Desserts

Tropical Fruit “Nice Cream” (Vegan & Paleo)

A couple of weeks ago I was visiting my husband’s family in rural upstate New York. The closest Trader Joe’s is over an hour away in Albany, and I stopped there before we got to the farm in order to pick up groceries for the week.

When my kids were begging for dessert, I made this simple “nice cream” with these three ingredients from Trader Joe’s: Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Tropical Fruit Blend, and Organic Blue Agave Sweetener. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, this frozen fruit blend has: pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, and bananas.

First, purée frozen fruit and coconut cream until smooth.

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Then, add the Organic Blue Agave Sweetener.

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Put into a freezable container and freeze. I made it at 11 am and served it after dinner at 7 pm. You can try it after 30 minutes – it shouldn’t take long to firm up.

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Scoop it out and serve.

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I served it with Enjoy Life Vegan Chocolate Chips and the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.

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Tropical Fruit Nice Cream Cover 1

  • Servings: 1.1
  • Time: 8 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 can Organic Coconut Cream
  • 16 oz of Organic Tropical Fruit Blend (1 frozen fruit bag)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Blue Agave Sweetener
  • Optional: dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • Optional: Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce. find the recipe here.


Directions

  1. First, purée frozen fruit and coconut cream until smooth.
  2. Add the Organic Blue Agave Sweetener and cream until combined.
  3. Put into a freezable container and freeze for at least 30 minutes. I let it freeze for 7 hours
  4. Serve! Feel free to top with Vegan Chocolate Chips and the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.


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What is your favorite “nice cream”? Post about it in the comments! 

susanellenlogoweb

Coconut Key Lime Pie Filling (Gluten-free, Vegan, & Paleo)

Key limes are in season, and that means pie! I became a key lime pie connoisseur while I was pregnant with my daughter. My friend and I were traveling to every Central American country in the summer of 2009, and I found out I was pregnant in Guatemala. While we were in Nicaragua, we found this restaurant in Granada that served key lime pie; I wish I knew the name of the place. It’s probably somewhere in my travel journal. Anyway, we went there four days in a row just to have their pie. I remember it being the most delicious pie ever. That might have been because I was having crazy food cravings, or because I had been eating beans, rice, and fried plantains every meal for 3 weeks! Regardless, my love of key lime pie developed oddly there in Nicaragua.

I haven’t had a key lime pie in a long time, because I didn’t think it was possible to make one vegan and gluten-free. I was silly because this pie is awesome! Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder.

Since the grocery store only sold key limes in a 2 pound bag, I now have two key lime recipes to share with you. The recipe is not hard, but juicing the entire bag key limes was time-consuming. Since this recipe requires only 1/2 a cup, it won’t take too long. However, this pie does take planning since you have to refrigerate coconut milk or cream overnight and soak cashews for at least 4 hours as well.

Heat oven to 350 and prepare your pie crust per directions. Make sure to thaw the gluten-free vegan pie crust. I prefer this Wholly Gluten Free Pie Shell. It has to be set out 15 minutes before baking.

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Juice the key limes.

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Zest the limes. It takes ~4 limes to make 1 tablespoon. Make 2 tablespoons.

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Add all ingredients into the Vitamix or blender.

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Blend until smooth.

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Pour filling into the gluten-free pie shell, and refrigerate for at least an hour. It will be a firm cheesecake texture.

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Prepare this vegan meringue when the pie is firm. You can find the recipe on my website here.

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Spread the vegan meringue on top of the pie, sprinkle a little coconut and extra lime zest, and serve.

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Coconut Key Lime Pie Filling (Gluten-free & Vegan)

  • Servings: one 9' inch pie
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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This gluten-free vegan Coconut Key Lime Pie has an easy delicious egg-free, dairy-free, and paleo filling.


Credit: My Real Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup cashews (soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours)
  • Cream of 1 can of coconut milk or cream refrigerated overnight (the hard part only + 2 tablespoons remaining milk from the can)
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup key lime juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil softened or melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons zest (1 tablespoon for the pie and 1 tablespoon extra for decorating the top of the pie – requires ~8 limes)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (+ extra for decorating the top of the pie)
  • Look here for vegan meringue topping recipe & ingredients


Directions

  1. Thaw gluten-free vegan pie crust. Most pie shells need to be at room-temperature for 10 – 15 minutes before baking.
  2. Heat oven to 350 and prepare the pie shell per directions when ready.
  3. Juice the key limes.
  4. Zest the limes. It takes ~4 limes to make 1 tablespoon. You will need 2 tablespoons.
  5. Strain and rinse your cashews until the water runs clear.
  6. Add all ingredients into the Vitamix or blender. Only use the firm top part of the coconut cream in the can. Leave the remaining liquid at the bottom, with the exception of 2 tablespoons that you add to the Vitamix.
  7. Blend until smooth.
  8. Pour filling into the gluten-free pie shell and refrigerate for at least an hour. It will be a firm cheesecake-like texture.
  9. Once the pie is firm, prepare the vegan meringue .
  10. Spread the vegan meringue on top of the pie, sprinkle a little coconut and extra lime zest, and serve.


