhaps my food processor wasn’t strong enough; I came to Not-tella expecting a long day of pulsing and resting, pulsing and resting, with little hope of victory. (The authors recommend this, to help prevent overworking your machine’s motor.) Alas, I had a fresh batch of Not-tella within the hour! Rich, creamy, smooth. Oh so spreadable. Even when chilled!

I think the trick is the order in which you add all the ingredients: hazelnuts, followed by extract and the dry ingredients, and finally the soy milk powder and oil. Pulse, add, pulse, add. Crumble, crumble, milkshake.

Every other recipe I’ve seen – and tried – instruct you to process the hazelnuts until they form a thick, oily paste – at which point you toss in the rest of the ingredients all in one big jumble. (Or, worse yet, process everything all at once. The horrors!) When done in this order, I had trouble getting the oil to fully mix with the nuts (etc.) – I ended up with quite a bit of separation, and the oil that did “take” didn’t seem to add any creaminess to the final product. Even accounting for the fact that Isa and Terry’s version uses more oil (we’re talking three to six times more!), I still wasn’t able to go back and “fix” previous batches with the addition of extra oil (and not even when that oil was hazelnut instead of the less expensive vegetable).

Yup, it’s got to be the order. There’s no other explanation!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t temped to go back and retry the original recipes, to see if I can make them work based on the Not-tella – but what’s the point? This is perfection, my friends! Sweet, sugary, chocolatey, nutty perfection. It can’t get any better than this, so why try?

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0083)

Caution: Your vegan nutella will get gooey in the sun! (So sunbathe away!)
——————————

Enjoy it on bread or on crackers; on graham crackers (maybe with some Dandies?) or sugar cookies. Serve with some fruit so that you can at least pretend it’s healthy. Get crazy and make a nutella and cookie butter sammie! (Just don’t drive or operate heavy machinery, mkay?) Mix in it with ice cream, or put it on top. Me, I can’t stop eating it straight outta the container. Once that spoonful leaves, there’s no chance it’ll make it further than my mouth. SO GOOD.

 

No-Tella from Veganomicon (2-0027)

Gozer, making a brief cameo in order to steal my Not-tella.
(The joke’s on him, I made a quadruple batch! True story.)
Spoiler alert: We’ll see him again on Halloween!
——————————

Hmmm. I’m beginning to regret not ordering the extra value triple pack of hazelnut oil. How could I possibly use all three, I asked myself? Better just to buy one. Ugh so many regrets!

Paired with “Black Tongue” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs because that’s what you’re tongue will look like, when you’ve a batch of Not-tella in the fridge. Also, I just really really really wanted to make this for Vegan MoFo, and this was the first song to come to mind!

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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Eat to the Beat: Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy & Alannah Myles

Monday, October 8th, 2012

 

The song: “Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy, made with homemade vegan white chocolate

The connection: Is chocolate, with a southern pecan twang.

 

Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy (0019)

 

For this song, I wanted to make something both chocolaty and southern. (Though I suppose a fried peanut butter and banana sammie would have worked just as well!) Chocolate Pecan Pie is the obvious choice, but I didn’t want to be clichéd (or inadvertently eat an entire pie all by my little lonesome. Hey, it’s been known to happen!) After a little searching, I found this recipe for Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy on My Recipes. So Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy it is!

Ah, but there’s a catch: vegan white chocolate. Anyone who’s been vegan through a holiday season or two is familiar with this holy grail of vegan baking ingredients. Rare and expensive!

The first bar to come up in my search was The White Bar by Vegan Organica. A 3.5 ounce bar sells for $6.99 on Vegan Essentials. As soon as I saw the price, my jaw dropped: I’d need four bars for the recipe! I’ve spent a tidy little sum of money on foods and utensils that I don’t usually have on hand for this month’s Vegan MoFo meals – but $28 plus shipping on chocolate alone? Ugh, there’s no way I could justify that.

Luckily, some of the other hits were recipes for vegan white chocolate. Time to get my experiment on!

For this recipe, I needed to buy cocoa butter, soy milk powder (already on my list for a few other recipes), and a candy bar mold. The first two ingredients were easy enough, but I found myself stymied by the bar mold. For a newb like myself, buying an appropriately sized candy mold can prove a daunting prospect, since manufacturers don’t go into much detail on product listings or seem to have a standard way of describing things. (Sometimes I’m not even sure how many molds I’m buying! I NEED TWENTY LIFE-SIZED VULVAS AND I NEED THEM NOW!)

In the end, I went with this 3-bar mold by CK Products and sold on Amazon. Pro tip:if you’re using this mold, a double batch of this recipe fills the three cavities perfectly!

 

Vegan White Chocolate from Bitter Sweet (0007)

 

All in all, vegan white chocolate is shockingly easy to make! Just microwave the cocoa butter (gently, it’s delicate!), stir in the other ingredients, pour into a mold, and chill. My first batch came out perfectly, though my second was a little grainy. Maybe I should have cleaned the bowl between batches one and two? I keep thinking that the batter clinging to the bowl interacted less than favorably with the melting cocoa butter, somehow preventing it from becoming as smooth as it could have been.

Whatever, I’m not too concerned; now that I know how many batches fill a mold, I won’t be running into that problem again anyway!

Grains or not, it was still delicious.

Now for the pecan candy. As easy as the white chocolate is, the chocolate pecan candy is even more of a no-brainer: toast the pecans, assemble the dark and white chocolate in a checkerboard pattern on a shallow pan, and bake until melted. Swirl the chocolate; on go the pecans and salt. Chill and you’re done!

 

Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy (0012)

 

Unfortunately, the white chocolate didn’t quite melt as expected. As it got hotter, the liquids and solids separated from each other: the liquids, running to one end of the pan whilst the solids stayed put. Possibly this is because I baked the chocolate longer than recommended. You see, I thought that the dark chocolate would liquefy and even out as it melted – but it mostly retained it original shape! So I had no idea it was done until I lost patience and poked it with a toothpick. By that time, the white squares were mostly grainy bits, with airy cells separating them, like in a sponge. All the melty bits had migrated to the sides of the bar.

I might have gotten better results if I’d stuck to the recommended bake time – but I suspect that the white chocolate still would have separated a bit. It started happening so soon in the process. I’m curious to see if the store-bought chocolate does the same, just not thirty dollars’ worth of curious.

Though I despaired, I swirled the chocolate as best I could, then added the nuts and salt and popped the whole shebang in the fridge.

 

Salty Chocolate Pecan Candy (0031)

 

The next morning, a pleasant surprise awaited me. While it’s nowhere near as pretty as the non-vegan version, it’s still pretty tasty: sweet and salty, with toasted pecan goodness for protein! The grainy-but-with-air bits feel weird on the tongue, but they still have a nice flavor. Overall, not a rousing success – but not the epic failure I’d feared, either.

On another note, I’ve started using some of my old dresses and long skirts as “table dressing” for my food photos. What do you think?

 

New Strategy - Dress Dressing for My Food Photos (0003)

 

True story: as I was carrying this dress slung over my shoulder, I passed the mister in the hallway. He shot me a strange look.

“What, don’t you like my dress?”

“Oh, I thought it was a Pilgrim costume.”

Snap! Must’ve been the collar.

 

veganmofo 2012
Eat to the Beat

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