Vegan Milkshake

*sigh*

being a senior in high school, college app season has just ended. i’ve got 11 in, so now i must wait.

to keep myself from going insane, i’ve been busy with friends, school, photography, and modeling.

unfortunately, something other than the wait has tipped me over the edge. i recently moved, and had to live without a kitchen. hey, I love eating out, but a girl’s gotta cook. now that the oven is in, you can catch me making batch after batch of berlinerkranser, rum blondies, and éclairs at 10pm. good times.

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in these days of attempting to balance laziness with ambition (and hunger), i recreated sam of so beautifully raw’s vegan milkshake. it was a game changer.


Vegan Milkshake

serves one

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk and/or coconut cream
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs sugar or honey  
  • cinnamon to top

method of preparation:

blend and top with cinnamon.

yup. that’s it.

Skoleboller

hello from norway!

right now, i’m in the mountains of bergsdalen, just a hop from bergen.

the land here is covered in colorful mosses, berries, and sti- little trails made by the local wildlife. sheep roam the hillsides while rain and melted snow keep everything green. people drop by neighboring cabins after hikes to drink the home-brewed beer that fills every cellar.

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i’ve had a great past few weeks filled with family, hiking, and of course, eating.

i’d forgotten how good the food is here. breakfast and lunch consist of nutty cheeses, goat or cow, and homemade jams over thick-sliced, whole-grain, homemade bread. dinner is typically meat or fresh fish with boiled potatoes, carrots, and lingonberry jam.  a dessert of sugared waffles, vanilla ice cream, rhubarb pie, or cake, all topped with berries, is paired with black coffee and aquavit.

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i’ve taken these past few weeks here as an opportunity to learn family recipes from my grandmother. school rolls- skoleboller -have been my dad’s favorite pastry since childhood, so i was compelled to make them before anything else.


Skoleboller- A Norwegian Sweetroll

makes 2 dozen

a family recipe translated from norwegian

ingredients:

 bread-

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tbs yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup milk

custard filling-

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbs milk
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbs heavy cream
  • 2 tsp potato flour
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean stalk, seeded but reserved

icing-

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

shaved coconut to top

 

method of preparation:

whisk together dry ingredients, but yeast, and set aside.

prepare yeast by dissolving in 1/8 cup warm water.

whisk together all wet ingredients, including yeast. combine with dry ingredients.

knead dough until shiny, adding milk/flour as necessary. allow to rise for one hour.

to make the custard, whisk together all ingredients until thick. set aside.

to make the icing, whisk together all ingredients. the icing should be thick, so add milk/sugar as necessary. set aside.

divide raised dough into 12-24 even balls. many norwegian bakeries make hand-sized skoleboller, but homemade rolls are often smaller.

make an imprint, where the custard will be poured, in the center each ball. pressing your thumb down, while rotating the dough yields good results.

place rolls on a lined baking sheet.

allow to raise for 30-60 additional minutes.

preheat oven to 425°F.

proportionally scoop custard into the wells bake for 12 minutes.

once cooled, pour icing around custard well and sprinkle with coconut shavings.

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Back to Basics- One Bowl Banana Bread 

Banana bread is one of my favorite things. Ever.

And no- not the chocolate-swirled, berry-dotted, crumble-topped banana bread. Here, I stick to the simple banana, oil, sugar, and flour type.  The breakfast then dessert type that’s gone in a day.  Yeah, just my type.

Plus walnuts, always walnuts…

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Despite the summer heat, which is getting way too high, in my opinion, this bread will make you want to curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and a cup of cocoa.  This is more of a fall recipe, but so what? 

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I just remembered something. There is a handy  trick to getting bananas perfectly ripe.  Just bake them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, until both sides get dark, dark brown. Then use as a regular ripened banana! Easy right? Gotta love life hacks.  

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Let’s dive in! 

Ingredients: 

3 very ripe bananas 

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 large eggs

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/4 tsp nutmeg 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 


Method of preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat together the bananas, oil, honey, maple syrup, and eggs with a hand mixer or fork. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients, except the walnuts, and stir until just combined. Then, fold in the nuts. 

Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour (cry face) or until golden brown and a skewer through the middle comes out clean. Any loaf pan would work, given at least an inch to rise.  

Cool in pan and serve warm or at room temperature, either plain, or with a smear of butter. 

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Vegan Chocolate-Zucchini Bunt Cake

Have you noticed a trend here?

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Chocolate. Chocolate is prevalent in most sweets I make.  As Isa Moskowitz wisely says in my favorite vegan cookbook, Isa Does It, how do people know that it is chocolate that mimics feelings of love? Perhaps its love that mimics the feeling of eating chocolate. I think the latter is correct…

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With all that chocolate, the zucchini is hardly noticeable. But, there is just enough in the cake to make you feel better about eating said piece of cake.  This is the kind that will have you sneaking little bites throughout the day, letting the morsels melt in your mouth. Its vegan too, so no harm can be done, right?