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susanellenlogoweb

How to Make Vegan Meringue With Chickpea Brine

How to Make Vegan Meringue with Chickpea Brine (otherwise known as Aqua Faba)

Since I’m highly sensitive to eggs and dairy, I have always used a lot of coconut cream in my recipes for a whipped topping (like with my Ice Box Cake and Dulce De Leche Chocolate Cashew Pie).  But when I was making a key lime pie recently, a friend mentioned using aqua faba (chickpea brine) to make a meringue instead. You cannot tell the difference between using this vegan chickpea brine meringue and a meringue made with eggs! I know this because I served the pie to my non-vegan friends, and they were shocked when I told them that it was made of chickpea brine! Plus, it’s easy too.

You just combine the ingredients and whip for 5 minutes.

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Vegan Meringue

How to Make Vegan Meringue with Chickpea Brine

  • Servings: 2 pies
  • Time: 7 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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This vegan meringue is an easy delicious allergy-free version of a meringue with eggs.


Credit: http://namelymarly.com/how-to-make-vegan-meringue-three-ways/

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup bean brine liquid (aqua faba) from one can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Xylitol Powdered Sugar depending on your desired sweetness (click here to see my recipe) or powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free xantham gum


Directions

  1. Drain the liquid from one can of chickpeas.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar and mix it for a minute in order to get a foamy mixture.
  3. Add Xylitol Powdered Sugar.
  4. Continue beating on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Add to a pie, fresh fruit, or dessert.


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susanellenlogoweb

S’mores Cake (Gluten-free & Vegan)

A couple of weeks ago, I made Graham Crackers that were not only delicious, but vegan, oat-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free. We ate them up! Then, my kids asked for S’mores, and we had to make more. So we decided to make a gluten-free and vegan S’mores Cake; really the “cake” is just baked s’mores. I purchased Dandies at Fresh Thyme; they are vegan with no corn syrup or gelatin. They do have cane sugar though, so I minimized the sugar in the rest of recipe. I believe in a 90% healthy philosophy! I try to be as healthy as possible, and then I can indulge in desserts.IMG_0196.jpg

I used Lily’s Premium Baking Bars that are sweetened with stevia. It was the perfect balance with the sweet DandiesIMG_0198.jpg

Layer the Graham Crackers in a 9 X 13 baking pan.

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Put 1 1/2 bags of Dandies on their side.IMG_0201

Layer with the Lily’s Premium Baking BarsIMG_0202.jpg

Top with a layer of Graham Crackers.

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Slice Dandies in half.

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Place them on top of the Graham Crackers.

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Smash a bar of Lily’s Premium Baking Bar.

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Sprinkle the pieces on top of the DandiesIMG_0213.jpg

Bake.

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s'mores cake

S'mores Cake (Gluten-free & Vegan)

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This gluten-free, oat-free, and vegan s'mores cake is a pan of yummy baked s'mores. It's an easy way to enjoy gooey chocolate s'mores without a bonfire.

Tips: This s’mores cake may be made with any graham crackers, chocolate bars, or marshmallows. Personally, I use the (1) Lily’s Baking Bars to reduce sugar, (2) the Dandies because they are vegan and healthier, and (3) my graham cracker recipe because of my daughter’s oat and wheat intolerance. Also, leftovers are best warmed for 30 seconds in a microwave before serving.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Layer the Graham Crackers in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Break when necessary to fit the plan.
  3. Evenly place marshmallows (~1 1/2 bags) of Dandies on their side.
  4. Layer the top with Lily’s Premium Baking Bars.
  5. Top with a layer of Graham Crackers.
  6. Slice Dandies in half.
  7. Place them on top of the Graham Crackers.
  8. Smash a bar of Lily’s Premium Baking Bar to pieces.
  9. Sprinkle evenly the pieces on top of the Dandies.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for ~9 – 11 minutes. The tops of the Dandies should be slightly brown.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

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susanellenlogoweb

Red, White, & Blue Cake (Vegan & Gluten-free)

This cake is vegan, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, beautiful, and is a crowd pleaser at a 4th of July party with its patriotic theme. No one else at the party was vegan or gluten-free, and everyone enjoyed it. This is not a light and fluffly cake, but a dense fruit one. The fruit gives it sweetness. Keep it refrigerated after icing in order to keep the texture and whipped-topping firm.

