Over the last few months I've been baking a lot, since I finally have an oven (yay!). For the last few years I've been leading a mostly plant based diet, with exceptions here and there. At home, I keep some staple supplies on hand and started experimenting with using them as baking ingredients. Some things I always have are chia seeds, applesauce, oats, and honey. I've used these base ingredients to make breakfast bars, pancakes and now bread! Enough backstory, on to the good stuff.
I decided to make this bread for the first time one week ago, so I could use a huge lemon that I was given. I loooooove the combination of sweet and sour, so thought how can I use this lemon in a more delicious way than drinking lemon water? In my mind, I immediately paired it with blueberry. I was a bit nervous to make 'bread' since that always seems so involved and lengthy in recipes. I found a few recipes online but none of them used all the exact ingredients I wanted to. So, I hashed it together piece by piece. This is almost 100% vegan, minus the honey which you can easily substitute!
2 cups of oat flour
2 chia eggs (1 'egg'= 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice (to taste)
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup blueberries
pinch of salt
handful of chopped walnuts
1. Grease a bread pan with a tiny bit of coconut oil (I used an oven-safe rectangular glass lunch box), and pre-heat the oven to about 350°.
2. Combine the oat flour, salt, lemon rind and walnuts together in a bowl. For my oat flour, I like to grind it fresh and leave bits of rolled oats in to give it texture.
3. Separately, mix the coconut oil, honey, chia egg, lemon juice and almond milk. For the chia egg, combine the seeds and water in a dish and let sit until it forms a gel-like consistency.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and finish by folding in the blueberries (I use frozen) and walnuts. You can sprinkle a few chopped walnuts on top for extra crunch!
5. Add everything into the bread pan, and bake for 50-60 minutes. Let it cool for a good 30 minutes, then slice away!
I am a self-proclaimed dessert enthusiast. It's becoming quite trendy to recreate classic desserts with healthier ingredients and I've been messing about with various recipes. Right now I'm absolutely nuts for these healthy "caramel" dark chocolate slices. I was inspired to make them after seeing it on another blog, but added a few cheeky twists of my own. They are dairy and processed sugar free too!
This dessert has three layers, made independently and layered. Other recipes use pitted dates as a binder/sweetener, but I decided to substitute them with raisins (I was out of dates at the time) and it tasted the same I also didn't have tahini sauce (used in middle layer) and substituted it with a blend of peanut butter and sesame oil. Let's get right into it!
1 1/2 cups almonds (can also use walnuts, pecans or cashews)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup soaked & drained raisins
1 tbs maple syrup or honey
1 1/2 cups soaked & drained raisins
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/8 cup peanut butter & sesame oil blend OR 3/4 cup tahini sauce
1/8 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
Optional: Add a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla extract for added flavor
1. In a food processor, pulse together all the bottom layer ingredients until it forms into a sticky, gritty clump (like my technical terminology here?). Line a baking tray (I used a 6"x10" tray) with parchment paper. Use your hands to spread the dough in a thin layer and smooth out with a spoon. Place uncovered in freezer.
2. Blend all ingredients for the middle layer. Spread it an even layer on top of the "dough", and place the tray back in the freezer.
3. Using a mixing bowl or blender, mix the liquefied coconut oil and maple syrup into the cocoa powder and blend until uniform. I'm a rebel and do what I want so I added cinnamon and vanilla to give it more depth of flavor. Spoon this mixture on top of the middle layer and smooth it out. Key step: be sure to lick all the extra chocolate out of the bowl until you can stare at your reflection in shame.
4. You can add toppings if you like (ie:- dried berries, nuts, coconut flakes, etc), but be sure to do it while the chocolate is still sticky so they don't fall out later. Cut it into sections now so you can easily break them apart later (I did 2"x2" pieces). Place tray in freezer and let it set for a few hours. Take it out when all the layers are solid! Store it in the fridge until it's all eaten up (so....realistically in like 2 hours??)
Hope you like this dessert! I found it to be a satisfying and energy-boosting snack, minus all the gross and processed ingredients.
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