Desserts

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 smores or a pie crust. I'll post the recipe soon for this smores 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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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.


Tahini Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

My son cannot eat peanuts. So when Trader Joe’s put the Tahini on the end cap display by the checkout, it inspired me to make my sweet boy some cookies that he could eat! I had never had Tahini before, so I didn’t know what to expect.IMG_1560

The tahini cookie batter consistency was just like that of a peanut butter cookie.

IMG_1561.JPGI rolled the batter into balls, and I used a meat beater in order to see what the pattern would look like, but then decided to dip the fork in water and press – the old fashioned way.

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The result was a crispy wafer tahini cookie, which rivaled a peanut butter cookie (in my humble opinion). But regardless, he didn’t have an allergic reaction to them, so that’s a win in my recipe book!

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My daughter wanted to make sandwich cookies, so we made a vanilla filling. Honestly, I was already happily eating the crunchy tahini goodness with a glass of homemade cashew milk, but she was persistent. The kids often inspire my recipes, because I bake to not only make them healthier gluten-free vegan treats, but also to avoid allergic reactions.

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On the other hand, my son, my husband, and I prefer chocolate EVERYTHING, so I pulled a jar of the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce from the fridge. It’s thick and spreadable, so I used it as a filling! FYI – I didn’t spread and leave the sandwich cookies sitting out, because we ate all of them before I could blink! However, I’m afraid the sauce would melt if you did. I would fill the tahini cookies right before eating each one, or keep them in the fridge. IMG_1583.JPG

Gluten-free and vegan deliciousness!

tahini cookie pinterest

  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A crunchy gluten-free and vegan tahini cookie

These tahini wafer cookies are gluten and sugar cane free and vegan. Eat them plain or make a sandwich cookie with chocolate or vanilla filling. If you use the chocolate filling recipe, it contains cane-sugar.

Ingredients

– 1/2 cup (~1 stick) vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

– 3/4 cup tahini butter (I used Trader Joe’s)

– 1/2 cup coconut sugar

– 1/2 cup maple sugar (I use Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar from Fresh Thyme)

– Egg replacer for 1 egg (1 ½ teaspoon EnRGee + 2 tablespoons warm water)

– 1/2 teaspoon gluten free pure vanilla extract

– 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour (I used Namaste Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend)

– 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Sandwich Cookie Filling (Optional)

Vanilla Filling:

– 2 tablespoon melted vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

– 1 tablespoon almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)

– 3/4 – 1 cup powdered xylitol or confectioner’s sugar

Chocolate Filling:

Follow the recipe for the Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.


Directions

  1. The chocolate filling: if you chose to make the chocolate filling click here for the recipe, it's best to prepare this the night before or at least a couple hours before in order to let it cool and firm in the fridge so that it is spreadable.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Heat your water for the egg replacer - I used a tea kettle.
  4. Add vegan butter, tahini, and both sugars to a mixing bowl.
  5. Cream with the paddle attachment for the mixer until they are well combined.
  6. Switch your attachment for your mixer to a regular beater.
  7. Prepare your egg replacer.
  8. Add egg replacer and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until combined.
  9. Shape 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball.
  10. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Place dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  12. Make a design on your cookies with a small dish of warm water and a fork. Dip the fork's tines in water each time before you press. You can also try the meat beater to make a pattern, but it wasn't as pretty.
  13. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until they are brown; rotate the baking sheets between the oven shelves halfway through baking (at ~9 minutes).
  14. The vanilla filling: If you chose to make the vanilla filling, make it while they are baking with a hand mixer. Mix the butter and non-dairy milk slowly adding the powdered xylitol (or powdered sugar) 1/4 cup at a time, mixing until smooth. You may need extra xylitol until it thickens well or matches your desired level of sweetness.
  15. When cookies are finished baking, transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
  16. Once they have cooled, fill them with icing if desired (refrigerate any remaining sandwich cookies) unfilled cookies, or in an airtight container at room temperature.

 

 

Dulce De Leche Chocolate Cashew Pie (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Before discovering my food allergies and changing my diet to be a healthier, I loved making peanut butter pie. I found myself daydreaming about how I could make that pie vegan, gluten-free, healthier, peanut-free for my son, and still taste amazing. So, I went to the store to buy vegan cream cheese. After I read the label, I learned that vegan cream cheese is primarily made of tofu, but after reading the additional ingredients on the container at the grocery store – I decided to just use tofu. Here’s my creation.cashew pie tall cover

Crust:

Follow the instructions here for the Easy Chocolate Pie Crust.IMG_9247

Filling:

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 8-ounces soft tofu 
  • 1 1/4 cups xylitol powered sugar or powdered sugar (xylitol makes it a low-carb pie)
  • One can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk (in the fridge overnight – (I used Trader Joe’s coconut cream)

Toppings: (optional)

Vegan Dulce de Leche & The Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce are optional, but delicious. It really depends if you want a peanut butter type pie or want the flavor of the dulce de leche and chocolate. I will say, the dulce de leche and chocolate are worth the calories. If you are on a low-carb diet, then the dulce de leche and chocolate should not be added.