I was a little disappointed with the lack of color that came from the cake when I cooked it. I was hoping for red and blue cakes! I used Watkins Food Coloing (100% natural vegetable juices and spices). I guess you have to use good old-fashion food-dyes to get the color you want, not the healthier vegetable based ones and fruit.

So here’s my take on it – the cake is a little labor intensive with washing the containers to make the red and blue cake, but healthy and yummy. That said, I have recreated it easily with my Perfect Paleo Brownies in a snap; equally beautiful and so much less time-consuming. The brownies make it a little sweeter, and personally I’m a huge chocolate lover. However, both are great – it’s just a matter of how much time you have!

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4th of July Pinterest

Red, White, & Blue Cake (Vegan & Gluten-free)

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: medium
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A patriotic inspired cake with coconut whipped topping, blueberries, and strawberries. It is gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Credit: myrealdish.com

Ingredients

Whipped Topping

Cake

  • 2 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 sticks of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs (3 teaspoons Ener-G + 4 tablespoons warm water)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 mini-bottle) of gluten-free blue food coloring (vegetable based)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 mini-bottle) of gluten-free red food coloring (vegetable based)
  • 2 1/2 cups Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend 
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I used Redmond Real Salt)
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cup blueberries
  • 3/4 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 cup frozen cherries

Decoration

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries

Directions

  1. Heat water in a tea kettle for egg replacer
  2. Purée with a Vitamix or high-powered blender blueberries (I used fresh), and set aside in a bowl. Rinse out the Vitamix or blender.
  3. Purée frozen cherries and set aside.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Prepare egg replacer (combine 3 teaspoons Ener-G and 4 tablespoons warm water)
  6. Cream coconut sugar and vegan butter in a mixer. Slowly add the egg replacer continuously until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  7. Combine Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend and Redmond Real Salt together in a separate bowl.
  8. Add dry mixture to the coconut sugar and vegan butter mixture alternating with the Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze.
  9. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  10. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Line bottom of cake pans with fitted parchment paper rounds and grease top of parchment paper.
  11. Pour half of the batter to a separate bowl and set aside.
  12. In a smaller bowl mix 3/4 tablespoon cocoa powder and blue food coloring together (mine didn’t mix throughly) add to the mixer bowl of cake batter. Add puréed blueberries and mix with mixer.
  13. Combine 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar in a smaller bowl, then add to the blue cake mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix one last time.
  14. Add blue cake mixture to one 8-inch cake pan.
  15. Begin the second half of the cake with cherries and red food coloring. Add the container of red food coloring to the mixer bowl of cake batter along with puréed cherries and mix with mixer.
  16. Combine 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 tablespoon vinegar in a smaller bowl, then add to the blue cake mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix one last time.
  17. Pour the red cake batter into the 2nd 8-inch cake pan.
  18. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (My red cherry cake took 30 minutes and the blueberry one took 40 minutes. Check often that the toothpick comes clean in the middle).
  19. Set cakes on the wire rack to cool completely ~45 minutes.
  20. Wash and dry strawberries and blueberries (I use Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak because it cleans well, it’s natural and chemical-free; buy it here).
  21. Slice strawberries. It’s best to select berries of similar sizes to make them fit in the design.
  22. After cake cools, prepare coconut cream topping. Keep coconut milk cans in the fridge until you are ready to make the topping. Prepare it immediately before “icing” the cake.
  23. Scoop out the thick cream from the coconut cream or milk. Leaving the remaining water below.
  24. Add the guar gum, vanilla, and Powdered Xylitol. Mix on high-speed. Slowly add coconut water from the can, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the cream as it whips until it is light and fluffy.
  25. Carefully remove one cake from the cake pan, and place it on a cake stand or large serving platter.
  26. Spread coconut cream with a rubber scraper on the top of the cake.
  27. Remove the other cake from the cake pan, placing it on top of the coconut whipped cream.
  28. Spread the coconut whipped topping on the top and sides of the cake until it is fully covered and appears to be “iced”.
  29. Decorate the top of your cake with blueberries and strawberries. I easily created the blueberry design by connecting these two lines to a point with blueberries and symmetrically filling them in.
  30. Slice and serve.