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-This recipe is slightly adapted from the one in the cookbook Isa Does It –

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup almond milk (room temp.)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil + extra to grease

1 tbs. vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

3/4 cup chocolate chips/chunks

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and generously grease a 12-cup bunt pan. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt. Then add the sugar and mix well. Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the apple sauce, milk, oil, and vanilla. Use a whisk to mix the liquids together in the well, then incorporate it into the dry mixture. Once incorporated well, fold in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour into the bunt cake pan and bake on the middle rack for 45-50 minutes. The cake will be denser and less dry then most, so a knife in the middle should come out only somewhat clean. Let it cool for 10+ minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack until the cake is completely cooled.

P.S.- Bet you guys did not notice in the photos, but when inverting the cake, only half came out! This was the first time I’ve made a bunt cake, so next time, I’ll use more oil. If the same happens to you, don’t be discouraged- its the taste that counts! Oh, and don’t mind the eaten piece…

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Tropical Granola

This granola gets addicting. Like having a cup, then another… every day of the week, until its gone. Then, its time to make some more!

Tropical-Granola

The thing I love about granola, is its diversity! There are so many ways to make it your own. Whenever I make this, I make at least 2 different flavors as experiments. This one so far has been my favorite!

Tropical-Granola

With chunks of fresh coconut and various tropical dried fruits, this granola makes me excited to eat breakfast in the morning! It is also makes for a great gift when stored in a mason jar or parchment paper bags.

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Who would not love and appreciate a jar of homemade granola?

Ingredients (Yields to 8 cups):

5 cups  rolled oats (Try Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup almonds

1 tbs. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tbs. chia seeds

1/2 tbs. vanilla extract

1/2 of a small coconut, or 2/3 cup dried coconut shavings

2/3 cup honey

1 cup dried fruit (Pineapple and papaya work well)

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Chop the almonds into fourths and place in a large bowl with the oats, coconut oil, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut open the coconut using a small saw, carful to catch any liquid if you want to keep it. From there, cut the coconut in half again, so you have four pieces, which will make it easier to extract the coconut meat. once you have the meat from two of the fourths, cube them into small pieces and add to the mixture. Make sure to combine the ingredients well, then spread the mix evenly in the prepared pan in one single layer. Depending on the size of the pan, you may have to split the batch up. Drizzle the honey over the mix evenly. Place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping and checking for a light golden color that signifies when it is done. Meanwhile, chop the dried fruit and add it in after the granola has cooled outside of the oven. Store in mason jars for extra cuteness.

Vegan Carrot Cake Pancakes

Sometimes the best thing for a cold Spring morning is hearty, spiced pancakes. These are the kind that physically embody comfort. Some, in my experience, don’t even notice the grated carrots, which can be both good and bad; good if you are finding ways to sneak extra vegetables into a diet, and bad if… well, just add more carrots, and there is no bad side!

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These pancakes are perfect for satisfying your need for cake in the morning. If you keep grated carrots on hand, these would be simple to make on any day.

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I highly suggest making a double batch because you would be surprised at their popularity… and how much you can fit in your stomach, with smoky maple syrup and those crunchy pecans.

*This recipe is adapted from the one in Isa Does It*

The Recipe (Makes 8 small pancakes)

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-propose flour (I’ve yet to try whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
A dash of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup grated (not shredded) carrot- about 1 & 1/2 carrots

The Method:

In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed and milk for a minute, then add the vinegar, water, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla, mixing well. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and the four spices. Add in the mixture from the other bowl and mix until just combined. Now, fold in the grated carrots, and any additional ingredients, like pecans or walnuts. While the batter is resting, heat a large pan on medium heat. Now, lightly coat the pan in more oil, or break the vegan streak with butter. Fry up the batter in 1/3 cup scoops, cooking until lightly browned on both sides, about four minutes each.

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Serve them with more maple syrup and pecans for a lovely taste combination, and enjoy!

Popeye muffins

~Part 1 of 2: Birthday Edition!~

-Recipe adapted from this one

I made these muffins when I wanted a guilt-free snack/breakfast/dessert. I was a bit skeptical of the recipe at first, especially when I made a whole bunch of alterations, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

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I also risked a gluten free version. Being the oddity I am, these were my birthday cakes, so I needed a gluten free kind that others could eat as well. It did not work out…

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They baked for at  least  twice as long as the others, but still came out looking like this! I had to add extra coconut milk and subbed whole wheat to coconut flour. Please, do not attempt at home.

The others taste good though! Don’t call me crazy- try them for yourself and be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients :

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp. vanilla

at least a handful of baby spinach

2 bananas (over-ripe is the best)

1/2 cup +2tbsp. honey

Preparation:

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (the first four ingredients listed). Then, place the rest of the ingredients, excluding the bananas and vanilla, in a blender.

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Now, blend until the spinach is broken down all the way, and add the bananas and vanilla into the mix. When everything is incorporated, pour the ‘smoothie’ into the bowl with the dry ingredients.

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Mix them in well, and make sure it is not clumpy. Pour the mix into lined cupcake tins, about 3/4 of the way.

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Once the oven is pre-heated to 350 degrees F., place the tins into the oven and bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.