Directions:

  1. If you want the toppings, start with the Vegan Dulce de Leche first. It will take about 45 minutes to prepare. While you wait, prep the Easy Chocolate Pie Crust.
  2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees for the Easy Chocolate Pie Crust.
  3. Prepare the Easy Chocolate Pie Crust.
  4. For the filling, beat the cashew butter with the tofu until smooth. IMG_1488.JPG
  5. Add the xylitol powered sugar or powdered sugar, and beat until smooth.IMG_1488.JPG
  6. Add the can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk. Scoop out the cream and leave any water at the bottom of the can – if it hasn’t combined already.
  7. Beat until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.IMG_1489.JPG
  8. Pour the filling into the crust. Chill for at least an hour before serving.IMG_1509.JPG
  9. Prepare The Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce.
  10. Drizzle Vegan Dulce de Leche and The Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce over the pie one sauce at a time.IMG_1518.JPGIMG_1525.JPGIMG_1534.JPG
  11. Serve, and try to stop yourself from eating the entire pie at once! IMG_1538.JPGsusanellenlogoweb

Easy Chocolate Crumb Crust (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Pies. Pies. Pies. I made a chocolate pudding pie with this crust using this Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and a cashew dulce de leche pie (I’ll post the recipe soon). I had been wanting to make an Oreo cookie crust for a while, but there are no gluten-free vegan Oreos that I know of. Although, I’m tempted to try a graham cracker crust using these amazing chocolate wafer cookies.  Regardless, this crust goes well with WHATEVER you’d like to put in it!

Ingredients

Options: If you use almond flour and cacao powder for a healthy twist, it will be very gooey. You will use ¾ of the batter to make a 9-inch crust, and it will be more of a traditional pie crust texture consistency – not a crumb crust. You will also need to check it after 10 minutes to see if it is firm enough; it may need to be cooked for as much as 15 minutes but check it often to make sure it doesn’t crack. While it tastes delicious and cooks well, it doesn’t serve as well on a plate.

If you are on a low-carb diet or want to reduce / eliminate cane sugar, you can see my recipe on powered xylitol here.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cocoa or cacao powder, flour, salt and xylitol powdered sugar or confectioners sugar together.
  3. Stir in the vegan melted butter until the dry ingredients are wet and slightly sticky.
  4. Press the ingredients in a 9-inch pie pan.
  5. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes.
  6. Use the Chocolate Avocado Mousse to make a pie! This is an easy quick tasty dessert.

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Source: I found a recipe at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/228792/mock-chocolate-cookie-crust/ without cookies, changed it slightly, and adapted it to make it gluten-free and dairy-free!

Xylitol Powdered Sugar

Although I’ve substituted cane sugar out of my diet as much as possible in my baking, I still have been using traditional powdered sugar (until today). I love coconut cream whipped with powdered sugar. I’ve given up dairy, but I won’t give up whipped cream!

I used my Vitamix to make xyilitol Powdered Sugar, and it worked! I’m going to use it to make Chocolate Wafer Cookies & Ice Box Cake and Banana Chocolate Boston Cream Cake (Vegan and Gluten Free) too.

What is xylitol? It’s sugar derived from a birch tree. I’ve talked about its benefits in this post about Vegan Broccoli Carrot Slaw With Cranberry Dressing. It’s ideal for low carb & sugar controlled diets. I bought the XyloBurst Brand at swansonvitamins.com.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups xylitol (you can also use coconut sugar too!)
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot (to make it more like processed cane sugar).

FYI – Xylitol is very sweet, you don’t have to use as much as regular powdered sugar to get the sweetness you desire; you will need to play around with it while baking.

Directions:

  • Put the xylitol and arrowroot in the Vitamix, and blend for 30 seconds, until it’s blended to an even consistency.xylitol cover.jpg
  • Store in a plastic bag or glass container.IMG_1455.JPG

 

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Source: Google is a powerful thing – I followed this recipe from the Whole New Mom, and didn’t re-invent the wheel.

Perfect Paleo Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

If you enjoy cake-like brownies – then these are for you! I’ve been experimenting trying to find a Paleo, gluten-free, vegan brownie that actually rises. Here is the final result!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter softened (I use olive oil, soy free Earth Balance)
  • Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (I used 3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water) or 2 eggs (if not vegan or allergic)
  • 4 oz chocolate chips (Use Lily’s Baking Chips to make a sugar-free & vegan – they are sweetened with stevia for Paelo Brownies, or Enjoy Life chips to make them vegan, but they won’t be Paleo)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup sugar (I use Coombs Family Farms Maple Sugar from Fresh Thyme)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ⅔ cup cacao powder
  • 1 ½ cup almond flour (I used Blue Diamond that I bought at Costco)
  • ¼ teaspoon real salt
  • ¼ baking soda

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 inch baking pan
  2. Melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove, stir and microwave for 15 seconds. Or, melt them on low heat in a medium sauce pan.
  3. Prepare egg replacer in a glass mixing bowl (3 teaspoons egg replacer and 4 tablespoons warm water). Stir to combine to a nice paste.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the applesauce, sugars, vanilla, butter / chocolate mixture, cacao, and egg replacer. Beat well to incorporate.IMG_1271.JPG
  5. Spread evenly into greased pan.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  7. Let cool completelyPaleo Brownie Cover

 

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