I served mine by the pool!

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Happy 4th of July!

susanellenlogoweb

Graham Crackers (Vegan, Oat-Free & Gluten-Free)

My daughter has a sensitivity to oats. When she was little she had reflux and would explode with eczema whenever she was exposed to them, but I didn’t know what was causing it until we had her blood tested. Before I was desperate enough to give her a blood test, I was slathering her with Aveno Baby Lotion and giving her oatmeal baths to sooth her eczema, only to make it worse. Recently, I tried to test the sensitivity with a couple servings of gluten-free oats, and she seemed to do okay. However, when she thought she was over the intolerance, she ate a bowl of oatmeal and a granola bar in one day; then, she got a huge tummy ache. I’m remaining positive. At least we are progressing beyond the eczema.

This oat intolerance, along with her sensitivity to wheat, makes it very difficult to find graham crackers at the store. Schar makes a wheat-free and oat-free graham cracker, but it has honey – so it’s not vegan. I’ve searched for vegan and gluten-free graham crackers, and I haven’t found any, so I decided to make my own. My daughter says that mine taste as good as the Schar ones! That’s a huge gluten-free vegan win, because mine are also refined sugar-free! Healthy and tasty!

Here’s what you do. Combine the dry ingredients…

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Slice the vegan butter into little chunks...IMG_0232.jpg

Cut-in vegan butter...IMG_0233.jpg

Stir in the wet ingredients until it begins to clump...IMG_0234.jpg

Form dough into a ball...IMG_0235.jpg

Roll dough over parchment paper, score it, and decorate it with a fork…IMG_0236.jpg

Bake, divide, and devour.IMG_0243.jpg

Make sure to save some graham crackers for s'mores or a pie crust. I'll post the recipe soon for this s'mores cake that I made with vegan marshmallows and dark chocolate (see below). It was delicious and easy!

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  • Servings: 20
  • Time: 40
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Easy gluten-free, oat-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan homemade graham crackers.

Tips: Make sure your gluten-free flour blend has xanthan gum, if not you will need to add 1/4 teaspoon. I really like the Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend, because I never have to add anything extra to the flour and it rises very well. It contains sweet brown rice flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, arrowroot powder, sorghum flour, and xanthan gum.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4  gluten-free flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used Redmond Real Salt)
  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Soy Free)
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free pure vanilla extract


Directions

  1. Combine gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and Redmond Real Salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Slice vegan butter into tablespoons (you can do even smaller pieces if you prefer).
  3. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut-in vegan butter one tablespoon at a time into the bowl until it resembles the texture of cornmeal. You also could do this easily with a food processor.
  4. Add cold water, maple syrup, and vanilla; continue to stir until dough starts to form large clumps. If dough is too dry, add more cold water one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Heat oven to 325.
  6. Lay out parchment paper.
  7. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. Gather dough into a large ball and divide in half.
  9. Lightly flour the rolling-pin  (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend because it was out already).
  10. Roll half of the dough into a rectangle to ~1/8″ thick.
  11. Score dough with a pizza cutter, knife, or multi-purpose scraper and chopper (I used this OXO Multi-purpose Scraper & Chopper) into desired shapes. I chose 2” x 2” squares, and used the OXO Multi-purpose Scraper & Chopper to measure easily with the measurements on the blade.
  12. Prick dough all over with a fork or toothpick.
  13. Repeat with the other half.
  14. Transfer the two parchment paper sheets to cookie sheets, and bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until golden brown.
  15. Let graham crackers cool for 5 minutes.
  16. Separate and eat.


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susanellenlogoweb

Mayan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I had never made Chia Pudding. So when I was considering the flavor that I wanted to make – I had a flashback to one of the best coffees that I have ever had at Coffee & Art in San Diego; it was called a Mayan Mocha. This special coffee inspired this dish, and I wish that this chia seed pudding could bring the beach and perfect weather with it. Anyway, you will savor the flavors of cacao, agave, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut cream in this pudding – it’s just a special combination.Chia Seed Pudding

  • Servings: 3
  • Time: 4hr 15mins
  • Print

This Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding is a healthy, easy, delicious, gluten-free, and vegan dessert or breakfast.


Credit: myrealdish.com

Ingredients

  • 1 can or 2 cups of full fat coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Blue Agave Syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder


Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into your Vitamix or blender in order to make it smooth.
  2. Stir in your chia seeds.
  3. Put in a container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  4. Optional: top with a coconut whipped topping (you can find my recipe here) and drizzle with the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.
  5. Makes a great breakfast or dessert.