No Bake PB&J Bites

It’s swelteringly (totally a word) hot here the last couple of days. I don’t even want to look at my oven. What’s a girl to do when she needs a sweet treat? Make some no bake PB&J bites! These are hands down my favorite treat. The rest of the family enjoys them too.

What You’ll Need

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10 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 C raisins- or 1/4 C raisins and 1/4 C dried cherries

1/3 C peanuts

1/4 C cashews

3 TBSP creamy peanut butter

pinch of salt

Throw everything in a food processor and blend about one minute. You don’t want it to be smooth. Roll the mixture into small balls or flatten into bars and chill for about an hour. How many bites you end up with depends on who is helping make them.

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I usually end up with 18-20. These are the perfect snack packed with protein and yum. Enjoy!

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Peanut Butter Fudge Dip

theveganfarmer.com fudgedipNo combination is better than chocolate and peanut butter. Since it’s snowing and gray outside, I decided to whip up a little chocolate-y pick me up. This little dip satisfies a very intense craving for sweets. It also contains a can of beans for extra fiber. So it’s healthy, right? We are eating it on animal crackers, cookies, bread, and my favorite, straight from the spoon.

What You’ll Need

1 can any type white beans- I used beans we canned from the garden

1/2 C unsweetened cocoa

4 TBSP agave syrup

1-2 TBSP peanut butter

unsweetened almond milk

dash of cinnamon

Blend it all together in a high speed blender.  You should have icing consistency dip once it’s all combined.  Add the almond milk as needed to achieve this consistency. Eat it with all the things. Enjoy!

Sour Cream and Onion Roasted Chickpeas

chickpeasThere are certain foods I am certain my child would live on for all of eternity if I let her.  Sour Cream and Onion Potato chips is one of them.  We have her grandmother to thank for that.  I am not opposed to a little junk food in moderation.  But I am opposed to junk that’s marketed as food. So I came up with a decent substitute that requires only 5 ingredients. They may not be chips, but they surely are delicious.

What You’ll Need

1 can chickpeas

1 TSP olive oil

1 TBSP sour cream

a sprinkle of onion powder

a dash of Italian spices

Drain, rinse and dry your can of chickpeas.  Pour them into a bowl and mix in all the other ingredients.  Put them in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.  Let cool and enjoy!

No Sugar Added Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

theveganfarmer.combananachocchipNo one loves bananas paired with chocolate chips more than this girl.  Except maybe this girl’s daughter.  I’m on a quest to reduce the amount of sugar we consume, which isn’t all that much.  But why consume any added sugar at all? This recipe seriously reminds me of the Fannie Farmer cookbook one I used religiously as a kid.  It’s all the things a muffin should be- moist, sweet, delicious, and filling.

What You’ll Need

2 mashed bananas

2 C flour

1 TSP baking powder

1/2 TSP salt

4 soaked, pitted dates

2 TBSP vinegar + 2 TSP baking soda

1 TSP vanilla extract

1/2 C unsweetened almond milk

vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350.  Add the dates and a couple tablespoons of the soaking water to your food processor and puree.  It should look like a caramel dip.  Mash the bananas and mix in the sugar. Add the dates, vanilla extract, and vinegar & baking soda mixture.  Mix the dry ingredients together and alternate adding it and the almond milk to the banana mixture.  Stir in as many chocolate chips as possible.  Or show some restraint and only use about half a cup.  Fill your muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes. With Eyeballs. And Sprinkles.

20141031_120628Happy Halloween! We woke this morning and just HAD to have cupcakes.  And because it’s Halloween, adding eyeballs was a necessity.

 

What You’ll Need

For the cupcakes

1 C  almond milk + 1 TSP vinegar (mix and allow to curdle)

1/4 C applesauce

1/4 C Earth Balance butter, softened

1.25 C sugar

1 TSP vanilla

1.5 C flour

1.5 TSP baking powder

.5 TSP bake soda

pinch of cinnamon

For the Frosting

1.5 C Earth Balance

3 C powdered sugar

splash vanilla

splash almond milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the vinegar and almond milk and set aside to curdle.  Combine the softened Earth Balance butter, applesauce, and sugar.  Mix for approximately 2 minutes.  Combine the dry ingredients and alternate adding to the sugar/butter mixture with the milk.  Beat until there are no lumps remaining.  Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 20-23 minutes. While they’re cooling completely, make the frosting.  Mix together the Earth Balance, sugar, and vanilla.  Slowly add the almond milk until you’ve reached frosting consistency.

