Raw Pineapple Mint Pie

pineI am just loving raw desserts!  They are so incredibly easy to make and so much more enjoyable to eat, knowing not only that they are cruelty-free but also that there is nothing unhealthy in them.  They are literally guilt-free in more ways than one!!  This pie came out so refreshing and the chocolate crust is the perfect complement to the tang of the pineapple and the mint.  The whole thing took less than ten minutes to make, and then just an hour or so in the freezer.   I do still love to bake, especially in the wintertime, but for now, it is raw all the way!!

For the crust:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for 20 minutes, unless soft already
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 2 T cocoa powder

For the filling:

  • 3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight (unless you have a high speed blender)
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 1-2 T fresh mint (taste and see how much you like)
  • 1-2 T water to get it to a consistency where it can be poured.

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Process crust ingredients in a food processor until they come together in a big clump.

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Press into the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased pie pan.

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Place all filling ingredients in a blender or processor

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and blend/process until smooth.

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Pour into pan and smooth top.

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Freeze for at least an hour.

Store in fridge.

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Raw Banana Split Brownie

DSC_0423So as you can see, this banana split does not have ice cream, chocolate sauce, or whipped cream, and it is entirely raw.  What you cannot see, however, is how delicious it is and how much it tastes just like a decadent banana split.  It is creamy and flavorful and healthy and I could eat it every night!   No need for any other type of dessert – this one does it all!

Brownie layer

  • 10 dates (I prefer medjool), pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 T maple syrup

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until forms a big clump.

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Remove from processor and press evenly into the bottom of  pan that is lightly greased with a tiny bit of coconut oil or covered with parchment paper.  I used an 8x6x2″ pan, but you can use a regular 8×8″ pan (the layers just won’t be as thick).

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Middle layer

  • 3/4 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water unless you have a vitamix or other powerful blender)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water

Blend until smooth.

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Pour over brownie layer.  Smooth out.

Place in freezer while making last layer.

Top layer

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight in water unless you have a vitamix or other powerful blender)
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup water

Blend until smooth.  Remove pan from freezer and gently pour on top.

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Freeze at least 90 minutes.

Remove from freezer and let sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting into squares (it definitely tastes best when it is not frozen).  Can be kept in freezer or in fridge if you prefer it very soft and don’t want to have to wait each time for it to defrost a bit.

Just because it is perfect as is, doesn’t mean you can’t add vegan whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  Necessary?  Not at all.  But a bit more indulgent?  Why not?

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Blueberry Tea Bread

DSC_0350My daughter just returned home from a summer program and as usual, even though we were assured that they would provide vegan options in the dining hall, they left much to be desired.  They put cheese on the vegan burgers, honey in the sweet and sour tofu, and while it is vegan, it is still disturbing to me – high fructose corn syrup in the rice.  Yuck!  So, needless to say, she ate most of her meals off campus.  Her favorite vegan find was a blueberry tea bread at Blue State Coffee.  She raved about it and asked me to try to make it as soon as she got home.  This is what I came up with.  Although she said it was not exactly like Blue State’s, I was so thrilled that she really liked it and said she wants me to make it all the time.  I will be more than happy to do so as it is very easy to make and also quite healthy.  To make it even healthier, you can certainly use all whole wheat pastry flour (the end product will just be more dense) and omit the sugar topping (which will not change the taste at all but just leave out the tiny crunch).  I am grateful to Blue State for their vegan options and for helping me to find another quick breakfast for those very early school day mornings.  I plan to bake a bunch of loaves, slice them, and freeze them, so they will be ready all the time for either defrosting the night before or a quick 10 seconds in the microwave that morning!  Yum!

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  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 5 T water
  • 1/4 c plus 2 T non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 T sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

Place first 9 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

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Fold in blueberries.

Spoon into pan and smooth the top.

Sprinkle with sugar.

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Bake 55 minutes.DSC_0317DSC_0351

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Chocolate Lavender Tartlets

choclavIf you want an easy recipe for a rich, chocolatey dessert that literally melts in your mouth you have come to the right place!  This is definitely one of my very favorite recipes and it was such a pleasure to create!  It came out perfectly the first time I made it.  The exact right amount of lavender, the perfect texture, just the right ratio of crust to filling – it all came together better than I ever expected on a first try.  I find lavender can be tricky to work with.  If you use too much, it is overbearing – if you use too little, you can’t taste it at all.  In this recipe, the lavender is just as it should be – a delicious hint of the aromas of Provence.  Chocolate and lavender is one of my favorite pairings.  I know I will be making these tartlets again and again!  

  • 1/2 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 5 T coconut oil
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 T dried lavender buds
  • 12 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 t maple syrup
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 8 oz firm silken tofu

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Preheat oven to 350.

For the crust, combine the first five ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

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Lightly oil an 8×8” pan and press the crust down into the bottom of the pan.

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Bake for 12 minutes.

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Put the tofu in a food processor, or beat with hand mixer until smooth.  Set aside.

Heat non-dairy milk over medium high heat until just starts to boil.  Add lavender, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes.

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Strain.

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Return “milk” to pan and over medium heat, add the chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir until all chocolate is melted and it is smooth.

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Remove from heat and stir in tofu (should be about 1/2 cup), vanilla and maple syrup.

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Pour over crust.

Refrigerate until firm – about an hour.

Cut into 16 or 32 squares, depending on how big you like each serving.

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Merlot Cake

NOW YOU CAN HAVE YOUR WINE AND EAT IT TOO!

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I want to eat this cake every night!   Really!   Actually, I think I might!  It is so delicious and as far as cakes go, I venture to say it is pretty healthy.   It is made with whole wheat pastry flour and has no butter or shortening.  It is easy to make and is a very impressive sight with all the grapes on top.  I have to mention that a small amount of the alcohol may remain after baking, so small children and people who avoid all alcohol should probably avoid this cake.   However, for those like me that enjoy their wine, I think some cabernet sorbet would be the perfect accompaniment.  Chocolate and wine is one of my favorite pairings and this cake pairs them perfectly.   This is definitely one of my very favorite cakes!

For those of you that do not know, most wines are not vegan, even though the ingredients in them usually are.  The production process of wine involves filtering the liquid through fining agents which include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen, fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).  Thankfully, there are vegan alternatives.  For a great resource for vegan wines, check out www.barnivore.com.

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  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 5 T water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c full-bodied red wine, such as merlot
  • 1/2 c vegan chocolate chips
  • grapes for garnish

for the frosting

  • 10 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T merlot

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Heat oven to 350.

Lightly grease two 9” baking pans and line with parchment paper and grease again.

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Combine flour, cocoa. baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

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Beat coconut oil and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the flax seed and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes.  Add half of the flour mixture and combine.  Then add half of the wine.  Add the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining wine.

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Spread the batter into the two pans and sprinkle half the chocolate chips on each.

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Bake 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool at least 10 minutes, then turn out onto plates.

For the frosting, melt the chocolate over medium heat.  Stir in the coconut oil and vanilla.  Add the merlot and cook a few minutes more, stirring constantly.

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Frost the top of one cake layer and top with the second layer.  Frost the top of the second layer and then garnish with grapes.

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Tip – use a serrated knife to slice this cake.

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