Vegan Food Nerd


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Peanut Butter Pie!

20140626_190927Peanut butter and chocolate and pie. I already knew I loved peanut butter and chocolate together, but putting them into a pie?! Oh man. This is a game changer. This recipe from the Minimalist Baker tastes pretty much like one giant peanut butter cup. The filling is fairly light, while the chocolate is a bit rich so it’s a great combination. I made this for a birthday boy who really loved it. I used some coconut and toasted pecans to top the pie with, but you can use any chopped nut or just leave it ungarnished if you wish (but the crunchy texture from the nuts is lovely).

Recipe adapted from Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie over at the Minimalist Baker.

Notes:

  • The Mustard Seed co-op sells vegan graham pie crusts so I used one for this recipe since it was ready to go in my freezer. You might be able to find something similar at your own local store. You can easily make your own pie crust though with vegan graham crackers pulsed in your food processor, mix in some melted earth balance or coconut oil and press into a pie dish.
  • The coconut milk must be chilled to make your whipped cream as this separates the fat portion from the liquid portion and you only want the solid stuff.
  • I actually preferred to slice the pie while it was still frozen, then allowing it to defrost before serving. It can be a bit tricky to slice otherwise. Just remove from the freezer and let it sit for about 5 minutes to make this easier to do.

Ingredients

1 vegan graham pie crust
1 12-14oz package firm silken tofu (I use Mori-Nu)
1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge at least overnight

Chocolate Ganache Topping
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli brand will give a nice rich topping)
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (coconut milk preferred, but almond milk works too)
1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Garnish (optional)

1/3 cup chopped, roasted nuts (peanuts or pecans would work)
1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut

1) Preheat oven to 375 F.

2) Bake pie crust for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely. In the meantime make your filling.

3) Add tofu, peanut butter and maple syrup to a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. If your peanut butter is unsalted you may want to taste and add a pinch of salt to your liking.

4) Whip your coconut milk into coconut whipped cream using my previous post for instructions.

5) Once nice and fluffy, gently fold your peanut butter mixture into the coconut whipped cream.

6) Pour filling into crust and smooth with a rubber spatula. Pop into the freezer for about 1 hour to chill.

7) Prepare ganache topping by adding chocolate chips, non dairy milk and coconut oil into a pan on low-medium heat. Stir gently and a smooth ganache should form.

8) Pour the ganache over the pie filling and use a rubber spatula to spread if necessary. Top with chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut or a mixture of both and pop back into the freezer to allow to set.

9) When ready to serve, remove from freezer and allow to defrost slightly before slicing and serving. Keep covered with plastic wrap and store in the freezer if there are leftovers.

Makes 1 super delicious pie!

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Chocolate Cherry Muffins

20140805_181734I didn’t see any cherries at the market this week, so even though their season may have ended I had to post this delicious muffin recipe that I used when they were available. Maybe you were smart enough to get some extra cherries and freeze them? They would work perfectly here! Or maybe you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate so local cherries are still abundant. For my fellow Ontario bakers, I’m sorry for not posting this sooner! I haven’t tried it myself, but some other fruit would probably work well too.

I adapted this recipe from the Minimalist Baker. The original recipe was for 9 muffins, but I doubled it and made a few small changes. 

Notes:

  • The flour mixture I used here gave a really nice crumb to the muffin, but I’m sure using just all purpose, or just whole wheat pastry flour will work just fine.
  • Same goes for the sugars – all brown sugar or all coconut sugar should work fine here.

Ingredients

2/3 cup almond flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups almond milk (unsweetened and unflavoured)
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh, pitted cherries – chopped
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips or mini chips

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1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin tins with liners or grease with coconut oil.

2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

3. Measure out almond milk in a large measuring cup, add applesauce, oil, vanilla and almond extract and stir. If using coconut oil it may start to firm up again – microwave to heat and melt again.

4. Add wet to dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in cherries and the chocolate until just combined. Save some chocolate to top the muffins with when they are in the tins if you please.

5. Spoon into muffin tins – fill them most of the way!

6. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let rest in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 18 muffins.


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Zucchini Banana Bread with Pumpkin Seeds

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Last summer I could not keep up with the zucchini that was coming out of my garden. I baked with it, cooked with it, ate it raw, and gave it away. This year for some reason I thought planting two zucchini plants would be a good idea despite the overload last year. We have actually had a strange growing season this summer due to the inconsistent weather and frequent colder temperatures so we actually got a smaller yield despite the extra plant. Regardless, looking for different ways to use the zucchini can be a challenge. Luckily, Isa over at theppk.com has a wonderful Zucchini Banana Bread recipe that I adapted the other night to suit my pantry. It came out so wonderfully moist and delicious! If you have the following ingredients at the moment, you should probably stop what you’re doing and bake away!

Notes:

  • We made two loaves, so halve the ingredients if you only want to make one. But you should probably make two.
  • We used coconut oil spray to grease the loaf pans and they popped right out! You could also line the pans with parchment paper to pull the loaves out easily if you prefer.

Ingredients

2 large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 8×4 metal bread pans with coconut oil spray or a little earth balance.

2) In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add the apple sauce,  oil, sugar, and vanilla and use a strong fork to mix well. Mix in the grated zucchini.

3) Mix together the dry ingredients – flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt – in a measuring cup or medium sized bowl. Add two cups of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix to combine.

4) Add the nuts and chocolate chips and the rest of the flour mixture, and mix just until no visible flour is left.

5) Divide the batter evenly in your two prepared pans – I just did this by eye. Sprinkle some more chocolate chips and nuts on top if you like as this will give your loaves a nice presentation.

6) Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or knife. If it needs more time, turn heat down to 325 F and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

7) Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves

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Brown Sugar Peach Muffins

20140826_131141I saw this muffin recipe on theppk.com and immediately knew I wanted to try them out. They have plenty of peach bites throughout, with just the right amount of sweetness. I only made a few changes based on the flours I had in my pantry, so feel free to go with the original recipe, or my slightly adapted version.

Notes:

  • Feel free to use only all purpose or only whole wheat pastry flour if that’s what you have on hand – I like the texture using a bit of almond flour adds
  • You can also leave out the nutmeg if you don’t have any in the cupboard.
  • I like to blanch my peaches which makes for easy peeling – Isa also recommends leaving the skins on if you like but if you have tougher outer skins I’d recommend peeling them first.
  • The original recipe says it makes 12 muffins, but I made 14. Next time I would just add the extra batter to fill up the 12 muffins further so that they are a bit bigger.

Recipe adapted from Isa at theppk.com

Ingredients

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup almond milk (unflavoured and unsweetened)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups peeled and chopped peaches (from approx 3 large peaches)

1) Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

2) In a large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices)

3) In a large measuring cup combine the wet ingredients (applesauce, almond milk, vinegar, oil and vanilla)

4) Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine with a wooden spoon until ‘just mixed’

5) Add the peaches and fold into your batter.

6) Scoop batter into greased muffin tins. They will be quite full. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp of brown sugar on top of each.

7) Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. After a few minutes, transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Makes 12 muffins.

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