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I let Emme do all the decorating.  Some had eyeballs, some had sprinkles, and the mini cupcakes were left plain.

Have a safe and treat filled Halloween!

Canning Homemade Applesauce

IMG_9647Let’s talk apples. One medium apple contains about 4 grams of soluble fiber, half the daily fruit quota, and a fair amount of vitamin C.   This makes for quite a satisfying sweet snack. All for only 100 calories!

Even though we’re not quite in apple season, our trees are bursting with ripe ones.  As in, oh, 60 pounds.  We spent a good chunk of this week harvesting, chopping, freezing, and canning apples.  One of our favorite forms of apple is applesauce.  Not only is it a tasty snack on its own, it’s awesome in baked goods.  Here is how I turned 30 pounds (16 pints) of apples into applesauce-

What You’ll Need

30 pounds of apples, chopped – adjust the amount  for  your lifestyle, of course

4-6 C sugar – this is totally optional. depending on how sweetened you’d like it

cinnamon – also optional

water

6 TBSP lemon juice

16 pint jars

Chop as many apples as you can stand.  Apparently 30 pounds is my limit. My partner in crime was more than happy to amuse me while I chopped.

IMG_9631  IMG_9643  Here’s the next apple, mom.  There are a bajiliion more in here.  Keep chopping.

Sterilize your jars and lids in simmering water.  Combine the apples and just enough water to keep them from sticking in a pan. Bring them to a medium boil, reduce to a light boil and stir occasionally, until they are tender.  Remove them from the heat and let cool a few minutes.  Transfer them in batches to a food processor and puree to desired smoothness. We made this batch smooth for ease.  We have reusable pouches we fill and the chunkier the sauce, the harder it is to squeeze out.  I also prefer smooth applesauce in my baking.

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Pour the sauce back into the pan.  Stir in the lemon juice and sugar.  Bring the sauce to a medium boil, stirring often.  Spoon the hot applesauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Put the lids on the jars and process in a boiling water canner for roughly 20 minutes.  Check the lids in a few hours.  There shouldn’t be any flexing.

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Allow to cool completely before storing. Enjoy!

No Bake Protein Granola Bars

theveganfarmer.com-proteingranolabarThese delicious protein granola bars seriously couldn’t be any easier or quicker to make. They take less than 5 minutes to come together. They were so easy, I let Emme do all the work.  After a quick freeze, you have a tasty breakfast or snack to enjoy.

 

What You’ll Need

1.5 C oats

1.5 C crunchy peanut butter

1/3 C agave syrup

1/4 C pea protein powder – I used vanilla

1/4 C chocolate chips

1/4 C golden raisins

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Stir all ingredients together.  Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, pour the mixture in and press to fill the bottom.  Freeze until the bars harden, then cut into squares.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Tofu Yogurt

tofuyogurt2Yogurt topped with granola is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. I could go a few miles out of my way and spend more than I care to on soy or almond yogurt, but I prefer to make it at home. It’s cheaper and I can customize it any way I wish.  This is the easiest way to make it.

What You’ll Need

1 PKG any firmness tofu

1 banana

1.5 TBSP almond milk

1.5 TBSP agave syrup

1/2 C fruit of choice- I used 1/2 C of our own strawberry preserves

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.  Such a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Enjoy!

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Quinoa Granola Bars

I have a confession.  I don’t know how to cook appropriate portions.  When I cook a pasta dinner for four, it usually turns into a pasta dinner for forty.  It’s the same thing with weekly batches of quinoa and lentils.  Here I am at the end of another week and I have a surplus of both.  I’ve already made lentil loaves, quinoa burgers, eaten them as sides.  What to do with all that leftover quinoa?  Turn it into granola bars, of course!

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