Tag Archives: toast

Cinnamon Apple “Toast.” Raw, Gluten- and Sugar-free.

stack of toastWhen low, gray clouds scud across the blue and mornings are cool enough for a flannel shirt and the leaf tips of the winged elms, hackberrys, scrub oaks, and bois d’arcs turn brown, I feel like baking bread.  But, I’m eating less bread these days.  Why?  I don’t really know.  Call it an experiment; a phase.  I’m sure it will be short-lived, but in the meantime, instead of whole wheat cinnamon toast slathered in peanut butter and topped with a thick slice of banana, I’m eating raw cinnamon “toast” made of apples and nuts and sweet potato.  Slathered in peanut butter and topped with a thick slice of banana.  (I shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday!)

Have you signed up yet for the November 16 Virtual Vegan Potluck?  If not, you can do it here.

Cinnamon Apple  ”Toast”
Makes ~24 large pieces

1 cup walnuts, soaked overnight
5 dates, soaked for ~15 minutes
1 apple, cored
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 of a banana
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
pinch salt, optional
1 cup  flaxseed meal
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw hulled hemp seeds

In a food processor, process the walnuts through the salt until nearly smooth.  You’ll need to scrape down the bowl of the processor a few times.

In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed meal, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds.  Pour in the walnut mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.  Spread the mixture onto a Teflex dehydrator sheet to just a hair under 1/2″ thick and neaten up the edges.  Gently score the dough into desired shapes.  Place in the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145F for 30 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 115F and continue to dehydrate the “toast” until is dry and very crispy, about 20-24 hours.

Tip: about 2 hours in, I carefully flip the “toast” by placing a mesh sheet + dehydrator tray on top of it, and then I gently remove the Teflex sheet.  This speeds up the dehydrating process.

Break the “toast” into pieces and store in an air-tight container.  To serve, top with fruit-sweetened jam, natural almond or peanut butter – or your favorite toast toppings.

For crackers, spread the batter to about 1/4″ – you’ll need two trays and the drying time will be less.

toast collage

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Cocoa-Coconut Butter

Rounds of Cocoa-Coconut Butter

This post demonstrates the part of my personality which can become obsessive.  When I find something I’m interested in, I beat it to death.  Then inevitably I lose interest and move on to the next thing.  Right now, I’m obsessed with making vegan butters.  Since I really try to limit my intake of “added” fats, this is not a good obsession.  However, so far Kel and I have been able to restrain ourselves to slivers of this amazing stuff, so I don’t feel too badly about straying.  Let’s hope something comes along that takes my mind off of butter.  Something that is a whole lot healthier.  Something like seven days of celery sticks.

The basic recipe for this comes from the site mentioned in an earlier post.  All I did was blend in a little cocoa and a little sweetener.  Chocolate coconut butter is available commercially (I have a jar of it in my pantry called Cocoa Bliss by Artisana), but what fun is that?

Using a silicone ice cube tray or silicone mini muffin pan makes freezing and removing the butter very easy.  I got the ice cube trays from Amazon.com, then remembered that my mom had given me a mini muffin tray many years ago so I dug that out of the cupboard as well and gave it a go.  Obviously this butter can be used directly on toast or pancakes or waffles (upcoming post…) – but I think it could also work deliciously when making chocolate-based cookies, muffins or breads – instead of regular vegan butter.

Before I share the recipe, I want to thank Dudette Here!!! (the Dudette abides…) and Gabby at The Veggie Nook for giving my blog Versatile Blogger Awards.  Just…awesome!  Thank you, thank you!

Cocoa-Coconut Butter

1/4 cup + 2 tsp. soy milk
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/8-1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. soy lecithin granules
1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp. agave nectar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. refined coconut oil
1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

In a small measuring cup, whisk together the soy milk and cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.  Whisk in the salt and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes.

Melt the coconut oil in a small measuring cup.  It’s not necessary to completely melt it down – some small solid bits are okay.  In the bowl of a food processor, add the melted coconut oil, canola oil, soy milk mixture, soy lecithin granules, xanthan gum, agave nectar and vanilla extract.

Process for 1 minute, then scrap down the sides and bottom – sometimes the soy lecithin granules get stuck near the blade.  Process for an additional minute, then carefully pour the mixture into the molds.

Chill in the freezer for at least one hour before removing from molds.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Butter in Mold

Green Ice Cube Trays

Cubes of Butter

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Cardamom-Coffee Braid (Or Rolls), No Kneading Needed

Braided Loaf

Braided LoafI know, I know – it seems like I’ve been on a bread kick lately.  Actually, I’m always on a bread kick.  There is no doubt that I am a serious carb junkie.  And this loaf…this is a good one.

It’s a much simplified version of a loaf I’ve made for years, from a cookbook I can hardly believe I own: Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland, by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson.  I bought it many years ago for its homey, comforting, slow food recipes, but there’s hardly a one I can make now without major modifications.  (It’s divided into sections with names like “Henhouse and Dairy,” “Barnyard and Smokehouse,” and “Deep Lakes and Swift Streams.”)  One of my favorite recipes was for Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread.  It’s really delicious, but also loaded with eggs and honey and kneading it was a serious upper body workout.  And I only got one loaf out of the deal.

This recipe, on the other hand, doesn’t require that you train for two weeks prior to making it.  It has all of the flavors of the original – and of which I’m completely enamored: cardamom, coffee and maple.  And, you get two loaves out of it – or lots of rolls, if you prefer.  If you can braid or twirl or loop (and of course you can!), you can create some very impressive baked goods.  Store the dough in your refrigerator for up to five days – fresh bread for the week.  Super toasted for your breakfast or wonderful at sandwiching PB&J.

Cardamom-Coffee Braid
Makes 2 loaves (or a mess of rolls)

Bread Slices2 cups almond milk, plus more for brushing top of loaf
2 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle (remove husks after crushing)
2 tbsp. freshly ground coffee
1/2 cup roasted, chopped pecans
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. Demerara sugar, for sprinkling

In a large container with lid (or big glass bowl), mix together the almond milk, flaxseed meal, maple syrup, applesauce, yeast and salt.  Add flours and pecans and mix, making sure ingredients are combined thoroughly with no dry flour remaining.

Cover container with lid (or bowl with plastic wrap) and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.  Transfer to refrigerator overnight.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide dough in half, returning one half to the refrigerator for later use.

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and on a floured surface, gently roll pieces into 18″ long ropes.  Place the ropes side by side, about 2″ apart, on the prepared baking sheet.  Pinch on end together and tuck under.  Loosely braid dough and again, pinch the end and tuck under.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Brush top of loaf with almond milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 30-45 minutes.  Transfer loaf to a cooling rack.

Rolls in a Bowl

As rolls.

Ground Coffee, Cardamom Pods

Ground coffee and crushed cardamom pods.

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