Category Archives: Recipes

Un-Peanut Butter

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I used to be a peanut-butter by the spoonful kinda girl. Prior to my son’s diagnosis with food allergies, I was able to fully appreciate the many wonders of the peanut. This is both really awesome and really horrible. Awesome because peanuts are amazing things and I really can’t get enough of peanut butter. Horrible because I haven’t been able to find an alternative nut butter that tastes as good as peanut butter. — Until now!

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups raw or roasted cashews, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp almond butter OR 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup corn or canola oil, plus extra
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

Procedure:

1. If your nuts aren’t roasted, roast them. Pop them on a cookie sheet and toast them in an oven or toaster oven on BROIL until they start to turn golden brown. Broil cooks quickly, so watch them closely!

2. Add oil and cashews to a blender or magic bullet. A food processor should work as well. Process on high speed for 30 seconds or so. If the blender clogs up, add an additional splash of oil.

3. Add almonds to the blender if not using almond butter.

4. Continue adding oil and blending until the butter is smooth and thick. Add sugar, salt, and optional almond butter and blend again. Butter will be thick!

5. Scoop nut butter into a half pint or larger mason jar, screw the lid on tightly and refrigerate.

*NOTE: Nut butter will last for at least a month in the fridge, or a week or two on the  counter. Refrigeration is recommended. Makes approximately 1.5 cups.

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Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Mmm, these potatoes are creamy, dreamy, and so delicious! Cheesy and filling, they’ll please the little ones while appealing to the grown ups too. Plus, the subtle hint of garlic will keep you coming back for more!

You Will Need:

Procedure:

  1. Cut potatoes into quarters. Boil in salted water for 20-30 minutes, or until fork tender. 
  2. Drain potatoes and mash, skins on.
  3. Stir in cheese first and stir until melted.
  4. Mix in seasonings, yogurt, and ranch dressing. Serve piping hot.

Vegan Ranch Dressing

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Okay, readers, this one is a new personal favorite. Upon tasting the end result, I literally got emotional. Before the birth of my son and his subsequent diagnosis with food allergies, I was a big ranch dressing eater. I mean BIG. I put it on chips, in potatoes, on veggies, and on salads. For the past 18 months, I haven’t touched the stuff. Until today! I came up with a vegan, allergy friendly version of ranch dressing that tastes exactly the way it is supposed to taste. Today, my heart is happy!

You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup dairy free soy free yogurt, plain. 
  • 1 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise, such as Vegannaise or homemade
  • juice of half a lemon (about 2tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Procedure:

1. Mix lemon juice and dairy free yogurt until smooth. Slowly mix into mayonnaise.

2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and add to mayonnaise.

3. Store in a glass jar or plastic container and refrigerate.

Coconut Milk Yogurt (Customizable To Other Milks)

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Finally, yogurt is back on the menu! This recipe may take some experimenting to find your own personal preferences, but is a great starter recipe. Makes a slightly sweet, slightly tart yogurt.

 

You Will Need:

  • 1 pint coconut milk, or 3 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plain dairy free yogurt or 2-3 probiotic capsules

 

Procedure:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk and honey to boiling, stirring constantly. When the milk starts to climb the sides of the pan, remove from heat. Do not allow to boil over.
  2. Immediately sprinkle gelatin over the top of the milk and let set for 2-3 minutes to soften. Whisk the gelatin into the milk until completely dissolved. Add the vanilla.
  3. Using a candy thermometer, monitor the milk until it has cooled to 110 degrees. This takes around 20 minutes.
  4. Once the yogurt mix reaches 110 degrees, whisk in dairy free yogurt until smooth, or whisk in the contents of 2 or 3 probiotic capsules.
  5. Divide into jars and ferment for 12+ hours until desired tartness is reached. You may incubate using a yogurt maker, by placing jars on top of a heating pad wrapped in a towel, or whatever other method you prefer. Ensure that yogurt does not rise above 115 degrees, or drop below 100 degrees, or yogurt will not culture.
  6. Carefully open jar and taste yogurt after 12 hours. Keep fermenting as needed. Yogurt will be thin, but will thicken in the refrigerator. I incubated my yogurt for almost 48 hours to achieve the tartness I wanted.
  7. Serve with fresh fruit, granola, or chopped nuts.

 

*NOTE: The yogurt in this recipe came out slightly sweet and slightly tart. The taste is spot on, but the consistency was a little thinner than what I was going for. I think doubling the gelatin could help this, and will be trying again in a few days– look for an update! Also, I have heard rumors that rice milk, flax milk, and hemp milk will also work in this recipe, though the resulting yogurt will inevitably be sweeter due to the nature of the milk. If any of my lovely readers try this with a different milk, please let me know how it turns out. 

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

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This particular caramel corn recipe is reminiscent of fairgrounds and greasy carnival food. Delightfully crunchy, sweet, and just a tad salty, this popcorn is deceptively simple to make and is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.

You Will Need:

  • 5 quarts popped popcorn- or 3 standard size bags of popcorn 
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Procedure:

  1. Place popped popcorn in a very large bowl. Use two bowls if necessary, leaving room to stir the popcorn around later. 
  2. In a medium nonstick pot, melt butter.
  3. When butter is completely melted, add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir constantly until boiling, then boil without stirring for 4 minutes– set a timer to avoid overcooking.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250 degrees and grease two cookie sheets.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  6. Stir in baking soda. The caramel will quickly change color and turn thick, so don’t be too surprised! This really caught me off guard!
  7. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  8. Divide popcorn between the two cookie sheets and place in the oven. Bake for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Halfway through, switch around the pans so each get a chance to be on top.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store in an airtight container and try not to eat it all at once!

Old Fashioned Vegan Fudge

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This fudge is rich and decadent, and not too sweet- perfect for holiday gatherings or afternoon chocolate cravings. I have tried multiple vegan fudge recipes, and this one is by far the best and the easiest!

You Will Need:

  • 5/6 cup (6.5 ounces) vegan vanilla coffee creamer
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugarr
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • 20 ounces enjoy life chocolate chips
  • desired toppings, optional

Procedure:

  1. Grease a metal pan of choice. I used a 10” cake pan, but an 8×8 square pan works too. Set aside.
  2. Pour coffee creamer and sugar into a medium sized nonstick pot. Turn burner on over medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  3. Immediately remove from heat and stir in margarine until melted. Add chocolate chips and stir. Continue stirring until the fudge is smooth and silky.
  4. Stir in any desired extras like chopped nuts, and pour immediately into the pre-greased pan.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the pot and shape fudge into the pan- it’s thick and very hot, so be careful. Sprinkle on any desired toppings and press down gently with the palm of your hand to partially embed them in the fudge.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool at room temperature. Do not cut until fudge is completely cool- this may take several hours. For quicker cooling, refrigerate. Use caution, as this will make your fudge very hard (it will soften up as it returns to room temperature).

Kickin’ Almond Broccoli

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This broccoli will leave your taste buds tingling and your mouth watering for more! Even people who aren’t particularly fond of broccoli may enjoy this rendition, which uses chili powder and diced almonds to bring out the natural sweetness of broccoli, while effectively matching its vegetable-ness.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups raw broccoli
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp diced almonds
  • 1 tbsp dairy free soy free margarine

Procedure:

  1. Heat dairy free soy free margarine in small saucepan until melted. Add almonds and toast for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add broccoli and seasonings. Toss to coat.
  3. Continue cooking until broccoli is tender. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired.
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